New York City Visitors Guide to Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives - Must See New York

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A Visitors Guide to Guy Fieri's Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives of New York
by Staff Writer

NYC Food Network's Best Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives - Highlights & Map


On Food Network's "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives", also known as the "Triple D", Guy Fieri takes us on a restaurant tour of the country's hidden gems, usually of the "comfort" variety or ethnic specialty (and often a cardiologists nightmare).  You've all seen the show and, whether you admit it or not, you've craved a bite of whatever it was he was chomping down on that day.  Most of Guy's visits are in smalltown America, but he has made several trips to New York.  While you're visiting New York for business or pleasure, you're sure to dine at some of the finest restaurants, but you'll also want to take the time to check out at least one or two of Guy's picks, right? 

Well, we're making that easier for you.  Here we've assembled a list of Guy's New York visits, categorized by location and with all the details necessary to make your pick!  We wouldn't peg many of these as a "diner, drive-in or dine", but we are in New York, so perhaps that bar is raised a bit.  Nonetheless, several of them are certainly everything Guy's show is all about.  Dive or a cut above, you make the choice.
 

EAST VILLAGE - MANHATTAN DINERS, DRIVE-INS & DIVES

John's of 12th Street 302 E. 12th Street, NYC 212-475-9531 Episode 01/23/12 - Global Traditions

John's of 12th Street is a classic Italian restaurant dating back to 1908.  They prepare classic pasta entrees, seafood, pizzas, soups, salads and desserts.  They also have a vegan menu with many excellent choices and a full bar.  Generous portions coupled with excellent service make for a fine meal out.  Entrees generally run $10-$20. 

Episode Feature:  John's red meat sauce with homemade pappardelle.

Mama's Food Shop 200 E. 3rd Street, NYC 212-777-4425 Episode 12/19/11 - Southern Staples

At Mama's Food Shop, the menu is generally one price for choice of entree, which includes a side (currently $12.50); fried chicken, roasted chicken, bacon-wrapped meatloaf, just to name a few.  For a dollar more, you can select another side from the extensive choices.  Brunch is offered on Saturday and Sunday afternoons; try the southern classic Fried Chicken & Waffles.  By the way, this is a BYOB restaurant!

Episode Feature:  Fried Chicken; Peach Cobbler

The Redhead Restaurant 349 E. 13th Street, NYC 212-777-4425 Episode 12/19/11 - Southern Staples

In my opinion, a restaurant with entrees in the $20+ range isn't really considered a diner or dive, and there's no drive-in, but if Guy Fieri says it's a dive, we won't argue - perhaps the less than elegant decor got it in the running.  Anyway, at The Redhead Restaurant you can get a burger for $12, but a burger isn't the first reason to visit The Redhead.  You'll want to start with the bacon peanut brittle or soft pretzel, then move on to the fried chicken, shrimp & grits, or one of their seasonal entrees.  According to New York Magazine, The Redhead Restaurant leads the pack in the "Southern Comfort" category. 

Episode Feature:  Housemade Soft Pretzels with Beer Cheese Dip; Shrimp & Grits

GRAMERCY PARK - MANHATTAN DINERS, DRIVE-INS & DIVES

Defonte's Sandwich Shop 261 Third Avenue 212-614-1500 Episode 02/20/12 - Long Standing Legacies

Defonte's Sandwich Shop offers a whole slew of sandwiches, as well as several salads and Italian entrees.  Choose from hot or cold heros; there are plenty to choose from.  Defonte's makes its mozzarella fresh onsite and their sandwiches are built on the freshest bread with high quality meats and cheese.  They also serve a couple different breakfast sandwiches which are available all day.  Menu prices top out at about $11.

Episode Feature:  Roast Beef, Eggplant & Mozzarella Sandwich; Steak Pizzaiola (the Sinatra Special)

BROOKLYN DINERS, DRIVE-INS & DIVES

Sidecar 560 5th Avenue 718-369-0077 Episode 02/06/12 - Family Matters

Sidecar is another restaurant where I don't quite get how it fits in a Diner's, Drive-Ins and Dives episode, but I respect Guy too much to exclude it here.  Unlike The Redhead Restaurant, even a stretch can't call the decor here a dive.  It has a pub-like atmosphere.  The food is certainly more upscale than Guy's usually stops; you'll see fried chicken on the menu, but it's served with root mash and sautéed kale and will set you back $18 (not your typical diner fare).  The menu offers a wide range of dishes to select from: oysters on the half shell, risotto, a burger, club sandwich and wild salmon, just to name a few.  Sidecar also offers a full bar.

