New York [General]

2009 Apr 2
Heading to New York for a weekend in May. Any food "must haves" while there?

2009 Apr 2
Haughty Sauciness - Here are a couple of things to check out...

A previous Forum Topic - "US Shopping List Favourites"

As well you can always take a look at the OF Travel Wiki (click on Wiki tab at the top of any OF Page). Unfortunately, right now it only has one entry for NYCity, perhaps when you get back from your trip, you could let us know what recommendations you might want to add.

2009 Apr 2
that is a big question. what type of food are you after? gourmet? expensive? cheap-eats? ethnic? are you going to manhattan or a borough? i have been to manhattan and brooklyn many times, but all my recommendations are going to be cheap-eats with a leaning towards ethnic.

btw, i love the city, have a wonderful time!

2009 Apr 2
ms. Sauciness, Chowhound might be a good place to start / review. The Manhattan board, as an example, often has "where should i go" type of threads, including a recent one from a Toronto poster that may (or not) be relevant.

Personally, i'd follow HFF's take on things and perhaps add a couple Japanese restaurants Ottawa lacks (like an izakaya or good ramen place).

Oh, and i'd visit a couple liquor / wine stores!

2009 Apr 2
Also, as mentioned in the chowhound thread above, you might find this site useful:

2009 Apr 2
So much to do in NYC. It really depends on your budget.

On the more affordable end I would recommend:

Bouchon in the Time Warner building (across from the South west corner of Central Park). Its part of the Thomas Keller group (French Laundry and Per Se)but much more affordable. Lots of great bakery items - definitely try one of the donuts.

An NYC Deli: I would go to either the Carnagie Deli which is fund or Katz's (its the one in When Harry Met Sally).

Street Vendors in NYC can be amazing and in fact they have awards for them here:
Serendipity 3 is a great desert place. You will have to wait in line but its worth it.

Lombardi Pizza claims to be the inventors of pizza. Don't know if that's true but its amazing.

Blue Ribbon Sushi I was at in 2003. Its not the best sushi restaurant buts very affordable.

On the higher end, there are lots of great restaurants but some have affordable options. I understand Jean Georges is having a special right now with $24 lunches and $35 dinners. I have never been there but its on my list. Might be worth looking into the deal if you are interested. As well, both Jean Georges Vongerichten and Daniel Boulud have more affordable (though not cheap) restaurants to choose from in their restaurant groups:

I would recommend looking through the NYC board on Chowhound.

Cheers and enjoy your trip to a place so nice they named it twice!

2009 Apr 2
I follow a few blogs that review NYC restaurants, and they have great pics of the food: They have several on NYC eateries, here are a few, but scroll through their blogs and you will find more.

Also, I always check out Tripadvisor for resto's and hotels...

2009 Apr 2
The food section on has all sort of articles on hipster eateries in NYC.

2009 Apr 2
Which part of town are you going to be in?

My sister eats at Les Halles almost every time she's in New York and can't get enough. It's not too pricey, compared to a lot of other places, but it can be noisy.

2009 Apr 2
When I went to New York I only had 2 places on my agenda - I ate at both and had NO regrets:

Katz'z Deli: (an absolute MUST in my opinion)

Papaya King:

Neither are aywhere near "fine dining" but they are both a true "New York" experience and totally delicious. Trust me.

2009 Apr 2
Yay, what a relevant thread for me. I'm going in about two weeks! I'm staying with a friend in downtown Manhatten and booked my flight on points, so needless to say I'm SUPER PSYCHED.

2009 Apr 2
hey FIH - i read this thread at work today and those 2 names were the first to come to mind! very pedestrian but it's immediately what i think of when someone asks where to go in NYC.

throw in a bagel joint and some NY style pizza and you've covered the NYC food groups :P

2009 Apr 2
Or, do a guided food tour by Famous Fat Dave in a classic yellow cab!

2009 Apr 3
I would hit Zabars on the upper west side and the Fairway Market there as well. We also had a great meal at an italian place just across from Carnegie Hall, called Trattoria del Arte.... very yummy. If you are into donuts, and the Donut Planet is still around it is definitely worth a visit.... fresh made all day. I would also second Katz Deli if you want the deli experience.

2009 Apr 3
Also thrilled about this thread, given that I'll be going there in July! Woohoo!

2009 Apr 3
Wow--such great suggestions. Cheap eats and ethnic foods--definitely where I was leaning but all suggestions very welcomed. Will def file a report after the event.

