The great thing about any trip to New York is that the vast distances you walk basically offset the huge quantities of food you consume. Here are a few of my favorite places to fuel up for your next urban hike. They all happen to be in the lower third of Manhattan. That wasn’t intentional; it’s just the area I know best.
I did not actually buy or eat dragonfruit, but isn’t it pretty? Chinatown is great for piles of foodstuffs, some of it still alive, mounded up right on the street for your perusal.
This is a very bad picture of another tasty treat from Chinatown: a minicake! For a dollar you can get a little bag of these cakes, which are just puffs of fried waffle batter. Tell me that’s not genius.
This calzone from Rudy Pizzeria in Little Italy doesn’t look like much. Frankly, the restaurant itself doesn’t look like much. It’s divey and doesn’t have the touts out front like a lot of the places on the main drag. But for my money it was one of the most delicious bites of the whole trip: filled with melty mozzarella and ricotta and a savory meat sauce, with a sweet-ish tomato sauce for dipping. We probably should have ordered another.
Pommes Frites, on 2nd Ave. in the East Village, was one of those places I indulged in each payday when I was a poor freshman, and I still go whenever I’m in town. They fry their fries twice to get them appropriately crispy. Pro tip: Get the sauce on the side. They will overdo it.
Veselka is an East Village institution: huge portions of Slavic comfort food. Breakfast there will be hearty enough to fuel you for the longest and coldest walk through the most idiotic crowds. Don’t miss the potato pancakes.
Um, so, I sorta scarfed my food too fast to take a picture of it here. But Little India, on 6th St. between 1st and 2nd, is pretty uniformly delicious. They’re all little basement places like this, all decorated with Christmas lights, and all with sitar players in the windows. Be sure to get banana pakora while you’re there–for some reason, it’s the only place in America I’ve seen it. You ask for them at Indian restaurants in Chicago and they look at you like you’re insane.
Last but not least, the famous Katz’s Deli. The corned beef was absolutely delicious, but the matzo ball soup was more picturesque.