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New York City Foodie Highlights and Milk Bar Giveaway
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New York City Foodie Highlights and Milk Bar Giveaway

There’s nothing quite like NYC during the holidays. The city is all decked out and just so festive! We were fortunate to spend a couple days eating our way through the city with my parents over Christmas. Read on for our foodie highlights and a fun giveaway from Milk Bar!

The very first thing we did was head over to the Shake Shack by our hotel by Bryant Park. The burgers were tasty and the refreshing beer was cheap, but my chocolate custard “concrete” with chocolate covered pretzels, peanut butter sauce, and marshmallow sauce, really stole the show!

The next day we checked out the Macy’s windows and took the subway down to the Lower East Side to visit Doughnut Plant. This was at the top of my foodie wish list  and definitely worth the trip.

The carrot cake and blackout (chocolate cake donut filled with chocolate crème and topped with chocolate frosting and cookie crumbs) donuts were extraordinary, and the valrhona chocolate and seasonal panettone donuts weren’t far behind – go, go, go here if you’re ever in NYC!

Then we headed up to Papaya King for lunch, which I couldn’t resist visiting since 1. hot dog eating is required when you’re in NYC and 2. it was just featured on Anthony Bourdain’s new layover show. Plus, it was super close to the Met, our next destination! I thought the hot dogs were pretty average actually, but the papaya drink was just delightful and after having one sip, immediately regretted only ordering a medium.

On Christmas Eve we walked around Times Square and did our best not to get too cheesy in M&M’s World.

Then we walked around Central Park for a bit and introduced my dad and Apolinaras to Thomas Keller’s Bouchon Bakery, which my mom and I loved during our last trip to NYC. The Chicken Dumpling Soup and Nutter Butter Cookies were just as good as I remembered, and Apolinaras’ shot rib sandwich just melted in my mouth.

That evening we had a terrific time exploring Eataly, a 50,000 square foot “Italian Food Hall” brought to the Flatiron district by Mario Batali and Joe Bastianich. The emporium houses a bunch of restaurants, each featuring one aspect of Italian cuisine (e.g. fish, meat, pasta, panini, etc) and an amazing market with rows and rows of speciality Italian goods. We chowed down on panini, and I had the best hot chocolate of my life!

We took it easy on Christmas Day and just ventured out for a Chinese lunch at Szechuan Gourmet. Other fun activities over the next couple of days included seeing the musical Billy Elliot, touring Radio City Music Hall, and shopping up a storm with my mom. We also visited the United Nations, where Apolinaras’ late father worked as a journalist and checked out the apartment where he lived for four years. On the food front I had a surprisingly good wasabi tuna wrap at Pig ‘N’ Whistle, and we had Kati Rolls a couple of times, which are Indian flatbreads stuffed with delicious meats and veggies, mmm.

And finally, we also made it to Milk Bar, the pastry shop headed by Christina Tosi, which is part of David Chang’s Momofuku empire. We sampled all the cookies and had a scrumptious pistachio croissant. I was scared the compost cookies wouldn’t live up to my high expectations, but I really liked them! My favorite treats, however, were the corn cookies, because they were just so unique and tasted exactly like fresh sweet corn, in a really good way. In fact, I couldn’t help but pick up Christina Tosi’s new cookbook and some of Milk Bar’s freeze dried corn powder, so I can make my own corn cookies at home whenever I crave them! Of course, I was thinking of you all too and picked up an extra set for a giveaway!

To enter to win, just leave a comment on this post letting me know which restaurant/bakery/food truck you most want to visit in NYC. I need to start working on my list for next time! Entries must be in by 11:59 pm EST on Monday, January 9.

The fine print: I’m sponsoring this giveaway myself. The winner will be picked with random.org on Tuesday, January 10 and announced shortly thereafter.

63 Responses to New York City Foodie Highlights and Milk Bar Giveaway

  1. This post made me so hungry!

    I most want to visit Levain bakery. I’ve been to NYC several times since bloggers started making copycat versions of their cookies a few years back, and still haven’t had a chance to try one of their famous cookies myself!

  2. I’ve only been to NYC once…several years ago…so I don’t have any good recommendations. I’m dying to got to Milk Bar, though, and it is definitely on my agenda next time I’m in town!

  3. I haven’t been to NY in forever, almost 15 years! It’s a shame because I’m only 3.5 hours away. The Doughnut Plant is definitely on the top of my list.

  4. I’d go to Shake Shack! I’ve been to NYC a million times (I live 2 hours away)but I’ve never had a concrete… ridiculous, I know. I always go for the fancy schmancy places and don’t have time for the rest…

  5. kristen!
    what a great post.
    i am so jealous of all the places you went to.
    dying to go to milk and dying to hit up shake shack.
    were the lines at shake shack long?
    did you see levain bakery?
    (and the milk book was on my christmas list but santa forgot :-(

  6. I definitely want to check out Bouchon Bakery.

    This is the right way to do New York. Next time I plan a trip I’m coming back here to take notes on all the restaurants you went to!

