Manhattan, New York – You would assume that navigating New York City for food would be an easy task, because there are restaurants just about everywhere. In actuality, finding a place to eat in Manhattan can be overwhelming. New York is not short of historic, ethnic, trendy, and fanciful restaurants. 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 jet setting, road tripping, and dining.
For my other New York Food Blogs:
From the original New York pizza to bowls of Asian noodles, my food journal of Noshing in New York – Part 2.
I decided to jump on the Yelp Five Star Bandwagon with no peer pressure. This Neapolitan pizzeria was pretty phenomenal considering what you get in NYC for around $10. The location was perfect too, right across The Whitney Art Museum, and The High Line. You can grab a pizza and a prosecco before or after a visit to either.
I ordered the Diavola which was topped with tomato, buffalo mozzarella, spicy soppressata, extra virgin olive oil, and basil. It was prepared and fired up to order, so it came out fresh and hot. This pizza was a great deal for the quality and location- Bravo!
I came across this corner café while walking to an Ethnic Food Tour. Apparently I was very hungry, and couldn’t wait for the tour. I had a couple hours to kill, I needed brunch and this pretty little spot was open for business. Everything fell into place. I was seated by the corner window, which was great because I enjoy natural light, and people watching.
I ordered my typical Americano (espresso with hot H20), and the croque madame with egg over hard. The croque madame was filling and tasted as good as it looked. The greens served were a nice and light accompaniment to my lovely French sandwich. A.O.C. was a great place for a little solo brunch, and I did get to walk it off before I hit that Ethnic Food Tour.
Since 1905 Lombardi Pizza has been serving coal oven thin crust pizza. They are also known as the founders of what is known today as New York style American Pizza. I love older established restaurants, and this is one I definitely love!
I came here to meet with a friend, and we ordered the Old School Margarita Pizza. It was a simple pizza, but the flavors and consistency was spot-on. It was what old school pizza should taste like. The crust was thin, a bit crunchy, and a bit chewy. The simple toppings of tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese were fresh and perfect. I have always loved thin crust pizzas only because I do not care for the crust. This was the perfect pizza for me.
New York is not short of great neighborhood eateries, and Larb Ubol was one of those in Mid Town. This Thai restaurant has a menu filled with tasty traditional Thai dishes at reasonable prices.
On my visit to Larb Ubol, I ordered the Pad Kee Mao with beef and tofu, spicy. It was full of flavor and very good. I also love big flat noodles in Asian dishes, so this was a winner for me. This restaurant also had a decent wine selection, if you wanted to have vino with your Thai.
Momofuku Noodle Bar
I had ventured to the famous Momofuku on a frightfully cold February evening. I arrived at the restaurant about 45 minutes before the dinner rush, and was lucky enough to stand inside the enclosed entry. Each minute, the line got longer and longer. Locals and tourists alike were willing to stand in the freezing weather for a good reason, a bowl of comforting ramen.
The ramen and buns were especially delicious at Momofuku, especially during freezing weather. The ramen broth was full of flavor, and the noodles were perfect. I also ordered the chicken meatball buns, which were terrific. The fusion of east meets west was apparent here. The buns were filled with a generous sized chicken meatball, jalapeño, iceberg lettuce, and a paprika mayo.
Untitiled at the Whitney
The Whitney museum had a little restaurant/ bar connected to it – Untitled. This restaurant/ bar was a non-tipping restaurant, which was written on the receipt. I believe that is why the prices were a little lofty, but it was not outrageous. I had wondered since Untitled was non-tippng and they did revenue share, that was the reason for the huge smiles on everyone’s faces. The staff was extremely friendly, and they seemed very sincere. I kinda just went with it and smiled back.
For what I ordered the price was reasonable, considering I did not have to tip. I ordered an iced coffee which was created with Sumptown coffee. Have you ever had Sumptown Coffee? If you have then you would understand my excitement. I also ordered the rice pudding with cherries, which was wonderful and a nice carb treat after walking all over NYC for the day.
