A Food Story does New York

by lex on August 9, 2014

Manhattan Bridge

Manhattan Bridge

We didn’t go to New York with the intention of blogging (other than the Michelin starred restaurants that is). But when we thought about how much research we had done before we left and how many awesome places we discovered (most through recommendations) we decided we should write about them.

And so… a year after our encounter, here are our thoughts about a hell of a lot of the New York eats and drinks we experienced and some of our adventures in one of the world’s most amazing cities.

Most of the photos below are happy snaps that I took on my phone to Instagram so please excuse the poor quality.

We ♥ New York.


Co.

As soon as we landed in New York I was eager to hit the streets and suss out the neighbourhood. I was craving pizza. Fortunately our Airbnb host mentioned a number of local restaurants worth visiting and one of them happened to be a pizza place. That’s how we ended up at Co. (pronounced Company) in Chelsea. The place was packed and we were lucky to get a table. Margherita, Boscaiola and Meatball were polished off swiftly. A fantastic wood fired pizza, with a crisp, bubbly base and few toppings. The margherita was my favourite. Washed down with homemade ‘fountain soda’ (I wish we called soft drink ‘fountain soda’ in Australia!) and followed by a delightfully indulgent chocolate almond butter tart with bruleed marshmallow cream and cocoa twig.

Co. - Margherita Pizza

Co. - Margherita Pizza

Co.
230 Ninth Avenue
New York NY 10001
United States ‎
+1 212 243 1105
Co. Website

Co. on Urbanspoon



Sullivan Street Bakery

Breakfast on our first morning in NYC was at Co.’s next door neighbour, Sullivan Street Bakery (owned by Jim Lahey who also owns Co.) How was our first coffee in NYC? Not bad. Dylan’s thoughts on his large flat white however were less promising “it tastes like warm milk.” Breakfast on the other hand was a beautiful egg, prosciutto and basil roll. The bread itself had a thin crust and soft, chewy centre. We returned a few days later and were also pleased with the egg and prosciutto brioche.

Sullivan Street Bakery - Egg & Prosciutto Brioche Panino

Sullivan Street Bakery - Egg & Prosciutto Brioche Panino

Sullivan Street Bakery
236 Ninth Avenue
New York NY 10001
United States ‎
+1 212 929 5900
Sullivan Street Bakery Website

Sullivan Street Bakery on Urbanspoon


Eleni’s New York

A walk down the high line took us to the Chelsea Markets. A building that was originally the National Biscuit Company factory (where the Oreo was created!) the markets house dozens of food stores including a bakery, doughnut store, fruit shop, fromagerie, wine store and even a kitchenware store. Eleni’s is a nut free (and kosher certified) bakery specialising in brightly coloured, absolutely exquisite cookies. But they also bake cupcakes. The red velvet was particularly good.

Eleni's New York - Red Velvet Cupcake

Eleni's New York - Red Velvet Cupcake

Eleni’s New York
75 Ninth Avenue
New York NY 10001
United States
Eleni’s New York Website

Eleni's New York on Urbanspoon


Smorgasburg

Smorgasburg is imperative when you visit NYC. Aussie expat Marcos took us to Smorgasburg for lunch. He knew I would love it. He was right. Better than any food market I have ever been to in Australia, Smorgasburg has 100 vendors and is on every Saturday (there are also flea markets run by the same group at various locations). La Esquina tortas (outstanding), The Bolivian Llama Party passionfruit lemonade (carbonated on the spot and out of this world) and Dough donuts (toasted coconut blew my mind). Food heaven. There’s no other way of putting it.

Smorgasburg

Smorgasburg

Smorgasburg (Williamsburg)
East River State Park
90 Kent Avenue
(at North 7th Street)
Brooklyn NY 11211
United States
Smorgasburg Website


La Esquina

We may not have made it to one of the La Esquina outlets per se, but we did have a torta at Smorgasburg and tacos delivered direct to our hotel room. The chicken torta with its crusty baguette, nicely seasoned chicken schnitzel, spanish onion, tomato, avocado, lettuce, black bean spread and chipotle mayo was everything you want a sandwich to be; full of flavour, fresh, well balanced. Taco offerings were similar – fresh, light and flavoursome.

La Esquina - Chicken Torta

La Esquina - Chicken Torta

La Esquina
114 Kenmare Street
New York NY 10012
United States
La Esquina Website

La Esquina on Urbanspoon


The Bolivian Llama Party

I was drawn to The Bolivian Llama Party food stall at Smorgasburg because of its awesome name. I’d already settled on a La Esquina torta but was hunting down a drink. When I saw a dude carbonating drinks at the stand I knew what I had to have. Sweet passionfruit lemonade soda made right in front of my eyes. Real fruit and naturally sweetened. The perfect accompaniment to my Mexican sandwich.

The Bolivian Llama Party - Passionfruit Lemonade Soda

The Bolivian Llama Party - Passionfruit Lemonade Soda

The Bolivian Llama Party
27 North 6th Street
Brooklyn NY 11211
United States
The Bolivian Llama Party on Facebook


Dough

I couldn’t leave Smorgasburg without a donut. I’d heard ALL about Dough donuts and my eyes were almost bulging out of my head when I spotted the donut stand from a mile away. Eeeeep how to decide on a flavour?! Plain for Dylan and toasted coconut for me. Like Krispy Kreme but a thousand times better. Fluffier, lighter, more flavoursome. Incredible. Smashed them in nanoseconds. Happiest girl in the world.

