You'd think after 4 years traveling around Asia tasting the most refined and exotic food, I wouldn't be much excited about American junk food... But who said it was all junk? Forget the cliché (and your diet) and treat yourself with these must eat foods in NYC !
If you've read our New York itinerary, you probably know our trip was mainly cadenced by FOOD. We arrived in NY with a looong list of restaurants to discover and foods to taste. Do you imagine what kind of SACRIFICES I have to do as a travel blogger -all these amazing cupcakes, cookies, donuts, burgers, bagels, milkshakes and hot dogs I had to try in order to provide you with a list of the BEST things to eat in New York!? Tough life.
FYI, those who worry about their weight : we spent the week eating our way through NYC and didn't gain an ounce -the secret is to walk, walk walk. So enjoy! Oh, and please share in the comments YOUR best things to eat in New York. Bon appétit!
10 things to eat in new york
1. a Pancake mountain at five leaves, brooklyn
You know it : the best way to start the day is with a mountain of pancakes. Head to lovely Five Leaves in Greenpoint (BK) for what some consider as the best pancakes in New York -I guess I'll have to come more often to taste aaall the pancakes in the city and compare... then I'm gonna need to run the New York City Marathon to work off all those extra calories!
I don't know about the rest of NY, but these pancakes are indeed pretty fantastic.
We went on a weekday to avoid the crowds -Five Leaves is very popular for Sunday brunches and it can get completely packed. We didn't book and got a table inside. The atmosphere is very charming and the staff adorable. They also have a beautiful little terrace facing McCarren Park.
>> 5 Leaves, 18 Bedford Ave., Greenpoint, BK - open Sun-Thur 8am-11pm, Fri-Sat 8am-00am
2. the legendary hot dog from Nathan's famous hot dogs
When it comes to hot dogs in New York, Nathan's Famous Hot Dogs is bit of an institution. The company opened its first nickel hot dog stand in Coney Island over 100 years ago. Nowadays, they've got restaurants all over the city. But the one you want to try is the original, on Coney Island.
You'll have choice between different types of meats, hot dogs and fries. We went for the classic hot dog/ketchup/fries takeaway to eat on the boardwalk, facing the ocean. Ok, now we're talking junk food. But it's SO good!
>> Nathan's Famous Hot Dog, 130, Surf Ave., Coney Island, BK - Sun-Thur 9am-11pm, Fri-Sat 9am-00am
3. the best Cupcakes in new york at Magnolia's bakery
Are you ready to enter in a cupcake wonderland? Magnolia Bakery was first opened in New York in 1996, before expanding all around the world. In Sex & The City, Carrie Bradshaw and and her friends were regular customers! It's even been credited with influencing the 90s cupcake craze! The problem is -now there are many Magnolia Bakeries all over the city. Which means once you've tried one of their cupcakes, you won't be able to resist to a second one. And how could you do so when you see a different Magnolia Bakery appearing on your way every other day?
They've got an INCREDIBLE choice of the cutest cupcakes, often themed for the seasons -as you can see on the pic. Somehow they managed to create a light, creamy and fluffy frosting -nothing like the stodgy cupcakes you've known so far... It's simply delicious.
>> 401 Bleecker Street and W. 11th Street - open Sun-Thur 9:30am-11pm, Fri-Sat: 9:30am-00am
>> 1000 Third Avenue - open Mon-Fri 7am-9pm, Sat-Sun 8am-8pm
>> Grand Central Terminal, Lower Dining Concourse - Mon-Fri 7:30am-10pm, Sat 9am-10pm, Sun 9am-8pm
>> 1 Penn Plaza, Lower Concourse - Mon-Thurs 7am-10:30pm, Fri 7am-11:30pm, Sat 8:30am-11:30pm, Sun 8:30am-9pm
>> 1240 Ave. of the Americas - open Mon-Thurs 7am-10pm, Fri 7am-12am, Sat 8am-00am, Sun 8am-10pm
>> 200 Columbus Avenue at 69th Street - open Mon-Thurs 7:30am-10pm, Fri-Sat 7:30am-12am, Sun 7:30am-10pm
4. the most insane milk shakes you'll ever drink
I remember ordering a milkshake in one of these retro restaurants on my very first trip in New York in 2009 and seeing the waitress arriving with a GIANT glass -almost a litre of creamy raspberry delight! There were no way I could have finished that, but I loved it. So when we came back, I was craving for a good old milkshake. We found a great place called Harlem Shake, where they serve delicious milkshakes in this same old retro diner vibe.
