20 Must Try Items On Any NYC Food Bucket List

20 Must Try Items On Any NYC Food Bucket List

If you're not drooling by the end of this list, there's something wrong with you.

I’m a foodie who’s completely obsessed with finding the best restaurants anywhere I go. So naturally, I have about a million different places I’m dying to check out in NYC, where amazing restaurants are as easy to find as sand at the beach! Many of these restaurants are places I’ve found while watching Food Network or Cooking Channel-- which I watch pretty much all day every day. Many of them I’ve found while scrolling through Instagram-- on which I follow more food blogs than people.

I’ve narrowed down my list of a million (give or take) to 20, so you can trust me when I say that this concentrated list is the best of the best… as far as totally stalking their menus goes. I must try them all!!!

1. Spot Dessert

Spot Dessert Bar is a Tapas Bar (lots of small plates to be shared), but for dessert! They have some incredibly unique treats like the Chocolate Green Tea Lava Cake shown above! YUM.

2. Jack's Wife Freda

  • This super trendy American-Mediterranean bistro, known for their outstanding brunch and even more outstanding #aesthetic, is located in super trendy SoHo.

  • 3. Black Tap Burgers

    I know this place is named for their burgers, but they’re really famous for their milkshakes. I mean, look at their milkshakes. Like, what? How? Wow. Black Tap gives "over the top" new meaning.

    4. Eataly

    Eataly is a beautiful wonderland of Italian food! Tons of different Italian restaurants, cafés, and markets toting all different kinds of pasta, fresh pastries, gelato, and more-- all in one building! That’s what paradise looks like if you ask me.

    5. Ample Hills Creamery

    This ice cream shop makes handmade ice cream from the best ingredients, and even pasteurizes on site, so you know you’re getting the best of the best. Peppermint patties, honeycomb candy, pistachio brittle, and brownies are just a few of their (all handmade, obviously) ice cream mix-ins!

    6. The Pennsy

    This brand new food hall, located conveniently right outside of Penn Station, has lots of different stations where you can get some seriously delicious and diverse food! Vendors include my all-time favorite food truck, The Cinnamon Snail, Mario by Mary created by superstar chef Mario Batali, and more!

    7. Doughnut Plant

    Doughnuts are life, am I right? With flavors like lavender, orange blossom, and even savory doughnuts like avocado and samosa, I'm definitely intrigued. Doughnut Plant has been wildly popular for years now, and I can certainly see why!

    8. Raclette

    CHEEEESE. The waiters scrape ooey, gooey, melty cheese right off the wheel onto your food... pure bliss.

    9. Flex Mussels

    I'm a huge seafood fan, and Flex Mussels definitely knows their seafood. They have over twenty different kinds of mussel dishes! I want to try them all!

    10. The Loop: Handcrafted Churros

    These beautiful loop-shaped churros look not only totally Instagram-worthy, but also absolutely delicious! A churro dipped in Nutella, glazed with matcha and dipped in fruity pebbles, or served over caramel popcorn ice cream is my idea of the ideal treat!

    11. Totto Ramen

    Noodles, and broth, and meat, oh my! Authentic Japanese ramen is a comforting meal I'd love to slurp up and enjoy any day.

    12. Union Fare

    Union Fare is a trendy gastrohall (fancy word for restaurant), café, and bakery that takes up a full city block. Each and every day, my Instagram feed is sprinkled with more and more of these Union Fare Bakery birthday cake croissants. I think that's a sign that this is something that really needs to be in my life right now.

    13. Sweet Chick

    Southern food is taking the Big Apple by storm! Sweet Chick serves some of the most highly rated fried chicken and waffles in NYC. They make comfort food as cool and chic as can be.

    14. Big Gay Ice Cream

    Pride has never been so sweet! If you’re looking for plain ol’ chocolate and vanilla, this isn’t the place for you. Big Gay Ice Cream, which originated as an ice cream truck, is serving up insanely yummy ice cream combos with wacky names like Salty Pimp, American Globs, and Mermaid!

    15. Hai Street Kitchen & Co

    The "Sushirrito" trend that's been booming in California has made its way over to the East Coast, and I'm pretty excited about it to say the least. It's just a really large sushi roll. I love sushi, so I will definitely love massive sushi.

    16. 10 Below Ice Cream

    It's ice cream... but it's rolled. How cool is that?! They pour the liquid ice cream on a freezing platform and scrape it so it curls into the beautiful artistry shown above! I need to see this in action.

    17. Dominique Ansel

    Dominique Ansel is home of the world-famous cronut. I can't believe I still haven't had one! Fried, flaky, sugary pastry with lots of sweet yummy flavors is my type of dessert.

    18. Smorgasburg

    Smorgasburg is a self-proclaimed "Brooklyn Flea Food Market". I like the sound of that! Over 100 local and regional food vendors sell everything from tacos to macarons at this foodie haven.

    19. Gato NYC

    I'm a huge Food Network fan, and if you've turned on the Food Network for more than 2 seconds, you definitely know Bobby Flay. This guy is my hero. He's a true culinary wizard. The food at his restaurant, Gato, has a Mediterranean flare, and the whole menu just looks so glorious.

    20. Tompkins Square Bagels

    This is not your typical New York bagel, that's for sure! They hand roll their bagels every day and stuff them with cream cheese in every flavor you can imagine!

    NYC really is the ultimate foodie hotspot! If you have more delicious restaurants to add to the list, comment and let me know!

    Cover Image Credit: Instagram

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    Sorry Not Sorry, My Parents Paid For My Coachella Trip

    No haters are going to bring me down.

    With Coachella officially over, lives can go back to normal and we can all relive Beyonce’s performance online for years to come. Or, if you were like me and actually there, you can replay the experience in your mind for the rest of your life, holding dear to the memories of an epic weekend and a cultural experience like no other on the planet.

