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Discover NYC – Your Guide to Indie Businesses

Discover the local, independent businesses that are the heart and soul of NYC in Shoot New York City’s guide to the best of indie New York!

Discover the real NYC in Shoot New York City’s Discover Guide

I love the independent businesses in New York, they are the heart and soul of the city! In this section you will find bookstores, cafés, restaurants, arts & crafts markets and more. Unfortunately, I am unable to keep up with the closing of so many small businesses. So please check in advance that they are still open. It's an ongoing project to list the best of indie New York so visit often to discover the real New York City. Experience the hidden gems and places that New Yorkers frequent. For more information on many of NYC’s vibrant neighborhoods, have a read of my Neighborhood Guides. I am not compensated for writing these reviews and I'm only writing about the places that I like.


Emilio's Ballato, Nolita, Manhattan

For about 20 years I always ate at the same Italian restaurant and I like many New Yorkers was sad when they closed. Ever since then I have been looking for a new Italian restaurant to eat at. The search is now over.

Emilio’s Ballato is a fabulous restaurant in so many ways. First of all it is small and it has a rather retro feel to it. The walls are covered with photos of the famous people that have eaten there. I always sit at the table next to many photos of David Bowie. He lived a few blocks away.

The food is exquisite. There are many restaurants in NYC led by named chefs. Not Emilio’s Ballato. They don’t rest their reputation on that. Last time I was there I ordered a ravioli dish and the waiter told me that that’s what Obama ordered!

Like most Italian restaurants in NYC, they don’t take reservations. They do take credit cards though which is not always true of other Italian restaurants. I will say that I have found my favorite Italian restaurant in this city.

They don’t have a website. Apparently they are open from 12pm to 11pm. But I believe that they may close in the middle for a lunch break. (212) 274-8881

Emilio’s Ballato 55 East Houston near Mott Street