My New York City Food Diaries!

Dear New York……I’ll never, ever get over you!

Oh guys the rumours are totally true! I can confirm that the concrete jungle where dreams are made of is even more wonderful in real life than you could possibly imagine. I have totally and utterly left my heart in New York- HELP!

So as you lot know, last March myself and the hubs had the most magical, surreal week in the Big Apple. I honestly lived my best Serena/Blair life and now I want to share all of my adventures and top tips with you lot.

Because I work in Television and have always been totally fascinated by the telly and movie world, to me, there was nowhere more exciting than New York. It truly is a film wonderland and every corner you turn you will recognise a place from being on your favourite film or TV series. (Try and watch as many films as poss before you go to get you in the mood) Literally as soon as we arrived and started exploring we stumbled across a film crew filming a brand new action film on a random street corner. I was extremely close to jumping in their trailer and asking if they needed an assistant for the day ha! (Fun fact- did you know over 200 films have been filmed in Central Park… can you try and name ten right now?…..)

In my opinion New York is the best city break you will ever experience. So whether you go for a romantic couples break, with your family, or your girl gang to channel Sex And The City (oh Samantha and Carrie how you have broke our hearts) there will be something for everyone!

Now I’m the type of person to create a huge itinerary whenever we go on a holiday that will be filled with activities. I even day colour code it, print it out and stick it up in our hotel room. I KNOW, I NEED HELP! But it’s become our tradition these last few years and it makes the planning stage even more exciting and special. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely adore being spontaneous but the thought of not having a plan when I arrive in a brand new city actually gives me heart palpitations. I honestly spent months researching and planning all of the best places to go for our NYC trip, and now it is my turn to share everything with you.

But because I just have so much to say this post will come in two parts. The first being alllll about food (aka 80% pancakes) and the second will be about fun things to do.

You are gonna need a BIG cuppa tea for this one…. I hope your ready……

WARNING: DO NOT READ THIS ARTICLE IF YOU ARE HUNGRY, ON A DIET OR ARE OFFENDED BY PANCAKES.

PANCAKES, PANCAKES, AND MORE PANCAKES

Breakfast is hands down the best meal of my day when on holiday. Now in New York, if your order doesn’t consist of Matilda style stacks of fluffy pancakes and the crispiest bacon in sight then you are doing it all so wrong.

SO, here are the best of the best breakfast places in New York, which have all been tried and tested by yours truly, resulting in a 20 stone heavier version of me…it was a tough job but someones gotta do it.

Disclaimer- Once upon a time, In the making and research for this blog post Sammy from Summersholiyay consumed exactly 56,234 pancakes in order to give you guys the most honest review possible. And she lived happily ever after.

BUBBYS

(Areas: Tribeca and The High Line)

There is a reason Bubbys continues to be one of the most popular breakfast choices in New York. Its interior is so cosy and homely, giving off the vibe that you are eating in your own home. Bubbys is renowned for their delicious pancakes and homemade pies and their style of pancakes are thick, fluffy and genuinely mouth watering. Bubby’s has been open for nearly 27 years and there is such a lovely story behind its brand too, where the owner starting making pies from scratch inside his own living room, and would sell them on to his neighbours and local restaurants to get the word out. 27 years later the business is absolutely booming and its so easy to see why. We visited the Tribeca branch, which was a ten minute walk to the One World Observatory and Memorial Museum.

Taste & Experience Scoring: 10/10

BALTHAZAR

(Area: Soho)

When Paris meets New York! Deep in the heart of Soho lies the most opulent and luxurious restaurant I ever laid my eyes on. Think royal red leather booths and marble pillars with a 1920’s vibe. Their breakfast menu was really extensive but everyone told me I had to get the eggs and soldiers, so I did just that, with fresh orange juice and fruit salad and boy was it good! (Okay, okay I also got a plate of bacon on the side but shhh don’t tell anyone). The location of Balthazar is absolutely perfect and straight after our food dreams had been filled we spent the morning shopping and spending wayyy too long in Sephora! Sidenote- Balthazar would also be a lovely and romantic place to come for dinner.

Taste & Experience Scoring: 9/10 (Minus one as as there were no pancakes on the menu)

SARABETHS

(Areas: Five branches around Manhattan)

You will find the buzzing, busy branches of Sarabeths dotted all over New York City. We visited two; Central Park and Park Avenue. Both were absolutely fantastic experiences but very different to each other so i’ll review them separately.

