Everyone disagrees on which season is best spent in New York City (because they’re all amazing), but personally – I prefer autumn. The city is the perfect temperature, with days alternating between warm and cool, and New Yorkers break out their best fall fashions to walk the streets. And, as NYC gets colder, you start to want some delicious comfort food, and Gotham offers plenty. If you’re looking for a great NYC restaurant to try this fall, be sure to visit any (or all) of the places below.
Olmsted, 659 Vanderbilt Ave, Prospect Heights
You’ll be hungry after going on a nice, autumn walk through nearby Prospect Park, so what better way to warm up than with a delicious farm-to-table meal? Enter Olmsted, a Prospect Heights restaurant that highlights local produce and meat – including the quails in a backyard coop that are kept for their eggs. Chef Greg Baztrom’s goal was to open an affordable neighborhood restaurant, and with innovative plates that are all under $25 and bottles of wine that range from $30 to $85, he’s succeeded in creating a must-have eating and drinking experience that won’t break the bank.
The Meatball Shop, 84 Stanton St, Lower East Side
This popular NYC chain now has a few restaurants across the boroughs, but the original Lower East Side location is still our favorite. Since opening in 2010, chef and owner Daniel Holzman has taken the city’s culinary scene by storm because of his mix-and-match style of serving. Each Meatball Shop features a “daily ball” and sauce, but also has a standing menu you can order from as well. It’s the perfect example of elevated comfort food, and let’s be honest – when the weather gets colder, what’s better than a plate of meatballs?
Ayada, 77-08 Woodside Ave, Elmhurst
A New York Magazine critic’s pick, this Thai restaurant has a homey atmosphere that’s a perfect fit for fall. The dishes are comforting, but they’ll also be some of the best Thai you’ve ever had. Ayada does not hold back on big flavors, so don’t be surprised if your dish is bolder or more flavorful than you’d expect. Take advantage by ordering some classic plates like the papaya salad, pad see ew, or the red curry, so you know you’ve had some of NYC’s best.
Dinosaur Bar-B-Que, 700 W 125th Street, Harlem
There is another Dinosaur BBQ location in New York City, but I prefer the Harlem locale. Having originated from outside of Syracuse, New York (a place not really known for its barbecue scene) Dinosaur will surprise you. They offer your standard Southern dishes– racks of ribs, pulled pork, fried green tomatoes, Cajun-spiced catfish – while also hosting some amazing events like Porktober Fest, and featuring talented acts like the Brick City Soul Collective.
TsuruTonTan, 21 East 16th Street, Union Square
Who doesn’t love a bowl of udon noodles to warm you up on a chilly autumn day? Regardless of if you’re an udon expert or are trying udon for the first time, TsuruTonTan is a restaurant you can both relax and have an exciting outing in. Japanese cuisine is more than just sushi after all! And, fun fact, the name of the restaurant is directly linked to udon noodles. According to the restaurant, “Tsuru” is the sound of slurping noodles, “ton” is the sound of kneading and shaping udon, and “tan” is the sound of cutting udon.