Manhattan, New York – Finding a place to eat in Manhattan can be a strategic affair since New York is not short of historic, inventive, trendy and fanciful restaurants. There are so many choices that it can become overwhelming. You would have to either live in New York for sometime or visit many times over to start cracking the food code of this gastronomic metropolis.
I have been to New York many times in the last fifteen years and I have not even scratched the surface, not even a scuff mark. There are always new places opening and are mixed in with long time favorites, so which do you choose? I have created several food journals of dining experiences along with my Yelp reviews, that may be helpful to you.
The more I travel to New York and around the world, the more my food journals and reviews will grow. So follow my blog for weekly posts about the world of jetsetting, road tripping and dining!
From Ramen on cold days to noshing down at Jewish delicatessens, my food journal of Noshing in New York – Part 1.
From the cozy atmosphere, the divine cocktails and the delicious food- NR is pretty darn amazing! I definitely recommend trying one of their cocktails served in a fun cup, glass or vase. I tried an Apple cocktail which was served warm and it was so lovely, especially on that cold day we were in New York.
We also ordered the Happy Hour Oysters that were fresh and appetizing. It was a nice way to start our meal, along with the Karage and matcha salt. I really enjoyed their matcha salt! I decided on the Kyoto Ramen which was flavorful and gratifying. The ramens served at NR are regional, so choose your region! I chose Kyoto which had everything I that I enjoy in a ramen.
What stood out for us was the level of service here. We were seated at the end of a series of tables against a wall. After awhile a larger yet louder crowd was seated in the same section. Our server asked if we would like to change to a quieter area and had all of our items moved. We were very impressed at the thoughtfulness of our server. This is a true gem of a place and should not be missed if in the area!
Junior’s Restaurant and Bakery
I have been familiar with Junior’s Devil Food Cheesecake for about a decade now and it really is a devilish creation! I had eaten a slice of this cheesecake many years ago but at their Grand Central Station location. When I came across Junior’s in Time Square on one of my last visits to NYC, I had to go in for their Devil Food Cheesecake!
If you enjoy both cheesecake and chocolate, and if you cannot make up your mind between the both, Junior’s solved that problem for you. This is one of my favorites from them. This time around I had the slice all to myself, as I had shared it before! So devilish…
Ben’s Kosher Delicatessen
One thing about New York is that they do Kosher well! Whenever I come to NYC I try to hit a Kosher Deli and this time I came to Ben’s. It was just by chance because my hotel was MidTown and only a few blocks from this deli. No disappointment, it was a good delicatessen.
After I was seated, I was offered a silver tray of Kosher pickles and a bowl of coleslaw. I knew what I wanted before I sat down, so the pickles and coleslaw were going to go perfect with a corned beef sandwich! Their corned beef is house made and is very good on rye, as it should be eaten! I also added their house mustard which tasted perfect on my sandwich. Their Matzo Ball Soup was also filling and delicious, it could be a meal in itself.
I will always hunt down a Jewish Delicatessen while in NY. So when it comes to a NY deli… Go Kosher or Go Home!
I came here on a suggestion from another yelper, who had never been here but wanted me to check it out. My hotel was walkable to Thunder Bun, so I decided to try it. This is a counter style hamburger place with a variety of burger choices and sides.
I decided on the Crimini Mushroom Burger and a side of onion rings. I will have to say it was a pretty good burger. The buns were soft like a Shake Shack Burger. I did enjoy the crimini mushroom topping with cheese, it was very creamy and flavorful. It all made for a tasty burger. If you are looking for a good and inexpensive fast food option, Thunder Bun just might do the trick for you!
For current locations, please visit their website- Thunder Bun
Side Park Café
This Latin influenced café inside the Museo El Barrio in New York, offered very good eats! I have always enjoyed eating inside museums and have done so over the years throughout the United States and abroad. You can mostly find delicious food while checking out art, and supporting the museum. The Side Park Café was a nice little pick me up while doing the Museum Mile.
Ham & Cheese Empanadas | Chicken Tortilla Soup
This casual café serves up delicious Latin favorites and beverages. On my visit, I ordered the Tortilla Soup which was very good and had a nice kick to it. The Ham and Cheese Empanadas were warm which made the cheese inside nice and gooey. It was a perfect pair for that rainy New York day. The service was also friendly and quick. The pricing was great considering it is New York, especially for the location. What a nice foodie find!
I had been wanting to try out Katz’s Deli for a very long time but I never made it in all my visits to New York. On one of my last visits, I made it a point so I booked a hotel in the Low East Side. I had no excuse not to go. As soon as I checked into my hotel, I trekked over to Katz’s.
I was not sure what to try, the pastrami or the corned beef. I decided on the corned beef and will come back again for the pastrami. I don’t think I could have gone wrong with either but the corned beef was very tender and delicious. The rye bread was packed with thick slices of perfect corned beef. There was a lot of sandwich on my plate, so I did not order a side. The complementary dish of kosher pickles were enough as a side item and a great pairing to the sandwich.
