The 2nd Annual New York Foodie Photo Scavenger Hunt

If you’ve been reading this blog for more than a year, you may remember an exciting contest from last year called “The Great New York Foodie Photo Scavenger Hunt.” It worked like this: I wrote a long list of celebrated New York foodie destinations and assigned different points for various tasks that contestants had to undertake at these destinations while posing for pictures that they’d ultimately upload to Flickr. Here are last year’s results. As you can see, contestants had the time of their lives and not only that, the first and second place winners received two tickets each to Tom Colicchio’s “Toast to the Children Event” at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel.


This year’s event (on May 18th at Gotham Hall) promises to be even bigger and better than before: Uma Thurman is a guest emcee, Dana Cowin from Food & Wine is being honored, and there’ll be food from restaurants like Blue Smoke, Boqueria, Colicchio & Sons, Craft, Double Crown, Graffiti, Hearth, L’Artusi, Pearl Oyster Bar, Peasant, Perilla, Porchetta, Public, and Tabla. VIP tickets to this event (which the 1st place winner will receive two of) are $450 each; regular tickets to this event (which the 2nd place winner will receive two of) are $250 each. Needless to say, this is a pretty awesome contest.

And it’s for a great cause. Children of Bellevue is, according to the website, “a nonprofit organization founded in 1949 to initiate, develop and fund special programs and to act as advocate for children and their families within Bellevue Hospital Center.” Last year, Tom Colicchio gave a moving speech about his own son’s struggles with health and his personal investment in this charity; if you’re too busy to actually compete for tickets, buying them on the Children of Bellevue website would certainly be an admirable move.

As for the rest of you–the unadmirable!–there’s a great adventure in store for you this week/weekend. Here’s everything you need to know in order to compete.


The Rules:

As soon as this post goes up, the scavenger hunt begins. You have until Sunday, May 9th at 11:59 PM to complete the scavenger hunt. Anything posted after midnight will not count.

The object of the scavenger hunt is to win as many points as possible. Various items on the list are worth various points. For example, last year, getting a picture of yourself in front of Le Bernardin was worth 5 points. But getting a picture of yourself in front of Le Bernardin with Eric Ripert? That was worth 25 points.

It’s entirely possible to win this scavenger hunt by scoring a high number of high-point items and very few small-point items. That’s entirely up to you. The tricky part is you won’t know how many points others competing have attained; you simply have to do the best you can and pray that you’re in the lead.

To get the points, you–yes, it’s a singular you–have to pose for a bunch of pictures. You (the same person) must be in every picture submitted. If, for example, it says “a piece of lox at Russ & Daughter’s,” you have to submit a picture of you holding a piece of lox in Russ & Daughters. Obviously, if you’re not in the picture, how do I know you didn’t find the picture on Flickr? So you must be in all the pictures (and anything that looks like photo tampering or something that was taken a long, long time ago will be instantly disqualified.)


When you’re ready to submit your pictures, upload all the pictures to Flickr, label them, and place them in an album. Then post a link to the album on The Community Blog with a paragraph or two about your experience and your favorite picture from the hunt as your lead picture.

Note: I won’t make your Community Blog posts visible until after midnight on Sunday, so no one will know how many points you’ve amassed. If you could include your own point tally in the post itself (at the bottom) that’d be very helpful (though of course I’ll double check it.)

The winner will be announced after noon on Tuesday. Oh, and if you competed last year, you can also compete this year. The list is entirely new.

And that’s about it! Again, take a picture of yourself with as many of the items on this list as you can. This list is purposely designed to make it so there’s no clear way of winning–there are a million different strategies. And so, without further ado, let the games begin!



[Note: many of these items are hyperlinks–click them for more information.]

