New York City Food & Drink Travel Guide

I have never been content with sub-standard meals when I visit a new city. For the food-obsessed among us we know that every bite needs to be top-notch, and what better place to strive for food perfection than New York city. Since moving to New York last year I have managed to dine out more times than I have in, and have been eating my way through the ever-expanding list of gastronomic possibilities.

If you’re visiting New York and looking to make every moment and mouthful count, hopefully this food-focused tour of my culinary rambles will give you a little taste of what you can sink your teeth into in the world’s restaurant Utopia. I wish I could share with you every delicious mouthful I have enjoyed since arriving in NYC but here’s a taster of my favourite places for brunch, dinner, dessert and drinks.

In the next edition of TheTaste I will be sharing a guide devoted entirely to New Yorkers favourite dish; Pizza.

BRUNCH

It’s not breaking news that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but for most New Yorkers it is the most important meal of the week and comes in the form of Brunch. I have embraced this weekend ritual whole-heartedly and have been indulging on this breakfast/lunch hybrid on a weekly basis. Here are my top picks for brunching in New York City.

Seamore’s, 390 Broome St, New York, NY 10013
A beachy seafood eatery in the heart of Little Italy, is a must-try for alternative brunch dishes. I was forewarned that the ‘Fish Cake Bennies’ would change my life, and myself and my friends remained speechless after demolishing the melt-in-the-middle crispy fried sweet potato fish cakes, topped with perfectly poached eggs and accompanied by a lemony kale salad, with just the right amount of zing to cut through the rich hollandaise sauce. Also try the squid tacos or breakfast burrito with a twist.

Zizi Limona, 129 Havemeyer St, Brooklyn, NY 11211
This low key, brick-walled Middle Eastern café in Brooklyn is home to one of the best Shakshukas I’ve ever eaten. Zizi’s moreish tomato stew is strewn with blobs of harissa, hidden dollops of creamy tahini and oozy poached eggs, served with fluffy pita breads.

Little Collins Café, 667 Lexington Ave, New York, NY 10022
If you find yourself hungry in the Upper East Side then Little Collins Café is not to be missed. The Australian influenced coffee shop serves some of the best avocado on toast in the city. Thick slices of wholegrain toast are piled high with ripe avocados, mashed with salty feta cheese and garnished with chilli flakes and pepitas (pumpkin seeds to you and me) for a flawlessly simple brunch dish.

Russ & Daughters, 127 Orchard St, New York, NY 10002
A trip to New York wouldn’t be complete without a Russ & Daughters bagel. Everything here is delectable but most importantly, they have the Smoked Salmon & Cream Cheese Bagel game down to a fine art.

Arcade Bakery, 220 Church St, New York, NY 10013
Arcade is top of my Unusual-Places-in-Which-I-Have-Eaten list. Concealed at the end of a vaulted-ceiling lobby in Tribeca, you can find tasty, buttery and flaky croissants, and better baguettes than you could find in Paris. The aroma of freshly baked bread is still engrained in my nostrils, and therefore I feel obliged to share this hidden gem with you!

DINNER

What I love most about this city is that there is a restaurant to please every appetite, mood and craving known to man. When brunch has settled and dinner is next on the agenda these are some of my favourite spots I’ve eaten in so far.

Kiki’s, 130 Division St, New York, NY 10002
This is a must-try for dinner, serving the most authentic Greek food I’ve ever tasted outside of Greece. This no-frills restaurant offers up simple, wholesome greek cuisine such as grilled octopus, abundant greek salads and honey-drenched baklava in unassuming digs in Chinatown.

Lilia, 567 Union Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11222
Don’t let the auto-shop exterior fool you, amidst the warehouses in Williamsburg you can have an upscale dining experience at Lilia. Delivering on delicious Italian fare from grilled clams to full-bodied rigatoni diavola and wood grilled chicken.

The Brindle Room, 277 E 10th St, New York, NY 10009
Next on my list is a spot I stumbled upon recently during one of my saunters through East village. The Brindle Room, which may be known for some of the best burgers and fries in the city also serves a fisherman stew packed full of shellfish, huge chunks of fish and potatoes with crunchy charred ciabatta. This is the star of the show in my opinion.

Spaghetti Incident, 231 Eldridge St, New York, NY 10002
Located in the Lower East side is this casual, cash-only, Italian kitchen serving al dente house-made pastas and sauces so tasty that you’ll be transported to Italy with every mouthful.

Tacombi, Various Locations, NY
Last, but not least, I must note Tacombi, an informal stop for the most authentic tacos and other Mexican fare this side of the border.

DESSERT

For those looking to satisfy a sweet tooth you’re in the right place, New York has no shortage of finger-licking good desserts.

Levain Bakery, 167 W 74th St, New York, NY 10023
There is nothing better than the enticing cookies from this Upper West Side Bakery, they are rich and buttery, while being gooey on the inside and perfectly crisp on the outside with melting chunks of chocolate immersed in a doughy center. Try the infamous walnut and chocolate chip cookie(s).

Georgetown Cupcake, 111 Mercer St, New York, NY 10012
Another NYC treasure are the cupcakes from this family owned bakeshop, there are dozens of cupcake shops in New York City, but this is one of the best. The moist cake and moreish buttercream icing makes them utterly irresistible.

Momofuku Milk Bar, Various Locations, NY
This has to be my favourite sweet treat spot in all of New York. If you too love creamy, salty, buttery snacks and ice cream, then you need to experience the wonder of their ‘cereal milk’ soft serve. Made with milk, cornflakes, brown sugar and a pinch of salt, it’s like the milk at the bottom of a bowl of cornflakes and it’s delicious!

DRINKS

With thousands of bars in NYC there is always one to fit the mood of the evening, from swanky rooftops to hidden speakeasies or beer gardens, there is no shortage of places to enjoy a drink.

The Ides Bar @ the Wythe Hotel, 80 Wythe Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11249
For a fancier affair, the line-inducing rooftop bar at the Wythe hotel is a great spot spot to take in the views of the concrete jungle and enjoy a cocktail or two. The Ides is a sleek bar located in Brooklyn which offers the most epic views of the Manhattan skyline.

The Dead Rabbit, 30 Water St, New York, NY 10004
All the cocktail lovers out there must check out the Dead Rabbit in the Financial District, serving creative vintage cocktails. Not only was it voted the world’s best bar, but the owner is Irish so it would be rude not to drop by.

PDT (Please Don’t Tell), 113 St Marks Pl, New York, NY 10009
If you’re looking for an off-the-beaten-path hang out then PDT is for you. Buried under a restaurant in East Village lies one of New Yorks worst keep secrets. Look for an old-fashioned phone booth, step inside, pick up the phone and press the buzzer and after approval the wall of the phone booth opens to let you into a small room. PDT is a truly great place for having a few delicious cocktails and it perfect if you want to impress your out-of-town friends with your secret bar savvy.

ARTICLE BY NIAMH KAVANAGH

Niamh Kavavagh
I moved to New York in November 2015 on a graduate visa after studying communication studies in DCU. I am currently working in a Food PR company in Soho where I can incorporate my love of all things food related and my career. I like to spend my free time wining and dining with friends, cooking or reading cookbooks/blogs and I am forever on the hunt for new places to try. I will be continuing to eat my way around New York City over the coming months and I’m sure that the proof of my foodie escapades will be shared on my Instagram.

@niamhkav @Niamh_Kavanagh

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