Sarabeths, Central Park– On the morning of our first wedding anniversary we had an absolute feast here. It is truly the most divine location, situated right at the top end of Central Park with the most stunning green views overlooking the park. It was also our first proper morning of our holiday and we went totally out of control- ordering so much food that we didn’t have enough room on our table to lay it all on. Yep we were those people. I opted for a stack of pancakes, fried eggs, crispy bacon, with a bowl of fresh berries, a jug of orange juice and an endless pot of tea. The hubs got the French toast which he claims is the best he has ever had. I won’t lie our bill came to over 100 dollars, oops, but it was a very special place to go and started the holiday off with a bang. Tip- ask for a table near the window for the best views!

Taste & Experience Scoring: 9/10

Sarabeths, Park Avenue- A ten minute walk from our hotel The New York Edition (which I have reviewed here) We visited this branch on the last morning of our trip and ordered the exact same food as before, partly because we are creatures of habit, and also because it was just so good the first time. However we were really shocked to see our bill was A LOT cheaper, which we soon realised was down to the less touristy location. Our experience here was more chilled and relaxed, however it wasn’t as special and the decor was more like a standard diner in New York. So if you are willing to spend a bit extra I would defiantly recommend The Central Park branch over this one.

Taste & Experience Scoring: 7/10 (Still delicious, but the actual restaurant itself wasn’t as special)

BREAKFAST AT TIFFANYS

(Area: Tiffany and Co, Fifth Avenue)

I can’t lie, I’m absolutely not over the fact that we didn’t get to go here. Their booking system was an actual JOKE. But there was no way I could leave this out on the blog. So a little story for you all..the week we were due to fly out, Tiffany’s announced they had just opened a STUNNING cafe in their flagship store on fifth avenue. With waffles as their signature breakfast dish and their interiors being that gorgeous turquoise blue from top to bottom, I just had to go. We couldn’t believe our luck…what unbelievable timing. Every morning at 9am the restaurant would release tables for a new date (working on a two weeks in advance system). So with high hopes that we would get a booking, we would be prised and ready every morning and as soon as the clock struck 9am we would both try using the booking app, ringing and emailing constantly. I mean we lost the plot with it, but it was sadly not to be, as we couldn’t get through to anyone, or get an available slot online, sob. So if you guys manage to find a table I 1) applaud you, 2) hate you. But maybe because it had only just opened they still hadn’t worked out a good system, so i’ll keep my fingers and toes crossed for you all.

IT’S BEEN TWO HOURS SINCE BREKKI.. WHAT’S FOR LUNCH?

I joke, I joke.

Or not… oh cmon guys if you can’t put on 20 stone when in NYC then when can you???

If your the ‘lets skip lunch and wait for dinner’ kind of person then we can’t be friends and deffo ignore this section. JOKING. But really. Are you okay hun?

CHELSEA MARKET

(Area: Chelsea)

This place is seriously cool! It’s basically New York’s version of Borough Market, but indoors in a giant warehouse. Imagine rooms and rooms filled with every single delicacy of food you could ever imagine! Whilst it’s not the most relaxing place in the world, in fact it’s totally chaotic, loud and crazy, that is all part of the fun. My suggestion would be to explore here by trying little bits of food from as many sections as possible to get the most out of your experience.

Taste & Experience Scoring: 7/10 

KATZ DELI

(Area: Lower East Side)

I can’t even begin to tell you how much I adore Katz deli. If that iconic scene from when Harry met Sally isn’t enough to tempt you there then let me explain.  Katz deli is a bustling, buzzing deli which serves the most delicious jewish food. Their fresh chicken soup is a dream, the salt beef sandwiches were legit bigger than my head and their latkes (potato stuffing) were the best I’ve ever had. Again the queues go round the street corner, but this one went quickly and properly got us excited for the feast we were about to have. What I loved the most about Katz was how much of a family restaurant this was. It also wasn’t touristy at all, and felt like every family in NYC wanted to visit the weekend we went. But I loved that! I felt like a proper New Yorker! This was the first place we went to kick off our piggy food tour and it started the holiday off in the best possible way.

