10 Cupcakes to try

In part I of the sweetness galore, I shared my favorite Ice Cream spots with you. But I had more guilty pleasures, not just ice cream but also cakes, donuts, cookies, chocolate martini’s, candy bars…. Basically everything sweet and unhealthy. Now the last sweet thing I’d like to share with you are cupcakes. I cannot imagine that there’s a less cupcake minded city than New York City. Besides the big M sign, there’s not just a coffee shop on every corner. Also a cupcake place. There’s no way that I will be able to try them all out, but here are my 10 favorites so far (in random order):

 1. A Coconut Cupcake @ DC Cupcakes 

(111 Mercer street, between Spring and Prince street. Soho)

DC Cupcakes New York

 2. Mini Cupcakes  @ Baked By Melissa (various locations all over)

Baked By Melissa New York

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My 10 favorite sweet treats (except from ice cream)

I am not just an ice cream addict. I am having a weakness for all kinds of sweets. Besides ice cream, here are ten of my all time favorite sweet treats I could eat every day at any time (in random order):

1. A Cheesecake @ Eileen’s Special Cheesecake 

(17 Cleveland Place at Kenmare street. Soho)

For light, airy and super delicious New York Cheesecake. 

Eileen's Special Cheesecake New York

2. A Classic Cheesecake @ Junior’s (various locations

For a fabulous heavy classic cheesecake at New York’s most iconic cheesecake spot. 

Juniors new York

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Chinese on the cheap

Tomorrow is Chinese New Year, the day that we scare off the ghosts and celebrate luck, welfare and success. In my family we always exchange red envelopes with yellow coins inside. Red is supposed to scare the ghosts away and yellow brings luck. We celebrate this with a big Chinese dinner party at my parent’s home or in a restaurant. With lots of Chinese food off course. Are you celebrating Chinese New Year? And if so, do you eat Chinese on Chinese New Year? If yes, here are some of my favorite no frills Chinese spots on the cheap that you might consider: 

Cafe China New York

1. Cafe China (13 East 37th street, between 5th avenue and Madisson avenue. Midtown East). $$

To my knowledge, this authentic Sichuan restaurant is the only Michelin-star restaurant where you can have a two course meal for less than $10 (11.30 am -3 pm Monday- Friday). If you like spicy, order the Tree pepper chicken, Spicy Cumin Lamb or Ma Po Tofu and Pork Dumplings on the side. If you’re not into spicy, have some Tea Smoked Duck, Kung Pao Chicken or Chinese Broccoli. 

Cafe China New York

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10 places in Korea Town

Like an abundance of noodle bars, there is also an abundance of Korean (BBQ) restaurants in New York City. A lot of them are located in Korea Town, centered around 32nd street between 5th and 6th avenue. I don’t think I’ve ever seen so much Korean restaurants concentrated in one area outside Korea. If you are in Koreatown and don’t have a clue which one to visit, here are some places you might consider:

1. New Wonjo (23 West 32nd street, between 5th and 6th Avenue). $$

My favorite for Korean BBQ. Order: Scallion Pancake, A BBQ- Combo.

KoreaTown New York

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20 Big Apple Sandwiches worth eating

Sandwiches New York

One thing I noticed immediately the first time I visited New York, was the habit to buy sandwiches every morning for breakfast or afternoon for brunch. From plumber to  policemen to businessmen, I noticed that basically everyone was buying their sandwich. Not a very common thing (yet) in Amsterdam, where I used to make my own sandwich every morning and take them to the office in a plastic lunchbox.

Anyway, since I think that most Big Apple sandwiches from the sandwich place (with multiple thick layers of cheese or meat) are way better than my own-homemade (single layer of cheese or meat) sandwich I took over this habit and stared buying my sandwich outside instead of making my own homemade sandwich. Consequently, I tried out many different sandwiches from various places in Manhattan. I am mostly familiar with the sandwiches available in the Lower East Side, West Village and Midtown West/ Hell’s Kitchen. Because that’s the area where I had most of my breakfast- and lunch breaks.

I did not discover that many yummy sandwich places in other neigbourhoods yet and there are still an uncountable number of sandwiches still to discover yet. That’s right, I am reaaaallly interested in more insider tips :). 

But here some sandwich places that I think are worth a visit during breakfast time or at your daily lunch break: 

Lower East Side

1. Tiny’s little giant sandwich shop

(129 Rivington  street, between Essex and Norfolk street. Lower East Side)

For indeed. Giant Sandwiches in a small cozy cafe. Check out more of my Lower East Side Favorites here

Tiny's Giant Sandwich Shop New York Lower East Side

Tiny's Giant Sandwich Shop New York Lower East Side

2. Cheeky Sandwiches 

(35 Orchard street., between Canal street and Hester street. Lower East Side)

 A cute little sandwich shop serving the best fried chicken and buttermilk biscuits in town.

