April 19, 2017Posted by Bethany Larson Bloch
New York City is renowned for a lot of things, but food might be the most important. Sure, you can grab a bagel, slice and cuppa cawffee, on nearly every block, but if you’re looking for the best in can’t-miss NYC eats, then swing by these suggestions, whether you’re looking for a pastrami on rye, homemade pies or an artisanal doughnut.
Need a serious jolt of caffeine to kickstart your day? This historic coffee shop in Greenwich Village fits the bill. They even still have their espresso machine from 1902!
As you trek to the Upper West Side for a bagel, you might ask yourself, “Why didn’t I just go to the place around the corner from my hotel?” The answer is that unless the place around the corner is Absolute Bagels, then it doesn’t serve the hand-rolled, freshly boiled doughy delights straight from the oven and thick with schmear. Once you take a bite, you’ll realize the trip uptown was completely worth it.
When it comes to pastrami sandwiches, most people will tell you to go to Katz’s (you’ll know it from When Harry Met Sally). While that’s a fantastic option (if you’re into standing in line), Pastrami Queen on Lexington and East 78th is where our loyalty lies. The sandwiches are huge, the pastrami basically melts in your mouth and there’s also divine matzoh ball soup.
The best slice for our money is at Scarr’s Pizza in SoHo. The eponymous Scarr is a veteran of Lombardi’s and his pies are made from stone-ground flour and house-made tomato sauce. Bonus: the place blasts hip-hop and has a high school basement vibe.
If you’re in Manhattan and jonesing for a hospitable, family-owned deli experience, Lower East Side’s Russ & Daughters is where to go. It does have more accolades than you can count, but they’re deserving of every single one. Their fish is incredible – the hand-sliced, paper-thin smoked salmon is velvety magic – and just being able to watch their skills behind the counter is worth the queue.
Meanwhile, across the East River, Shelsky’s is holding it down. At this Jewish deli, you’ll find all local goods, from the smoked fish to the bialys to the house-pickled cucumbers. But the top pick has to be the whitefish salad here – it’s incredible.
Looking for something a little more, well, Italian? Skip Manhattan’s Litty Italy altogether and make your way to the Belmont neighborhood in The Bronx – specifically to Arthur Avenue. It’s here you’ll find the real deal. Tra Di Noi, with it’s red-and-white checkered table cloths and menu that’s written in mostly Italian, is stellar. The traditional eatery’s red sauce is perfectly balanced between sweetness and acidity, and the fluffy, warm bread is irresistible.
After you’ve had your fill at Tra Di Noi, roll your way down the street to Gino’s Pastry Shop, where you’ll somehow figure out how to make more room for a cannoli (or three) when you see that they’re freshly filled with either a silky ricotta or fluffy Bavarian cream upon order.
Doughnut aficionado? Head to Greenpoint and prepare for a doughnut crawl because not only is Peter Pan’s Donut and Pastry Shop there, but Moe’s Doughs Donut Shop is just around the corner from it. At Moe’s, the confections are light as air, not overly sweet and cost just over $1 a piece. You’ll find all your favorite varieties available, as well as signatures like a take on the samoa Girl Scout cookie as well as the “doussant,” a doughnut-croissant hybrid.
Want a blast from the past? You’ll find it at Eddie’s Sweet Shop in Forest Hills, where homemade cream sodas, malts, banana splits and egg creams are served up. It’s the best kind of nostalgia.
About The HUNT New York City Author: JoAnna Kang admits it took her years to make the cross-country move from Portland, Oregon to New York City. She finally confronted NYC’s cramped, well-oiled machine, churning out long workdays in exchange for living in a 24-hour glutton’s paradise. Ignoring the fact that her armoire is four feet from the stove, she enjoys recreating delicious recipes from Elizabeth David cookbooks and being part of the team at Windfall Farms’ stand at the Union Square Greenmarket, which advocates pesticide-free, non-GMO, unconventionally grown produce.
For more great insider recommendations to New York City, pick up the guide on gatehousepublishing.com. Psst: All Asia Pacific titles are 30% off until 21 April with code EASTER30.