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Thursday, October 27, 2005

New York on a Fork

That's right. Yours truly is heading for the Big Apple.

I fly into JFK in early December and depart a month later.

Here's where you come in.

Let me know your tips or favourite haunts in New York. I'm looking for cheap eats, pretzel stands, best bagels, pastry paradises, green markets, delicious delicatessens, gourmet grocers etc etc.

The more it epitomises New York the more I want it. But I also want the local secrets too.

So leave a comment with your NY expertise and include some vague directions/streets/subway references so I have something to work with. There'll be sidetrips too. Maybe Vegas? Santa Fe? And of course the usual tourist trail of museums, Broadway shows, Coney Island and a Seinfeld tour as well.

Go crazy. I'll try and cram in as much as I can (into my itinerary and my stomach).

Thanks guys!

ps. I also have this crazy fascination with Jewish food too.
30 comments - Add some comment love

posted by Anonymous on 10/27/2005 08:44:00 pm


  • At 10/27/2005 9:47 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Lucky you!

    No tips from me having never been there :(

    Obviously the usual hot dog from a stand, matzo ball soup, pizza from a Brookyln joint, cocktail somewhere unaffordable. All those things I learnt about from sitcom TV!

  • At 10/27/2005 9:48 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    oh oh, PLEASE eat some matzo ball chicken soup for me.
    and a pastrami/corned beef sandwich.
    and a bagel with lox and cream cheese.
    and some pretzels!

    (from juji, the closest jew-o-phile.)

  • At 10/27/2005 11:22 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hi AG,

    Sorry, haven't been there. The closest I have been was Washington D.C. I didn't get right into the food but did enjoy a few of their micro-breweries!

    Have a great time. I'll look forward to reading all about it and seeing the pics.

    Best wishes,

  • At 10/28/2005 1:10 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    New York in December..?? wow..!! christmas shopping..!!
    I will look into my journal for places for you to eat.. or rather places that i've been and liked.. :)

  • At 10/28/2005 3:03 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…


    hip french bistro called Pastis is set in the meat packing district

    Carnegie Deli, a jewish sandwich deli, somewhere along Central Park

  • At 10/28/2005 4:07 am, Blogger Chick Pea said…

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  • At 10/28/2005 4:10 am, Blogger futurepest said…

    Do not attempt any pizza other than John's. It is the ultimate NY pizza experience. Also, Ben's deli in Bayside)for the pastrami on rye & a knish (dee-lish!). They also have killer pickles & saurkraut. I forget where they are located (I think John's is in Brooklyn). Have a stroll through Flushing & pop into one of the jewish bakeries for a black & white cookie.

    I'm not a native, but my boyfriend is & those are the places he took me when we went in 2003.

    Have a great time!

  • At 10/28/2005 5:21 am, Blogger Chick Pea said…

    These are some of the places I like……hope this helps!

    2nd Ave Deli http://www.2ndavedeli.com/home.html
    Famous deli located in the East Village.
    Monstrous sandwiches, try their pastrami on rye…guaranteed to put you to sleep if you manage to finish it all!
    Price: Inexpensive

    Café Mogador
    East Village
    St Marks Pl (8th Street), between 1st Ave & Ave A
    Delicious Moroccan food. Try their lamb tagine with charmoulla sauce. I order it every time I go there.
    Price: Inexpensive

    Momofuku Noodle Bar http://www.eatmomofuku.com
    East Village
    The Berkshire pork buns are to die for, and the Momofuku ramen is delicious.
    Price: Inexpensive

    Casa Mono
    Irving Place at 17th St
    Yummy Spanish tapas. I went there a few weeks ago and plan to go again soon! http://nycarm.blogspot.com/2005/08/date-night.html
    Price: Moderate

    Mexicana Mama
    West Village – Hudson at 10th St
    My favourite Mexican place. Put your name down and head over to the White Horse Tavern for a drink while you wait. The salsas are good and spicy and we normally order the specials on the blackboard.
    Price: Inexpensive

    The Spotted Pig http://www.thespottedpig.com
    West Village
    Great pub fare.
    Price: Inexpensive

    John’s Pizzeria http://www.johnsofbleekerstreet.com
    West Village
    Best pizza in the city!
    Price: Inexpensive

