When I was planning my trip to New York City I was a bit nervous what exactly I was going to eat over there. I try to stick to a lifestyle diet of mostly vegetarian, unprocessed, organic and chemical free food. I also had my toddler with me, who is preferring more and more to only eat the same food as me, rather than her organic baby food. Friends had told me how it’s nearly impossible to find healthy unprocessed food in America, particularly New York. However, once I did a bit of research I found there were so many of delicious options available that were healthy and less processed. There some more indulgent options that are made by artisans from scratch. New York is Foodie Mecca! Here are some of the most delicious meals I had while eating through New York City.
Even though breakfast was offered at my hotel I really didn’t want to eat the highly processed cheap food that they were serving. Instead, my daughter and I would take off each morning for a mama-daughter fancy breakfast. We tried a few different places but our favourite was Le Pain Quotidien. The Bryant Park location was really close by so it was a convenient early morning destination for us. They offer pastries, artisan breads, jams, eggs, steel cut oats and more healthy breakfast options. Their bread is made traditionally with organic stone-ground flour and most of other breakfast menu options are also organic. They have a large selection of organic jams and other condiments that are also free to use. They were also extremely accommodating for me and Octavia.
We usually ordered eggs with selection of breads or steel cut oats. Everything was organic and made by them. They were also extremely accommodating for Octavia.I really loved the jams and the pastries were great too.
Organic eggs, breads, jams and soy cappuccino
Organic steelcut oats and berries
Breads & Pastries
There are four Piccolo Cafe locations in New York. I visited the Madison Avenue location since it was also close walk from my hotel. Although it has a small dining room it is also very cute intimate little cafe. They prepare daily a range of sandwiches, pastas, salads, panini and coffees. They use Italian Imported Food and selected local product and offer organic, gluten free, vegan and vegetarian options.
I ordered the Scottish Salmon and Egg Sandwich for breakfast. I believe this imported salmon is wild and the eggs were organic. It was quite nice and fresh. The coffee was also good. It was a little difficult to maneuver my pram but I managed with the help of some friendly New Yorkers.
Organic Egg Salmon Sandwich
This gorgeous little patisserie is really close to the Rockefeller Centre. It’s convenient if your visiting Madison Square Garden, NBC or the Rockefeller Centre. They offer artisanal breads, traditional French desserts, handmade viennoiserie, confections, pastries, tarts and cookies, sandwiches, quiche, soups, and salad. Everything is made in-house daily.
I ordered a Wild salmon Bagel. It tasted really amazing. Octavia also really enjoyed it too. After that we ordered the most delicious croissant I have ever experienced. It was plum and raspberry and had some kind of delicious buttery crumble on top. To top it all off I met an old local, who serenaded us with lovely old broadway songs. He had a great voice and it was so surreal and most amazing experience.
Wild salmon bagel
Plum and Raspberry Croissant
Lobster Rolls were also on my to-eat list. So between our tourist bus stops we got off in the Financial District to try one of the best lobster rolls from Luke’s Lobster. This location is only one of many throughout NYC and other cities. They offer Maine-style seafood rolls, chowder and bisques using fresh sustainable seafood. They also have vegan, vegetarian, gluten free and dairy free options.
When we arrived for lunch it was extremely busy, so as soon as we could we snapped up a seat. We ordered a few different seafood rolls to share, including crab, lobster and prawn, as well as some crab claws and pickles. Everything was spot on. Marco was a bit hesitant to try everything but he was a convert. Octavia also loved all these new flavours she had never had before.
Crab, Lobster & Prawn Rolls with Crab claws & Pickles
For quick dinner one evening we stopped by the Urbanspace Vanderbilt Food Hall. By this stage, I was really craving some vegetables. I was really tempted to try Red Hook Lobster Pound‘s seafood chowder or Kuro-obi Ramen, but I had to be good. I got a big veggie bowl from Two Tablespoons. This vendor offers vegan and vegetarian veggie bowls and rice paper rolls. They use mostly organic and locally sourced ingredients and avoid using any heavily processed ingredients. I was sold, so I ordered the Shanti Express, which included a chickpea stew, quinoa, curried Cauliflower and a kale and Lentils salad. It tasted fresh and fragrant, it was healthy and it was satisfying.
Shanti Express (Chickpea & Tomato Stew, Masala Quinoa, Curried Cauliflower; Kale, Lentils & Raisins Salad
I did indulge on this trip, which meant a trip to the famous Katz Delicatessen. They are known for their Pastrimi Sandwiches, which is made from scratch. They cure their meat using a slower method, without chemicals, water or additives. Unfortunately, they don’t advertise the quality of their beef. However their pastrimi is still a better option in that its made knowing it’s made traditionally from scratch. So that’s what Marco ordered. I did try it and it was pretty good. I went for vegetarian potato latkes with apple sauce. I didn’t realize they were going to be so fried but they still tasted good. Their in-house pickles were also amazing.
Pastrami Sandwich and Pickles
I couldn’t go to New York without trying something from the famous Magnolia Bakery. There is nothing healthy about this place, but everything is made fresh from scratch on premise. We visited the Rockefeller Center Location, which was so busy and is more of a stand up or takeaway kind of place. However, there are 8 other locations as well as more internationally. We ordered two mini cheesecakes. I can’t tell you which ones was better because they both tasted amazing. I never eat cheesecake but these ones was worth eating.
