The Food Coma – 8/26/2020

This marks the first edition of what will hopefully be a weekly series on all things food.

The Most Important NYC Food-Related Hashtags of the Week for Instagram

To kick things off, I thought I’d be a good Samaritan to all the New York foodies out there looking to get more recognition for their quality food pics. Using AI on tens of thousands of recent NYC-based Instagram food posts, these are the 20 hashtags that are most important to higher engagement. To anyone trying, to build a following or simply post something that’s too nice to miss, you can feel confident that these are both currently relevant and highly effective in terms of boosting engagement. The viewer can also see how popular each hashtag currently is (within the NYC food universe) so as to maybe diversify away from overly crowded hashtags.

An ode to what once was, a toast to what could be

The other day I was reading up on restaurants that had closed shop here in New York and was saddened that it included more than a few of my favorites. They’re saying that as many as one in every three restaurants will close permanently as a result of the current crisis. The economic hardship is no doubt devastating to the employees and owners of these establishments and their plight needs to be recognized. The loss is different for an average restaurant-goer like myself, however. To me, I’m just bummed that something I used to enjoy is gone.

Among my favorite restaurants that have shutdown is Highlands in the West Village. The Scottish gastropub was a gem: their Highlands Burger was prime and it goes without saying, their selection of whiskies was superb.

Life moves forward though. We could stare at that burger indefinitely or roll the die with something new. In theory, we could try something different altogether (and pray that it’s good) but let’s try to find something that doesn’t stray too far from the goodness we came to love in Highlands.

Using an AI framework similar to the one explained here, we can find which restaurants around the New York area have menus most similar to our fallen favorite and then curate on the most highly rated ones. The restaurants shown below fit our criteria most strongly. Some are around (and not in) Manhattan which may be a dealbreaker but all come highly recommended and serve items that are very similar to Highland’s.

Vintage 1891 Kitchen


Poached Bear Bistro


The Crosby Bar

The Essex

Park Place Restaurant & Bar

RH Rooftop Restaurant

The Whitby Bar and Restaurant

Cafe 37

618 on left; RH Rooftop Restaurant on right; Source OpenTable

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