The Travel Post #14: My Favourite New York Eats

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In the past year, I have been lucky enough to pay two visits to the big apple. The first trip was a whirlwind of ticking off as much of my New York bucket list as was physically possible in 5 days, which meant we often ended up just grabbing food on the go. But when I returned for New Years Eve a couple of weeks ago, we managed to do things at a (slightly!) slower pace, which meant I could take the time to enjoy some of the city’s amazing food scene. This is just a roundup of some of my favourite places we tried out and all of them I would definitely recommend checking out if you are planning to visit NYC this year.

One thing you are sure to find in New York is great steak, and there’s no better place to find it than Brooklyn. The trendy Willamsburg district has some great choices including the famous Peter Luger  restaurant – however we opted for the smaller and more unassuming St Anslem. The meat was incredible and was served alongside a delicious selection of sides including spinach gratin and mash potatoes pan-fried in truffle oil, which were my favourites! The cosy spot also boasts a great wine menu and is considerably better value than some of it’s local competitors – making it a great choice if you are looking to get some tasty steak without paying over the odds.

If you have read any of my blogs before you will know I am a serious brunch lover, so I was super excited when my friend Holly had booked us in at this boutique hotel (which isn’t really a hotel at all!) found on the Lower East Side. Served on the most Pinterest worthy rooftop terrace with a swing band playing live music, brunch at Hotel Chantelle is straight from a movie scene. The standard menu consists of brunch time classics with a twist, along with some more off the wall choices such as their lobster roll or the breakfast pizza. However if five or more people are in your party, I would definitely suggest going for the two course family brunch, which contains nine dishes and three sides served buffet style.  The avocado toast is delicious and make sure you leave room for the huge slices of french toast in the second course – you won’t regret it! Oh and did I mention cocktails are less than a dollar? Brunch is pretty boozy in NYC!

Another great place Holly took us too was Sixty Five Bar, which is found at the top of the Rockefeller Plaza. Open on Monday to Friday from 5pm onwards, a drink in here is a great place to get the view of the New York skyline, without waiting in the long ques for top of the rock. With cocktails starting from $20, the prices are super reasonable and are also cheaper than a top of the rock ticket – win win!

This roundup wouldn’t be complete with just one good brunch place, so my second choice comes in the form of Friedmans, a family run restaurant that has 4 locations across the city. We headed to the Chelsea Market branch for a post New Year’s Eve hangover cure and it certainly didn’t disappoint. Offering a menu that prides itself as comfort food that tastes good and feels good too the brunch offering is filled with hearty American staples such as waffles, eggs and carbs a plenty. This place is also great for those going gluten free, as the menu contains no gluten as standard! If you still have room, there are also plenty of delicious food stalls in the market itself – brunch can be three courses right?

I think any of the three friends I was in New York with will be able to tell you how much I went on about this place. Mac and Cheese is one of my ultimate favourites and I was determined to try this little cheesy pasta haven. S’Mac has the biggest choice of Mac and Cheese I have ever seen and if none of the amazing combinations they have on the menu take your fancy you can even build your own by choosing your cheese, herbs, veggies and meats – I was seriously excited! With eat in, take out or delivery options – this is a great choice for days when you are packing a lot in.

Another thing that should be an essential in any New York trip is pancakes and whether it’s thick, thin, savoury or sweet there is sure to be somewhere that serves up a stack for you. Last year we sampled the breakfast pancakes at George’s near Wall Street but I have to say they were pipped by the ones we tried at the Good Enough To Eat diner on the Upper West Side, a stones throw away from Central Park. This cute and quirky spot draped in fairy lights feels more like a trendy café than a diner and they have a delicious choice of flavours to choose form including chocolate and coconut, banana and walnut, and the ‘Lumberjack’ special with bacon and maple syrup. Be sure to sample their incredible signature strawberry butter, which comes with every order.

A New York eats roundup wouldn’t be complete without pizza and we headed to Little Italy to try and find the best around. After a quick google review, we decided to head to Lombardi's, which was actually the first ever pizzeria in America. The simple menu isn’t filled with the unusual pizza flavours you might find at some of the more trendy joints, but for traditional tasty staples it can’t be beaten. The dough is a dream topped with the freshest mozzarella and Italian herbs and the portions live up to traditional American standards! Ordering a large and sharing should be plenty to fill you up and why not team it with a Bud for the true New York pizza experience.

My final inclusion is surprisingly healthy! It’s really easy for every day to be a cheat day when you are in New York and sometimes your body is craving a bit of goodness. Dig Inn seasonal markets are the perfect place to get a quick healthy fix with a selection of salads and large or small plates filled with a choice of meat and fresh veg. The wild sockeye salmon is seriously good as is the kale and curried squash (although I’d give the shaven brussel sprouts a miss!). Wash it down with one of their artisanal teas or cold pressed juices to quench your thirst.

What are your favourite foodie spots in New York? Have you ever visited one of my top picks?

Charlotte x
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