Travel

Taking a bite of the Big Apple

As with any venture to a new destination, trying out a variety of restaurants and searching for those hidden gems can be a lot of fun and an experience all of its own.

Having spent two weeks in New York I’d like to think we got a pretty good idea of the “must try” spots within a few block’s radius of where we stayed. And although we did find plenty of delectable dishes, I know that we could go back again and again and still try new, unique places each and every trip.

I’ve compiled a list of spots that I would recommend to anyone who finds themselves nearby, enjoy!

P.S., Sorry for the lack and bad quality photos – Simone usually only remembered to take a photo after she had eaten and by that point it’s not really worth it! Oops.

This was our first “proper” meal out in New York. I had the chana masala sandwich whilst Simone opted for the bowl version of the same name. Having spent a full day on our feet this food was very well received and the hearty portion and explosion of flavours were a fitting reward for the 26,000 steps we’d taken that day!

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We tried the location on 8th Avenue, the upstairs has a huge window with stools along it so you can enjoy your food whilst watching the bustling in the streets; ideal for people watching. We both had the hummus and falafel from the “just hummus” section of the menu, the hummus was lovely and creamy and the falafel was well done, crisp outside and nice and soft inside.

When becoming vegetarian, falafel quickly became a staple food for me. I can always find happiness in a fluffy pitta bread stuffed with warm falafel and a handful of crisp salad – nom.

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When we stumbled across this spot on W 50th Street we were just looking for a quick bite on the way to check out Times Square before the New Year crowds started filing in. We were surprised it was so empty, until we came back outside and saw the barriers had been put up to block access toward the focal point of that evening!

The “create your own plate” provides a wide variety of “Proteins” and sides to create plenty of delicious combos.

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This restaurant kept cropping up near the top of a lot of “best pizza in New York” lists that we found, so as it was so close, we decided to give it a try. I can definitely speak for the both of us when I say we fully endorse the high ratings!

Getting a veggie pizza right is difficult at the best of times, the ingredients naturally make the base soggier and it can detract from the experience when you spend most of your time scooping toppings back onto your base.

This was not the case (so much) with this pizza. The base maintained a crispness and crunch but wasn’t hard. The sauce/tomato/toppings ratios were spot on so that nothing was taking over each bite and masking the other two. Granted, the price tag on the end of this was more than a lot of the other dishes on this list combined, but, when in Rome…

On the way to check out the Best of NYC cruise by Circle Line we stopped off at this little cafe to warm up before an afternoon on the water. We both had a hot chocolate and some pastry treats. It was a really cosy place and we could have easily spent an afternoon there if we weren’t so tied for time.

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This place is a good pit-stop to grab a snack as you’re walking the streets of the concrete jungle. Pick a base, protein and toppings from their salad bar style layout. More tasty falafel – you can’t go wrong!

You may have noticed in one of my previous posts, we visited this place a few times during our stay and it was always awesome! We kept coming back for the chilled out, pub vibe and that veggie burger with sweet potato fries!

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I decided to check out Terri’s on a day when Simone was a bit run down and some comfort food was needed. As it’s a vegan friendly menu it’s one of our absolute top recommendations. It also helps that the food is incredibly moreish! Even if you are a die-hard carnivore, you will be pleasantly surprised at the alternatives on offer here. I went for the meatball sub and philly cheesesteak along with a chocolate milkshake. Plus, several milkshakes during the remainder of our stay.

Another amazing restaurant for Indian cuisine. There’s plenty of styles, mains and sides to choose from, trying them all is the perfect excuse to keep coming back! We both chose the feast option from the menu and I would recommend ordering the onion pakora strings as an added side.

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Don’t let this photo deceive you. The food was goooood.

I’m almost embarrassed to say that we only discovered Bite because it was near the local “by Chloe.” restaurant. This place certainly deserved recognition on it’s own – be sure to try them both!

There were a wide range of soups, sandwiches, salads and general plates including some vegan and veggie options. On both occasions we tried the soup along with a sandwich each. The middle Eastern vegan ciabatta featured each time and can be ordered as part of the combo option on the menu.

We never saw this place and it wasn’t full – please don’t let the thought of a long wait put you off, though. The service is quick and friendly and the food is absolutely worth it. It’s vegan, they serve sweet potato fries, it’s all reasonably priced and they even do dog treats! The more I think about this place the more I want to go back!

Unfortunately, we only tried four of the mains, but I would be happy if they only had those to offer. The beetroot ketchup and chipotle aioli are both an amazing accompaniment so be sure to fill up a small pot with each of them when you pick up your napkins! I can’t imagine eating anything simpler or better than a bowl of fries and those two sauces.

Our dining experiences

It’s reassuring to know that although it’s a country that loves its grilled meats and fast food, there were a hell of a lot of vegetarian and vegan options to cater to us – as well as any other dietary requirements you can think of.

Everywhere we tried the atmosphere was always warm and welcoming. The staff were always polite, engaging and helpful which was a really pleasant surprise for us and was much appreciated.

As for the food itself we can only hope that similar establishments can really take off over here. The only thing we did notice was apart from Bite, everywhere used disposable cutlery and plates; which can seem like quite a waste. But the washable over disposable debate is a lengthy one and is not something I want to wade in on here!

On a personal note we’ll definitely be trying to replicate some of the dishes we tried and putting our own spin on them!

Let us know in the comments if you have any more vegan/vegetarian food recommendations!

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