2009 Apr 4
Ha! YES! Don't forget to hit up a New York bagel shop so that you can see how they are vastly inferior to the Montreal variety ;)

It's been many a year since I went to New York, but I quite enjoyed things. Tabla was the best dining experience I had ever had, at my wee age of 23. The food was flawless, and my waiter was awesome.

If you don't mind the somewhat-long trip to the Upper West Side there's always Tom's Diner, i.e. The Café Front for Mona's In Seinfeld. The food was OK, but I was really there for the speaking of Dinerese and the reading of the Village Voice.

Oh, I also hit up the Park Slope Chip Shop. A visit to my own little deep-fried Mecca. They pioneered the battering and frying of Mars bars, Twinkies, Reese peanut butter cups, etc.

2009 Apr 19
OK guys, I just got back yesterday evening (still feeling the effects of my gluttony - will be on a diet for probably the whole summer now) and here's my foodie report!

Pretzel bread @ DB Bistro ( - it comes out as a part of the bread selection they give you if you're sitting down for dinner, but wow - this bread was everything that I always hope street pretzels will be. Soft, warm, chewy, pretzel-y taste, just the right amount of saltiness. We asked for extra because it was so delicious. Skip the street pretzel and go here instead!

DB burger @ DB Bistro - this is apparently their signature dish. It's a gourmet burger (see picture) stuffed with foie gras and braised short ribs, and it comes with frites. DELICIOUS, although very very rich.

NY Pizza @ anywhere - The first time I went to NYC I had some amazing, sort of thick-crust pepperoni pizza from a place just off Times Square. I do not know the name of the place and probably couldn't find it if I tried, which makes me very sad as it was probably some of the best pizza I'd ever eaten! This time around, I had a slice from another no-name place near my friend's place where I was staying, as well as went to Patsy's ( Patsy's was excellent, but I still feel as though I'm missing out on something with NY pizza. I'm still quite happy to eat Gabriel's or Colonnade or hell, even Pizza Hut!

Fruit @ fruit stands - I love fruit stands! I got an apple and a banana for breakfast every morning for $1. Expensive for fruit I guess, but cheap for grab & go breakfast!

Iced tea @ anywhere - Whenever I travel to the states I really look forward to having brewed iced tea rather than Nestea. I haven't been to any of the southern states yet, but I can't wait to try sweetened brewed iced tea, too!

Black & white cookies @ anywhere, but mine was from a little deli just off Bryant Park on W 40th - This was my first B&W cookie experience. With some misgivings I bought one of the shrink-wrapped commercially baked ones, but it was amazing! I wonder what a fresh-baked one is like. It was more like a flat cake than a cookie, which wasn't what I expected, but it was definitely delicious and I will make them an NY mainstay for my trips from now on.

Cheesecake @ anywhere, but I had it three times and the best one was at the Comedy Cellar ( - creamy, smooth, not too cheesy, not too sweet - yum. Not terribly different from Ottawa cheesecake, but different enough. Maybe it's creamier or something?

Sushi @ Sushi Time ( - I had high expectations for NY sushi - perhaps too high, given that we ordered delivery from a Chinese-owned quick sushi restaurant. Next time I'll try one of the higher-end places, but I think Wasabi or Genji does much better sushi than Sushi Time (I had the vegetable tempura roll, crunchy salmon roll, spicy tuna roll, fatty tuna belly sashimi, and salmon sashimi)

Lunch @ Terrace 5 in the MoMA - Delicious! They don't have any ovens (I got the idea that it was to avoid setting the art on fire or something), so everything is served cold. I had an amazing shrimp/avocado guacamole type dip as an app, a beet and asparagus salad as my main, and berries with vanille creme fraiche for dessert. If you're going to spend an afternoon at the MoMA I would definitely recommend eating lunch here.

Dinner @ Buddakan ( - Very good. I supposed I'd describe it as a high-end dim sum? Though unlike dim sum you order off of a menu. The plates are for sharing, and we had some fantastic raw tuna spring rolls, bbq pork buns, a whole crispy fish (they come and take off the head and tail for you, but yes it's a whole fish!), some very nicely done beef, and for dessert deep-fried "doughnuts" (done up in the shape of ladyfingers though) and peanut butter ice cream in a chocolate shell.