Cheeky Sandwiches Lower East Side New York

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Noodles @ Menkui Tei

MENKUI TEI (60 West 56th street. Between 5th and 6th Avenue. Midtown East). €

I haven’t been eating ramen for a while and was pretty excited to try out the ramen at this spot. Menkui Tei! This ramen restaurant didn’t have the long wait like most of its competitor noodle bars have and the restaurant was pretty much empty. Perhaps it had anything to do with the outdated decor? Anyway. I just hoped it had anything to do with the noodles.

Mekui Tei New York

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My 6 favorite seafoods

I eat meat much more often than I do eat seafood. Not I don’t like it, I do like it a lot but the type of seafood that I like the most are not the dishes you typically eat everyday (lobster, crab, oysters, sashimi). These type of dishes are often quite pricey in restaurants and I don’t know how to well prepare it myself (I know I should learn). I have been to some seafood restaurants but the number I have been to are still countable on three hands. Here are my favorites of those where I have been to:

1. Fish (280 Bleecker street at Jones street. West Village)

$$ Food **** Ambiance ****

Fish has great reasonable priced dishes and a nice ambiance. I would go for the Famous raw bar special (6 blue point oysters or 6 clams on the half- shell with a house wine or beer. $8). A good deal I think. I can also recommend the Lobster Bisque ($6-$8)

Fish New York West Village

Famous Raw Bar Special @ Fish

Fish New York West Village

Lobster Bisque @ Fish

Fish New York West Village

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My 29 favorite coffee and tea discoveries

 

coffee

I am a big tea drinker and not such a big coffee drinker. But I still drink about 1 cup a day (mostly lattes and flat whites). Not having a fancy looking espresso machine or being able to make specialty teas such as the teapuccino or maté laté forces me to visit the coffee shop or tea salon to have my daily cup . Now luckily with a Starbucks on every corner of the street in Manhattan, finding a cup of coffee is an easy task. Besides finding the green and white logo in abundance, New York City has a countless number of other shops where you can get your shot of of caffeine. I personally like to hunt for the more smaller shops rather than the gigantic chains. They are often more personal, cozy and sometimes even a bit hipster and great people watching instead of tourist watching. Now I must admit I am not really a connoisseur when it comes to coffee or tea and I have probably only seen the surface of what New York has to offer in terms of coffee and tea, but these are my 25 favorites so far (in random order per neighborhood)*: Continue Reading →

6 x Dim sum brunch

Having a dim sum brunch is something that I like to do with a group of friends. Sharing small Chinese dishes is a fun inexpensive way (most of the dishes are under $5) to try different kinds of food. These are the places I go to: 

1. JING FONG (20 Elizabeth street and Canal street, between Canal street and Bayard street. Chinatown)

$$ Food *** Ambiance ***

Jing Fong is one of the most well-known dim sum restaurants in New York City. This is a restaurant where I like to take my visitors from Europe to. Those who have never been to Asia or a dim sum restaurant are often quite impressed by the massive size of the banquet hall full of Asians and servers pushing around assorted carts. The majority of dim sum dishes at Jing Fong are very basic such as Siu Mai, Har Kau, Chicken Feets, Congee, Spring Rolls, Rice Rolls and Fried Shrimp Balls. I wouldn’t go here for outstanding dishes, outstanding service or a romantic date (it happens quite often that you will be sharing the table with a bunch of strangers) but it’s a fun place to go for an authentic Honk Kong feel dim-sum experience. 

Jing Fong New York Dimsum Chinatown

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5 Fried Chickens

Last month I posted some pictures of my favorite organic chickens in the City and how a simple piece of chicken can be raised to a whole other level of the idea of chicken. At the same time, I am also hooked to greasy fried chicken wings which. Due to budget reasons, I actually eat fried chicken a lot more often than the upscale organic ones. Here is my top 5 (in random order): 

1. BLUE RIBBON FRIED CHICKEN (48, East 1st street & 2nd Avenue. East Village)

$ Food **** Ambiance ***

Blue Ribbon Fried Chicken is one of the restaurants of the Blue Ribbon Empire. You can find blue ribbon fried chicken in their East village location, or at the Brooklyn Bowl. Their East Village spot is a sort of fast-food restaurant. KFC-like but better. Since the fried chicken ($1.75 and up) was quite disappointing according to the daily news, it did not expect much when eating here. Surprisingly I really enjoyed the my fried wings. The skin was somewhat dry compared to the chicken places as described below, but I liked the spicy taste of it.

Blue Ribbon Fried Chicken Brooklyn Bowl New York

Chicken wings from Blue Ribbon

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