My family and I spent the holidays in New York City for the first time and I was excited because I wanted to know where to get amazing food in NYC. I’d been before during the winter and late November one year, but never for Christmas. It was a great experience from all the amazing Christmas decor to the cold (freezing!) weather and of course, the food.
I enjoyed MANY incredible meals in New York from nice restaurants to food markets and everything in between. And yes, New York has gotten more expensive since I was last there in February 2020, but there is still amazing food to be had at a good price point.
Today I’m sharing with you the best things I ate during my vacation and where to get them from tacos to pizza (LOTS) to short ribs to dumplings and everything in between.
This is a kind of chain restaurant that I haven’t eaten here in like 10 years, but it was close to the hotel (Kimpton Eventi) when we arrived late afternoon and we were tired and exhausted. I knew the food would be very good. Started with the amazing Potato Chips with Blue Cheese Fondue (enjoyed this 10 years ago) and then had Brick Pressed Chicken with baby spinach, smashed garlic potatoes and lemon chicken jus and a side of Mac + Cheese.
This meal was incredible and perfect after a day of traveling with kids. The mac and cheese was super cheesy and had a great crust of cheese on top. It was exactly what I needed. But the chicken dish was even better. Perfectly cooked, tender chicken with divine potatoes and spinach. I inhaled this. I recommend The Smith for American-style comfort food. They also have a great drinks menu.
Jongro Korean BBQ
This was my first time having Korean BBQ and I was pleasantly surprised! My friend Lauren picked this spot and I was delighted to say the least. It was also just a few blocks from my fabulous hotel. We enjoyed the Beef Platter with brisket, ribeye, skirt steak and added on chicken as well. It came with a bunch of sides including kimchi, scallions with a spicy sauce, macaroni salad, a cheesy corn dish and then two different sauces. We also added rice.
I loved this meal because the meat was cooked right in front of us and was so tender. Because this was a first for me, I sat and took it all in and really enjoyed myself. I highly recommend trying Korean BBQ if you haven’t already.
La Pasta + La Pizza @ Eataly
OK, this was one of the best meals for me. I love all things Italian and had been wanting to go to Eataly in NYC for quite some time. We ended up going on a Friday night when the place wasn’t crazy busy. I chose this restaurant because I figured it would be easy for the kids to find something they would enjoy. We ordered Margherita Pizza, Truffle Mushroom Pizza and two orders of Cacio e Pepe, my favourite pasta dish.
The food didn’t take long but I happily enjoyed a glass of Italian Red (can’t remember what it was) while I waited. Once the food came, it was easy to see why the restaurant was full. The truffle pizza was earthy and decadent while the pasta was creamy and had the right amount of pepper. The kids also enjoyed their Margherita Pizza.
Instead of ordering dessert, we went to the dessert counters in the market area of Eataly. I opted for Sheep’s Milk Ricotta Cannoli with dark chocolate. Perfectly crunchy, creamy and yet not too sweet. I actually went back and had another one because it was really good. I can’t wait to go back!
Brooklyn Chop house (Times Square)
This restaurant came very recommended and hyped up so I wasn’t sure if I could actually be good. Happy to say it was very good. Instead of ordering big mains, we opted for a few small plates and appetizers including Chicken Parm Dumpling, Lobster Spring Roll Dumplings, Lamb Gyro Dumplings, Rock Shrimp Tempura and a side of Chicken Fried Rice.
Everything was delicious but the lobster dumplings were my fave. And the chicken fried rice was perfect. For desserts, we sampled Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecake and Brownie Cheesecake. Both were delicious but not memorable if I’m being honest.
Overall, I enjoyed Brooklyn Chophouse but I will say it was very expensive and probably best to go with a group so that the cost isn’t so high.
We ended up going to Cafeteria around 8pm on Christmas for a late dinner after visiting Bryant Park and indulging a bit too much in hot chocolate and yummy French Fries. I ate at Cafeteria years ago and remembered the food being very good, so I was looking forward to a great experience.
And I’m happy to say I definitely had a great experience. From the delicious biscuits that we received shortly after ordering to the incredible Cauliflower Truffle Soup to the fabulous Short Rib with greens and cauliflower puree and the side of Mac + Cheese.
The mac and cheese was one of the best I’ve ever had and the short ribs were mouth watering and super tender. The soup had amazing truffle flavour and the biscuits were light and delicious. Overall, a fantastic meal for Christmas.
Every time I come to New York, I say I will go to Chelsea Market and then it doesn’t happen. This time, I was going, come hell or high water. Unfortunately, I went when it was crazy busy so I didn’t get to eat everything I wanted. But that just means I have to go back on my next trip to the Big Apple!
For my first bite, I stood in line at Filaga Pizzeria because I’d heard really good things. Thankfully, all the good things were true. I grabbed a few slices of Margherita and Porcini Tartufo with porcini mushrooms, roasted potatoes, parmigiano and truffle oil.
Both were divine and even though it was truffle mushroom pizza, it was very different from what I enjoyed at Eataly. I highly recommend FIlaga for incredible, authentic Sicilian-style pizza.
The second place I tried was Takumi Taco, which are Japanese/Mexican fusion. I was excited to sample these tacos as they were different from others I’ve had in the past. I ordered Chipotle Shrimp, Chicken Adobo and Curry Beef.
The curry beef was by far the standout for me because it was tender and so full of curry flavour. It was unlike any other taco I’ve eaten. The other two were very good, but not an incredible culinary bite like the beef. I highly recommend checking out Takumi Tacos for something different.
As you can see, I ate VERY well over the Christmas season in New York City. There were a few spots I didn’t get to try but I will when I head back in a few months.
What’s your favorite restaurant in NYC?! Let me know in the comments.
I’m Mikaela, an island girl in Bermuda who’s obsessed with sharing gourmet food, fantastic wine and luxe experiences. If you love all things food and wine, click here to join my email list to get awesome recommendations.