Don't Leave NY Without Eating...
I'm going to be in NY for four days in June and of course I'm going to be planning my visit around the food. I know I can't do anything, and I do plan to be back in the future, but what are the must eats I can't leave NY without trying. I have a general idea, but I would be indebted to anyone willing to fill in the blanks for the following items listed below to help me do some planning.
THE NOT TO BE MISSED LIST
Best Non-Bagel Quick Breakfast:
Best Hot Dog:
Best NY Diner:
Best Food from a Cart:
Hmmm... anything else you'd add go right ahead.
Best Bagel: TAL BAGELS
Best Non-Bagel Quick Breakfast: CLINTON ST. BAKING COMPANY'S BISCUIT SANDWICH
Best Sandwich: KATZ'S PASTRAMI
Best NY Diner: SKYLIGHT DINER
Best Dessert: OTTO'S OLIVE OIL OR MILK CHOCOLATE GELATO, PATE DE FRUITS FROM LA MAISON DU CHOCOLATE
Best Burger: PETER LUGER STEAKHOUSE
Clinton Street Baking Company is not really a quick/to-go breakfast. You could wait 2 hours for a table on the weekend... or you could get the sandwich to go but it falls apart so quickly.
Otto's olive oil gelato is awesome but I think it has enough butter/fat to not be considered gelato any more.
At Shake Shack, the cost depends on which burger you choose. Prices are on the website. At Blue Smoke, the burger with fries is $11.95.
"High end" would be the burger at dbBistro Moderne, owned by 4-star chef Daniel Boulud. The db burger is stuffed with short ribs and foie gras. Cost: $31. It comes with fries.
Pamplona's "hamburguesa" -- composed of beef, pulled pork, and chorizo -- is superb! Served with fries and a small mesclun salad. I think the cost is around $15. It's not listed on the website menu, but it is on the menu in the restaurant.
I agree with the Russ & Daughters for lox. Note that it's take-out only.
Best sandwich? Definitely Katz's pastrami would be my #1 pick. However, Lamazou makes a variety of fancier sandwiches, all of which are first-rate. Take-out only.
Interesting you mention that, kathryn. I agree that the burger is huge. So, the last time my husband and I were at Blue Smoke and ordered the burger, we told our server we intended to share it. Turned out that instead of one large burger, the kitchen prepared two small burgers, each in its own mini-bun. Plus, each plate had a heaping pile of fries. The burgers were prepared as we requested, medium-rare, and were delicious.
My best burger choice is Blue Smoke or Rare Burger. Shake Shack is good for fast food, but it's a thin burger that can't really be cooked to order. I love the custard items at Shake Shack and just had a concrete today (vanilla w/ caramel, peanut butter, and shortbread). I've read that The Lion and Minetta Tavern have good upscale burgers. I tried the one at DB Bistro Moderne, and I didn't like it (overcooked and not so good).
Madison Ave and E 23rd St, New York, NY 10010
DB Bistro Moderne
55 West 44th Street, New York, NY 10036
113 MacDougal St, New York, NY 10012
116 East 27th Street, New York, NY 10016
Rare Bar & Grill
152 W 26th St, New York, NY 10001
Rare Bar & Grill
303 Lexington Ave, New York, NY 10016
Hi, ReelMike--I see you are also from LA. I've visited NY 4 times this past year and still haven't tried everything that I wanted try. Here are a few things that I really love and can't find anything like it in LA:
Best Bagel: Ess-a-Bagel with whitefish or lox smear (LA just don't do bagels right)
Best Sandwich: Katz's Pastrami on Rye with mustard (get both sour and half-sour pickles)
Best Hot Dog: Crif Dogs "Spicy Redneck" (deep fried dog wrapped in bacon, with chili, coleslaw and jalapenos)
You can't really get ONE best dessert because there are so many good desserts. Here are something different but amazing:
Best Rice Pudding: Rice to Riches (chocolate chip is the best, anything with tangy fruits like lemon, raspberry and apple are also great)
Best Dessert Bar: Chickalicious (3-couse dessert tasting)
Best Brownies: Fat Witch in Chelsea Market (Original Witch Babies, Blonde Babies, Red Witch)
Best Green Tea Cupcake: Amai Tea and Bake Shop in the East Village (AMAZING!)
Best Blueberry Cornmeal Pancakes: Alice's Tea Cup (you may consider this as breakfast or dessert)
Best Chocolate: Pierre Marcolini
Best Cookies: Amy's Cookies (I always get them at Dean & Deluca)
Best Millefoglie: Sant Ambroeus (layered puff pastry like a Napoleon with vanilla cream and shaved chocolate)
Best Rugaleh: 2nd Ave Deli
Things worth trying that you didn't mention:
Best Pork Buns: Momofuku Noodle Bar or Ssam Bar (also must try kimchi apple)
Best Smoked Mussels: Zabar's (not in the cafe but in the market side)
Best Izakaya: Sakagura (they also make the best green tea ice cream)
Rags to Riches is incredible rice pudding. I can't understand complaining about the portions being too big. Small is pretty small. I love their flavors, plus the caramel sauce is super (I guess I don't get the "too sugary" idea either, but there is really a range of flavors there).
Rice to Riches
37 Spring St, New York, NY 10012
Best lox: Russ and Daughters
Best Donut: Mark Israel's genius PB&J donut at Donut Plant can't be beaten
Best Slice: Best I've had so far is the square at Artichoke Basil. The sauce is super tasty and the fresh basil is really fragrant.
Best Burger: Have yet to have a great one in NYC. Burger Joint was pretty good.