Formerly a bit of a no-man’s land between Chelsea and Murray Hill, NoMad has become a tour de force of culinary delights to be reckoned with. From innovative Asian small plates to a slew of hotels that happen to have even better restaurants inside, this is a neighborhood that has firmly planted itself in the culinary lexicon of NYC. Read on for my top picks of spots to hit in the lovely neighborhood of NoMad, NYC.
NoMad Hotel – Whether you’re heading to the bar or the main restaurant, this is one of my favorite places in all of New York. The restaurant is more upscale and supremely sexy, and their chicken for two is a dish that will go down as a Manhattan classic for years to come. If you hit the bar, you’ll find impeccably made cocktails and one of the better burgers out there. In the winter, they host a Sunday Sauce pop-up on Sunday evenings called Mama Giudara’s which offers a prix-fixe Italian meal that would make your Nonna jealous. Moral of the story: no matter which space you’re in, you want to be at the NoMad Hotel.
Nonono – A 2018 newcomer on the NoMad scene, this yakitori-focused spot is spot-on with their cuisine. They use, quite literally the entire chicken in their dishes – you can order everything from the heart to the knee cartilage to the chicken oyster (trust me, order this). The sleeper hit on the menu for me was the duck nanban, which is fried to perfection and served with an out-of-this-world egg salad.
Paper Coffee – Nestled inside the Made Hotel, Paper Coffee has swiftly become one of my go-to coffee spots in the area. It also happens to dovetail into a cozy lobby and bar area that perfect for coworking or perching with a book for an hour or two.
The Breslin – One of the cornerstones of the neighborhood, The Breslin at the Ace Hotel has become a gastropub-style classic. Whether for drinks or their infamous lamb burger (with thrice-fried fries), I’ve never been disappointed by a trip to The Breslin, which is kind of like The Spotted Pig of NoMad. Even better are their large format meals, which are fantastic for a group dinner. I recommend the “Fried Chicken Feast,” which comes with an assortment of epic sides and biscuits with a maple chili butter that I want to bathe in.
Oscar Wilde – With a delightful combo of speakeasy vibes and a spacious ground floor bar, Oscar Wilde is a great back-pocket option when looking to grab a drink in the area. It works as seamlessly for coworkers as for a date, and is surrounded by a plethora of restaurants for dinner post-cocktails.
Atoboy – For an inventive three-course Korean tasting that cannot be beat, head to Atoboy. This was one of my favorite meals of 2018, and features small plates-style courses such as lotus root with seaweed and fried chicken with peanut butter that are delicate but so full of flavor. Go with a few others and order different items so you can taste them all.
Freehand Hotel – Another fantastic hotel offering in NoMad? What else is new! This one takes the cake for best decor and best daytime coffee and coworking area, although they also happen to have a great restaurant (Simon and the Whale) and an even better rooftop bar (Broken Shaker).
Marta – You know that a guide is not a guide without a pizza offering. Marta is a Danny Meyer’s spot that serves up some of the best ‘za in the hood, and also happens to have a killer tiramisu on the dessert menu. Get takeout pizza from their offshoot Martina if you want to enjoy it on your couch.
Upland – Whether you’re going for the big wraparound bar or to nestle into a back booth for dinner, this is a spot that you want to hit. I love that there is something for everyone here – vegetarians can go for the whole crispy mushroom, pizza lovers can grab one topped with sausage and kale, and there’s also an assortment of other dishes, from pasta to roast chicken, that tick every.single.box.
Her Name is Han – My sneaky favorite spot for brunch in the area, this K-Town/NoMad gem literally gives you a taste of everything. You’ll order, say, the mini seafood hot pot, and it will come out on a cafeteria-style tray surrounded 8 or so mini dishes with bites ranging from kimchi to soup to lotus root, and all are divine.
Pondicheri – An ode to Indian flavors, Pondicheri also happens to be one of the most beautifully decorated restaurants in NoMad. From the pakora chaat to the crispy brussels sprouts with tamarind chutney, all of the dishes are flavorful without being too cloying or heavy, and they also have a fantastic baked goods counter at the front with innovative, Indian twists on all of the classics.
Blank Slate Coffee + Kitchen – The ever-present, all-day-cafe concept is here to stay, and this is one of the best ones in NoMad. Whether you’re vying for a quinoa breakfast bowl, a truffled popcorn snack, decadent s’mores dip, or even just a coffee and a place to camp out, Blank Slate has it all. They also just opened Blank Slate Tea next door for all of your tea and sympathy needs.