Ruthie’s Semi-Official NYC Foodie Bucket List

*This list has since been revised. Please see my “Reverse Bucket List” for my best NYC foodie suggestions.

It’s hard being a New Yorker and a foodie. It’s even harder being a foodie in New York…the difference being limited time. With literally endless choices of mostly good-quality places to eat, where really does one start? Let me first say that I in no way intend to limit my culinary experiences to those on a list. In fact, I prefer to be spontaneous and eat at as many delicious places I stumble on as possible. But since there’s a delicious place about every two feet, some sort of guideline or roadmap needed to happen. The places with asterisks (*) are joints I’d absolutely regret not eating at before I leave the City, the rest are a good guideline and a roadmap for the rest of my foodie endeavors. I have no doubt that this list will change constantly–in ten minutes, probably–but as they say, a journey of 1,000 miles begins with a single step/bite.

1. Taim Falafel & Smoothie Bar*–as a connoisseur of both, naturally this goes to the top of my list. The rest are in no order.

2. Eataly*–you are what you Eataly…

3. Ethnic grocery stores in Astoria–a good start with bulk imported feta at Greek Village, but “start” is the key word

4. Economy Candy  Miles of Aisles, of candy

5. Prosperity Dumpling–5 dumplings for $1 in Chinatown whaaaat

6. Wafels & Dinges*–I thought about Belgian wafels every day I studied abroad in the Netherlands, now I’m thinking again

7. Bouchon*–legendary chef San Francisco chef Thomas Keller comes to New York, bakery-style

8. Levain* —review to come

9. Union Square Greenmarket* —NYC’s biggest farmer’s market; it’s cool but it ain’t got nothin’ on the Dane County Farmer’s Market

10. Daniel–if there was a Food King of New York City it would definitely be chef Daniel Boulud. I’m sure it’s already too late for reservations. Hm…

11. Momofuku*–…and if there was a Food Prince, it would be chef David Chang. Eager to find out why

12. Baked by Melissa–For some reason New York likes expensive, bite-sized cupcakes. Whatcha talkin about

13. Chelsea Market*I’ll be back

14. Bareburger–We all have days where nothing but a burger will suffice. Especially a bareburger, apparently

15. Shake Shack*Review to come

16. Smorgasburg*–an weekly (hipster) food festival? What?

17. Hester NightsReview to come.

18. Lombardi’s Pizza–So this is New York Pizza, eh?

19. Brass Monkey–THE place to go out, as recommended by a New Yorker. We’ll see, guys.

20. Eleven Madison Park*–Fine dining at its best, and the workplace of former coworker and passionate UW chef. So excited.

21. Bohemian Hall & Beer Garden–a little bit of Madison culture in New York? Maybe?

22. Katz’s Delicatessen–I’m not really one for pastrami on rye, but, when in New York..

23. Dougnut Planet–I mean, you can’t not eat New York’s best donuts…

24. Ess-a-Bagel–…or its best bagels.

25. Magnolia Bakery–sometimes you just have to be a tourist. The bakery of Sex and the City fame.

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