10 New York Eats That Will Soon Become Your "We HAVE To Go There" Spot
I love food. I love food more than I love most anything else, that's just a part of my personality that I've come to accept. Food brings people together, celebrates tradition and progression, and shoot dang it makes me very happy.
See, now your "food is my best friend" thought that's been tucked in your brain is completely justified.
Living in New York has only continued to encourage my foodie heart. While I'm a meal prepping guru, a budget-driven human, and a gal who's constantly on the run, I do make it a point to taste what the city has brought to the feast. The coolest thing about living here is that you can eat around the world while staying on one relatively small island. That's dope.
Whenever I have people visit the city, I try to take them to a new type of cuisine every day. Along with that point, I try to take them to my favorite spots, or places I've been dying to try. After a few girls' weekends in the city, I've narrowed a list of 10 New York eats that every first timer MUST try before they leave the Big Apple.
1. Devocion Coffee (Williamsburg)
Williamsburg, Brooklyn is full of hip and happening spots while not being in the center of Manhattan. I love Brooklyn, and while I'm biased, anyone I've taken to Devocion has enjoyed it as well. The calm interior, a wall of greenery, and coffee smoother than most anything else create an atmosphere that I happily escape to. You'll think you're in a coffee hut in Colombia, not across the river from mayhem.
2. Levain's Bakery (Upper West Side)
How many times have I walked miles for these cookies? Too many. They really ought to make me an ambassador. Before I go here with a Levain newbie, I tell them that it's the best cookie they'll ever eat -- this is generally answered with a skeptical look. Then they bite into a decadent, meal-sized pastry and agree with me.
3. Los Tacos No. 1 (Chelsea Market & Times Square)
After three years in the Southwest, and my whole life on the West Coast, I'm accustomed to high-quality Mexican food. Unfortunately, New York generally doesn't get that memo. Fear not, the fellas at Los Tacos No. 1 are rocking and rolling in the right direction. They have two locations: Chelsea Market and a newer spot near Times Square. Go to the Chelsea Market location for the original, guac-slinging taco geniuses who will make your taste buds sing!
4. Frank (East Village)
Italian food is always a crowd pleaser, and Frank is the best of the best. This cash-only, mom and pop shop will soon be your go-to for birthdays, special occasions, "I need brunch right this minute," and any other time you just want something you know will be successful. Pro tip, order off the special board, and if pappardelle with veal ragu is an option, GET IT.
5. Two Hands (Nolita)
The food is pretty. The Australian waiters are pretty. The plants hanging from the ceiling are pretty. This spot is the perfect place for a gal pals breakfast, with flat whites that please even the snobbiest (cough cough, Pacific Northwesterners) of coffee addicts.
6. Bagels (All of them. All the bagels. Just keep em coming.)
No duh. Murray's Bagels (Greenwich Village), Ess-A-Bagel (Midtown East), Best Bagel (35th & 7th), and really any other shop that has "Bagel" in the name. All the carbs, folks.
7. Van Leeuwan's Ice Cream (East Village)
If there's one thing I'll never say "no" to, it's ice cream. While there are billions of ice cream parlors, trucks, and cutie pie shops in the city, Van Leeuwan's is the best. And they're slowly taking over the five boroughs, which means you really never that far away.
8. Prince Street Pizza (Nolita)
Not to be dramatic or anything, but this is the best pizza to ever grace the earth. I dare you to tell me I'm wrong.
9. The Dublineer, or anything on Stone Street (FiDi)
Stone Street is such a party, especially in the summertime. Picnic tables line cobblestone streets, with happy hour specials and high spirits abundant. This is the perfect place to rest your feet, enjoy the people you're with, and not be in the middle of the crazy crazy crowds that are unavoidable in Midtown. Also, it's super yummy -- The Dublineer is an Irish pub with all of its servers sporting an accent that will make you forget you're in New York for a hot second.
10. Smorgasburg (Williamsburg)
The motherload of foodie trends. This food festival gathering houses the newest, most Instagram-worthy eats. Many times, Smorgasburg is the trial period for food sales -- if an idea does well for the hungry weekend eaters, it has a chance to give a real restaurant a run for its money. If you really want to make the most of your trek across the East River, bring a group so you can all share your samples of the goods.
Smorgasburg is a summer Brooklyn staple, but also has a year-round option with 50 of the most popular food vendors.