Perogies, borscht, and stuffed cabbage are all staples at Veselka’s. This East Village institution has been around for more than 60 years. Their potato pancakes are hot, crispy and delicious, and served with apple sauce. For brunch, lunch, or dinner, Veselka’s is comforting and delicious. There are old, Ukrainian men drinking coffee and eating breakfast on the weekends: it really doesn’t get more authentic than that. It looks and feels like a classic diner, with the kitchen visible from the dining room, bar stools that are all different lengths, and comfortable tables and chairs.
La Grenouille is a classic, old-school French bistro. The restaurant is ritzy but not gaudy, with flower arrangements, large mirrors in gold frames, lush carpeting, and comfortable seats. The soufflés are light, fluffy, and served fresh. The wait staff is friendly. The foie gras is out of this world, and they have all the best French classics, like frogs legs and oxtail bourguignon (akin to a beef stew).
La Grenouille, 3 E 52nd Street, New York, NY, USA, + 1 212 752 1495
With a large, extensive menu, SriPraPhai Thai Restaurant has some of the best Thai food in the city. The food comes out quickly and still hot, and depending on the timing, seating is very quick. If the weather is nice, the garden outside is beautiful: lush with greenery, and surrounded by growing vegetables. The tom-kha soup, pad see ew (sauteed noodles), and papaya salad are all tasty and well-prepared. There are plet of delicious options for the meat-eater and the vegetarian. SriPraPhai used to be a small hole-in-the-wall place, but it has evolved into a real establishment over the years.