It’s dubbed ‘the city that never sleeps’, but with thousands of eateries boasting enough Michelin stars to put the Milky Way to shame, I personally think New York could also be called ‘the city that never stops eating’. A melting pot of cultures and cuisines, the city boasts ambitious chefs serving up unique experiences that inspired me to visit 10 of NYC’s more remarkable dining experiences. Lucky for you, I took notes between courses!
So, now that you’ve secured some amazingly cheap flights to New York, it’s time to put on your stretchy pants and get ready to indulge in some of the most delicious and unusual treats the city has to offer!
The only thing more unforgettable than the name of this Carrol Gardens’ Thai gem is the menu’s ranking on the Scoville scale. Between sips of (BYO) chardonnay, I’m happy to rave about my flavoursome spicy duck salad and turmeric-braised sea bream. Word to the wise – the secret is out, and Ugly Baby is as hot as its dishes, so arrive early!
Creamy sauces, candlelight glinting off red wine glasses – there’s something very civilised about Italian cuisine, so, I channel Sophia Loren and swan into Lillia. Cosy and welcoming, it’s a slice of Europe in Williamsburg. I enjoyed fettuccine with spicy lamb sausage, paired with a Milano sour, before slipping into the classiest carb coma I’ve ever had!
I decided to mix it up and head to brunch at the renowned ABC Kitchen. Here, the focus is on local, organic ingredients with minimal miles and maximum artistry. Brunch is cool and casual, boasting everything from seasonal doughnuts to oven-roasted lobster. Vibrant and trendy, it’s the perfect place to people-watch while sipping a botanical cocktail.
Tonight’s a double feature. On my way to Chinese Tuxedo—a hidden China Town gem known for its imaginative take on traditional dishes—I pop into a nearby cocktail bar, Apotheke, where servers are ‘scientists’ prescribing ‘potions’ in a funky lab-themed setting. My ‘Huntsman’— scotch with duck fat and chocolate (just go with it)—is the perfect aperitif. A short UBER ride later, I take my seat in the warm glow of Chinese Tuxedo and enjoy squid ink noodles cooked to perfection.
A glowing example of haute cuisine, Craft is foodie heaven, and even the décor is a feast for the eyes. Beneath strings of trendy bare bulbs, chef Tom Colicchio’s dream to capture the comfort of dining decadently at home comes alive. Dishes offer a medley of delicate flavours, while the ‘potatoes and grains’ menu adds a refreshing twist.
NINJA NEW YORK
If you’re looking for something truly different, like, um, becoming a ninja, this is a must-visit. From the moment you enter this Japanese theme restaurant, the fun begins. Staff appear from shadows to lead you to a dungeon-style setting where the waitstaff are all dressed as – you guessed it – ninjas. Food-wise, expect traditional teriyaki and sushi, as well as flaming steaks served with a side of theatre.
One of the more overlooked world cuisines, but one done sublimely in New York is Korean, and Atomix is one of the best. I sidle up to the chef’s counter for 10 courses of mind-blowing attention to detail and presentation worthy of an art gallery. Fair warning—bookings must be made months ahead.
My Korean degustation has inspired me to try another international flavour, so I head to Wallsé, a contemporary space serving award-winning Austrian fare in the West Village. Here, a unique wine list complements traditional dishes, including a Wiener schnitzel that has to be tried to be believed.
New York and pizza go hand in hand, but, if you want to enjoy your slice in style, you must visit Pasquale Jones. It’s an airy, modern establishment unlike many of its noisy Little Italy neighbours, and, the famous Littleneck Clam Pie proves pizza can be an artform.
When it comes to ‘on-trend’ dining, it’s hard to ignore the popularity of vegan cuisine, so I decided to finish my food odyssey at one of the world’s most acclaimed plant-based eateries – Candle 79 on the Upper East Side. Far from ‘rabbit food’, the fare here is hearty and indulgent. Don’t miss the cheese plate or chocolate brownie sundae!
So, there you have it – 10 ways to bite the Big Apple! With cheap flights to New York and amazing hotel deals easy to find, all that’s left is for you to pack your appetite and fly!