If I’m not there for the books and BEA, I’m in New York to eat. I like to go at least once annually, and spend way too much time researching restaurants. The Javits Center is pretty centrally located and even if your hotel is not, the Subway is easy to navigate and taxis aren’t expensive if you’ve got friends to share with.
Pizza Suprema: I heard on the radio about a blog called Slice Harvester, where this guy ate at every pizza place in NYC and rated them. This was his number one place, which they let you know by having copies of the article at every table. Large slices, clean restaurant, fairly quick service.
Chelsea Market: There are so many different little specialty shops and restaurants, so much to see and taste. I could spend hours here. It’s a great stop for a cup of coffee, a cupcake or a quick snack.
John’s Pizzeria: This one is located in Times’ Square in an old church space. Delicious ingredients, perfect crust, just all around yummy. No slices, but worth sitting down and sharing a pie with friends.
Veselka: This is a Ukrainian diner of sorts. A dear friend took me here a couple years ago and I loved it so much. They serve fabulous cheese and potato pierogi, blintzes, and all kinds of American breakfast items.
Shake Shack – There are several locations in the city, including Times’ Square area and Central Park. The burger was decadent and juicy and the crinkle cut fries were excellent.
Clinton Street Baking Company: Best pancakes ever, hands down. No reservations, so be prepared for a wait.
Milk N Honey Kosher Deli – we came for breakfast and found the bagels to be very tasty. They seem to have a wide variety of offerings for lunch as well.
Katz’s Deli – this is where Meg Ryan’s famous “I’ll have what she’s having” scene from WHEN HARRY MET SALLY was filmed. I recommend the corned beef, matzoh ball soup, pickles and hot dogs.
Nom Wah Tea Parlor – Dim sum served here since 1920. Excellent soup dumplings. I was here with an author friend doing research and our walking tour guide, a long-time resident of New York, directed us here. We were more than happy he did!
Barbuto: Chef Jonathan Waxman was on Top Chef Masters and is known for his roast chicken, which I had and highly recommend. Also loved the gnocchi and crispy potatoes. This restaurant is in an old garage, and is casual and fun.
Colicchio & Sons Tap Room – I love Tom Colicchio from Top Chef (sensing a theme here?) and the menu is good for foodies, but your less adventurous friends will be happy here too. The squash soup was fantastic. UPDATE: This one is now sadly closed *sad face* but I’m leaving it up for the memories.
WD ~ 50 – Wylie Dufresne is one of my food heroes. This is the site of my most favorite meal ever. Ever. The deconstructed Eggs Benedict are to die for. If you can get yourself to the lower east side, do it! You do need a reservation.
The Stanton Social – everything on the menu is yummy. And the atmosphere made me feel cooler just for being there.
Red Rooster – Marcus Samuelsson’s Harlem restaurant has something for everyone and is effortlessly elegant and comfortable.
Scarpetta – Scott Conant, a frequent judge on Chopped, makes the best spaghetti on the planet. I loved it so much I ate it in the Las Vegas location and again in New York 2 weeks later. Totally worth it.
Momofuku Noodle Bar – Recently crossed this perpetually talked about ramen restaurant off my list. The wait will be very long at peak times (we happened to walk right in at noon on a Tuesday), but the generous bowls of noodles, flavorful broth, meat and veggies are worth it. My picky 5yo declared it the best restaurant in the city.
Magnolia: One of the original cupcake bakeries, a favorite of the Sex & The City ladies. My personal fave is the caramel.
Junior’s: This is a stop for me every time I’m in the city. Who goes to NYC and doesn’t get cheesecake! Take pictures of the huge, decadent slices and send them to your friends at home to make them jealous.
Donut Plant: I’d seen this place on a couple different Food Network shows and would recommend it for a quick snack if you’re walking around Chelsea. The blackout cake donut was excellent!
Big Gay Ice Cream: for the 2014 BEA, several of us walked an insanely long distance to get here and it was totally worth it. Who doesn’t want a Salty Pimp or a Bea Arthur?
Momofuku Milk Bar – Of the cereal milk soft serve, the crack pie and the malted milk truffles, the truffles were the winner for me. I’d go back and try more stuff any time.
And now I’m hungry and dying to get to the Big Apple. If anyone has any other favorite food stops, feel free to suggest them; I’m always looking for more.