My NYC Foodie Bucket List

Living in Ethiopia is just accentuating my foodie tendencies and it seems like I have a tick list in the notes on my phone for every trip we go on. I took it to a whole new level for my Big Birthday in New York and had all the recommendations as pins in Google Map. The number of pins got overwhelming so I sifted it down to these 10 essentials… all of which we achieved!

The Combo Sandwich at Halal Guys

This is consistently rated one of the best food trucks in New York and it’s not hard to see why. It was the best kebab I’ve ever eaten! And I’ve had a lot of late night kebabs in my day. The meat melts in your mouth, the pita is high-quality and the sauces are out of this world. I’m still dreaming about their Combo Sandwich. We popped here after late-night opening at MoMA and hoisted ourselves up onto a nearby wall to munch away and people-watch. The best tastes aren’t always in the high-class restaurants, Nomads!

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Ramen and buns at Momofuku

There has been a plethora of Momofuku’s popping up in NYC in various forms and there’s a reason they’re so popular. That broth-based goodness, Nomads! I could have inhaled my bowl of ramen, just brimming with umami! And the BUNS. Filled with chicken meatballs and a sweet sriracha mayo, these were a more-ish take on the latest trend.

Chicken Meatball Bun at Momofuku

Tonnes of soft serve – Milk & Cream Cereal Bar and Taiyaki NYC

Soft serve abounds in New York right now covered in all sorts of rainbow unicorn toppings and all with a great neon sign in the shop to pose with. The two we tried absolutely hit the spot. I’ve already raved about Taiyaki over here. Milk & Cream Cereal Bar provided us with cookie dough ice cream with mushed in French Toast Crunch and gummy bears, covered in caramel. YUM.

Posing with the neon sign at Milk & Cream Cereal Bar

Poke at Blue Ribbon Sushi

As a sushi fiend, I was glad to hear that every new opening in New York right now seems to involve poke. But since Concierge Husband does not share this obsession, I took the opportunity whilst we were in the food court opposite the World Trade Center, Hudson Eats, where there was plenty more on offer for him. Poke is great, y’all.

Hudson Eats Food Court

A Sabrett Hot Dog

It’s just so New York, Nomads. From the moment of arrival, my foodie-sense was on high alert, sending out signals for one of those blue and yellow umbrellas. And I found one about 10 minutes in. All the salty goodness was mine! (Disclaimer: the photo is not an actual Sabrett hot dog, it’s at the NFL game that made all Concierge Hubby’s dreams come true. And technically we are in Jersey. But check out that t-shirt, though).

Hot dog at an NFL game

The Chocolate Babka at Breads Bakery

Having heard this was the best babka in New York, we purposefully made a detour. I was thrilled when the older Jewish New Yorker in the queue behind me gleefully confirmed this to be the case. Have no fear if there’s none on display – there a constant stream of it coming out the oven, Nomads. Just ask. We were already stuffed so we took it to go and were surprised that it lasted multiple breakfasts; it was still incredibly moist. I got lost in the swirls of nutty chocolate and doughy goodness. This probably ranks as the best baked good I’ve ever had. Gosh, New York gave me a lot of foodie “Best of”s!

Sign for best chocolate babka in New York at Breads Bakery

Colourful croissants at Union Fare Gastrohall

Not only are these colourful croissants extremely instagrammable, they are really frickin’ good. I opted for the red velvet version, which is full to bursting with a cream cheese frosting. I ended up with croissant crumbs and frosting ALL OVER myself, Nomads, and my grin was like a child with tomato spaghetti around their chops.

Colorful croissants at Union Fare Gastrohall

A Chinatown Food Tour – DIY style

It’s just got to be done, Nomads. I feel so passionately about it that I devoted an entire post to it. Check it out and plan your own.

Vanessa's Dumplings in Manhattan Chinatown

Tacos from Los Tacos No.1 in Chelsea Market

And we’re up to a 3rd “Best Of” in one list! Fair enough, you wouldn’t expect the world’s best tacos to be found in my homeland of the UK (though many food trucks and boutique chains are doing stirling work), but I’ve been to Texas, Nomads! So I really was surprised when I bit into my Los Tacos taco and swiftly ascended to culinary heaven. I don’t know how they do it and any description would be a gross under-exaggeration, so go and find out for yourselves, Nomads. Order a couple. Thank you’s are welcome in the comments section.

Los Tacos No.1 at Chelsea market

A Splurge at Trader Joe’s

Ok ok, perhaps this isn’t New York specific but Trader Joe’s is a necessary pre-departure pit stop. With 30 minutes before our airport pick up and a packed store, I left Concierge Hubby in the queue and entered into my own version of supermarket sweep, dashing about and swiping products off the shelves. As it is autumn / fall and I adore pumpkin, the Joe-Joe’s, pancake and waffle mix and pumpkin butter all made it into my trolley. I had the pumpkin butter as a topping on my chia pudding this morning and it was yum. For snacks, I grabbed the chocolate covered super berries, maple leaf cookies, toffee chips, peanut butter cups and S’MORES BITES. The Green Dragon Hot Sauce jumped into my cart all by itself. It’s sassy like that. And of course, I circled back around for the cult classics; Everything but the Bagel Sesame Seasoning and Speculoos Cookie Butter. I’ve been putting the seasoning on everything – most recently the curried pumpkin soup I made last night (I did mention I love pumpkin.)

Now excuse me whilst I go to the gym… It’s been a high-calorie month.

So what do you think?