Port Food: Where to Eat in Manhattan

by Kayla Becker

Port Food: Where to Eat in Manhattan

by Kayla Becker

No city has a food scene quite like New York’s. The Big Apple was practically built on a foundation of bagels, thin-crust pizza, and pastrami sandwiches, and the city is full of restaurants serving cuisines from around the globe. Even better, you can easily find great eats without straying too far from port. We zeroed in on standout restaurants in Manhattan’s west side neighborhood of Hell’s Kitchen, for a bite to eat before or after your cruise.

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New York pizza / iStock / DanHenson1
Gotham West Market
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1. Gotham West Market

What do you do when your fellow travelers can’t agree on one type of food? This 10,000 square-foot food hall solves that problem, serving up a world of flavors from nine unique vendors. Try house-made charcuterie at The Cannibal or handcrafted ice cream at Ample Hills Creamery, and sit down for a casual experience at communal dining tables. Prices are low (by New York standards, at least) and some vendors are open from 7 am until midnight.

Order: Tacos from Choza Taqueria. You can’t go wrong with any of this Mexican joint’s tacos, stuffed with your choice of carnitas, chorizo, carne asada, or garbanzo beans.

Address: 600 11th Ave. (between 44th St. and 45th St.)

What do you do when your fellow travelers can’t agree on one type of food? This 10,000 square-foot food hall solves that problem, serving up a world of flavors from nine unique vendors. Try house-made charcuterie at The Cannibal or handcrafted ice cream at Ample Hills Creamery, and sit down for a casual experience at communal dining tables. Prices are low (by New York standards, at least) and some vendors are open from 7 am until midnight.

Order: Tacos from Choza Taqueria. You can’t go wrong with any of this Mexican joint’s tacos, stuffed with your choice of carnitas, chorizo, carne asada, or garbanzo beans.

Address: 600 11th Ave. (between 44th St. and 45th St.)

Fried Chicken and Cheddar Waffle
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2. Friedman’s

This American restaurant’s home-style menu is full of comfort food, with hearty sandwiches like Reubens and BLTs (their version comes with avocado, making it a BLAT). There are also a variety of gluten-free options.

Order: Fried chicken and cheddar waffles at brunch. It’s just as decadent as it sounds — and the free-range chicken is served with honey Tabasco sauce. If you are there for dinner, order the Friedman’s lamb burger. Juicy and thick and topped with feta, this classic goes best with a side of sweet potato fries.

Address: 450 10th Ave. (between 35th St. and 36th St.)

This American restaurant’s home-style menu is full of comfort food, with hearty sandwiches like Reubens and BLTs (their version comes with avocado, making it a BLAT). There are also a variety of gluten-free options.

Order: Fried chicken and cheddar waffles at brunch. It’s just as decadent as it sounds — and the free-range chicken is served with honey Tabasco sauce. If you are there for dinner, order the Friedman’s lamb burger. Juicy and thick and topped with feta, this classic goes best with a side of sweet potato fries.

Address: 450 10th Ave. (between 35th St. and 36th St.)

Ribs at Daisy May's BBQ
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3. Daisy May’s BBQ

For being north of the Mason-Dixon Line, this barbecue joint serves up some surprisingly tasty Southern favorites. That’s probably because the menu covers all regions of the country, from dry-rub Memphis-style ribs to the sweet and sticky St. Louis variety. Order sides like collared greens and mac-and-cheese, plus a glass of sweet tea.

Order: Carolina pulled pork sandwich. It’s tender and slathered in BBQ sauce. Just remember: If your fingers aren’t a complete saucy mess, you’re not doing it right.

Address: 623 11th Ave. (at 46th St.)

For being north of the Mason-Dixon Line, this barbecue joint serves up some surprisingly tasty Southern favorites. That’s probably because the menu covers all regions of the country, from dry-rub Memphis-style ribs to the sweet and sticky St. Louis variety. Order sides like collared greens and mac-and-cheese, plus a glass of sweet tea.

Order: Carolina pulled pork sandwich. It’s tender and slathered in BBQ sauce. Just remember: If your fingers aren’t a complete saucy mess, you’re not doing it right.

