Last month Dan and I took our annual weekend trip to New York City. This is now the fifth year in a row that we have done this trip! As always, I planned out an itinerary and a detailed list of all the bakeries and restaurants I wanted to visit. I tried to organize this post by neighborhood/general area of the city so that it can be used as a resource by others.
Hands down, one of my favorite places to visit in the city is Chelsea Market. Chelsea Market is a neighborhood market and food court with 35+ vendors selling a little bit of everything- cheese, nuts, spices, baked goods and so much more. Since we got to Chelsea Market at lunchtime, I decided to order a crepe from Bar Suzette for lunch. I tried the truffled mozzarella crepe, which was filled with shredded mozzarella cheese, black truffle oil and freshly ground black pepper. It was one of the best crepes that I have ever had. Bar Suzette also make gluten-free and dairy-free crepes for those who are interested.
After lunch, we decided to try a few mini donuts from Doughnuttery, one of the newer additions to Chelsea Market. What I like about Doughnuttery is that all of their donuts are made to order and served hot. As far as flavors go, customers can choose from a number of flavored sugar combinations, many of which are really fun and innovative.
I especially loved the pumpkin pie brulee donuts, which were coated in a mixture of pumpkin, crushed graham crackers, bruleed sugar and fall spices. I also spotted this fun Oreo cookie wall on our way out of Chelsea Market. Love it!
No trip to New York City is complete without a trip to City Bakery. The pretzel croissant from City Bakery is one of my favorite baked goods ever and I could never pass up the opportunity to get one.
I also love City Bakery’s chocolate chip cookie. There is something unique about their version of the chocolate chip cookie but I can’t quite put my finger on what it is. Either way, it is a must-try cookie for sure!
I have wanted to visit Milk and Cookies ever since my mom gave me a copy of their cookbook a few years ago. Dan and I tried the famous bacon smack cookie, which is filled with smoked bacon, dark chocolate, dried cranberries, toffee and graham cracker chunks. I thought it was just okay- not nearly as good as their double chocolate cookie!
If you like gelato, a stop at Amorino is a must. I love all of Amorino’s gelato flavors (biscoff, dulce de leche, tiramisu and more!) and love that it is always shaped to look like a rose.
After hearing so much about it from others, Dan and I decided to check out Eataly. Eataly, which also has a location in Chicago, combines a large gourmet food market and several Italian restaurants under one roof. If you have never been to Eataly before, it is an experience I highly recommend.
After a sub-par dinner our first night in the city, we decided to eat at one of Eataly’s restaurants, La Pizza and La Pasta, for dinner on Saturday night. I ordered the spaghetti alla chitarra (cacao e pepe) and it was so, so good. Overall, the atmosphere and food were really great and I have a feeling we will be eating there again on all future visits. The Eataly market sells a number of gourmet Italian foods- fresh pasta, cheese, meat and gelato to name a few. I only wish I could have brought more food home with me.
Before our trip, one of the things on my food bucket list had been to try an authentic New York bagel. So one morning Dan and I decided to get bagels for breakfast at Ess-a-Bagel, a bakery known for its award-winning New York style bagels. There was a line down the street when we arrived but I was determined to wait. We ended up waiting in line for about 30 minutes total. So was it worth it? If you really love bagels or have never tried a New York style bagel before, I think Ess-a-Bagel is definitely worth at least one visit.
We also visited Bantam Bagels which was recently voted #3 best bagel in New York City by the Daily News. Their mini bagel bites come in a number of flavors including hot pretzel (a pretzel bagel filled with mustard and sharp cheddar cream cheese), cookies and milk (a brown sugar walnut bagel with chocolate chip cream cheese), cinnamonster (a cinnamon raisin bagel with sweet walnut cream cheese) and the hangover (an egg and cheese bagel filled with bacon cheddar cream cheese and maple syrup). I loved each and every flavor that I tried.
UPPER EAST SIDE
While we were walking around the Upper East Side, we walked right by Serendipity 3. Although I have never eaten at Serendipity 3 before, it is definitely on my must-try list for future visits. I can’t wait to try their famous frozen hot chocolate!
Similar to City Bakery’s pretzel croissant, I can’t visit New York City without getting a cupcake from Two Little Red Hens. I like to tell anyone who will listen that their “Brooklyn Blackout” cupcake is my favorite cupcake ever. I have yet to find a better chocolate cupcake anywhere.
After Two Little Red Hens, we decided to walk through Central Park to get from the Upper East Side to the Upper West Side. And we just happened to come across a Wafles and Dinges cart in the park! Usually we find one of their trucks by Columbus Circle (conveniently located near Bouchon Bakery- one of my favorites!). We couldn’t pass up the opportunity to order a “throwndown wafel,” which is a Belgian waffle topped with biscoff spread and whipped cream.
UPPER WEST SIDE
As much as I love to visit my favorite bakeries again and again, I also love finding new favorites. Sugar and Plumm is a really fun bakery with two locations in the city (West Village and Upper West Side). I love the crème brulee cookie which has the most amazing gooey center ever. We only visited the bakery but there is also a restaurant that I want to try for brunch on a future visit.
Our next stop was Treat House, a small bakery that specializes in homemade rice crispy treats. In addition to the chocolate peanut butter treat I ordered, Treat House was also giving out free s’mores treats for National S’mores Day on the day of our visit.
And of course I had to stop at Levain Bakery. Their thick and chewy cookies are some of the best I have ever had. If I had to recommend three bakeries in New York City, I would recommend Levain Bakery for the cookies, Two Little Red Hens for the cupcakes and City Bakery for the pretzel croissant. The best.