Dough - Toasted Coconut Donut

Dough - Toasted Coconut Donut

Dough
305 Franklin Avenue
Brooklyn NY 11238
United States
+1 347 533 7544
Dough on Facebook

Dough on Urbanspoon


Mable’s Smokehouse & Banquet Hall

The bride and groom to be (the people who brought us to NY in the first place) organised a few pre-wedding dinners for their Australian family and friends. One of the destinations was a carnivore’s delight. You all know I don’t like vinegar and have never been sure I’d ever like ribs because of the sauce factor. Luckily for me our hosts knew the perfect place for a southern BBQ feast. You order at the counter and food is brought out on red cafeteria style plastic trays. Platters of meat. Beef brisket (so so so good), pulled pork, sausages, ribs, candied yams (sweet potato with marshmallow!!), mac ‘n’ cheese and Wonder Bread, deliciously soft, sugary white sliced bread. I’ve finally found the perfect BBQ that is Lex friendly. Texan BBQ. I’d go back in a heartbeat.

Mable's Smokehouse & Banquet Hall - DeLuxe Platter

Mable's Smokehouse & Banquet Hall - DeLuxe Platter

Mable’s Smokehouse & Banquet Hall
44 Berry Street
Brooklyn NY 11211
United States
+1 718 218 6655
Mable’s Smokehouse & Banquet Hall Website

Mable's Smokehouse & Banquet Hall on Urbanspoon


The Counting Room

A bar in Brooklyn with a sweet cocktail list and table service. It can get rather loud so not the place to be if you’re after conversation. Stylish, spacious, great cocktails.

The Counting Room

The Counting Room

The Counting Room
44 Berry Street
Brooklyn NY 11211
United States
+1 718 599 1860
The Counting Room Website

The Counting Room on Urbanspoon


Café Grumpy

In the search for good coffee we sought advice and recommendations from friends and every form of social media. A Twitter suggestion saw us head a few blocks down town to Café Grumpy. The cafe is quite small and the food offering limited to a pastry cabinet. The tomato and cheese focaccia was seasoned well with the perfect crispness and just the right amount of squidgyness every good focaccia should have. As for the coffee, it was the best we’d had to date in NYC.

Café Grumpy - Tomato Focaccia

Café Grumpy - Tomato Focaccia

Café Grumpy
224 West 20th Street
New York NY 10011
United States
+1 212 255 5511
Café Grumpy Website

Café Grumpy on Urbanspoon


Billy’s Bakery

Billy’s Bakery tempted me from the minute I set eyes on the store as I wandered down 9th Avenue. A picnic in Central Park was just the excuse I was looking for to buy cupcakes. Mini cupcakes tend to be a little dry and lacklustre but Billy’s mini red velvets weren’t bad at all.

Billy's Bakery - Mini Red Velvet Cupcakes

Billy's Bakery - Mini Red Velvet Cupcakes

Billy’s Bakery
184 9th Avenue
(between 21st and 22nd)
New York NY 10011
United States
+1 212 647 9956
Billy’s Bakery Website

Billy's Bakery on Urbanspoon


Dylan’s Candy Bar

Dylan’s Candy Bar was a must during our New York adventures. First of all the store is called Dylan’s Candy Bar (little did I know it’s named after Dylan Lauren, daughter of Ralph Lauren). Second of all they stock PEZ and I love PEZ. The store is full of candy of all different colours, shapes and sizes. They’ve got personalised EVERYTHING (though nothing with Lex on it) and a whole range of Dylan’s Candy Bar merchandise. It isn’t cheap but it’s worth a visit.

Dylan's Candy Bar

Dylan's Candy Bar

Dylan’s Candy Bar
1011 Third Avenue
New York NY 10021
+1 646 735 0078
Dylan’s Candy Bar Website

Dylan's Candy Bar on Urbanspoon


Starbucks

We had walked past many Starbucks during our time in New York (they’re literally everywhere you look) and decided we had to do it at least once. Our first Starbucks experience on American soil was less than pleasant. I still don’t understand filter coffee over ice. Second time around I opted for an espresso frappacino (much better) and Dylan did the smart thing and added milk to his filter iced coffee.

Starbucks - A drink for "Dilon"

Starbucks - A drink for 'Dilon'

Starbucks
Starbucks Website


Birreria

A friend had told me about a rooftop bar at Eataly where first you have to find the lift to be able to get to it. To be honest the lift isn’t all that tricky to find but once you do locate it and make your way up to the roof you’re in for a real treat. The first night we went to Birreria we couldn’t see much but we did feast on a wonderful meal of cured meats, an heirloom tomato salad and beer braised pork shoulder. But let’s be honest, the main reason to go to Birreria is the beer. In collaboration with a few other brewers Birreria brews a number of unfiltered, unpasteurised and naturally carbonated Cask Ales on site. They also have a number of Dog Fish Head (Dylan’s favourite American craft brewer) beers on tap. It goes without saying we returned a few times. During the day, with the retractable roof open, the views of the NYC skyline are pretty cool.

Birreria

Birreria

Birreria
Eataly
200 Fifth Avenue
New York NY 10010
United States
+1 212 937 8910
Birreria Website

Birreria @ Eataly on Urbanspoon


Cafeteria

Breakfast was the one meal I had the least amount of recommendations for. We came across Cafeteria on an Urbanspoon search and decided to check it out. Typical breakfast fair and typical milky American lattes. Service was smashing and I was quite impressed with my stack of lemon ricotta pancakes.

