Caution: This blog contains images people on a diet may find offensive.
I now fly with Norwegian to New York. Not only does it conveniently fly from Gatwick, have brand new planes, free in-flight wifi, and happen to be one of the most competitively priced airlines out there, in-flight meals are an optional extra...one that I always opt out of. Why?...Because New York is best visited on an empty stomach.
Indeed, the food of New York is probably the main reason I visit. From breakfast to brunch, burgers to burritos, NYC has it all (and the cocktails aren't half bad either!).
Next time you're here, be sure to check out some of my own personal foodie highlights:
1. BUBBY'S (TriBeCa, Manhattan) www.bubbys.com
Bubby's is renowned with tourists and locals alike. Their breakfast and brunch offerings, combined with cocktails, shakes and even their own soda fountain with homemade soda syrups make this place my favourite NY haunt.
The menu offers all things tasty for those with a sweet tooth and savoury lovers will be pretty pleased too. While the pancakes (the texture of fluffy clouds) with blueberry compote and maple syrup feature highly in my list of favourite Bubby dishes, the Eggs Benedict are divine and a great start to a day of trekking though the city.
I love: The immune juice; cold pressed orange juice with ginger, lemon, turmeric and cayenne. Feeling the chill? This will instantly warm you from the inside. Still sleepy? This will kick start your day!
Not so much: If there's more than two of you in your party, be prepared to queue, especially on a weekend. Hang on in there - it's well worth the wait. (Couples tend to get seated a lot quicker.)
2. UNION HALL (Park Slope, Brooklyn) www.unionhallny.com
The 'Jack Wills' of bars. Set in an old converted warehouse, with book shelves and fireplaces aplenty, Union Hall offers a small yet delicious bar menu.
Check their website for the best unusual live music and acts - we enjoyed a 'one-hit wonders of the 90s singalong' on our visit - perfect after one of their Pomegranate Margaritas!
Feeling competitive? Take on the locals in a game of Bocce.
I love: The Grilled Chicken sandwich (or 'Sammy' if you feel like practicing your best American accent) is the best I've had. The corndogs aren't bad either!
Not so much: The journey. Great if you're already in Brooklyn. Bit of a trek if not.
3. THE GARRET (West Village, Manhattan) www.garretnyc.com
This boutique bar gets a big thumbs up from me on two counts:
1: The cocktails - are pretty amazing. As tasty as they are adventurous. Prefer a classic? Ask the barman nicely and it'll still be fabulous. A back bar to impress - don't think I've ever seen as many bottles in such a small space.
2: It's above Five Guys. Easy to find AND they don't mind you taking your burgers upstairs. Maybe not the most au-fait pairing with cocktails as great as these but I certainly approve!
I love: The view from the window. Especially when it's snowing. And did I mention the cocktails?! Our favourite? The 'Sunken Santa', with rum and spice on the rocks.
Not so much: The mysterious entrance. Don't bother looking for a door - there isn't one! Head straight in through Five Guys to a 'secret' staircase through the back.
4. SUGAR AND PLUMM (Upper West Side, Manhattan) www.sugarandplumm.com
Take a look at their menus NOW and you'll see why we love it here. Anywhere that displays a cocktail menu next to a brunch menu gets a big tick. Nothing is done by halves here with everything made fresh on the premises, from their house-smoked salmon to their ice cream (and don't forget to check out the milkshakes!)
I love: The Pulled Pork Waffle with BBQ sauce, coleslaw and fried egg. Best brunch ever.
Not so much: Getting here. Unless you're already in the area, tie it in with a trip to Central Park to make the journey really worth it. You'll probably be wanting to walk/cycle/row a few calories off anyway!
5. Hill Country BBQ (Midtown Manhattan) www.hillcountryny.com
I may have left the best for last. There's only one thing you need to know about this place and that is that you order your meat by weight. Enough said? No. Not only do they have the most delicious range of bbq'd meat straight from the smokeries, their accompanying side dishes are less sideshow, more main stage. A bowl of their mac'n'cheese alone would suit me fine if the meat wasn't so so good!
I love: Want the authentic Texan experience? Pair your meal with a Big Red soda.
Not so much: What's not to love?! Ok, so vegetarians might struggle here. But with plenty of sides including bourbon sweet potato mash and campfire baked beans to keep you going, I think you'll be fine.
Also worth a visit:
Need cheese? Get you fix at one of our Dorking Deli favourites: Beechers (handmade cheese factory, store and bar), Murray's cheese (at Grand Central Station Food Market), Bedford Cheese Shop (Brooklyn), Dean & Deluca deli (as mentioned in The Deviil Wears Prada),
We visited: Jan/Feb 2015
We flew with: Norwegian
We stayed at: Ten15NYC - which I also highly recommend. Affordable, modern apartments in the centre of Manhattan.
Written by Louise H