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.
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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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    ​An Open Letter To The People Who Don’t Tip Their Servers

    This one's for you.
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    Dear Person Who Has No Idea How Much The 0 In The “Tip:" Line Matters,

    I want to by asking you a simple question: Why?

    Is it because you can't afford it? Is it because you are blind to the fact that the tip you leave is how the waiter/waitress serving you is making their living? Is it because you're just lazy and you “don't feel like it"?

    Is it because you think that, while taking care of not only your table but at least three to five others, they took too long bringing you that side of ranch dressing? Or is it just because you're unaware that as a server these people make $2.85 an hour plus TIPS?

    The average waiter/waitress is only supposed to be paid $2.13 an hour plus tips according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

    That then leaves the waiter/waitress with a paycheck with the numbers **$0.00** and the words “Not a real paycheck." stamped on it. Therefore these men and women completely rely on the tips they make during the week to pay their bills.

    So, with that being said, I have a few words for those of you who are ignorant enough to leave without leaving a few dollars in the “tip:" line.

    Imagine if you go to work, the night starts off slow, then almost like a bomb went off the entire workplace is chaotic and you can't seem to find a minute to stop and breathe, let alone think about what to do next.

    Imagine that you are helping a total of six different groups of people at one time, with each group containing two to 10 people.

    Imagine that you are working your ass off to make sure that these customers have the best experience possible. Then you cash them out, you hand them a pen and a receipt, say “Thank you so much! It was a pleasure serving you, have a great day!"

    Imagine you walk away to attempt to start one of the 17 other things you need to complete, watch as the group you just thanked leaves, and maybe even wave goodbye.

    Imagine you are cleaning up the mess that they have so kindly left behind, you look down at the receipt and realize there's a sad face on the tip line of a $24.83 bill.

    Imagine how devastated you feel knowing that you helped these people as much as you could just to have them throw water on the fire you need to complete the night.

    Now, realize that whenever you decide not to tip your waitress, this is nine out of 10 times what they go through. I cannot stress enough how important it is for people to realize that this is someone's profession — whether they are a college student, a single mother working their second job of the day, a new dad who needs to pay off the loan he needed to take out to get a safer car for his child, your friend, your mom, your dad, your sister, your brother, you.

    If you cannot afford to tip, do not come out to eat. If you cannot afford the three alcoholic drinks you gulped down, plus your food and a tip do not come out to eat.

    If you cannot afford the $10 wings that become half-off on Tuesdays plus that water you asked for, do not come out to eat.

    If you cannot see that the person in front of you is working their best to accommodate you, while trying to do the same for the other five tables around you, do not come out to eat. If you cannot realize that the man or woman in front of you is a real person, with their own personal lives and problems and that maybe these problems have led them to be the reason they are standing in front of you, then do not come out to eat.

    As a server myself, it kills me to see the people around me being deprived of the money that they were supposed to earn. It kills me to see the three dollars you left on a $40 bill. It kills me that you cannot stand to put yourself in our shoes — as if you're better than us. I wonder if you realize that you single-handedly ruined part of our nights.

    I wonder if maybe one day you will be in our shoes, and I hope to God no one treats you how you have treated us. But if they do, then maybe you'll realize how we felt when you left no tip after we gave you our time.

    Cover Image Credit: Hailea Shallock

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    The Method Behind My Madness

    How running is my favorite prescription

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    High school put us in a box. I graduated with about 500 other students, so I guess my four corners were pretty big. By senior year, we thought that we had such control of our personality and destiny because of the seemingly vast experiences we had. However, we often forgot that we grew up beside these people, with few to none new faces. Everyone had their 'thing', whether it was sports, band, arts, or just being really academically gifted, everyone had a safe spot. A confined box of personality traits that were associated with their passion. I am not trying to put high school down in any way, I loved high school. I am more spectating how cool it was to have easily found a category that came with an identity. Because when you get to college, the box becomes spherical, a.k.a. the whole world is yours.

    I remember during primary recruitment in middle August of my freshman year, I was asked what my passions were. And since I was months out of high school, I instinctively answered the question by talking about my love for soccer and memories from cross country. Obviously, I could not answer this for the rest of my life since the older I got, the farther away from my glory days I was. Luckily my dad had shown me that I could go on runs without having to chase a ball or to be on a team. Every morning during freshman year, I got up and explored on foot. That routine carried over to sophomore year and I was excited to find three other women in my house that had a burning itch to go for a run.

    I am constantly asked why I run or how I do it. And honestly, I do not run for physical health reasons. Yes, I want my heart to be stronger and I hope to live a long healthy life, but I do not train for running yearly races, or to increase my speed, or to decrease my time. Being a health nut is far from my vocabulary and I have lots of things to prove it. Chicken tenders are my favorite food and I can eat chips and salsa like they are the main course at Mexican restaurants (feel free to fact check that with literally anyone!) Running is my new safe spot. People often say that I am crazy for going on daily runs, but I think that running keeps the crazy away. My mental health is pretty strong and I attribute that to running. Something about the combination of fresh air and sweating it out makes my problems not feel so big. For me, going on runs are catalysts for idea generating, solutions to mentally solving any problems, space from living in a house with 60 women (love you all so much), and my personal favorite: endorphins.

    People always comment on how they would never run every single day or that running is not for them or that they cannot understand why I like to run. I know that they are just making conversation and not intentionally putting me down, however, sometimes I feel like I have to defend myself. So I have thought about it and come to a conclusion. Running cures all my bad moods and reduces my anxious mind. Concentrating on productivity, being a kinder human, and having an abundance of patience is all because of a little vitamin D and a lot of salty sweat. I am so fortunate to have found a recipe that is so simple to help me get on top of my life and destress from the hectic day. I genuinely hope that everyone finds the formula to keep away their gray days, and if anyone is inspired to go for a short jog after reading this, come find me and I probably already have my running shoes on.

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