Food Tour through Manhattan
When you are in New York a food tour is a great way to understand why it's called melting pot of the world and at the same time you will discover places that you will want to come back to again and again.
There are many organized food tours in New York and one of them is the Lower East Side Eats Tour (this was an offer by http://sidewalksofny.com, but you will find similar tours by other agencies, like http://www.freetoursbyfoot.com). I list the tour stops below and also added a hotel and a nice breakfast place to start with. So you can spend nearly a whole day just eating.
The Nolitan Hotel is hip and makes you feel like actually living in New York rather than staying at a hotel. This is due to the attention to detail that the independent owners put into the design of this boutique hotel, e.g. a big menu book containing the offerings of all the surrounding eateries. You just a order a sandwich from one place and a pizza from another and the room service will deliver both for you. You also get bikes, skateboards, a yoga mat and a gym membership for the time of your stay. Unfortunately, it also delivers on one of the negative side of living in New York: the rooms are really small and quite expensive nonetheless.
One more thing I want to point out for the Nolitan: the beds are - hands down - the best beds I have slept in. Not sure how they do it, but those mattresses adapt to the body perfectly without being too soft. Of course, this is a personal thing, but for me it was just right. I forgot to check the manufacturer, though.
|Hotel||The Nolitan Hotel|
|Good||Good location to discover the Lower East Side. Feeling like at home. Fantastic beds.|
|Bad||Quite expensive, while missing some of the perks of similar priced hotels, like a pool.|
The Egg Shop
While breakfast at the Nolitan is not that bad, a cool little place is directly adjacent to the hotel, called the Egg Shop.
What can you do with an egg? A lot you haven't done before, as it turns out. Maybe I am not hip enough, but I never made myself a bowl of poached egg, miso quinoa, avocado, pickled carrots, farm green and tamari (of course gluten free) - called "Spandex" on the menu. I loved it! Also the egg and steak sandwich can be recommended. After a protein-filled breakfast, the Lower East Side lies before you to discover.
- Nolitan Hotel
- The Egg Shop
- Russ & Daughter's: NYC's premier appetizing shop (Est. 1914)
- Katz's Delicatessen: The best delicatessen in New York (Est. 1888)
- Yonah Schimmel Knish Bakery: Taste a delicious potato knish, which is always baked and round, never fried and square (Est. 1910)
- North Dumpling: Authentic handmade northern Chinese dumplings. This is literally a hole-in-the-wall, much like you also find in actual China with really good food coming out of the hole. And these dumplings are definitely made like on the Mainland.
- Kossar's Bialys: The oldest bialy bakery in the U.S. (Est. 1935)
- Doughnut Plant: A mouthwatering family recipe (Est. 1994)
- Economy Candy: Stocking all types of candy, nuts & dried fruit from floor-to-ceiling. “Noshers’ paradise of the Lower East Side.” (Est. 1937)
The organized tour took us around Nolita, East Village and China Town (3. to 9.). Of all the little, sometimes quite famous, eateries, the one that I want to point out is Katz's Delicatessen. Often long lines at the counters and a complicated ordering system (at least for newbies), but the main attraction is worth the wait: their home-made pastrami (on rye). Given a much longer ripe process than industrially produced meat, the taste is just ... just ... just try for yourself! Btw, the famous orgasm-scene from Harry and Sally was shot here ("I'll have what she's having").
Other places to recommend
Just across from the Nolitan hotel is a nice little Japanese restaurant: cocoron & GOEMON. Specialists for soba noodle soup and Japanese curries. Good quality and healthy. Just like in Japan.
For a nice dinner before a Broadway show I can recommend Thalia. We went to see Chicago in the Ambassador Theater just on the same block, so it was very convenient. Its decoration fit to the Theatre District, for example with posters on the walls. They even asked us when our show started before we even sat down. So they could prioritise their kitchen and seating based on that. I always like it when a restaurant adapts to its surroundings this elegantly. And the modern American-style food was pretty decent, too.
The whole world in a 1 mile radius. Welcome to New York!
PS I noticed when writing this post that nearly all the restaurant websites are hosted on Squarespace, just like this blog! This is not a conspiracy, I guess Squarespace is just doing their best to get everyone around their home base on their servers :)