10 August 2011

"New York City? That really chaps my hide."

by Pecadillo
The lovely Mrs Pecadillo and I are going to New York City this weekend. I just want to know one thing; where do I eat? I plan on hitting all three food groups this weekend (pastrami, pizza, and corned beef). Leave a comment and tell me where to go to get the best of each.

Here are the rules: if you've never been to New York but you've watched a lot of Food Wars on the Travel Channel, don't waste my time. If you've been to New York once or twice but you only ever eat at the same place and have nothing to compare it to, please mention that with your comment. If you have spent a lot of time in New York and you were thinking of suggesting I go eat at the restaurant from Serendipity, unfollow this blog immediately and consider yourself blocked.


donsands said...

I had a nice dinner at the Waldorf-Astoria way back in 1986 at a conference. I also had a really nice breakfast in a small diner across from the Roosevelt Hotel, for get the name.

I also went to a deli and had a corn-beef sandwich at Lead-betters I think it was. Very disappointing; don't go there.

I guess this isn't much help. You could stop by Tim Keller's church, and check with him.

Jeremy said...

New York resident here, Grimauldis, in Brooklyn has really good pizza. The lines are really long at meal time. Shake Shack in Madison square park is a can't miss for burgers and it's outside in a great park. Gray's Papaya has great hot dogs. You should definitely grab a cannoli in china town too.

Jeremy said...

By China Town I mean little Italy. Sorry.

Jennifer Peacock said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

I was born and raised in NYC, but now live about 60 miles North in the mountains. There are a MILLION places you can go, but I always bring my friends from overseas to a nice little diner called Soup and Burger that's on 7th in the East Village. If you want the BEST though, plus bragging right, you can go to Bobby Flay's restaurant, Bar Americain off of 51st. Reserve a table at 10 AM if you're going on the weekend (not joking)

hymns that preach said...

I once had a really good New York style pizza in Anaheim, Ca.

Terry Lange said...

Carnegie deli has the best corned beef.

Randy Talley said...

I loved the Roxy Delicatessen when I went there years ago. It's in Manhattan. And the portions are huge. Expect to take leftovers with you that will make an entire extra meal.

Mike Slone said...

Trailer Park Lounge in Chelsea. It's across the street from the Chelsea Hotel. Hilarious decoration and really tasty food. Also very cheap for New York.

I suggest the Mother-In-Law's Revenge Burger

Fred Butler said...

I am not from NYC and I never plan on going, but the one recommendation I would offer is check the Triple D website and see what Guy Fieri has hit. When I travel, I try to check if he has highlighted any diners in the area and all of his recommendations have been superb.

G_DUB13 said...

I would recommend the Carnegie Deli for the Woody Allen

Rick Wahler said...

Best deli by far = Carnegie

Best pizza = Grimaldi's in Brooklyn. Frank Sinatra used to have it flown to the west coast, and its walls are filled with his pics. (Take the subway from Manhattan and walk, it's much faster than a taxi. Walk back across the Brooklyn Bridge, a nice experience.)

K-W said...

Almost all of my New York City experience consists of running between JFK and a commuter train at Grand Central, so this is not the voice of deep personal experience.

But at least one of my New Yorker friends swears by the Carnegie Deli, next to Carnegie Hall. Took me there once, too, and it is a fun place with good food.

Paul R. Henry said...

I second the Carnegie Deli for the best corned beef and pastrami.

The sandwiches are HUGE (as in you cant eat the whole thing). Expect to spend about $20 per. The atmosphere is exciting and going here will give you a NYC lunch experience you wont soon forget.

And (not that you'll have room for it) they make the best cheesecake. Chain restaurants like Tripps have it delivered so they can advertise Carnegie Deli cheesecake on their menu.

Finally, "The View" which is at the top of the Marriott in Times Square is really cool. It's a revolving roof top restaurant. So at night, you go eat dinner and it takes about an hour for it to (very slowly - almost don't know it) revolve so you can see the entire city. Definitely a hit with the wife.

Have fun.

James Scott Bell said...

Pastrami = Katz's, lower East Side.

FX Turk said...

You simply cannot go wrong in NYC when it comes to buying a sandwich, in my opinion. Somehow the rest of the world cannot get deli meats right -- Boston runs a very close second place.

Now, that said, saying, "where do I eat in NYC," is like saying, "Do you live in Southern California?" There is literally as much difference between the 5 boroughs as there is between San Diego and LA proper, so you have to know where you are going particularly to really have a chance to eat what will ultimately kill you with pure joy.

Here are my recommendations (I googled the street addresses):

1. Katz's Deli -- this is the famous "I'll have what she's having," deli from "When Harry Met Sally." Pointer: Tip the guy who you give your order to when you order, and you get a better portion. Seriously. 205 East Houston Street

2. Stage Deli -- Broadway fast food, NY style. Have half a sandwich if you want to be able to walk out semi-conscious. 834 7th Ave (between 53rd & 54th)

3. Junior's. Brooklyn. Cheese cake. Shut up and go. You can technically go to Times Square or Grand Central Station and still get Junior's, but you're trying to get the full effect. 386 Flatbush Avenue at Dekalb


Somebody already said Grimaldis, which, yeah, OK. But you want an experience, and that means you want Di Fara's in Brooklyn. The art of making a pie lives here.

Am I biased toward Brooklyn? Why yes: yes I am.

John's in Time Square is an experience because it's in what used to be a church. Different sacraments now, I guess.

If I went, that's where I'd go. I might not come back -- until I ran out of money. :-)

Fred Butler said...