Cafeteria - Lemon Ricotta Pancakes

Cafeteria - Lemon Ricotta Pancakes

Cafeteria
119 7th Avenue
New York NY 10010
United States
+1 212 414 1717
Cafeteria Website

Cafeteria on Urbanspoon


Shake Shack

It took us a few days to actually get to Shake Shack, but once we tasted their burgers there was no turning back. We feasted at Shake Shack another two times during our stay. They are without a doubt the best tasting fast food burger I’ve ever eaten. When we returned to Australia I decided to see how they’d compare with one of Australia’s best.

Shake Shack - ShackBurger - Cheeseburger topped with lettuce, tomato and ShackSauce

Shake Shack - ShackBurger - Cheeseburger topped with lettuce, tomato and ShackSauce

Shake Shack (Madison Square Park)
South-east corner of Madison Square Park
(at East 23rd Street & Madison Avenue)
New York NY 10010
United States
+1 212 889 6600
Shake Shack Website

Shake Shack on Urbanspoon

Shake Shack (Theater District)
691 8th Avenue
(at 8th Avenue & 44th Street)
New York NY 10036
United States
+1 646 435 0135
Shake Shack Website

Shake Shack on Urbanspoon

Shake Shack (Battery Park City)
215 Murray Street
(between West Street & North End Avenue)
New York NY 10282
United States
+1 646 545 4600
Shake Shack Website

Shake Shack on Urbanspoon


Nathan’s Famous

Not knowing anything about baseball we decided we should go see the Yankees play (I was seriously keen to see an ice hockey game but we were there in the off season). And no visit to Yankee Stadium is complete without a Nathan’s Famous hotdog. With a soft, sweet bun and nicely smoked, lean hot dog it was exactly what I expected of an American hot dog – delicious. Nathan’s Famous can actually be found all over the country (with the original hot dog stand having opened in 1916!)

Nathan's Famous

Nathan's Famous

Nathan’s Famous (Yankee Stadium)
Yankee Stadium
One East 161st Street
Bronx NY 10451
United States
Nathan’s Famous Website


Foragers

With a lunch reservation at three Michelin starred Le Bernardin we only wanted something small to get through the morning. Foragers was within walking distance of our apartment and considering it was pouring down outside we didn’t want to travel too far. After much confusion over coffees (don’t ever ask for a flat white in America!) we ended up with lattes and pastries. My chocolate croissant was crisp and flaky with a good amount of chocolate in the middle. The coffees on the other hand were typical American lattes… warm milk.

Foragers - Chocolate Croissant and Latte

Foragers - Chocolate Croissant and Latte

Foragers (Chelsea)
233 8th Avenue
New York NY 10011
United States
+1 212 243 8888
Foragers Website

Foragers Grocer on Urbanspoon


Le Bernardin

Le Bernardin was one of our three all out no holding back dining experiences in New York. An exceptional three Michelin starred restaurant focussing on seafood. You can read all about our feast here.

Scallop - Barely Cooked Scallop, Brown Butter Dashi

Le Bernardin - Scallop - Barely Cooked Scallop, Brown Butter Dashi

Le Bernardin
155 West 51st Street
New York NY 10019
United States
+1 212 554 1515
Le Bernardin Website

Le Bernardin on Urbanspoon


Playwright Celtic Pub

We scored tickets to The Book of Mormon and were looking for a place for a pre-show feed. But following an afternoon at the Museum of Modern Art we were fast running out of time. We stumbled across the Playwright Celtic Pub and so it was. A few drinks and a huge plate of buffalo wings were required. Just the scent of them was enough for me… too much vinegar. But the rest of the crew were scoffing them so I can only presume they were decent. If you want to suss out a typical Irish pub, but with an American touch, this is it.

Playwright Celtic Pub - Buffalo Wings with Blue Cheese Sauce

Playwright Celtic Pub - Buffalo Wings with Blue Cheese Sauce

Playwright Celtic Pub
732 8th Avenue
New York NY 10036
United States
+1 212 354 8404
Playwright Celtic Pub Website

Playwright Celtic Pub on Urbanspoon


Dunkin’ Donuts

Having grown up seeing Dunkin’ Donuts all over the big screen I had to try one for myself. I didn’t expect much but I’ve got to say they were pretty damn good. Quite soft and fluffy with a reasonably good chocolate glaze. And sprinkles!! Devouring these late at night in the drizzling rain on our walk back to the apartment from the Rockefeller Centre was totally worth it.

Dunkin' Donuts - Chocolate Frosted Donut with Sprinkles

Dunkin' Donuts - Chocolate Frosted Donut with Sprinkles

Dunkin’ Donuts
30 Rockefeller Plaza
New York NY 10112
United States
+1 212 333 4412
Dunkin’ Donuts Website

Dunkin' Donuts on Urbanspoon


McDonald’s

Yes, there had to be one visit to McDonald’s. And yes, I am including it in this blog post. Dylan and I probably eat McDonald’s twice a year but when spending a day at Woodbury Common Premium Outlets (in the middle of nowhere) the food court options are limited. Hence, this was to be our one American McDonald’s experience. I ordered a Big Mac (with no sauce, as usual) and Dylan ordered a Quarter Pounder. Other than Americans calling burgers “sandwiches” there really wasn’t any difference in flavour or texture. Yep, that fast food burger tastes the same on the other side of the world.

