New York in December – where we ate

Staying in Chelsea meant we had some of the best eateries on our doorstop, and on at least one of the nights, we spent a good half an hour weighing up options.

For our first night, we walked over to the next block to the Meatpacking District location of Dos Caminos for some amazing Mexican food. The small guac and chips was huge, which made me glad that I only ordered a small plate (chicken taquitos which were amazing). I hit a wall pretty early that evening after our long flight, so couldn’t manage dessert which I’m very sad about as the Mexican hot fudge sundae looks incredible. We really liked the atmosphere in the restaurant and we were really tempted to visit again on this trip.

Our first full day featured a crazy amount of walking (10 miles) and I can’t remember stopping to eat lunch. I do remember wanting to have some kakigōri (Japanese shaved ice) from Bonsai Kakigori in Canal Street Market. I wanted this so much that I made us do something we would never normally do – wait for the place to open. And how were we rewarded? The freaking store didn’t have any ice. WHY!? I’m still angry about it.

After wandering all over SoHo and Greenwich Village, we popped back to the hotel to drop off our shopping, and for Husband to research some shoes he wanted to buy. After buying said shoes, we stopped by Dough Doughnuts on W 19th Street to pick up a snack for later. Although they were very good doughnuts, they weren’t the best doughnuts of the trip…

Dinner that night was just around the corner from our hotel at Bare Burger 8th Ave. Aside from the fact we were sat at high stools (I hate high stools!), this was a great meal, although we ordered way too much and had to waddle back to our room. So good.

Day two featured even more walking (16 miles!!) and again, we didn’t stop for a ‘proper’ lunch, but we did stop for my favourite doughnuts in New York – Underwest Donuts. We found this tiny little store on our last trip and I was overjoyed to eat the most delicious doughnut in such an un-expected location – a car wash!

This was the day we struggled to make a decision for dinner as is so much choice, but I lobbied hard for the Meatball Shop which turned out to be one of the best restaurant decisions we’ve ever made. These guys do meatballs, and they do them well – different types of ball (even meat-free!) matched with different sauces, supplemented by a great selection of sides. I could eat here every day for the rest of my life and not get bored. The staff were wonderful, and helped out with menu recommendations which was definitely needed as it’s surprisingly hard to decide on a meatball combination!

We decided to skip dessert here again – although their ice cream sandwiches were tempting – because I had my eye on a different prize. Chip NYC were in the Gansevoort market when we visited although I think they’ve now closed that branch to move to a bigger location in the West Village. I have never had a cookie like it, and I doubt I’ll have anything like it again. Crunchy on the outside, gooey on the inside and just absolute perfection. We visited just before they closed so they only had a couple left – I had Funfetti and Husband had White Chocolate Macadamia but they bake different cookies on different days.

So of course, we had to go back the following afternoon to try more of their menu. I mentioned earlier that I don’t wait for things to open; well, neither do I queue for food. But for Chip cookies, I would queue for an hour. We actually only queued for 15 minutes and were rewarded with warm, doughy goodness (a hot fudge sundae, and a strawberry cheesecake). We found a ledge at the back of Gansevoort Market to perch and try not to make a terrible mess of ourselves with the gooeyness (we failed).

The cookies were a pre-trip home treat, but we had also treated ourselves to a proper breakfast on our final morning – something that has become a bit of a tradition for our final mornings. We had intended to visit Chelsea Market more over the course of our three day trip, but the whole place was constantly over-crowded. Sunday morning was gloriously quiet however, so we stopped by our favourite brunch location – Friedmans. We were a little too far away from our usual location in Hell’s Kitchen, but fortunately they have a small store in Chelsea Market so I was able to order my favourite – eggs with style.

Now, how can I get Deliveroo or Uber Eats to fly over some of those meatballs?

New York in July – where we ate

We hadn’t aimed to eat at (mostly) entirely new places on this trip, it just happened by chance.  We’d hoped to have at least one fancy meal but the timings didn’t work out, and it was too hot to eat a lot of food but I would 100% go back to every place we visited.  Such great additions to our NYC favourites.

Saturday night – Dos Toros Taqueria
We’d eaten on the plane of course, but we couldn’t resist grabbing some tacos from Dos Toros Taqueria on 6th Avenue (well, Husband had a burrito).  The store was almost empty, but the tacos were delicious and the guacamole and chips were so good.

Sunday Brunch – Haven Rooftop
I spent so long trying to find the perfect brunch place.  It needed to be the right combination of unpretentiousness, location, and menu.  Haven Rooftop ticked all those boxes so I can now say I’ve eaten avocado toast at a rooftop bar – surely this is what every New York trip legally has to these days.

Ignore the fact my camera has focussed on the wrong meal

We were at the rooftop as it opened so almost had the place to ourselves.  We thought about having some bottomless cocktails, but wanted other drinks from the menu (mine had a crazy amount of booze in it).  The avocado toast with poached eggs was just what we needed, and it was so fun to sit above the spire of the church next door.

Sunday night – 5 Napkin Burger
John Oliver finished about 8pm, and we had a vague plan of grabbing a burger.  Naturally, my first thought was Shake Shack but then we saw 5 Napkin Burger  and thought we’d try it out.  It looked crazy busy but were seated straight away so I got to try their original burger whilst husband had the Avocado Ranch – he had gone avocado crazy on the first two days of this trip.  They were both bloody delicious.

Monday lunch – Alamo Drafthouse
We kind of gave up on meals on Monday – the burger had been so filling the night before – so for lunch, we had popcorn and warm pretzels whilst watching The Big Sick.  It was a crazy amount of butter popcorn.  It was a bit confusing to start with as we couldn’t figure out where to get food from, but one of the waiters came and explained it to us – write what you want from the menu on an order card, stand it up on the table in front, and they’ll come and take your order.  You can continue to do this throughout the film as they keep an eye on everyone and towards the end, the bill is dropped off at your table for you to pay.

Monday night – Five Guys
We got lazy and just had some fries from the Five Guys on our block after seeing 1984.  Again, I wanted Shake Shack but it wasn’t to be.

Tuesday random snacks
No proper lunch today as we wandered around Greenwich and Soho.  We had our traditional lemonade and sticky buns at Amy’s Bread in Chelsea Market which was perfect as always, and then we brought out the big guns.We visited Big Gay Ice Cream on our first trip in 2014 but it wasn’t ideal ice cream weather at the time.  This time round, it was about 30˚C so stunningly perfect ice cream weather.  I had Salty Pimp and Husband had American Globs as before – damn, I love this shop.

Tuesday night – NY Pizza Suprema
I have never had ‘proper’ New York pizza, so this was another one of those things I spent a lot of time researching.  There are a ridiculous amount of articles on the perfect slice, but many of them mentioned a place that was 2 minutes away from our hotel – NY Pizza Suprema.  I had to get rid of any preconceptions because honestly, it didn’t look like my kind of place from the outside but the pizza was AMAZING.  Nothing I’ve had before compares and just looking at this picture is making my hungry.

Wednesday snack – Underwest Donuts
I worried Husband by telling him I wanted to visit the Westside Highway Car Wash, mainly because we didn’t have a hire car so he thought I’d lost my mind.  This one was special – a tiny corner of the car wash has been converted into a little doughnut shop called Underwest Donuts and let me tell you – those doughnuts were so perfect .  There were too many to choose from – I had dark chocolate but I also wanted the espresso bean, and the maple waffle, the brown butter…  OK, I wanted all of them.  Why did we leave it until the last morning to try them out?It’s oddly satisfying to sit in a car watch amongst Magic Tree fresheners and washer fluid whilst eating doughnuts.  Truly the American dream.