During my trip to the United States in the past month, I was most looking forward to visiting NYC – a foodie’s haven. Since I was going to be there only for a couple of days, I did all my research and put together a list of things that I needed to accomplish. Sure, I bought a Frommer’s NYC Guide and a Zagat Guide, but what I really followed was what foodie friends recommended. Emily, my pen pan from Seattle e-mailed me a list places I must visit. Kelly at Eat Make Read was very kind to dedicate an entire blog post to it. And then friends on Twitter had their own set of recommendations! They made sure I was all set to explore the city and have a great time.
Just as I stepped out of Penn Station on the first day, I knew I was going to love it. It felt like home. For once I could do things independently without having to wait for someone to drive me around (that’s why I wasn’t huge fan of Atlanta and Miami). I walked around a bit to get a feel of the place as well as to make it look like I know where I’m going until I could sit down with my map! That was till I found a quaint little café – Le Pain Quotidien. The window display of breakfast foods lured me in, where I was happy to find a common table running through the middle of the café (those who know me know how much I dislike eating alone). With a chirpy crowd and a friendly wait staff, this was the perfect place. I had an apple cinnamon muffin and Belgian hot chocolate.
Next stop, Chelsea Market. I had to go to Amy’s Bread after hearing so much about it. And my oh my, it so lives up to every bit of praise it has received! The Semolina Fennel and Raisin Bread is something out of the ordinary. I love bread, but this one took my respect for bread to a whole new level. What I couldn’t stop appreciating was how wonderfully moist and plump the golden raisins were without making the bread around it feel wet and stodgy. I had 6 slices of this bread for dinner. Just the bread!
I kept hopping in and out of the food shops at Chelsea Market. The other store that I really, really liked was Buon Italia; Chelsea market’s source for all things Italian. Since I had the rest of the day ahead of me and I’d be sightseeing the place on foot and train, I picked up only a handful of things – Spaghetti seasoning, olives, Parmigiano Reggiano cheese.
Union Square Greenmarket turned out to be my favourite place. I just love how vibrant it is! With farmers telling stories of their animals are raised and how fresh the mushrooms are (they’d been picked just the previous evening), I was all ears. I saw a variety of mushrooms – a few of which I haven’t even heard of – Mataki, anyone? I sampled some fresh goat’s cheese. I bought some pink Himalayan salt (so much for living in India!). I had hot apple cider for the first time and loved it – perfect in the numbing cold. I struck up a conversation with the herb farmer from whom I bought a lavender plant (I so wish I had bough some more herbs!). I also bought some gorgeous dried lavender.
Other foodie places that I went to:
Magnolia Bakery – the bakery that shot to fame with Sex and the City. I simply loved their vanilla cupcake and red velvet cupcake.
Murray’s cheese – these guys know their cheese so well that you’ve got to wait in line if you need help selecting what you like. I bought Brie with pesto, Wisconsin cheddar and Smoked Cheddar.
Pinkberry – If there are people lining up for their frozen yoghurt, there has got to be a good reason why. I had the Original tart frozen yoghurt with strawberries and it felt so right, even in the freezing cold.
Zabar’s – I had heard so much about this place that I just couldn’t leave without paying this famed Deli a visit. I tried their famous Blintz and Knish, a huge, gorgeous chocolate cupcake and a serving of pomegranate frozen yoghurt. After this I was all set for shopping next door for more cheese, silicone ware and tart pans.
Can you tell how much I love this city? I’ve just seen a fraction of it and already want to go back! What are your favourite places in NYC?