Worldly gourmand Anthony Bourdain spends much of his time wolfing down meals in exotic, foreign locales. Still, despite all that pig's blood soup in Thailand and fine wine in Lyon, he's still very much in love with the staples of New York City's food scene and has been kind enough to spill the beans on his top five local restaurants.
First and foremost, Bourdain's a true believer in Houston Street mainstay Russ & Daughters. "Let's say I've been away a long time eating perfectly good food in another country, but I'm not in New York," he told the Daily Beast. "I'm going to Russ & Daughters. I'm going to beast some Russ & Daughters." His order? Bialys and chopped liver along with some smoked salmon, plus cream cheese, sturgeon, and fish eggs.
Another one of his downtown favorites is Danny Bowien's Mission Chinese. Bourdain called it "the most fun restaurant in New York," and prided the operation for not taking itself too seriously. "At Mission Chinese I drink cocktails with food. My judgment is destroyed by the time the appetizers arrive there. They do these lethal drinks that you would never in your right mind drink in any other circumstance. Mai Tais, really? Why not?"
Two of the ex-chef's upscale favorites are both run by Michael White: Lafayette Street's Osteria Moriini and the high-end Central Park South haven Marea, where Bourdain admits to often ordering three or more different pastas.
And of course, it's Shake Shack that rounds out his local hit list. "I’m having a double cheeseburger naked, please," Bourdain said. "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!”
[h/t Daily Beast]