>> Harlem Shake, 2162 2nd Ave - open Sun-Thur 8am–11pm, Fri-Sat 8am–2am
But today, with the #foodporn industry, that's probably not what you're looking for. You have something else in mind -something like a massive glass with milkshake, then whipped cream on it, then a cookie, some chocolate, sugar, candies, lots of colors, and even a little bit on sparkles on the top. You see what I'm talking about -these ridiculously beautiful milkshakes we can see on Instagram. As it became a real trend, there are many places for cool milkshakes like that in New York.
Apparently, the one that stands out the most is Black Tap, in Soho, Midtown and Meatpacking. That's one of the few things we haven't had time to try in NY, and one of the many reasons we HAVE to come back.
5. All the candy you can dream of at dylan's candy bar
It doesn't matter if you love sweets or not, this shop is a true wonderland that will bring out your inner child. Imagine two floors of colors, playful candies, souvenirs, chocolates and giant lollipops. Created by Ralph Lauren's daughter, Dylan's Candy Bar claims to be the largest candy store in the world. Willy Wonka has better watch out!
If you're looking for some original souvenirs to bring back, that's a good option -even though let's be honest, chances are that you'll eat them all before even leaving New York.
>> Dylan's Candy Bar, 1011 Third Ave. - open Mon-Thur 10am-9pm, Fri-Sat 10am-11pm, Sun 11am-9pm
6. only the best of the best... at doughnut plant
That's how our trip in New York has started -with the BEST doughnuts in the city, and a hot chocolate. The moment we walked in the door, our senses were delighted... and our minds lost when it came to choosing a flavor -there are SO many we couldn't pick just one. They're all handcrafted with the finest ingredients.
Up to now, we only knew the cheap donuts you can find in convenience stores. We discovered in Doughnut Plant donuts can be refined and light. In this shop, it's aaall about the donuts : giant donuts on the walls and on the floor, donuts cushions on the seats... It was the BEST breakfast of our week in NY! So good we came back a few days later for another round...
>> CHELSEA : 220 W 23rd Street - open Sun-Wed 7am–10pm, Thurs-Sat 7am–00am
>> LOWER EAST SIDE : 379 Grand Street - open Sun-Thurs 6:30am-8pm, Fri-Sat 6:30am-9pm
>> BROOKLYN : 245 Flatbush Ave., Prospect Heights - open Sun-Thurs 6:30am–10pm, Fri-Sat. 6:30 am–11pm
>> QUEENS : Falchi Building, 31-00 47th Ave, Long Island City - open Mon-Fri 6:30am–7pm, Sat-Sun 7am-7pm
7. awesome burgerS & fries at shake shack
You're probably wondering where to find the best burgers in New York. The truth is -it seems like nobody can agree on that. Some say it's in Five Guys, others in Shake Shack. When we walked pass a Shake Shack in Brooklyn, we decided to give it a try. I don't know if it's the best, but burgers are good, the fries curly and the atmosphere reaaally cool.
We'll try Five Guys next time we go to NY! If you've got any other suggestions, please share them in the comments.
>> Shake Shack has plenty of restaurants all over the city, you can check their locations on their website.
8. insaaane chocolate Cookies at levain bakery
Levain Bakery opened in 1994, created by two women who had the ambition to create the world's greatest chocolate chip cookie. In only a few years, it became a place to go, and it's now considered as the place that makes the best cookies in the city for most New Yorkers. Ohhh, these cookies!
The bakery is really small, with a only few seats. You've got the choice between Chocolate Chip Walnut, Dark Chocolate Chocolate Chip, Oatmeal Raisin Cookie and Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip. I always go for the classics (chocolaaate!) and of course, I wasn't disappointed. They also make incredible scones, muffins, brioches, cakes and breads. It's a perfect stop to reward yourself after a run in Central Park.
>> Levain Bakery, 167 West 74th Street - open Mon-Sat 8am-7pm, Sun 9am-7pm
9. Street food hot dogs & pretzels
Eating hot dogs and pretzels from a typical street cart is one of these things you have to do in NYC. They make great options for a quick cheap lunch -it means more money for cupcakes at Magnolia Bakery!
>> You'll find them pretty much everywhere in the city. Avoid the ones around the most-visited tourist attractions -such as the 9/11 Memorial Museum- : it's twice the price.
10. A signature New york bagel with cream cheese
A cream cheese bagel is a classic in New York -and it's another great way to save time and money for lunch. You'll find delicious bagels all over the city. We went for Broadway Bagels on the Upper West Side, and loved it. It's a small unpretentious restaurant with only locals people. The food is good and the atmosphere very casual.
We also tried the rainbow bagels from the Bagel Store in Brooklyn. If they are really funny on photo, they aren't tasty at all.
>> Broadway Bagel, 2658 Broadway - open Mon-Sat 6am-11pm, Sun 6am-9pm