McDonald's - Big Mac

McDonald's - Big Mac

McDonald’s
Woodbury Common Premium Outlets
501 Food Court
Central Valley NY 10917
United States
+1 845 928 2040
McDonald’s Website


Häagen-Dazs

Because we were all shopped out before the bus was due to take us back to Manhattan we decided ice cream was required. I don’t think I’ve really ever had Häagen-Dazs before but I was pleasantly surprised. A rich Belgian chocolate ice cream with a creamy consistency. Not overly sugary or fake as I find most mass produced ice creams.

Häagen-Dazs - Belgian Chocolate

Häagen-Dazs - Belgian Chocolate

Häagen-Dazs
Woodbury Common Premium Outlets
511 Food Court
Central Valley NY 10917
United States
+1 845 928 8419
Häagen-Dazs Website


momofuku ssäm bar

One whole pork butt, ten friends, an hour of demolition. Read more about our momofuku ssäm bar meal.

bo ssäm

momofuku ssäm bar - bo ssäm

momofuku ssäm bar
207 2nd Avenue
(at 13th Street)
New York NY 10003
United States
momofuku ssäm bar Website

Momofuku Ssäm Bar on Urbanspoon


momofuku milk bar

Eeep! I was so excited to get my hands on momofuku milk bar cookies. And then on our last morning in New York when we had run out of cash we returned to buy supplies for friends back home. A gazillion cookies and crack pie were purchased. But I also had to get a cereal milk soft serve. Let me mention I hate soggy cereal. Whenever I eat cereal (which, admittedly is not often these days) I scoff the cereal as quickly as possibly to ensure I’m eating crunchy cereal and am not left with soggy bits and cereal infused milk. But as much as I hate soggy cereal I realised I’ve been missing out all these years. Cereal milk… turned into ice cream is out of this world. Don’t forget to add cornflakes for crunch.

momofuku milk bar - cereal milk soft serve

momofuku milk bar - cereal milk soft serve

momofuku milk bar
251 East 13th Street
(corner of 13th Street and 2nd Avenue)
New York NY 10003
United States
+1 347 577 9504
momofuku milk bar Website

Momofuku Milk Bar on Urbanspoon


Bar Veloce

Out on the town one night we came across Bar Veloce, a wine bar with a solid list of Italian wines (and a few French ones thrown in for good measure). The waiters certainly know their wines and were more than happy to take the time to chat with us about our preferences and budget, and recommend a wine accordingly. We were impressed.

Bar Veloce

Bar Veloce

Bar Veloce
175 2nd Avenue
(between 11th and 12th Street)
New York NY 10003
United States
+1 212 260 3200
Bar Veloce Website

Bar Veloce on Urbanspoon


Cooper’s Craft & Kitchen

Cooper’s Craft & Kitchen was another bar we came across when bar hopping. The boys were happy with the beer options (they’ve got about two dozen beers on tap and just as many bottled) and the girls were of course happy with the cocktail menu. Beer also features throughout the food menu and I hear good things about their beer battered fish and chips.

Cooper's Craft & Kitchen - Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA

Cooper's Craft & Kitchen - Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA

Cooper’s Craft & Kitchen
87 2nd Avenue
New York NY 10003
United States
+1 646 606 2384
Cooper’s Craft & Kitchen Website

Cooper's Craft & Kitchen on Urbanspoon


Sugar and Plumm

Catching up with a high school friend saw us venture to the Upper West Side for brunch. Woah the Upper West Side is so very different from Chelsea/West Village where we’d been staying. It’s primarily a residential area and far less chaotic than mid-town. Sugar and Plumm, ‘purveyors of yumm’, is a cafe and patisserie with a gift shop of tempting treats. Their buckwheat crêpes are light and flavourful.

Sugar and Plumm - buckwheat crêpe with spinach and mushroom

Sugar and Plumm - buckwheat crêpe with spinach and mushroom

Sugar and Plumm
377 Amsterdam Avenue
New York NY 10024
United States
+1 212 787 8778
Sugar and Plumm Website

Sugar and Plumm on Urbanspoon


Eleven Madison Park

Eleven Madison Park was the one and only restaurant I really truly could not miss out on while in New York. Fortunately for me we scored a reservation. The result was the best dining experience of my life.

CARROT - Tartare with Rye Bread and Condiments

Eleven Madison Park - Carrot - Tartare with Rye Bread and Condiments

Eleven Madison Park
11 Madison Avenue
New York NY 10010
United States
+1 212 889 0905
Eleven Madison Park Website

Eleven Madison Park on Urbanspoon


Marea

What do you do after lunch at Eleven Madison Park? Many would go home and lie down, most probably wouldn’t eat for the rest of the day. But I do things a little differently. When the boys took off for the bucks night I met up with the girls and we went off to Marea. Little did I think about how difficult it would be to consume a three course meal after EMP. Shrimp pasta and sea scallop dishes were both absolutely divine but sadly I couldn’t bring myself to eat my dessert. I’ve never been so full in my life – never not taken a single mouthful of a dish. Lucky for the other girls who devoured the extra dessert in next to no time. Deserving of its two Michelin stars and definitely deserved more stomach space than I afforded it.

Marea - Sea Scallops

Marea - Sea Scallops

Marea
240 Central Park South
New York NY 10021
United States
+1 212 582 5100
Marea Website

Marea on Urbanspoon


Barcade

I didn’t make it to Barcade myself however the guys who did tell me it is AWESOME. A place where it seems appearances don’t matter, a dodgy building with minimal thought about it. Instead all thought is put into what matters most, the content. Over 30 local craft beers and 50 classic arcade game machines to play, at the price of a quarter a game, this is gamers’ heaven.

