A few weeks ago I posted my New York City Local’s Guide here. But what I didn’t have space to mention was the fooooood! That’s because the food is so spectacular it merits it’s own post!
So, here we go!
Now, in my opinion, food is the most overwhelming part about New York. Mostly because there are sooo many delicious options I’m afraid that I’ll somehow choose the one bad place in town. It’s like I’m scared of eating regular food when I know there are so many delicious options out there. (Essentially, food FOMO). Add to that the the challenges of navigating to said food destinations. Just because you find the BEST burger in Manhattan doesn’t mean you’ll always want to travel that far to that neighborhood to get it, unless you live there. So, it’s helpful to have options in all the neighborhoods you’ll be going to. Or else, plan out your day so you’re in the right neighborhood at the time you think you’ll be hungry.
Okay. So, here’s a list of my favorites, grouped by location:
1. Times Square. I know, everyone goes at least once. But it’s the most overpriced neighborhood in town! So, I stick to Shake Shack, which I’ll mention later, or Dallas BBQ. I don’t have a picture, but you can trust me when I say that it’s the best bang for your buck in the area (we are talking a quarter chicken for under $10).
2. Little Italy. Home to Italian food and NYC souvenirs. Boarders Chinatown. I have yet to have bad pasta there, so I can’t really say which place to go. But if you are looking for a cannoli (which you should be) I always go to Cafe Palermo. They are advertised as ‘the best’ and I don’t disagree. Usually make all my friends try both the cannoli and the gelato, because you can’t go through life without having them each at least once!
3. DUMBO, Brooklyn. I always advertise DUMBO for it’s view, but it is also home to some of my other favorite things, like pizza and ice cream. Grimaldi’s and Juliana’s Pizza are next door to each other. Both are super good, New York style pizzas. Some of the bests I’d say. Grimaldi’s does have other locations in the city if you can’t make it to Brooklyn though.
There are also several good ice cream spots in the neighborhood as well but I always like Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory. Mostly because it’s homemade, in a lighthouse, right on the pier for great views!
4. The Village. “The Village” covers a pretty broad area and is the home to hundreds of restaurants. Here are the ones I have pictures from:
Le Grainne Cafe: French cafe dining at prices I can afford.
Murray’s Bagels. One of the many excellent bagel spots in the city. The bagels come with plenty of cream cheese!
Pommes Frites. I’ve only been here once because I’m not much of a salty muncher, but this is a french fry shop that only sells, you guessed it, french fries (with a variety of dipping options). It is very good, so don’t let my lack of visiting stop you!
Amorino. Gelato near Washington Square Park with cone roses and gelato in macaroons! Once a friend and I walked from Little Italy (where there already is gelato) to this location, because we remembered how good it is. Also, I had some Amorino gelato in Italy, so it’s safe to say, it’s ‘authentic.’
5. Lower East Side Creperie. This is a no-nonsense hole in the wall spot for excellent crepes, with limited seating. I don’t know why you would ever be in this area unless you are going to the Tenement Museum, but I love this spot. Mostly because it’s small and the food is good. And, it was right off my train, the J.
6. Upper East Side. I haven’t eaten in this area much but I should mention that the popular Frozen Hot Chocolate from Serendipity 3 is excellent! You’re going to want a reservation and it isn’t cheap. But the restaurant has a rather ‘Alice in Wonderland’ feel and the drink is delicious, as mentioned.
6. City-Wide. These restaurants have more than one location in the city (and some even across the boroughs), so you have no excuse not to try them if you are in town for any length of time.
Shake Shack. It’s the east coast’s rival to the In-and-Out Burger of the West Coast. Yes, it’s fast food. But, the beef is real and it’s always good! Also, Shake Shack is part of New York. So, just enjoy it. 🙂
The Meatball Shop. Dim lighting and homemade everything (from meatballs to ice cream sandwiches). This one is definitely a favorite standby.
Wafles and Dinges food truck. Belgium waffles a la mode (if you want). I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves.
Gyros or falafel or shawarma or whatever you want from food trucks. It’s a good and cheap meal. This seems like common sense, but I had to put it out there in case some of you are suspicious of food carts. Don’t be!
Magnolia Cupcakes. There are several great cupcakeries in New York but Magnolia’s is my favorite. It’s my celebration cake of choice. 🙂 Vanilla with chocolate buttercream is my standby and I can tell you from experience, it’s still great a day old.
My parting words of wisdom:
- New Yorkers lunch late and brunch late, meaning lunch rushes might still be going on at 2:00 pm. So, don’t bother being annoyed by that.
- Please don’t eat at a franchise. If you can eat the exact same meal at home later, you aren’t doing it right. New York has so many excellent restaurants that literally span the food palates of the world. Try something new, different, or at least good!
- I’m not saying you have to eat at these places. But I am saying, expect good things when eating in New York!