Following on from my NYC report last week, I couldn’t move on with my life without telling you about the long list of places we visited during our stay. To be honest we didn’t eat out at as much during the evenings because we were so full from all the eating we did during the day. The main eateries I recommend here are great little lunch and breakfast stops which are ideal with the amount of walking you’re likely to be doing. If you’re a food lover and are planning a visit to the Big Apple, I hope this guide provides you with lots of great places to try.
An emporium for all the things a high class foodie could want, think Dublin’s Fallon and Byrne on a much grander scale. It has rows upon rows of specifically sourced quality ingredients, long counters of freshly prepared food, sushi and an amazing selection of baked goodies.
A fantastic little unexpected eatery which was right up my street. It serves up simple food with a twist. There are no frills when it comes to the decor, but there is a cosy bar area downstairs. You can’t leave without trying their famous burger served on a toasted brioche bun with roquefort cheese, served with shoestring chips fried with rosemary and garlic.
An essential little stop on a stroll down Bleeker Street, Murrays Cheese has an endless selection of the smelly stuff. The staff are extremely knowledgeable and are more than happy to help. While you might not want to purchase a big lump of stinky cheese to keep in your hotel room, it is well worth checking out, if only for the generous free samples.
We stumbled across this Mecca for all things Italian on our first night in NYC and chose one of it’s three restaurants to have the most delicious and authentic pizza I’ve tasted outside Italy. It’s a sprawling building which has a butchers counter, coffee advisors, an Italian bakery and every type of Italian food you can imagine! The real beauty of the place, which is constantly packed, is that it really gives people a taste of everything they have to offer, I guarantee you won’t leave without trying something!
A very cute little bakery on the walk to Zabars, which has a small selection but does what it does extremely well. We picked up some little cinnamon brioche rolls to munch on our walk in central park.
I have been hearing about Zabars for as long as I can remember. When I was younger my Mom used to visit this permanent fixture on the NYC food scene and I’ve been dying to visit ever since. It totally lived up to my expectations, with an extensive supermarket downstairs and an upper floor (which practically stretches a block) full of kitchenalia, I was in heaven! My shopping basket was full of random little storecupboard ingredients like creole seasoning, liquid smoke and ‘Kick Ass’ hot sauce.
After a walk through Central Park, which was still covered in a thick blanket of snow, E.A.T was our lunchtime stop before tackling the Museum of Modern Art. Serving really good quality New York fare we were left more than satisfied with matzo ball soup and a thick creamy mac’n'cheese with a crunchy breadcrumb topping. It also has a really beautiful deli and bakery, but be warned; it’s a little pricey.
One of my favorite breakfast feasts was had in Kitchenette, a beautiful little diner a few blocks away from Ground Zero. I fell in love with its vintage style decor and the warm vibe. Breakfast was the fluffiest blueberry pancakes and hole in the bread eggs served with home fries. The two orange juices we ordered came served in cool little jam jars!
A fantastic little Asian Noodle bar which is quite modern inside but altogether authentic. Don’t go to this place without ordering a double helping of their steamed pork buns – delish!
A breakfast at Cookshop makes the perfect start to a day spent wandering Highline Park and the Meat Packing District. Of all the different breakfasts we had during our stay, this one was most inventive. I had Huevos Rancheros, which came served completely unexpectedly in a baked dish with black beans, crispy tortilla chips, salsa, coriander and lime… a truly refreshing change to the NYC breakfasts we had been eating.
I didn’t have high expectations for the Magnolia Bakery but it totally lives up to all the Sex and the City hype, with cakes, pies and cupcakes to die for. This is where I like to imagine the worldwide phenomenon of cupcakes was born and raised – moist, with lashings of the most divine buttercream frosting. If the cupcakes aren’t your thing, I’m sure you’ll be tempted by their peanut butter icebox pie or their red velvet cheesecake.