Barcade

Barcade

Barcade
388 Union Avenue
Brooklyn NY 11211
United States
+1 718 302 6464
Barcade Website

Barcade on Urbanspoon


Levain Bakery

“Do you like cookies?” Was the question posed by a friend of a friend. Do I ever. My eyes lit up as I was told about Levain, a little bakery on the Upper West Side where the cookies are huge. 6 ounces of cookie (which is roughly 170grams). I made it my mission to make it to Levain. The hardest part was deciding what cookie to get. Not being much of a breakfast person, or a cookie fiend, Dylan wasn’t all that interested. But I convinced him he had to eat and so I chose a slice of Sour Cream Coffee Cake (which is impressively measured for slicing using the inch-thick blade of the knife) and an Oatmeal Raisin Cookie. The pound cake was dense and moist with a beautiful crumb. And the cookie, well the cookie was one of the best I have ever had the pleasure of eating.

Levain Bakery - Oatmeal Raisin Cookie

Levain Bakery - Oatmeal Raisin Cookie

Levain Bakery
167 West 74th Street
New York NY 10023
United States
+1 212 874 6080
Levain Bakery Website

Levain Bakery on Urbanspoon


Stumptown Coffee

Stumptown Coffee is definitely one of the best coffee spots we came across in NYC. Though we had mixed results depending on who the barista was on the day, the worst coffee was still a thousand times better than most ‘warm milk’ coffees we experienced throughout our travels. The selection of pastries was also rather impressive and totally delectable.

Stumptown Coffee - Croissant and Strong Latte

Stumptown Coffee - Croissant and Strong Latte

Stumptown Coffee
18 West 29th Street
New York NY 10016
United States
+1 646 214 5749
Stumptown Coffee Website

Stumptown Coffee on Urbanspoon


2 Bros. Pizza

Lunch before an afternoon wedding. What to have? We decided to check out the $1 pizza place we’d spotted not far from our apartment. Though you may think we could be risking life and limb on a slice of $1 dodgy pizza before a wedding, with the queues this place had every time we passed by we weren’t concerned. Slices of margherita and pepperoni pizza were piping hot straight out of the oven and nicely balanced with the base, tomato and cheese ratio. Seconds were a must.

2 Bros. Pizza - Margherita Pizza

2 Bros. Pizza - Margherita Pizza

2 Bros. Pizza
542 9th Avenue
New York NY 10018
United States
+1 212 695 2642
2 Bros. Pizza Website

2 Bros. Pizza on Urbanspoon


Artichoke Basille’s Pizza

Artichoke Basille’s Pizza is a pizza place we were keen to suss out. They’re not Chicago-style deep dish but they are deep nonetheless. We had to order the Artichoke Pizza – a deep deep deep base with cream sauce, artichoke hearts, spinach, mozzarella and pecorino. Simply irresistible. Their Staten Island Pie with meatballs and ricotta cheese is also an epic pizza. The good news is if you can’t finish them, both are delicious cold and also reheat well. Will definitely head back when we make it back to NYC.

Artichoke Basille's Pizza - Artichoke Pizza

Artichoke Basille's Pizza - Artichoke Pizza

Artichoke Basille’s Pizza
114 10th Avenue
New York NY 10011
United States
+1 212 792 9200
Artichoke Basille’s Pizza Website

Artichoke Basille's Pizza on Urbanspoon


Bouchon Bakery

Thomas Keller is one of Dylan’s favourite chefs. Yet sadly when budgets were worked and reworked we couldn’t squeeze in a meal at Per Se. So to ensure we didn’t miss out altogether we popped into Mr Keller’s patisserie, Bouchon Bakery. Display after display of beautiful pastries were staring at me, tempting me. Through a process of elimination we settled on a Bouchon Oh Oh and Chocolate Eclair. Stunning and categorically divine.

Bouchon Bakery - Bouchon Oh Oh and Chocolate Eclair

Bouchon Bakery - Bouchon Oh Oh and Chocolate Eclair

Bouchon Bakery
1 Rockefeller Plaza
New York NY 10020
United States
+1 212 782 3890
Bouchon Bakery Website

Bouchon Bakery on Urbanspoon


Korilla BBQ

Food truck!!! It was pure luck that as we walked out of Birreria one day there just happened to be a food truck right in front of us. Korilla (rhymes with tortilla not gorilla) BBQ is a Korean and Mexican fusion food truck. Having just downed a large quantity of beer and cider we decided to share… step one choose your ‘vehicle’ (red leaf lettuce salad bowl, wrap, chosun rice bowl), step two choose your rice (sticky rice or bacon kimchi fried rice), step three choose a protein (ribeye, spicy pork, chicken, tofu), step four choose your cheese and pico (monterray jack cheese, salsa fresca), step five choose from the kimchi pickle bar (red kimchi, cukes, daikon, slaw), step six add sauce (korilla sauce, korean bbq sauce, kimchi juice, korean hot sauce, k’illa) and step seven add some vegies (squash, bean sprouts, cukes, carrots). The result? The best freakin fusion buritto ever.

Korilla BBQ - Dylan and the Korilla BBQ truck

Korilla BBQ - Dylan and the Korilla BBQ truck

Korilla BBQ
Location Varies
New York NY
United States
Korean BBQ Website

Korilla BBQ on Urbanspoon



Economy Candy

The groom knows I collect PEZ and told me about this awesome candy store that has been around sine 1937. And so it was that Dylan and I ended up at Economy Candy. It may be a smallish store but they make the most of the space they have with candy stacked from floor to ceiling. They stock everything from Wonka gobstoppers, runts, jujubes and nerds to candy bars such as Oh Henry, Tootsie Roll, Big Hunk, Butterfinger and Twizzler through to m&m’s in every colour of the rainbow. Plus of course they have a pretty sweet selection of PEZ. I may have gone a little crazy and spent a bucket load of money here (I did buy over a kilo of m&m’s… there were 21 colours and I wanted some of each) but I was a very happy (fat) kid in a candy store.

