Originally published Aug. 4, 2012
In U2′s song “New York” Bono sings:
In New York freedom looks like
I think they must have been referring to deciding where to eat.
I occasionally find myself thinking that in order to get any good food where I live I have to drive into Minneapolis or St. Paul. After being in New York City, I am now thankful for that. There are Fodor’s-rated restaurants on almost every block of Manhattan. Even with all the walking they do, New Yorkers must have a hard time watching their weight with the surplus of amazing dining available around the clock.
Pre-dinner offerings from The Oyster Bar in Grand Central Station
Staying in the city for 3 days meant that 9 meals were possible. Using Fodor’s as a guide, I found my way to one phenomenal dining experience after another in the Big Apple. Somehow I didn’t take those dollar signs seriously enough though and I was mentally unprepared to spend over two hundred dollars a day on food. Lunch for two is an easy $50 and dinner at least $100 even without the extras (no dessert or wine/cocktails).
One of the best rated pizzas in NYC, John’s Pizzeria
The highlights of my trip include Second Avenue Deli which, when it was all said and done, was probably the most memorable food I had while there and gets my vote for best food. The pastrami sandwich and Matzoh Ball soup (also affectionately named “Jewish Penicillin” on the menu) make me want to see when I can fly back for a Second round. They offer shipping and I did bring some home (the pastrami) but it just wasn’t the same. I am also left wondering: what was that mysterious dish of pickled items that came before the food and the post-lunch shot of ?
Best Matzoh Ball soup ever, Second Avenue Deli
My vote for best ambiance goes to Tao. It was sublime to sit in front of a giant Buddha and enjoy great asian food. Good marketing move with the big guy. It’s what you remember afterward.
Favorite comfort food? Having a Starbucks a half a block away in not one but two directions from the front door of my hotel. There are about 255 Starbucks in Manhattan alone. I may have been a pedestrian and traffic hazard on the way there, but once caffeinated, I walked like a New Yorker all the way back to my room.
A quarter of a Pumpernickel Bagel from Ess-A-Bagel. These bagels are 3 times larger than those found in Minnesota. Wished I would have had lunch there instead of a breakfast bagel because the deli case was amazing.
I am a photographer who lives in Minnesota. I blog about Minnesota, photography, music, food and miscellaneous topics.