Apparently, you can eat out every in New York for 52 years without ever eating in the same place twice. From Michelin Star spots to amazing street food, NYC is most definitely the foodie capital of the United States. Unsurprisingly, when it comes to planning a trip there, you can end up with a huge list – Dan and I initially had well over 40 places on ours…! We didn’t quite manage 40 places, but we had a good go at it. We did manage to cram in several amazing places, some we wanted to visit, others were wildcards.
I’ve already told you what to add to your NYC bucket list, but in this blog post, I am sharing the food you HAVE to try when you’re in the Big Apple!
Cereal Milk Soft Serve at Milk Bar
Since watching the Chef’s Table episode, Christina Tosi’s infamous Cereal Milk soft serve was high on the priority list. Tosi started Milk Bar after her incredible baking techniques got her recognised by Chef David Chang, who persuaded her to open up her first store in East Village, across the road from Momofoku. The ice cream is made from cereal soaked milk and topped with cornflakes. It’s sweet, but a little savoury and really creamy. You will definitely want to go back for more!
Find it: Various locations across NYC
Pork buns at Momofuku Ssäm Bar
This wasn’t top of my list, but then I read Charlie’s blog post about where to eat in New York and I knew we had to go and try the pork belly buns at David Chang’s Momofoku. If you don’t want to be disappointed, you must book this spot as it gets very busy. Don’t panic – these buns are always available but never on the menu. We booked lunch for around 2pm and it was nice and quiet. We ordered fried chicken and Ssäm, but the pork buns were definitely the highlight. In fact, they were so good we ordered more. Succulent pork belly is nestled inside soft, sweet bao buns with cured cucumber, accompanied by a pot of siracha sauce. It is literally the perfect dish and it is unsurprising that Chang is the king of Asian fusion.
Find it: East 13th Street, 207 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10003
Dragon Sushi at Japonica
Sushi is also huge in New York, but despite this, we struggled to find a renowned sushi spot. Dan spotted Japonica whilst we were doing some jet lag induced research at 6am on our first morning and we decided to give it a go. It’s situated in Greenwich Village and you can’t book a table, but thankfully, it was a fairly quiet Friday night when we decided to go as it’s a lesser-known spot to tourists.
We were seated in the traditional, petite restaurant and ordered tempura, edamame and a sushi platter. The standout piece was the Dragon Roll, presented in the most beautiful way. It was a tempura eel roll with cucumber, wrapped in avocado and topped with flying fish roe. It had the most incredible texture and rich flavour which was balanced by the creaminess of the avocado. This was Dan’s food highlight of the trip.
Find it: 90 University Pl, New York, NY 10003
Square filled doughnuts at Doughnut Plant
We wanted to go to the USA and eat a doughnut. On our way to Chelsea Market on our last day, we stumbled across Doughnut Plant, a very quirky spot that sold doughnuts and coffee. There were tons of flavours and shapes to choose from but we settled for the square filled doughnuts. I had a classic vanilla iced doughnut filled with blackberry jam and Dan opted for a peanut butter jelly style doughnut topped with peanut butter. Rich, sugary and wonderful. These doughnuts were all kinds of good and the cafe itself was a really nice spot to sit on a Sunday morning with a coffee and watch the world go by.
Find it: 220 W 23rd St, New York, NY 10011 or 379 Grand St, New York, NY 10012
Marinated Pork Tacos at Los Tacos No 1
We spent a few hours at Chelsea Market on our first day and the Adobada (marinated pork) tacos at Los Tacos were one of the first ‘wow’ moments we had. Marinated pork piled into a fresh, corn tortilla and topped with fresh onion, guac and pineapple. It was a dream. These are probably the first proper tacos I’ve ever had and I never want to eat a flour tortilla again! The pork was so succulent with a bit of a kick and the sweet pineapple cut through the richness of the meat. You can visit these guys in Chelsea Market but there’s also a location in Midtown, which is just as good but considerably busier.
Find it: Chelsea Market, 75 9th Ave, New York, NY 10011 or 229 W 43rd St, New York, NY 10036
Lobster Mac n’ Cheese The Lobster Place
We tried this dish on a whim whilst at Chelsea Market and we are super glad we did. I’m still daydreaming about this very lobster mac n’ cheese. For a mere $7, you too can have your life changed. This little pot was so rich and so good. The sauce definitely had some kind of magic ingredient in it like fish sauce and it was so tasty. The lobster was tender and melted in the mouth. The same stand sells fresh whole lobsters from Maine, so if you don’t fancy shelling out $50 on a whole lobster, the mac n’ cheese is more than enough.
Find it: Chelsea Market, 75 9th Ave, New York, NY 10011
Pepperoni Pizza at Juliana’s Pizza
Pizza at Juliana’s was definitely up there with one of the best pizzas I’ve ever eaten. Located in DUMBO in Brooklyn, it was a bit of a trek from our Midtown location, but oh boy, it was so worth it. You must turn up early for this spot as a queue starts to form from around 11:30am. We were seated pretty soon after we arrived by some sheer coincidence and were immediately in awe of the pizzas being served to the other tables. You can get a small or a large pizza, but we went for the large which was 22 inches of pizza goodness and you can go half and half with the toppings. I had pepperoni on my half and Dan had meatballs, but I think the pepperoni was better! The base was light and crispy, topped with tasty tomato sauce and fresh stringy mozzarella. So. Damn. Good. This is definitely THE place to get your pizza fix!
Find it: 19 Old Fulton St, Brooklyn, NY 11201
So there we have it – my top eats in New York City. Of course, there are so many more but it’s just useful to have a starting point! If you missed it, here’s 8 things you need to add to your New York bucket list.
Which dishes tickle your fancy?
Here’s a map of the best eats in NYC. I’ve even plotted every single Milk Bar, so you won’t be far from cereal milk soft serve…
Open Google Maps on your browser, open the tab on the left-hand side and click on ‘My Places‘. You can then create your own map or add to this one.
Now, all the places you want to visit are easily accessible on your phone and you can quickly see what’s around you, wherever you are. You can also add notes to each point on the map.
Enjoy exploring New York City!
Top tip: Mark your accommodation on the map and start plotting what’s nearby. You can also save routes on your map to get directions and see how far away you are.
Other posts you’ll love
- 8 Things to Add to your New York Bucket List
- How to Explore New York: The Ultimate First Time Itinerary
- How to Plan a trip to New York City