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Debbie Lee

San Francisco, California

Restaurants that are worth being gluttonous at

I've been on a health kick, but it's not every day I'm in New York, so what are a few food spots that are worth hopping off the train for?  If it helps, I love dessert (ice cream!) and baked stuff (pastries and pizza!).

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  • Katz's Delicatessen (restaurant)

    205 E Houston St New York NY 10002 (212) 254-2246

    2 mentions

  • Balthazar Restaurant (restaurant)

    80 Spring St New York NY 10012 (212) 965-1785

    2 mentions

  • Norma's (restaurant)

    118 West 57th Street New York NY 10019 (212) 708-7460

    2 mentions

  • Andrew Zimmern

    top answer by

    For Chinese food...

    • I love Chef Danny Bowien’s Chinese-ish dishes at Mission Chinese Food , like kung pao pastrami and cold, savory egg custard with sea urchin, scallop and winter melon.
    • Xi'an Famous Foods is also a good one. Their spicy noodles are the best budget food in the entire city, but I also think their food stands up to some of the best sit-down restaurants here as well. Be prepared to take your food to go-- there are only about 10 seats in this little shop & you’ll need to embrace your inner assertive New Yorker to nab one.
    • The roast chicken smothered with fried garlic stems is a favorite at Dim Sum Go Go , make sure to try the dumplings too!
    • In the heart of the city's new Chinatown (that's Flushing in Queens, by the way), you'll find some of the most delcious (and spiciest) Hunan cuisines in town. My favorite is Hunan Kitchen You might have some issues explaining what you want to the mostly non-english speaking staff, but that's half the fun.

    For burgers, the one at J.G. Melon is the burger of my childhood. The cottage fries and chili are perfect as sides. Minetta Tavern has great steaks, but I can’t stop raving about their burgers.

    If you want a truly New York experience, go to Katz's Delicatessen , an iconic Jewish deli. It doesn’t get more New York than this. Carnegie Deli is another good one. This place has the largest sandwiches and some darn good chopped chicken liver. It’s my favorite hometown deli.

    For New York bagels, Russ & Daughters is one of my grandmother’s favorite spots, and now mine, too. Smoked fish, caviar, bialys and more. Barney Greengrass is another favorite. Tons of bagel choices and delicious fish. The lox and the salmon are the top picks for a good reason but the sturgeon is amazing. Whitefish salad is best in class.

    For dessert, I swear that Doug and Bryan of Big Gay Ice Cream are having more fun than anyone I know in the food biz. These guys have a stellar product (soft serve ice cream and other homemade treats) and are two of the funniest people I've met in awhile. You'll probably leave here with a salty pimp ice cream cone in one hand (chocolate, caramel, sea salt), and their phone number in another. I love these two.

    Another good dessert one: Momofuku Milk Bar . Sugar freaks, chocoholics, pie fiends take note: You will feel like you've died and gone to heaven. From compost cookies to croissants, ice cream to coffee, once you go, you'll be a Milk Bar evangelist.

    Since you like baked goods, I suggest Balthazar Restaurant. Might be my favorite place in the whole city. You could swear this place has been here for a century, but it's only been here since 1997. Getting a table can be a bear, but the food is worth it. Great spot for celebrity sighting, too.

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    • Debbie L.

      Debbie L.

      Oh my! There's actually a Mission Chinese where I live in SF and I've heard the wonders of several of these places before. Taking notes! Thank you so much! :) · (0 likelikes)

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    1. Mission Chinese Food (restaurant)
    2. Xi'an Famous Foods (restaurant)
    3. Dim Sum Go Go (restaurant)
    4. Hunan Kitchen (restaurant)
    5. Minetta Tavern (restaurant)
    6. J.G. Melon (restaurant)
    7. Katz's Delicatessen (restaurant)
    8. Carnegie Deli (restaurant)
    9. Russ & Daughters (restaurant)
    10. Barney Greengrass (restaurant)
    11. Big Gay Ice Cream Shop (restaurant)
    12. Momofuku Milk Bar (restaurant)
    13. Balthazar Restaurant (restaurant)

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  • Brew Johnson

    answered by

    Check out Craft. Best creamed corn ever. They milk the corn husks instead of using cream.

    Pastis is the sister restaurant to Balthazar located in the meatpacking district. Has a similar vibe and menu to Balthazar, although Balthazar is probably a little busier (during lunch for sure) and Balthazar's bakery and breakfast is better. Good spot to pop into or grab a bite in connection with a trip to the Gansevoort or other meatpacking district spots.

    Joseph Leonard Restaurant is a great little atmospheric local spot in the West Village. Great food, but well worth it even if you want to pop in for a drink. Then walk over to Fedora.

    Fedora is a cool vibey, restaurant lounge in West Village. Great for a cocktail. Easy walk from Joseph Leonard. I've been told the food is pretty good, too.

