It’s nearly a year since Sam and I graced the streets of New York but I haven’t forgotten the dreamy food we discovered. After an Instagram story poll where over 95% of you wanted to me to reveal all the goodies we tried I thought I better get writing to share some of the best food that we were lucky enough to have.
We walked all over the city every day, so it counteracted the excessive amount of food we managed to squeeze into our five-day trip, right? I don’t know who I’m trying to convince. Anyway, excuses made, here’s what you came here for, the food recs:
First day we headed straight out mid-afternoon after a flight first thing from Heathrow into JFK on the search for a light bite to keep us going for the evening. Tacombi was the first port of call, with a cute aesthetic and the excitement that they asked to see 32-year-old Sam’s ID when we ordered cocktails, we knew we were in for a treat. Tacos al pastor and the fish taco stand out in my memory, plus a gorgeous starter of corn esquites; a mix of corn, cheese, mayo + chilli, which I often attempt to recreate back home. We were off to a great start, and it was only going to get better.
After nearly falling out on day one due to us both being so ridiculously tired (lol), day two was when we fully started to experience New York. Tourist attractions and plenty of walking to see the city in the morning lead us to needing a hearty lunch. Step up, Artichoke Pizza. Sam had watched some foodie Youtube videos which had raved about the vodka pizza, I was pretty skeptical but was put right in my place as it was one of the most delicious slices of pizza I’ve ever tasted. We also went for their namesake artichoke pizza and the Staten Island, which was meatballs, red onion and ricotta. If someone knows of a UK based pizza place that does pizza like this then hit me up, I’ve been craving it since then!
That afternoon we bar-hopped around Manhattan which took us through to meeting a friend at a rooftop bar (obvs) for copious more amounts of wine. This meant we were on the hunt for an easy and quick meal to soak up some of the alcohol and Shake Shack was just the ticket. I personally have a very jaded memory of this meal; however, Sam gives it a big rating so thought I should include it. It felt very different to fast food in this country, mainly that you could get a beer (or prosecco!) with your burger and fries, and we were sat in a cute gardens so it didn’t have the sweaty service station vibe I expected. We ended up getting it again later in the week so it clearly hit the spot.
The next morning, I was struggling with a wee hangover so food was needed imminently. We went to the old school American diner at Lexington Candy Shop and got a feast of the crispiest bacon, fried eggs sunny side up, pancakes for me and French toast for Sam with a hell of a lot of maple syrup over both. After this we took a walk round Central Park and the food coma kicked in so I, naturally, had a nap on the grass in the park to recover and regroup before we continued exploring the city.
Despite the fact we had a large brunch, there’s always room for lunch. Especially if it’s from Xi’an Famous Foods. This was the best meal so far for both of us, the simplest noods and dumplings but with the most insane flavours. Proper grab and go style but with a few seats tucked away next to the kitchen, we were lucky to get somewhere to sit whilst we dug into our meal. We had the spicy cumin lamb pulled noodles and spicy and sour lamb dumplings. If you find yourself in New York, these are a must try.
That evening we made it to a Yankees game so we could tick off the list that we’d been to an American sports game. The team had won the championship the night before and were out partying ‘til the early hours so the baseball wasn’t a sporting masterclass but great to experience all the same. One thing we didn’t expect, as you don’t get it at sports games in the UK, was such a wide selection of food and drinks to be had. We went for fried chicken and chips and it was pretty damn good, when you consider the plastic food you get at a Premier League football game in comparison. I also treated myself to cocktails to sip whilst watching the sunset over the stadium, it almost felt sophisticated.
We spent the next morning and early afternoon watching our football team play on TV in a sports bar, consuming yet more drinks which may have gone straight to my head. This called for an afternoon trip to Aria West Village for hearty but delicious Italian small plates. Loved the black and white décor and the fact we could sit up at the bar whilst we ate, and the food was exceptional to match. We ordered the lobster ravioli, truffle mac ‘n’ cheese and wild boar ragu pappardelle which were all fantastic. Being able to try a bit of a few amazing dishes is one of my favourite things to do. That knocked me out, so it was back to our Airbnb for a quick Siesta before our evening meal (yes, our entire trip revolved around our next meal).
Pig and Khao describes itself as serving Filipino-Thai-accented South Asian fare, and as it was something so different to anything we had tried before we thought we should give it a go. I would definitely recommend booking as it was super busy all evening, and worth a visit for a special date night spot with stylish vibes and a cool clientele (guess that means we’re cool, right?). We had buttered corn on the cob, laksa with crispy noodles and octopus tentacles which were all gorgeous, however, one dish stole the show. The pigs head! Sounds ominous, but we had read it was their best dish and a must try so we took the plunge and thank goodness we did. The crispiest sticky pork was such a treat and I would go back in heartbeat just for that.
On our penultimate day we had an all-you-can-eat buffet at Ginny’s Supper Club filled the best soul food going. Cheesy mac, crispy fried chicken and waffles to name a few of the dishes they were offering. Whilst you feast, a gospel choir sing giving you all the feel-good vibes for a funky, and so different experience!
That evening we went for dim sum in Chinatown, and sadly I can’t remember the name of the place but it was so perfect. Cheap, cheerful and cash only. We shared a load of dumplings, prawn and chive are always my fave and they banged.
We reached our final day in the most fabulous city (crying face), but luckily we managed to sneak in two more food spots before we departed. We’re both big fried chicken fans – as I’m sure you may have guessed, so Sweet Chick was a must-visit before we left. I cheated on the chicken and waffle combo and went for a fried chicken sandwich, which came with shoestring fries, and it was fan-bloody-tastic too. Their fried chicken was pretty epic we both would agree, and the best news, they’ve now opened a London joint so get involved if you’re local!
After a good stroll round Williamsburg to work off some of the food we stumbled across a charming bar with happy hour oysters which enticed me (not Sam, he’s not a fan). Maison Premiere turned out to be the perfect bar for us to see off our final afternoon in New York, as we sat at the bustling bar drinking cocktails in the delightful setting. I had my final dose of NY oysters, followed by a whole crab (why not? It was our last meal in the States so go big or go home) whilst Sam tucked into a beaut looking steak tartare.
And so that concludes our New York feasting diaries. We ate all of the food, going home slightly heavier but much happier. I couldn’t have asked for a better trip, from start to finish we enjoyed everything New York had to offer, but we know there is so much more we didn’t get a chance to try. So there will have to be a next time – and we can’t wait to be back!
I’ve enjoyed reliving our time in NY by writing this blog, and hope you’ve enjoyed it too. I’d love if you could give it a like if you did. Drop any comments below of any other New York recs we should get on our list for next time, and let us know if you try any of the fab places we went to!
Big love, Louisa x