Anthony Bourdain in New York State:
A Complete Guide

We all have somewhere to call home, and Anthony Bourdain was no exception: he was born and raised in the Tri-State area, cut his teeth as a cook and chef in New England, and settled down in New York City as his home – or at least in the Bourdain-ian definition of “settling down” for someone who spent 270 years on the road. Anthony Bourdain was – by his own definition – a New Yorker, both from the city and the state.

Over the course of his television career, Bourdain dedicated at least some time in 13 different episodes to covering his home state, primarily – of course – in NYC itself. If this is a destination you want to visit, you’ve got lots of options: you could explore the big city, break out to the boroughs, or strike further afield to other parts of the Empire State.

Anthony Bourdain in New York State Hero

Whether you call it home or are planning a trip to visit, there are lots of great places to eat in New York; this guide covers those spots visited by Anthony Bourdain in New York State to help you narrow down your choices. Below is a breakdown of each destination he visited and the restaurants where he ate that are still open today. There are also links to more comprehensive guides about each spot, since it would be unwieldy to dive into all the details here. Ready to dig in?

Buffalo

While it’s certainly not the most popular destination in New York State, Anthony Bourdain spent time in Buffalo as part of a trip through the Rust Belt (in the episode of that same name for No Reservations) with friend Zamir Gotta. He didn’t visit many spots during their time in the cold, northern city, but they did sample some of the city’s iconic dishes at these spots:

If you want to learn more about each of these spots, be sure to check the guide to places Anthony Bourdain visited in Buffalo for all the details.

Hudson Valley

Despite the proximity of the Hudson Valley, Anthony Bourdain was like many New Yorkers and rarely explored beyond the place he called home. He did strike out to dedicate one episode in the Valley, guided in part by his long-time collaborator and director Tom Vitale (as he tells in his book, In the Weeds: Around the World and Behind the Scenes with Anthony Bourdain).

Here are the places he visited during that trip which my research suggests are still open today:

If you’re sold on exploring New York beyond the five boroughs, you can learn more about these spots in the complete guide to places visited by Anthony Bourdain in the Hudson Valley.

New York City

As you might expect, Anthony Bourdain spent the vast majority of screentime in New York State dedicated to New York City. In total, he filmed 11 episodes in the Big Apple, and spent time in all five boroughs. Here’s a breakdown of each part of the city and where he ate respectively.

Brooklyn

Starting off across the East River, Brooklyn was the borough Tony visited most on-screen aside from Manhattan (along with Queens). Over time, his natural skepticism of all things hipster and foodie gave way to an acknowledgment that Brooklyn had a lot more to offer – and great food, of course.

Here’s a shortlist of the places Anthony Bourdain ate in Brooklyn that are still open today:

You can click on any restaurant above to learn more about that specific one or see the entire guide to Bourdain’s Brooklyn adventures here.

The Bronx

Next up, the much overlooked Bronx – even by New Yorkers like Tony. In fact, Bourdain was so intrigued by his first visit to this borough in his “Outer Boroughs” episode of No Reservations that he returned later (during Parts Unknown) to film an entire episode dedicated to the area. Here’s where he ate between those two on-screen visits:

Similarly, you can click on any specific restaurant above, or dive into the in-depth guide to the places visited by Anthony Bourdain in the Bronx.

Manhattan

In total, Bourdain featured some 50 establishments during those episodes, almost 30 of which are still open today. Instead of listing them all here, I thought I’d include some of the most iconic or beloved ones he highlighted:

You can see all 50 spots Bourdain featured in the various Manhattan episodes and what he ate at each one in the recap of Tony’s Manhattan. I also have a specific guide to the Lower East Side, since that’s where Tony’s story began and he felt it worthy of its own episode at the end of his career.

Queens

Along with Brooklyn, Queens was the borough that Bourdain next most frequently visited/filmed (aside from Manhattan, which is established as king in his mind!). Queens doesn’t draw as many visitors as other boroughs, and is in fact the most diverse of the five boroughs – it’s also said to be one of the most ethnically diverse areas/geographies in the U.S.!

As such, Tony visits a variety of ethnic restaurants that prove you can travel the entire world without leaving greater New York City:

While it’s pretty easy to see how diverse this list is, you can dive into each restaurant in greater detail in the guide to places visited by Anthony Bourdain in Queens.

Staten Island

The borough he visited the least, Anthony Bourdain did spend some time in Staten Island; “The Rock” just didn’t draw him as some of the other boroughs did, though he might have perhaps returned someday for a dedicated episode as he did for the other four.

In any case, he visited only two spots in Staten Island:

  • Jade Island Restaurant
  • New Asha Sri Lankan Restaurant

You can read more about both of these and easily visit them as a day trip from Manhattan; here’s the guide to where Anthony Bourdain ate in Staten Island, to guide you.

Have any other questions about the places visited by Anthony Bourdain in New York State, or where he ate in each destination? Let me know in the comments below.

Skyline Chili Review - 3-Way

Valerie is a travel writer currently based in Cleveland, but her favorite destinations are Alaska, London, and Jordan – only one of which Bourdain ever visited! You can find her writing on Lonely Planet, Forbes, and her travel blog, Valerie & Valise.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *