Welcome to New York City. Hope you packed your appetite.
We're not claiming these are the definitive "best," "most essential" or "most authentic" restaurants in all of NYC, or any of that jazz. We are just saying that if it were us in town for a few days, these are the places we'd make a beeline for to eat, drink and generally be delighted.
Not a fan of our faves? Well, OK, then. Just send us a DM or a note @eatocracy on Twitter, let us know where you are, and we'll find some food to suit your mood.
Have a delicious stay.
A few dozen protesters picketed the restaurants of acclaimed chef Thomas Keller last weekend, over his use of an ingredient that has become a lightning rod in the culinary world - foie gras. Chefs like Anthony Bourdain sing its praises, calling foie gras "one of the 10 most important flavors in gastronomy."
Toby Keith opened his seventh Toby Keith's I Love This Bar & Grill in suburban Detroit earlier this month as the latest in a long line of celebrities who've tried to sell a meal with their A-, B- or C-list name.
Many celebrities invest in restaurants - Ashton Kutcher, Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake, to name a few - they just don't always put their name above the door.
The celebrity moniker can be both a blessing and a curse when it comes to starting a restaurant. For every Kenny Rogers Roasters - which at one point boasted 350 franchises - there is a Mickey Rooney's Delicious, Mickey Rooney's Weenie World or Mickey Rooney's Star-B-Q. Remember them? Neither does anyone else.
Diners flock to restaurants for the food, but they sometimes return for the eye candy.
Many restaurants have swapped the utilitarian server uniform of television's "Alice" for khaki pants, polo shirts and, on occasion, pin-on "flair." But some have upped the ante with '50s poodle skirts, German dirndls and hula skirts.
Chicagoans have their retro-kitschy clad Ed Debevic's servers, and Las Vegas visitors gawk at Playboy Club waitresses in Roberto Cavalli's reimagined Bunny suits at the Palms.
The following eight restaurants have used wacky wardrobes to stretch their theme. Whether they're conjuring another era, an exotic locale or just accentuating a body part, these outrageously clad waiters and waitresses have long kept diners feasting with their eyes.
Fast-food restaurants that have long catered to the hungry patron with super-sized entrees are now targeting the nibbler, offering smaller, snack-sized portions.
Dairy Queen is the latest eatery to shrink a popular menu item. In late July, it plans to roll out a 7-ounce Mini Blizzard, 5 ounces tinier than its current "small" frozen treat.
"Our customers really wanted it," said Dean Peters, International Dairy Queen's associate vice president of communications.
"They really requested a smaller-portion size of our blizzard - smaller appetites. We also felt there was an opportunity there with a smaller size Blizzard - which is our signature product - to perhaps bundle it with a combo meal or a food meal, as well."
Dairy Queen isn't the only big-name restaurant shrinking menu items. Last February, Burger King introduced a line of mini-burgers called "BK Burger Shots." Executives at the time touted that while the product "might look small ... they are full of the big, flame-broiled taste."
India may be turning the world's hottest chili into a weapon, but there are people who actually want to eat the ghost chili - the bhut jolokia or naga jolokia - for fun.
"As soon as something is declared and proven to be the hottest chili pepper in the world, everybody wants to grow it," said Dave DeWitt, the author of more than 35 books on chilis, including "The Complete Chile Pepper Book."
"So they can take people out in their yard and say, 'That is the hottest chili pepper in the world. Do you dare eat it?' "
A small but dedicated group of chili pepper lovers fosters its devotion to heat on Web sites and at festivals nationwide.
Can we please stop calling the nation's love affair with cupcakes a trend?
Last week, Detroit, Michigan, was the latest city to declare "the nostalgic cupcake craze is prepared for a long stay," echoing a Houston, Texas, Chronicle story from February that heralded "the nostalgic mini treats are a food trend that's here to stay."
These cities are the latest to forget that the cupcake craze took fire more than a decade ago when "Sex and the City" popularized New York's Magnolia Bakery and its sugary treats.
"I don't know how long it takes for a trend to end and become mainstream, but apparently we've established an industry," Magnolia founder Jennifer Appel told The Associated Press last year.