    Oh, and The Fat Radish. Great scene at this Lower East Side hotspot restaurant. Food is pretty good, but the cucumber gin and tonic is worth flying to NY for.

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    • Debbie L.

      Debbie L.

      Milking the corn husk is the only way to go! Pastis sounds like a decent alt to Balthazar. All sound great. Thanks, Brew! · (0 likelikes)

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  • Veronica Belmont

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    Check out Milk Bar. They have Cereal Milk soft serve ice cream. That's right... CEREAL MILK. It's like a delicious time warp back to your childhood.

    For bagels, EssaBagel has the best bagels in the world. For baked treats, go to Babycakes NYC. If it makes you feel better, they're VEGAN treats!

    For coffee, go to Bluebird Coffee Shop. This is my favorite tiny coffee spot in NYC. They have some good treats too, and the granola is excellent!

    And the fois at Les Halles is pretty great. If you're into that.

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    • Debbie L.

      Debbie L.

      I just heard angels sing at the sound of cereal milk soft serve! A friend actually brought me back a cookie from there recently! All of this sounds great. Thank you! · (0 likelikes)

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  • Brandee Barker

    answered by

    Go to The Spotted Pig. Amazing food. Great, low key ambiance.

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    • Debbie L.

      Debbie L.

      Awesome, thanks! The chef who opened Spotted Pig is actually opening a restaurant near where I live in SF! It'd be cool to try his restaurants on both coasts :) · (0 likelikes)

    • Annemarie D.

      Annemarie D.

      I love the Pig. Good choice. · (0 likelikes)

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  • Bente J

    answered by

    What about ice cream at Big Gay Ice Cream Shop ? I also loved the Chinese bakeries, like Ho Won Bake Shoppe Inc and Fay Da Bakery . Additionally I'd recommend Amy's Bread in West Village, Tacombi at Fonda Nolita , Mary's Fish Camp and Dumpling Man !

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    • Debbie L.

      Debbie L.

      Thank you, Bente! I can't wait to try these! Big Gay Ice Cream Shop is definitely on the list :D · (0 likelikes)

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  • JR Johnson

    answered by

    Check out Norma's. this could be one of the most decadent breakfasts i've ever had. Long wait to get in though, so plan on putting your name in and waiting. It's not a traditional breakfast place... not a greasy spoon. It's modern and nice and pricey. The only thing i don't like, is that it doesn't have any windows, but otherwise a cool spot.

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  • Soraya Darabi

    answered by

    Debbie, have you ever been to Ippudo NY? The pork buns are amongst my favorite in the world! Seriously.

    Several people have mentioned Balthazar Restaurant which is the closest New York comes to a Parisian baguette or croissant. Delicious!

    You should also check out Magnolia Bakery. Beyond cupcakes, you should try the banana pudding here. It's rated amongst the Top 10 dishes on Foodspotting in New York!

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  • Elaine Schoch

    answered by

    Patsy's, NY My absolute favoriate is Patsy's Italian Restaurant (www.patsys.com/‎) in the Theatre District. To die for Tiramisu.

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    • Debbie L.

      Debbie L.

      I *love* tiramisu! Definitely noting this one! By the way, did you know that you can actually tag places in your answer so that they get plotted on a map with your answer? (like in the other answers here). You simply use the @-symbol then type the name of the place. I'm the community manager around here, so just feel free to ping me if you have any questions. Thanks so much for the suggestion, Elaine! :) · (0 likelikes)

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  • Johanna (TravelEater) Read

    answered by

    Ahhh .... Eating in New York City is the best!

    And there are lots of places to splurge. My favourites are any of the Danny Meyer restaurants, like Union Square Cafe or Gramercy Tavern . For a less expensive option, go to any of his Shake Shack locations : burgers, twice-cooked fries, ice cream and Concretes (a very thick milkshake), and everything is made with high quality ingredients.

    For dessert, I head to ChikaLicious Dessert Bar , Doughnut Plant or Momofuku Milk Bar .

    I have a list of eating recommendations, sorted by neighbourhood, plus some things to do between snacks here: http://traveleater.wordpress.com/nyc-field-notes/.

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    • Debbie L.

      Debbie L.

      Thanks so much for the recommendations, Johanna, and great blog post! :) · (1 likelikes)

    • Johanna (TravelEater) R.

      Johanna (TravelEater) R.

      I forgot that I'd written an article about desserts in NYC! Here's the link : https://traveleater.wordpress.com/2012/11/18/sweets-of-new-york/ · (0 likelikes)

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  • Brett Snyder

    answered by

    Check out Sweet Revenge. Really enjoyed the cupcakes the last time I was there - my wife had the sweet revenge (peanut buttery goodness). I had the very strawberry (or something like that) paired with a good stout. Delicious.

    For a big fat sandwich, I had a great pastrami on rye at Katz's Delicatessen.

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  • Johnny Jet

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    I love breakfast at Norma's!

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