Anthony Bourdain Shares 5 of His Favorite Places to Eat in NYC

Published On 04/06/2016 Published On 04/06/2016
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When Anthony Bourdain isn't busy crisscrossing the world filming scenic anecdotes of his eating and drinking escapades or working on his massive public food market, the wandering celebrity ex-chef likes to haunt a handful of restaurants in his hometown. In a new interview with The Daily Beast, the sharp-tongued New Yorker shared a "hotlist" of five places where he loves to eat out in the city, and well, they're so Anthony Bourdain. 

While Bourdain said the first thing he does when visiting a new city is hit up its main food market, it turns out the first thing he likes to do when he arrives home in NYC is get his hands on some Shake Shack.

"Chances are, the first thing I’m doing when I get back if I’ve been away for 12 days -- I’m exhausted, I’ve flown from Japan or South America and I arrive at my apartment and I’m just destroyed -- I’m calling Seamless to get me some Shake Shack," he told The Daily Beast. "I’m having a double cheeseburger naked, please. No lettuce. No tomato. No nothing. Just cheese and two burgers on a potato bun. I’ll have two of those and I’m happy. I’m singing America, fuck yeah!"

Bourdain said he also enjoys hitting up Chef Danny Bowien’s constantly crowded Mission Chinese Food on the Lower East Side as well as the historic smoked fish- and bagel schmear-purveyor, Russ & Daughters, according to the report. His list also includes higher-end restaurants like Osteria Morini and Marea, mainly to order bowl after bowl of pasta. No wonder the dude is so damn likable.

Check out the full interview with Bourdain, including his thoughts on whether Instagramming at dinner is OK, over at The Daily Beast, right here. Or, you can follow your heart and grab one of those aforementioned cheeseburgers. That's what we're doing.

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Tony Merevick is Cities News Editor at Thrillist and could really go for a cheeseburger right about now, but unlike Bourdain, he'd at least get some mayo, ketchup, and pickles on it. Send news tips to and follow him on Twitter @tonymerevick.

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1. Mission Chinese Food 171 E Broadway, New York, NY 10002 (Lower East Side)

The New York outpost of Danny Bowien's buzzy Chinese restaurant had a shaky start in the city -- after opening on Orchard Street in 2012, the restaurant closed down due to landlord issues and relocated to East Broadway. The Lower East Side spot is a destination for trendy and original Chinese food, far different from what you'll find at the family-owned banquet halls in Chinatown. Some dishes are spicy Szechuan, but for the most part, the menu draws from all over China and just about everywhere else (there's pizza on the menu). Make sure you get the fried rice, it's unbelievable.

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2. Russ & Daughters 179 E Houston St, New York, NY 10002 (Lower East Side)

Open since 1914, Russ & Daughters is the NYC standard for cured fish, spreads, and other “appetizers,” which are the traditional Jewish food eaten with bagels. This piece of New York history (which, in 2014, opened a more formal cafe that is also located in the Lower East Side) is still the place to grab a bagel and schmear or one of its near-perfect deli counter sandwiches, like the Super Heebster, a mammoth bagel sandwich with Whitefish & baked salmon salad, horseradish-dill cream cheese, and wasabi flying fish roe.

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3. Osteria Morini 218 Lafayette St, New York, NY 10012 (Soho)

From Michael White of Marea, Ai Fiori, and Vaucluse, this Soho restaurant specializes in Italian cuisine from the northern Emilia-Romagna region. Expect house-made pasta dishes like braised wild mushroom rigatoni, simply grilled meats, and cured meat and cheese plates. Osteria Morini's dinner is perfect for date night, while its brunch, featuring ricotta pancakes and frittatas alongside signature pastas, has all the cheese and carbs essential to curing a hangover. Cleanse your palate with a scoop (or three) of gelato.

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4. Marea 240 Central Park South, New York, NY 10023 (Midtown West)

Michael White’s seafood-centric destination off Central Park aims to impress with its elegant interior and high-end Italian ingredients. The house-made pastas will have you coming back for more, like the fusilli with red wine-braised octopus and bone marrow, an elevated homage to surf-n-turf with baby octopus braised in red wine and buttery Pat LaFrieda marrow.

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5. Shake Shack 11 Madison Ave, New York, NY 10010 (Flatiron)

Long before Shake Shack was an international chain with outposts as far as Dubai, it was a hot dog stand in Madison Square Park. The original location is still in the park, but instead of a roaming cart, it's a large kiosk surrounded by a sea of outdoor tables. There are two lines, an express one reserved for cold orders (that would be the frozen custard and concretes -- get them, they're good) and a regular one for everything else, which includes the signature ShackBurgers, crinkle-cut fries, and flat-top hot dogs.