A foodie’s guide to New York – Virgin Holidays
Packing more food joints per square mile than you can shake a stick at, from the humble pizza pie to the infamous corned beef and pastrami sandwich to the classic burger (ask any New Yorker their favourite and it’ll likely provoke a weighty debate). New York’s strong culinary dishes are engrained in its identity. Add in the meteoric assent of its street food markets and New York is packed with enough mouth-watering grub to cure even the wildest epicurean dreams. We’ve navigated our way around the city’s finest…
Gotham West Market
Turning up the heat in Hell’s Kitchen, foodie bazaar Gotham West Market with its elbow-to-elbow communal dining is home to the most famous ramen in the city. Slurp your way through Ivan Orkin’s steaming bowls of roasted garlic mazamen. Alternatively, head to Court Street Grocers for the braised beef shank sandwich that drips with creamy gorgonzola dolce, caramelised onion and red wine vinaigrette.
It’s a rite of passage in New York to sink your teeth into the eight-ounce slabs of prime juicy patties at Corner Bistro in the West Village. They’re slathered with cheese, bacon and raw onions, wedged in a sesame bun and are quite frankly to die for. What else is on the menu? Who cares, it’s the burger you’re after. Yes, you’ll need two hands, yes, it will dribble down your chin and yes burgers will never be the same again.
Stalwart Katz Deli on the Lower East Side has been sating appetites with its whacking hunks of 30-day aged meat since 1888. On the menu there’s the sought-after fluffy matzo ball soups, legendary pastrami on rye or the three-meat plate of skilfully sliced pastrami, brisket and corned beef, if you’re game for a challenge.
The Donut Pub
Hmm, so donut and pub are not two words that you usually see together, but then again this is New York, home of the cronut and the dedicated Nutella bar, so anything goes. The Donut Pub is open 24/7 for you to prop yourself up at the marble counter and work through the sugary crullers and honey-dipped donut rings. Time to loosen those belts…
On the Williamsburg waterfront, weekly food festival Smogasburg, is a 25, 000 square-foot tobacco warehouse with 75 vendors. Chow down on Red Hook lobster rolls from the Maine coastline, ramen burgers (which swop bread for noodles…), swordfish, scallops and stuffed squid skewers at Ca’Pisci and freshly steamed pillow-soft buns at Big Bao. Heaven.
Locavore pizza joint Roberta’s is enough to send thin crust aficionados gaga. Stacks of logs in the scruffy pizza bunker in Williamsburg fuel the white-tiled wood-burning oven to create bready goodness like the Cheesus Christ – which oozes gooey homemade-mozzarella, rich taleggio, Parmigiano and cream.
Black strap rum, salted pretzel caramel or green tea pistachio float your boat? Whether you’re an ice cream connoisseur or total rookie, new kid on the block Morgenstern’s will teach you the art of all things gelato. This ice-cream cart-turned-contemporary-parlour scoops up Philadelphia style ices (cream but no eggs) and tongue-tingling zesty sorbets.
The place to see and be seen, Freemans has hipster written all over it. The rustic American menu has whole grilled Eden Brook Trout with thyme, garlic and lemon and a mind-bogglingly-good artichoke dip with crisp bread. Whet your whistle with a dark rum and allspice Demerara Old Bandit cocktail.
Oscar-winning actor Robert De Niro teamed up with thrice Michelin-starred Nobu Matsuhisa to open the legendary flagship Nobu, and you can tuck in to melt-in-your-mouth yellowtail sashimi, lobster with wasabi pepper sauce and its star-of-the-show dish, the black cod miso. Watch others turn green with envy.
Original Greenwich Village Food Tour
Explore the gourmet delights of downtown New York on a three-hour Original Greenwich Village Food Tour. Check out Joe’s famous thin crust pizzas, The Olive Oil Shop for spreads on Tuscan bread, creamy rice balls at Faicco’s, homemade meatballs at Pesce Pasta and New York’s gastronomic holy grail: mac and cheese.