Address: 623 11th Ave. (at 46th St.)

Ippudo's Shiromaru Hakata Classic
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4. Ippudo

A far cry from the sad instant packages you knew in college, the ramen at this authentic Japanese noodle restaurant is as close to the real thing as you can get. In addition to traditional ramen bowls, the restaurant also serves tapas-style appetizers ranging from panko-crusted tempura veggies to beef tataki in ponzu sauce.

Order: Shiromaru hakata classic. This bowl is made with Ippudo’s signature tonkotsu pork broth, pork loin, and mushrooms. Enjoy with sake.

Address: 700 8th Ave. (between 44th St. and 45th St.)

A far cry from the sad instant packages you knew in college, the ramen at this authentic Japanese noodle restaurant is as close to the real thing as you can get. In addition to traditional ramen bowls, the restaurant also serves tapas-style appetizers ranging from panko-crusted tempura veggies to beef tataki in ponzu sauce.

Order: Shiromaru hakata classic. This bowl is made with Ippudo’s signature tonkotsu pork broth, pork loin, and mushrooms. Enjoy with sake.

Address: 700 8th Ave. (between 44th St. and 45th St.)

Gyro with Greek salad
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5. Uncle Nick’s

This Greek taverna has been serving up classics like souvlaki and gyros since the 1980s, and although the décor is nothing fancy, the food is consistently good. Families will appreciate the casual atmosphere and affordable prices. Bonus: They take reservations, unlike many Manhattan restaurants.

Order: Four combo dips. This appetizer comes with tzatziki, tarama, melitzanosalata, and scordalia so you get a little taste of everything on your pita.

Address: 747 9th Ave. (between 50th St. and 51st St.)

This Greek taverna has been serving up classics like souvlaki and gyros since the 1980s, and although the décor is nothing fancy, the food is consistently good. Families will appreciate the casual atmosphere and affordable prices. Bonus: They take reservations, unlike many Manhattan restaurants.

Order: Four combo dips. This appetizer comes with tzatziki, tarama, melitzanosalata, and scordalia so you get a little taste of everything on your pita.

Address: 747 9th Ave. (between 50th St. and 51st St.)

Chicken Satay
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6. Pure Thai Cook House 

Truly great Thai places are few and far between in Manhattan, but this modern restaurant is a gem, bringing flavors from all regions of Thailand to the table. How authentic is it? The handmade noodles are based on a family recipe.

Order: Vegetable pad woon sen. The delicate glass noodles topped with fresh shiitake mushrooms and sugar snap peas are fresh and flavorful.

Address: 766 9th Ave. (between 51st St. and 52nd St.)

Truly great Thai places are few and far between in Manhattan, but this modern restaurant is a gem, bringing flavors from all regions of Thailand to the table. How authentic is it? The handmade noodles are based on a family recipe.

Order: Vegetable pad woon sen. The delicate glass noodles topped with fresh shiitake mushrooms and sugar snap peas are fresh and flavorful.

Address: 766 9th Ave. (between 51st St. and 52nd St.)

Shake Shack Single
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7. Shake Shack

The popular fast food burger chain has come a long way since it origins as a hot dog cart in Madison Square Park. Even after spreading across the country, it’s still a New York favorite and great for a quick and easy bite without a big price tag.

Order: The Shack burger.  Pair that with the frozen custard, a thick and creamy ice cream. Check the menu for featured flavors — they change throughout the month, but include fun treats like jelly donut, s'mores, miso caramel, and red velvet.

Address: 691 8th Ave. (at 44th St.)

The popular fast food burger chain has come a long way since it origins as a hot dog cart in Madison Square Park. Even after spreading across the country, it’s still a New York favorite and great for a quick and easy bite without a big price tag.

Order: The Shack burger.  Pair that with the frozen custard, a thick and creamy ice cream. Check the menu for featured flavors — they change throughout the month, but include fun treats like jelly donut, s'mores, miso caramel, and red velvet.

Address: 691 8th Ave. (at 44th St.)

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