Sponsored: The Ultimate Cheat Sheet for Your NYC Foodie Trip

Italian restaurant

Ah, New York City. From Times Square to Wall Street, the Empire State Building to Broadway, there’s no shortage of interesting places. There’s also no shortage of fine dining restaurants, casual diners, bakeries and other amazing eateries. For the Average Joe, deciding where to eat is probably as easy as choosing the closest place with a good Yelp rating. For a foodie, though, the restaurants are a much larger part of your trip to NYC.

The Appeal of Appetizers

How many times have you gotten too full on appetizers to enjoy a full meal? Probably more often than you’d like to admit. Appetizers are a joyous occasion for a food all on their own, so plan to visit at least one of the many restaurants that specialize in small plate service in NYC. For example, Parish & Co. is known for its large menu of appetizers that range from grilled calamari to roasted beet and arugula salad. For truly hungry individuals, the restaurant, located on Ninth Avenue near 22nd Street, offers larger plates, too.

Bottomless Brunches

Bottomless Brunches

Whether it’s a standing date with the girls or an entire family outing, there’s no denying the appeal of spending a leisurely late morning or early afternoon taking in the sights and sounds over a plate of delicious food. While plenty of traditional American brunch options are available, if you want the true foodie experience, consider trying something international. Miss Lily’s has locations in both Soho and the East Village and offers authentic Jamaican cuisine in a lively atmosphere. For a fixed price, Fonda offers a Mexican entree and unlimited margaritas, mimosas, or one of several other drinks.

Lunch Time

New York City is home to a range of lunch options. In the mood for a giant burger? Situated in the lobby of the Parker Meridien is Burger Joint. Follow the neon arrow and find burgers cooked exactly to your specifications. Be prepared, though. During busy days, the line has been known to take an hour to get through. If you’re just too hungry to wait in long lines, Kashkaval on 9th Avenue might be more your style. Quaint deli in the front, wine and cheese bar in the back, the eatery is known for its range of Mediterranean dishes.

Dinner Dates

Of course, no NYC foodie trip is complete without a dinner. If you’re dining with kids, dinner is a great time to check out one of the city’s theme restaurants. In Tribeca, Ninja’s waiters jump through walls, do card tricks, and might even add some special effects to your food. If you prefer a swanky, romantic evening, check out Del Posto. The Chelsea area Italian restaurant is known for its upscale, formal dining experience. Customers swear by the lobster Caesar salad and spaghetti with crab.

desert bars

Just Desserts

Foodies with a sweet tooth will for sure want to check out one of New York’s many dessert bars and bakeries. During the summer months, Popbar is a popular destination for fruit-infused popsicles, frozen hot chocolate on a stick, and creamy gelato. Alternatively, try something warm and gooey at the East Village’s Milk Bar, known for Cereal Milk Ice Cream and delicious cookies with ingredients that range from mild to wild. Want more than one? ChikaLicious serves three-course desserts paired with just the right wines.

The Bar Scene

Your trip wouldn’t be complete without a couple of bar stops, and there is no shortage of unique venues in New York. Cafe Carlyle on E. 76th offers old-school glamour and the opportunity to see Woody Allen play the clarinet on Monday evenings. If you’ve ever wondered what a speakeasy is like, check out PDT… but Please Don’t Tell! Enter through a phone booth to taste the unique cocktails. If you want to make an entire night of it, Brooklyn Bowl’s great drinks pair perfectly with its 16 bowling lanes and large performance space.

Things to Keep in Mind

Failing to plan could leave your amazing foodie trip in shambles. An expert in wine, Italian culture, and the restaurant business, Louis Ceruzzi blogs about opening the best restaurants, but he also has a few tips for fellow foodies.

Keep your fellow guests’ preferences and allergies in mind. Someone with severe seafood allergies definitely won’t enjoy a seafood restaurant, and small children aren’t likely going to enjoy a fancy five-course meal — if they’re even allowed in the restaurant. Always make reservations when you can, especially for very popular places, and if you’re going to an upscale restaurant, be sure to check their dress code. Finally, be sure to bring small bills for tipping bathroom attendants and coat checkers in fine establishments.

A great foodie trip through New York City is really all about your tastes, but this guide can help you get started and offer a few suggestions if you’re not sure where to begin. If all else fails, just follow your nose and the growling of your stomach!