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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    14 Fraternity Guy Gifts Ideas, Since He Already Has Enough Beer

    Frat boys are a species of their own and here are some exciting gifts they will be ecstatic to receive!

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    What more do frat boys love than alcohol, partying, and just acting stupid? Here are some gifts that help fulfill all of those needs for the frat boy in your life!

    1. Beer holster belt

    Whats better than one beer? Six beers! This fashionable camouflage accessory can be used for tailgates, beach days, formals and everything in between.

    Price: $8.49 (one pack), $14.99 (two pack)

    2. Phone juul holder 

    You know those cardholders everyone sticks on the back of their phones? Well, now a Juul holder for your phone is on the market! This will save your favorite frat boy from ever again losing his Juul!

    Price: $10.98

    3. Animal house poster 

    This Animal House poster is a classic staple for any frat boy. This poster will compliment any frat house decor or lack thereof.

    Price: $1.95

    4. The American Fraternity book

    Does the frat boy in your life need a good read for Thanksgiving or winter break? Look no farther, this will certainly keep his attention and give him a history lesson on American fraternity heritage and tradition.

    Price: $28.46

    5. Beer pong socks 

    These snazzy socks featuring beer pong will be loved by any frat boy. As for the way to any frat boy's heart may, in fact, be beer pong.

    Price: $12.00

    6. Condom case

    This condom carrying case will not only protect condoms from damage but also make frat boys more inclined to practice safe sex, which is a win-win situation!

    Price: $9.99

    7. Frat house candle

    Ahhh yes, who does not like the smell of stale beer in a dark, musty frat house basement? Frat boys can make their apartment or bedroom back home smell like their favorite place with the help of this candle.

    Price: $16.99

    8. "Frat" sticker

    Frat boys always need to make sure everyone around them knows just how "fratty" they are. This versatile stick can go on a laptop, car, water bottle, or practically anywhere their little hearts desire.

    Price: $6.50

    9. Natty Light t-shirt 

    Even I will admit that this shirt is pretty cool. The frat boy in your life will wear this shirt at every possible moment, it is just that cool!

    Price: $38.76-$41.11

    10. Natty light fanny pack 

    This fanny pack can absolutely be rocked by any frat boy. The built-in koozie adds a nice touch.

    Price: $21.85

    11. Bud Light Neon Beer Sign 

    A neon beer sign will be the perfect addition to any frat boys bedroom.

    Price: $79.99

    12. Beer Opener

    Although most frat boys' go to beers come in cans, this bottle opener will be useful for those special occasions when they buy nicer bottled beers.

    Price: $7.99

    13. Frat House Dr. Sign

    Price: $13.99

    Forget stealing random street signs, with this gift frat boys no longer have to do so.

    14. Beer Lights 

    Lights are an essential for any party and these will surely light up even the lamest parties.

    Price: $17.19

    Please note that prices are accurate and items in stock as of the time of publication. As an Amazon Associate, Odyssey may earn a portion of qualifying sales.

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    The Cold, Refreshing, Stimulating Truth About Energy Drinks

    Am I ruining my body with these? Am I going to DIE???

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    The thing about energy drinks... they have a bad rap.

    I often bring one to work and then my coworkers will begin to tell me how bad they are for my health. And then I usually reply with how delicious they are or something. Because quite frankly, I absolutely love energy drinks.

    I never have more than one on the same day, and I don't drink 5-Hour Energy or any of those energy shots. THOSE can't be safe. I also don't drink Redbull for some reason. I have always thought that they weren't good for you and so I guess I just stand by that. But I drink every flavor of Monster and Rockstar and have now expanded my horizons to Nos, Bang, etc. I sip them like a drink, I don't chug them or start my day with them. Usually. And I like to get the sugar-free or low-calorie ones, although that's a whole other debate on whether or not it's healthier to digest real sugar or fake sweetener.

    But my habits are not the focus of this article. Instead, I want to summarize some of the factual information about energy drinks and why you shouldn't assume I'm going to have a heart attack after I finish my delicious beverage. Now, I admit right off the bat that I didn't do any extensive research about this, I didn't look into cases of specific people's injuries or experiences, I just want to state a few facts to put this entire debate into perspective:

    The average Monster has anywhere from 140-160 mg of caffeine in a 16oz can. This is the equivalent of a tall Starbucks cafe Americano. And ordering an Americano every morning is perfectly fine to most people.

    My absolute favorite flavor of Monster is the Pipeline Punch from the Monster Juice series. This one is not low-calorie or low-sugar, it's just a normal Monster drink. It has 23g of sugar in it. Arguably one of the most popular sugary Starbucks drinks is the caramel macchiato. The grande size has 33g of sugar in it. Not to mention, it's also the exact same caffeine count as an energy drink.

    Anytime you order your Starbucks drink with an extra shot, that's an added 75mg of caffeine. So with every double shot or even triple shot, if you dare, you are well over the caffeine amount of 99% of energy drinks.

    In light of these facts, it's still fair to criticize energy drinks because of their artificial, sugary nature. Sure, carbonated sugary drinks lead to teeth erosion and dental issues. But then how come people don't freak out every time the waiter asks if you would like a Coke with that?

    The Bang drinks actually require you be over eighteen to purchase them. Grocery stores treat it like alcohol and ask for your ID before buying. And maybe this is how it should be for every energy drink brand. It would surely help prevent young children and teens from over-consuming something that they probably don't need in their systems at a young age.

    As for bodily defects as a result of drinking energy drinks—do everything in moderation! Stories are released of people drinking energy drinks and then dying from heart attacks or what have you. But 99% of the time it's because they drank three in a row or mixed them with substances you shouldn't be mixing them with. These aren't just drinks. People should be taking them seriously. You wouldn't throw back five shots of tequila and then not expect to suffer the consequences or order three triple shot lattes and not expect to feel a little heartburn afterward.

    So, I urge you to take this with a grain of salt. 99% of the time I drink an energy drink, it just keeps me from falling asleep. It doesn't really give me energy or make me stay awake. So maybe I have an extremely high tolerance to caffeine, but I see it as evidence that energy drinks can't be that bad for you or else the supposed "high" levels of chemicals and caffeine would have you bouncing off the walls every single time.

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