    Pearl Oyster Bar http://www.pearloysterbar.com
    Greenwich Village
    Try the fried oysters and the yummy lobster rolls.
    Price: Moderate

    Pastis http://www.pastisny.com
    Meatpacking District
    Never eaten there, but great spot to people watch. They filmed an episode of Sex & the City there, so you get the idea ;)

    ’inoteca http://www.inotecanyc.com
    Lower East Side
    I can’t stop harping on about the truffled egg toast. Good Italian spot for dinner or brunch. The smaller, original ‘ino is located in the West Village
    Price: Moderate

    Azul Bistro http://www.azulnyc.com
    Lower East Side
    Great place to go to share sizzling platters of Argentinean steaks.
    Price: Moderate

    Russ & Daughters http://www.russanddaughters.com
    Lower East Side
    Great Jewish food store selling smoked fish, cheeses and pastries.

    Nobu www.myriadrestaurantgroup.com
    Famous restaurant part owned by Robert De Niro. Amazing food, the black cod with miso is delicious.
    Price: Expensive

    Kum Gang San
    W32nd St at Broadway (Garment District)
    Killer Korean BBQ, the place is huge…complete with indoor waterfall. Bonus is it’s open 24 hours :)
    Price: Moderate

    Gramercy Tavern http://www.gramercytavern.com
    The more informal tavern at the front of the restaurant doesn’t take reservations. Best New American hands down. I normally eat at the bar so I can people watch too :)
    Price: Expensive

    You won’t need to make reservations for these restaurants, except Nobu. If you do need to make reservations, check out http://www.opentable.com, where you can make reservations online and read reviews too.

    Of course there’s Chinatown to explore too – 5 dumplings for $1, and that’s just the beginning….yum!

    These are all in Manhattan, and there are a zillion great places in Brooklyn and Queens too. But I’ll save that for another post :)

    Enjoy your trip!

  • At 10/28/2005 5:23 am, Blogger futurepest said…

    Sorry, yeah, John's is on Bleaker Street in Greenwich Village.

  • At 10/28/2005 5:59 am, Blogger deborah said…

    waaahhh! its come around so quickly!

    i will put a little list together for you from my time in NY last year. and you do know if i happen to come across a $ windfall between now and december (whenever!!), ill be joining you for an eating adventure!

    looking forward to the pics and the stories of your ny sojourn :)

  • At 10/28/2005 8:52 am, Blogger Kelly said…

    Oh AG! I'm soooo jealous! New York is my number one "want to visit" place! I even used to read NY travel guidebooks when I was supposed to be studying :)

    I'm sure you'll have an absolutely fantastic time!

  • At 10/28/2005 1:04 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Lucky you AG. Check out Monas blog at
    http://monasapple.blogspot.com/ - and have a great time.

  • At 10/28/2005 5:38 pm, Blogger Rachel said…

    Hi AG !

    Lucky you!! how long are you there for? Are you visiting any other cities? My other half and I were just there in July!! Our recommendation for an all american place is Heartland Brewery there are a few branches but the one we went to was in the empire state building, corner of fifth Ave and 34th St. If you like beer, the voyage of beers is cool and I had the tasting platter (HEartland pupu platter :)www.heartlandbrwery.com

    I have heard that Madison Bistrot 238 MAdison Ave between 37th and 38th street serves v good french food andit features a prix-fixe dinner menu for $29 USD

    Also wanted to go to Queen of Sheba 650 tenth Ave btw 45th and 46th sts which serves authentic Ethiopian food where you have to eat with your fingers!

    You lucky girl!! Hope you have a great time. I stayed 5 days and it sure wasn't enough. Dining out is expensive though but if you work it out its about the same as sydney. (just hard on the budget when travelling) Hot dogs are really cheap at papaya dogs though ! and lots of condiments. MAke sure if there is a musical you want to see, book online before hand coz we really wanted to see spamalot by monty python but it was all sold out. if you dont care what you see , half tix at times square has half price tickets for on the day, but theres a 2 hour queue.

