Okay, so if you know me AT ALL, you know that homegirl LOVES her some food. And it is my belief that food is one of the best ways to experience a new place (the others are art and music), so any time I travel, I eat my way around town.
Since my recent trip to NYC, I’ve had several people ask me for a list of all the places we ate on this trip, so I thought this would be a great place to do a Food Roundup! I’ll take you chronologically through my trip. Bear with me, as a lot of these photos will have Instagram captions and/or tags. At the time, I didn’t know I’d be starting a blog, much less writing a post like this, so I only saved them to my Instagram stories. And then sometimes I just straight up got too hungry to take photos before I dug in, so I’ve included photos from the Facebook or Instagram of those places in lieu of my own. I’ll do better next time. 🙂 I’ve also included links to as many of these places’ Instagrams as possible, in case you want to check them out for yourself.
Okay. So. I have a habit of falling down Instagram rabbit holes of NYC food. It’s just a hobby of mine. So, when I found out about Smorgasburg, I KNEW that #HouseMcAkers had to go. Basically, on weekends in April through October, Brooklyn is home to America’s largest weekly open-air food market. 100 local vendors set up shop in Williamsburg on Saturdays and in Prospect Park on Sundays, and 20,000-30,000 people show up. It’s INSANE. And insanely awesome. First off, Prospect Park is HUGE and GORGEOUS (and always makes me think of my favorite non-White-Christmas Danny Kaye movie, Wonder Man). Of course, we weren’t prepared to walk smack into the middle of it, so we got a little sunburned, but it was 100% worth it. And then, everything looked and smelled so delicious that we had a hard time choosing where to get food and beverages from. But I think we made some good choices.
- John’s Juice: This was our first stop because we wanted something cool, fruity, and fresh. And this did not disappoint. It’s fresh pineapple juice, served in the pineapple from which it was squeezed. Their tag line is “All Juice, No Cups,” so people were walking around carrying all sorts of crazy fruits, like grapefruit, watermelon, and even dragonfruit!
John’s Juice Instagram
- Bolivian Llama Party: Ummm, guys. I’d never had Bolivian food, but now, I am TOTALLY on board! We had their cholita slider trio, and it was sooo delicious. Just insanely good flavors and texture combos.
Bolivian Llama Party Instagram
- Home Frite: I’m having a hard time deciding which play on words this is. Is it “home free?” “Home fries?” “Pomme frite?” Well regardless, these were probably the crispiest fries I have ever had, and yet the insides were so tender. We had the Dutch Fries, which were covered in curry ketchup, lemon garlic aioli, and diced onions.
Home Frite Instagram
- People’s Pops: The guy artisanally hand-shaved my ice! It was quite the spectacle! We got the rhubarb thyme flavor, and it was good, but I tend to like my shaved ice a little more saturated with flavor. What can I say, I’m a snow cone connoisseur.
People’s Pops Instagram
- Manzo at Eataly
Do y’all know about Eataly?? It’s the brainchild of Italian businessman Oscar Farinetti, and the New York locations are owned in partnership with Mario Batali and Lidia and Joe Bastianich. It’s a large space, filled with a food market, a wine shop, caffès, several quick service counters, and a few full service restaurants. I’d eaten there before at La Pizza & La Pasta (where I had incredible spaghetti caccio e pepe), but this was Wes’s first time, and we went to Manzo, which is a butcher-focused restaurant. Oh man, we had some very tasty food: a Calabrian pork terrine, agnolotti pasta filled with pork and beef, and spaghetti with lamb reduction. We also sat at the chef’s counter, so we got watch all the food being prepped. It was dinner AND a show!
Eataly Flatiron Instagram
- Milk And Cream Cereal Bar
This was another Instagram find, and it is a millennial’s daydream. From the mint green entryway to the neon “Treat Yo-self” sign to the wall of televisions playing cartoon intros, this place was designed for Instagram likes. Not to mention that they blend childhood favorite cereals into their ice cream. I had vanilla ice cream blended with Cinnamon Toast Crunch and topped with chocolate chips and chocolate and caramel drizzles. Seriously, if you visit only one Instagram account from this post, this should be the one. So pretty!
Milk And Cream Cereal Bar Instagram
- Hotdog Stand
Nothing fancy here. We slept in a little and needed a quick bite before we headed to the American Museum of Natural History, which was the number one place that Wesley wanted to go. Our hotel was just a couple of blocks from Central Park, so we grabbed a couple of dogs (chili and cheese for me, kraut and mustard for Wes), dropped condiments all over ourselves, and went along our merry way.
- Museum Cafe
I’m not going to lie: this was not a great meal. It was basic cafeteria food, but waaaaay over-priced for what it was. But hey, we had dinosaur-shaped chicken nuggets, so at least it was thematically appropriate.