Blueberry Mini Cheesecake
Carmel Pecan Mini Cheesecake
Long Lunches and Indulgent Dinners:
As soon as we arrived my partner’s first priority was eating our first American burger. Our apartment was only a short walk from Time Square, so I found a little burger joint nearby for an early dinner. Smokey Burger Organic is a little burger restaurant, off the main strip that offers organic, natural burgers.They have so many great options including wild seafood and vegetarian. I had to try the wild salmon, since I’d given up trying to find any inAustralia. Marco had the classic beef of course. Both tasted really great and really got us in the New York spirit. We also had their delicious sweet potato fries and onion rings.
Young, Wild & Free Deluxe (ground salmon patty, mango, citrus aioli, caramelized onion, lettuce, tomato)
The Smokey Burger (ground double beef patties, yellow cheddar, chipotle sauce, caramelized onions, wild mushroom, lettuce, tomato)
When we were visiting the Upper East Side, there was only one place on my must-eat list. Candle 79 is a high-end vegan restaurant that offers organic, local and seasonal food. Their menu is one of the most extensive elegant vegan fare that I have ever seen. I just wanted to try everything. Unfortunately, we could only eat so much so we ordered a selection of mains, inlcuding a Wild Mushroom Crepe, Seitan Burrito and Spaghetti with Wheat balls. Everything was lovely. I especially loved the crepe and garlic truffle aioli. We then had a couple of desserts, which were Chocolate-Peanut Butter Bliss and Cannoli. It also didn’t disappoint. This had to be one of my favourite meal on this trip. I just want to know how they made vegan cannoli taste so convincing?
Wild Mushroom Crepe with summer vegetables, tempeh, spinach, garlic truffle aioli
Burrito with chili-herb grilled seitan, caramelized onions, sautéed greens, chipotle black beans, brown rice and “mozzarella”
Spaghetti & Wheat balls with truffled tomato sauce, roasted garlic, spinach, cashew parmesan
Chocolate-Peanut Butter Bliss (chocolate & peanut butter mousse,
salted peanut-caramel crust, berry coulis)
Cannoli (chocolate chip-vanilla cream filling, coconut ice cream, chocolate drizzle)
When visiting the West Village we had so many choices. However at the top of my must-eat list was By Chloe. You can read my post on By Chloe here. The menu includes a range of burgers, salads, pasta, fries, juices, ice creams, and desserts. Their food is 100% vegan but it is also 100% GMO free and uses organic, seasonal, and locally sourced ingredients. There are currently 4 locations just in New York, but this one was most convenient for us.
We ordered the Classic and Guac Burger, Sweet potato fries and the Kale Caesar Salad. For dessert were got a selection, including the Chocolate Chip Cookie, Raspberry Cupcake, Cloiser Chloe Cupcake, Kale Cookies & Cream Ice cream. I loved everything we had here and so did everyone else.
Eataly are a chain of Italian marketplaces or food hall, founded by Oscar Farinetti. They consist of restaurants, takeaway counters, cafes, food market and other food related retail. At the time of our trip, there was only one in the Flat Iron district that we visited, however since then another has opened in Down Town. You can also find more locations across the USA, Italy and beyond. The Flat Iron location contains six restaurants. We visited the ‘vegetable-centric’ restaurant, Le Verdure. On the evening of our visit, there were the only one with a table for us. Marco was a bit disappointed but we ended up thoroughly enjoying it. The dishes that are prepared are daily by the chefs from fresh local and organic vegetables and important Italian ingredients.
We ordered a couple of entrees and mains to share. Including Pizza Fritta (fried pizza), Fritto Misto (mixed fried vegetables), Gnocchi alla Romana con Bolognese di Verdura (Roman style gnocchi with vegetable sauce) and Cannelloni con spinaci e pomodori (spinach and ricotta cannelloni with tomato sauce). Every bite was more delicious than the next. Nothing was too oily or starchy. You could taste the freshness of the produce and the care that was taken in crafting every dish. Afterward, Marco had a Nutella crepe from the Nutella cafe and I had a little Pumpkin Tiramisu. It was a lovely ending to the meal. I spent the rest of the night window shopping through the amazing produce, books and kitchen gadgets and bought some lovely organic fruit.
Pizza Fritta with Stracciatella, tomato & basil
Gnocchi alla Romana con Bolognese di Verdura
Cannelloni con spinaci e pomodori
We couldn’t visit New York without going to Little Italy. There are so many restaurants to choose from and even more Italian restaurant throughout New York who specialise in pizza. According to Time New York “The best New York pizzas” the best pizza in the area is from Rubirosa Pizza. This Italian-American, family-run pizzeria and restaurant makes an amazing “50 year old New York style family recipe” Margarita Pizza. It was huge and it was extremely good. The crisp base, the sauce, the buffalo mozzarella was all perfection. To be healthy we got a side of Black Kale with crispy onions and to indulge we go the family-style lasagna (made with fresh homemade pasta). Both were great little accompaniments, but the main event was the pizza.
Kale and Fried Onions
I hope you enjoyed my best eats in New York. I actually have another trip planned to Europe in a few months. I can’t wait to share some more of my favourite eats abroad.
There are a few more places on my must-eat list that I didn’t get too:
Let me know if you have been to any of these locations or any others you recommend.