Favorite NYC, Manhattan Restaurants & Bars

It being my third month living in NYC, I was ready to start exploring and trying out different places.

@nthandamanduwi

Where to eat in NYC, Manhattan – Food and Drinks (my review – byntha.com)

♬ original sound – Nthanda Manduwi 🇲🇼

For my birth month this year, I decided I was not travelling out of the city, and instead wished to explore cuisine and mixology in Manhattan.

Needless to say, my friends jumped on the offer, and did not in any way disappoint. There are SO many restaurants and bars in Manhattan, and I hope I get to frequent a few more. I am lucky enough to have Restaurant Week coincide with my birth month.

Now let’s get it clear – the food and drinks experience in NYC is just exquisite, no questions about that. Restaurants and bars have decades of experience in hospitality. This is more a review of what I loved, and what worked for me. All these places are great and lovely places!

Below, a few of the NYC restaurants and bars I have explored, from least favorite to most favorite:

Chateau 49

This is a bar on 2nd Avenue on 49th Street. It is close to my work place, and a great place for afterwork drinks if you work in that area. The drinks are affordable (for Manhattan), and the snacks are also just lovely!

D.O.M Lounge

This a new lounge in town.

I was invited by my friend for the launch of the lounge a few weeks ago, and it is such a lovely spot to meet great people.

Mad Dog & Bean

I loved this bar. I probably loved the company I had more. There’s that about NY – it is more about the people than it is about the place. It is New Yorker’s who make New York New York!

Valerie (Oyster Bar)

This was actually the first establishment I visited in the city.

After touring NYC and Times Square, my friend and I ended up here for a quick drink and some Oyster.

The Nomad (Bar)

This was the first ‘Bar’ I visited – a friend invited me for his friend’s album launch. Also a lovely and chill spot.

Watermark (Pier 15 Restaurant)

I loved this river-view restaurant on Pier 15. Great food. Great company.

Take the NYC Ferry downtown to Financial District and explore!

We did have some wind that entirely was an experience and made the day!

Wild (Restaurant)

Wild was a cute little restaurant in West Village. Great food, and better company.

Food – Wild Restaurant. Cocktail – Orient Express (see below)

Balvanera (Italian Restaurant)

Balvanera was the first restaurant in entered in NYC. Downtown East, and absolutely random.

My friend and I were walking down the street, and we just picked and settled on a restaurant. Loved the experience, and the steak was just lovely.

Pergola (Restaurant & bar)

Pergola is such a lovely and classy spot.

You’re looking at an Middle – Upper income crowd, and a great place for afterwork drinks and networking.

Lagos (Lounge)

I told my Nigerian friends I wanted to go dancing, and they took me to Lagos!

Lagos Lounge in NYC is everything! Located in the heart of Times Square, it is probably the only place I have been where the majority of the people are not just black (because even that is a luxury in Manhattan), but African! Love love everything about it!

Empire Steakhouse

Now getting into Restaurant Week – my friends and I have been exploring high-end restaurants in the city.

Empire Steak House was one of the restaurants we visited. A beautiful and historical aesthetic. And – there was a show being filmed as we ate. It felt interesting to be on the other end of that experience lol

Benjamin’s Steakhouse

I had to go to Benjamin’s steakhouse. So much history. So much culture. Loved the experience and the company. I will insert the photos soon x

Sea Fire Grill (Seafood Restaurant)

Sea Fire Grill is in the chain of the Benjamin’s Restaurant. The first restaurant I tried out for Restaurant Week, and clearly kept me coming back for more!

Monarch (Rooftop Bar)

Monarch might just be my favorite bar in the city.

From views, to drinks and just general vibe. I loved loved it!

Sinigual (Mexican Restaurant)

We went to Sinigual for a farewell lunch with my office-mates. Such a lovely Mexican Restaurants. The Aesthetics – Everything!

Orient Express Bar

This is such a fabulous little bar in West Village. My friend works here, and the cocktails are just amazing. Ask for Aury when there, and thank me later for the great friend you make!

Cecconi’s (Italian Restaurant)

Cecconi’s was the first high-end restaurant I went to. The restaurant is located in Brooklyn, on the river, with a view of the Brooklyn Bridge.

Cecconi’s Restaurant in Brooklyn (with Brooklyn Bridge view)

The views, service, and food! Everything was just stellar! This was also my first time in Brooklyn.

Ai Fiori

Ai Fiori was an early birthday treat from a friend – and let me just say it lived up to every expectation.

The food, the service, the drinks… everything was just super. We had the 7-course tasting option – and the chef was definitely on top of their game for the night. Every course was a journey, perfectly blended with the next.

Absolutely my favorite fine-dining experience in Manhattan thus far, and the competition was quite stiff.

I will be updating this list as I frequent more places. Please feel free to bookmark it, in case you are planning to visit Manhattan.

And to my friends – thanks for making my birthmonth celebration such a ball! You’ve made these 27 years such a wonder, and I am ever grateful the Universe let your paths and mine cross.

All my love,

Ntha

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In case you have moving to NYC in your immediate or future plans, I share here my update on moving to NYC. Watch this video for some tips and things you should know about moving to NYC, Manhattan.

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