As the star of the Freeform sci-fi drama Shadowhunters, 28-year-old Matthew Daddario spends a chunk of his year in Toronto portraying a character endowed with magical blood. In his off time, however, the born-and-raised New Yorker comes home for a more familiar pace.
“There’s a kind of friendly aggression to New York,” he explains. “Everyone is on a similar page about how they are trying to move forward. It makes you feel very active and like you’re part of something. We’re walking fast. We’re moving quickly and we’re getting things done. And we’re also proud of all of that.”
While he grew up in Gotham, Daddario boasts a varied background with family from Italy, Ireland, Hungary, Germany and Britain, and his taste buds reflect this international array. “I go through little phases of liking different things, but I keep coming back to food that is fairly simple,” says Daddario. “Something that is prepared perfectly like it took generations for people to figure out how to make.”
Here, DuJour snags his list of New York favorites.
“I had a lot of schnitzel growing up. My mother’s Hungarian. Every time I go there I get Wiener schnitzel and I get this cucumber salad and I have a beer. It’s so good every single time. I like being there and I like eating there.”
“Get a couple of the appetizers and little plates at this Japanese restaurant. The food is great, but so is the atmosphere. You have the balance of both things. It’s just so good.”
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“There was a restaurant called Wild Edibles that just closed. They had this fried fish that was so perfectly cooked—I try to replicate it at home and I can’t. Black Crescent is by the same people and it’s just reopening now. I’m very excited to go down there.”
“I spent a little time in Vietnam and fell in love with the food. When I came back to New York, I couldn’t find anything that tastes like it did in Vietnam. V-nam Café is the closest I’ve found. It’s very, very tasty.”
Blue Ribbon Brasserie
“Everything on that menu is good. They’ve got such a mix. You can go there at 2 a.m. on a Tuesday if you want.”
“I’m a big fan of meat in general, it’s something I enjoy eating. The Cannibal serves all different kinds of meat prepared in various ways. They have certain pâtés that are very good. They have bone marrow. They have a large selection of different beers from all over the place. They don’t mess around. Their food is legit.”
“It’s a struggle to find an Italian place that I really love in New York. I just never kept going back to any one place, but for some reason I am a sucker for Scarpetta. The food is always good. The environment is upbeat. Everyone seems to know what they’re doing. If you are going out on a proper date, Scarpetta feels right. “