Taste & Experience Scoring: 9/10 

SERAFINAS PIZZA

(Area: Posh Pizza chain restaurant with over 12 locations)

Ohh this was a dreamy lunch! We spent the morning walking up the Upper East side alongside Central Park. The sun was shining, I was pretending to be Blair Waldorf and life couldn’t of got much better TBH. Serafinas was waiting for us right at the top of Central Park. It’s a delicious pizza based restaurant, which was quite small and felt family run, non-touristy and really classically Italian. I adored it! All of the windows were open when we went, spring was on its way and it was a really happy, lovely environment.

Taste & Experience Scoring: 8/10 

THE PLAZA HOTEL FOOD COURT

(Area: Central Park/Park Avenue)

What goes up must come down. And after walking to the very top of Central Park we walked all the back down to the Park Avenue entrance and rewarded ourselves with donuts and tea at The Plaza Hotels new food court. This is basically a posher and more civilised version of Chelsea Market and is an absolute must!! (Once you have stuffed your tummies make sure you explore the stunning beautiful hotel upstairs and pretend you are in Home Alone).

Taste & Experience Scoring: 8/10 

DINE AL FRESCO, LITTLE ITALY

(Area: Little Italy)

This is one for the warmer weather. Little Italy is such a cute, fun area and would be the perfect place to grab a pasta and dine al fresco in the sunshine. There seems to be hundreds of individual cute quirky restaurants, where many are decorated in the iconic Italian decorations with red and white chequered table cloths. Take your pick, grab a seat, order a large pizza and soak up alllllll the atmosphere that Little Italy has to offer.

Taste & Experience Scoring: 8/10 

BLACK TAP BURGERS

(Area: Soho, Midtown, Lower East Side)

I was recommended to eat here by basically every single person that I told I was going to NYC. It’s the cities most popular burger chain who are renowned for their TO DIE FOR milkshakes. However none of their branches take bookings meaning the queues go round the block. I wish I was joking. On our final day we had a few hours to spare before waiting for our airport taxi to collect us so thought we would see what the fuss was about. That’s right, we were absolutely those tourists who spent two hours in the freezing cold to get themselves a burger. And whilst I partly hate myself for developing frost bite in the process, I’m also very grateful for my greedy self cos I didn’t give up and the end result was the best bloody burger a girl could wish for.

Taste & Experience Scoring: 7/10 – cos you know, frostbite and all that.

THE BOAT HOUSE

(Area: Central Park)

You know that iconic scene from SATC… Carrie and Big… The Rowing Boats… that KISS- well you can totally recreate that moment at Loebs Boathouse in Central Park, at the exact restaurant filming took place. I was heartbroken to learn that Loebs was being refurbished last year so sadly missed out on the fun, however this is very much a reason for me to go back to NYC.  I would suggest booking this restaurant for lunch and then spending the afternoon hiring out a rowing boat in the lake. To me, this is the equivalent of perfection.

LETS GO OUT OUT- THE BEST DINNER RESTAURANTS IN NYC.

So you’ve prob burned off all of your days calories by walking 20,000 and there’s deffo room in your tummies for more amazing food. Right? So have a quick shower, get yourself dressed up to the nines, and get ready for the best meals out you will ever have.

You thought the restaurants above were good??… well guys… you aint seen nothing yet…..LETS GO!

TAO DOWNTOWN

(Area: Downtown)

A visit to TAO will make you feel like a movie star, it is beyond any where I have ever visited or experienced before. TAO was our destination of choice to celebrate our first anniversary and we had the date night of all date nights there. It was somewhere I had wanted to visit for years, so we booked this well in advance to ensure we got a table as it is extremely popular. Its not just the breath taking interiors alone that will blow you away, the food is honestly delicious, and the portion sizes are humungous. As we were brought in, we were led down a magical tunnel, filled with lanterns, dim lighting and the most romantic ambience. As we got to the end of the tunnel and turned the corner my jaw dropped as I was led into the grand dining room. It is HUGE. To get to the main seating area you have to walk down a giant staircase into a grand room which is always packed with people. A gigantic buddah looks over you whilst you eat and a DJ plays music in the background creating the best party atmosphere. its seriously cool vibes. Oh and I nearly forgot to mention the food oops; well it was fabulous- especially our fortune cookie dessert which made me gasp out loud. (As you can tell I spent most of the night feeling like an excited child). Thank you Tao for a wonderful evening!

