I recently took my daughter to New York City and it was SO fun to see the city through her eyes. Vibrant and alive, New York City is one of my favorite places to visit. So many iconic sites, so much amazing diversity and of course THE FOOD! Although we barely scratched the surface of the dining scene, let’s talk about a few of our most recent experiences, from the kitschy to the iconic to the out of the way.
Brunch at The Wild Son in Chelsea was AMAZING. This restaurant was chosen by my cousin who lives in Jersey and travels into the city frequently. While the vibe was fabulous, the food was even better. My smoked trout sandwich is one I’m still dreaming about. From pancakes to healthy vegetarian bowls, this place has got it all. The location also makes it the perfect brunch spot before or after your leisurely walk on the High Line, or before your stop at Chelsea Market.
The Wild Son. 53 Little West 12th St, New York, New York 10014 TheWildSonNYC.com
Our very last morning in New York City we decided to go to brunch. We walked around Times Square for a bit, before happening on Friedman’s in the Theater District. Our expectation was high prices, boring food and a kitschy vibe. Boy were we wrong! Located in the Edison Hotel, this restaurant has old world charm and class to spare. Our meals were delicious from the eggs with potato hash to the blueberry pancakes to the bagel with lox and cream cheese, we loved it all.
Friedman’s. Inside the Edison Hotel NYC, 228 West 47th Street, New York, NY 10036 Friedmansrestaurant.com
Since there is so much to see in New York City, sometimes you just don’t have time to sit down and eat. Luckily, NYC is the perfect place for this problem. Head down to the Financial District and take advantage of the street vendors and food carts that line the streets. This gyro pita complete with tzatziki sauce was the perfect pick me up before heading down to explore Battery Park and the Staten Island Ferry.
Everyone I asked told me to go to Max Brenner. And if you want any form of chocolate this is your place. Right off of Union Square, this is a sweet tooth’s dream place. My daughter and her friend enjoyed a Chocolate Chunks Pizza complete with peanut butter and marshmallow-for breakfast. Although this wasn’t exactly my cup of tea, the girls loved every minute of it, and your kids probably will too.
Max Brenner. 841 Broadway, New York, New York 10003 MaxBrenner.com
Now let’s talk about my happy place! The Union Square GreenMarket. This beautiful farmer’s market in the heart of the city, is brimming with seasonal produce. Rumor has it, many of the chefs of the local restaurants, shop the Greenmarket early in the morning. Even if this rumor isn’t true, wandering through this gorgeous market makes me want to take all of the photographs, cook all of the meals, and eat all of the veggies. Check the website for the hours of operation.
Union Square Greenmarket. Union Square, New York, New York. GrowNYC.org/greenmarket/manhattan-union-square
Let’s not forget afternoon snacks! Grand Central Station’s dining concourse is perfect for these! Jacques Torres Ice Cream was the crowning jewel. Warm chocolate chip cookies surrounding Wicked ice cream (chocolate, cinnamon, and chipotle!). The best. And yes-we all finished our ice cream sandwiches.
Jacques Torres Ice Cream. Grand Central Station Dining Concourse. Mr.Chocolate.com/blogs/locations/ice-cream-grand-central
Although we didn’t actually eat in Chinatown, these gorgeous dragonfruit and the other exotic produce that line the streets, make it worth the visit. Be ready for crowds and lots of bargaining. No one pays full price in Chinatown.
Not to be missed. Drinks at the Champagne Bar at the Plaza Hotel. Plus a good excuse to rest a little after exploring Central Park. Elegant, iconic, overlooking Fifth Avenue. I highly recommend the champagne mule, but if you like it a little spicy, go for the Dahlia!
The Champagne Bar at the Plaza Hotel. Fifth Avenue at Central Park South, New York, New York. ThePlazaNY.com/dining/the-champagne-bar-nyc
I’m going to admit it, I’ve never been a hot chocolate fan. So I wasn’t too excited when the girls mentioned frozen hot chocolate at Serendipity, but iconic is iconic, so we added it to our itinerary. Wow, was I wrong, frozen chocolate is amazing- better than any cold chocolate concoction I’ve ever had. Try the mint, it’s fabulous!
Serendipity. 225 East 60th Street, New York, New York 10022. Serendipity3.com
You can’t wander the streets of New York City and not fall in love with the fairy lights and sidewalks cafes of Little Italy. We enjoyed a beautiful open air dinner on the patio at Casa Bella, which featured traditional Italian dishes-think red sauce and carbonara-YUM! Plus the cannoli and gelato is plentiful in this part of the city!
Casa Bella. 127 Mulberry Street, New York, New York, 10013. CasaBellaRestaurant.com
If you’re looking for streets and streets of fun restaurants, head to Hell’s Kitchen. And if you want Mexican, head to El Centro. We stumbled upon this great restaurant on a rainy evening, and we were all blown away (margaritas, folks, margaritas!). The braised short rib taco was worth going back for (and my mom did after I left for Minneapolis!).
El Centro. 824 9th Avenue (@ 54th Street), New York, New York, 10019. ElCentro-NYC.com
Last but not least, Da Marino. Da Marino is the place we go back to every time we’re in New York City. It feels like home. Located in the Theater District, right off of Times Square, this is perfect for a dinner before your Broadway show. The first time we went about 10 years ago, we ran into Chris Noth from Sex and the City and we keep hoping sometime he’ll be there again. Another traditional Italian restaurant, this one even features a piano player which makes it feel more like a 1940’s club. You’ll be welcomed like family. And fed like family too.
Da Marino. 220 West 49th Street. New York, New York 10019. DaMarino.com
Again, this does not even scratch the surface of the dining scene in New York City! I’m already looking forward to my next trip to the great city to explore even further. What are your favorite places to go? Tell us below!
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Check out this re-gram from Magnolia Bakery who shared our photo (I took it while in New York City) on Instagram-how cool!