    And I want to be clear about the Beyonce show: it really was that good.

    But with any big event beloved by many, there will always be the haters on the other side. The #nochella’s, the haters of all things ‘Chella fashion. And let me just say this, the flower headbands aren’t cultural appropriation, they’re simply items of clothing used to express the stylistic tendency of a fashion-forward event.

    Because yes, the music, and sure, the art, but so much of what Coachella is, really, is about the fashion and what you and your friends are wearing. It's supposed to be fun, not political! Anyway, back to the main point of this.

    One of the biggest things people love to hate on about Coachella is the fact that many of the attendees have their tickets bought for them by their parents.

    Sorry? It’s not my fault that my parents have enough money to buy their daughter and her friends the gift of going to one of the most amazing melting pots of all things weird and beautiful. It’s not my fault about your life, and it’s none of your business about mine.

    All my life, I’ve dealt with people commenting on me, mostly liking, but there are always a few that seem upset about the way I live my life.

    One time, I was riding my dolphin out in Turks and Cacaos, (“riding” is the act of holding onto their fin as they swim and you sort of glide next to them. It’s a beautiful, transformative experience between human and animal and I really think, when I looked in my dolphin’s eye, that we made a connection that will last forever) and someone I knew threw shade my way for getting to do it.

    Don’t make me be the bad guy.

    I felt shame for years after my 16th birthday, where my parents got me an Escalade. People at school made fun of me (especially after I drove into a ditch...oops!) and said I didn’t deserve the things I got in life.

    I can think of a lot of people who probably don't deserve the things in life that they get, but you don't hear me hating on them (that's why we vote, people). Well, I’m sick of being made to feel guilty about the luxuries I’m given, because they’ve made me who I am, and I love me.

    I’m a good person.

    I’m not going to let the Coachella haters bring me down anymore. Did my parents buy my ticket and VIP housing? Yes. Am I sorry about that? Absolutely not.

    Sorry, not sorry!

    Cover Image Credit: Kaycie Allen

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    6 Ways To Chomp Down On Food Waste

    Even if Americans reduce their food waste by only 5%, they would be able to feed 4 million people.

    To produce food, you need lots of land, water, fertilizer or feed, gasoline for equipment and transportation, and packaging for the final product. All of those resources are wasted when you toss food in the trash, which releases methane, a very potent greenhouse gas, once it decomposes anaerobically in a landfill. About 21% of all food produced in the United States is wasted by consumers. The average household of four wastes about $125 worth of food every month. Broken down by type, about 50% of seafood, 48% of produce, 38% of grains, 22% of meat and 20% of milk that is produced is wasted. Even if Americans reduce their food waste by 5%, they would be able to feed 4 million people.

    Here is how you can reduce the amount of food that you waste.

    1. Keep an inventory of your food and condiments

    It’s not uncommon for us to forget what we buy. It sometimes causes us to buy more of it even before we finish the first batch. Especially with sauces and certain foods that you don’t eat often, it’s easy to forget that it’s even there. When buying foods and condiments that you don’t eat or use very often, list them on a chart along with the date bought, tape it to your fridge and cross each item off after you’ve finished it.

    2. Use a shopping list

    Going to the grocery store with a shopping list cannot only saves time at the store but also reduces the food that gets tossed. When you are shopping without knowing what you want to buy, there is a tendency to buy on impulse even when you don’t need it or already have it. When it comes to making meals, too much of one ingredient or food item can mean that some of it will be stored for longer periods of time, which can increase the likelihood of it going bad.

    3. Don’t buy bulk when you haven’t tried it

    Supermarket sales often make it way too tempting to buy large quantities of food looks appealing but may not always taste the way you expected. In some cases, it may taste so unappetizing that you just end up tossing the remainder in the trash. So next time you see a sale on a bulk food item that you’ve never tasted, make sure that you buy a smaller package first, taste it, and if you like it then buy the bulk one.

    4. Use expiration dates as a guideline

    Expiration dates and sell by dates are not always accurate as to when food will become unsafe to eat. They are meant to determine how long food can maintain its quality and taste. Food can certainly become inedible long before its expiration date it has been opened and/or not stored properly. Some food can also be safe to eat and even taste the same weeks after the expiration date. In the case of sell-by dates, it often mentions on the package that the food can be eaten a week after the date. In a Lindt Chocolate store, I once saw a sign that said that chocolate bars can last for a few months after the expiration date if stored in a cool and dry place. The most accurate way to determine whether a food is safe to eat is to smell it, examine it for physical changes (like mold) and, in some cases, taste a little bit to determine if tastes odd.

    5. Store it correctly

    When food is not stored correctly it will not last as long. If you leave defrosted meat out for a few hours at room temperature, it will spoil. For many foods storing right means sealing up the bag or container and putting it in a pantry, refrigerator or freezer. However, there are sometimes tricks to make certain items last longer. Some of these include: storing asparagus and herbs in a glass of water, wrapping top of a bunch of bananas in plastic wrap, placing a paper towel over leafy greens when placing them in a container, storing potatoes with apples to keep the potatoes from sprouting, wrapping celery and broccoli in aluminum foil and wrapping cheese loosely in wax paper (not plastic).

    6. Plan for less

    The number of servings on a recipe is only accurate to a certain extent. More times than not, people will eat less than the actual serving size predicted by a recipe book or label. When preparing food for a special event or big dinner, try preparing 15-20% few servings than the number of people who will be attending. For a more accurate measure of how much to prepare, try using an ingredient calculator Check out: https://www.savethefood.com/guestimator

    Cover Image Credit: Zijun Xu

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