  • At 10/28/2005 5:41 pm, Blogger Rachel said…

    P/S Vegas is a MUST GO!!!! we went for 3 weeks and went to vancouver, vegas, ny, new mexico and the grand canyon ... too much crammed but we loved it !! you can book domestic prices online at www.united.com.au In july, it was the only site that allowed offshore domestic purchases within the US otherwise check if southwest will allow you to book.

    aahhhh I am so excited for you!!! I loved it there :D if you have any Qs just ask me!

  • At 10/29/2005 1:13 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hi Augustus,
    Love your blog, it has the best food photos I've seen in most of the food blogs that I read and your writing is superb. I love NY and one of the best places for "Jewish" food is the good old fashioned deli. Try http://www.carnegiedeli.com/
    My sister and I came across this one by accident in '93 and loved the Reuben sandwich which was about 10 inches high, the chicken and matzo ball soup, the famous egg cream (which has no egg and no cream - it's sort of like a chocolate milkshake) and I regret that I didn't have room to try their cheesecake. Do try and let us know what we missed out on! Have a great trip,

  • At 10/29/2005 9:08 pm, Blogger Reid said…

    Hi AG,

    Please visit Barney Greengrass on the Upper West Side. The smoked whitefish sandwiches are delicious. For NY style bagels, visit H&H Bagel on Broadway in the 70s somewhere (I forgot the cross street). On the corner of 23rd and 9th Avenue, there is a diner there that's really good (can't remember the name). I used to eat breakfast there every Sunday morning.

    I have more recommendations. I'll try to send you an e-mail OK? =) You're so lucky!

  • At 10/29/2005 10:17 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Wow! I can't believe the responses this post generated! I knew foodbloggers were great peoples but you guys truly rock!

    To answer you individually...

    Hi Sue - Oh I intend to do all of those! And yes, of course I'll be catalogueing every mouthful.

    Hi Juji - Definitely! I find matzo's quite fascinating! And yes to the pastrami, bagel with lox and pretzels too!

    Hi Kirsten - New York has always been right up there as a 'city I know I will love'. Tokyo was on it too (and true).

    I have heard of these Reuban sandwich varinats. They sound so substantial, but hey anything for research.

    Thanks for all your tips. And yep, I'm bringing all the thermals with me!

    Hi Markmcg - DC has been recommended to me as a great place to visit, but personally I prefer edible points of interest =)

    Never fear, my camera will always been at my open mouth's side!

    Hi Mama BoK - Yes Xmas should be great. I'm really looking forward to NYE in Times Square though!

    Hi Joanne - Thanks for the tips. I've heard of Carnegie. I'm definitely heading there!

    Hi futurepest - Ok, John's pizza it is. And yes, black and white cookies. I intend to eat every food item featured in Seinfeld!

    Thanks for all your tips. Knish are also a must-eat for me!

    Hi Chick Pea - Wow! Thanks so much! I already had 2nd Ave bookmarked. I've been doing some research already!

    Can't believe all the effort you went to. Thanks again. You're a legend! =)

    Hi Saffron - Can you imagine the eating havoc we could create in NY? =)

    Hi Kelly - I've actually been to NY when I was about 8, but this time around will be a completely different eat-fest!

    And yes, I'll be sure to keep everyone posted on my eating adventures.

    Hi Barbara - Thanks for the link. I'll be sure to check out some of her recommendations.

    Hi Rachel - It looks like I'm winging this trip. All I have booked is my return flight to NY so I'll just have to see how things pan out.

    Thanks for all your tips. I was planning on seeing a musical, and yes, hopefully we'll get to Vegas. Argh. So much to do. So much to eat! =)

    Hi Moya - Aww thanks. That's so nice of you to say. There are so many great foodblogs out there that I'm touched you think so!

    I'm definitely heading to Carnegie. The Reuben there sounds crazy but good. Egg cream sounds weird but I'll give it a go, and yup, chicken and matzo ball soup and cheesecake will be in the line-up too!

    Thanks again for all your tips!

    Hi Reid - Smoked whitefish? Sounds unusual but delicious.

    And you have more suggestions? Wow, you are spoiling me!

    I'll be sure to look up all these spots and I'll keep an eye out for that email. If only Hawaii were just a little closer!

