When I go on trips on my own or with friends my food philosophy is centered around one or two main meals of the day. Even in New York, it is possible to find delicious and cheap food.
1. Tabare, Williamsburg Brooklyn
Tabare serves Uruguayan style tapas in a rustic space with great decor. In nice weather there is also an outdoor patio. I recommend the empanadas, we tried all four options and our favorite was the onions and gruyere cheese empanada. I also highly recommend the caserola pulpo, or octopus casserole that is served with lemon aioli sauce. Tabare was one of our most expensive meals of the trip, however I love a tapas style meal because it allows you to try some of everything.
2. Jacques Torres Chocolate, Brooklyn
The chocolate chip cookies are incredibly here, and so is the wicked hot chocolate which is a spicy take on the classic drink. It’s the perfect amount to cut through all the sweet chocolate you’re consuming. We stopped in the location in Brooklyn, but there are also Manhattan locations.
3. Gansevoort Market, Meat Packing District Manhattan
We decided on passing on eating at the Gansevoort Market, however the food looked great. This is a great option for groups traveling together as it’s a food hall offering multiple options all in one place including pizza, burgers, tapas, coffee, crepes, and baked goods.
4. Xi’an Famous Foods, Chinatown
This is another restaurant with multiple locations spread among Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens. Here you’ll find Xi’an food from Northern China that combines with Chinese and Middle Eastern food. We order the Spicy and Tingly Beef Hand-Ripped Noodles-N2, Stewed Pork Burger-B1, and Spicy and Sour Spinach Dumplings in Soup-F7. I loved the food here, it was incredibly priced for Manhattan, and since our trip I’ve been craving more of those hand-ripped noodles.
5. The Original Chinatown Ice Cream Factory, Chinatown
Right next door to the Chinatown Xi’an location is The Original Chinatown Ice Cream Factory. This tiny store offers a great selection of ice cream, and sorbet for those of you like me who can’t or don’t eat dairy. I loved the lychee and mango papaya sorbets I bought. *This store is cash only.
6. Beauty & Essex, Lower East Side
My friend brought us to her favorite speakeasy in New York. Beauty & Essex is located behind a fully functioning pawn shop and offers a restaurant and multiple bars. The atmosphere was really unique, and I love the decorations.
7. Museum of Food and Drink, Brooklyn
Combine a museum and eating experience in one of MOFAD. While we visited, they had an exhibit sharing the history and culture of Chinese food in America which combined with a tasting event of some delicious food. I don’t know how often they change their exhibits or what other cultures they do, but they bring in top chefs to create recipes, and the food was truly divine.
8. Black Star Bakery, Williamsburg Brooklyn
While exploring Brooklyn, we stumbled upon this bakery and cafe. We stopped so my friends could fill up on caffeine. I enjoyed the atmosphere of the place, although there are not many seats available. I was very intrigued by the different matcha drinks they had available, although I decided on not getting one. Along with the regular drinks available, the bakery offered many baked goods, and their avocado toast was popular.
9. The Carlyle, Upper East Side
My friend’s mother graciously bought us each afternoon tea at The Carlyle Hotel. Each came with a pot of tea, a few scones, a plate of about 6 or 7 different types of mini sandwiches, and an assortment of desserts. We were able to pass around the different types of tea, and by the end were thoroughly filled up. Afternoon tea with some incredible friends in Manhattan was everything we dreamed it would be. This was definitely the priciest activity/meal we had in New York, and we were lucky enough to not have to pay for it. It’s a splurge for most people, but definitely an experience I think that is worth the cost.
10. The Plaza Hotel Food Hall, Manhattan
I had no idea that within The Plaza was a food hall. As we were full from the MOFAD and high tea we didn’t eat. However we strolled through the different food offerings. Along with restaurants and bakeries, there are rooms set up dedicated to different pop culture references that took place in the hotel including Eloise and Home Alone 2.
11. Patisserie Tomoko, Brooklyn
Patisserie Tomoko, just a block from MOFAD serves Japanese style French desserts. We shared the creme brûlée and they brought out some snacks for us to try as well. All the desserts looked delicious and I wish I could have tried them all.
12. The Apothecary, Brooklyn
On our way to get the rainbow bagels, we passed by The Apothecary which was advertising their unicorn lattes. My friends decided that they were already getting bright, colorful, instagram-worthy food, they might as well go all in. The lattes looked beautiful, although I have no idea how they tasted.
13. The Bagel Store, Brooklyn
We knew we wanted to get the rainbow bagels before heading over to Dumbo. Two of us got bagels with RainbowFetti cream cheese. I would suggest picking the savory cream cheese option like our other friend, other even just plain cream cheese. The RainbowFetti cream cheese was incredibly sweet and too much to eat. I have a huge sweet tooth so for me to say that is a big deal. We all ordered the classic rainbow bagel, but they had a multitude of color combinations including cotton candy and Spiderman colors. They also had other flavors of bagels as well including French toast. *This is also cash only.