Tara Travels || 7 Great Places to Eat in New York City


Hello and welcome to my first post of 2016!

My month-long travels along the east coast of North America have come to a close and I thought I would share snippets of my trip in video and blog form. 

First stop...

We spent 9 days and 10 nights in NYC staying at the CAMBRiA Hotel & Suites, Time Square with our closest subway station - Rockefeller Centre and another station not much further - Times Square. This post will highlight 7 of my favourite places we ate at in NYC.

Enjoy! (and I hope you don't get too hungry reading this...)


Location: 1290 Ave of the Americas, New York, NY 10018
Price: $

Barilla is a wonderful 'modern Italian' restaurant located near Radio City/ Times Square making it an easy location for tourists to visit. (However, they do have another branch in Bryant Park.)

Upon entering, it was quite difficult to find a seat despite around 20 tables and bar seats. It didn't take long to get a free table as a lot of people order, eat and then leave. There are 2 menus at the front top of the restaurant and you order and pay at the counter where you can also get a cup of (free) tap water. You are served your food at your table along with cutlery.

The interiors have a homey but modern vibe.

I ordered a vegetarian pizza with 'tomato, seasonal vegetables and extra virgin olive oil.'
I can assure you the pizza was incredible. The toppings added a fresh taste to the cooked meal. There were four slices (approximately 30cm x 15cm, from memory) upon thinly crusted bread and tons of stringy cheese.

I can also recommend the pasta dishes which my family ordered, along with a cannoli for dessert. (I personally do not like cannoli, however my sister and dad enjoyed it.)


HUDSON EATS [food court]
Location: Brookfield Place, 200 Vesey Street, New York, NY 10080
Price: $-$$

Hudson Eats is a new foodcourt with a wide variety of options, located relatively close to Battery Park (via a short and free bus trip - very convenient if you're coming from Liberty or Ellis Island), the Museum of Feelings, 9/11 memorial, etc.

We found it quite difficult to find the entrance to the shopping centre as it's right next to 'Time Inc.' offices. We walked through a quaint French grocery store/food court; La District on the right of the offices (if you're coming from West St.) and headed up the escalators to Hudson Eats.

This food court stands out from others as it's higher end in both food options (i.e. prices and cultural variety) and interiors. There are windows lining the right walls from top to bottom overlooking trees and North Cove Yacht Harbour. Finding a seat was easy as the food court is quite large with options for bar seats and normal tables. Food options included Japanese, Mexican, Cambodian, Italian, cupcakes...etc.

At the food court I chose to eat at Num Pang Sandwich Shop which sells Cambodian food.

Although I did not try their famous sandwiches, I can highly recommend their 'brown rice bowl with spicy pork.' Their serving size is just a bit larger than my personal normal amount, however, it is filled with great fresh tastes from the chilli yoghurt and chive lime vinaigrette. The grilled vegetables are nutritious and delicious... an A+ meal.


Location: 871 Seventh Ave., New York, NY 10019
Price: $$$

We discovered Molyvos on our first full day in New York via my best friend; Johanna, whose family treated us to beautiful and flavoursome Greek food. Their all time favourite restaurant in New York City.
Molyvos was a short walk from Columbus Circle (where they were holding holiday markets we vists - during December) but the restaurant is located near Carnagy Hall.
Although this restaurant is on the pricier side, I can assure the food is a treat. They start with some fresh bread and dip, followed by entrees (main meals) incorporating seafood. We left the ordering of appetisers up to the experts (Johanna's family) but everything we ate was incredible.

Greek Salad (Kumato tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, red onions, kalamata olives, lesvos feta, red wine vinaigrette)
Ouzo Flamed Haloumi Cheese (Not pictured, but they set the cheese on fire!)
Crispy Buttermilk Calamari (Aleppo spiced tomato sauce)

For my main meal, I chose the Seafood Pasta (gulf shrimp, calamari, scallops, spaghetti & lobster tomato broth.)
Man. This pasta was so filling!! It was rich in flavour, texture, seafood.. and the pasta was al dente. So great.


Location: 96 Second Ave., New York, NY 10003
Price: $$$

We visited The Mermaid Inn on our last night in New York. This quaint restaurant is located in East Village - a neighbourhood which is quiet at night, but has restaurants bustling with people. I recommend making a booking as The Mermaid Inn was busy when we visited and numerous reviews suggested doing so.

You can expect a variety of fresh seafood options at the restaurant (hence ‘mermaid’) along with one non-seafood entree (main); pork chop. Note: don’t eat here if you’re vegan/vegetarian unless you want to order a couple appetisers for your entree (do people do that?). + Bonus points, here’s a ‘fish story’ from the menu… ‘The Mermaid Inn’ is committed to purchasing and serving responsibly sourced seafood without compromising the future of our oceans.’ 

We were served some complimentary New York flat bread with butter. Oh man. These were addictive… we had our bread basket refilled twice. These are store bought and probably not a new thing to many, but this was our first try of the flat bread. Let’s just say, we fell in love.

We ordered one dish off the raw bar - the baby grand platter along with a couple ‘Happy Hour’ clams and oysters. I am no expert with the seafood ‘genre’ (ha) but my dad seemed to enjoy them, although he noted that they weren’t that fresh… and they were personally not my favourite dish of the night!