Brunch @ Caffe Del Mare ( - We picked this place because it was a gorgeous sunny day and they were one of the only restaurants with tables set outside, but wow - I had the most amazing veggie & goat cheese egg white omelette, and the man serving us was so friendly and funny. I'm sure you could pick anywhere in the West Village for brunch though and be quite happy.

Cannoli & cream puffs @ Rocco's Pastry Shop ( - I've heard this is a famous pastry shop. Very good cannoli (they fill it in front of you) and my chocolate cream puff was amazing and very fresh (I hate it when the cream gets that gross skin on it).

Cupcakes @ Buttercup Bake Shop ( - Apparently this bakery was started by one of the women who helped to start the famous Magnolia Bakery. I wasn't impressed by the cupcakes. They weren't even close to being as good as the ones I make at home (they were dry and the icing was too sweet for me), and honestly they weren't even as good as the cupcakes I get at the Starbucks that is downstairs from my office. I would give NYC cupcakes another chance, but from Magnolia or another well-known bakery.

Frozen Yoghurt @ Pinkberry ( - A MUST DO! This is a frozen yoghurt shop that is rapidly gaining popularity in NYC/CA. They have three flavours - original (like the "tart" flavour at Yogen Fruz), pomegranate and green tea. You choose your yoghurt and then choose your toppings (almost exactly like Yogen Fruz). The appeal here isn't in the food but in the cute little shops and super friendly staff (we got free samples of each flavour of yoghurt).

Next time, I plan to visit Baked (, Gray's Papaya, Magnolia Bakery, Momofukuko (if I can get in!), Pinkberry again, somewhere a little fancier to get my sushi fix, and I will definitely be bringing home like a hundred black and white cookies for future consumption (wonder how they keep...). Oh and I will see if DB Bistro will let me just buy a bunch of that pretzel bread!

2009 Apr 19
Here's my Pinkberry - raspberry, white chocolate shavings, milk chocolate shavings.

2009 Apr 19
Here are the slices of NY pizza we got after seeing Guys & Dolls on Broadway...these are very different from the pizza I had on my 2007 trip. Kind of typical late-night thin, greasy pizza.

2009 Apr 19
And here are the cupcakes from Buttercup Bake Shop.

The red sprinkles cupcake is red velvet (my absolute favourite, and this one was pretty good!)
Yellow icing is lemon with lemon icing - way too overwhelmingly lemony!
Blue icing is chocolate with buttercream - not bad, but nothing special (I make a killer guinness chocolate cupcake with buttercream icing)
The one with the cherry was this very meh almond-y cupcake with a kind of bland whipped cream icing. It was really dry and hardly had any flavour. Definite pass!

2009 Apr 20
Thanks so much Pam! This is great! I can't wait for my trip in July now!

2009 Apr 20
Pam - Yummy descriptions and great photos... thanks for sharing.

This is a great topic that will now benefit anyone in the future making a visit to NYC.

2009 Apr 20
Whoo hoo--I'm printing out your post and taking it with me at the end of May. Hope to have a few of my own to add to yours. Thnx.

2009 Apr 20
Yay, I'm happy others got some use out of my gluttony :) Oh, the other awesome thing is that major chain restaurants like Starbucks and McDonald's have calories posted on their menus! I can't tell you how many things I will no longer be ordering from Starbucks - like the 500+ calorie scones! Ouch!

2009 Apr 20
i haven't gotten a chance to reply and i still can't organize my thoughts, but here are a few things. magnolia and buttercup are both overrated for my tastes. both are geared to tourists. there are some hidden gems in the cupcake world, check chowhound for the latest.

i had a pizza margharite from patsy's and two-buck chuck from trader joe's (it wasn't bad).

2009 Apr 20
on tuesdays, students from juilliard play a free recital from 12:30-1:30 at 180 maiden lane. this is right in the heart of the financial district and near the south street seaport. first, you stop at one of the fantastic street food vendors and pick up some lunch, then go and enjoy free music in the atrium.

see the event calendar for info and what is playing:

street food that i enjoyed!

2009 Apr 20
and if you just want to sit outside in the park, drink brooklyn beer and eat burgers and frozen custard, check out the shake shack.

