Pt. III– NYC Restaurants
Being a food blogger, you can probably guess that I love food and no trip is complete without trying the best the city has to offer. One of the reasons I’ve always dreamt of visiting New York is because there’s definitely no shortage of great food and restaurants. The trick is finding them all in just one trip. This was a fun challenge for me; I was on a mission to find all the best food and really savor it all until the next time we return. I did months of research on all the NYC restaurants; scouting out the ones within my budget, with regular people sized portions, consistently positive reviews, and flat out delicious food. Here is a round up of my favorite NYC restaurants that I would recommend you try when in town.
This was the first thing we ate when we got to NYC, and it did not disappoint. When I was doing strenuous research for the best places to eat, this one kept coming up. Seeing that it was only two blocks away from our hotel we decided it would be the perfect place to grab a quick bite to eat before exploring Times Square. They have a pretty big menu of burgers, fries, shakes, and hot dogs to choose from but we opted for the very highly recommended Shack Stack Burger which is essentially their two most popular burgers combined. It starts as a cheeseburger and then, for an unexpected surprise, you get a fried portobello mushroom that is filled with muenster and cheddar cheese! YUM!! On the side, we got strawberry and coffee milkshakes and although I felt a little guilty about the monstrous amount of calories I was consuming, I didn’t regret it because those milkshakes were BOMB! We sat at the cozy bar in the back of the restaurant and people watched as we chowed down on our food. I’d say this is a great place to stop by for some burgers either for lunch or dinner. Although it isn’t “cheap eats”, it’s still a lot more affordable than eating at a formal restaurant with table service in NYC. We paid $35 for two burgers, two shakes, and a side of fries and did not walk away hungry!
Traveling to New York, I knew I had to try some real, authentic “New York Stye” pizza. Again, I set out to find the absolute best one and after reading up on tons of different places that all claim they are the best, I decided to go with Joe’s since it had the most consistent reviews. It doesn’t look like much from the outside, and it’s pretty small and dingy inside, but the pizza was delightful. It’s definitely the best slice of cheese pizza I have ever had. I usually prefer a lot of toppings on my pizza, but an authentic New York Style Pizza is defined as one with a thin crispy crust around the edges, a layer of tomato sauce, and topped with mozzarella. The tomato sauce was so fresh, you can tell that it was actually made from tomatoes and not from a can and the thin crust was perfect for folding the pizza over in half– like it’s meant to be enjoyed. Looking around the restaurant, I could see everyone was eating their pizza like that; in the true New York fashion. At $2.75 a slice, I would consider this a steal and would definitely come back here for a quick lunch on the go.
I wanted to experience New York authentically and eat at a local, family owned restaurant that served delicious food and that’s exactly what we got here. My husband likes the bigger, corporate owned, chain restaurants that are overpriced but look a little nicer inside, so this wasn’t his favorite, but it definitely was mine. I personally loved the charm of this small Greenwich Village restaurant and based on the incredible reviews about their homemade pastas and made-from-scratch sauces, I knew I had to try it. Being a small place that it is, they don’t take reservations and I’ve read the wait times for a table can be for up to two hours, we got lucky, however, and got a table right away. I got the Pappardelle a la fiesolana ($15.50) which is a flat, broad, homemade pasta with a creamy bacon tomato sauce. Absolutely amazing. I would recommend this place to anyone who loves authentic Italian food and isn’t scared away by a little wait time. Plus, I’ve read that this is one of those hidden gems that celebrities like to frequent so you might get lucky and spot one!
Another Italian place located in the Theatre District, just a short walk away from our hotel. Although this one is about five times the size of Bar Pitti, it was just as packed and had a 45 minute wait for two people at 3pm on a Friday afternoon. This is a family style restaurant where food comes out in huge platters and is meant to serve 3-4. We got just one dish to share– a bow-tie pasta with mushrooms, chicken, peas and asparagus in a white wine sauce. We stuffed ourselves until we couldn’t fit any more food, and packed the rest to take back to the hotel. We were so full from the delicious breads and pasta that we could have skipped out on dinner, but we wouldn’t dare miss out on a delicious meal in NYC so we waited till 9:30 to have dinner.
Being the self-proclaimed cupcake connoisseur that I am, I had to visit this popular cupcake shop that is featured on it’s own TV show “DC Cupcakes”. Having had my share of bad cupcakes in the past, I did not expect much, but was curious what the hype was all about. Now I know. People, their cupcakes are to die for! How do they do it?! We got four cupcakes; the seasonal gingerbread, chocolate/chocolate birthday cake, chocolate lava fudge, and salted caramel. All of them amazing! (Although I still prefer the taste of my own Salted Caramel Cupcake to theirs. Shocking, right? Find my recipe for Salted Caramel Cupcakes HERE and find out why I have such a high standard for other cupcakes..)
So there it is folks– my top recommendations for NYC Restaurants (from my first visit). There are so many phenomenal restaurants in NYC and I am excited to come back and continue my hunt for the best ones, but these will certainly be on my radar when I return. I am already dreaming about that delicious homemade pasta from Bar Pitti and that glorious chocolate/chocolate cupcake from Georgetown. I may just have to buy a box and have it shipped…
Have you been to NYC? What are your favorite restaurants? I’m already making a list for next time and would love your recommendations!
PS- Stay tuned for the next part of our New York series, I will talk about the tourist traps and mistakes to avoid.