Next up on the dinner menu - Entrees. 
We ordered 3 dishes to share between 4. It was filling for us after eating way too many flat breads + around 6 clams/oysters each.

This first dish pictured was my absolute favourite, ‘Local skate wing.’ This is honestly one of the best green curries I have had in my life (and I sure have had my fair share of green curries.) If there’s one thing I could tell the world, it would be to ORDER THIS CURRY. You will thank me (hopefully). The green curry, specifically coconut cilantro curry has taro root, baby bok chop and peanuts. 

The next dish was my dad’s favourite, a special for the night - lobster. According to my dad ‘the sauce is made from the broth mixed with a bit of chilli so there’s a tanginess. They premixed the roe and head parts and stuffed it back. The scallop was perfectly was done.” 

Lastly, this dish was my sister’s favourite - the ‘Arctic Char.’ This had ‘brussels sprouts, leeks, chestnuts and maple jus.’ The char (and all the dishes) was cooked very nicely and I can recommend you give this dish a try. It had a range of tastes which complimented each other. 

We didn’t plan on having desert, however, we were given little mugs of chocolate mousse with a dollop of whipped cream on top (most likely a holiday special?). They also came with awesome ‘fortune telling fish’ for a bit of fun. 

Overall, The Mermaid Inn is a top notch restaurant with excellent service and fantastic food. A++. 


Location: 75th Ninth Ave., New York, NY 10011
Price: $-$$$

Chelsea is one of my favourite neighbourhoods in New York. Along with the incredible views from the High Line you can spend the day there then have lunch and walk around Chelsea Market.

Chelsea Market is a quirky place filled with a few miscellaneous stores and ton-load of food. I recommend going on a weekday to avoid the crowds (or try not to go in the holiday season like we did.. that's a killer trying to walk around). The market is a compact and indoor with a range of stores and stalls which sell seafood (apparently a fantastic array of oysters/clams - according to my dad and sister), noodles, burgers, ice cream... you name it, they have it!
Despite the wonderful reviews we read and our experience there, some minor downsides to the market were the lack of seating and some relatively high prices (which are worth it if you get some good food).
I actually felt really sick that day so I didn't manage to snap any photos of the inside or the food, but if you have a quick Google search you're bound to find some photos.


Location: 225 E 60th Street, New York, NY 10022
Price: $$

Serendipity was pretty much praised by my friend; Sera and her family. This well known cafe is a hit with celebrities, tourists and locals... which also means that there's a long wait unless you make an advanced booking. Which we didn't. We ended up writing our name down then being told to wait/come back in 2.5 hours. We spent the time exploring the surrounding area... going across the nearby sky tram to Roosevelt Island (which has an incredible view of the neighbourhood from the tram) and walking around some shops. After 2 hours we went back and were able to get a seat early.

The cafe is... strange and quirky to say the least. There are toys and nick knacks piled up on the cupboards, tables and chairs from a range of sources... it's great.

We were seated upstairs which wasn't as extravagantly decorated as downstairs. 
We had dinner at the restaurant, however I personally found it quite average. We shared 3 dishes for my family of four (to save room for desert..)!
Now, this is why Serendipity made the blog... the frozen deserts!!
The frozen hot chocolate on the left is probably the star of the show (for the store and my taste buds). It's a sweet icy chocolate drink topped with whipped cream and more chocolate. My heart is clogging just thinking about it. 

On the right we ordered and apple cinnamon ice cream which was quite good, but not up to the frozen hot chocolate levels.

What I can say about Serendipity is that it's a place you should at least visit once in your life, maybe even order the $1,000 desert? Oh, and share your frozen hot chocolate. Please.


Location: 80 Spring Street, New York, NY 10012
Price: $$$

Balthazar is a French cafe and bakery we found in Soho. I spent the day roaming around the stores then later meeting my friend Luke for his 15th birthday. Us and our families decided to find a cafe to sit down in so we suggested Balthazar. Little did we know... it would be packed. By packed - I actually mean trying to fit two cans of tuna into one can. It was packed.
So, we went to another nearby cafe (Joe & the Juice) and mum surprised us all by ordering some cakes from Balthazar (the bakery store next to the cafe). This is what I suggest you to do:
Buy some take away cakes. Find a place to eat. Eat it in that place.
This will save your time (the queues), money (no tipping necessary) and patience (a shorter queue to the checkout).
Mum bought 5 cakes to share between 7 people (which was enough considering we had drinks and Luke, his mum and family friend were having lunch as well).
Balthazar is one of those 'high-class' bakeries, but it's worth it. These perfectly crafted cakes are a dream and please try at least one. Bring a group along. Buy more cakes and cut them to share - then you can have a taste of all of them!


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  1. All this food looks so delicious! Will keep these places in mind for whenever I visit one day :)

    Yousra | Mystic Tales

    1. It sure was! Thanks for reading :) xx

  2. When it comes to choosing the right restaurant for a date, it can be challenging. However, an international restaurant can be a great choice. That is especially true when that restaurant offers fresh seafood and superb tapas. Such a setting can infuse an air of adventure and world flavor into a date without ever leaving the state.

    Cristopher @ Lamoraga Restaurant