I have to be entirely honest, researching and planning where we were going to eat this trip took up about 99% of my time before we left. I was dedicated to the idea that every meal we would have in NYC had to be good, and luckily this rule didn’t disappoint.
Before we left I asked for recommendations from friends and scoured blogs which had similar articles. Below is a pick of the best places we found during our trip, and to be honest the majority of these are breakfast places. Because who doesn’t look breakfast food? If you don’t then please leave now. Thanks.
Bubby’s have two locations in NYC but we paid a visit to the Tribeca branch just before our trip to the Statue of Liberty (a half hour walk away). It was a really lovely little spot and reminded me a bit of Bill’s here in the UK. It also happened to be Mothers Day in America and even being surrounded by tables of crying children didn’t dampen my mood in here.
We started off with a cuppa and two ‘biscuits’ to share -and by the way, biscuits are not actual biscuits, they’re scones – but they’re beautiful either way, and a surprisingly nice addition to a fry up. So I went for the standard ‘Bubby’s Breakfast’ which had two poached eggs, two pieces of bacon and ‘home fries’ which were delicious herby potatoes fried with onions and veg. Oh, and another biscuit, because they were seriously that good.
Now Jack’s Wife Freda was so good we actually went TWICE throughout our trip, first on the Saturday and then on our final day because it was our absolute favourite. It also has two venues, one in Soho on Lafayette street, and the other on Carmine Street. Both locations were lovely and beautifully decorated and also both absolutely packed each time we went, but luckily we had jet lag on our side and so arrived earlier than everyone else after a late morning brunch.
Both times we went here I had the ‘Madame Freda’ which is described on the menu as a ‘Pressed sandwich with duck prosciutto, cheddar béchamel, gruyere & a sunny side up egg’. Which translates into my language as a fried duck bacon sandwich made out of cheesy, eggy bread pieces with a fried egg and extra cheese on top. Or simply put: heaven. It was so, so nice and surprisingly with all the cheese involved, not too much to handle. Both times I partnered these with their juices, opting for the mint lemonade and then the cantaloupe juice which were so nice and refreshing, I’d even place them above partnering this with a cup of tea.
The Egg Shop was such a lovely little spot for breakfast (again – gotta love breakfast), which is located in Lower Manhattan, right next to Little Italy. It was a lovely sunny Monday morning (our first proper sunny morning as well) so it was nice to sit in the café with the front completely open to the street, enjoying the cool air on a warm day. Here we both went for cups of tea (sorry, not sorry) and I opted for the Eggshop B.E.C described on the menu as ‘Broke yolk, McAdam white Cheddar, Black Forest bacon, tomato Jam, Fresh Pickled Jalapeno, Panini Roll’ which basically turned out as a little burger filled with all those ingredients. I did get rid of the jalapenos because I’m weak and can’t handle spice, but I can definitely vouch for the rest of the burger as being an absolute hit. I also ordered a side of hash browns because I was feeling extra piggy, and these were wonderful little slices of deep fried potato – so bad but so, so good.
So we started the holiday by promising not to go to any tourist traps, because as fun as they are they always wind up being super expensive, and not as good. I’ve been to the big touristy places in NYC before and as novel as they are, they’re not the best when there’s so much else to try. Saying this, on our first day of proper exploring it was completely tipping it down with rain and as it was mid-afternoon and our trip to the Rockefeller centre had been cancelled because of the poor visibility, we decided to track down somewhere to drink. And when it’s raining, you’re feeling a bit jetlagged and grumpy, and you have no phone internet to do some good searching it turns out tourist traps are the best bet.
So we decided to go to Bubba Gump’s on Times Square as the drinks looked insane, and even though it was very pricey I would definitely recommend. We both had a drink – and I went for the Coronorita – a margarita with an upturned corona placed on top. I mean, it just looks insane, I seriously need to track these down in the UK. We also ordered some snacks to go with them and opted for the calamari and garlic bread which were both insanely big and very tasty. Overall I would definitely recommend paying this place a visit if you want to try at least one touristy restaurant whilst you’re there (because it is quite fun to be honest). You also have a souvenir shop in the bottom, and my drink came with a free cocktail shaker (lol).
