Secret Restaurants in NYC are often hidden in plain sight. Check out our favorite gems! By Stephanie Schroeder
Looking for indescribably delicious eats and drinks? We’ve got the inside scoop on four of our very own favorites that we are willing to share. But, shhh, keep this information under your hat, as these restaurants are already garnering a lot of interest and attention. So #DoWhatLocalsDo and take the opportunity to visit them before they blow up!
Pho Bo, Pho Ga, Pho Chay and MORE is waiting for you in Bushwick.
Michelin Guide Recommended, Zagat rated and Trip Advisor favorite, Falansai Vietnamese Kitchen in Bushwick is on a somewhat hard-to-locate corner in between the Morgan and Jefferson L train stops. But don’t let that stop you! With a comfortable minimalist interior that is a respite in cooler weather, the establishment’s outdoor seating is a wondrous setting. Boasting a gorgeous Lilly pond, colorful murals and a range of seating options spotlighted with strings of twinkle lights, when the sun goes down and the garden lights up, the actions at this original Brooklyn eatery are just beginning! And, an extra hot tip: they have an amazing happy hour!
Get it Local: Grilled Clawhammer Pork Sausage at Freemans.
The delightful, upscale Freemans Restaurant is hidden inside an alleyway (Freemans Alley!) on the Lower East Side of Manhattan off Rivington Street between Chrystie and the Bowery. Freemans uses unexpected ingredients such as nettles on a fresh fish dish, wild mushrooms in a vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie and farro in seasonal salad. The bar at Freeman’s is lively and the eponymous Freeman’s Cocktail – with Rye, simple syrup, pomegranate molasses, lemon juice, house orange bitters – is many locals’ choice.
Visit with the chef while you eat.
Yemeni, Egyptian or general Middle Eastern, some locals debate it, but in any case Kebab Cafe in Astoria is a tiny hidden gem. Lacking the charm of Freemans or Falansai, the excellent and inspired food makes up for that. Squeezed into the small restaurant space, customers partake in Chef-Owner Ali’s creations, often consisting of a daily special made of whatever ingredients are market fresh along with all kinds of kabobs, lamb in every configuration, those standbys, babaganush and hummus, and an outstanding mouthwatering mixed plate. The Kabob House has some vegetarian fare, but is not for feint-hearted eaters as organ meats are on the menu. However, for the more adventurous, this is just the place to sit down and go with the flow while visiting Queens.
Hand-pressed tortillas crafted with heirloom corn.
Gran Electrica has a bar with the most original flavored Margarita’s in town – habanero-infused, red beet, pineapple, cucumber and other flavors. The intimate, minimalist dining space hosts an array of guests and the service is impeccable. Sitting on Front Street in DUMBO, Gran Electrica is a bit hard to find via subway, but you can easily walk there from Brooklyn Heights, take the B25 bus to the Front & York stop, just steps away from the restaurant, or sit down to dinner after one of our tours that end in DUMBO.
We hope you enjoy all of these secret restaurants in NYC!