There are few things in this world that I love as much as New York. I might as well be a walking, talking, ‘I heart New York’ t-shirt, considering all the strong feelings the city evokes in me. I love the energy, the vibe, the lights, the kaleidoscope of people, and the late hours that everyone seems to keep. But what I really love is the food — New York City is a foodies paradise, with a variety of interesting eats at all different price levels. David and I love to eat, and we like to do it in an atmospheric, well executed restaurant, so to us, New York excels. We’ve done the legwork for you for your next trip to NYC, and compiled a list of our favorites.
1) Pistachio Crusted Goat Cheese Ball from Amelie.
Amelie is a gem of a restaurant — a small wine bistro with amazing happy hour deals, and woven bags of freshly baked baguettes for each table, this place excels at everything. The service is attentive but not pushy, the food is amazing but not overpriced, and the atmosphere is cozy but chic. I could have spent hours in this tiny place if there wasn’t so many other people wanting tables.
2) Soup dumplings at Shanghai Cafe.
All the other food we got at this small cafe in China Town was kind of disappointing, and I soon figured out why — everyone goes for the soup dumplings. Go ahead and order both kinds of the menu, they’re only $4.
3) Roasted Lamb Nachos from Cask Bar & Kitchen.
In my opinion, Cask is the epitome of what a New York restaurant should be. Its small and cozy, with a cohesive theme and great atmosphere. The food is phenomenal and affordably priced. I really cannot say enough good things.
4) Tea & Scones from Alice’s Tea Cup.
While we were in New York, it was bitterly cold, and we were desperate for escape from the wind. What we found was Alice’s Tea Cup, an incredibly charming tea spot themed after the popular children’s book/movie. This place drips whimsy, which to a person like me, hits the spot. They have a wide variety of teas to chose from, and a rotating scones menu. If you’re lucky, the strawberries and chocolate scone will be on the menu when you pop in.
5) Fried Pickles from Jacobs Pickles.
We headed to Jacobs Pickles for brunch, and the line was out the door. People wanted to eat here so badly that they were sitting on the patio in 30 degree weather. I thought it was craziness, until I tasted the fried pickles they’re famous for. This place is the real deal, and brunch here is a must do.
6) Macaroons from Laduree.
If you want to partake in these tiny morsels of goodness from Paris, be prepared to wait in line for at least a half hour. This Upper East side is incredibly popular, and incredibly expensive — but don’t let that detour you. These cookies are well worth the price and time.
7) Burgers and Crinkle fries from Shake Shack.
By some, Shake Shack is considered the In N Out of NYC, for others, its on another level, being a fast food Mecca worth a pilgrimage to. Its wildly popular, being full to capacity at all hours. I recommend the Shack Stack, a burger with a friend portobello mushroom on top of it. But really, you can’t go wrong here.
8) The Black Label Burger at The Minetta Tavern.
The Minetta Tavern has been open since 1937, and feels like a little piece of old New York. Dining choice to celebrities of yesteryear, this restaurant does not disappoint in food or dimly lit atmosphere. They’re famous for the Black Label Burger, which most consider to be the best burger in New York.
9) A Bagel with Smoked Salmon and Cream Cheese from Absolute Bagels.
Judging by the line that snaked halfway around the block, everyone knows that this is one of the best places to get a real New York style bagel. Wait in line, and take it with you to nearby Central Park.
So next time you’re in New York, skip the overdone tourist spots (Kats deli, anyone?) and branch out. You’re in an amazing city full of great food, and with a little research, you can have some of the best meals of your life.