  • At 10/29/2005 10:44 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hi, just some suggestions and agreement with the great comments so far. Egg creams are delicious; try GEM SPA in the East Village (chocolate flavoured egg cream). East Village is great for Jewish/Russian food; try walking down First Avenue. Chinatown is good, not as good as Sydney IMO but getting there. The Bowery has a number of good cheap Chinese restaurants in the style of Noodle King, Noodle restaurant, cheap dumpling joints. SPanish Harlem = mexican food to die for. Sucelt on 14th around 7th has fantastic cuban & Sth American. EVERYTHING I've mentioned is cheap, neighbourhood food more reminiscent of Ashfield/Campsie/Lakemba than "gourmet" $$$ places. If you want one of those I'd try to book "Per Se." Haven't been there yet (am going next year) but it sound marvellous, great degustation menu.

  • At 10/30/2005 12:30 am, Blogger Rachel said…

    Oh I forgot, if your a TV and movie buff, the TV and movie tour organised by Zerve is quite good. They also have walking food tours around the greenwich village area. I wish I had more time!! but that tour is highly recommended and always sold out. If your interested, I can dig up the website for you. Jewish food was interesting. I made a point to go to a diner to try it. but i think whrere i had it, the k'nish was a bit dry.

  • At 10/30/2005 1:33 pm, Blogger Cathy said…

    Hi AG - looks like you've got all sorts of great food suggestions. I love NYC, but am drawing a blank trying to think of my absolute favorites. One suggestion if you're visiting the lower east side for Jewish food and history, you should pay a visit to the Lower East Side Tenement Museum. I went years ago and just loved it. I think the tours are organized a little differently than they used to be, but I'm sure they're still very well done. Have a wonderful time!!

  • At 10/30/2005 3:40 pm, Blogger Robyn said…

    For pizza, I heard that DiFara's is the best. Some choosy pizza eaters told me that, so I'd trust em. I'm saving my first NYC pizza eating experience for that, haha. Sooomeday...

    For a really good food experience, I want to try Babbo. No idea WHEN this will happen, but ...sooomeday.

    There are so many great chocolate places in NYC; do NOT get Godiva! Not in NYC at least. Don't eat stuff that's easy to get in other parts of the world, hehe. I could tell you all about chocolate, heehee.

  • At 10/31/2005 11:06 am, Blogger Jessica "Su Good Sweets" said…

    Hey there, the "Eating the Big Apple" posts on my blog list my favorite places. Also, here's some more spots:

    Zen (St. Mark's Pl. between 2nd and 3rd Ave.)-best overall deal for sushi. It's half off if you order $16 or more. The rice is creamy and the fish is good.

    Two Boots Pizza (Grand Central Station, Bleecker St. and Broadway)-Not necessarily a true New York pizza because there's loads of toppings, but it's an excellent crispy thin-crust pizza.

    Tiny's Giant Sandwich Shop (around Rivington and Norfolk St. in the Lower East Side)-super cheap, big sandwiches. So delicious! Their specialty is the Big Mac Daddy for about $7 and it easily feeds two. After you're done, walk over to...

    il Laboratorio del Gelato (Broome St. and Orchard in the Lower East Side)-best gelato I've tried in the city. Recommended flavor: dark chocolate gelato. It's close to the Lower East Side Tenament Museum too.

    Ciao Bella Gelato (Grand Central station, and Thompson St. I think)-ironically their sorbet is much better than their gelato. I LOVE the dark chocolate gelato (it tastes better than super premium ice cream but is practically fat free). Also good mango and blood orange sorbet.

    Veniero's (11 St. and 1st Ave.)-best New York-style cheesecake and Italian cheesecake. Also has good fruit tarts. Skip everything else, especially the cakes, which are dry pastries with equal parts of whipped cream.

  • At 11/02/2005 4:20 pm, Blogger Reb said…

    ok - everyone else has swamped you with suggestions. But while I like all that mainstream NY stuff by the bucket load (plus some, double), here's a few that others haven't mentioned.

    Jezebel (don't you love the name) 630 9th avenue cnr 45th st. It's Southern Cuisine and it used to be done out like a Louisianna bordello, but in the recent makeover looks a little more "roots" African. Intimate and v cool. Food's better than you'll get in NOLA.

    You must go to the Algonquin Hotel. http://www.thealgonquin.net/ 59 West 44th Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenues. If you cant stay there, at least have a martini in the Blue Bar or if you like cabaret, take in a show at the Oak Room. It's a NY institution and very elegant and understated. Breathe the same air as Dorothy Parker.

