How Steve and I travel is we eat our way through places we visit. And we eat a lot. As you can see, our eating adventures warrants a whole blog post. Here are some of our food discoveries, some well known favourites, some local favourites (One of Steve’s best friend lives in Manhattan), from Michelin starred restaurants to street food carts.
– Fast Food/Street Carts –
Shake Shack, Grand Central Station, Broadway locations – Steve loves Shake Shack, anytime he’s home from New York he craves it. This time around, he took me to pop my Shack cherry; it most definitely lived up to the hype. We returned several times to satisfy our late night burger cravings. The Shack Stack Burger was my favorite: it’s essentially a cheeseburger topped with a deep fried portabello mushroom stuffed with cheese. Like what?? So good.
Halal Guys – These famous orange and yellow street carts serve up aluminium platters stuffed with rice, chicken and gyro meat (we endearingly call it “mystery meat” haha). Top yours with lots of white and hot sauce, find a curb somewhere to sit and stuff yo face.
Joe’s Pizza, Carmine St. – The quintessential New York slice. Super thin crust, minimal toppings. I’m still thinking of that crispy crunch.
Prince St. Pizza – Completely different from the traditional thin crust NY slice at Joe’s. This popular joint serves up thick square slices of pizza. Lots of cheese, thick pepperoni cups that curl up and hold a good amount of pizza grease. It’s heart stopping but oh, so worth it. However, we did prefer the thinner crust pizzas because back where we live, our pizzas are made with thicker crust and its something we could easily get back home.
Grimaldi’s Pizza, Brooklyn – Clearly, we ate a lot of pizza on this trip! This is a well known Pizzeria in Brooklyn. Underneath the overpass, it was dark and a bit sketchy but we were determined to get a slice. But we learnt you can’t get just one slice here, it has to be the whole pie. Challenge accepted. We bought it, caught the subway back to Manhattan and ate it all! Well, Steve ate it all and I just stared in disbelief. My husband is a bottomless pit.
The Lobster Place, Chelsea Market – I had the lobster roll. A soft white roll piled high with the freshest lobster meat. Good genuine flavour. Although, I would’ve wanted a little salt…I know, I know, salt on fresh lobster–blasphemy.
Los Tacos No.1, Chelsea Market – You’ll cram into a long time and will have no where to sit but the tacos are worth it!
– Bakeries/Pastries/Sweets –
Dominique Ansel Bakery, Soho – The home of the famous Cronut. We went early and the line was short. Got three PB&J cornuts and several other pasties. The cronut itself was too rich for me but Steve has a big sweet tooth and loved them. I preferred their popular DKA, a flaky pastry with a crunchy caramel crust.
Taiyaki – Specialty soft serve ice cream served in a warm fish shaped cone stuffed with red bean or custard. This little ice cream shop was included on Buzzfeed’s list of most Instagrammable eateries in NYC. And I gotta say, it lived up to the hype. The ice cream had good texture, flavour was mild but good. And the soft Taiyaki pastry and red bean wasn’t too sweet–I really enjoyed it! Be prepared to wait though!
Mille-Feuille Bakery Cafe, Greenwich Village – Walking around the area, we stopped in to get a croissant, they were sold out. I got an almond one instead and satisfied my craving.
Tous Le Jours, Koreatown – This South Korean bakery chain serves amazing Shaved Snowy Ice. The ice is flavoured, comes with fresh fruit and a big scoop of ice cream. A great and cheap dessert option!
Magnolia Bakery, Rockefeller Center – Had my Sex and the City moment and got some cupcakes from this famous bakery. Gotta say, the cupcakes were just so so, I’ve had better. The husband really liked their Banana Pudding though!
Lady M Cakes, Rockefeller Center – They are famous for their crepe cakes. Layers upon layers of crepes and cream? Uh, YES PLEASE! And yes, it was so good and I could for a piece right now.
– Restaurants –
Daniel – This two michelin starred restaurant was recommended by our friend who lives in Manhattan. It is also #1 on TripAdvisor, so we decided to book it for our Anniversary. You will probably spend your life savings here BUT its worth it. The food is what you expect, amazing contemporary French cuisine. You’re coming to Daniel for a dining experience. From the classic, romantic ambience, to the well trained staff, the professionalism, all the thoughtful details, it will be an experience to remember. Certain dishes come to your table to be finished such as my fois gras. Some drinks are also shaken table side.
We ordered the 4 course meal and were prepared to grab a burger afterwards. To our surprise, the food was well portioned, spaced out through your dining time there and by the end we were stuffed. Throughout the meal, there is a selection of piping hot french bread for you to enjoy. Its accompanied by good quality butter and different finishing salts. Your meal starts with an amuse bouche and little tasting dishes are served in between the courses.
Daniel doesn’t play games with their dessert. Along with your regular dessert (and an extra anniversary dessert), a little platter of tasting desserts were also offered. And then came a basket of freshly baked french madeleines. Two tiny house made chocolates to finish your meal. And when I thought they were done, they gave us two jewelry boxes with french Cannelle to take home “for the morning after”. Dessert itself felt like a four course meal.
Yes the food was great but what knocked it out of the park was the service. Unpretentious, professional and knowledgeable. We had three waitstaff for our table and all of them were so nice and friendly and they truly made our dining experience an amazing one. Daniel is a great choice for our anniversary or any celebration.
Loeb Boathouse – This lakeside restaurant is in the heart of Central Park and was a romantic spot to have our anniversary lunch. The service wasn’t the best I’ve had but they were quick and efficient. The food was good, the crab cake appetizer was a knockout and the best part of our meal. The view is what this restaurant is known for; with a huge open window, all guests have a beautiful view of Central Park, the lake and its charming and romantic rowboats.
Cosme – Mexican inspired cuisine. The extent of my mexican food experience has been limited to tacos and the like. I have never had this level of mexican food before. And man, I have been missing out. I had the Egg Sope as an appetizer and grilled Branzino. It’s hard to explain the complexity of flavour and how well all the ingredients complimented each other. The food was so fresh and flavourful. It was one of my favorite meals during our trip. For reference, we went for lunch/brunch which is a separate menu from dinner.
Jongro BBQ, Koreatown – Our friend lives close to Koreatown, so we ate around the area a few nights. Being big fans of Korean BBQ, we decided to go to one. You sit in a booth, with a large grill in the centre and a hood fan above you. You order your cuts of raw meat and at this restaurant, the servers cook the meat for you. There are traditional Korean side dishes, rice, lettuce to wrap your meat and dipping condiments. Our one friend is originally from Korea and according to her, this place is top notch and authentic.
BCD Tofu House, Koreatown – This was our last meal in NYC. By now we were so stuffed with so much NY food we just craved home cooking. This place was perfect for that reason. We ordered their speciality Tofu stews. They serve traditional hot tofu stews in individual simmering pots, comes with a choice of side dish (I picked korean short ribs), rice, and side dishes. It felt so comforting and a perfect end to our stay.
That’s mostly everywhere we ate! NYC is the mecca of good food, its constantly changing and evolving. And it could feel very overwhelming with all its choices, hopefully this list has given you some inspiration to find some really good eats while your in The Big Apple! Happy Eating!