Last week, we did a lot of reporting on restaurants operating in the dark, doing whatever they could to provide light and food to those who needed it. We checked in on our review restaurants, both of which happened to be in blackout zones, and found one had stayed open all week, while the other flooded. Now that power is back in Manhattan, it might seem like things are back to normal for downtown.
Well, they’re not.
Downtown restaurants of all stripes — from little dumpling joints and food stands to fine dining rooms — need you right now. Employees have lost wages, kitchens have lost their inventory, and restaurants need customers to help jump start business again. If you like to eat and drink, if you value New York City’s rich, diverse, resilient restaurant culture, go out for dinner! Hell, go out for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Spend what you can where you can, and tip generously.
Still need a little persuading? Here are 100 reasons to eat downtown from the Fork team, just to get you started. And, of course, it’s only a snapshot of downtown’s deliciousness — tell us about your favorites in the comments.
Masak. Because it’s not every day you find a spicy crab dip with mantou to write home about.
Yuba. Even the miso soup shines at this Japanese gem.
Sao Mai. Robert Sietsema calls the pho at this Vietnamese spot one of the best in town.
Bobwhite Lunch and Supper Counter. Oh, that glorious fried-chicken sandwich!
Veselka. Because the borscht and grilled cheese go 24 hours a day.
Hearth Because Marco Canora’s beautifully simple food tastes like home to us.
Calliope. Because you’ll see why Tejal Rao is kind of obsessed with the baba au rhum.
Sheng Wang. Hot stir-fried peel noodles!
Dirt Candy. Amanda Cohen runs a wonderful vegetarian restaurant with a sense of humor.
Katz’s Delicatessen. Because this place is a national treasure, the pastrami sandwiches are massive, and the poor fools who think it’s nothing more than a tourist trap are seriously missing out.
Zabb Elee. This weather calls for the gelatinous, porky soups of northern Thailand.
Jimmy’s No. 43. Because this basement full of craft beer and food that loves beer is always a fun place to settle in for the evening.
Pho Viet Huong. For congee comfort.
Northern Spy Food Co. Because the light, locavore fare here has soul.
Super Taste. For pork-filled dumplings with thin skins, and hand-pulled wheat noodles in spicy broth.
The Cardinal. Smothered pork chops, y’all.
Kuai Le. Because sometimes only Lanzhou-style hand-pulled noodles will do.
Porchetta. These fantastic roast pork sandwiches will never go out of style.
Curry-Ya. Because a simple Japanese-style curry with rice and vegetables is a perfect meal.
Jack’s Luxury Oyster Bar. If you need a reminder why butter-poached lobster is kind of a thing.
B & H Dairy Restaurant. Because gloomy days get brighter after a bowl of mushroom-barley soup with buttered challah.
Luke’s Lobster. Because: Sweet lobster meat in a buttered, toasted hot-dog bun.
Nom Wah Tea Parlour. This old tea parlor still serves wonderful dim sum. When was the last time you came by?
Banh Mi Saigon Bakery. For excellent banh mi and mung-bean cakes, served in the back of a jewelry store.
Papatzul. For regional Mexican cuisine, like the eponymous pumpkinseed mole on enchiladas.
Pho Grand. Because of the huge (and hugely satisfying) bowls of pho made with (or without) offal.
A-Wah. For Hong Kong-style lo mein and bo zai fan.
DBGB. Daniel Boulud’s outpost on Bowery is straight-up sausage paradise.
Exchange Alley. Because the jambalaya here is studded with Tasso, fried, and served with dirty gravy.
Num Pang Sandwich Shop. Cambodian-style sausage sandwiches FTW.
John Dory Oyster Bar. Make lunch a creamy oyster pan roast.
Banana Leaf. For vegetarian Sri Lankan dishes, especially the starchy hoppers.
La Taza De Oro. Because the roast pork is sweet at this Puerto Rican lunch counter.
Hill Country Barbecue. Lean brisket. Fatty brisket. A sweet slice of Vidalia onion.
Boqueria. No-nonsense Spanish tapas.
Donatella Pizzeria. Naples-style pizzas and simple Sicilian delights like spaghetti with sardines and bread crumbs.
Cho Dan Gal. For the traditional Korean-style tofu dishes.
Co. Because Jim Lahey’s beautiful pizzas help us define pizza culture in New York.
Trestle on Tenth. For hearty Swiss fare that isn’t fondue, like roast chicken with root vegetables, or an oxtail-and-pig-foot terrine.
Salumeria Biellese. For house-made soprassata, salami, coppa, and proscuitto, made with meat from Berkshire hogs.
Pulqueria. Because there aren’t a whole lot of places for us to find the milky alcohol made from the fermented sap of the agave plant. Eh?
Bennie’s. Because you’re not fooled by the Wall Street crowd — and you know there’s excellent Thai food to be found here.
Aldea. Because George Mendes cooks beautiful, modern Portuguese food with heart and soul.
Eisenberg’s Sandwich Shop. There are few better counters to belly up against for a bowl of matzoh ball soup.
The Cellar at Beecher’s. For the hearty, simple cooking that’s all about pleasing the curd nerds.