- Irving Farm Coffee Roasters
It’s tricky to find a coffee place that pleases both me and Wes; I love uniquely-flavored lattes with non-dairy milks (almond or oat, please!) and Wes wants a basic cold brew, usually black. Well, this place impressed us both! And the baristas chatted with us about Wes’s nerdy Star Wars shirt, which was icing on the proverbial cake.
Irving Farm Instagram
- Left Bank
Now THIS was a good meal. As we tend to do at nice restaurants, we chose a few items off the menu and split everything. We had beef tartare; gnocchi with zucchini, fennel, jalapeño, and parmesan; and steak frites. And some SUPERB cocktails. Wes had the Smokey Sunrise (lillet blanc, absinthe, mezcal, and lemon), and I had the Red Sky At Night (rosé, whiskey, spiced liquers, rosemary, and lemon). Both were delicious.
Left Bank Instagram
- Milk Bar
Oooooh, boy. If you’ve watched Master Chef or Chef’s Table, you know who Christina Tosi is. She is an adorable badass who is one of the most famous and hardworking pastry chefs in the country. Well, Milk Bar is her spot, and of course, I had to try her signature dish: Cereal Milk Ice Cream. Yep. That’s exactly what it sounds like. She takes corn flakes, steeps them in milk, and then makes ice cream from the milk. It’s this wonderful, savory, creamy treat, and I added rainbow sprinkles, because Christina is the human embodiment of a rainbow sprinkle and I love her.
Milk Bar Store Instagram
- Neopolitan Express
There’s no shortage of pizza places in NYC, especially in Midtown. I mean, throw a rock and hit a dollar slice joint. Neopolitan Express is a step up from those. It’s place to get a personal sized pizza and and San Pellegrino and be on your way. Minimal seating, get in and get out. But it’s really tasty. I had the prosciutto di parma, and it hit the spot.
Neopolitan Express Instagram
- Cafe Grumpy
More tasty coffee. Wes wasn’t ascrazy about this cold brew, but he still enjoyed it, and I had an insanely good beverage: an iced cardamom rose water latte. Weird and wonderful.
Cafe Grumpy Instagram
- The Meatball Shop
Y’all. Meatballs do not sound fancy. I get it. But this is a menu where you can mix and match until you have a decadent meal that is custom made just for you. Here’s mine: traditional meatballs over spaghetti with alfredo sauce and a fried egg. As my father would say, “It was so good that if you put it on top of your head, your tongue would slap your brains out tryin’ to get to it.”
The Meatball Shop Instagram
A Hell’s Kitchen institution, Schmackary’s is one of New York’s go-to cookie places. Their menu rotates frequently. Between the two of us, we had their S’chmores, Schmackerdoodle, PB Remix, and Sweet Corn flavors, and all of them were really good. The Sweet Corn was the surprise winner for me.
- Burger & Lobster
This place is exactly what it sounds like: You can get a burger. You can get lobster. Or you can get a combination of the two. Wes went for a classic lobster roll, but I went for the combo: a burger called The Beast that had big chunks of lobster on it, and it was legitimately one of the tastiest, most decadent meals I have ever had. Y’all, I love a good burger, and this ranks near the top of the list of burgers I’ve had in my life.
Burger & Lobster Instagram
If my husband purposefully chooses to go back to place he’s been to before, y’all know it’s good, and Valhalla is one of those places. Their munchies are totally decent, but their beer list is extensive and diverse. As their names implies, they have a few Scandinavian beers, and when you love Scandinavian culture and food as much as I do, that’s definitely a treat.
Valhalla Bar Instagram
Oh, how I wish I’d taken more photos at Santina. I think I got too excited by the cocktails. Mine was called Capri Sun, and indeed, it did taste like its namesake, just much more grownup. And then we moved to wine. Santina specializes in coastal Italian cuisine, which means carbs AND seafood, and boy, is that a good combination. Also, the decor is GORGEOUS, with deep, rich colors and whimsical chandeliers. I want my life to look like the inside of this restaurant. As far as food goes, we had lamb meatballs, burrata with pesto rosso, rice with pork jowl and pepper, and grilled branzino with grapefruit giardinia. YUM.
This one was sort of an Instagram discovery. I didn’t discover Delimanjoo specifically, but I did discover taiyaki and had my eyes open for a place to get it in NYC. I’m just going to let my own Instagram photo speak for itself on this one.
- Sweet Churros
Wesley had churros on the brain, so we found a place in Koreatown that served them with toppings and ice cream. Mine had marshmallow cream and fruity pebbles. (I’m sort of just now realizing how many cereal-based desserts we had on this trip…) And the ice cream was sort of similar to Chick-fil-a’s Ice Dream. Not overly sweet. It was so good that I couldn’t stop myself from taking a bite before I snapped a photo. This started out as an arch shape.
Sweet Churros Instagram
So, there you go! I think that’s everything we ate in New York! And I promise we did things other than just eat, but I don’t think it’s unfair to say that food was sort of our main event. Hopefully this little list will inspire you to try something new on your next trip to the Big Apple!