Where To Eat In New York:
Are The Hyped Places Worth the Fuss?

8 Oct 2019

Where to eat in New York

When we were sat in a restaurant on the upper west side of Manhattan back in June (admittedly not our usual haunts; our holidays overlapped), my friend Dan and I were comparing our New York food maps. This is why we are friends. Dan rightly pointed out that when you research places to eat in New York, certain recommendations come up time and time again. But are they all worth the hype? Well I worked hard to find out… we all gotta take one for the team right?

Where to eat in New York
Where to eat in New York

Rocky Roadhouse @ Big Gay Ice Cream

What: Chocolate soft serve ice cream with toasted almonds, chocolate morsels & mini marshmallows served in a cone but also with a paper plate. Paper plate is needed!

Dreamy? Duh. It’s outrageous and chocolaty and messy. What’s not to like?

Worth the hype? If you like bonkers chocolate ice cream, then hell yes.

The Meatball Shop

What: A favourite of ours from last time. A chilled out restaurant serving – you guessed it – meatballs. Pick your meatball (there are veggie options), your pasta, your sauce & your side should you want it. The veggie sides are worth getting if you’re particularly hungry (although bear in mind the portions are generous and come with focaccia) – would recommend the chilli broccoli and the garlic & white wine kale.

Dreamy? Yes, it’s a big bowl of carby goodness. They often have outdoor seating and sat on the streets of NYC in the sunshine eating spaghetti is a delight.

Worth the hype? It’s not mind blowing but a firm favourite of mine. I’d be a regular if I lived in NYC.

Pancakes @ Bubby’s 

What: Thick, fluffy pancakes that would make an incredible pillow. Served with your choice of topping; G had blueberries, I had Nutella & strawberries. We loved Bubby’s last time we were in NYC but we went for dinner last time so went back to check out their famous pancakes.

Dreamy? I didn’t love them tbh. By all appearances, perfect pancakes. But I kept having to add syrup because they sucked all the moisture out your mouth.

Worth the hype? Hmmm a bit of a let-down. Perhaps I had the wrong topping. I’ll shout about the peanut butter pie at Bubby’s until the cows come home though.

Where to eat in New York
Where to eat in New York
Where to eat in New York

Milk + Honey bagel @ Black Seed Bagels

What: Bagels of course! Shop in general is highly recommended but the Milk + Honey did seem to be mentioned more than others. Generous helpings of apple, honey & ricotta sandwiched between a freshly toasted bagel.

Dreamy? Yes, yes, yes. I ate 4 of them over the week.

Worth the hype? God yes. Would be right up the top of my list of recommendations.

Dark chocolate chip cookies @ Levian Bakery 

What: Like the best cookies in the world? The dough is clearly that of a cookie recipe but honestly, they look like epic rock cakes. A subtle crunch on the outside and then so soft, so gooey on the inside. Still warm from the oven ready to warm your soul.

Dreamy? Like you wouldn’t believe. I’d fly back to Manhattan just for these cookies.

Worth the hype? YAASSS. I did go back to try the chocolate chip & walnut which was also delicious but there’s a reason the dark chocolate chip cookie gets the most fuss. 10/10.

The Egg Shop 

What: Eggs of course. Bright little café with a simple décor – white boards and hanging plants – and a menu full of eggs.  Popular but sitting at the bar suited us just fine. We both went for the ‘Pepper Boy’: scrambled egg, gruyere, bell pepper, caramelised onion aioli & maple cured bacon in a roll (although you can also have in a bell pepper). Plus truffle hash browns – I know.

Dreamy? Filling. But, yes, I’d go again.

Worth the hype? Wouldn’t lose my shit over it but cute and tasty for sure. Am keen to get my hands on the cookbook because I reckon it’s one you could actually utilise every time you fancied a sexy brunch.

Where to eat in New York
Where to eat in New York
Where to eat in New York
Where to eat in New York

Cereal milk soft serve @ Milk

What: Soft serve ice cream that somehow manages to replicate the exact taste of the milk at the bottom of your cornflakes. Made by the famous Milk Bar bakery. I think it’s important to note that one must get it with the cornflake sprinkles.

Dreamy? Like reverting back to being a five year old. Putting the toppings at the bottom of the tub under the ice cream, as well as on top, is a genius move.

Worth the hype? I’d suggest this could be a bit of a marmite situation. I absolutely loved but Gary was not at all convinced.

Tingly Lamb Noodles @ Very Fresh Noodles, Chelsea Market

What: Tucked away in Chelsea Market – worth a visit in its own right – is the Very Fresh Noodles bar where you can watch the noodles being hand pulled by the chefs; stretched to over a metre long and then slapped down onto the counter. Everyone said to get the Tingly Lamb Noodles so I did.

Dreamy: Wow, so good. The freshness of the noodles was so delicious that I kept stuffing my face long after the heat had become too much – they really do tingle! Watching the chefs make the noodles was a highlight.

Worth the hype? Yes, but be prepared for the tingling.