I am in awe of restaurants and establishments that have been around forever. If you read my reviews and blog, you would know that. Katz’s Deli was established in 1888 meaning that it has gone through World Wars and the changing of trends throughout the decades. Great will always be great, so Katz will keep standing.
Breakfast at Sister City Hotel
Sister City Hotel was a comfortable stay in the Lower East Side on Bowery. The continental breakfast here was an additional $15 charge, but it was very good in choices and quality. Hot tea and coffee were also included and all the pastries were delicious and divine. It was heaven for those who love carbs!
I really enjoyed the fresh croissants offered, they very buttery and flaky. I thought the lox and peppered cream cheese was terrific, but I guess that is normal in New York. I even liked the creamy butter, it was great quality and amazing when spread on all those carbs. It is quite humorous how I get excited about butter! There were also a couple of delicious gluten-free pastry options which I did try. Everything was pretty great and I can still taste those croissants!
Ethnic Food Walking Tour – Big Onion Walking Tour
I have been on a lot of walking tours on both hemispheres and I have been to The Big Apple many times over. The funny thing is that I had never done a Big Onion Walking Tour before, although it was on radar for a very long time looked. On one of my previous visits, I decided to spare a few hours and looked at the different tours that were listed for the day. Luckily the Ethnic Food Tour was on available- I scored.
If the Ethnic Food Walking Tour lands on a day that you choose, take it! Not only do you get to nosh on different foods, you will learn about the ever changing demographics of New York. It is educational and you walk off the food that you eat. We tried everything from kosher garlic pickles, onion bialys, pickled pineapple, plantains, Mongolian beef jerky, Italian cheese and salami, cannolis, etc. This was definitely my kind of city tour!
Mr. Taka Ramen
Yes, Mr. Taka Ramen is on the pricey side but the ramen is so dayum good! Before I go and tell you what I ate and how delicious it was, let me quickly mention that Chef Takatoshi opened up a Michelin Starred ramen house in Japan- Bigya Ramen. He brought his expertise to New York and Mr. Taka Ramen was born!
So with that said, the ramen here is superb and you will not get an oversized bowl that the West Coast is used to. This is a quality of quantity place and the bowl is just the right size. The ingredients are fresh and seasonal, making a top notch bowl of noodles.
I ordered the Spicy Tonkatsu with added bok choy and sea weed which was perfect for that rainy day in New York. The noodles were plentiful and very fresh while the broth was so good. Ramen is best when the broth is perfect and I found the broth here to be perfect for my palate. So don’t let the price of $20 (more or less) for a bowl of ramen scare you, it is one bowl of superior noodz!
Mmmm cheese! Better yet… Grilled Cheese! I specifically stopped by Saxelby for a grilled cheese sandwich. With several to choose from, I decided on The Chelsea which was a tough decision. There seemed to be several tasty sounding sandwiches on their menu. I was very pleased with my selection as it was a very well made grilled cheese. It did take some time to make, about 10 minutes but that was okay- Rome was not built in a day!
The bread was quite warm and toasty and the alpha toman inside was nice and melty. I think what made the sandwich was the fig and chili relish, plus almond. It really added something lovely to this already delicious sandwich. I would love to come back and try their other grilled cheeses on my next trip to NYC.
The Dead Poet
What a great locals pub! I love local pubs and have frequented my share on both hemispheres. What I liked about The Dead Poet was the comfortable atmosphere, the literary themed drinks and the tasty pub food. The pub was not full of tourists, with the exception of us but I liked it that way.
Noshing on Nachos and Buffalo Cauliflower – Drinking The Snow Queen
There were many fun cocktails to choose from but I settled on The Snow Queen. It was quite a fitting drink for this Snow Queen! We also ordered sharable bites- the Nachos and the Buffalo Cauliflower. Both were very hearty and delicious. Pub food is always good food, especially when done right. This is the type of pub that I would love to be a regular at. It is not fussy, relaxed, good comfort food and great booze!
Black Seed Bagels
I had wanted to try Black Seed Bagels for awhile, but never got a chance during my last few trips to NY. I finally was able to check it out while inside Chelsea Market and was not disappointed. I made room for it while noshing through New York and it was very tasty!
I do not think I had ordered just a bagel with a shmear in a long time. I tend to ‘Go big or go home’ when I order a bagel. I do love a lox bagel though and Black Seed makes a delicious one! The bagel itself was quite nice with a good chew to it. The lox was terrific, as well the cream cheese and sprouts added. It was a very well balanced lox bagel!
Pret A Manger
Pret! I am quite familiar with this chain, as it has been a staple for me while I travel through the UK. It had always been a great place to grab a quality pastry, sandwich or coffee for take-away or sit-in. It is like a Starbucks but better! When I am on the other side of the pond, I will walk into Pret before I ever walk into a Starbucks.
On my visit to this New York location, I grabbed a Salmon salad, a chicken soup and a hot tea for a quick bite. For what it was, a prepared meal in a box, the quality was very good. Come to think of it, I may have just popped in for a bit of United Kingdom nostalgia!
New York is Always a Good Idea…
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