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Where to eat in New York

By Kat Kinsman and Sarah LeTrent, CNN
The editors of Eatocracy choose their favorite New York City restaurants.
The editors of Eatocracy choose their favorite New York City restaurants.
  • Check out our favorites, from Katz's to Caracas
  • Visit Lombardi's, the nation's first pizzeria
  • Try the papaya and catfish salad at Sripraphai

(CNN) -- Welcome to New York City. Hope you packed your appetite.

We're not claiming these are the definitive "best," "most essential," or "most authentic" restaurants in all of NYC or any of that jazz. We are just saying that if it were us in town for a few days, these are the places we'd make a beeline for to eat, drink and generally be delighted.

Not a fan of our faves? Well, OK then. Just send us a DM or a note @eatocracy on Twitter, let us know where you are, and we'll find you some food to suit your mood.

Have a delicious stay.

Terroir | Tribeca
Address: 24 Harrison St.
Phone: 212.625.9463
Categories: Downtown, Bar, Eat at the bar
Solo Dining: Yes
Tip: Three words: Riesling on tap. It may be touted as a wine bar, but the food is killer. Chicken liver and lardo bruschette are life-changers.

Caracas Arepa Bar
Address: 93 1/2 East 7th St.
Phone: 718.218.6050 or 212.529.2314
Categories: Downtown
Tip: For a taste of Venezuela, chomp into one of these stuffed corn-flour arepas. Feeling indecisive? Try the La Popular sampler of three different, traditional varieties.

Otto Enoteca Pizzeria
Address: 1 Fifth Ave.
Phone: 212.995.9559
Categories: Downtown, Celebrity chef, Eat at the bar
Solo Dining: Yes
Tip: Order some antipasti at Mario Batali's casual pizzeria while you wait on his thin-crusted creations. Runny yolk fans opt for the Pane Frattau -- a pie with a sunnyside-up egg in the center. The house-made olive oil gelato is the ultimate sweet-savory ending.

Gramercy Tavern
Address: 42 East 20th St.
Phone: 212.477.0777
Categories: Gramercy/Flatiron, Date night
Solo Dining: Yes
Tip: It's one of the New York's most beloved restaurants -- and for good reason with its luxurious yet homey atmosphere. Everything's seasonal and you really can't go wrong.

Address: 211 East 43rd St.
Phone: 212.953.7253
Categories: Midtown, Hidden gem, Eat at the bar
Solo Dining: Yes
Tip: A taste of Tokyo is hidden in the basement of a Midtown East office building -- your friends will be impressed you found this place. Go for lunch and sake -- their platters are a multi-course steal at $20.

Pearl Oyster Bar
Address: 18 Cornelia Street
Phone: 212.691.8211
Categories: Downtown, No reservations
Solo Dining: Yes
Tip: Come for the lobster roll, stay for the blueberry pie. Impatient diners take note: they do not accept reservations.

Spotted Pig
Address: 314 West 11th Street
Phone: 212.620.0393
Categories: Downtown, Celeb spotting, Late night
Tip: The gastropub to end all gastropubs. Devils on Horseback, chicken liver and a burger with Roquefort are a few of its hearty offerings. A 2-hour wait is normal during peak time as is celeb-spotting in the witching hours.

Momofuku Ssam Bar
Address: 207 2nd Avenue
Phone: 212.254.3500
Categories: Downtown, Celebrity chef
Tip: Order the pork buns and stop by Milk Bar next door for a compost cookie, crack pie or one of the ever changing, always inventive soft-serve ice creams.

Address: 110 East 7th Street
Phone: 212.777.2151
Categories: Downtown, Casual
Solo Dining: Yes
Tip: Pork lovers: eat Porchetta's porchetta. That is all.

Address: 240 Central Park South
Phone: 212.582.5100
Categories: Midtown, Date night, Eat at the bar
Solo Dining: Yes
Tip: It was just named Best New Restaurant at the James Beard Awards so reservations may be tight. But, it's worth the fuss to order fusilli with red wine braised octopus and bone marrow and eat at the bar.

Address: 222 Waverly Place
Phone: 212.691.1287
Categories: Downtown, Casual
Solo Dining: Yes
Tip: Skip the ubiquitous street cart falafel and head to the West Village. Choose between red, green or harissa falafel flavors.

The Little Owl
Address: 90 Bedford Street
Phone: 212.741.4695
Categories: Downtown, Date night
Tip: This darling neighborhood restaurant is perfect for date night. Signature meatball sliders are a must, while a pork chop with butter beans and dandelion is close to porcine perfection. If soft shell crab is available, dive in for a suprisingly light taste of summer.

Katz's Delicatessen
Address: 205 E. Houston Street
Phone: 212.254.2246
Categories: Downtown, Old New York, Casual
Solo Dining: Yes
Tip: It's the quintessential New York deli -- as seen in When Harry Mat Sally. Order the classics: corned beef, pastrami or tongue with a Dr. Brown's Cel-Ray chaser.

Grand Central Oyster Bar
Address: 89 E. 42nd St. (in Grand Central Station)
Phone: 212.490.6650
Categories: Midtown, Old New York
Solo Dining: Yes
Tip: This is old school New York. Nab a table in the cavernous, subterranean dining room or saloon or a seat at the curving lunch counter or raw bar and slurp down fresh oysters or a classic pan roast.

Blue Hill
Address: 75 Washington Place
Phone: 212.539.1776
Categories: Downtown, Date night
Tip: Dine like the First Couple at this lauded, lovely farm-to-table restaurant helmed by James Beard Award winning chef Dan Barber.

