BEA: Eating in NYC

BEA: Eating in NYC

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.

And when you’re done eating, here are some sites I’ve enjoyed

Cheap Eats:

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!

Nice Dinners:

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.  

BEA – what to do in NYC

BEA – what to do in NYC

Though I’m not going this year, here are some of the things I love to do when visiting New York if you’re in the midst of planning your trip to BEA, otherwise known as book heaven.



I’m a food enthusiast.  I’ve planned whole vacations around places to eat.  NYC is one of the best places to try new and exciting things to eat, both cheap and spendy.  My go-to place to find eats?  Eater.   There’s a list of links on the right side that will take you to the best places for dinner, for drinks, for brunch, etc. and keep you up to date on what’s new and popular.  And they have a great app.


My thoughts on where to eat in NYC





If you’ve never been to New York, the touristy destinations are a must.  The Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, The Empire State Building, Central Park, etc. are amazing if you can schedule them in to your visit.

Some of my other favorites:

The Museum of Modern Art – I don’t always understand it but modern art museums are always fun for me.  I love trying to figure out what the artist was trying to say.  The MOMA is pretty awesome and offers free admission from 4-8 pm on Fridays.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art – a perennial favorite.  They have literally something for everyone.  I love the Arms & Armor collection.

Tenement Museum – choose a “path” of an immigrant family and learn about how they lived.  Completely fascinating.  Probably not for small kids or impatient adults.


Walking & Exploring

One of my very favorite things to do in cities is just walk around, take in the sites and architecture, and people watch.  NYC is one of the best places to do this.  You can go on your own or take part in one of many organized, themed walking tours.

Scott’s Pizza Tours – hubs and I did one several years ago and found Scott to be an epically funny tour guide.  And bonus, you get to eat the pizza.

Neighborhoods/Places to Walk – Little Italy, Chinatown, Times’ Square, Chelsea, The Highline, Lower East Side, Central Park


central park




I’m a theater girl, always have been.  Seeing a show on Broadway, for me, is a quintessential New York experience.  My BEA companions and I have our tickets purchased already and I’m ridiculously excited.  You can check out a full listing of what’s on via Playbill and purchase tickets through the links provided there, or try a discount site.

Broadway Box

Theater Mania

You can also visit the TKTS booth in one of their 3 locations to snag some great deals on day-of tickets.  Be prepared for lines though.



These are only a very small sampling of things to do when you’re not at BEA – please feel free to add your own favorites in the comments!