Your Local-Approved Guide to Food in NYC
If food is always in the forefront of your mind when you think about going to New York City, you’ll want to bookmark this page. That’s right foodies, put that fork down we’re taking a ride to NYC. Whether you’re planning your first or fiftieth Amtrak trip the Big Apple you know food decisions can get tricky. So. Many. Choices. That’s why we enlisted Chris Crowley, freelance writer for First We Feast, Grub Street, Narrative.ly and Serious Eats to give us some local-approved recommendations.
Amtrak: If you’re planning a lazy yet boozy brunch with the all the bells and whistles, what are the top spots that come to mind?
Chris: I’m not a brunch person really. I do like lazy meals, though. On the weekends, I go to Fritzl’s often with my girlfriend, because it’s so close to her apartment. It’s the kind of place where you get a side of fries with your pasta. The vibe is super laid back, they’ve got a lengthy list of beer and cider that’s not just more of the same old stuff, and the food is the kind of belly-hugging bistro fare with smart, subtle quirks that just makes sense. Think ricotta dumplings with trout roe in rajas con crema. But, yeah, for brunch you’ll get one of New York’s better cheap burgers, revolving dishes like jam-stuffed beignets, flapjacks, and a sausage sandwich. I would be remiss not to mention Russ & Daughters, where I’d be happy to eat knishes and down Bloody Marys, and Shopsin’s, which you have to see to believe.
Moving onto lunch, NYC is known for big hearty sandwiches. What are a few of your favorite sandwich shops our riders should visit before hopping back on the train?
The city has some great delis, though they aren’t all centrally located. If you have the time, it’s worth going farther afield to experience some of the best in overstuffed sandwiches. Myself, I’m a fan of Liebman’s in the Bronx, for pastrami and corned beef. Eisenburg’s is great for a tuna melt, you know, and Defonte’s in Red Hook makes some of the meanest heroes you’ll ever eat. A lot of people hit Arthur Avenue, where I lived for four years. When it comes to sandwiches, my only advice is to prioritize Casa della Mozzarella’s namesake cheese. It’s very, very good. Over in Queens, a trip to Torta’s Neza, where he is redefining overstuffed with gargantuan tortas that make Katz’s sandwiches look puny. I’m going to forget some favorites, but we have to stop somewhere, so, my favorite sandwich shop in the city is Court Street Grocer’s. Their menu is eclectic Americana. Jersey pork rolls, D.C. half-smokes, the broccoli Rueben—just do it. Get a drink at Frankie’s after.
How about a good dinner spot for groups? What are your favorite group friendly locations?
A lot of people say it’s not as great anymore, but I’ve always had fun at Great New York Noodle Town. It was a spot to celebrate for a group of friends. Flushing restaurants like Fu Ran and the Bronx’s Neerob, the Bangladeshi restaurant that New York named the city’s best cheap eats spot, are solid options. Back in Manhattan, I had a really great experience with a large party at Il Buco.
Finally, rapid fire time, tell us your top stops for: NYC pizza, cocktails and beers. Go!
Pizza: I love Pier 76 for a buffalo chicken slice, Williamsburg Pizza and Prince Street Pizza for a classic NY slice, Totonno’s for the whole pie and history, and Roberta’s and Paulie Gee’s for creative neo-Neopolitan.
Cocktails: My go to for cocktails are Amor y Amargo and Maison. Sother, the head bartender of Amor, used to work for the Good Eats test kitchen and has a seemingly endless wealth of knowledge about bitters. I usually ask for some random amaro to try first often, then get a cocktail with ingredient. Masion is just as great. They want to push boundaries. It’s a place people want to work.
Beers: Go somewhere different and hit The Bronx AleHouse. It’s a great craft beer bar near Van Courtlandt Park, which is one of the largest parks in the city. Top Hops is great too—sometimes they have Budweiser on tap alongside some California IPA brewed with Chinese dates or something.
Are you ready for your foodie trip to NYC? Book 14-days in advance and you could save 25% on the trip. Let’s Ride…then eat!