I think every traveler has got to have a deep running love for food and experiencing different food culture in the places they explore. For me, it’s a number ONE priority when I’m traveling.
Caffeine runs through the veins of the city. – it’s the energy of the people. Whether it’s from a high end coffee shop like Starbucks, or from a food cart on Lexington Avenue – everyone has one in hand while they run through their day. Most of my New York memories involve an ice cold coffee, served on the rocks, to cool off in the sweltering summer heat.
I think my favourite coffee has got to be the Venti S’more Frappuccino that was the first Starbucks we gulped down as we arrived in Times Square. I knew was living my American dream. And it was Instagram PERFECT!
I think my local equivalent of a bagel would be like a panini with the most luxurious toppings you could think of. Just delicious. I have had many bagels in my life before, but the topping choice just makes it in the NYC. One late afternoon, after not having had a chance to eat – we found Black Seed Bagels, in a mall food court near the 9/11 Memorial in downtown. VEGETARIAN toppings like you cannot imagine. Choice of the day: (black) multi-seed bagel (obviously) with fresh avocado, tofu cream cheese and sweet cucumber, all wrapped up in the cutest brown paper bag, washed down with an iced coffee. Perfect Instagram lunch!
SWEET TREATS: DONUTS & PANCAKES
If I lived in New York, I would be the size of a house (although my sister and I had many discussions about this, as we would probably run and walk and generally be a lot more active, so maybe not). The sweets are OUT OF THIS WORLD! The UAE has a few of the same American treats companies like Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin-Robbins for ice cream, so I knew where we had to head straight there for us to try my favourite: The ever so classic Boston Cream and powdery, heavenly Bavarian (ah-MAZING!)
Everyone has heard the tales of the American style breakfast pancakes laden with maple syrup and cream. So naturally, I had to have it. On a day trip to Soho, we stumbled upon the cutest little place on the side walk, called The Butchers Daughter – a vegetarian restaurant that specializes in finding dairy alternative and animal free products to cook with. Buttermilk pancakes, with fresh almond cream and a berry compote was the choice there – and photographed SO beautifully. A definite must for anyone who is looking for the laid back, vegan friendly brunch spot.
If you are a pizza lover like my sister and I both are, New York City has got to be on your #foodiebucketlist – without a doubt. The city is the ‘home of the modern pizza’. And they are proud of it! We had our first ‘New York slice’ experience within walking distance from our hotel on our very first night. Giuseppe’s Pizza on 39th & Lexington. We were also recommend Lombardo’s (America’s first pizzeria) and John’s Pizzeria if we found ourselves in different parts of the city. As a first meal, I was very surprised to see 3 different vegetarian options on the menu – but as the trip went on, I learned that this was fairly normal for NYC restaurants, and that I wouldn’t have ANY trouble finding something delicious to eat.
If you are on a budget, there is no need to hit the gourmet spots here – slum it and get that bang for your buck. You can get yourself a three-topping slice for $4 if you find the right place.
Dim-sum is one of those foods that you find yourself craving – often. And at home, the quality varies from restaurant to restaurant and can sometimes be very disappointing.
Before traveling, I had done so much research on all the best places in he city to visit, eat and sight see. And one of the places that kept coming up as a ‘must-see’ was ‘Nom Wah Tea Parlour’ in Chinatown, but it was set out of the way and I didn’t think we would get there. But as fate would have it, on our Soho-Little Italy-Chinatown Walking Tour (with New York Tour1), we happened to end right in front of New York’s first dim-sum parlour. It was meant to be. With endless vegetarian choices, and the biggest portions I have seen in a Chinese restaurant – we ate ourselves full on soft, steaming dumplings and spring rolls. Beautiful food! Beautiful window design!