I have been to New York City only once before, where we took all the sites in and visited as many areas as we could in 1 week. This time round, I wanted to be more prepared. Before leaving I began researching a very important aspect to the holiday: where to eat. I am so glad I did, Alan and I tried some amazing authentic American food that I just have to share with you! Apologies if the pictures make you dribble…
1. Shake Shack
After a tiring day shopping along 5th Ave, we detoured off track slightly to reach Shake Shack in Madison Square Park. We had passed the one in the Theater District several times, which looks quite glamorous. I was expecting to find a similar one in Madison Square Park however it looked more like this:
It was great because it meant we could sit outside with two of New Yorks most famous buildings surrounding us, the Flat Iron Building and the Empire State Building. The queue wasn’t too long compared to the one in the Theater District and it was worth the wait. I ordered the Shackburger, fries and a coke, Alan went for a Hamburger with cheese, fries and a coke. After walking along 5th Ave for several hours our bellies were ready for this.
The burgers were delicious and were encased in a sweet bun (the Americans love their sweet bread). The meat was succulent and was actually fresh. Nothing like the fast food joints we have in the UK. I urge you to give it a try when you make your travels to the big apple. Check out the website here.
If anyone watches The Hills, you will have heard them mention ‘PinkBerry’ a few times. It is a frozen yogurt parlour where you choose from the size, the flavour of the frozen yogurt (we know it as ice cream) and whether you want any toppings.
I opted for the watermelon frozen yogurt with fruit toppings. I was pleasantly surprised when I asked how much fruit I could have and the assistant said as much as you can fit on. Alan opted for plain strawberry frozen yogurt.
I can see why they have such a following, the yogurt is very refreshing and with the fruit loaded on top you don’t feel as guilty about eating the lot. They were just what we needed for the 100 degree heat and to take on our walk through Central Park. Website link here.
3. Europa Cafe
Researching for places to eat for the best pancakes was a little tricky as a lot of locations came up. Plus we needed the location to fit into what we were doing that day, so I wasn’t dragging everyone cross New York City to please my stomach. One place that came up several times was ‘Europa Cafe’. I had spotted one in Times Square which we began heading for, however I spotted another one on the way down.
It was filled with cheesecakes, sweet treats, quiches and salads to please all appetites. Alan’s mum opted for the authentic American pancakes with syrup and fruit, Alan went for a savoury crepe with cheese, egg and ham and I went for a sweet crepe with nutella, banana and strawberry. They were delicious. All the food was so fresh and the crepes were filled to the brim with their accompaniments.
You can check out there website here. Doesn’t give much away though.
4. Five Guys
I found out about Five Guys from reading a review from another blog and decided I had to try it. Boy, it did not disappoint! The burgers come in two sizes, single or double. However, this was not obvious to myself or Alan as the single is labelled ‘Little Hamburger’ so as if I was going to have a ‘Little Hamburger’. In hindsight, I wish I did. The fries, which are cooked in peanut oil, (so they’re practically healthy…) are overflowing and could probably make up two portions.
You can add as many toppings to your burger as you want, free of charge. As I like my stuff hot, I opted for cheese, Jalapeno peppers, hot sauce and grilled onions. Alan went for grilled onions, grilled mushrooms and cheese. All burgers are cooked to order and actually look like fresh burgers unlike other fast food joints like McDonalds. We were completely stuffed after and looking forward to walking it off through Times Square. It was the perfect end to our last day in NYC.
I think if I was to live in the US with all this food on offer I would probably be obese. It’s probably better they stay across the pond, for my health reasons. I could get used to the portion sizes but can understand why the US has weight issues. The fact that it’s cheaper to eat out than in, makes it even harder to resist gorging on all the food they have to offer. If you get the chance to go to the states, make sure you look out for these places. I’m just waiting for them to start popping up here…