Bobby Flay is without a doubt one of my favorite Food Network chefs. His shows, including "Brunch at Bobby's" and "Grill It! With Bobby Flay," serve as both great recipe inspiration and entertainment. Bobby Flay was born and raised in Manhattan, so he knows a thing or two about the food scene there. For Bobby's favorite spots in his home city, read on.
The Doughnut Plant has various locations throughout the city, but Bobby says he always comes face to face with the one right out of the subway station, which can be extremely taunting. This place has been churning out remarkable doughnuts for years, including the jelly-filled square doughnut, cake doughnut, and creme brûlée doughnut, to name just a few of their enticing flavors. Their doughnuts are hand crafted every day using all-natural ingredients with no preservatives or artificial anything. No wonder Bobby can't turn it down.
This upscale restaurant is actually where Bobby Flay got married, in one of their private ballrooms that can accommodate up to 150 guests. In the heart of the Upper East Side, this spot is probably a bit too luxurious for most of our in-debt college student budgets. But for Bobby it's probably nothing. If you ever get the money to afford a classy dinner here, you'll enjoy contemporary French cuisine accompanied by world class wines, and an overall experience like no other.
When in New York, a huge slice of pizza is major key. According to Bobby, this is one of the best spots for it. He raves about the Bee Sting pizza, which is topped with tomato, mozzarella, chili, honey, and sopressata, a dry Italian salami. If you're into the whole sweet/hot thing, this is the pie for you. Don't worry if you're not, though. Roberta's menu is full of a variety of different delicious pizzas, including breakfast pizzas. You can never go wrong with pizza for breakfast.
Bobby must be a lover of French cuisine because Balthazar, another one of his favorites in SoHO, is serving up French fare from breakfast to late-night. Dishes include smoked salmon tartine, roasted lamb sandwich, and homemade linguini, as well as an extensive wine list and raw seafood bar.
Bobby swears by the steak frites, which are topped with either maître d’ butter (a compound butter made with parsley, lemon juice, salt and pepper) or béarnaise sauce, which is made from emulsified butter in egg yolks and white wine vinegar and flavored with herbs.
If Bobby Flay says this is the best barbecue in New York, then this is the best barbecue in New York. The highlight of their menu is of course their premium meats, which are naturally raised and include brisket, sausage, pork cheeks, pulled pork and brontosaurus rib, a huge, fatty on-the-bone short rib with almost a pound of beef.
The meats are as good as the sides, which range from your typical Southern fare of potato salad and coleslaw, to fresh twists like buttermilk broccoli salad and sweet corn fritters with a honey chile dipping sauce. This place might just revolutionize everything you know about Northern BBQ.
Brunch fanatics, this is the place for you. Bobby lusts over the Italian-inspired egg dishes, which can come poached, in an omelette, or in a sandwich, with fresh toppings like grilled tomato, pancetta, artichokes, and arugula. The brunch menu also covers traditional dishes, with an Italian twist, like French toast, crepes, and bruschetta topped with ricotta, nuts, and honey, which Bobby also says is delicious.
As we all know, Bobby Flay loves his beef. The steak at Wolfgang's is his go-to in New York, so if you can afford their $54 ribeye, you should definitely check it out. Wolfgang's also serves up quality seafood, including salmon, tuna, and a five-pound jumbo lobster. For fine fare and an old New York feel, Wolfgang's is the place to go.
Chinatown is obviously most New Yorkers' main spot for takeout, but Bobby goes for Buddakan instead, a newer and fancier Chinese restaurant on Ninth Avenue. Here you can find classic Chinese fare like dim sum, egg rolls, dumplings, and noodle or rice dishes, but there are also some fancier dishes like spiced eggplant and tofu, Singapore chili king crab, and black bean scallops. Live like Bobby and ditch your regular 'ole cheap Chinese takeout for this place instead.
For fresh ingredients and a seasonal menu focused on international culture and inventive fare, ABC Cocina is the place to go. Their rotating dishes are sourced from local boutique producers with an emphasis on environmental consciousness.
Bobby is particularly fond of their modern Latin food items, which include sweet corn and roasted poblano soup and sweet corn empanadas with lime crème fraîche. You're also sure to find some interesting global dishes you've probably never seen on a menu before, like charred octopus, patatas bravas, and roasted hake. You won't find those foods at McDonald's, that's for sure.
This is Bobby's pick for sushi in NYC, meaning it should be yours too. Although it's an extremely upscale (and expensive) restaurant, the culinary experience you'll receive is one for the bucket list. All food is prepared with respect and plated for guests as soon as they're ready to "preserve the idea that each dish is still in a living, being state." Their dishes are made from seasonal dishes based on their availability, including items like caviar, Wagyu beef, and perhaps the best sushi you will ever eat.
Looking for a bangin' burger? Then head on down to JG Melon, the place that inspired Bobby's Burger Palaces. Their burgers are simply meat and cheese (with maybe some bacon thrown on there if you're feeling extra meaty), with no extra added fluff from over-the-top additions or condiments. If you're watching your calories they also sell a tasty turkey burger, a range of salads, omelettes made with fresh veggies, and pan-roasted salmon. You definitely want to show up for happy hour as well (5-7pm) when they brings out mouthwatering sliders, bar snacks, and cheap dranks. What more could you want?
When you combine Italian cuisine with seafood, something magical happens. Proof is provided at Marea, meaning "tide" in Italian, which is known for their refined seafood dishes that have been featured in Bon Appetit, Esquire, and GQ magazines. Dishes range from sea urchin to octopus to caviar sourced from Germany and China.
They are also well known for their house made pasta selections that are topped with a variety of fresh ingredients, including jumbo lump crab, braised short rib, smoked ricotta, and ruby red shrimp. While we can't all afford the $120 plate of truffles, we can still dream about enjoying the lavish dish with Bobby Flay in the classy atmosphere of Marea in Central Park.
I'm not even going to pretend I knew what this place was before looking it up on Google. Ssam? No idea what that is. Bobby Flay's tastes are way too high-class for me. After exploring their website, I found that Ssam Bar is a unique Asain dining experience offering a raw bar, small dishes like steamed buns (which Bobby says are iconic), fish, salads, and meat entrees including spicy pork sausage and rice cakes and pan-roasted duck.
After a long night out enjoying Ssam Bar's unique cocktails and sake, come back the next morning for a much-needed hangover brunch of eggs, biscuits, shrimp and grits, or fried duck and waffles (or all of the above if you really need it).