Cookie Dough @ Do 

What: A whole shop dedicated to edible cookie dough with a load of different flavours. I went for the signature chocolate chip to keep it simple because it was technically my third pudding of the day.

Dreamy? Er, it’s cookie dough. Of course it was dreamy. I have regret about not going back and trying EVERY FLAVOUR.

Worth the hype? If cookie dough is your thing, then absolutely. If it’s not, it’s probably not one of those you-absolutely-must-go-no-matter-what places. Although, what kind of cretin doesn’t like cookie dough? Oh and there’s a cookbook coming out this month. Sadly, they don’t deliver their cookie dough internationally. I checked.

Where to eat in New York
Where to eat in New York
Where to eat in New York


What: The famous food market in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. The largest weekly open-air food market in America, with 100 different local vendors. It’s worth going for the views alone; it’s right on the water and the Manhattan skyline sits before you.

Dreamy? Seriously dreamy. We had mozzarella sticks from Big Mozz and a delightful sandwich from a stall neither of us can remember the name of but it was full of lamb and rocket and dates and tasted uhmazing. And then we had dessert from #Baonanas which was some kind of cakey wafers, bananas, creamy combination and tasted like a lil pot of heaven. Oh and you can buy Smorgasburg-branded re-usable cups to use at all the water points for $3, and the cup makes a cute souvenir.

Worth the hype? 100%. Try and time your visit to NYC with a Saturday during the summer so you can go. You won’t regret.

Square pepperoni pizza slice @ Prince Street Pizza 

What: People queue around the block for a slice of Prince Street Pizza’s square pepperoni pizza pie. We got there before midday and the queue was only just out the door, so we weren’t waiting long. The shop is tiny – and covered in photos of famous visitors – and the staff are blunt; it’s only about the pizza here. Thick crust that treads the line between soft and crunchy perfectly, generous layers of melty cheese and tomato sauce and thick slices of pepperoni slices with a bit of a kick.

Dreamy? Put it this way, I regret not immediately going back and buying a second slice.

Worth the hype? Yes for sure. I’m not sure exactly why it stands out against other slices of pizza, but it just does.

The Dead Rabbit 

What: Voted the best bar in the world 2015 & 2016, The Dead Rabbit is an unassuming-looking pub tucked away in the Financial District. You could easily walk by and not notice it although that wasn’t possible for us as a very tipsy couple stumbled out as we approached and loudly told us what a great place it was. Inside, you’re transported into a completely different world. There’s sawdust on the floor, hundreds of old pictures hanging from the rafters and the best-stocked bar you’ve ever seen.

Dreamy? Most definitely. We pulled up stools, propped ourselves up against the oak bar and then sort of just forgot to leave. Their cocktails are all original and the woman behind the bar was happy to make recommendations, after establishing what kind of flavours I liked. Gary tried a few different beers and we soaked it all up with truffle parmesan fries. The vibe of the place was just spot on, a little bit unique.

Worth the hype? One of the best bars I’ve ever been.

Where to eat in New York
Where to eat in New York
Where to eat in New York
Where to eat in New York
Where to eat in New York
Where to eat in New York

Pastrami sandwich @ Katz Deli

What: The iconic Katz Delicatessen which has been hanging out in the East Village since 1888. Otherwise known as the When-Harry-Met-Sally-diner. Their mile-high sandwiches are legendary, particularly the pastrami and corned beef. The deli is chaotic and crackling with energy. You take your ticket to the counter, order there and then watch them slice the meat and make up your sandwich in front of you. We shared a huge pastrami sandwich layered with mustard and a plate of pickles; these came with the sandwich which was a touch I particularly enjoyed.

Dreamy? I wouldn’t normally go for a pastrami sandwich but I’d have this one again in a heartbeat. It melted in the mouth. It is pricey but the sandwiches are enormous and it is such an iconic setting. The atmosphere and wonder of being in the diner are what makes the experience.

Worth the hype? Absolutely. It’s a New York must!

Jack’s Wife Freda 

What: Direct quote from their website: “If you were going to give the cuisine a long and unwieldy name, it might be South African Israeli Jewish Grandmother Cuisine.” I highly recommend the beetroot dip.

Dreamy? Top food, top vibes. It’s a lovely, lovely restaurant. We went twice on our last visit and saved it for our final meal in NYC this time around. I have no doubt we would go back should we ever return to NYC (which we will because I have an obsession).

Worth the hype? Can’t really imagine anyone not liking this place to be honest.

Crack Pie @ Milk 

What: Now called ‘Milk Bar Pie’, I’m assuming due to political correctness, but supposedly as addictive as crack. Another one from the famous Milk Bar bakery. Gooey, buttery, oaty, flakey… a little bit maple syrupy?

Dreamy: Gary described this as ‘absolutely filthy’; you could practically feel it clogging the arteries. So good.

Worth the hype? Describing it as ‘addictive’ is a bold claim… and yet I find myself fantasising about another slice on a regular basis...

So, in conclusion, yes the hyped places are most definitely worth the fuss. Which I suppose I could have said at the beginning of this post but where would have been the fun in that?

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