17 Places to eat in New York City

It has always been my dream to go NYC one day. Cue* Empire State of Mind song! Well, it has been a good experience and some stuff has been really overrated – I may have watched too much Gossip Girl last time and have some expectations on certain places.
Here’s the list of places we have been in NYC.
– Statue of Liberty
– Central Park
– Broadway Musicals
– Rockefeller Centre
– Top of the Rock
– Empire State Building
– Times Square
– Brooklyn Bridge
– Metropolitan Museum of Art
– Grand Central Terminal
– Cafes

We even did a super cool thing – having an open door helicopter ride via Flynyon. SGD 350 for a 15 mins ride! Craziest thing we had ever done but it was an experience to last a lifetime. We stayed at a hotel near Times Square and I would not recommend this hotel (Amsterdam Court Hotel) at all as they overcharged me another night without my consent. Seriously I do not wish to dwell on this but I’m glad I have evidence to prove we have already checked out and caught our return flight. And finally settled the dispute and gotten my refund.

When we first reached there, the warm temperature was a great respite from the cold ones we experienced in Niagara and Washington DC. We thought we can ditch our outerwear for our #OOTD. LOL. But after one day, it just dipped all the way down to single digit and it even rained. Our outerwear was not enough and had to replenish with more inner wear long john from Uniqlo and a shawl to keep our necks warm. Well, my first impression of Times Square was not fantastic and it was just swarmed with tourists. Bustling with neon lights and random street artistes. It can be rowdy at times but it is indeed a good location for those musical-goers. If I were to return next time, I would probably stay at area near Prince Street or Brome Street with abundance of cafes and food choices.

This blog entry would focus mainly on food and the cafes/places that we have been to,

1. Cha Cha Matcha

We chanced upon this Cha Cha Matcha cafe and we fell in love with the theme and the look and feel of it. They served matcha and tumeric latte, with soft serve for ice cream lovers.

2. Dominique Ansel Bakery
Another mandatory place we visited was Dominique Ansel Bakery, in which we didn’t get to try their cronut as it was sold out in the afternoon. So we tried their Ice Cream Coffee Shot. It was so crowded but after nightfall arrived, the crowd subsided fast.
3. Jack’s Wife Freda
Another hippie, SOHO cafe named Jack’s Wife Freda at Lafayette Street. Their green shakshuka (baked eggs in a spiced sauce) is da bomb. It is reasonably priced and their small space offers a cozy feel with their communal table.

4. The Smith Restaurant

The Smith is a casual American Brasserie with a contemporary feel to it. I would recommend to drop by this plce for brunch affair and try its sicilian eggs or avocado toast. At night, it turned into more of a bar dining place. They are pretty generous in terms of food portion and be sure you can get yourself fueled for the day.

5. Magnolia Bakery

I reckon this is the most missed food amongst all. Their banana milk pudding is done just nice – not too ‘jelat’ and it’s flavorful with chunks of fresh bananas in it. We regretted not getting the bigger tub as we licked this clean within few minutes. Yes, it was that good.

6. 230 Fifth Rooftop Bar
Their winter igloos were the first thing that attracted me when I saw posts on IG. I was so fascinated by it that it was the first thing on my visit list. Termed the best heated rooftop bar, it promises good view as is located in the heart of the NYC just a few blocks from the Empire state building. Surrounded by skyscrapers, 230 Fifth Rooftop Bar is the largest open air garden rooftop bar in New York. The stylish indoor area is worth a visit alone, but it’s the vast roof terrace that attracts the crowds. We ordered the normal fries for sharing but I would say it’s the ambience and experience that counts here. We came back the day after for brunch but it was totally deserted. And we were not into the buffet-styled breakfast so we gave it a miss.
7. Eataly – Lavazza and Baita
Eataly Flatiron is a huge place that has different sections of dining concepts. Eataly Flatiron is a vibrant Italian marketplace that features an array of cafes, counters, restaurants, and a cooking school. Eat, shop, and learn. We went to Lavazza section for a cuppa of latte and croissant for breakfast.
Thereafter, one of the days we went back for dinner at their spaghetti section and there was bustling crowd. One of the best pasta I had ever eaten!

We then went on to their rooftop place Baita to chill the night away. BAITA has reopened as NYC Eataly’s winter pop-up restaurant on the roof at La Birreria.

8. Pietro Nolita

Now this place Pietro Nolita, I would only recommend you to go take some IG-worthy photos but not the food. I ordered truffle spaghetti or something but it tasted so awful that I only managed a few bites. We were the only customers there during the day and the owner was interviewing a chef. Indeed, they needed a decent chef to save their food. But other than that, still a worthwhile place to drop by perhaps during night time for drinks?

9. The Butcher’s Daughter

Another hipster cafe packed with brunch-goers in Nolita neighbourhood. It is situated just diagonally opposite The Egg Shop and the 2 cafes had their own fair share of supporters. Contrary to its name, the Butcher’s Daughter is a plant-based restaurant that sells vegetarian/vegan food.

10. The Egg Shop

No prizes guessing what they serve in this cafe… eggs it is! They serve breakfast during dinner time as well. We were super full from brunch at Butcher’s Daughter so we could only handled latte.

11.  Gregory’s Coffee

Besides serving good smooth coffee, I would totally recommend to try their Nordic Whole Wheat Toast (Almond Butter with chia seeds and fresh strawberries) Their coffee is not too acidic with good selection of pastries. Coupled with relaxing vibes and friendly baristas, it is not hard to see why there’s a good steady stream of crowd during the breakfast hour.

12. Bibble and Sip

Another bakery and coffeehouse in the Times Square neighbourhood, they positioned themselves as serving the finest gourmet coffee and pastries. Love their alpaca themed concept which is so adorable.

13. Shake Shack

Well, I think this place needs no introduction. This East Coast burger chain seems to be packed with people all day long. I’m so drawn to their crinkle-cut fries and as I’m typing this, I’m salivating. The fries are warm and crispy and damn the soft potatoes! I’m not a fast food person and I don’t eat Macs or Burger King in SG most of the time. Every bite into their Shroom Burger was just RIGHT. We had this meal twice during our trip and we just craved for it badly. Now someone please bring me back to Shake Shack.

14. Dim Sum Palace

Times Square area actually offers a wide variety of food and we were pleasantly surprised to google some Asian food. We still miss Asian food somehow and we decided we had enough of Avotoast. Asian food here also serves large portion. Their dumpling is huge with generous portion of soup fillings. Suddenly it felt as if we were in HK but not US with those dim sum displayed in front of us. This place is conveniently located near those broadway musicals.

15. Little Steamed Buns and Ramen

It was raining again the day after and we craved for warm food. We found ourselves searching for Asian food and we had dumpling again! She said if I asked her to eat dumpling for three days in a row, she’s gonna throw dumpling at me. LOL.

16. Luke Lobster

This casual seafood shack offers succulent lobster meat tucked in
Each roll is nicely buttered, filled with mayo and stuffed with seafood; sprinkled with their secret seasoning powder. Conclusion? Quality maine lobster roll at its best!

17. Little Cupcake Bakeshop

I probably looked retarded trying to get this epic shot in front of their neon signage. Another gem in Nolita neighbourhood, we chanced upon this place and decided we need to try their cupcake no matter how full we were. They have great array of cupcakes and cakes, with gluten free ones.

So that’s a wrap on some of the key highlights of my dining experiences and where to eat in NYC. An average meal at restaurant would be around USD 25 and most of the places would indicate suggested tips starting from 18%! Yes not just 15% already.

Missing NYC already.