Every now and then, we all need a good plate of comfort food, whether that be a plate of fried chicken, a warm chocolate chip cookie, or a hot bowl of ramen. Greasy, sweet, or cheesy, comfort food makes a cold winter a little more bearable. We pick the best spots in NYC to find it.
Sugar and Plumm is the spot on the Upper West Side and West Village for comfort food staples. Their lunch and dinner menu has classics like chicken noodle soup, mac and cheese, and grilled cheese with tomato soup. Their bistro menu is nothing compared to the dessert menu. Sugar and Plumm has an extensive menu of sweet treats, with a selection of ten homemade cakes and pies, six specialty milkshakes, and seven signature sundaes.
Birds and Bubbleshas top-notch Southern comfort food on the Lower East Side. The restaurant is tiny, but the outdoor patio is very charming. They are known for the Winner Winner Chicken Dinner, which is a whole chicken with four sides and a breadbasket, all for a very reasonable price.
Very few things beat a warm chocolate chip cookie, and almost nothing beats a warm chocolate chip walnut cookie from Levain. The smell emanating from the bakery alone is enough to make you drool. Although there is usually a line, it’s worth the wait and the line moves fast. They have four types of cookies, all of which are packed full of flavor and the size of a whole hand. They also have scones, breads, coffee and hot chocolate.
Heaven is a restaurant entirely devoted to mac and cheese. S’MAC offers 12 mac and cheese variations, like cajun and masala along with classic mac and cheese. They also have custom mac and cheese options in four sizes: nosh, major munch, mongo, and partay, for any occasion. S’Mac is the place to go for any mac and cheese craving.
An entire meal of cheese is something dreams are made of. Murray’s Cheese Bar is cheese heaven. The decor is simple with wood tones and classy Murray’s white walls and red chairs. They make the perfect grilled cheese with the right bread thickness and crunchiness to cheese gooey-stringiness ratio. In addition to this, they also have a huge collection of cheese samplers and even a cheese tower that’s full of hard and soft cheeses alike.
There’s something magical about the mix of flavorful broth and ramen noodles, and Ippudo is one of the best ramen places in the city. Their lunch special is a steal that comes with a bowl of ramen, a small salad, and a rice bowl. The restaurant itself is cute and cozy. You can see the fresh ramen being made in the kitchen and everyone speaks Japanese.
Mile End is a Montreal-style deli in Brooklyn and NoHo that cannot be missed. Poutine is the ultimate comfort food with french fries, gravy, and cheese curds. Mile End’s poutine is pretty amazing, especially when it comes with a pile of their top notch smoked meat. Although the prices are a little high, you get a lot of bang for your buck in the form of big portions. Their regular menu is pretty great, but their daily specials are creative.
Bar, Gastropub, Restaurant, American, Vegetarian, $$$
Heidi’s Houseis a cool cozy spot on the Upper West Side that serves some mean comfort food. It’s a small restaurant with low-key jazzy music and some board games in the corner. Everything on the menu, whether it’s the burger, the mac and cheese, or a daily special, is amazing. The restaurant is small, with maybe 20 seats in the bar area and small tables. Heidi’s is an adorable little place that packs a big punch.
Petee's Pie Company, New York | Image Courtesy of Cafe Habana
Petee’s Pie Company has many types of perfect pies, be it fruit, custard, or cheese, including seasonal options. The pies are always fresh with top-notch ingredients. They use seasonal produce, natural fair-trade sweeteners, organic flour, grass-fed butter, and they offer gluten-free and vegan options. The crust is perfectly buttery and almost savory. It melts in your mouth.
Ngam has comfort Thai food served with a twist. They offer comforting Thai classics like pad Thai and pad se ew, but the pad Thai is light and fresh and the pad se ew is addictively char-grilled with quality steak or chicken. Although the wait after 7pm may be long, it’s always worth the wait.