I have to thank my friend Kelsey for not slapping me for being the annoying person who wanted to take food photos before she could eat her pancakes. After the 6th time it probs got quite annoying. So I bribed her with mimosas and everything seemed fine. Ahem.
You can see a whole load of food pics above – there are too many to go into detail on everything, so I’ve pulled out a few highlights below. Just don’t blame me if they make you hungry #sorrynotsorry…
Pies & Thighs – possibly one of the best restaurant names ever, Pies & Thighs (Lower East Side) is the perfect mix of fried chicken, soul food and dessert pies. I fully recommend getting yourself a plate of fried chicken – the crispy coating is lovely and light and essentially a mouth orgasm waiting to happen. I paired mine with mac n cheese and a savoury biscuit which resulted in a full-on carb coma and a very big smile. If you ask nicely the waitress will bring you some honey butter for your biscuit (which is basically a giant, flaky pastry scone) and then you will think you’ve died and gone to heaven. Kelsey’s Chicken and Waffles also looked amazing; think light crispy waffles with a cranberry maple glaze. Despite being beyond full, apple pie beckoned for dessert so I took one for the team and squeezed a piece in. We ate so much that our night on the town ended after 2 drinks as we were both so sleepy, but I have absolutely no regrets. It’s also really reasonably priced, at around $12-$15 for a main.
Mighty Quinn’s – this place is a meat lover’s dream. Deffo not one to bother with if you’re veggie as even the BBQ beans have chunks of brisket in, but to be fair, they’re not really trying to appeal to that market! There are several locations across Manhattan and Brooklyn – we tried the one in the West Village. You queue up canteen style, order your food and drink and then take a seat and get stuck in. I went for a portion of brisket (which incidentally, is HUGE), plus sides of maple pecan sweet potato and BBQ beans. All together it was a little bit too sweet for me – I should’ve swapped the beans for the broccoli salad but hindsight is a bitch. I wanted to order the Brontosauras Rib, which at $23 was about 3 times pricier than any other meat on the menu and Kelsey warned me it’d probs be 3 times the size, so I took her advice and didn’t. Next time though…
Dough – I tracked down Dough in a jet lag fugue state just after arriving on the Tuesday afternoon. I’d read loads about it online before going, so knew these were going to be good doughnuts and they really didn’t disappoint. They’re made freshly every day on site, with around a dozen different varieties to choose from. I went for a classic chocolate iced (am slightly regretting not also buying a Dulce de Leche) which ended up being almost the size of my head. They’ve managed to make the dough so light and fluffy you could easily power through it in one sitting, but I was so tired that I took mine back to the hotel room and feel asleep partway through so finished it off for breakfast the next day. Krispy Kreme will never look the same again. Dough, you spoiled me. $3-4 each.
Junior’s - it’s a total tourist trap as it’s smack bang in the middle of Times Square, but their legendary cheesecake is well worth the queue. The savoury food is pretty average, but works well as an excuse to face plant a giant piece of cheesecake for dessert. They also do takeaway, so you might be better off just grabbing a slice and hot-footing it up to the park and enjoying it in a slightly more relaxed environment.
The Smith – New York ain’t New York without a decent brunch and after attempting (and failing) to secure a table at the Clinton St. Bakery the day before, we booked ahead for Sunday brunch at The Smith to avoid any potential hanger issues. It’s absolutely HUGE, given how high rents must be in this part of Manhattan, and was absolutely rammed at 10.30am so booking in advance is definitely a good idea. They have a huge menu to choose from, so you can get everything from French Toast right through to a burger. I had Sicilian baked eggs and a side of home fries – perfect to counter all the sugar from the days before and Kelsey had a classic avo and poached eggs on toast. Yum. Around $25 each including coffee.
Insomnia Cookies – do yourself a favour and go here. They serve their cookies warm at all times, and the slightly crunchy outer, gooey inner is so good it makes me want to cry that they don’t have one in London. I bought a box of six (peanut butter, chocolate chunk and smores) and have no regrets.
Dig Inn – for something a little healthier, Dig Inn is a great option. We went there twice in the week during our lunch breaks as it was close by, delicious and actually had some veggies in it. It’s another canteen style place – you queue up, choose what base you’d like, then your protein and then choose two sides to go with it from various salad and vegetable combos. It’s quick, very tasty and pretty cheap (about $10). I also love them for the fact you can add half an avocado to your lunch for $1; more places need to do this.
BRB, writing this post has made me so hungry I need to go track down food…