As a New York newbie I pretty much wanted to discover the whole city at once. So where to start? We decided to go for Lower Eastside that seemed to be a more laid back and less crowded than Midtown. It was a good choice as it turned out because we had some good food spots in walking distance and could discover the city without being overwhelmed.
We stayed at the Ludlow Hotel with the perfect view of Manhattan’s skyline.
Directly at the corner of our street was Katz’s Delicatessen – you know where Sally had that thing with Harry.. When we arrived the place had been covered by a film crew – I guess this is everyday business for the Katz’s guys.
You pretty much have a visit at Katz’s at every New York city guide’s recommendation so we had to go as well (find it here ). We knew it would be crowded but honestly didn’t expect such a log queue for a pastrami sandwich and pickles. I hate waiting for food so we skipped and decided to go when it’s less crowded – as we were lucky to live just around the corner. We tried the night after at around 9pm after we saw it was much less crowded. We had the famous Pastrami Hit Sandwich for 20$ (yep, a proud price even for New York, but justified by quality).
It tasted good and the pastrami was really soft but if I had to queue about 2 hours for it I’d probably be disappointed.
The Meatball Shop
We had our first lunch shortly after we arrived in New York in the Meatball Shop. We read really good things about it and as it has been a five minutes’ walk from our Hotel in Ludlow street it would have been a crime not to go (find it here). Meatballs in New York are always a good decision though.
We were lucky to get a spot outside and were excited to choose our balls. We tried the classic beef meatballs with classic tomato sauce and parmesan cream. I really recommend the parmesan cream! If you feel fancy add the family crowns (fried egg). The balls came with a selection of greens and vegies – so we practically had a healthy lunch.
If you are into seafood and are anywhere near around the lower eastside you should visit Claw Daddy’s. But be sure to grab something warm to wear because it has been pretty cold even in there. But the food is fresh, simple and good and you can eat with your hands (covered in gloves needless to say). So maybe it’s not the best choice for a fancy dinner date.
You’ll get some napkins, your tablecloth is made from paper (perfect for comic sketches) and your food comes cooked in a little bag. We had some starters before we had crab legs with the Claw Daddy’s special sauce, potatoes and corn (comes all in one bag).
Great place as it also has a nice choice of craft beer (find it here).
Clinton St. Baking Company
Instagram is full of deliciously looking pancake images – I mean look at this account. According to New York Magazine they have the best pancakes in New York so we had to go there (find them here). Needless to say that you have to wait in a line again. But they were organised quite well and took our mobile number sending a text when our table was ready. It was the second day in New York and we already learnt that something is not the real NY experience when there is no queue in front of a restaurant.
When we finally got our table we treated ourselves with banana walnut and blueberry pancakes. Really fluffy ones and not bad at all. But once again the hype seems much bigger and we had just as tasty pancakes the next morning in a much less crowded breakfast spot.
This is the little spot I just mentioned – after looking for breakfast in all cafés that seemed to hit the hot list we found ourselves lost as we simply didn’t want to wait more than one hour for breakfast. So we accidentally bumped into this café and weren’t disappointed. We had lemon ricotta pancakes with berries and avocado omelette. If you are looking for a more relaxed spot this is definitely worth trying (find them here).