New York, New York- the city so nice they named it twice. I’ve been lucky enough to visit New York five times in as many years and I fall in love with it more and more each time. There are a million reasons to love New York but it can drain your bank account pretty fast. Unfortunately, no matter how tight our budget, we all have to eat; so without further ado here is a list of all my favourite places to eat in New York, without breaking the bank:
WHERE TO EAT IN NEW YORK CITY!
I’ve visited New York five times in as many years and theirs one place I visit EVERY TIME without fail. This magical place is Serendipity III. Made famous for many reasons: it was featured in the film ‘Serendipity’ (which is one of my all time favourite movies), before Andy Warhol was famous he would frequent the cafe and pay his chits in paintings and their famous ‘Frozen Hot Chocolate’ was named in Oprahs ‘favourite things’ list.
If you have a sweet tooth, like I do, than I firmly believe that you haven’t lived if you haven’t had a Serendipity Frozen Hot Chocolate. It’s unlike anything else in the world and it’s possibly my favourite treat of all time.
You could also enjoy a delicious lunch from their varied menu or a rich cake (I recommend the Chocolate Blackout Cake or their Creme De La Creme Cream Cheesecake), but be sure to have a buddy to share with, the portions are HUGE! I struggled to share half a cake with my boyfriend, and we know how to eat! They also have a Guinness World Record Golden Opulence Sundae, but you have to book that 48 hours in advance and it costs a whopping $1000!
It gets super busy and I’ve never gotten a table straight away so keep that in mind when planning your day. Luckily their is lots to see and do close by whilst you wait, including my boyfriends favourite: Dylan’s Candy Store!
The Halal Guys have gained a big following in the last few years and for good reason. Rated as the 46th best place to eat in New York out of 12,151 restaurants on Trip Advisor you could expect this place to be a fancy and pricey restaurant somewhere downtown, but instead these delicious and affordable Middle Eastern meals can be found on 53rd and 6th from a street cart.
You’ll know when you have found the authentic and original Halal Guys when you see the constant and huge queues formed on the street beside the cart. The locals are quick to convince curious and hesitant bystanders that the food is ‘worth the wait.’
It sounds and looks simple enough- an aluminum bowl of rice, meat and lettuce called a ‘Gyro’ but the flavours explode in your mouth (even more so if you try even a pea size amount of chilli sauce- if you struggle with spice in the slightest don’t say I didn’t warn you). It was the best $7 I’ve spent on a meal, ever. But don’t let me convince you, try it yourself!
One of our friends recently returned from a trip to New York and was begging us to visit a bakery on the Upper West Side called Levain Bakery, where he claimed sold the best cookies in the world. We almost didn’t visit, purely because it was out of the way of our sightseeing route, but boy were we glad we went.
I can confirm that they truly were the best, most delicious, melt in your mouth cookies I have ever (and most likely will ever) had. The cookies are a bit expensive (you know, for a cookie) at $4 each, but the line of forty plus people outside the small bakery door doesn’t lie. To be fair they are very large cookies (the size of a scone) and weigh way more than you’d think possible.
We tried the chocolate and macadamia, chocolate and peanut butter and the double chocolate cookies and all three were as amazing as each other. They come straight out of the oven and melted right in our mouths!
A few days later Taylor Swift put up a photo on Instagram of these exact cookies with the caption ‘these cookies turned my whole day around,’ and I’d have to agree with her.
My only piece of advice? Get more than one!!
FLAT IRON GREEN CAFE
I’m yet to find the ‘best’ bagels in NYC (though if you think you’ve found it let me know in the comments below so we can all check it out), but I did really enjoy my cream cheese bagel at the Flat Iron Green Cafe, right next to the flat Iron building (who would have guessed it!). The food cart has tables and chairs set up overlooking the Empire State Building and the New York Skyline, making it the perfect place to sit in the sunshine and enjoy your morning bagel and coffee. It also supplies free wifi and an assortment of clean, organic, healthy juices and meals for those of us who enjoy quinoa and the likes. Bonus? Everything on the menu is under $10. YUM!!
WHOLE FOODS MARKET
If you want to eat fresh, healthy meals on the go than you really can’t go wrong with stopping by your nearest ‘Whole Foods Market.’ Their Deli has the largest variety of salads, vegetables, pre-cooked meals, pastries, breads… and pretty much anything you can think of. With most of these options you pay per pound (2 pounds per kilo), and it adds up real quick, so be careful when spooning all that deliciousness in your bowl/container. Theirs nothing worse than standing in a long line to find that your meal is going to cost you an arm and a leg… and you can’t put it back!
A few years back when I was in NYC with my best friend, we pretty much lived off Whole Food, especially the one in Columbus Circle, where we would walk across the road and enjoy it in the sunshine of Central Park. Too good!!
Of course theirs thousands of restaurants, cafes and eateries in NYC and I’ve only tried a handful of them. If you have any other recommendations for my next visit, please leave them in the comments below for us all to enjoy!!