Travel 2 minutes 03 April 2024

Eric Ripert on His Midtown Manhattan

The chef behind Three MICHELIN Star Le Bernadin breaks down his favorite spots in New York.

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Most evenings, you can catch chef Eric Ripert at his Three MICHELIN Star midtown staple Le Bernadin. However, the French-born New Yorker has embraced all facets of Manhattan from the haute to the normal. Mornings see Ripert strolling through Central Park to the restaurant, while after hours you can catch him at fellow Starred spots from Daniel Boulud, Daniel Humm, and Jean-Georges Vongerichten.

But it's not all fine dining for Ripert who enjoys French fries (his favorite is at Balthazar), paella at Little Spain, and spice shopping at La Boite and Kalustyan's. And while Ripert feeds his body with incredible nutrients, he soaks up the city to nourish his mind too—he's a courtside regular at the Knicks games, taking in the old masters at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and even scoping out the architecture at the TWA Hotel.

Below, get to know Ripert out of the kitchen and discover his New York.

A few favorite restaurants: I go to Balthazar two or three times a month with family or friends. I usually get steak frites, which are the best fries in New York. It’s hard to find a restaurant that’s more classic New York than this one.

Daniel is the Upper East Side spot that I love to visit time and time again when I’m looking for a delicious, elevated meal. If I’m downtown on the Eastside, I like to visit Jean Georges’s Tin Building. There are so many restaurants and food shops to try all in one place. The Chinese restaurant is excellent.

I love Atomix because the refinement of the service, food, and Arts de la Table is unique. The food is subtle yet refined, and they have preserved Korean culture in their experience for the clients.


Masa is the ultimate luxury experience for sushi and Japanese cuisine in New York City.

Eleven Madison Park's vegan tasting menu is very special and one-of-a-kind.

The setting at Saga is very special as you can see all of Manhattan. The building is very well preserved Art Deco, which is rare to find. The service is friendly and professional, and I like the conviviality of the food experience.


After-hours: I love Nubeluz for when I want a martini and small bite. And the view of the city from there is unbelievable. I go to Little Spain when I’m craving classic Spanish dishes that I would eat as a kid, like jamon or paella.

Where you'd take an out-of-towner: Most people know about the Union Square Green Market, which is a gorgeous and terrific market. A little more under the radar is the Upper West Side Market (near the Museum of Natural History). It is charming and has great purveyors.

Central Park
Central Park

Favorite NYC spot: Central Park is my oasis in New York City. I walk through it each morning on my way to Le Bernardin. I love that every season is so beautiful in its own unique way. The juxtaposition of the natural beauty with the city buildings is incredible. I can find tranquility there.

There’s always something beautiful to see at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. I could visit the Asian art wing over and over again.

Kitchen Arts and Letters is my favorite store for cookbooks, I’ve been visiting them for over 20 years. They have the ultimate selection of cookbooks, from the oldest classics to the newest releases.

Where we might find you on your day off when you’re out and about: 

Korin is the best knife shop in town. If nobody stops me, I’d spend hours looking at their collection of Japanese knives and discovering new kitchen gadgets.

I love to go to Knicks games or concerts at Madison Square Garden, most often with my son.

Both of these purveyors (La Boite and Kalustyan's), are excellent for spices. Both sell the highest quality you can find.

I recently stayed at the TWA Hotel for the first time before an early morning flight, and it was an amazing experience. You’re transported back in time to when TWA and Pan Am were the most popular airlines. But the quality of the hotel is excellent and modern as well. It’s such a fun staycation.

Whenever I’m downtown on the Westside, I like to take a stroll on the Highline. It’s just so unique how they created such a beautiful walking area right in the middle of the city.

Hero image: Courtesy of Le Bernardin - Daniel Krieger


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