25 of Our Readers’ Favorite New York City Restaurants

Last week, we shared Pete Wells’s revised list of the 100 best restaurants in New York City. Our restaurant-loving readers had notes, to the tune of more than 600 comments. So we gave them another chance to tell us all about their favorite restaurants, and received nearly 900 responses — many effusive in their praise. (Side note: Have you all considered becoming food writers?)

Many readers aligned with Pete: Some agreed that there’s no restaurant quite like Le Bernardin (No. 3), and Gramercy Tavern (No. 33) remains a perennial favorite 30 years later. Some felt strongly that Shukette (No. 71) and M. Wells (No. 83) deserved a higher ranking. But by and large, readers suggested restaurants that may not be on critics’ lists, but remain deeply special to them. Below are 25 of our favorite submissions, which have been edited and condensed.

A&A Bake & Doubles Shop in Bedford-Stuyvesant.Credit…Jake Naughton for The New York Times

Memories of Past Meals

Gennaro, Upper West Side

I feel like I’m eating in Italy circa 1975 every time I go to Gennaro. The fava bean salad is tangy; the homemade pasta con le Sarde whisks me to Sicily; and calves liver? Yes! Yes! Yes! Oh, and did I mention that you can hear yourself talk?

Maria Lissandrello, Upper East Side

A&A Bake & Doubles Shop, Bedford-Stuyvesant

When I lived in Bed-Stuy in the 2010s, I would line up there early, because the star attraction was sold out by 9 a.m. That would be the doubles — sublime, every time. The baras are more chewy than crisp, but that’s all the better to hold the channa, which is beautifully soft and slightly sloppy (a good thing!). Then there’s the pepper sauce. It’s the perfect topping, fiery and sweet. Food apart, there’s also the community that somehow forms when Indo-Carribbean aunties and uncles, students, bipsters, hipsters and whoever else has found their way to Bed-Stuy and A&A. They jostle, sigh and yet wait patiently until one of the servers says, “What you gettin’, darlin’?”

— Bix Gabriel, Jackson Heights

Kashkar Cafe, Brighton Beach

As a broke and overworked line cook in my 20s, I used to ride the Q train to Brighton Beach on days off. I prided myself on being a cook with abilities and a work ethic that could stand up to the city’s best — but the food at Kashkar was different. It was Uzbek-Uyghur, and at the time I had no idea what that meant. Lamb plov, dumpling soup, a simple eggplant salad — if I made them 100 times over, they’d never be as soulful.

— Peter Zinn, Portland, Maine

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