My cousin and I recently took a trip across the pond to NYC. Now, if you read this you’ll know that a LOT of planning went into that trip to make the most of our few days in the big apple. A big part of that planning? Where we were going to eat of course! We did a sh*t load of research before and had a longggggggg list of places to hit up.
I’m going to share with you some of the best places we ate in New York that I would 100% recommend and I think all of them will allow you to experience NYC’s food scene at it’s best. Especially if it’s your first time, it’s easy to get stuck in the tourist traps but these 18 places will take you all over the city, discovering hidden gems and eating some amazing food – not to mention racking up some serious calories but hey, that’s what holiday’s are for right!
Here are 18 Must Eat Places in NYC For A First Timer!
↓ (Yes, it was very cold, haha!) ↓
Katz deli isn’t just somewhere to eat, it’s a whole experience! Established in 1888, they’re best known for their sky scraper pastrami sandwich which I can safely say totally lives up to the hype. The restaurant is just what you’d expect from an old skool New York deli and the walls are completely covered in pictures of very famous people who have eaten there. Of course, you can’t forget it’s the famous location where Sally met Harry. At over $20 it’s a hefty price to pay for ‘just for a sandwich’ but my top tip would be get one between two with a side – plenty for lunch.
205 E Houston St, New York, NY 10002, katzsdelicatessen.com
A trendy industrial brunch spot on the Upper West Side. They are particularly famous for their ‘biscuits’ ; a southern American delicacy either topped with a huge piece of fried chicken, smothered in gravy or spread with maple butter. Their chocolate chip pancakes are hefty enough to feed a family of 30 because they are THAT fat and fluffy. Portions are substantial and they are also open for dinner if you prefer.
509 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY 10024, jacobs.picklehospitality.com
You’ve never eaten a pastry quite like one at Supermoon Bakehouse. Their croissants, donuts and cruffins are like perfect pieces of art and so much so I actually though they were the plastic display versions. Pastry flavours consist of things like banana split sundae, peanut butter jelly time and their strawberries and dream which you can take away or eat in if you can nab a seat. Supermoon were recently crowned best bakery in NYC and I can see why! Pop by for a swift breakfast or a sweet pit stop.
120 Rivington St, New York, NY 10002, USA
Levain Bakeries chocolate chip cookies are regularly called the best cookies in the world. Why? Because they are! Their GIANT (and I mean GIANT) cookies are crisp on the outside, super gooey on the inside and the added addition of walnuts takes this cookie to a new level. Totally worth the hype and the queue! Find them in a few different locations around the city.
167 W 74th St, New York, NY 10023, www.levainbakery.com
5. The Smith
A casual American brasserie that’s a real crowd pleaser. Do not go here without trying their mac and cheese (it’s down as a starter but the portion is MORE than enough for a main) and make sure you get some of their freshly baked cookies to go. A great, easy choice for lunch or dinner!
55 3rd Ave, New York, NY 10003, www.thesmithrestaurant.com
6. Joe’s Pizza
Did you ever see the Spiderman movie starring Toby Maguire? If you did you might remember that Peter Parker has pizza at a place called Joe’s and this is the place from the movie. With queues out the door, you could easily be worried that it’s just all about the hype but it’s really not! Joe’s giant slices of pizza are SO good and at $4 dollars for a mammoth piece of pie it makes for a great, casual and affordable place for lunch or dinner. No officially seating just grab em’ when one becomes available. If you’re London don’t forget to check out my best pizzas in London list.
1435 Broadway, New York, NY 10018, www.joespizzanyc.com
Sunday In Brooklyn is absolutely worth the trip away from central Manhattan and out to the more suburban Williamsburg. Their brunch is super trendy and you feel as though you’re eating where the locals do. Plus, they do the BEST pancakes I’ve ever eaten and I’ve eaten a lot if you look here. These particular ones come stacked in ones, twos or threes and covered in a silky malted hazelnut butter that I can only liken to an addictive food form of drugs. Hop on the subway and head to nearby Brooklyn Bridge for a nice place to walk it off afterwards.
348 Wythe Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11249, sundayinbrooklyn.com
If you find yourself in need of a coffee stop or a light breakfast or lunch, this is your your place. Taking their name from the bustling street in Melbourne, Australia, Little Collins is where the locals stop for their morning caffeine fix and a slice of their PBJ on toast or slice of buttered banana bread on the way to work. Chic, minimalist interior, counter service and limited seating.