BTW, I expect regular Twitter updates with pictures.

Pecadillo said...

We'll be in lower Manhattan almost the entire time.

Joshua Collins said...

Awesome. My wife and I are going to NYC in a week or so, so I'm totally glad to read these comments!

Frank Rue said...

There's a chain of restaurants managed by China Grill Management that are all fabulous. I have been to NYC a number of times, and I always try to make it to one of them, since they all have their own claims-to-fame. My personal favorite is Hudson Cafeteria, which is in the Hudson Hotel.

Again: I've been to ALL of them, and enjoyed ALL of them. China Grill is especially delicious, as well. Get the banana dessert thing. :P

You can check out the rest of the restaurants on their site here, and find the one in whatever neck of the woods you'll be in: www.chinagrillmgt.com

Steven said...


I lived in New York for a little while but I am from the South, so one might off-set the other as far as food recommendations go. Nonetheless, here are my suggestions:

Pizza - Frank is right, you want John's near Time Square. It is great. Get an appetizer of bruschetta.

Deli - Has to be Carnegie. Make sure that your hotel has a mini-frig, because you will need it for the leftovers.

I know that you didn't ask, but if you want a magnificent steak, go to Gallagher's. Get the wife to order the sliced flank steak. It comes with a steak sauce that is great. If The Almighty eats steak, it probably has this sauce on it.

If you are looking for something free to do, take the wife to the City Hall subway station on the 6 Train. See http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/11/10/the-hidden-abandoned-city_n_781669.html#s179141

Have fun.


Chris said...


I know I'm breakin a couple of your rules here in this reccommendation from an armchair tourist, but my wife and I must say, at least once a week, that if we were ever in New York we would cross over to NJ in order to visit the famous "Carlo's Bakery" (AKA "Cake Boss")...where they have lines down the street in the snow, in the dead of winter, to get their desserts.

Steven A Mitchell said...

Resident New Yorker here; specifically Greenwich Village.

If you're going to be in lower Manhattan, for pizza check out Lombardi's in SoHo (32 Spring) or nearby Arturo's (106 W Houston). Both are famous, but not just for being famous.

For deli, Katz's is definitely the tourist favorite. Carnegie in midtown is of the same ilk. You can't go wrong with either one.

But for a stellar Italian deli, I would suggest instead Faicco's in the West Village (260 Bleecker). In addition to awesome Italian sandwiches, they also offer delicious risotto-esque rice balls.

If you're also looking for good sit-down dinner restaurants, I have plenty of suggestions there, as well.

Steven A Mitchell said...

I should also make mention of Two Boot Pizza (74 Bleecker). It's actually my favorite pizza in the city, but isn't really conventional NYC pizza style. The basic concept is merging the two boot-shaped regions of the world — Italy and Louisiana. The result is cajun pizza.

They start with cornmeal crust, with a base of spicy marinara. On top of that are all varieties of toppings, Italian and Louisianan: pepperoni, soppressata, capicola, sun-dried tomatoes, basil, crawfish, shrimp, jalapenos, chicken, &c.

Really great pizza, but definitely not standard NY fare.

Amanda said...

DO NOT go to Serendipity. The food is way overpriced and they give you barely any food at all.

Amanda said...

But I would recommend going to Carnegie Deli. They have a large menu and I liked the meals I got there and the atmosphere is cool. They pack you in like sardines and you share a table with other people. Em and I met this one older couple. The husband had moved to New York back in the day from Puerto Rico and is currently a subway driver. The walls are full of pictures of customers. Anyway, that's my suggestion.

Amanda said...

Oh I hadn't read the comments before I posted....so yeah I guess many agree with Carnegie.
I'd also second or third or whatever Grimaldi's pizza and Gray's Papaya. Yum!

Karen said...

There's a very helpful food blog based in NYC that you might want to check out: serious eats (http://www.seriouseats.com/)- they have reviewed many of the restaurants others have mentioned here and you can get a better idea what you would enjoy before you make the trip. Personally, I would recommend:

Zabar's - their cafe has excellent corned beef reuben paninis and their coffee and frozen yogurt is worth the trip to the upper west side. Plus, Beard Papa's is on the same street.

Shake Shack - touristy yes, but not overhyped. Really good. If you go to the original one in Madison Square, Eataly is right across the street. Also touristy but quite fun.

67 Burger (Brooklyn) - burger that is similar to Shake Shack's, but bigger with more variations (and possibly even better).

Amy's Bread: this is my favorite food establishment in NYC. Everything here is exquisite, especially the red velvet cake. They have a location on Bleecker, which is a great area for food as others mentioned.

If you go to Junior's, get the chocolate swirl cheesecake; it's much better than the other flavors. Personally I would skip Junior's and go to Amy's Bread for some red velvet.

Grimaldi's is in a nice location although the lines discourage me from going; a less touristy, more high-end pizza can be found at Motorino. However Jacques Torres has a chocolate/ice cream shop near Grimaldi's. Your wife might be interested.

Enjoy your trip!

Matthew Hoskinson said...

I'm a pastor on the upper west side. I'll throw the following in the mix from my neighborhood:

Pizza: Caesar's Palace on Amsterdam between 84th and 85th.

Italian: Copolla's on 79th between Broadway and Amstersam. La Vela on Amsterdam between 77th and 78th.

Burgers: Shake Shack on Columbus at 77th. They're good enough to mention again.

Cookies: Levain Bakery on 74th between Amsterdam and Columbus. Don't blink or you'll miss it. It's on the north side of the street, close to Amsterdam. Insomnia Cookies on Amstersam between 79th and 80th.