For me, there is nothing to compare to the food on offer in America. The choice is vast, the portions are immense and it is almost without question, delicious. During our recent trip to NYC we decided it was the perfect opportunity to indulge in as many classic diners and American eateries as possible!
Breakfast in America (not just a Supertramp song) is one of my favourite meals to grab and New York is full of great value diners to grab a bite in the morning. I love reading guide books and browsing the internet for recommendations and saw loads about Andrews Coffee Shop so decided to check it out! Just moments away from the iconic Macy’s and around a five minute walk downtown from Times Square it is the perfect place to load up on energy before a day of shopping and sightseeing. I indulged in a stack of blueberry pancakes which came in at $8.25 and a huge glass of fresh orange juice, surely that ticks at least two of my five a day?!
The breakfast menu offers a wide choice of pancakes, waffles, omelettes and almost any combination of cooked breakfast items you could think of and of course delicious New York coffee. I would happily have had breakfast at Andrews every morning we were in Manhattan if it wasn’t for my need to try as many things as I could whilst in the city!
Whilst on the theme of breakfast, I fell in love with the idea of eating at Johny’s Luncheonette in Chelsea so we made the walk (around 25 minutes from Times Square) downtown to enjoy yet another stack of pancakes but this time chocolate chip! Again, incredible value and a tiny hole in the wall set up which makes you really feel you’re experiencing a true New York experience.
The food here is super cheap, cooked right in front of you and you’re surrounded by New Yorkers and tourists alike all looking to fuel up for the day ahead. There’s no scrimping on portion sizes and a great selection. The only thing to watch is that coffee refills are charged accordingly so be aware if you’re someone who needs a big cup of coffee to start your day! It might be worth grabbing a large Dunkin’ Donuts cup on the long walk down to Johny’s!
Speaking of Dunkin’ Donuts, you couldn’t throw a donut in Manhattan without hitting one which was something of a novelty for a Londoner like myself. Therefore I couldn’t resist one morning grabbing a donut and an iced coffee as we wandered the streets. It’s great value, open super early and closes really late so no matter what time you arrive, or what hour you need to be up to catch your flight home you’re almost guaranteed to be able to grab a Dunkin!
If you’re after a diner dinner then you can’t go wrong with Junior’s on 45th Street, home of great food, brilliant milkshakes and incredible cheesecakes! I went for a classic, a grilled cheese with American cheese (is that REALLY cheese? I never know), fries and a root beer. I never get tired of ordering root beer during visits to The States! It’s fairly cheap, and is so conveniently located you can absolutely have a nice relaxing dinner here after a long day and know your hotel (assuming you’re in Midtown) isn’t far away.
The cheesecake at Junior’s was so good I didn’t even think to take a photo before we absolutely demolished a slice of it whilst sitting outside the bakery section. Be warned it’s over $7 a slice so you’ll probably want to share!
Island Burgers and Shakes in Hell’s Kitchen was the perfect late night spot. The burgers and shakes are obviously incredible but don’t discount the sandwiches on offer, particularly if you’re a veggie! The jack cheese, salsa and guacamole sandwich was yummy, perfected with a side of fries (you’ll only need one portion between two or three, a huge bucket of fries turned up!).
We also indulged in a dinner at the iconic PJ Clarke’s on Third Avenue (established in 1884 and where Buddy Holly proposed!) which has a great fish and oyster selection as well as your standard diner fare like great burgers (get onion strings as your side, delicious!) and some great craft ales to wash down your food with. It’s a little bit of a tourist trap but worth it, especially if you’ve just been wandering around Central Park and stopped off in Bloomingdales!
If you’re a TLC binge watcher like me, then you’ll find it almost impossible to walk past the Carlo’s Bakery at the Port Authority on 42nd Street to get your Cake Boss fix! I grabbed a cannoli (cannolo?) and took it straight to Central Park to enjoy sitting in the sunshine watching everyone play football and soccer on the grass. Idyllic!
My Top Places To Eat in NYC