Monday, August 20, 2012

Where to Eat in NYC

Do you like food?
Well, then this post is for you!!

I recently traveled to New York this summer to visit my sister and nephew. I’d been to New York before and seen most of the ‘touristy’ stuff so this trip was just for family time. The only places I wanted to visit were the World Trade Center Memorial {more on that later} and Central Park. {I’d seen it, but never been!} So, other than those two stops, the rest of my trip pretty much involved my sister taking me to all the places she loves to eat! {Yay!} Can you imagine having an NYC tour guide take you to the best local little places to eat?  Well, that’s what I got!

And just so you know, we’re not talking the trendy expensive hot spots here. We’re talking little family owned restaurants and cafes, that you might accidentally pass by or happen upon out of luck, but that create the best food I have eaten in perhaps years. Yes, it was divine.

Stop 1: Numero 28 PIZZA FROM NAPOLI


This is a family owned restaurant and the owners really are from Italy!
In addition to the best bruschetta bread and pizza, they also had really good tiramisu. This was my official birthday lunch while I was in NY. {Thanks again sis!}


Some of you could probably stop at that delicious tiramisu – but there is so much more to share!!

Stop #2: THE LOEB BOATHOUSE in Central Park

I have to say this was my FAVORITE place to eat on the trip for many reasons. Yes, it had great food. Yes, the service was excellent – funny and nice waiters; efficient, yet relaxed. But you get the best of both worlds! The Boathouse has an indoor restaurant, it has a full bar area with TV’s, if you’re into that, {maybe next time for us, when we don’t have a 10 month old and stroller in tow}, it has an express cafe AND it has an outdoor patio area right on a lake in Central Park. That is where we sat. Who wouldn’t love a nice cool drink and meal with a view like this?

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I could have sat there all day with a glass of wine and a good book. But, hey, something else I had really wanted to do was go for a boat ride on this lake, so after we relaxed at the restaurant, off we went! Guess who got to row?


Stop #3: A PICNIC in Central Park!


Okay, this one isn’t exactly a restaurant, but if you’ve never been to Central Park {like me} or just want to get back to nature for a bit, then Central Park is the place for you. We just bought simple sandwiches on our walk, but you can even pack your own picnic to make it a fun day. This is also an inexpensive way to enjoy the city. We ate lunch with this adorable little gazebo in view:

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You could even stop by the Zoo or find a bench and have lunch near Belvedere Castle in the Park! {This CA girl thought it was a little reminiscent of Cinderella’s Castle in Disneyland! Just a little.}


And if you’re feeling very brave, you could buy a hot dog off of one of the many carts in The Park.
I did that.
That was not one of my favorite places to eat, but I had never eaten a hot dog off a cart before. Check #112 off the bucket list. I think we ended up getting a sausage and it was not good. Lots of people say the hot dog carts are good, so maybe we just got a bad cart? Time will tell if I give another cart vendor a chance, but at least I can say I tried it! lol


On my last day we took a dessert tour around the city! We had crepes, chocolate chip cookies and  cream puffs! We were supposed to have gelato as well, but I couldn’t hang and had to stop at the cream puffs!

The crepe I got was from the Café Deux Margot. We sat outside, had a French waiter, felt fancy and ate a delicious crepe!


Then it was off to Levain Bakery to get the thickest, biggest chocolate chip cookie in the city! If my sister didn’t know about this place, I very well could have passed it. The bright blue door is actually quite unassuming from the street. You have to go down the stairs once inside to see what the bakery looks like. There is no store front or bakery window showing their treats. Just this sign and their signature blue door {that I will be sure not to miss next time I’m in the city!}


Why no picture of the cookie? Let’s just say we ate it so fast there was no time to snap the evidence! By the way, this cute shop also sells milk. Good call Levain Bakery. Good call.

Last stop: cream puffs!


Beard Papa’s boasts the world’s best cream puff, and I have to say, they’re pretty close. My favorite EVER cream puffs are from COSTCO. Believe it or not, their small frozen hors d'oeuvres are quite tasty. BUT, I will say Beard Papa’s taste almost exactly the same only in a larger creamier version! Yum!!


Next time we’ll have to come here FIRST so I won’t be so full because I seriously want to try every single flavor! Éclair puff? Yes, please! And if you want to try some good gelato {also on my list for next time}, it's just next door or at least not far from Beard's Papa's.

A couple other side track stops – while walking, we got water. I HAD to snap a picture of these treats I did NOT eat. Apparently this shop had a fascination with BACON:

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Have you ever had a bacon cookie?? Not me – but maybe my next trip.

Because you walk everywhere in New York, we made sure to stop at my sister’s favorite bookstore. I know this picture is not about food, but we’ll just keep with today’s theme and say if you are hungry for books {get it? lol} like me, you won’t mind! This is my sister’s and now my favorite bookstore in NYC:

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It’s quaint atmosphere reminds me of ‘The Shop Around the Corner’ bookstore in the movie “You’ve Got Mail.” It’s locally owned, independent and lots of new and seasoned authors go there for book signings! My “I’m not going to buy anything” mantra did not last very long in this store!!

And finally, if you are at all worried about eating your way around New York City – then have NO WORRIES. New York offers FREE yoga in the park {Bryant Park} on Tuesday nights. Yes, I said FREE. And it was awesome. The only thing missing in this pictures is the sky scrapers in the background behind those trees.


Aaagh, good times. Thank you to my sister and little nephew {isn’t he a cutie patootie?} for being the best tour guides ever on my trip! {PS – the only other place to eat I left out was my sister’s house. She’s a great cook and if she wasn’t so dang private, I’d post her address and phone number here so you could pop over for dinner sometime.}


Are any of you planning a trip to New York soon? I’d love to hear if you eat at any of these places!! Or share a new place for me to try on my next trip!

For all of my foodie friends out there – what’s your favorite restaurant/place to eat where you live??? Cheers!!



Kelly said...

Yay! This post is totally going to be my tour guide for our trip. I do have to tell you that now I'm all stressed out because we WON'T HAVE ENOUGH TIME to eat everything I want to eat! :)

Kelly @ View Along the Way

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