I don't know about you guys - but there is a very small window for me between waking up in the morning and entering the HANGER zone. My boyfriend will vouch for this. First, give the girl food, closely followed by a coffee. Then, the human in me will begin to emerge.
We all know that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but when you're travelling it can be the most difficult one to fit in. Ideally, you're staying at a hotel or B&B that provides a nourishing brekkie for you - but if not, it can be downright difficult to find something semi-healthy, cheap, and filling whilst on the go.
Numer 1 tip - make the time to eat breakfast. There's nothing worse than holding off and realizing too late that you're starving, by which stage it's impossible to pinpoint anything that you feel like eating. Hanger whilst travelling is not a pretty thing, so don't risk it. Start you day right! If you're sitting here reading this wondering what on earth this 'hanger' is - consider yourself lucky. You must have never experienced it.
So here's list of NYC breakfast options - from simple, to extravagant, to healthy, to downright naughty. #yolo
Bagels, Bagels, Bagels
You're in NYC! Treat 'yo self.
There are bagel stores everywhere, but this particular beauty was picked up from Leo's Bagels. Located in the Financial District, Leo's was within walking distance of our hotel and provided us with a tasty Christmas Day breakfast. It was basically the only store in the area open, but a lucky find. I even got bagel in bed one morning later - he knows me well...!! The bagel above is the egg and cheddar cheese on a sesame bagel, but the menu is extensive and offers sandwiches as well. Limited seating indoors, so be prepared to eat on the go, or sit in the square nearby.
The Local Diner
I am a BIG fan of American diners. There's something about them that feels strangely comforting. Comfort food, decent price, good service. They're also one of the biggest American stereotypes. Growing up and watching movies of people indulging on pancakes and waffles in local diners (mainly in the middle of nowhere) made me feel that this was a necessity for our NYC visit.
Like bagels, you can find diners all over Manhattan - and we did walk past some pretty cool looking ones. The one we tried was purely out of convenience, located about 2 steps away from our hotel. Pearl Diner did not disappoint. Attentive and friendly service from the start, a coffee thrown down on the table almost instantly, and our food delivered promptly. The best part? It was basically the only reasonably priced eatery that we found in the whole city. Winning.
Visit a Deli
Another must try in NYC. There are delis are everywhere - where both locals and tourists alike drop in to pick up a sandwich or hot dog for breakfast. Hey, it's America!
Aiden had added a trip to the famous Katz's Delicatessen to the list of 'musts' well and truly before the trip even began. He even made me sit through "that" scene in 'When Harry Met Sally' in preparation for my visit. Honestly, I was excited to go because of the hype - but it just didn't live up to my expectations. It is absolutely heaving with tourists - and downright expensive. But, worth it for the story I guess. The deli has been open since 1888 and since then has had many celebrities step through it's doors. It has also featured in a few films.
Some of you will absolutely love it here, where you'll get a sandwich literally overflowing with pastrami and sauerkraut; and served with a plate of pickles on the side. Just be prepared to pay a whopping $19.95 for it.
After only a couple of days in NYC, your body will thank you for it. Trust me.
Get some greens into you thanks to Juice Generation, a chain located throughout the city. Whilst Aiden was noticeably unimpressed, he now drinks the green smoothies I force into him without complaint. You're welcome!
And Lastly...Dunkin' Donuts
Because when is a donut NOT a good idea?
Unless you've been living under a rock, you have probably noticed my increasing love, obsession, or maybe even fetish (...call it what you will!) with mac 'n' cheese. Having always been a hug fan of pasta, my love for the mac only became strong in the past year or so. It just wasn't a thing back in Australia. Since I am on the hunt for the best mac cheese in London, it seemed only natural to offer my cheese loving belly the same opportunity in The Big Apple.
This task literally had the potential to make (or sadly, break) my week in New York, so I did my research well. Whilst my list is short and sweet, I aim to give some honest truths about how legit the mac 'n' cheese is in the US of A.
Legit Factor - 5/5
'The Best Thing That's Ever Happened To Me'
Firstly, a menu where you can design your own mac; from size, to ingredients, to cheese, to pasta type. Secondly, it's a place where you can freely take your vegan and celiac friends, with options for all! Thirdly, they offer a 'sampler' - a pizza like taster of the top 8 most popular flavours ($17). And lastly - the serve booze. Completely, utterly, legit. Also cheaper than therapy, and better than most of lives pleasures.
Legit Factor - 4/5
'When Mac Cheese meets health'
When you google this place, it's one liner is 'health-concious American Eatery'. And this is true! If you're not holding back during your travels to NYC, this little slice of heaven might be just what you need. Alongside your smokey mac 'n' cheese served with bacon ($8), order a side salad to replenish those vitamins you're stedily losing and get some fibre into you. When we went, the Chelsea restaurant was absolutely packed, and for good reason - the food is incredible. Be wiling to wait in a queue and be ready to be rushed out as soon as you've finished eating. Worth it!
BLEECHER'S HANDMADE CHEESE
Legit Factor - 1/5
Sorry Bleecher's - but your claim to have the 'world's best mac & cheese' isn't accurate. At $7 a pop for a teeny cup, the pasta is pulled out from what appears to be a soup pot and is sloopy, gluggy and heavy on cream. There is little taste of cheese and there is no element of baking involved. The crisp top is what makes mac 'n' cheese! It's like a mac cheese soup - gone wrong. On the plus side, this place looks incredible to buy actual blocks of cheese, and the free samplers were delish. I'll definitely try again - just not for the mac.
...AND SOME VARIATIONS
Mac 'n' Cheese Wedges
Legit Factor - 1/5
Mac 'n' Cheese Sliders
Legit Factor - 1/5
'Best to save these ones for after a few drinks...'
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