New York

A Foodie Guide to New York City


The sprawling megopolis that is New York City is the ultimate foodie destination in America for sampling the widest variety of ethnic foods all in one place, as well as for sampling the newest trends in American cuisine.

Here is a short list of the very best that could keep you busy for days!

Eataly

Opened by celebrity chefs Mario Batali and Lydia Bastianich, Eataly is a fabulous addition to the New York food scene with its huge expanse and multitude of offerings. All under one roof you have a vegetable concierge that cleans and preps your vegetables while you shop, a pastry bakery and bread bakery, chocolate shop, fresh pasta shop, craft beers and wine shop, raw bar, cheese shop, butcher, cafe, ice cream stand, and a slew of specialty Italian restaurants including a stunning rooftop beer garden.

Zabar’s

A Jewish version of Eataly, Zabar’s on the upper West Side of Manhattan has been a favorite of New Yorkers for dozens of years. On Sunday mornings you can barely get in. People are shopping for fresh bagels, lox and whitefish, chocolate babka, cheeses, and deli goods to take home to enjoy over coffee and their Sunday paper. It is almost a Sunday ritual on the West Side! If you want to take a picnic into Central Park, this is the place to go and put one together. You need only walk a couple of blocks towards the park to find your sunny park bench!

Dean & Deluca

With outposts both downtown in Soho and on the upper East Side, Dean & Deluca is a gourmet food shop that celebrates all cuisines, although it leans towards American and Continental. They make lovely homemade soups and take out meals. With a good butcher shop, cheese selection, pastries, sushi, and deli area, it is a great resource if you are looking for specialty food items when you are in these neighborhoods.

Little Italy

Downtown NYC’s Little Italy has some small authentic Italian food shops that survived the mass exodus of most of the older Italian population from the area. You can still get fresh Italian cheeses from the oldest cheese store in America, Alleva. Try their smoked mozzarella!

Then visit the Piemonte Home Made Ravioli Company a few doors down for home made fresh pasta. Across the street, stop in for a cappuccino and pastry at Ferrara Bakery and Cafe.

And while you are in Little Italy, a walk over to Chinatown takes only a few minutes.

Chinatown

The stalls all along the streets in New York’s Chinatown are a great source for inexpensive fresh produce including fresh lychee nuts, bok choy, fruits and vegetables. It also has some amazing bakeries. Yes, Chinese bakeries that rival many uptown. Besides the decorative traditional pastries and cakes. they excel at small snacks like miniature chicken pot pies, small meat filled patties, and tiny egg custards. Who can resist?

Glamour and Glitz

The legendary Plaza Hotel on Fifth Avenue, just next to Central Park, has a food hall that is small but quite a treat. Located on the lowest floor of the hotel, the celebrity chef Todd English created a gourmet haven that is composed of several dining stations and a bakery, making this the perfect stop for a casual meal amongst the beautiful people who frequent it.

Grand Central Station Market

The magnificent old Grand Central Station has an amazing gourmet food hall worth a walk through. If you are touring midtown, it is an excellent choice for finding a lunch or snack to carry with you. Besides being beautiful, everything is fresh and top quality. You might also want to stop at the famous Grand Central Oyster Bar. Disregard the cold interior and take a seat. They are known for serving top-notch seafood, chowder, and a large array of freshly shucked oysters that they source from all over America.

Foodie Restaurant Recommendations

The Meatball Shop on Stanton Street should be on your list when visiting New York. A very affordable, casual restaurant that serves a large varieties of just meatballs, this restaurant has a huge following. Try the Hero Meatball Sandwich with Parmesan Sauce and their amazing freshly made ice cream sandwiches. It is fun, easy going, and serves delicious, simple food.

For a restaurant that has become a tourist destination, you can’t go wrong dining at Buddakan on Ninth Avenue. This cavernous restaurant sprawls over many levels and floors with different themed rooms that are quite beautiful. But don’t let the decor distract you. The food is superb. Try the Singapore Chili King Crab, the Glazed Alaskan Black Cod, and finish with the Crying Chocolate. This is Asian fusion at its best.

La Grenouille has been one of the top French restaurants in New York for years and years. Very formal, very beautiful, and very expensive, you can dine here for the drastically reduced price of $60 prixe fixe if you dine before 6 pm on week day nights. They also have an affordable bar menu upstairs every lunch hour.

And the best thing about the food scene in New York City? The surprises. So don’t pass by that cupcake food truck on the corner, or walk past that food stall cooking falafal, and don’t forget to try a real NYC hot pretzel with mustard to dip it in. Even the street food vendors are serving up treats you won’t soon forget!

Date posted: 9th September, 2011

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