I had really, really high hopes for Pies n’ Thighs, mainly because I absolutely loved the name. We visited the Brooklyn branch late on Saturday night when we were both trying to battle our jet lag away. The staff were really friendly and the menu had some good looking options so I went for some chicken with a side of grits – mainly because I was so intrigued to see what they were. Unfortunately the service was very, very slow but then maybe it was my insane jet lag that made it feel so much worse. The food was okay, but I’m not sure if I wasn’t feeling it because I was tired, but also slightly because I wasn’t really hungry because of the insane portions I’d been eating all day. But overall the place as it is a lovely spot, and the staff were so friendly so it’s worth giving it a try, I just think I wasn’t in the right mindset to really enjoy what was in front of me. The fried chicken was great but I don’t think I’d recommend the grits – I’ve never had them before, and I don’t think I will again…
Ahhh, the Tick Tock Diner was such a little treat. We popped in on our first day to grab some breakfast before our first day of exploring the city and it was a great place to start off the food over-indulgence. We both went for a cup of tea (obviously) and a breakfast which consisted of hash browns, sausage patties, fried eggs and fried cheese. It tasted as amazing and greasy as it sounds, I’m basically salivating writing this. Unfortunately it didn’t really photograph well, but here’s a picture of my boyfriend enjoying his. The diner is right next to Penn Station, so it’s right in the middle of the city which is perfect to start or finish a day off exploring the sights in Central Manhattan!
I had seen the menu for BareBurger online and was so, so excited to visit and make my own. This burger chain has an incredible menu where you are able to build a burger completely from scratch – picking the bun, burger patty, veg, cheese and sauce and the amount of options they have is insane. And then once you consider all the sides – which include all the varieties of onion rings and fries which overall make the final creation the best meal ever. I chose a beef patty on a regular bun with gouda cheese, red onions, spinach and ranch dressing. All in all it was incredible, and I would definitely recommend. The drinks they serve are also really good – but be careful with which amount you order for your beer, we got slightly mixed and my boyfriend ended up with a flagon – but I don’t think he was really complaining.
I never used to be a big fan of doughnuts, but sometime in the past year (around the time I started my new job, and doughnuts seem to be available every day) I have a new found love for them. All this doughnut love however had not prepared me for these kind of doughnuts from the bakery, Dough, in the Flat Iron area. The range of doughnuts they have on offer is incredible, and it was a long process of elimination before I ended up with my Cheesecake flavoured beauty. Just look at it, it’s huge – it actually took me two days to eat it. It’s also an incredibly messy task to do, but hey someone has to do it.
When you’re in New York City and the chance to use a cupcake ATM arises then you obviously have to use the Cupcake ATM. Because there was a little queue behind me I had to make a quick decision so went for a solid favourite – red velvet. The cupcake was pretty good, nothing amazing really, but totally worth it for the chance to use a CUPCAKE ATM. What a time to be alive.
I know we now have Shake Shack in the UK, but I’ve never actually had it here before, and as so many people raved about the Shake Shack burgers you could get in the US we had to give it a try. This was our last meal in the US, and a suitably greasy and massive one at that. We went against the recommendation of the Shack in Times Square which had stupidly long queues, for the one in the park next to the Flat Iron Building.
The menu for Shake Shack hasn’t got that many options and yet it still managed to overwhelm me, so I went for a bacon and cheeseburger which was incredible – obviously with a side of fries. I feel like the bacon in this burger was the first proper piece of bacon I’d actually had in America – all the rest is oddly really sugary – but this felt like the real deal again. I managed to mess up my order of a drink – as I thought I’d ordered a milkshake but I actually got a pot of ice cream instead, which I happily ate, but still can’t quite work out how I made that mistake….
Just wanted to put a little shout out in here for Oaxaca Tacos in Brooklyn, which was right round the corner from our cute little Airbnb. We ended up eating here by chance as it was our first night in NYC/Brooklyn and I was insanely jetlagged. I was really tired at 5pm, and by the time we came to eat I was practically asleep, so we headed to this little Mexican restauraunt for dinner and it was exactly what I needed. The menu has a lot of options to pick from and all at a very cheap price. We both chose enchiladas and tacos and some beers to wash them down with. As they were good (normal) sized portions they went down well and didn’t take too long to eat which was a godsend as I was ready to go straight to bed.
Okay, this isn’t a proper recommendation but if you’re looking for something to help beat your jet lag then reach for one of these. I don’t usually drink coffee, but this ridiculously sugar-y iced coffee creation worked an absolute treat, and I basically had one everyday (turns out Frapaccino happy hour is a thing…). There’s also a Starbucks on pretty much every street in New York, so you’re sorted. It also has a cookie straw, I still can’t get over it.
Well, that was it, my mammoth review on where to eat in New York – congrats if you’ve made it to the end. If you fancy reading my post on What To Do In New York or my Photo Diary in NYC then take a look! If you have any places to add to this list – or if you even find it helpful then please let me know. I’m off to the gym to work off the insane food baby I brought back from America with me, ta.