One of my biggest regrets is that while living in Brooklyn, I didn’t go out and try as many of the restaurants as I should have! It’s so easy to take where you live for granted and only visit your favorite spots over and over again. The next time you visit, take full of advantage of all of the delish places the city has to offer.
There is plenty to do and see in New York City. From the touristy things such as visiting Times Square at night, taking the ferry to visit the Statue of Liberty or walking around in Central Park. As you fill up your mind with all things NYC, you should also consider filling your belly!
NYC is home to a few of the most excellent restaurants, but really who has the time to sit down for a full meal when you have things to do and see in the city that never sleeps? Here are some of the best ways to take your bite out of the Big Apple.
1. Eat All the Things in The Village.
If you fancy yourself a ‘Friends’ environment and find yourself in The Village, get your caffeine fix at Third Rail Coffee (between 3rd St. & Bleecker St.). Welcoming and warm and reasonable prices for a nice cup of coffee. For your burger fix head to Burger Joint (W 8th St) for a quick and (relatively) cheap burger, delicious! For those non-meat eaters, get a falafel at Mamoun’s (between Minetta Ln & W 3rd St). Don’t forget to try the hummus or baba ghanoush!
While you are in The Village might as well go to the famous Katz’s Delicatessen (E Houston St), yes the exact one from When Harry Met Sally. Get a proper NYC hot dog here, and you won’t regret it! Still hungry? Get a pizza slice from Joe’s Pizza (Carmine St). Get a ‘normal’ margarita slice for starters and follow up with a pepperoni!
2. A Spot of Shopping in SoHo.
If you more into boutiques and are rummaging through SoHo don’t forget to check out La Colombe Torrefaction (between Prince St & W Houston St). If you are lucky enough to grab a seat, do so; otherwise it’s a coffee and cookie to go! Get a delicious ice cream from Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream (Wooster St & Houston St) in their first non-mobile location.
For something more substantial go and find Calexio food cart (Prince St & Wooster St) where they have tacos, quesadillas, and burritos for excellent prices. Cash only though! And a trip to SoHo is not complete without visiting Eileen’s Special Cheesecake bake shop (Cleveland Pl). Try the cheesecake, might be the best you will have ever eaten!
3. Night Time Eats in Midtown.
Of course, you want to hit Midtown, especially at night! If you manage to get to Midtown before the evening, you might want to visit Margon (W 136 St & 46th St). They have some excellent Cuban sandwiches that are expertly made by a line of ladies. If you arrive in Midtown a bit later, go check out Num Pang Kitchen (W 38th St) for some Cambodian sandwiches, the pork belly is delicious! Another good option is King of Falafel & Shawarma (Broadway) for one of their falafel sandwiches or shawarma platters. If you are less into the meat and more into the healthy stuff, visit Green Symphony (W 43rd St) for all things vegetarian and vegan.
All that deliciousness will put you in a food coma, so get yourself to Best Bagel & Coffee (W 35th St) for coffee and, if you can fit it in, a proper NY bagel. While you’re there, see if you can grab a last-minute ticket to one of the Broadway shows.
Hungry after an evening show? Check out The Halal Guys cart (6th Av & 53rd St) for some late night gyros. Fancy something bigger? There is P.J. Clarke’s (3rd Av) which has some substantial burgers on the menu!
4. Donut Pilgrimage To Brooklyn.
Before you run out of time in NYC and you discovered you have pretty much bounced between The Village, SoHo, and Midtown, make sure to plan at least one trip to Brooklyn. Here you can find Du’s Donuts (N 12th St) which, you guessed it, has a mouthwatering choice of donuts. Grab a donut and head over to Roots Café (5th Av) for Maple Butter Latte or Iced Coconut American.
While you are in Brooklyn, why not go for some soul food? Mitchell’s Soul Food (Vanderbilt Av) is your place for some fried chicken, collard greens, black-eyed peas and mac & cheese. Be sure to visit a cash machine before you get here as it is cash only!
5. The Last Bite Before You Leave.
With your mind and belly full of NYC, depending on which airport you fly back from, there will be more to eat! It’s no secret that the airports in NYC are some of the worst in the world, but their full of great food options. The famous Shake Shack (JFK, Terminal 4) to the rescue for something like McDonald’s but so much better. If you’re lucky, and it’s not crowded, try Custom Burgers by Pat LaFrieda (LGA, Terminal C&D). And if you have chosen to avoid the traffic jams of both JFK and LGA, try Wanderlust (NEW, Terminal C) burgers, hot dogs, and fries!
Photo by Zach Miles