Economy Candy

Economy Candy

Economy Candy
108 Rivington Street
New York NY 10002
United States
+1 212 254 1531
Economy Candy Website


Tacombi at Fonda Nolita

Tacombi at Fonda Nolita was recommended to me by a handful of people. Tacombi started selling tacos out of a converted VW Kombi, but the Kombi is now permanently parked in a converted garage in Nolita where the masses flock for tacos and cocktails. Each taco comes with two soft tortillas which enabled Dylan and I to cheat and subdivide the filling onto a tortilla each and try twice as many flavours. Barbacoa, pork belly, crispy fish and pollo con mole were all superb. But what also impressed was the guacamole con totopos. Not just ordinary corn chips, the totopos are made in house and are incredibly flavoursome and crunchy.

Tacombi at Fonda Nolita

Tacombi at Fonda Nolita

Tacombi at Fonda Nolita
267 Elizabeth Street
New York NY 10012
United States
+1 917 727 0179
Tacombi at Fonda Nolita Website

Tacombi at Fonda Nolita on Urbanspoon


Mother’s Ruin

All are welcome at Mother’s Ruin, a small bar with no attitude. With a mixed crowd, a bar tender dressed as a pirate while another (male) sported a coconut bikini, it’s a bustling bar. Take your pick and sit at the bar or at one of the spots along the counter that runs the length of the wall. Reasonably priced drinks and a short bar food menu – while I can’t vouch for the food everything that we saw (and smelt) coming out of the kitchen sure looked the goods.

Mother's Ruin

Mother's Ruin

Mother’s Ruin
18 Spring Street
New York NY 10012
United States
Mother’s Ruin Website

Mother's Ruin on Urbanspoon


The Ten Bells

The Ten Bells was a recommendation from Traci of Woollahra’s Wine Library. Named after a pub in London where Jack the Ripper was said to have met his victims, The Ten Bells is a U-shaped wine bar serving oysters, tapas, charcuterie and cheese to go alongside all the wine. What we loved about The Ten Bells was the lack of snobbery and the pure passion for wine. They’ll chat with you as much or as little as you want about wine.

The Ten Bells

The Ten Bells

The Ten Bells
247 Broome Street
New York NY 10002
United States
+1 212 228 4450
The Ten Bells Website

Ten Bells on Urbanspoon


Russ & Daughters

Joel Russ emigrated from Eastern Europe to America in 1905. In 1914 he opened J Russ International Appetizers which moved to its current location in 1920. In 1933 he renamed the store Russ & Daughters when his three daughters became partners in the business. They sell smoked fish, caviar and speciality foods and have been doing so since inception. A smoked salmon bagel was high on my agenda. Only a few minutes walk from our hotel in Nolita we ended up at Russ & Daughters for breakfast one morning. We kept things fairly simple with a poppy seed bagel, schmear of plain cream cheese (there are about nine different choices), smoked salmon, and capers. Without a doubt one of the best smoked salmon bagels. A must stop when you’re in New York.

Russ & Daughters - Smoked Salmon Poppy Seed Bagel with Cream Cheese & Capers

Russ & Daughters - Smoked Salmon Poppy Seed Bagel with Cream Cheese & Capers

Russ & Daughters
179 East Houston Street
New York NY 10002
United States
+1 212 475 4880
Russ & Daughters Website

Russ & Daughters on Urbanspoon


Big Gay Ice Cream Shop

Big Gay Ice Cream. Trust me, this place is an essential dessert destination when you’re in New York. The food truck has been roaming the streets since 2009 with stores popping up in the East Village in 2011 and then the West Village in 2012. It was the East Village store we’d made our way to after some locals told us we really had to do it. After a quick chat with the staff Dylan and I both ordered the Salty Pimp. A combination of vanilla soft serve that’s pumped full of thick dulce de leche, sprinkled with sea salt and dipped in chocolate. What makes it so good? The sum is greater than its parts. It’s sweet, salty, creamy and crunchy all in one and is quite frankly the best soft serve in the world.

Big Gay Ice Cream Shop

Big Gay Ice Cream Shop

Big Gay Ice Cream Shop
125 East 7th Street
New York NY 10009
United States
+1 212 533 9333
Big Gay Ice Cream Shop

Big Gay Ice Cream Shop on Urbanspoon


wd~50

The final Michelin starred restaurant dining experience of our New York trip was to be Wylie Dufesne’s wd~50. It was an incredible evening of molecular gastronomy.

wd~50

wd~50

wd~50
50 Clinton Street
New York NY 10002
United States
+1 212 477 2900
wd~50 Website

wd-50 on Urbanspoon


Clinton St. Baking Company

Most of our meals were based on recommendations. Clinton St. Baking Company was a recommendation from friends of the groom’s. They’d sent us to Big Gay Ice Cream so we knew we could trust their recommendations. The only thing they’d warned us about was the epically long wait. We were fortunate to be there mid-week so only had to wait about 20 minutes for a table. I had fried chicken and waffles on my wish list but soon discovered they’re on the lunch time menu. So while Dylan opted for a savoury brekkie of Huevos Rancheros I went for something sweet. The stack of pancakes were light and fluffy, topped with fresh banana, walnuts for crunch and a superb warm maple butter sauce.