Take a picture of yourself…

1. Flexing your muscles outside Flex Mussels. (10 points)

2. Eating Big Gay Ice Cream in front of The Big Gay Ice Cream Truck (5 points)

wearing a Gay Pride t-shirt (an extra 5 points)

plus a pink boa (an extra 5 points)

with your friends dressed as The Village People (up to 15 extra points, based on the hilarity of your picture)

3. In front of Korin holding one chef’s knife (3 points)

holding two chef’s knives (6 points)

holding three chef’s knives (9 points)

holding four chef’s knives (12 points)

holding five chef’s knives (15 points)

[Note: please don’t injure yourself while transporting your chef’s knives. Also, chef’s knives look like these.]

4. Drinking a $12 cup of coffee at Cafe Grumpy [take a picture of your receipt to prove it!) (12 points)

while also holding a cup of coffee from Dunkin’ Donuts [an extra 4 points]

5. Holding a sign with a palindrome outside Otto (5 points) (the person with the longest palindrome (it must be legible) gets an additional 10 points)

6. At the Union Square Farmer’s Market….

Holding ramps (3 points)

Holding asparagus (3 points)

With a fingerling potato balanced on each of your fingers (2 points per potato)

7. On a bicycle outside Birdbath Bakery (10 points) (Why? Because they give you a discount if you’re on a bicycle.)

8. With five guys outside a Five Guys Burgers (10 points)

9. At Mile End, the Canadian Deli in Brooklyn (5 points)

Wearing some kind of Canada paraphernalia (an extra 5 points)

With a Rick Moranis DVD (an extra 5 points)

With a John Candy DVD (an extra 5 points)

Eating poutine (an extra 5 points)

10. Trying to cut the line at Shake Shack (up to 10 points)

[Note: don’t actually cut the line! But the more authentic your picture–the angrier the people around you look–the more points you will get. Yes, this is cruel.]

11. Outside Ma Peche holding a peach (10 points)

12. At the counter of the Lexington Candy Shop (10 points)

13. Eating a Hershey’s Bar at Jacques Torres (5 points)

with Jacques Torres looking at you disapprovingly (an extra 15 points)

14. At Film Forum, squeezing a lemon over your popcorn (10 points) (Why? See here.)

15. At Joe the Art of Coffee on Waverly (5 points)

with me (an extra 10 points)

with Craig (an extra 10 points)

[Note: Craig and I are often at Joe the Art of Coffee on Waverly. However, you can’t ask us to meet you there; if you happen to see us, then lucky you!]

16. With a little owl (a sculpture? a doll?) outside The Little Owl (10 points)

17. With a spotted pig (a sculpture? a doll?) outside The Spotted Pig (10 points)

18. Eating a Kraft American single inside Murray’s Cheese (15 points)

19. Holding the New York Times Dining section outside The New York Times Building (10 points)

with Mark Bittman (an extra 10 points)

with Melissa Clark (an extra 10 points)

with Kim Severson (an extra 10 points)

[Note: please don’t bother these people with e-mails. If you see them, great!]

20. Outside Whole Foods with a sign that says “KISS ME, I’M ORGANIC” (10 points)

with someone actually kissing you (an extra 5 points)

21. Outside Kalustyan’s (10 points)

22. With a job application at Gorilla Coffee (15 points) (Why? See here.)

23. At the Brooklyn Flea (5 points)

with one food that you can purchase there (3 points)

with two (another 3 points)

[and so on and so on, up to 18 points. Note: you don’t have to buy anything, just hold it up.]

24. Making a fish face…

Outside of Esca (7 points)

Outside of Pearl Oyster Bar (7 points)

Outside of The Mermaid Inn (7 points)

Outside Russ & Daughters (7 points)

Outside Masa (7 points)

25. With the butchers at Dickson’s Farmstand Meats in the Chelsea Market (15 points)

26. Under the neon hamburger sign at The Burger Joint in Le Parker Meridien (10 points)

27. Papaya Pictures! (5 points each for you in front of as many different Papaya joints you can find in New York—Gray’s Papaya, Papaya Dog, etc.]

28. Outside Sbarro’s in Times Square with a sign that says “BEST PIZZA IN NEW YORK!” (10 points)

29. Holding the New York skyline bowl or plate at Fishs Eddy (10 points)

30. At the Dosa Cart in Washington Square Park (5 points)

Let's dish!

Scroll to Top