There are plenty of ways to cope with a bad week. You can get a massage, or have a few drinks, or even send some letters to Paramount Studios and hope that Meryl Streep reads them. But massages are temporary, booze causes hangovers, and Meryl Streep’s last film was really only distributed by Paramount - it was produced by BBC, Pathe, Canal+, and Qwerty Films. So forget about that. Get some comforting food instead. Find it here.
The name of this place refers to the shape of the pizzas and also maybe the fact that this is the second restaurant by the people who own Emily. By all means, get a pizza. Better yet, have the spicy chicken sandwich. But if you’ve had a really rough week, you need to go do downstairs and have a burger. Two patties, pretzel bun, waffle fries. Let’s put it this way: If this burger was getting married, you’d burst into the wedding, shout its name, and end up on a bus together.
The pizzas at Rubirosa have a thinner crust than most, and that makes it easier to put away a whole pie by yourself. And when you’re feeling kind of bad, eating an entire pizza is one way to prove to yourself that you’re capable of great things. The dining room here is also dark and lively enough to distract you from any recent hard times. Just don’t ignore the appetizers or wine list, and assume that this place will be busy.
After a long week, it’s nice to have options. That’s why you go to Veselka. If you’re a little bit drunk or out-of-it, they have a big menu that you can stare at until your brain starts working again. Pancakes, eggs, pierogies, latkes, burgers, soups - there’s all sorts of comfort food here. This place is also open 24 hours, in case you need a drink or many before you’re ready for dinner.
The triangular slices at Prince Street are fine, but those alone won’t heal you. As your personal doctors (who, for legal reasons, should probably now state that they are not actual doctors), we prescribe a slice of the Spicy Spring. It’s square, and satisfying, and while you’re eating it, it’s hard to keep your mind on anything else. Although halfway through your first slice, you’ll be mapping out your life with your second, third, and fourth.
The salads here probably aren’t bad, but don’t ever get one. Are you listening? Don’t ever get one. The world doesn’t contain enough mountains to climb or kittens to save in order to gain back the respect that you will lose. Get their fried chicken. Have it between a biscuit, or get it as a combo plate. This place also looks like a rustic preschool classroom, and that might also make you feel better. Unless people made fun of you in preschool.
These burgers aren’t fancy. They’re like fast-food burgers, but with bigger patties and better meat. And that’s a crucial difference. It’s what makes this place semi-famous. That and the old-timey charm of the original West Village location. The menu is tiny, it’s cash-only, and the bartenders tend to be gray-haired men who look like they’d rather be watching Law & Order on a couch somewhere. After a long week, come here and have a burger and a beer. It’s on us. Although not really. Don’t send us a bill.
Root & Bone is a suspiciously quaint restaurant in the East Village where you eat off of mismatched plates that Pottery Barn probably sells in a mismatched plates set. It’s a good-looking place, and they make an excellent biscuit. They also know how to put shrimp on top of grits. So come here if you want to eat something that’ll clog the stress receptors in your brain with saturated fat. If you’re up to it, it’s even nice enough for date night.
Honestly, we could have put any number of Chinese restaurants on this list, but Han Dynasty is consistent and there are two locations. We also like their food. So go get some dan dan noodles and chicken. Our advice? Order everything at the maximum spice level. That way, you won’t be able to think about the week you just had. You’ll just think about how your mouth hurts and how you shouldn’t follow our advice when it seems like we might be kidding.
When you’re feeling down, come here and appreciate the fact that this restaurant has been open since 1929. Back then, things like “vitamins” and “calories” weren’t such a big deal, and this place still doesn’t care about either. So stop by and get a tuna melt or a pastrami Reuben. Or even just a plate of corned beef with French fries. We aren’t going to tell you how to live. Although you should live like this.
Gravy is like a shot of tequila or a radioactive spider. It makes ordinary things better. And at Catfish you can have some on a chicken fried steak or with some chicken and biscuits. All of these things will make you feel better. This is a New-Orleans-style restaurant/bar in Crown Heights, and it’s worth a trip out there if all you want is some deeply satisfying comfort food with minimal amounts of vegetables.