Occasionally, I answer reader mail on the blog. Today I received the following message:
My friend and I are from D.C. and are heading off for college in the fall. We’re both avid readers of your site and really into food/cooking. We’re coming up to NYC for 2 days at the beginning of August and we’d like to know what places are MUST go-tos (preferably) that are cheap, as we’re poor college kids); we want to hit all the classics for pizza, bagels, etc. What are your suggestions?
D & M
Dearest D & M,
Thanks for writing! My first piece of advice is a bit of a cop-out but it’s what I’d do myself if I were in your situation: check out New York Magazine’s list of New York’s Best Cheap Eats. It’s an excellent resource and one that I use all the time. In fact, many of the places I’d recommend to you are on that list: Di Fara for pizza (here’s my write-up), Momofuku, The City Bakery (for a pretzel croissant), Katz’s of course (though it’s a little hot for piles of meat), Hummus Place, Taim, and so on. If you want to know specific Amateur Gourmet haunts I recommend to you Murray’s Bagels (I get an everything bagel (sometimes I ask for it soft, cause they can be a bit overdone) with lox spread, tomato and onion with a Tropicana orange juice), Joe: The Art of Coffee for coffee drinks (you’ll probably see me there), and, if you can afford it, lunch at Pearl Oyster Bar ($22 for a pretty dreamy lobster roll). And, now that I think about it, if you can pool your money before you come it may be worth it to lunch at one of New York’s four-star bastions of fine food. For example, both Le Bernardin and Jean-Georges have fixed price lunches. Le Bernardin’s is much more expensive (it’s $64) than Jean-George’s (which is $35, I believe) but both offer extraordinary New York dining experiences, ones you’ll never forget. Enjoy your trip and let us know where you ended up!
The Amateur Gourmet