Torrisi Italian Specialities
Address: 250 Mulberry St.
Phone: 212.965.0955
Categories: Downtown, Casual
Solo Dining: Yes
Tip: Italian-American classics to take-out or eat-in by two accomplished, contemporary chefs. Word has quickly spread about this 18 seat restaurant's chicken parm hero and turkey sandwich.

Address: 239 East 5th Street
Phone: 212.979.1012
Website: No website
Categories: Downtown, Adventurous
Tip: Skip a la carte and go for the tasting menu: a New York bargain at 5-courses for $55. The tiny restaurant seats diners at a counter around an open kitchen -- dinner and a show.

Shake Shack
Address: 366 Columbus Ave.
Phone: 212.889.6600
Categories: Gramercy/Flatiron, Casual, Outdoors
Solo Dining: Yes
Tip: Shack burgers, Chicago-style dogs and shakes are the draw at Danny Meyer's ode to summertime eats. Park yourself in the inevitable line -- locations in Madison Square Park, the Upper West Side and Citi Field triple your chances to satisfy crinkle-fry cravings.

Death & Co.
Address: 433 E. 6th St.
Phone: 212-388-0882
Categories: Downtown, Bar
Tip: Cocktails are to die for at this East Village bar. Drinks like the Joy Division and the Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test sparkle amid the Gothic loveliness of this cocktail manor.

Address: 32 Spring St
Phone: 212-941-7994
Categories: Downtown, Casual
Tip: The nation's first pizzeria doesn't accept reservations, but their wood-oven pies are worth the wait.

Hill Country
Address: 30 West 26th Street
Phone: 212.255.4544
Categories: Gramercy/Flatiron, Casual, Good for groups, Live music
Tip: Boot scoot on over to Hill Country for some low and slow-smoked brisket, ribs and all the southern fixings. Save room for a PB & J cupcake. Everything's bigger in Texas so bring your appetite.

Address: 25 W. 56th St.
Phone: 212-332-0500
Categories: Midtown, Eat at the bar
Solo Dining: Yes
Tip: This undersung Midtown gem boasts some of the city's greatest bar treats - woodfired pizza and serious cocktails. Lunch prix fixe is a steal.

Address: 6413 39th Avenue Woodside, Queens
Phone: (718) 899-9599
Categories: Queens, Adventurous
Tip: Sure, it's a shlep from Manhattan (hop the 7-train to Woodside Ave.), but the papaya and catfish salad and fish maw soup are worth the journey for serious Thai devotees.

Sushi Yasuda
Address: 204 East 43rd Street
Phone: (212) 972-1001
Categories: Midtown, Date night
Solo Dining: Yes
Tip: Oh, oh, the otoro! Opt for bar seating to watch the master prepare sumptuous fatty tuna, Arctic char and shockingly fresh urchin up close.

Flatiron Lounge
Address: 37 West 19th St.
Phone: (212) 727-7741
Categories: Gramercy/Flatiron, Date night, Bar
Tip: Artful mixologists led by the fabulous Julie Reiner craft bygone cocktails and daily drink flights by hand in this lovely, Art Deco-influenced bar. Get there early.

Han Bat
Address: 53 West 35th Street
Phone: (212) 629-5588
Website: No website
Categories: Midtown, Late night
Tip: Skip the late night slice and opt for bi bim bop and ox knee broth served 24/7 in the heart of NYC's Koreatown.

Keens Steakhouse
Address: 72 West 36th St.
Phone: (212) 947-3636
Categories: Midtown, Old New York
Solo Dining: Yes
Tip: In 1905, Lillie Langtry sued to be allowed access to the gents-only premises. Upon winning, she swept in and ordered the mutton chop. Follow her lead. Don't miss prime-rib hash and 200+ single malts.

Address: 403 East 12th St.
Phone: (646) 602-1300
Categories: Downtown, Date night
Tip: Chef Marco Canora's Italian-influenced American fare is inventive, hospitable and homey -- complemented by one of the most creative wine lists in town.

Address: 50 Clinton St.
Phone: 212.477.2900
Categories: Downtown, Adventurous
Tip: Chef Wylie Dufresne deconstructs classic like eggs Benedict to re-imagine using high-tech "molecular gastronomy" techniques. Like Mama never made.

Pegu Club
Address: 77 W. Houston St., 2nd Floor
Phone: (212) 473-7348
Categories: Downtown, Bar
Tip: Named for the Pegu Club cocktail, this romantic upstairs bar boasts classics and original inventions by mixologist Audrey Saunders.

Nice Green Bo
Address: 66 Bayard St.
Phone: (212) 625-2359
Website: No website
Categories: Downtown, Adventurous
Solo Dining: Yes
Tip: The bare-bones atmosphere and terse service aren't the draw; the turnip and ham pastries and sumptuous stewed pork balls surely are.

Address: 54 East 1st St.
Phone: (212) 677-6221
Categories: Downtown, Killer brunch
Tip: A wild Sunday brunch Bloody Mary menu and an omelet with a marrow bone side sates adventurous eaters. Spaghetti carbonara breakfast soothes damage from late night revels.

Jimmy's Corner
Address: 140 W. 44th St
Phone: 212-221-9510
Website: No website
Categories: Midtown, Dive bar
Tip: a.k.a. The Boxing Bar. Jimmy Glenn's low-key joint is a longtime haven for thirsty locals in need of respite from Times Square tourists.

Kabab Café
Address: 25-12 Steinway St. Astoria Queens N/R to Astoria/Ditmars Blvd.
Phone: 718-728-9858
Website: No website
Categories: Queens, Adventurous
Tip: This eclectically decorated cash-only café is home to Egyptian fare so soulful and sumptuous, it's not unusual to see patrons tearing up. Get the meze platter and let Chef Ali El Sayed select the rest of your meal for you.