If you visit it’s likely I we will be meeting for a meal. The following is a list of places I suggest we eat because they’re usually on people’s lists and I like the food.
David Chang is some sort of hot shot chef and he is the man behind the Momofuku brand. There are several locations around the city, each with its own unique twist. I’ve only been to the Noodle Bar & Milk Bar so I can only speak to those. The wait here is generally around 20 min. The Noodle Bar space is small so expect to cozy up to strangers and watch those elbows! You should definitely get an order or the pork buns. Momofuku is known for its excellent pork. You’ll have a big smile on your face and lips shiny with pork fat after scarfing one of these down. I have only had the ramen here, which I think is pretty good. When it comes to ramen, a good broth and good peices of meat are what make my bowl. The broth for me is forgettable but the pork peices are excellent. They have a special friend chicken dinner that is a tough reservation to get unless you’re dilligent in checking the reservation website for openings. Lucky for me I know one of these determined eaters and have a reservation for the first week in May, I will report back if all the hype is worth it.
The Milk Bar is a few blocks away and is mainly a dessert shop. They provide tables but you have to stand. Get the cookies! My favorite are the Compost, Blueberry Cream & Corn. The crack pie is also excellent. Their cereal milk soft serve is also a local favorite.
You really don’t need to get anything other than the soup dumplings here. I will sometimes order scallion pancake and green beans but the soup dumplings are the feature of the meal. If you’ve never eaten these before watch the people around you carefully for instruction. The wait here can be long if you come during the dinner rush (7ish) so try to come early or snack first and have a late dinner.
Halal Cart on 53rd & 6th ave.
A cheap ($6) satisfying meal of gyro and/or chicken over rice. This is supposedly the best halal cart in the city. There are quite a few imposters in the surrounding environs but there is no mistaking the real one is always the one with the ridiculously long line. Smother that plate with some white sauce, if you’re into it add some hot sauce (very spicy I’m told) mix it up and enjoy! This is no frills (it’s street food) so find a bench nearby and eat away.
This place will always be particularly fond to me since it is where I had my very first meal in New York. Get the corn; they slather some kind of cheese & paprika spread that is delicious! The cuban sandwich is also good. The restaurant tends to have a pretty lengthy wait. If you can’t wait an hour then pop on over to the adjoining take out counter around the corner. They have pretty much the same menu but you seat yourself or sit outside.
Why is the East Coast always fueding with the West Coast? Rappers, sports teams and burgers (?)! Some (crazy) people are vehement in stating that the Shake Shack burger is better than California’s beloved In & Out. Personally I don’t really care about the burgers. The thing that keeps me coming to Shake Shack is the shroom burger; a portabella mushroom with cheese all fried in a crispy ball. Pair it with some cheese fries and the concrete of the day and you’ll see why the lines are always out the door. If you must try the meat pattie get the Shack Stack, same as the shroom burger but with a meat patty thrown in for good measure.