Bonnie Slotnick is a foodie legend, she spends her days sourcing and selling vintage cookbooks from her office and shop nestled just off Bleeker Street. The bookshop is a completely overwhelming, amazing place to visit and Bonnie is an even more interesting person to talk to.
Ice cream was certainly not high on my list of things to sample in the freezing conditions but I was determined that a trip to Chinatown would include the Chinatown Ice-cream Factory. I highly recommend the black sesame or green tea icecreams, something really different and well worth trying.
One Girl Cookies was our first stop after an epic crossing of the Brooklyn Bridge, which is so worth doing for the stunning views. It is a beautiful little café, which displays a highly impressive selection of baked goods. Try the pumpkin whoopee pies, by far the best ones I’ve ever tasted!
This one wasn’t on our list, but a stroll down Brooklyn’s Court Street left us with lots of fantastic little places we wanted to try. I was enticed by the beautiful window display of sunken chocolate cakes, dripping cinnamon buns and lemon meringue tarts. A great place for a quick coffee and something sweet.
If you have any sort of interest in baking, the NY Cake and Baking Distrubutors will keep you occupied for hours with endless aisles of cupcakes cakes, edible glitters, cake tins, and various other essential cake decorating items! Be warned though, before visiting make sure you have enough space in your bag for all that stuff you’re bound to buy!
We stumbled upon the Farmers Market in Union Square on a walk down Broadway and it was a nice refreshing view of what can be offered at these markets. My highlights were the big bags of beautiful apples for sale, alongside pretzels and the most amazing selection of homemade jams.
After going back through the long list of places we visited during our stay, I have to admit Katz’s deli was THE highlight! A lot of people had mentioned it to me, but I was slightly wary that it might be a real tourist trap. Boy was I wrong. Inside this deli the place is packed and when you enter you’re given a ticket which is to be filled in with what you order. We had been told the best thing to try was the pastrami on rye, which was to be ordered from one of the 20 burly cooks who were battling hot boilers to make up orders. It was the most amazing sandwich I’ve ever had; hot and freshly sliced pastrami, sandwiched between slices of rye bread slathered with mustard. The owner proudly walks up and down the long aisles of tables alongside walls covered in photos of all the various people who had eaten there over the years.
The last meal of the trip was at Dim Sum Go Go just at the edge of Chinatown, where we shared a table with a NYC local, who happened to be an Arctic photographer and dim sum expert, due to ship out the very next day. We were each given a pencil and a menu which we were to fill in our orders on. Not knowing what anything was we proudly and slightly apprehensively went with a 10 piece dim sum selection. When it arrived the only thing I can compare it to is foodie Russian roulette. Thankfully, the beautiful and mysterious little steamed packets of meat, fish and vegetables were all absolutely delicious.
The Doughnut Plant is a fairly new addition to the NYC food scene and it dares to be different. Serving up a sweet selection of vastly different doughnuts with creamy interiors and using fresh and seasonal fruits for their glazes, don’t be surprised if you find yourself scoffing at least three…
MUST DO FOODIE THINGS:
- Eat a hot dog from a hot dog stand
- Grab a slice of pizza on the go
- Sample all the little restaurants in Chinatown
- Feel uber trendy wandering through the meat packing district
- Have a mega NYC style diner breakfast
- Eat at Katz’s deli
- Go shopping at one of the many fantastic supermarkets, Whole Foods,
- Gourmet Garage and Citerella are all worth a visit
MUST DO SIGHTSEEING:
- Walk the Brooklyn Bridge
- Head to the top of the Rockafella Center for the most amazing views of NYC and the empire state building
- Wander through Chinatown for the most amazing selection of shops
- Walk the Highline Park which has been built on a disused railway line and the Meatpacking District
- Walk through Central Park for a bit of nature and some peace and quiet
If you think I’ve missed something or have anything you can suggest for my next let me know in the comment below! Also if you want to see even more of my foodie pics from NYC they are over here.