667 Lexington Ave, New York, NY 10022, www.littlecollinsnyc.com
If you find yourself in Greenwich Village (which I highly recommend you do) stop by Laughing Man Coffee; a coffee shop owned by the one and only ‘Greatest Showman’ himself Hugh Jackman. Laughing Man is dedicated to supporting coffee farming communities by investing in programs that pave the way for a more successful and healthy future for the farmers and their families. A hipster coffee joint with heart. Mostly take away only but a few seats outside if you’re lucky to grab one.
184 Duane St, New York, NY 10013, laughingmanfoundation.org
10. Magnolia Bakery
Magnolia was made famous when it became a regular haunt for Carrie in Sex & The City to get her cupcake fix. As well as their cupcakes, pies and cookies, their banana pudding is probably their most ordered item. Layers of vanilla wafers are combined with fresh bananas and creamy vanilla pudding for a super indulgent dessert. Expect it to be busy or go early. Wear you best skirt for the ultimate Sex and The City experience.
1000 3rd Ave, New York, NY 10022, www.magnoliabakery.com
Bubby’s do proper American comfort food for when you need that all American breakfast. Everything is made from scratch and the menu included ‘James Beard’ pancakes, cheese ‘grits’ and fresh buttermilk biscuits. Two locations in NYC but I’d recommend the one near the highline – a public park built on a historic freight rail line elevated above the streets of Manhattan. A lovely walk after a hearty breakfast.
73 Gansevoort St, New York, NY 10014, www.bubbys.com
12. Bea’s Bar
Bea’s is a really funky little bar not far from Times Square but thankfully without the tourist crowd. Inside has bare brick walls, atmospheric lighting and substantial list of really creative cocktails. Not one to go to if you want to party hard but more for a classy drink or two and good atmosphere. Can also buy small plates of food if you get hungry.
403 W 43rd St, New York, NY 10036, www.beanyc.com
13. Milk Bar
Milk Bar is the fun, colourful and super sweet dessert bar in various locations across NYC. It’s the creation of Christina Tossi who, in an previous job, was tasked with making a dessert when she came up with her idea of flavouring things with cereal milk. At her shops you’ll find her cereal milk soft serve, cereal milk cookies and her famous crack pie which is named because of how addictive it is! Don’t go out of your way to visit but if you’re in the area I’d recommend.
251 E 13th St, New York, NY 10003, milkbarstore.com
14. Le Rivage
I found Le Rivage through Insider Food who covered their french onion soup burger on one of their videos and just had to go and try it. Le Rivage is a traditional old skool bistro white table cloths and dark mahogany wood if you can picture it. As well as their burger (which is everything I love about french onion soup by the way) you’ll find coq au vin, escargot and boeuf bourguignon. One for a sophisticated dinner.
340 W 46th St, New York, NY 10036, lerivagenyc.com
Urbanspace is a funky indoor food and drink market with array of independent vendors doing all different types of food. You’ll find everything from sushi to doughnuts, juices to pizzas and all can be enjoyed in the central communal area where seating is first come first served. A really fun place to spend a lunch time or a casual dinner with a few drinks for an evening.
East 45th &, Vanderbilt Ave, New York, NY 10169, urbanspacenyc.com
This little Thai restaurant has a big reputation in NYC and there is good reason why. It looks quite unsuspecting from the outside but once you’re in you’ll be surrounded by a buzz of people enjoying some seriously good homemade Thai food cooked in their *tiny* open kitchen. We choose the pad thai, stir fried tofu veggies and spring rolls. All were DELICIOUS! Feels a bit like somewhere you often see in the movies. Somewhere a gang of cool NYC friends would hang out.
766 9th Ave #2, New York, NY 10019, www.purethaicookhouse.com
You can’t go to NYC without getting a bagel, right? Walk into Best Bagel and Coffee and you’ll be greeted by a wall of 14 different flavour bagels you can mix and match with 30 different spreads. Fillings are very generous and you get your monies worth. I went for a cinnamon bagel with cream cheese and raisins. How good does that sound? A good place for an on the go breakfast.
225 W 35th St A, New York, NY 10001, www.bestbagelandcoffee.com
18. The Dead Rabbit
The Dead Rabbit was voted the worlds best bar in 2016 and they have kept up their reputation for some of the best cocktails in NYC. The ground floor is their take on a traditional irish pub with beers and whiskies and the parlour is where the cocktail magic happens. A short walk from the Staten Island Ferry so a good place to end up after a trip to see the Statue of Liberty. Serves food, has irish music and a DJ 3 nights a week.
30 Water St, New York, NY 10004, www.deadrabbitnyc.com
So now you have all the suggestions of where to eat in NYC, don’t forget to use my fool proof method for planning your trip in 4 easy steps just here.
Have a great time and let me know if you visit any. Enjoy!