The Best Way to See NYC – A Food Tour

2010 July 4
by Sara

I’ve had a feeling that the best way to tour New York City is by way of a food tour. But timing and weather haven’t allowed us to do it. At least not until a couple weeks back when our friends Jake and Paige came to visit. And oh man, I’m so glad they did. Turns out eating your way through a city is the best way to sight see.

On this particularly day, the sky was clear and the temperatures reached the upper 70s. We were well rested, hydrated, and the camera had batteries. We were prepared.

First stop, Lexington Candy Shop.

No, we didn’t eat candy for breakfast. We ate french toast and eggs. If it weren’t for the fact that they didn’t offer refills on the coffee and that the wait staff paid no attention to us at all, we might recommend it. But don’t be fooled by its claim to fame. Just because it’s the oldest soda counter in New York, doesn’t mean it’s worth visiting.

Next stop, the Metropolitan Museum to see the exhibit American Woman: Fashioning a National Identity. Jake and Jason couldn’t get enough of those ball gowns.

Once we’d had enough of the museum, we hopped on the subway and headed downtown to the Lower East Side by way of Little Italy. We needed some coffee and cannoli (need I remind you we were operating on only one cup) and chose to stop by Caffe Roma on a whim.

morning pastries

They look so happy, don’t they? Dessert before noon will do that to people.

cafe roma

After we practically licked our plates clean, we moved on down the road to the Tenement Museum where we learned about New York City immigrant life from the 1880s to the 1930s. The tour was great, but I think my expectations were too high. It wasn’t nearly as “fascinating” as I had hoped. Maybe it was because I had my mind on something else…

meatball shop Meatballs!

Jason and I heard about The Meatball Shop on the Food Network and insisted on making it part of the tour. Between the four of us we shared spicy pork meatballs covered in creamy parmesan sauce and a classic beef meatball hero with classic tomato sauce and a side salad. Maybe it was a spicy pork with classic tomato and beef with creamy parmesan…hmmm, I can’t remember. But what I do remember is that the food was dee-lish-ous.

Side note: It was difficult not to think about calorie count at this point in the tour, which is why I made a rule that no calories could be discussed throughout the course of the tour. I’ll thank you to do the same.

Anyway, where was I? Oh yea, meatballs.

After The Meatball Shop we walked up the street to Katz Delicatessan. You know, the famous deli from When Harry Met Sally.

Word on the street is that you must order the pastrami sandwich from Katz. I didn’t think I even liked pastrami and for $14 a pop I resented the idea of it! But I’m a team player. I agreed try it as part of the Lancaster New York City Food Tour.

katz pastrami sandwich

Turns out I LOVE pastrami. A little mustard is all you need.

Stuffed and thirsty, we needed a drink. Who knows how long those pickles sat in the brine!

We headed into Soho for Bar 89 – a nice spot Jason and I discovered last summer – for one of my favorite cocktails. Can you say “coconut martini with chocolate shavings”?

I can. I can say “yum”, too.

coconut martini

If you look at the top of this next pic you can see the “Bar 89″ sign. It’s a bit nondescript. I guess you need little signs and big cocktails to be considered cool in New York.


bar 89 in soho

Eager to see more of the city, we headed west to Chelsea and High Line Park. If you plan to visit NYC anytime soon, I definitely recommend you visit High Line Park. The combination of a retired elevated subway line and beautiful gardens make for quite a sight. Instead of me telling you the history, I think you’re better off reading the sign.

Look! You can see two turkeys sitting on that bench.

high line walkway

high line new york city walk

Told you this place rocked.

Still not quite ready for dinner, we walked through Hell’s Kitchen for awhile, stopped in the Apple store to play with the iPad, and then put our name on the list at The International Grand Sichuan. To say that Jason likes Chinese food would be an understatement. He lives for it.

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No food tour can end without dessert. Seeing how Paige turned another year older on this day, cupcakes were in order. Happy birthday, Paige!

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Twelve hours and seven food stops equal one successful NYC food tour.

ps – If you like this post, you might like some of my other posts over at SaucyDipper.com where I talk sauces, dips, bacon, and recipes.

3 Responses leave one →
  1. Jason permalink*
    July 5, 2010

    Sara – Nicely done. Great pics too – you’re getting good with that camera!

    Jake is the one, btw, who couldn’t get enough of the women’s fashion exhibit at the Met. He loves his women’s clothing.

  2. Jake permalink
    July 15, 2010

    I thought the women’s fashion exhibit was informative, classy, tastefully put together, and fun! I now know what a flapper is.

    The highlight of the tour had to be the dan-dan noodles and the soup wontons. Amazing. Thanks for taking us on the best food tour in NYC. It truly was a great day.

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