For my Yelp review and location, Read Trixie N.‘s review of Untitled at the Whitney on Yelp
Big Gay Ice Cream Shop
When my daughter was in her teens, and on one of our New York trips, she booked marked this place to try. She showed me pictures of the ice cream, which sold me on the place. The soft serve ice cream at Big Gay was creamy and smooth, plus the servings were very generous. The variety of toppings where great, and added a bit of fun to our cones.
Big Gay soft serve ice creams were enormous and heavy, that they were served on cardboard trays. Now that’s an ice cream!
Cafe Sabarsky located inside the Neue Gallery, which is a German-Austrian museum, is worth a visit if you are on the upper east side. This café is an upscale European style café serving Viennese cuisine, by Chef Kurt Guttenbrunner.
The dishes here were incredible, as well as the service. I wanted to try more dishes on my visit but I had a long day of other NY eating. I decided on the Smoked Trout Crepes with Horseradish Creme Fraiche, and it was phenomenal. The presentation was beautiful, and the taste was quite delicate. The smoked trout was not strong, while the crepes made the dish tender. The Horseradish Creme Fraiche was mild but enhanced the flavor of those wonderful crepes. It was absolutely perfect.
I decided to skip the coffee and went with the Chamomile- Lavender tea, which was a nice treat. They had quite a variety of different herbal, black, and green teas. Also a nice wine list, and a coffee drink menu. Café Sabarsky can make for a very nice brunch or lunch while museum hopping. I will have to make it back here to try out the other menu items one day… One day!
Mile High Delicatessen – Brooklyn
It is always good to head to a New York delicatessen with another person, just so you can share the delicious food that is set in front of you. Mile High Delicatessen means it, with the amount of food that they serve. The servings were very generous, and as they say ‘Sharing is caring’.
This cool and delectable delicatessen’s cuisine is a combination of a Jewish Deli and a Canadian-Style restaurant- so good!
One of my favorite sandwiches is a Rueben, and Mile High Deli creates a terrific one. It comprises of tasty house made corned beef slices, melted swiss, kraut, and Russian dressing. Their Classic Poutine was very good too- french fries topped with cheese curds, and brown gravy.
For location and hours, please visit their website – Mile High Delicatessen
Lin Kee Beef Jerkey
Holy cow! No pun intended, but have you ever tried Malaysian beef jerky? Unlike its tough American cousin, this jerky is very tender. It also had a delicious tangy Asian BBQ sweetness to it, which was a win-win outcome in my book.
I had tried this jerky while on an Ethnic Food Tour with the Big Onion Walking Tour company, and this was the popular food item amongst everyone. I really can not see how anyone would go back to the tough jerky, after having this tender jerky. Yeah, I’m a fan.
Do you like a pickle? I do. The Pickle Guys do. This pickle place caters to the ever changing dynamics of the neighborhood. Not only are traditional Kosher pickles sold here, but other items like Caribbean pickled pineapple.
When you walk into this corner store you are hit with the pungent smell of everything pickled- I loved it! The aroma is not for everyone but for those who enjoy it, this is your place. There are barrels and barrels of colorful pickled foods, and it can be a sensory overload.
I recommend the garlic kosher pickles, they were crunchy and perfect with garlic peelings stuck to them. Also the pickled pineapple was excellent too. I honestly did not think that I would like it, but it was very nice tasting. I could see myself eating the pickled pineapple chunks in a fresh salad, or with a fish dish. This is a great food shop in New York, for those who do Kosher, and for those who do not.
The Shake, Batter and Bowl was a favorite of mine at Serendipity 3, but they no longer serve it. I love fried chicken and Serendipity 3 made a great one, that was served along with fries. I have come into the New York location a couple of times, once with a friend and another time with my daughter. It is a fun restaurant serving American favorites and extraordinary desserts!
Yes I have also tried their ice cream sundaes and famous frozen hot chocolate. In fact, I had tried almost all of their ice cream desserts between the New York location, and the Las Vegas one before it closed. I am a big fan of their tremendous desserts!