Clinton St. Baking Company - Pancakes with Warm Maple Butter, Banana & Walnut

Clinton St. Baking Company - Pancakes with Warm Maple Butter, Banana & Walnut

Clinton St. Baking Company
4 Clinton Street
New York NY 10002
United States
+1 646 602 6263
Clinton St. Baking Company Website

Clinton St. Baking Company on Urbanspoon


Minetta Tavern

Dating back to 1937 Minetta Tavern is said to be a cross between a Parisian steakhouse and a classic New York City tavern. They do a mean burger. Dylan put their Black Label Burger head to head with one of Sydney’s best. You can read more here.

Minetta Tavern - Black Label Burger - selection of prime dry-aged beef cuts with caramelized onions and pommes frites

Minetta Tavern - Black Label Burger - selection of prime dry-aged beef cuts with caramelized onions and pommes frites

Minetta Tavern
113 MacDougal Street
New York NY 10012
United States
+1 212 475 3850
Minetta Tavern Website

Minetta Tavern on Urbanspoon


Rice To Riches

One of the things I love most about New York is that restaurants, cafes and food outlets in general don’t try to be everything to everyone. Take Rice To Riches for example, all they sell is rice pudding. Yep, that’s right, a store dedicated to rice pudding – over 20 flavours of rice pudding! Both the ‘Fluent In French Toast’ and ‘Cinnamon Sling’ got our tick of approval. And with signs in the store exclaiming ‘Dieting Optional’ and ‘No Skinny Bitches’ what’s not to love?!

Rice To Riches - Fluent In French Toast and Cinnamon Sling

Rice To Riches - Fluent In French Toast and Cinnamon Sling

Rice To Riches
37 Spring Street
New York NY 10012
United States
+1 212 274 0008
Rice To Riches Website

Rice To Riches on Urbanspoon


230 Fifth

230 Fifth is New York’s largest roof top bar. The space may be large but it doesn’t feel overly big with palm trees, planter boxes and tables and chairs breaking the space up nicely. The bar attracts a mixed crowd but is not overly pretentious. With great views of the city skyline, music pumping and cocktails priced around the $15 mark it makes for a fun afternoon.

230 Fifth - The view

230 Fifth - The view

230 Fifth
230 5th Avenue
New York NY 10001
United States
+1 212 725 4300
230 Fifth Website

230 Fifth on Urbanspoon


Fig & Olive

Catching up with a girlfriend from high school she booked dinner at one of her favourites. Fig & Olive is about “passion for the best olive oils, flavors and cuisine from the Riviera & Coastal regions of the South of France, Italy and Spain.” The restaurant in the Meatpacking District is a beautiful space and the food doesn’t miss a beat. The selection of crostini we shared were scrumptious and both the ravioli and sea scallop dishes thoroughly enjoyable.

Fig & Olive - Sea Scallops

Fig & Olive - Sea Scallops

Fig & Olive
420 West 13th Street
New York NY 10014
United States
+1 212 924 1200
Fig & Olive Website

Fig & Olive Meatpacking on Urbanspoon


Le Bain

Following dinner at Fig & Olive my friend Sarah took us to Le Bain. Another roof top bar but one that is rather different to 230 Fifth. With astroturf, a spa and disco ball Le Bain is a little more ‘look at me’ than the chic 230 Fifth. But having said that it has magnificent views of Manhattan. The only shame was the food inspectors had been through just before our arrival and as they are super strict in New York and there was a question over one small thing (I believe it was the pre-cut fruit for cocktails sitting on the bench) they were shut down for the evening, only able to serve ‘pre-mixed’ drinks. I’ll have to head back to try the crepes from their crêperie another time.

Le Bain - The view

Le Bain - The view

Le Bain
The Standard
848 Washington Street
New York NY 10014
United States
+1 212 645 4646
Le Bain Website

Le Bain on Urbanspoon


Brass Monkey

Brass Monkey is a pub in the Meatpacking District with a long list of beers (both bottled and on tap). There’s a rather large beer garden on the roof which is the perfect place to while away an evening… that is until around a gazillion university students celebrating the end of exams rock up. It was here I had my first lobster roll. And while it’s an absolutely terrible photo the roll was awesome. Super soft bun lathered in butter and piled high with juicy, sweet lobster and crunchy celery. And a side of potato chips (crisps) may just be my new favourite thing.

Brass Monkey - Lobster Roll

Brass Monkey - Lobster Roll

Brass Monkey
55 Little West 12th Street
New York NY 10014
United States
+1 212 675 6686
Brass Monkey Website

Brass Monkey on Urbanspoon


Café Habana

We felt we hadn’t had enough Mexican during our stay so we decided one of our last brekkies had to be at Cafe Habana. An old-school diner Cafe Habana has around a dozen things on the breakfast menu, all of which sound good. My Huevos con Chorizo may not look like much but this generous plate of scrambled eggs with spicy Mexican sausage and black beans was a simple, hearty and totally satisfying breakfast. And that gigantic portion will only set you back US$7.50!

