There’s so much to see and do in New York City, but what is even better — there is a whole world of delicious food places to explore! My food itinerary consists of the must-eats and my personal favorites… and because food is one of my favorite luxuries, I’ve been enjoying myself here immensely!
Now, let’s whet our appetites and get the rundown of where to eat in NYC, part 1. 😉
1. The Plaza Hotel Food Hall
The Plaza Hotel Food Hall is known as the “posh food court” of Manhattan. There are several food stalls here and we started off with some champagne and caviar at Olma Caviar Boutique and Restaurant. It was our first meal in the city after all!
Then we had our “real lunch” after that (all while standing up by the counter, of course) at Luke’s Lobster. We had the famed Lobster Roll (Maine Lobster served chilled atop a buttered, toasted bun with mayo and secret spices). We also ordered Clam Chowder (covered with oyster crackers in the photo), a bag of sea salt & vinegar potato chips and a really cold bottle of Diet Coke, of course.
For dessert (we must not forget dessert), it’s Lady M‘s signature Mille Crepe Cake for me or bust!!
2. Eleven Madison Park
Chef Daniel Humm’s three Michelin-starred Eleven Madison Park is a beautiful restaurant with great food and impeccable service. It was the perfect venue for our first dinner night out in the city.
The place is indeed fancy, but the atmosphere is cozy. We had a lot of delicious, interesting courses such as this Carrot Tartare that had a lot of “interactive ingredients” that make up this one simple dish of a vegetable appetizer.
The dessert was deceptively simple-looking too : Poached wild strawberries with elderflower mousse, angel cake, and homemade vanilla ice cream. The elderflower made this quite special.
3. Shake Shack
It can’t all be fancy food for me – we came to New York for all kinds of good grub. Of course we needed to stop by our favorite burger place, Shake Shack! We had their double patty burgers, cheese fries and milkshakes in one go!
Lines were long and the place was crowded (as expected) but surely, this was worth the wait. In fact, I count this as one of my most enjoyable meals in this trip! (Here’s a tip : Never leave NYC without going to Shake Shack.)
4. The Lobster Place at Chelsea Market
So this is what I chose to feast on : a 2-pound, fresh-off-the-steam lobster that was bigger than my face! (Seriously.)
The place was full – we had to eat this standing up and with our bare hands. But I couldn’t care less as I was away on a holiday! 🙂
5. The Halal Guys
New York City is a foodie’s heaven, but you need to be ready to face the crowds and be patient enough to wait in lines. (And believe me, my patience here has been tested so many times!)
The Halal Guys at 53rd street corner 6th avenue is hands down, the most popular food truck in NYC. The lines here can go all the way to the end of the block. On any given day, you will see people of all ages and from all walks of life patiently falling in line here. Men in suits, ladies in fancy dresses, curious tourists, NY locals and the everyday common folk waiting for their authentic lamb or chicken rice.
There’s no place to be properly seated here, no silverware, no starched table napkins too… it was food truck experience all the way. But again, I didn’t worry about this — I sat on the dirty streets and this made my meal deliciously special as it was all part of the New York experience anyway.
I loved my order of lamb gyro and falafel so much, I went back another day. It was my most delicious 7 dollar meal after all! (Beats any Michelin-starred restaurant experience for me.) And guess what, I am thrilled to find out that The Halal Guys will be opening in Manila very soon. I can already imagine the long lines here too — and I guarantee, I will be falling in line there again!
6. Katz’s Deli
This one is a true New York institution. It wouldn’t be right to skip Katz’s Deli on any New York trip.
This place is always jam-packed and buzzing with hungry diners! Not that I was daunted. I actually took a cab on my own to get here (a rare instance for me to have lunch all by myself!) and the thick crowd was not going to deter me from enjoying what I came here for!
And here it is: The best Reuben sandwich of my life. Just look at the freshly carved beef pastrami and the oozing, melted cheese inside the thick rye bread. The meat was perfectly smoked and oh-so-tender, while the bread did a good job soaking all the juices. I also added a thick swipe of mustard in there and ordered for a generous helping of sauerkraut to be placed in between all that!
As a fun fact, this is also where that famous When Harry Met Sally deli scene took place. There’s actually a sign that points to where Meg Ryan sat and did her thing. 🙂
If you need any more convincing, here’s a wall of photos of all the biggest stars and celebrities who have come here for their famous Pastrami and Reuben Sandwiches. (The whole restaurant is just full of these!)
And yes, this is it for now. It’s getting harder to keep you all posted, but there’s so much more to show and tell… This is New York after all and this is the city that never sleeps! So, stay tuned!
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