Momokawa. Because it’s a taste of Kyoto in Kips Bay.
Manzo. Because this Italian restaurant inside Eataly is far more delicious than it needs to be.
En Japanese Brasserie. Fresh, wobbly, tofu. Made every hour or so and served warm.
Annisa. Because Anita Lo’s West Village restaurant just gets better with each passing year.
Kin Shop. Because Harold Dieterle’s modern Thai is way more nuanced and complex than Top Chef.
Minetta Tavern. Because if the cheap thrill of seeing celebs doesn’t sustain you, a burger will.
El Cantinero. Because our soft spot for Tex Mex knows no bounds.
Thelewala. For Indian street food like kati rolls and chaat, any time of the day.
Mamoun’s Falafel. Fine and cheap, and better still if you’ve been drinking.
Lupa. Because this Batali/Bastianich joint still has it going on. Sit at the bar alone with a glass of bubbly and a bowl of pasta — it doesn’t get much better than this.
L’Artusi. For warm, cozy, Italian in the West Village.
Fedora. Because this candlelit nook is lovely, and the food and service are laid-back, but spot on.
Corcoron. Because it’s soba season, and this is just the place to celebrate.
wd-50. Because their new tasting menu eloquently tells the story of New York City, but if you sit at the bar, you don’t have to order it.
Best Fuzhou. Because this Fujianese restaurant takes its seafood seriously.
The Meatball Shop. Because their love for the comfort food staple is pure (and fun!).
Momofuku Noodle Bar. Because we’ve had a wave of new ramen joints, but this one’s still got it going on.
The Fat Radish. Because of the stick-to-your-ribs English dishes like pork tarts and vegetable pot pies.
Xi’an Famous Foods. Because this no-frills crowd-pleaser serves wonderful food at reasonable prices.
Kuma Inn. Because New Yorker King Phojanakong was a pioneer in this part of the LES and his Filipino fare is still the bee’s knees.
Scarpetta. Because of the elegant pasta dishes.
Balaboosta. Because Einat Admony brings global flavors and warm hospitality to Little Italy.
The Dutch. For Andrew Carmellini’s hip, excellent food, like those fried-oyster sandwiches. Mmm.
Dominique Ansel Bakery. No one does modern French pastries quite like this Daniel alum.
Pinche Taqueria. Because these fish tacos are the bomb.
Aquagrill. Because this place that sounds like a ’90s boyband still excels in seafood.
Shanghai Asian Cuisine. Soup. Dumplings.
Parm. Because Rich Torrisi and Mario Carbone make us rethink everything we know about Italian-American food.
Landmarc. Because you could do with a a steak night in Tribeca.
Bouley Because after all these years, David Bouley’s restaurant still sparks with a little genius.
Brushstroke. When Bouley and the Tsuji Culinary Institute of Osaka collaborate, magic happens. Go see for yourself.
Bangal Curry and Kabab. You need a Bangladeshi goat-curry fix!
Corton. There are few better way to blow a paycheck in this city than on Paul Liebrandt’s modern, beautiful food at Drew Nieporent’s Corton.
Rosemary’s. Because this restaurant from the Bobo team won our Best Italian award this year!
Pearl Oyster Bar. Because the lobster rolls and chowders are fantastic.
Buvette. For Jody Williams’s charming French plates.
Tartine. Because Thierry Rochard’s bistro has been filling our bellies for 20 years. Also: almond croissants.
Malatesta Trattoria. For the gorgeous cookery of Emilia-Romagna.
Del Posto. Because it’s not just for blowout, celebratory dinners. Check out the magnificent lunch deal!
Lievito. Because we’re guessing you forgot about this northern Italian gem that does so much more than pizza.
Ducks Eatery. Because the joy of eating fried pig ears with friends at 2 in the morning is why we live in NYC.
John’s of Bleecker Street. For the thin-crust pies.
Soto. For Sotohiro Kosugi’s beautiful omakase menus.
Perry Street. Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s downtown restaurant serves refined, lovely French fare, without the squiggles. (We’ll let you know when it’s back up and running.)
Empellon Taqueria.Because Alex Stupak’s regional Mexican cuisine is smart and straight-up delicious.
Mission Chinese Food. Go for Danny Bowien’s particularly hot and delicious style of modern Chinese food.
A Voce. Because Missy Robbins’ sophisticated Italian food is so on point.
Milk Bar. Crack. Pie.
Cómodo. Because Tamy Rofe and Felipe Donnelly make dinner feel like a dinner party.
Goat Town. Because this under-the-radar East Village bistro was the winner of our Best Restaurant award last year.
The Rusty Knot. Flooded during Sandy, but risen again. It’s always a good time for a cocktail at this nautical-themed bar.
Royal Seafood. Simply some of the city’s best and cheapest dim sum, in a Cantonese seafooder.
Yunnan Kitchen. Because Travis Post pays respects to Yunnan at this hip little spot on Clinton Street.
Corsino. Because there aren’t enough chill, neighborhood Italian spots serving excellent food at reasonable prices.
15 East. It’s always a good time to revisit one of the most elegant Japanese restaurants in the city.