Café Habana - Huevos con Chorizo

Café Habana - Huevos con Chorizo

Café Habana
17 Prince Street
New York NY 10012
United States
+1 212 625 2001
Café Habana Website

Café Habana on Urbanspoon


Parm

Who doesn’t like chicken parmigiana? When a friend told me about Parm, a 1950s inspired diner in Nolita, I just knew I had to suss it out. The menu is short and to the point. I knew exactly what I wanted. Chicken parm. Succulent chicken in a gorgeous crumb, sweet tomato, fresh basil leaves and stringy mozzarella. Yes, this is what a good sandwich is all about. This is Italian-American food at its best. I’ve also heard very good things about their sister restaurant next door, Torrisi Italian Specialities but we’d run out of time on this trip.

Parm - Chicken Parm Roll

Parm - Chicken Parm Roll

Parm
248 Mulberry Street
New York NY 10012
United States
+1 212 993 7189
Parm Website

Parm on Urbanspoon


taïm

I can’t remember who recommended taïm to me. But to whoever it was, thank you. taïm is a falafel and smoothie bar that was opened by homesick Israeli husband and wife team Chef Einat Admony and Stefan Nafziger in 2005. They sell, you guessed it, falafel. Choose from sandwiches, platters or salads. Pitas stuffed with freshly fried falafel (here with ‘green’ falafel – the traditional parsley, coriander and mint), hummus, Israeli salad, pickled cabbage and tahini. This smashed any falafel I’ve had in Australia out of the ballpark. Fresh, light, full of flavour. Even Dylan was impressed.

taïm - Falafel Sandwich

taïm - Falafel Sandwich

taïm
45 Spring Street
New York NY 10012
United States
+1 212 219 0600
taïm Website

Taïm on Urbanspoon


Lombardi’s Pizza

Our final night in New York. What to eat? We couldn’t decide between pizza or Mexican. The boutique hotel we stayed in (the absolutely incredible The Nolitan) didn’t have room service, but they did have the option to order food from nearby restaurants and have it delivered. Pizza AND Mexican, ok! You may be wondering whether New York’s oldest pizzeria has still got it. I can’t vouch for what the pizza was like back in 1897 when they opened, but I can tell you these days the pizza is simply beautiful. Fresh tomatoes, gorgeous mozzarella and a nicely charred crust. The original and no doubt one of the best.

Lombardi's Pizza - Margherita Pizza

Lombardi's Pizza - Margherita Pizza

Lombardi’s Pizza
32 Spring Street
New York NY 10012
United States
+1 212 941 7994
Lombardi’s Pizza Website

Lombardi's Pizza on Urbanspoon


Ruby’s Cafe

Funnily enough for our last breakfast in New York we ended up at an Australian cafe. We were in search of good coffee so we decided to suss out what the Aussies are up to in New York. And of course it was one of the best coffees we’d had in the two weeks we ate our way around the city. Their rendition of avo on toast also doesn’t go astray.

Ruby's Cafe - Avo Toast

Ruby's Cafe - Avo Toast

Ruby’s Cafe
219 Mulberry Street
(between Spring and Prince St)
New York NY 10012
United States
+1 212 925 5755
Ruby’s Cafe Website

Ruby's on Urbanspoon


Gramercy Terrace

I will admit I was nervous about our last meal in New York. I hadn’t been able to tick off half the places I wanted to go. And the last meal was out of our hands. We were meeting the bride and groom for one last catch up but we didn’t know where we were going. Lucky for us they know their city and knew where to take us. Gramercy Terrace was not on my radar but that’s the beauty of dining with locals. And what would a last meal in New York be without a burger (Gramercy Terrace is run by the Union Square Hospitality Group after all… the same group who own Shake Shack). The North American Bison (Buffalo) Burger was my kind of burger. It comes with the melted cheese oozing over the pattie, and the tomato, lettuce and all other toppings are served on the side. Add as much or as little of each as you like. A rather fitting meal for our last in New York.

Gramercy Terrace - North American Bison Burger

Gramercy Terrace - North American Bison Burger

Gramercy Terrace
Gramercy Park Hotel
2 Lexington Avenue
New York NY 10010
United States
+1 212 920 3300
Gramercy Terrace Website

Gramercy Terrace on Urbanspoon


And there you have it. A little snippet of our two week holiday in the world’s most incredible city. Our friend Marcos always says New York is the world’s best city and Australia the best country. After only two weeks in New York I have to agree with him.

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Napoli Restaurant Alert September 28, 2014 at 7:11 pm

Awesome post! And yes, I had Maccas at Woodbury Common as well……
Napoli Restaurant Alert recently posted..Via Alta, WilloughbyMy Profile

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Lex September 28, 2014 at 7:49 pm

Haha I think Maccas was the best option at Woodbury Common!

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Liz from You Chews September 28, 2014 at 8:02 pm

Amazing post! I’m originally from New Jersey and this post made me homesick… thanks for sharing! I dream about the pizza still…

Reply

Lex September 28, 2014 at 8:34 pm

Thanks Liz! It was an amazing trip. We had a long list of pizza places to get to and didn’t get the chance to tick many of them off… we’ll need to plan another trip soon!

Reply

Luke P September 29, 2014 at 3:13 pm

awesome awesome awesome write up Lex!!!!! cant stop thinking about all of the food you have just written about!

Reply

Lex September 29, 2014 at 3:34 pm

Thanks Luke! It was a great post to write… makes me want to go back!!

Reply

yimp October 22, 2014 at 10:51 am

you should try charles gabriel’s fried chicken next time!

http://www.voiceplaces.com/new-york/charles-country-pan-fried-chicken-2446915-l

Reply

Lex October 23, 2014 at 9:59 pm

Yum! Their chicken looks awesome. I want the fried chicken with mac n cheese. Thanks for recommending it!

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