New York City is the quintessential social mecca and food takes center stage here. Many New Yorkers live a good portion of their lives around the local restaurants, bars, and nightlife and you may be wondering how to have a well-rounded dining experience when you’re in town. No worries! As a New Yorker, I am happy to help you out with my new series of 2-day dining itineraries for when you only have limited time to enjoy eating New York City. Grab your Metro Card and let’s go Feeding Off the Rails!
Day 1 – Eating New York City – 2 Days (Vol. 3)
Start off your visit to New York City at Cafe Lalo on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. This charming, European-style cafe is not only a neighborhood favorite, you will also recognize it for
the iconic scene in the movie, You’ve Got Mail, with Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan. Meg Ryan’s character, Kathleen, sat at a table with her book and a rose while waiting for her blind date with Tom Hank’s character, Joe Fox.
The cappuccino at Cafe Lalo is divine as are the sweet treats, although savory breakfast fare is available as well. This place is as pretty and cozy on the inside as it is inviting from the outside. In the evenings there is live entertainment.
201 W. 83rd St. – Take the 1, 2 trains to 79th St. or the A, B, C trains to 81st St.
When you’re contemplating lunch later in the day, check out Saju Bistro. It’s a fantastic French restaurant in the heart of Times Square and the Theatre District so you can also soak up the bright lights of this big city on the way over. I love to come to Saju Bistro before a show at The Town Hall. The seafood is especially wonderful and fresh at Saju.
120 W. 44th St. – Take the 7 train to 42-Times Square or the B, D, F, M trains to 47-50 Rockefeller Plaza.
Later in the evening, get a change of scenery by heading up to Móle in the Yorkville neighborhood for some freshly prepared Mexican fare. The grilled fish tacos and guacamole are my favorites here and the cocktails are poured with a generous hand!.
1735 2nd Ave. – Take the Q train to either 86th St. or 96th St.
Day 2 – Eating New York City – 2 Days (Vol. 3)
The best part about eating in New York City is that dining does not require a car and walking the calories off is so easy here! This includes climbing the subway stairs (escalators are available, of course!). That said, on your second day in town hop on the subway up to Harlem for some stellar soul food at Sylvia’s.
Sylvia Woods has been serving hungry customers her famous fried chicken ‘n waffles, mac ‘n cheese, catfish and more since 1962. This place is beloved by residents and visitors alike. Many famous musicians and other celebrities have graced this place. Check out the gospel brunch on Sunday and live music on Wednesday.
328 Malcolm X Blvd. – Take the 2, 3 trains to 125th St.
In the evening, hit the food scene downtown in Greenwich Village at Charlie Bird. This celebrity-owned Italian restaurant has a vibrant bar scene and excellent food. The pasta and seafood dishes are really flavorful. Try the rigatoni with duck ragu if it’s available.
5 King St. – Take the 6 train to Bleecker St. or the B, D, F, M trains to Broadway-Lafayette
When you are finished with dinner at Charlie Bird, save room for dessert at Caffe Dante which is a few blocks north. This historic landmark is in the heart of Greenwich Village which is considered old New York City. It has been in business since 1915 as a cafe and bar serving the beatnik generation and it’s still going strong. I spent countless days and late nights at Caffe Dante sipping smooth cappuccinos and eating the best tiramisu I have ever had in my life. Really!
In 2015, the owners who ran Caffe Dante sold it to a transplanted Australian family who has breathed new life into this historic landmark while retaining the charm and nostalgia of days gone by. If you happen to be visiting New York City during the summer, make a point to sit outside and enjoy the sidewalk patio seating. There you can properly soak up the Bohemian vibe of Caffe Dante, MacDougal St. and the surrounding neighborhood.
79-81 Macdougal St. – Take the A, B, C, D, E, F, M trains to W. 4th St.
You’re all set, I hope you enjoy this 2-day foodie itinerary. Please also check out my second installment of Eating New York City – 2 Days for more tasty ideas of how to take a bite out of NYC with limited time.
Thanks for stopping by and please subscribe to my Feeding Off The Rails blog for more tasty tours around the world using mass transit.
In keeping with the spirit of Feeding Off The Rails, I encourage you to leave your car at home and ride the MTA subway as you embark on Eating New York City in 2 Days. Save on gas. Avoid traffic, road rage and parking. Reduce pollution. Don’t drink and drive!