Taste & Experience Scoring: 10/10

THE STANDARD GRILL

(Area: The Standard Hotel, Meatpacking District)

The Standard Grill is a really classy restaurant based at the trendy Standard Hotel in the Meat Packing District. We stuffed our faces with delicious burgers which I would highly reccommend. I absolutely loved this restaurant and think it would be an amazing place to come for dinner. We actually had lunch here after we walked the High Line (more about that on my next post), but next time we would make an evening out of it. Also they have the most insaneeee bar on the rooftop of the hotel with ridiculous views of the Hudson River to carry the night on in the best possible way.
Taste & Experience Scoring: 9/10

BODEGRA NEGRA

(Area: Downtown)

I think this might win the award for my favourite restaurant, ever? Bodegra Negra is a Mexican restaurant in Downtown New York which has the best best best food a girl could ever wish for. The setting is absolutely perfect for a night time date night, with dark, moody lighting and cosy intimate booths. Honestly every single but of food we got we were obsessed with, and wanted to eat until we literally burst. The staff were insane too, so incredibly friendly and fun and very generous with their Tequila ha! And can I just tell you about the dessert we had, I honestly still dream about it. A gigantic pure white chocolate bomb, which melted before our eyes as hot salted caramel sauce was poured over it. We were treated like king and queens and had one of the best date nights we’ve ever experienced together. Please make sure you go here, I promise you wont regret it.

P.S After dins, walk round the block to The Dream Hotels rooftop bar for the best cocktails and views!

Taste & Experience Scoring: 10/10

ELLENS DINER

(Area: Broadway)

I’m sure you lot already know about this incredibly fun restaurant and if you don’t? Well why the hell not? Okay let me explain.. its basically a classic American diner that you see in all the films… but in real life. And to top it all off all of their waiters SING! You get to eat delish burgers whilst listening to the most talented people belt out ‘Defying Gravity’, and to be honest what more do you even need? Deffo deffo come here before or after watching a show to get you right in the mood. Yes it’s beyond cringe, and no it’s not fine dining,  but is it a must do? Absabludelutlllyyyyy.

Taste & Experience Scoring: 9/10 

EATALY

(Area: Midtown)

Did you lot know I’m a bit obsessed with spaghetti bolognese??? I joke I joke, of course you do! Well opposite our hotel in Madison square park was an Italian food court of dreams. 50,000 square feet of pasta, pizza, cheese, gelato.. the list is endless. I ADORED Eataly and we visited there most days as it was our next door neighbour. Not only could we buy all the tasty food on offer but there were tons of restaurants inside that served the dreamiesttttt of food. It kind of reminded me of Harrods and Selfridges food courts but even more magical because it was my fave food cuisine in the world. On our first night we ate at the pizza restaurant (they were proper stone baked.. the biz mmm) but my favourite place there was… wait for it… drumroll please… THE NUTELLA FACTORY. Yes that’s right. A cafe dedicated to everything Nutella. Waffles, crepes, gelato, you name it, it’s yours. I will put all of my life savings down that these Nutella crepes will be the best that you will ever experience.

Two restaurants that we didn’t get the chance to visit but are on our list for next time are Beauty and Essex, and Catch. They both look incredible!!!!!!

Oh my god we made it!!! I AM SO HUNGRY NOW!!!!

In all seriousness, New York will forever be the holiday I tasted the BEST and most DELICIOUS food of my life. And put on 20 stone.

Thank you so so much for reading, I hope you have enjoyed this as much I as enjoyed tasting everything, and writing all about it. In that order. Also please don’t judge me for being the biggest little piggy there ever was.

Please do let me know if I have inspired you in any way, or if you have any other insane recommendations that I am yet to try.. I always need an excuse to go back.

And do stay tuned for part two- coming soon- where I will be revealing all the fun ways to spend your days in NYC.

Until next time darlings,

X O X O,

Sammy xxxxxxxxxxxxx

To read all about my stay at The New York Edition click here!

Please note these photos are a mixture of my own and The Restaurant’s website photos.

4 Comments

  1. February 4, 2019 / 7:48 am

    I love NY and your blog shows why I love it so much! Congrats!

  2. February 20, 2019 / 3:37 pm

    Okay, okay, we’re pretty hungry now. Sorry…*VERY hungry now! New York really is any foodie traveller’s dream. Great pictures too, capturing every bit of delicacy delights!

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