  7. umm, i must have that carrot cake gem from doughnut planet. and that chocolate custard from the shake shack. and hit up eataly. but that’s nothing new for your list 😉

  8. i know it’s kinda weak, but i’d love to eat at bobby flay’s mesa grill. it’s just my kind of food. :)
    thanks for sharing your adventure with us!

  9. I’m going to NYC for my 30th bday in a couple of weeks and can’t wait to celebrate at Eleven Madison Park! I’m also looking forward to checking out Eataly and Joe Shanghai.

  10. It would have to be MilkBar for my sweet tooth fix for sure!! Ive been wanting that cookbook for a while now! And ‘after’ 😉 dessert then head to Cuba Restaurant for some Latin food!!! Yum! Now I’m hungry!

  11. I’m actually dying to go to Milk Bar! I just made the chocolate chip, marshallow, and cornflake cookies and my whole family loved them! We need to sample the real thing :) & get some of that crack pie!

  12. I was just to NYC and sampled several bakeries, but I didn’t make it to Levaine. I’ve ordered their to-die-for cookies online, but I would love to sample them fresh from the oven. I also REALLY want to go to Chelsea Market…and just wander and eat : )

  13. Yay! You hit up some of my favorite places in the city! And definitely ate your way through it. Love this.

    (Don’t enter me in the giveaway since I can hit up Milk bar anytime I so crave it….constantly.)

  14. Doughnut Planet wins for me, hands down. Recently retired from teaching and am looking forward to perfecting my doughnut recipe. Enjoy your website a bunch!

  15. I’d love to go to the Milk Bar and even though it’s not a food truck, A Taste of Russia in Brooklyn. As for an actual food truck, I’d love to hit up Gorilla Cheese. They do grilled cheese sandwiches and growing up my sister always called them “gorilla cheese.” It would be a fun experience with her.

  16. Yum the corn cookies sounds awesome!

    I would have to visit the Big Gay Ice Cream truck for the Salty Pimp ice cream cone. It’s a vanilla soft-serve cone with dulce de leche throughout, sea salt, and dipped in chocolate. I saw it on tv and can’t get it out of my mind.

  17. OMG what an awesome giveaway. The first thing I ate the last time I was at NYC was the Shake Shack burger, too! It was lovely.

    I’m planning to return in the spring, and I can’t wait to dig into Joe’s Shanghai xiao long baos once again.

  18. Sadly I haven’t been to NYC since 2005!!! Whats wrong with me?! And my husband has never been, so I really want to make a weekend trip happen soon!! Definitely on my list for 2012. I’ve recently heard so much about Eataly that I am dying to go!! And that pistachio croissant sounds incredible!

  19. What a fun trip, did you see Big Gay Ice Cream Truck? I don’t know why but i think that’d be one of my favorites…Eataly looks awesome too though! So torn!!!

  20. Oh my, can I travel with your family next time? You guys know how to be foodie tourists! Thanks for your warm wishes about Lilah. Looking forward to having more time to cook and write soon!

  21. I just checked out Milk Bar and Eataly when I was in the city a couple weeks ago! We totally failed at Eataly, though. Got confused, ended up in the vegetarian restaurant, and missed out on pasta entirely. Oops. Momofuku’s definitely at the top of my list to try next time; I liked Milk Bar a lot. I’d also love to return to Veselka for some pierogies :)

  22. Gosh I wish I had thought to visit all these places when I was in nyc last week. But I really want to check out Big Gay Ice Cream Truck. And they were closed for the holidays!

  23. That looks like a FANTASTIC trip! I always love stopping by Milk Bar for soft serve. I also visited Eataly, which was super fun. I still haven’t tried Shake Shack though, which is HIGH on my list! I might also want to try the number of Chinese restaurants in Flushing!

  24. Great giveaway! So many places I’d love to visit but I’ve heard amazing things about Serendipity so I’d have to pick that.

  25. That looks like a fantastic trip! I will admit I completely organize where I go and what I see around food so this would be right up my alley. I’ve always wanted to check out ‘Wichcraft. I checked the cookbook out from the library and the sandwiches sounded so inspired.

  26. I thnk I would have to say that Eataly is at the top of my want to stop at list – even more so now that I read your post.

  27. Am dying to visit Eataly, especially after seeing violinist David Garrett’s flash mob performance there on YouTube.
    Second on the list would be ABC Kitchen – have heard great things about it from my boss.

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