L.A. is littered with prime spots for fame-hungry celebrities and starlets to be ogled (The Ivy, site anyone?), but serious celebs who crave privacy and subtlety are far more likely to choose New York as their home base. There are more stars living here than you may notice, and they’re not all going to Per Se for lunch every day. If you want to dine like an NYC celebrity (or spot one), here are four restaurants that you need to check out.
Koi | Walk by the the Trump Soho Hotel on any day and you will see paparazzi waiting with cameras at the ready. The Kardashians checked in very recently, as have many other starlets. Since this swanky hotel is a celebrity favorite, it’s no surprise that the restaurant inside is perfect for celeb-spotting. Koi is an ultra-modern Japanese restaurant where as much attention is given to the luxurious, chic ambience as it is to the high-end cuisine. Even if spotting a Kardashian isn’t your dream, you can still indulge in fresh yellowtail and a glimpse of Soho’s trendiest people all at once.
Pete’s Tavern | For camera-shy celebrities, it’s often the understated restaurants that win the most business. Pete’s Tavern is, from the outside, a cozy and old-fashioned pub on East 18th street. With a glance at the tavern’s walls, however, it’s clear that this place has a long and beautiful history with an incredible assortment of famous faces. Pictured on the walls of Pete’s Tavern are the celebrities who visited the restaurant, including top Hollywood actors and an array of athletes and politicians.
Nobu | Nobu is an obvious choice for celebrity sightings, and it has remained a go-to destination for elites after many years. This downtown hotspot continues to offer an elevated dining experience, with exceptional attention to quality, taste and presentation. It’s certainly not brand new, but it has been a standard for the rich and famous ever since opening in 1994. Thanks to dishes like the Black Cod Miso and some very high-powered business partners, including Robert De Niro, Nobu has definitely earned its star power.
Butter | Executive Chef Alex Guarnaschelli knows how to make any dish delicious, and while taking charge of the kitchen at beloved midtown bistro Butter, she has become a celebrity in her own right. Famous figures and Manhattan’s elite flock to Butter for both the food and the endlessly trendy atmosphere. Bring your date to this intimate restaurant and discreetly scan the room for a celeb or two. On the off chance one isn’t there, simply enjoy Butter’s exceptional season menu.
– Naakai Addy