For location and hours, please visit their website – Serendipity 3
This was my first time to try a Bialy with an onion filling, and it was good. I am always up for trying something new, and I cannot believe that I had never tried one. I love his cousin, ‘The Bagel”, and I spent some time in Poland where it originates from. So why have I never had a Bialy?
Anyways, a Bialy is similar to a bagel but a bit more chewier. You really need to have strong teeth to eat one, but they are good. They are also made to be eaten on the spot and fresh, so you will know they are not day old.
I tried one from Kossar’s while on the Big Onion Walking tour, and it was one of the stops. Bialys may not be on everyone’s list, and I do think it is an acquired taste. Some people may compare it to their favorite bagel with a schmear. It is different, and that can sometimes be a good thing.
Located in Chelsea, and inside the Jane Hotel this restaurant treated me well. I ate here twice since Old Rose was in the hotel that I was staying at for a couple of days. The restaurant was much better than the hotel, I will admit that.
I had both dinner and breakfast here, and both meals were quite good. The breakfast scene was totally different from the dinner scene the night before. In the mornings, the Old Rose was bright, and felt like a legit coffee café with baristas and morning pastries.
The dinner scene was crawling with the young and beautiful people of New York, who come out after work for a bite inside a candle lit restaurant. I typically do not order pasta when I eat out, only if it is a house made specialty. I was not sure if it was house made at the Old Rose, but I ordered it anyways. I was very impressed with the rigatoni, it was perfectly al dente. The rich meat sauce was flavorful, and layered perfectly on the rigatoni.
I also had the Trio of Gelato for dessert. Their gelato was quite impressive that I asked the server if it was from a local gelateria. It tasted something very special. She told me that it was imported from Italy. I was impressed but a bit shocked as sometimes imported gelato does not travel well. The quality of freshness can become compromised. Now I will say in this case, their imported gelato tasted very creamy and fresh, quite impressive.
Peanut Butter & Co
I am so glad that I was able to check out Peanut Butter & Co’s brick and mortar location before they closed. I had seen this place featured on a television show, and it looked like a fun place to grab a bite. My New York friend met up with me here, and we delighted ourselves in gooey peanut butter sandwiches.
The Elvis, with bacon added was my choice of sandwiches. It was made of peanut butter, banana, honey, and bacon on toasted bread. It was pretty delicious and a level up from the PB&J’s that my mother made for me while growing up.
Although the café is no longer open, Peanut Butter & Co is still selling top of the line organic peanut butters online.
Maybe I should have ordered cake from the Cake Boss, but I could not see myself eating cake on a morning bus to Stewart Airport. Instead I settled on a cup of coffee, and a crispy fried hazelnut Nutella filled and drizzled croissant. I should have eaten cake. I have been to his Vegas location and have gorged on cookies, so I thought a croissant should be fine.
Fast forward 30 minutes- I get on the bus, open the pretty white box, pull out my pastry, and take a bite. I honestly did not think it was going to be crunchy, hard, and difficult to eat. When I purchased it, I asked the girl behind the counter what type of croissants were available, and she let me know the fillings only. There were no signs saying they were fried and hard.
It really was not enjoyable as the whole pastry kept falling apart on my shirt, and I could only take little bites. Then the filling was all over my face, my hands, and just all over the place. It was a nightmare! Luckily I had hand wipes, and the girl next to me was sleeping, so she could not see my despair.
Going forward, I think I will stick with the cookies in the Vegas location. Good luck to anyone ordering a filled fried croissant from Carlo’s Bakery!
I have taken my daughter to New York several times for theatre, the ballet, shopping, and of course the food. On one of our visits, my daughter suggested that we try 16 Handles because FroYo with fun toppings is always a great idea. 16 Handles offers inventive flavors, as well as gluten free, no sugar, and dairy free options.
My favorite toppings were the mochi and Italian cookies. Only in New York would you have rainbow cookies as a topping. As you see, both of us topped off our frozen yogurt with our favorite cookie!
For store locations and hours, please visit- 16 Handles
Last Name Hungry, First Name Always…
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📸 All photos are taken by me and are my intellectual property – Trixie Navarre