2009 Apr 20
depending on when you are there, the union square greenmarket is amazing.
Union Square Greenmarket
Location: Broadway & E. 17th St. at Union Square Park
Time of operation: Mon., Wed., Fri., Sat. 8 Am to 6 PM
Season: Year Round

wheelhouse pickles sells great hot pickled okra, amoung other things.

also near there is trader joes and a whole foods.

on one of the side streets near the union square market is a fantastic falafel shop called rainbow, it is counter service only and the falafel is huge and messy. have heard mixed things about the other offerings, so stick to the falafel.

Rainbow Falafel & Shawarma is the classic, ungentrified Union Square falafel joint. It's just a storefront with no seating, but the family-run operation turns out an ultra-crisp, ultra-dark falafel, made according to the printed menu of chickpeas, parsley, fresh garlic, onions, and spices.

26 East 17th Street, New York, NY 10003 (b/n Fifth Avenue and Broadway; map); 212-691-8641; Cost: $3.50 for a falafel sandwich;

2009 Apr 20
also, coney island is worth a visit before it is converted into condos and gentrified. there are great pizza places down there, plus nathan's hot dog stand (hot dogs, chili cheese fries, fried clams...), or you can get a beer, hot dog and funnel cake and sit on the boardwalk and watch the locals fish.

2009 May 18
Hi there, while wandering around New York I came across the Magnolia Bakery. I didn't know that it was famous due to its association with S&TC. I just thought it looked kind of cool, and since it was on the "Avenue of the Americas" it seemed like it might be an important place, culturally speaking. Inside, however, it was very homey.

I admired the cupcakes, but like all the cupcakes in NY (I visited the Buttercup Bakery too) the icing was just too thick. It may sound wierd for a self-professed foodie, but I just had no hankering to taste any of these globby cupcakes.

I did, however, take some snaps, so here they are, for your virtual gustatory pleasure. Here's one of the storefront.

2009 May 18
Here's a snap of their cupcakes

2009 May 18
my better half is presently in NYC attending a conference at the UN on aaboriginal peoples
well send off a list of some of these places to try

2009 May 19
chef obi: what does your partner do, if I may ask? that sounds like something that could be up my alley in 5-10 years!!

2009 May 19
Masters Student
Canadian Studies
speciality: Aborginal Studies

I have a feeling Activist might be a title in the future
suggested Minister of Indian affairs but shuns INAC as if it has H1N1

2009 May 19
Oooh. Nice. I'm doing my Master's in Public History, and I want to do my thesis on the recording of aboriginal history in the Heritage Minutes. Very cool! Wish them best of luck from me.

2009 May 19
i've got 3 suggestions. was in nyc last april (yikes, that's too long ago!!!). a girlfriend of mine who lives in soho and runs a production company there sent me her suggestions - we tried a couple out (3 girlfriends from 3 cities - we all work in agriculture/agritourism) - best 2 were "the Red Cat" in chelsea. it's dubbed "the neighbourhood restaurant". absolutely fantastic food.
next, OTTO at 1 5th avenue is so fun - we just went to the enoteca, not the pizzeria in the back. it's one of mario batali's restaurants. great meats, cheeses, dips, sauces, drinks. I've got a little bit of food ADD, so having lots of small servings works for me :)
finally, pastis for brunch. it's a classic - owned by Keith McNally with co-chefs Riad Nasr and Lee Hanson (of Balthazar fame). have one of their incredible bloody mary's - freshly grated horseradish and a shot of pastis in it make it stand out. that's the 3 of us enjoying them - oops, one gf was having a mimosa.
ok, i'm super envious and wishing i was going, HS. have an amazing time taking it all in. cheers!

2009 Oct 13
Our trip to NYC got a little bit postponed, and my husband and I went with two friends this weekend, while the rest of you were eating turkeys.

I think that this goes down in my personal history as the best 96 hours of food I have ever had, quite seriously...

Dinner - Cafe Cubana in Brooklyn. Our friend who hosted us said there are lots of little Cuban restaurants in Brooklyn. They served fresh corn chips, and a good variety of beers in bottles. The mojitos were apparently quite good, as well. I had pulled pork, with pureed plantain and beans. The beans were really good, definitely not from a can, and the plantain was the perfect amount of sweet.

Breakfast - a cute little cafe in Brooklyn called Tazza. They serve breakfast foods, as well as a good selection of paninis and desserts. The prices are right, and the atmosphere reminded me of Planet Coffee, but a bit more upscale.

