This year marks year seven years of spending time in New York in the summer. I have spent as little as three days and as long as two weeks exploring and eating my way through the city. I have dined at a lot of restaurants - some really good ones and others not so much. With all that food knowledge, now seemed the perfect time to share my guide to eating in the city. This list has been curated based on years of research and if it made the list then you can trust it is a good one. These are from the city and surroundings - Brooklyn and Williamsburg. If you are in need of more NYC food recommendations or food recommendations in general - I share food recommendations from my travel around the world - here
Let’s start with the markets. If you are traveling with a large group with different tastes, a market is a great place to head for nourishment because you can satisfy everyone’s culinary tastes with one stop.
Chelsea Market. Located close to the highline; this could your reward for walking the highline. This indoor market has got cafes; florists; artisans. There are several food options from seafood to burgers; noddles and pizza. There are also a few dessert spot here. The market gets crowded so keep that in mind.
Eataly. The Italian grocery store located by the flatiron is one of my favorite food destinations in the city. Their food court has a variety of food options. Some quick and others are more traditional. My favorite spot is the nutella bar. The waffle with a scoop of ice cream drizzled with nutella is delicious.
Smorgasburg. This is a weekend food market that runs seasonally. There is also an indoor food market; there are over 75 vendors serving a variety of cusines. I love walking around a trying a little bit of everything. Make sure to have cash on hand; some vendors only take cash.
BREAKFAST AND BRUNCH
Jack's Wife Freda. This is one of my favorite brunch destinations in the city. I am never disappointed. The madame Freda is a favorite and if cantaloupe juice is on the menu - get it !
Sara Beth. There are multiple locations including one close to Time Square serving American style brunch. Order the french toast and let your life be forever changed. The cookies are also very highly recommended.
Bubby's. Multiple locations. Love the one in Chelsea. You can walk off all the delicious food by strolling the Highline after brunch. I recommend pancakes and apple pie.
Sylvia. This spot is known for both its history and the food and has hosted some greats including former presidents. The brunch lines on weekends requires resilience, but if you can brave it, you will be rewarded with amazing soul food. I recommend the chicken and waffles and the cornbread.
Two Hands. This Australian brunch location with multiple locations, including one in Soho has been a favorite brunch destination for years. The menu is not complicated but the dishes are seriously delish. I always recommend the acai bowl but the avocado toast has triggered a lot of food envy on my part.
Bluestone Cafe. Another Australian import with several locations around the city. I love the vibe of the collective cafe in Greenwich. There is a lot of talk about the avocado smash but I go back often for the green baked eggs. They also make an excellent cold brew.
Cookshop. This is a new favorite discovered on my last trip and I can’t believe I have just discovered it. Located by the higline and serving really good food. The biscuits are amazing.
Pie n’ Thighs. I discovered this Brooklyn brunch destination a few years ago; but did not get a chance to dine here until my last trip to the city. They serve brunch all day - always the chicken and waffles; their doughnuts are excellent.
SWEETS AND COFFEE
Some of my favorite brunch spots also serve excellent coffee including two Aussie imports that have staked a legitimate claim on the NY coffee scene. Two hands and Blue stone cafe. Did I mention the cold brew from Blue stone already ?
Toby's Estate: There are multiple locations around the city serving great Coffee. If coffee is not your thing, the Chai tea latte is excellent.
Devocion: If you are in Williamsburg then you should stop by; it checks all the right boxes - coffee and ambiance. This is a great spot to get coffee and also get work done.
Maman Coffee: I went for the ambiance and stayed for the coffee and the adorable floral coffee cups. Don't be distracted by the instagrammable exterior, they know how to make a great cup of coffee
Birch Coffee: Multiple locations | The very best chai tea latte. The rest of the menu is excellent.
Sweet Moment: The coffee shop is known for their cold brew with incredible latte art. If you are looking for perfection in a cup then you should give a cup of their cold brew a try.
Bibble and Sip. The mid-town location is always packed for good reason. The matcha lavender latte is one of the best things I have ever tasted.
Dough : Multiple locations | Donuts the size of your face. I recommend the Tres des leche and the regular sugar donut.
Four and Twenty Blackbird: Worth a trip to Brooklyn and they know a lot about how to make an incredible pie. The menu changes daily. Get the black bottom oat if it's on the menu.
Doughnut Plant : Multiple locations | Order a carrot cake donut; then send me a thank you note (donut attached, of course !).
Levains : Delicious cookies the size of your face. Ok, maybe not the size of your face, but quite large portions. Locations in Harlem and on 72nd street. Expect long lines especially at the 72nd street location but the chocolate, chocolate chip cookie is worth the wait and/or trip to Harlem.
Egg Loo: China town has one of the best-kept secrets for sweets. The hong kong style waffles with mounds of ice cream and toppings is a must have a treat.
Dylan's Candy Store: Midtown location has a sit-down area on the second floor. Order yourself a sundae. Make sure you have a friend with you to share and prepare for a sugar high.
Momofuku milk bar : Multiple locations serving cereal milk soft serve every time. It tastes like the milk at the bottom of cornflakes.
Magnolia Bakery : Fans of Sex in the City will be familiar with this one. The cupcakes are awesome. The red velvet cheesecake checks all the right boxes. Light and fluffy.
Taiyaki: The Japanese phenomena that ruined me for good. Fish shaped waffled stuffed with airy light Japanese ice-cream drizzled with topping of your choice. Give me a moment while I find my happy place
LUNCH AND DINNER
Marta. I have been dining at Marta for as long as I have been visiting NYC. It is a very popular destination for lunch meetings so you may have to wait for a table if you don’t want to sit at the bar. (Located in Midtown East).
Blue Ribbon Sushi. If you are lucky and they feature the soba noodle ball with duck meatballs on the menu. Order it immediately. You are welcome.
Shake Shack. While Shake Shack is expanding across America; I still love stopping by the one by the flat iron building to order a chicken burger and a milk shake.
Totto Ramen. This was one of my first food destinations in New York. I stumbled on it on a cold / rainy day in 2014 and I have been returning for their ramen offerings since then. You may have to wait to get in but there are three locations to choose from Midtown West ; Midtown East and Hell’s kitchen.
Grimaldi's. This cash only Pizza spot in Brooklyn is a favorite of mine. I have read mixed review but I quite enjoy their Pizza offering. The queue to get in can be ridiculous at time so keep that in mind.
The Butcher's daughter. This plant based restaurant is the only spot I will visit when I am craving delicious and healthy. I have often said if other restaurants did healthy like TBD; I will never have a problem eating healthy. They serve a variety of vegan; vegetarian and gluten free options.
Ippudo. This is another favorite go to Ramen spot. Their specialty is tonkotsu ramen, and that is what I always get because it is amazing. There are a few locations around the city.
Baek Jeong NYC. I am a lover of Korean food and any time I have a craving for Korean food in NYC; this is where I go to satisfy that craving.
Fred’s at Barney’s. For a real treat yo self experience; it is always Fred’s. The Nicoise salad is a personal favorite but the menu if packed with a variety of delicious offerings