Back in early September 2016, my husband and I were lucky enough to visit New York on the first leg of our honeymoon. After our mini-moon in Bath, we returned to work for a week or so in order to build up our energy ready for a busy few days in the big Apple.
We thoroughly enjoyed our few days in the city and certainly managed to pack a lot in during the 3 nights that we were there including Top of the Rock, Central Park, the Staten Island Ferry, Times Square, the Highline and Greenwich Village to name but a few! Of course another attraction of New York for us is the tasty, plentiful and varied food on offer – below are a few of our favourite finds.
It was my birthday the day before we flew out to New York so my parents decided to treat Neil and I to a meal at Ruth Chris during our stay in the city. My Dad is very fortunate to have traveled the globe several times over and claims that he had the best steak ever at the Washing DC branch of Ruth’s Chris…..check out my blog post (coming soon!) to see what all the fuss is about!
Neil loves Chinese…despite the fact that he always orders the same thing – Chicken balls (without sweet and sour sauce!), special fried rice and chips topped with a generous amount of tomato ketchup!! I thought it was about time he had a taste of authentic Chinese food so on the second day of our trip we paid a visit to Manhattan’s China town for a much deserved lunch after a morning of exploring the city. Find out more about our visit here (coming soon!)
Chelsea Market is a foodie haven fittingly situated in the old national biscuit, or Nabisco, factory where Oreos and Animal Crackers were once made, in the middle of the meatpacking district. This place really was my idea of heaven – full of exposed brick and industrial decor, packed full of some 35 individual stores selling such a variety of foodie delights and tasty dishes. I would seriously love to have somewhere like this on my door step in Northamptonshire; the huge amount of fresh fish for sale was insane and the wide variety of cuisines very impressive – from Mexican to Italian, Turkish to French, all areas of the globe are well and truly covered! There is even a fantastic book shop offering a huge selection of cookbooks for sale and a cookware shop selling an enviable array of knives from all over the world.
Unfortunately, due to a sleepless night we arrived at the market earlier than intended so only grabbed a little breakfast before taking a wander around however, at home in the UK I had a surprise waiting for me from my wonderful husband in the form of the Chelsea Market cookbook which documents the history of the world-famous building and showcases special recipes from a large number of the market’s vendors, along with celebrity chefs. Watch this space for blogs!
If you have a little more time than we did and visit late morning, I would highly putting together a little picnic to feast on whilst soaking up the sunshine on the High Line above. The High Line is an impressive park, cultivated on disused railway tracks which are situated above the city streets and it can be accessed from just outside the market. There are tons of little seating areas where you can enjoy views across the weather and of the hustle and bustle of the city below.
After walking along the High Line in the heat and the glorious sunshine after our trip to Chelsea Market, we were in need of a little pit stop before venturing any further. Completely by chance we stumbled across Ample Hills Creamery just at the right time and after stepping inside we were so glad we did! Ample Hills is a family run business that originally started off with a single shop in Brooklyn which has now expanded into 5 branches, including the one we visited in Chelsea, and another as far away as Disney World! The ice cream parlour has experienced such popularity since opening in 2011 that it has been named the best ice cream place in New York City by the Zagat guide and has even featured on the Food Network and in Conde Nast Traveller!
It is not hard to see why Ample Hills is so highly rated as such creativity and care goes into each inventive flavour and ‘mix in’. I couldn’t resist one scoop of ‘PB Wins the Cup’, vanilla ice cream with peanut butter chocolate flakes and house made peanut butter cups, along with a second scoop of ‘Salted Crack Caramel’, salted caramel ice cream with Deb’s famous crack cookies, saltines covered in butter, sugar and chocolate. Neil opted for ‘The Raw Deal’, vanilla ice cream with chocolate flakes and chunks of brown butter cookie dough and ‘Sweet Cream and Cookies’, sweet cream ice cream with pieces of back to nature sandwich cream cookies.
Each flavour tasted exactly as described and was absolutely delicious. I adored my salted crack caramel, the perfect mix of sweet and salty! I am a big ice cream fan and only wish we had somewhere like Ample Hills local to us. Although the company is a clear success and has expanded it still retained that ‘local independent business’ feel – the staff were so friendly and it wasn’t too commercialised at all. I would highly recommend a visit, I’m only sad I won’t be able to pop in again any time soon!
5. Joe’s Pizza
New York is famous for such a variety of dishes, from massive burgers, to bagels and cheesecake but one food that I have always associated with New York is pizza. History states that the first pizzeria in the United States opened its doors in Little Italy, New York City in the early 1900’s; many customers could not afford to buy a whole pie so instead it was sold by the slice, tied up in brown paper with a bit of string. From this point forward, selling pizza by the slice became a New York institution.
I must admit, a good cheesy pizza is a both Neil’s and my guilty pleasure so before we even stepped foot on the plane we agreed that we must find an awesome pizza place to enjoy a slice of the delicious stuff! After a bit of research we decided to pay a visit to Joe’s Pizza, a Greenwich Village institution since 1975. This place is incredibly popular with locals, tourists and celebrities alike, it was named best pizza in New York by New York magazine and it even featured in the Spiderman movie! Whilst we were waiting in line for a slice a man in front of us said whenever he was anywhere near the city for business, he trekked over to the Village for a slice of Joe’s so we had high expectations!
Neil opted for a plain cheese and tomato slice whereas I went for the pepperoni. There are generally only a few varieties of pizza on offer at Joe’s, they stick to what they know and they do it perfectly! The pizza was amazingly delicious, not too greasy with the right amount of ooziness and softness; we both would highly recommend a visit to Joe’s! There is limited seating indoors with mostly standing room however there are a few benches across the street which provided the perfect spot for enjoying a slice of heaven in the sunshine!
Places to visit:
- Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse, 148 West 51st Street, New York, New York, 10019, (212) 245-9600
- Chelsea Market, 75 9th Avenue, New York, New York, 10011, (212) 652-2110
- Ample Hills Creamery at Bubby’s High Line, 73 Gansevoort Street, New York, New York, 10036, (646) 590-1288
- Joe’s Pizza, 7 Carmine Street, New York, New York, 10014, (212) 366-1182