This post was most recently updated on March 30th, 2016
As I have said before, New York City is an extremely cultured city, and as a result, I discover different foods daily from all over the world. I love food of all kinds and would even give myself the title of “foodie” (although it has an increasingly negative connotation). But seriously, take me anywhere with good food and it’ll be a struggle to get me out of there… Maddy and I kind of have a problem with eating, or overeating anyway. We LOVE food. So as promised, here are my favorite restaurants to visit (in no particular order).
Take this from an avid pizza lover… this is the best pizza in New York. This place was actually introduced to me by a friend back home in California who has siblings that are now New Yorkers. This new-age Italian restaurant is making pizza the right way. It is a little bit on the pricier side, considering that it is pizza, but I guarantee that you’ll get your money’s worth. My go-to meal here is starting off with the steamed clams prepared to perfection and then treating myself to a Prosciutto di Parma pizza. My mouth is currently watering just thinking about it. With so many pizza joints in city, this place separates themselves with their attention to quality of ingredients and determination to have the best pizza. This Brooklyn restaurant has been so popular that it has two locations in New York City and can now be found in Hong Kong and Manila as well! So if you come to New York searching for the best pizza you’ve ever had, look no further.
- La Esquina
Living in New York City means that quality Mexican food is hard to come across. But I found the spot that’ll put all of my worries to rest. I’m Mexican, so I like to think I’m an adequate Mexican food critic; this place passes my test with flying colors. There are three parts to this food heaven: The Taqueria for some quick street style tacos and burritos to enjoy while you’re on the move, then follows the Café for a casual sit down dining experience, and finally the Brasserie for some dinner and drinks. Any of these are great choices. I prefer to get the best of both worlds with the Café; my order here consists of the Tostada de Cangrejo (crab tostada) and the Bistec Tacos (steak tacos). I overcome my homesickness every time with a delicious Mexican meal from La Esquina!
- El Almacen
In the home of the hipsters (Williamsburg) resides the best Argentinian steakhouse outside of Argentina. You can’t go wrong here. The atmosphere will make you feel like you’re an Argentinian gaucho, or at least eating like one! To get prepare your taste buds for the main course I recommend beginning the meal with the avocado fries that are packed with flavor. Their most popular dish is one that meat lovers would die for; the Entraña, a 10 ounce skirt steak with poblano purée and salsa criolla, is such a delicious meal; you’ll be left craving more but will have no room left in your stomach, unfortunately. The juiciness and tenderness of the steak paired with the spiciness of the salsa and purée was exactly what I craved. If I weren’t a poor college student, you would see me here for dinner at least 3 times a week.
(Courtesy of the El Almacen official instagram, @elalmacen3)
Contrary to the name of the restaurant, Delicatessen is not a sandwich shop. This Soho staple is a popular place that I discovered one day after work. I seriously couldn’t have picked a better place to fulfill my hunger. They describe themselves as serving “international comfort food”; my view is that they couldn’t have been more on point with this statement. The way I do dinner here starts off with Crispy Chicken Wings (of course they’re spicy) and the New England Lobster Sliders (with BACON – enough said). See, the normal person might be full after sharing these starters between two people, but not us. I follow these plates up with the Korean Skirt Steak and Spinach Salad; the steak fills the rest of my hunger and I still manage to be somewhat healthy with some greens in there. Oh, they also own MacBar, so that’s a plus, because you can get the mac and cheese plates here too! But seriously, this place does comfort food the right way, so you have no excuse not to visit.
Maddy is obsessed with mac and cheese and experiences an unusual amount of joy whenever she has a delicious plate of it (or a delicious plate of anything), and this place was definitely influenced by her. The mac and cheese here is some of the best in NYC. I had seen the restaurant multiple times before, but never stopped in, until one day my friends and I decided to give it a try. It turned out to be the best decision we could’ve made for lunch that day. Since spicy foods have always been a huge part of my life, being Mexican and all, my favorite plate is the Mayan Chipotle mac and cheese. It comes with spicy chicken, some Mexican cheese, green onions, and of course, hot sauce! The Mayan Chipotle fills you up, but of course, it’s just one of the many variations they have at MacBar (Mac Lobsta’ is my second favorite). Take my advice: save a meal for some mac and cheese at MacBar.
Most people don’t know this, but the famous chicken and waffle combination plate isn’t from the South. New York created this wonder and Sweet Chick has perfected it. If you’re on a diet or just not a big eater, don’t even bother coming here. This is a place that’ll satisfy your worst needs! Their chicken is fried to a golden crisp with homemade batter and their waffles are divine. My little variation on the classic is actually substituting a bacon waffle for a typical one. It could quite be the best call I’ve ever made. I’m all for being healthy and active, but this is a cheat meal that’s worth trying
(Courtesy of the Sweet Chick official Instagram, @sweetchicklife)