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Alternatives to the Most Popular Restaurants in New York City

Restaurants like Masa and Peter Luger Steakhouse can offer once in a lifetime experiences but these iconic New York City restaurants are often pricey and have long wait times. It may be hard to replicate these unique dining experiences but here are our alternatives to the most popular restaurants in New York City. You can’t go wrong with any of these alternatives and you will certainly have a delicious, memorable meal without the wait and for a fraction of the cost!

Instead of Peter Luger Steakhouse try Smith & Wollensky
Peter Luger Steakhouse (178 Broadway, Brooklyn) is often the first place that comes to mind when it comes to New York steakhouses. It is incredibly popular so there are very long wait times and it can also be difficult to get a reservation. Plus their steaks can be expensive. Smith & Wollensky (797 3rd Ave) has locations around the country and they also offer quality, juicy steaks grilled perfectly and it is very rare to have to wait to be seated.

Instead of Per Se try Balthazar
Per Se (10 Columbus Cir #4) is a French restaurant in the Time Warner Center that is the definition of luxury and fine dining. There are a number of excellent French restaurants in New York City and on top of our list, is Balthazar (80 Spring St). Balthazar offers a more traditional take on French cuisine with dishes such as escargot and coq au vin.

Instead of Masa try Kanoyama
Also in the Time Warner Center is Masa (10 Columbus Cir, Ste 4F), one of the most exclusive and expensive restaurants in New York City. It is sushi and Japanese cuisine at its absolute finest and it will easily set you back $600+. There are however a lot of good alternatives for sushi in the New York City. One of the highlights is Kanoyama (175 2nd Ave). It is a lot more laid back compared to Masa and their sushi is only a fraction of the price. Their sushi is super fresh and tasty and they have us coming back for more.

Instead of Dominique Ansel Bakery try Mille-Feuille
Dominique Ansel Bakery (189 Spring St) has been the talk of the foodie world for the last few years. Their lines for cronuts (a cross between a croissant and a doughnut) are extreme and as the weather gets warmer, the line only gets longer! When it comes to pastries, Dominique Ansel’s creativity and playfulness are unique but another one of favorite French bakeries is Mille-Feuille (552 Laguardia Pl). Mille-Feuille offers their version of the cronut (which is also very good) but what you really want to try is their signature mille-feuille aka Napoleon or some of their yummy macarons.

Instead of Lombardi’s Pizza try L’asso
Lombardi’s Pizza (32 Spring St) is among the best pizzerias in New York City and on the weekends, there can be a large crowd waiting to get inside. If you are not willing to wait, L’asso (192 Mott St) is just a few blocks away. We admit L’asso pizza is different (Lombardi’s is more of a traditional NYC pizza) but it is just as scrumptious. Their Pancetta pizza is especially divine.

Instead of Patsy’s Italian Restaurant try Porsena
Patsy’s Italian Restaurant (236 W 56th St) is legendary and it was Frank Sinatra’s favorite restaurant. Patsy’s is best known for their traditional Italian fare and pastas. Their food is world famous and it is often imitated but never duplicated. However, if you are looking for an excellent bowl of pasta, Porsena (21 E 7th St) won’t let you down. Their pastas are always perfectly al dente and full of flavor.

Instead of ABC Kitchen try The Mercer Kitchen
The name Jean-Georges Vongerichten is well known among the foodie circle and dining in one of his many restaurants is a must on any foodie to do list. On top of his empire is probably ABC Kitchen (35 E 18th St). You sometimes have to plan weeks ahead to get a reservation at ABC Kitchen and it may be worth it. But if you can’t wait, The Mercer Kitchen (99 Prince St) is another Jean-Georges Vongerichten restaurant and it is a lot easier to score a table. We love their pizzas, raw bar selections along with entrees such as braised lamb shanks.

Instead of Ippudo NY try Bassanova Ramen
An incredibly popular place for ramen in New York City is Ippudo NY (65 4th Ave). The line waiting to get a seat can reach down the block at times. If you are looking for a place that serves an excellent bowl of ramen, Bassanova Ramen (76 Mott St) in the heart of Chinatown has to be one of the best. If it is your first time here, we recommend their Tondaku Wadashijiru Ramen. Their broth is packed with flavor and their pork char sui is just as tasty!