Foodies, this one’s for you. New York is a melting pot – and the list of restaurants, bars, and casual diners is equally long and diverse. Especially when you’re on a tight sightseeing schedule, the many choices can be overwhelming. But worry no more! I have compiled a selection of my favorite joints for grabbing a quick bite (or a drink) in the Big Apple.
Bagel in Midtown ($)
📍Brooklyn Bagel & Coffee Company | 286 8th Ave | Chelsea
When in New York, there’s no way aROUND them – bagels are a must-eat when in the big city. Some people claim that New York’s water makes the dough particularly soft and tasty. You don’t have to believe in myths – let your taste buds decide. For me, no trip to NYC is complete without a stop at the midtown location of the Brooklyn Bagel & Coffee Company. No matter if you crave a classic salmon & cream cheese bagel, fresh dough loaded with bacon, eggs, and avocado, or something on the sweeter side (blueberry cream cheese!), you’ll find it here.
Brunch in West Village ($$$)
📍Philip Marie | 569 Hudson St | West Village
Yes, your bill might add up to 40 $ per person for a set menu but do keep in mind that most places let you sip on bottomless Mimosas and Bloody Mary’s during your brunch session. In the end, paying won’t be too painful. West Village is an excellent place for starting the weekend just right. Philip Marie offers daily brunch until 4 pm, fixing you up with classic entrees and unlimited bubbly juice. The outside seating is particularly convenient for people watching.
Soul Food in Williamsburg ($$)
📍Pies ‘n’ Thighs | 166 S 4th St | Williamsburg
You don’t have to travel far to enjoy some quality Southern soul food. Okay, you have to go slightly south, but a few stops on the Brooklyn-bound L-Train will do the trick. Once you crossed the East River, head over to Pies ‘n’ Thighs. The name says it all. Treat yourself to a loaded plate of fried chicken, Mac ‘n’ Cheese, or a grilled cheese. Those accompanying biscuits will literally melt in your mouth. Combine your visit with a stroll through trendy Williamsburg. Browsing a few thrift shops will help to fight the food coma.
Smorgasburg in Brooklyn ($$)
📍Smorgasburg | 90 Kent Avenue | Brooklyn
Every weekend, herds of hungry foodies roam the famous Smorgasburg Market, always looking for that new and exciting dish. In the meantime, you get to munch on street food classics – how do we feel about a delicious Philly Cheese Steak Sandwich? Regardless of your selection (fried noodles loaded with lobster, anyone?), that snack in your hand will taste even better when enjoying the stunning Manhattan views. During the summer months (from April), the market’s location alternates between East River State Park (Saturdays) and Prospect Park (Sundays). In winter, head over to Brooklyn Flea for the Smorgasburg Winter Market. The only thing you need to bring – besides a good appetite – is CASH!
Club Sandwich in Upper East Side ($$)
📍Lexington Candy Shop | 1226 Lexington Ave | Upper East Side
No matter if the hangry kicks in during your tour through the posh Upper East Side or if you’re simply looking for a place to recharge after roaming the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Lexington Candy Shop has got you covered. This historic luncheonette has been around since 1925 – and luckily the family-run business has preserved most of its traditional charm. Though I can personally only vouch for their hefty club sandwiches, those pancakes and pies looked equally mouth-watering. Top it off with a rich chocolate malted shake and you’re good to go.
Rooftop Bar in Midtown ($$)
📍230 Fifth | 230 5th Ave | Midtown
Given the abundance of rooftop bars spread across Manhattan – why this one? At 230 Fifth, you get to (literally) raise your glass to the massive Empire State Building, sitting right in front of you. In winter, transparent bubble tents will shield you from the cold, while not taking away that view. Take advantage of the daily happy hour, happening weekdays from 4-7 pm. Does this sound too uncultured? Once back on street level, marveling at the historic Flatiron Building will make up for those boozy views.
Ramen in the Financial District ($)
📍Kuu Ramen | 20 John St | Financial District
There’s more to the Financial District than the omnipresent delis, which help to fuel the banker crowd. Here, nestled between towering skyscrapers and narrow streets, Kuu Ramen is a great hideout for a quick bite (or should I say, slurp?) and offers no-frills yet authentic soups. Sitting at the counter with a bowl of ramen in front of you might just have you mistake your current location for Hong Kong or Tokyo.