April 6, 2016
First of all, this is by no means a comprehensive list, nor is it a “Best Of” or expert foodie’s recommendation. And especially not when it comes to New York City – where you can live a year in without ever coming close to trying all the amazing food the city has to offer. No; this is simply one person’s unapologetic snacking adventures in the Big Apple, presented to you here because even without breaking the bank, every single dish was so on point. Damn you, New York.
Snow Days NYC
Think a glorious marriage between Korean bingsu and Taiwanese shaved ice; and that’s exactly what Snow Days serves up. Believe it or not, you can get hot and bothered walking around in New York, especially when you’ve trekked miles just to save on a subway ticket. That’s when a cold “snow ice” dessert comes in handy, particularly one located in the hip and gorgeous West Village. I went for a Sweet Milk-flavoured Regular (US$5) snow ice with Oreos and Peanut Butter Sauce, and it did not disappoint.
Address: West Village, 167 7th Ave South, New York, NY 10014
Mon 5pm – 11pm
Tue-Wed 1pm – 11pm
Thu-Sat 1pm – 12am
Sun 1pm – 10pm
Very aptly named – I still lie awake in bed thinking about them sometimes. Soft and beautifully gooey, and delivered straight into your hands piping hot and fresh, these East Coast based cookies are hands down the best I’ve ever tasted in my entire life. And they’ve got a college-friendly history as well, having first started in the dorm room of a UPenn student who hand-baked and delivered his precious treats to students on campus late at night. My favourites are definitely the Peanut Butter Chip and Double Chocolate Chunk, which can and will send you right into a coma the moment they break off in your mouth, Subway Cookies-style. Shout-out to the friendly lady behind the counter for her pro tip: Sandwich one Peanut Butter Chip cookie between two Double Chocolate Chunks and it tastes exactly like a Reese’s Cup. Scout’s honour.
Address: 405 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY 10024
Opening hours: 11am – 3am daily
Pies ‘N’ Thighs
Nothing says ‘Murica like chicken and waffles! NYC may not have LA’s internationally famed Roscoe’s, but it sure made up for it with Pies ‘N’ Thighs – a cosy, no-frills chicken joint nestled in the heart of the Williamsburg neighbourhood in Brooklyn. The menu is pretty extensive, with hearty mains like Biscuits & Gravy (US$10), but obviously I came for the Chicken & Waffles (US$13.50). The buckwheat waffles may have looked a little sallow (as sallow as waffles can look, I suppose), but proved surprisingly tasty and without being too doughy. Top ‘em off with two pieces of expertly fried chicken, cinnamon butter, and strawberry jam, and you’ve got yourself an American classic. Penning this just made me salivate.
Address: 166 S. 4th Street (at Driggs), Brooklyn, NY 11211
Closed 4PM – 5PM
Momofuku Milk Bar
And of course, we’ve saved the best for last. This tiny dessert bar is no stranger to the likes of Instagram (literally and figuratively), and has fast become quite the Instafood celebrity in its own right. While the company’s first specialty lies in cakes, cookies, and pies, right now the undisputed star product is the creamy soft serve. You have to admit – the Cereal Milk Soft Serve (US$5) is probably the most photogenic ice cream you’ll ever see, but will you believe us when we say it’s the most divine thing you’ll ever taste too? One bite and you’re immediately be transported to your childhood, where you scraped out the last bit of cornflakes from the bottom of your breakfast bowl and happily drank the milk – that now tasted like cornflakes. And this is exactly what Momofuku’s beautiful soft serve tastes like – nostalgic yet bizarrely sophisticated cornflake milk. If there’s one place to hit up when you’re on a food trail in NYC, it’s this. Three cups in two trips and I still dream about it.
Address: East Village, 251 E 13th St, New York, NY 10003
Opening hours: 9am – 12am daily
And if you’re reading this late at night; I’m sorry.
All images courtesy of Amanda Chai.