Do you remember way back when I used to post a monthly series called Instaeats? I would showcase 4 or 5 restaurants that I tried during the month, and needed to inform your tastebuds about. Also, when I say it was a monthly series, it was really more like a quarterly series, because I’m irresponsible and can’t keep up with anything, ever.
However, even though I’ve come to terms with my childish-like tendencies and stopped pretending I could keep up with such a thing, I still always get asked where it is that you need to eat around the city. I figured instead of half-ass committing to another monthly series, I would just do a bunch of roundups whenever it is that I try some new places that are blog worthy. Which leads us to post #1. Nothing is in order and each spot is somewhere I’ve just recently visited. If you follow along on my Instagram, chances are you’ve already seen these photos… but.. here they are again.
1) Prince St. Pizza: If you’ve scanned even just a few NYC food guides, chances are Prince St. Pizza was on there. It’s one of those gems that deserves all of the respect that it gets. The pizza, more notably their square pepperoni slice, is absolute perfection. The dough is fluffy on the inside while still maintaining a crunchy crust, while their margherita slice is pure buttery-love. The place gets PACKED, pretty much all of the time, so keep that in mind if you’re ever in the area and feel like dropping in for some life changing pizza.
2) Egg Shop: Egg Shop is one of those places that had been on my radar for months, but for whatever reason, I just never made it in. Every time the opportunity would arise, I would get sidetracked or distracted and whined up going somewhere else to get my brunch on. Fast forward to about a month ago, I finally got my ass to plant in one of their adorable aluminum chairs at one of their adorable tables in this adorable establishment. Seriously, Egg Shop is one of those spots where you sort of feel like you’re at home, if your home was also packed to the rim with about 30 other strangers. It’s small, it’s quaint, it’s kind of loud, but the food makes up for all of the personal space you’ll find that you don’t have. The star here? The side order of fried chicken. For real. If you don’t order the fried chicken, you’re dead to me.
3) Bread & Butter: OKAY, SO. I was hesitant to add Bread & Butter because it’s more of a market then it is a place to eat, but I order this salad to my apartment at least twice a week, so I feel I’d be doing some people a disservice if I didn’t mention it. This is more for those who live in Manhattan and are looking for a new Seamless obsession vs. someone visiting the city. You can create your own gigantic salad for around $10 that is seriously fixed with the works. You have an insane amount of options and I almost, no always, end up with leftovers for later or the next day (yes you can save salad for at least a day.) It’s good, the ingredients are fresh, and for the price you can’t beat it. Plus aside from the awesome salad bar, they have a variety of different cuisines like pizza, chinese, mexican, and more. It’s sort of like a melting pot of destination-al (that’s definitely not a word) foods in one spot, and I think that’s pretty dope.
4) Szechuan Gourmet
: I discovered Szechuan Gourmet about 5 months ago when I was looking for a new Chinese spot in my area. I stalked Instagram and Yelp for a good 2 hours before deciding upon SG. That’s usually how I figure out dinner. I stalk multiple websites and apps before making food decisions. I take mealtime seriously, and I never want to waste time, money, or calories on mediocre food. Luckily, I do the dirty work for you, and you end up with curated lists of sure things. You’re welcome. Anyway – back to Chinese, Szechuan Gourmet is QUALITY. I’ve tried a variety of things from their chili noodles (shown above), their spicy peanut chicken, their garlic sauce broccoli, as well as their scallion pancakes. I have yet to try something I didn’t love, and they are consistent with their flavors and tastes every time that I’ve returned.
: Cilantro is a cute little Mexican cantina with locations on both the Upper West Side and the Upper East Side. My dad introduced me to this spot a few months ago, as he’s something short of a regular and would always tell me about this magical place. If you identify as a fajita snob, you NEED to try the grilled chicken fajitas at Cilantro. I think it’s safe to say that they are some of the best that I have ever tried, and I’ve had my fair share of fajitas. They are perfectly spiced, tender, and get wrapped up in pillowy pockets of tortilla. They also give you a mound of complimentary chips and salsa from the moment you sit down, and I’m very okay with that.
6) Rowlands Bar & Grill
: Never would I think that one of the most bomb restaurants in midtown would be posted up in the basement of Macy*s. They just recently opened, and has a vibe that is something equivalent to southern meets modern-american fare. Pictured above is the Chopped Salad, the Winter Citrus Salad, as well as a side of their INSANELY AMAZING onion pull-apart bread. They also just might house one of the greatest moscow mules that I’ve tried in a while (particularly when you order one with your lunch), but you didn’t hear that from me.
7) Baz Bagel & Restaurant
: This is New York, folks. We are known for our pizza and for our bagels. Basically, we really, really like carbs. But while we’re known for these two things, are are indeed some imposters out there posing as he good stuff. Baz Bagels happens to not be one of those. Their bagels are fresh, delicious, and basically everything you’d want in a no frills hangover breakfast. Featured is their everything flagel, which I had drenched in butter to make me question my life decisions. I also appreciate any establishment that offers flagels, and helps to make me feel a little bit better about that whole “consuming carbs” thing.
8) Riko Peruvian Cuisine: If you have the unfortunate pleasure of knowing me in real life, you know that I’m a serious Latin food snob. I’m Italian and Spaniard, so I feel I’m somewhat allowed to make such assessments. Probably not as much as I think I am, but I still never hesitate to give my opinion. I also have a very deep love for yucca, and Riko’s makes some of the best fried yucca around. Also shown above is their roasted chicken with a side of sweet plantains. All delicious, and all 100% entirely consumed by my face.
: If you’re looking for a restaurant that’s perfect for group brunching, Maya will always be the place that I suggest. For $50, you get unlimited amounts of tapas plates and unlimited margaritas. What? Yes. You read that right. Not just an entree with unlimited mimosas like most brunch spots around the city. We’re talking unlimited tacos, pancakes, salsas, french toasts, and MARGARITAS. They’ll just keep bringing stuff out until you tell them to stop. Or until your two-hour limit is up. After all, they do have to pay the bills.
10) The Harold
: I just realized there’s like, 4 places on this list in which I talk about brunch foods. I’m sorry. Except, truly, I’m not, because the truth us, brunch foods are the most important foods. They aren’t sure if they want to be breakfast or lunch, and that’s what makes them special and highly sought after. At least by me. Anyway – The Harold. After showcasing this photo of their pancakes, do I even need to get into the details on why you need to go there? I shouldn’t, because pancakes. The one thing I would change about this place, though, is that they don’t offer any unlimited drink specials to go along with your brunch. Which is fine, except I wouldn’t recommend this place if you’re looking to really get your booze on. But if you need to face plant into some quality pancakes while nursing your hangover, you can’t go wrong with The Harold.