Episode Feature:  Brandade Appetizer; Cubano Sandwich

QUEENS DINERS, DRIVE-INS & DIVES

Ben's Best Kosher Delicatessen 96-40 Queens Boulvard, Rego Park 718-897-1700 Episode 03/14/11 - From Crepes to Kreplach

Ben's Best Kosher Delicatessen, with roots dating back to 1945, has a large menu featuring sandwiches and more sandwiches, classic entrees, soups, salads and a large selection of sides.  They offer complementary coleslaw and pickles before your meal.  Though everyone has their own favorite, popular items tends to be the pastrami, corned beef, matzo ball soup, meatloaf and stuffed cabbage rolls.  They also offer catering and even ship nationwide.  Beware - prices are a little steep.

Episode Feature:  Chicken Noodle Soup; Kreplach; Stuffed Cabbage

Rincon Criollo 40-09 Junction Boulevard, Corona 718-458-0236 Episode 01/16/12 - Meat Madness

Named for a 1950 Cuban movie, Rincon Criollo offers generous portions of authentic Cuban cuisine at reasonable prices with top-notch service.  Best Bets: Ropa Vieja, Bistec Rincon Criollo and Vaca Frita; and don't miss a side of rice & beans and rice pudding for dessert.  With a few exceptions, entrees including sides are under $20.  Bar beverages include wine and beer only.  Ricon Criollo accepts only cash or American Express.  And one last note, if you dare, advise them if it's your birthday!

Episode Feature:  Arroz con Pollo; Ropa Vieja

Sage General Store 24-20 Jackson Avenue, Long Island City 718-361-0707 Episode 01/17/11 - Funky Finds

Sage General Store serves breakfast, lunch and dinner, plus brunch on Saturdays and Sundays.  This is a small, homey spot with good comfort food and a passion for sustainability.  They have a number of daily specials, like mac and cheese of the day, sandwich of the day and pasta of the day, plus a different "blue plate special" on each weekday.  The rotisserie organic chicken, macaroni & cheese and bourbon sweet potatoes are all sure to please.  Try a bacon brownie for dessert.

Episode Feature:  5 Cheese Macaroni & Cheese; Spit-Roasted Chicken

Tortilleria Nixtamal 104-05 47th Avenue, Corona 718-699-2434 Episode 10/10/11 - Latin Street Food

The folks at Tortilleria Nixtamal serve simple Mexican fare at very reasonable prices (generally under $10), with most items being ala carte to mix and match as you please.  You might want to start with their homemade tortilla chips with salsa or guacamole, then move on to the tortilla soup.  For your entree, perhaps the fish tacos, chicken tostada or enchiladas verdes and, if you still have room, flan or a Mexican popsicle for dessert.  They also sell packaged homemade tortillas and salsa.

Episode Feature:  Pozole; Tacos al Pastor

LONG ISLAND DINERS, DRIVE-INS & DIVES

Hildebrandt's Restaurant 84 Hillside Avenue, Williston Park 516-741-0608 Episode 03/28/11 - From Mozz to Matza Balls

Hildebrandt's Restaurant, established in 1927, is a family business with a menu abundant with Italian specialties, chicken dishes, sandwiches, salads, homemade ice cream, milkshakes and more.  Prices are reasonable with sandwiches under $10 and most entrees slightly over.  For a true diner experience, have a cheeseburger, homemade fries and a milkshake.  Tomorrow you can try an Italian specialty.

Episode Feature:  Butter Pecan Ice Cream; Mozzarella Cheese Sticks

Resources

Check out our selection of New York City Food Tours, including the most popular Foods of New York Tour.

To check out the various websites related to Guy Fieri & the Food Network's 'Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives' Food Network Program:

Map of Guy Fieri's New York Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives Locations

Click on the marker on the map or on the name in the side listing for more info. The  map can provide directions along with the address of the point-of-interest. The map can be zoomed in or out, or repositioned by dragging it.



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