Lunch - We found ourselves at the Met, and trekked from there off to Madison Avenue, where we found a pretty darn good pizzeria, called City Cafe. Pizzerias also sell garlic balls, which are a lot like the crazy bread you used to get at Little Caesars...only better. Pizza, Garlic Balls, and Snapples in hand, we headed to the Guggenheim and sat on the front steps to eat. This photo shows our pizza slices; Husband had ham, I had margarheita.

2009 Oct 13
FRIDAY (continued)

Snack - pizza was followed by a black and white cookie, from William Greenberg bakery. (See photo) It was delicious and very cake-like.

Dinner - We visited a Japanese restaurant near St. Mark's Bookstore at Houston and (2nd Avenue?). Really great dishes and our host said that in general, that area is pretty strong for food.


Brunch - Macondo. A very good casual Latin restaurant in the Lower East Side. A lot of standards, but also with a bit more flare. We had the pacakes with a delicious lemon cream, and a dish that was comprises of egg, sausage, fried cheese, and plantain. Super delicious! (Photo in next post)

Dinner - Flea Market Cafe in the same area where the Japanese restaurant was. A bit upscale, but very much worth it. They specialize in French dishes, as well as Franco-African dishes; delicious couscous, as well as duck breast and duck confit and a fish special.

2009 Oct 13
Egg dish with fried green plantain and fried cheese. Macondo also has really amazing thick drinking chocolate.

2009 Oct 14

Breakfast was Starbucks, because we wanted to get on the road early to see the American Museum of Natural History. We stopped at Trader Joe's to grab fixings for a picnic lunch in Central Park.

Dinner, though, was the highlight. We visited Otto Enoteca/Pizzeria. Not sure what GreenQueen meant when she said she visited the Enoteca part, because when we visited, we had both menus given to us, and the seating wasn't segregated. The food, however, was delicious. We ordered a handful of small plates and one pizza each.

What I've discovered about eating in New York is that it is best done in places that are well loved (Central Park, Soho) and with other peoples. The best meals we had were the ones that were shared, rather than the ones in which we each did our own thing.

(Image: Otto's bruschetta of the day featuring white beans)

2009 Oct 14
LWB - I was there over the weekend as well! In fact, at all the bars we kept running into Canadian tourists. We hit up (and highly recommend all of the following): the Shake Shack, Caracas Arepa Bar, Taïm, Gramercy Tavern, Lombardi's, Luke's, Lupa, Caffé Dante, various vendors from the Chelsea Market & Madison Square Market, Nathan's out in Coney Island, Spumoni Gardens out in Brooklyn somewhere... where else... Five Guys Burgers & Fries, Bluedog Café, Billy's Bakery... I'm sure I'm missing more. I've updated the travel wiki.

Edit: Add the Doughnut Plant to that list as well - mindblowing doughnuts! PB & J filled yeast doughnuts! Coconut cream filled coconut yeats doughnuts! Unreal!

2009 Oct 14
I'm mildly annoyed at our travel companions; they wanted to Wall Street, we wanted to do the Doughtnut Plant. Sadly, we only had one cell phone with working batteries at that point and reservations for Otto's at 8:30.

2009 Oct 15
An excellent value for money restaurant right now is Daniel Boulud's flag ship restaurant Daniel. Michelin just gave it 3 stars (it had 2 previously). Its been about 3 or 4 years since I have been there (I went twice) but think its probably still very good especially since it jut got its 3rd star. They have a pre-fix meal of an appetizer, a main and a dessert for $105 and I think that is great value for a Michelin 3 star restaurant. When I went there were also some amuse bouches and des petit fours. Not saying its cheap, but for what you get its worth it and you can't dine at many 3 star restaurants for the kind of cash.


2009 Oct 16
Probably the best meal of my life at:

The Modern. Located in the MoMa.

Their Chef Gabriel Kreuther recently won the James Beard Foundation Award as the best Chef in NYC!!!! Quite an honour.

Unfortunatey, the price goes along with the rating. And I would study the wine list before you go, pretty extensive. The Chef's Tasting Menu with wine pairing and the optional cheese plate runs $260 pp. Although, with the performance of the dollar, eating there is getting cheaper every day, we are getting close to par!

I also recommend using for reservations anywhere in NYC.