Where we stayed: East Village Hotel | rate it 4/5 (remembering it's a 3* hotel) | +v's: excellent location, tidy, reasonably spacious room, pricing very good | -v's shower pressure diabolical, not pristinely clean, no lift
How long: 10 nights, 9.5 days
How we got there: 3.5 hour train to NYC
How we left: 5 hour plane to San Francisco
City FOOD highlight: Ducks Eatery, Lower East Side
Part One - Eating New York City
We were in New York City for 10 nights, and we never ate one meal in so you can say we covered some foodie ground. We stayed with cheap-to-medium priced, with our most expensive meal hitting about $35 for a main.
Here are the places we were recommended, or stumbled upon - I've implemented a star system to rate each one - ***must go | **worth the visit | *go if passing by at the right time...
Meals / drinks
***Momofuku Noodle Bar in East Village - a must try for their infamous ramen noodles and steamed buns. Get their before 4.30pm before kitchen break, or right on the 5.30pm re-open as the queue goes out the door for dinner service every night. We tried the egg pork, and the brisket buns, along with spicy noodles, Momofuku, and shiitake noodles - all great choices. Try sit at the bar to watch the goings of the kitchen
**The Standard in Meatpacking - we visited the Top of the Standard Bar for a pre-dinner cocktail (which was rather pretentious), but the view of Jersey is a stunner
***Spice Market - serves tasty Asian-infused street food. It is a huge restaurant, so don't expect anything intimate and reservation is essential. The prices are very reasonable
***Russ & Daughters - for lunch (opens at 10am weekdays) on Orchard St in the lower east side. A NYC Jewish institution that is 101 years old, and proved to be one of my favourite lunches in this funky diner style joint. Orchard St deserves a stroll post lunch past the boutiques
(We also heard Mission Cantina and Georgia's on Orchard St are good too)
**Saxon & Parole in East Village on Bowery - fresh, wholesome food - the burrata with shaved truffle is creamy and rich. Yummo
***Gansevoort Market in Meatpacking - The Bagel Story serves delish bagels and there are plenty of other options within the warehouse building if bagels aren't your thing (or you've over done them - believe me, easy to do). We ordered coffees from the stall at the entrance. We came back to The Bagel Story twice as its just so good and the setting is lovely. We tried the salmon and chives, the Blue cheese and apricot preserve and the goats cheese, honey and fig bagels. Yum!
*A local corner store in Harlem at the end of Malcolm X Blvd opposite Central Park - for cream cheese bagels and coffee - this is a quintessential Uptown experience, and something that we did for just that; the experience of grabbing a bagel and a $1.50 coffee for a picnic in Central Park.
**The Halal Guys on corner of 53rd and 6 Ave - a quick serving of a bowl of deliciousness, but watch out for the chilli sambal sauce!
***Ducks Eatery in East Village - a meal highlight for us in NYC - if you like bbq and smokey flavours, you'll like Ducks. Their pickles, smoked mussel brucetta, smoked pork ribs, and crispy chicken wings were epic. And for dessert the smoked pot of chocolate chilli moose and salted caramel cream was salivating and amazing. Must go here! It's a small restaurant so book, or turn up early to get one of the few walk in places.
**Iggys Pizzeria in East Village - this casual walk in pizzeria on 1st Ave is for a traditional New York pizza by the slice experience
***The Spotted Pig in West Village - their Roquefort cheese, beef burger with the finest shoe-string fries is a must have. Skip the haddock chowder, it's too salty.