Walking around the city, you can find a lot of restaurants varying in shapes, and sizes. Some are very large and some are so small, earning the title as “hole-in-the-wall” restaurants. Eateries even differ in presence. Yes, you read that right. Most are visible in appearance, whereas others are hardly noticeable.
These dining rooms are so low key that they look like regular buildings. When passing by, one could easily mistake it as abandoned vicinity and would never expect it to be a dining room. Some are discreetly hidden behind a wall. Good luck trying to find these places!
77 North 6th Street, Brooklyn, New York 11211 – between Wythe Avenue & Berry Street in Williamsburg
I had the hardest time trying to find this place the first time I came here. Yes, believe it or not, there is a restaurant encased behind those wooden planks. The inside is even harder to navigate through; black wood as well as mirrors takes the space on the walls, making it seem like a maze. The purpose of this is to experience a private dining style. Not only is Zenkichi known for its great disguise, its also known for its exceptional Japanese cuisine. The prices range from $4.95 to a whopping $65, which is for an 8-course meal per person – total steal!
- No Name Bar
597 Manhattan Avenue, Brooklyn, New York 11222 – between Driggs Avenue & Nassau Avenue in Greenpoint
What I found memorable about this eatery, beside its shabby and plain exterior, is its awesome name. You would never know the name of the restaurant because it is not exhibited on the front of the restaurant like a normal restaurant would. If you ask anyone that works there what the actual name is, expect to get this as your answer: “The No Name Bar.” It’s confusing, but different and unforgettable. This place serves Thai food, and its ramen noodles make this hidden gem a hit. The price ranges from $10 to $15, so you won’t feel bad about breaking the bank!
- Kuma Inn
113 Ludlow Street, New York, NY 10002 – between Rivington Street & Delancey Street in Lower East Side
We can be thankful that this restaurant at least has its name painted on the doorway. Don’t let the ragged surface of this restaurant fool you. I found this to be a great place for a cozy and satisfying meal. They have several signature dishes on the menu, from a yellowfin tuna tartare to grilled salmon. Also, it is BYO beer and wine. The food is excellent in price, ranging from $2 to $15. We promise you are inn for a treat.
- Freemans Restaurant
8 Rivington Street, End of Freeman Alley, New York, NY 10002 – between Freeman Alley & Chrystie Street in Lower East Side
Tucked away in Freeman’s Alley glitters the location’s namesake restaurant. Styled as a hunting lodge, it serves a rustic American cuisine. This eatery offers breakfast, lunch, brunch, dinner, and dessert. When I came here, I was told to order the artichoke dip because it is the star dish at Freemans Restaurant. Hands down, it was the best artichoke dip I have ever eaten. The food prices range from $6 to $26. Even without the glittering lights from the lamps, this hideaway would still shine.
- Hudson Clearwater
447 Hudson Street, New York, NY 10014 – between Morton Street & Barrow Street in West Village
This place is so disguised that once I walked in, I felt like I stumbled across a secret. The main entrance is this picture above. After you walk through this, you enter a patio. Towards the back of the patio is another entrance to an indoor dining area. The indoor restaurant has an entrance on Morton Street, but it is not used. The food is perfectly portioned rustic American cuisine. Some favorites are the grilled hanger steak and the butternut-squash cake. What’s great about this place is every dish is made with fresh ingredients from local farms. The food prices are affordable, starting from $3 to $27.