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 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.