    As for side trips, if you go to Montreal or Quebec (1 hr flight from NY and a life must for any foodie) je suis la femme. Let me know and I can give you the tips. Have a gas time

  • At 11/07/2005 2:22 pm, Blogger Chick Pea said…

    Hey AG

    One spot I forgot to mention that's definitely worth visiting is Great Jones Cafe - Cajun/Creole food..check out the menu
    I've had their blackened cat fish for dinner and its delicious. They also have a terrific brunch menu too.

    Enjoy! :)

  • At 11/08/2005 11:25 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Blue Ribbon Cafe, for a nice brunch.

    also there is a restaurant called Penang serving Singaporean/Malaysian food, but it wasn't very authentic when i tried it out. it's pretty popular among New Yorkers and Singaporeans who have been stuck in NY for a long time though.

    sorry i can't help with the exact locations but i hope the names help:)also Chocolate and Zucchini has an NYC eat guide on her blog i think.

  • At 11/27/2005 3:43 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hey there, I hope you haven't left yet... this link might help its from the Rachael Ray show $40 a day: http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/show_ad/episode/0,1976,FOOD_9947_21012,00.html

    I was particularly interested in the Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory, now apparently this place has the most authentic Vanilla ice cream. Anything that has to do with dessert get my vote, so I think this one sounds like an interesting one to see. Also if you like cupcakes there are so many cupcake shops like Magnolia and Sugar Sweet Sunshine that would be really great to visit I think.

  • At 11/28/2005 4:54 am, Blogger Robyn said…

    I read that article in the Independent too and the "chocolate banana-bread pudding" caught my eye. ;D AHH I WANT SOOME!

    I've also been interested in trying the Great Jone's Cafe. Passed it a bunch of times...

    ...now I'm hungry.

  • At 12/02/2005 12:03 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I’ve just come back from visiting NYC for the 3rd time.

    My first visit to NYC was back in 1998 and I had a friend take me to Grimaldi’s Pizzeria (19 Old Fulton St. under the Brooklyn Bridge - http://www.grimaldis.com/brooklyn.htm). From that day forward, I remember the pizzas as being the best pizzas I’ve ever had (and I’ve eaten pizza in Italy so that’s a big call).

    Seven years later and another visit, and they’re still the best pizza I’ve ever tasted. And I now have my boyfriend to back me up on that.

    To get to Grimaldi’s, take the A or C (Blue line) Downtown train and get off at High Street. It’s then a short walk from there. Just ask at the station which way is Grimaldi’s, and they’ll point you in the right direction.

    After your pizzas, take a short walk (maybe 100 metres) to the pier which over looks Lower Manhattan. This location has been used in many movies! Then maybe take a leisurely work across the Brooklyn Bridge (if it’s not to cold).

    Another recommendation, and very cheap, is Gray’s Papaya (2090 Broadway, Corner 71st
    New York). This place is the place to go for the NY Hot Dog experience. I’ve had hot dogs before in NY but not like these. We walked here from Central Park (you could catch the Red or Blue line to get to 72nd Street). For $US2.75 (that includes tax) we got ourselves two grilled hot dogs (one with the lot), and a papaya juice. We’d only got 2 shops down from Gray’s when we decided we had to go back for more. Yummy! By the time, we’d eaten our second dogs and drank our second juice, and left the store, there were two lines out the door with NYers waiting for their Gray’s fix.

    (NB – If you’re a Sex and the City fan, you may remember this place from the episode “Plus One Is the Loneliest Number” where Carrie leaves her book release party, and is taken to a hot dog stand by a limo driver.)

    Enjoy and happy eating!!

  • At 12/03/2005 3:30 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…



    Definitely go to Momofuku, I work there. Pork is amazing. 10th and 1st Ave.

    Chickalicious, on 10th and 2nd Ave.

    Franny's, in Park Slope, Brooklyn. Flatbush Ave.

    Fatty Crab, Hudson and Horation St. in the West Village.

    Good luck.

  • At 12/09/2005 12:41 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I know its touristy, but try the Carnegie Deli on Broadway. The last time I was there, someone mentioned this restaurant had killed more jews than the Holocaust.


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