For Labour Day weekend, I found a great deal on a flight to New York. I invited my girlfriend and my good friend who was a big foodie. We had one thing in mind there and that was to EAT! I will take show you what we ate in our 2017 New York City food tour!
We started with Katz’s Delicatessen on the Lower East Side which has been serving up pastrami sandwiches for over a century. This popular spot can get pretty crowded so try to beat the rush by hitting the off peak hours. Their pastrami sandwich was absolutely delicious, with the meat being so juicy and flavourful. Just keep in mind that this is a pretty expensive sandwich at $21.45 USD but the portion size is humongous.
This treat from Taiyaki NYC is popular all over instagram. We decided to see if it was worth the hype. At $7 USD per taiyaki, they load up flavoured ice cream onto a taiyaki (Japanese fish shaped cake). It definitely is a treat where you can show off to all your friends in social media. The taste itself is nothing special. Basically, Do it for the gram, not for your taste buds.
I have always been fascinated in the culture of northwestern region of China, where there is a large influence of Turkish and Muslim cultures. The cuisine also reflect this influence as they use a lot of spices such as cumin, and meats such as lamb. My first exposure was eating the Spicy Cumin Lamb Hand-Ripped Noodles in Soup at Xi’an Famous Foods. The noodles were good, the lamb was tender, however the flavour of the soup was just ok. Maybe, I had too high of an expectation for this place. At about $12 USD, I think its a steep price for a bowl of Chinese noodle soup.
For the iconic New York bagels, we headed to Russ & Daughters in the morning. This shop has been serving bagels and lox to locals for over 100 years. I got the bialy sandwich with cream cheese and lox. The lox was mild and melt in your mouth buttery. Along with the flavour of the raw onions, the rich cream cheese and the juicy tomatoes, it made for a glorious breakfast. Just to note, it is a pretty expensive sandwich at around $15 USD depending on what you get.
My friend really wanted to go to HARBS as he saw it in an Eater blog. It is a Western style Japanese cafe, mixing French techniques with Japanese flavours such as red bean and matcha. I tried the Strawberry Mille cake which was super light and airy. The icing was just the right amount of sweetness and complimented well with the fresh strawberries. I also ordered the royal milk tea which was very delicious and creamy. You will have to good money for the service, ambience, and quality of food as each cake is around $8 to $12 USD and a small pot of tea is around $7 to $9 USD.
The quintessential burger of New York, the famous Shake Shack is a definite must if you are in New York. This is easily worth the hype. The patty is juicy, and the buns are so soft. The fries are crispy outside and tender inside. Their frozen custards are rich and creamy. It was so good, that we went twice to Shake Shack on this trip! All this costs around $16 USD. Make sure you go here on off peak hours to avoid the long lines.
We trekked to this area in Brooklyn which seemed like to be in the middle of nowhere for Ichiran, a Japanese restaurant specialized in Tonkotsu Ramen. You can customize your own ramen from the firmness of the noodles to the richness of the broth to the amount of spice and garnish in your soup. The concept is unique as it’s a no talking experience. You’re seated individually with dividers and have minimal interaction with the staff. The ramen has an incredibly strong, rich broth, perfectly cooked noodles, and delicious fatty pork. I also highly recommend the additional side of pork belly as it absolutely melts in your mouth. Be ready to shell out money, as my bill came to $31 USD.
Instead of a traditional New York steakhouse, we decided to go to Ikinari Steak. This is Japan-based standing steak restaurant chain has made its way to New York. At around $30 USD depending on the cut and size, the steak was delicious, tender and juicy! It comes with numerous garnishes and sides that they have such as corn, onions, garlic pepper rice. There is also an array of sauces and dressings to choose from to add to your meat.
This 24-hour East Village mainstay, Veselka has been serving up traditional Ukrainian food since 1954. It has a great ambience and is a great place to hang out and eat. They have different kinds of pierogis, from the usual cheese to other unique fillings such as short rib and buffalo chicken. They also give you an option of boiled or deep fried. The pierogis are pretty good but kinda pricey at $11 USD for 7 pieces.
We also tried
- Morgenstern’s Finest Ice Cream
- Bubble tea from Boba Guys
- Korean Fried Chicken from Bon Chon chicken
- Takoyaki from Otafuku x Medetai
- Clam Chowder from Cull and Pistol
- Shisha at Cloister Cafe
- Mandoos from Mandoo Bar
- An enormous soup dumpling from the Drunken Dumpling
- Cheesecake tarts from Eileen’s Special Cheesecake
- 375° Thrice Cooked Fries
And things we did in between eating:
- Walk the High Line
- Visit the Whitney Museum of American Art
- Biked around Central Park
- Explored DUMBO area
- Thrift shopping in Brooklyn
Bonus vlog footage:
The Sum of our New York Trip
The three day trip cost each person $ 862.25 CAD. As you can see below, we did not hold back spending on food, as food made up the largest chunk of the whole trip’s budget. What was nice for a group of three is that we were able to share the food that we bought and split the cost of the AirBnB. New York is an expensive city to visit, but its an amazing place to visit regardless!
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