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Must-Eat New York City Restaurants Based on Your Favorite LA Restaurants

Must-Eat New York City Restaurants Based on Your Favorite LA Restaurants

One of the many benefits of working at Douglas Elliman is being able to access its vast network of stellar real estate agents. Jessica Chestler, my fellow agent and friend who works at the DE NY headquarters with her business partner Ben Jacobs, always knows the best places to eat in NYC and in Los Angeles. 


Here is her detailed list of must-eat restaurants in New York City, including where to go if you are fans of some top restaurants in LA:


Restaurants from Jess

I can go on and on about the best foods in New York and I am lucky to have spent a lot of time in LA so I wanted to share a helpful guide to where to go based on what you may love in LA:


If you are a fan of Il Pastaio or La Scala for a good chopped, you should go to American Bar. They have the closest salad option. I always get the chopped. Hot take—Il Pastaio has usurped La Scala for me—I started adding basil and pepper to the Capricciosa double chopped. Also, Pastaio’s Arnold Palmer is unrivaled. American Bar is in the West Village and has a special feeling and neighborhood feel as well. If you, like me, are more into the Arnold Palmer than you should be, you need to try the iced tea at Mezzaluna on the Upper East Side. Game changer.

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If you are a fan of Giorgio Baldi, go to Primola on the Upper East Side or Emilio Ballato in Soho. The food and feel at Primola feels most like Baldi, but you get much less Kardashians. That said, you will certainly brush up with the big names in real estate and beyond. Not to mention one of the best chicken parms in the city. If you like Baldi for the Kardashians AND the food, we love Emilio Ballato in Soho. The food is incredible, and the sightings are constant. 


If you are an Elephante fan, you should go to Laserwolf. Laserwolf is the new hotspot in Williamsburg, Brooklyn-also home to both Jess and Ben! The food and pita is phenomenal, the people are pretty, and the views and sunsets are perfect.


If you like Golden Bull in Santa Monica, you must go to The Ear Inn in Hudson Square. The Ear is my personal favorite dive bar with great food. The crowd is local, and the feeling is historic. You are making a big mistake not getting the pan seared dumplings with Colman’s mustard here. If you are in Brooklyn, go to Bernies for the same moody bar and fun bartenders with great food.


If you like Dan Tanas, you are making a mistake missing Pietros in midtown. The same red tablecloth, big servings, and great parms with a classic staff making great martinis. Pro tip-get Shells à la Nat at Pietros. BONUS: If you are more of a Craigs person, opt for Elios.


If you are a Sushi Fumi -please bring me a toro spoon on your trip over and go to Tomoe when you get here. Tomoe is not the same flare in terms of the special pieces, but the fish is incredible. Or if you’re looking for some delicious hand rolls, check out Kazunori in Manhattan’s Nomad neighborhood. Perhaps you find yourself in Brooklyn instead…. If that’s the case, you can get similar top quality for good prices at Amami in Greenpoint.


If you love the bar at The Peninsula, you need to go to Bemelmans. Bemelmans is a heightened version of the dark bar feel but with amazing music and probably the best martini in New York. Not to mention its beautiful famed murals were created by Ludwig Bemelmans, creator of the Children’s book Madeline . This place truly hits theUpper East Side vibe with a buzz of downtown.


If you think Carneys in WeHo is the only dive burger that matters, you need to go to JG Melon on the Upper East Side as well. Not a smash burger but the speed, taste, and fries are the best in the city. 


If you love setting your mouth on fire at Night Market in LA, you need to get amazing Thai at Fish Cheeks in Noho. The spice is less numbing, and the flavor is perfect. Get the Crab fried rice.

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Here are some other places we love with no comparisons but if you ever need to know more-you are welcome to call us for your NY needs:

  • 53 NYC -amazing new midtown spot with great Asian fusion and attached to a great new condo 53W53
  • Barano in Williamsburg for Italian (and amazing for gluten free friends!)
  • St. Anslem for under rated amazing steak in Williamsburg
  • Birds of a Feather for amazing Sichuan style Chinese food in a hip corridor of Williamsburg
  • Lucali for some of the best pizza the city has to offer in the gorgeous Carol Gardens neighborhood. We recommend hiring a task rabbit to wait in line for you to get in! If you’re lucky, you may experience a Jay Z and Beyonce sighting 

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  • Sistina on the Upper East Side has an amazing ambiance and even better breadsticks.
  • Frenchette for amazing food in Tribeca. You cannot go wrong with any order here.
  • Via Carota for the best salad still in the West Village. 
  • Misi for some of the best Italian food in Brooklyn. Located in Williamsburg across the infamous Domino Park expansion that offers incredible river/bridge/city views. 
  • Mojo in Chelsea has great quality and priced omakase. Sushi Yasaka on the Upper West Side has the best sushi dinner for the price..and Sushi of Gari is above the rest for nigiri pieces.
  • If you want a fun sleeper in the village, Cowgirls All Chopped Up salad is one of a kind. 
  • AND lastly, my favorite tuna tartare in the city can be found at a classic bistro on the Upper East Side, Match 65.


Jessica Chestler








Douglas Elliman has a network of offices Nationwide. Contact me for agent referrals if you’re looking to move to New York City!


Juliette Hohnen

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