New York City which is home to nearly 13000 different restaurants is often regarded as one of the culinary capitals in the world. In fact New York’s many fine dining restaurants are consistently deemed to the ‘best’ in the country by reputed organizations like the James Beard Foundation. Many of the world’s top chefs like Daniel Boulud, Alain Ducasse, Jean-Georges Vongerichten, and David Chang all have a presence on New York’s vibrant and continuously evolving dining scene.
New Yorkers are well informed and sophisticated restaurant-goers who keep abreast of current trends in the culinary world as they actively peruse various dining guides in an effort to be in the ‘know’. Foodie blogs, websites and restaurant guides have an almost fanatical following among New York City residents who are adventurous and opinionated diners who enjoy the wide array of restaurants that are found all over the city.
Almost all of the world’s cuisines have a representation in New York City and its diverse restaurants range from upscale and expensive establishments like the highly ranked and expensive Per Se restaurant which serves modern American cuisine to the modest and inexpensive West Village falafel joint called Mamoun’s which is a favorite with the taxi drivers in New York City.
The city also celebrates its restaurants with two annual Restaurant Weeks which take place during the summer and winter months. During these Restaurant Weeks many participating New York City restaurants offer prix-fixe menus in an effort to garner more business and gain customers. Apart from these restaurant weeks, the city also hosts festivals like the New York Wine and Food festival which is organized by the Food Network every year and the annual New York Chocolate Festival in order to showcase the talents of its resident chefs and food producers.
While some New York City restaurants are open round the clock others open their doors only for dinner. The restaurant timings differ from restaurant to restaurant and are always listed in the many guides that are available and followed enthusiastically by New Yorkers.
The need to make a reservation at a restaurant also depends on the general popularity of the restaurant. For instance, if you want to dine at a popular restaurant like the Spotted Pig which is located in the West Village or at Peter Luger’s which is often regarded as New York City’s premier steakhouse on a Saturday night, you must make sure that you make a reservation several days in advance. However sometimes even having a reservation is no guarantee that you will be seated immediately if the restaurant is currently extremely popular.
It is customary to add a tip as you pay your bill after you dine at a restaurant no matter how happy or unhappy you have been with the service. The general rule of thumb for tipping in New York City restaurants is that you should simply double the tax component of your bill while working out the amount of tip to be added to the total. However if you are dining in a group of more than five/ six people then the restaurant automatically adds a 20% gratuity amount to your dinner total.
- The Zagat Guide – http://www.zagat.com/ – The dining bible of New York and other cities around the world.
- Menupages – http://www.menupages.com/ – Menus of thousands of New York City restaurants
- Yelp – http://www.yelp.com/nyc – Consumer reviews of restaurants and more
- The NY Magazine – http://nymag.com/ – a comprehensive guide to New York restaurants
- Metromix – http://newyork.metromix.com/ – guide to New York dining and nightlife.
- Open Table – http://www.opentable.com – online reservation system for restaurants in NYC