New York City's Best Eats Near Tourist Destinations

You'll find these culinary gems tucked right around the corner from some of New York City's most-famous sights.

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Best Bites Near Famous Sights

Your parents are visiting and insist on catching a Broadway show or seeing the charging bull by Wall Street. Fear not; you don't need to be stuck waiting in line at a massive chain restaurant when hunger strikes. There are plenty of great food spots hidden around the tourist traps in NYC that will satisfy every appetite: yours, the parents' and those of any little ones in tow. Here is where to go to experience some of New York's best eats while also taking in the sights of the city.

 

Photography courtesy of @foodbabyny

Times Square: Otto's Tacos

Some of the best tacos in NYC can be found just a few blocks away from Times Square at the third location of this popular quick-service taqueria. Along with the tacos, the simple menu has some standard sides like chips and guac, and rice and beans, but the unique Masa Fries are what you really must make sure to try.

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Times Square: Schmackary's

For something sweet, head a few blocks south for some fresh cookies baked throughout the day, as well as other creative desserts from the original location of Schmackary's. There are dozens of different flavors that rotate daily, but the simple Classic Chocolate Chip is a must-try, as are any of the ones covered in Schmackary's signature circle of frosting, including the Red Velvet and the Cookies & Cream.

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Empire State Building: Blank Slate Coffee & Kitchen

Just a few blocks from the Empire State Building, this bustling cafe serves up a refreshing menu of salads and sandwiches, and has a full-service coffee bar in case you want a quick pick-me-up. Start your day with the BEC+LT if you come here for breakfast, or get the satisfying Flank Steak Sandwich if you want something heartier for lunch. Also, make very sure you save some time to get the S’mores Dip, which not only is guaranteed to kill on Instagram, but will also satisfy your sweet tooth.

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Empire State Building: BESFREN

If the S’mores Dip wasn’t enough, head over to this bright dessert shop, which has a variety of baked goods, including the signature Chiffon Donuts, croissants and cookies. Pass on the Chiffon Donuts in favor of the giant, soft, gooey Triple Chocolate Cookie, which is generating the most attention for this small Korean bakery. They also serve gelato from Il Laboratorio Del Gelato, so you can get some creamy Black Sesame to go with your cookies.

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Central Park: Fuku+

If you are entering Central Park from the south, make sure to stop by the sequel to David Chang’s hit Fried Chicken Sandwich spot, which has even more intriguing stuff to try than the single-item original. This location took over the bar area above another Momofuku-empire restaurant, Ma Peche (which is a great option if you have more time for a sit-down meal). The Spicy Chicken Sandwich is the must-try here, but you should also order the Spicy Loaded Nachos and the Juicy Lucy, a solid rendition of the Midwestern cheese-filled burger that is rarely seen in NYC.

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Central Park: Momofuku Milk Bar

After Fuku+, pay a visit to one of the five locations of Momofuku Milk Bar, which has become a tourist attraction in its own right. People visit from around the world to try Christina Tosi's famous Cereal Milk and Crack Pie; you can do the same, or if you want to kill two birds with one stone, you can try the Crack Pie Soft Serve (if it’s on the rotating soft-serve menu when you visit). Make sure to also grab some Birthday Cake Truffles to go.

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Wall Street: Adrienne's Pizzabar

The Financial District isn't necessarily known as a dining destination, but it just so happens to have a destination-worthy pizza spot in Adrienne's. Located on Stone Street, with the benefit of a large outdoor dining area during the nice weather, this place can get packed at lunchtime with the office crowd. But it is worth the wait for one of the best old-fashioned square pies in NYC.

Wall Street: Insomnia Cookies

There are mostly chains and not many dessert options in this neighborhood, but the always-expanding Insomnia Cookies can help provide a fix for your sweet tooth. It's hard to go wrong with hot, gooey cookies, which they always have on deck here in a variety of classic flavors and some more decadent ones, like the deluxe S'mores and Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup. Even better, this is one of the locations that makes ice cream sandwiches by slapping an ice cream flavor of your choice between two of those warm cookies, which makes for a very messy but worthwhile experience.

Chinatown: Pies 'n' Thighs

There’s obviously no shortage of great Chinese restaurants to eat at in Chinatown, but if you are there to see the neighborhood and want something a little different, the second outpost of the super-popular fried chicken spot is a worthy stop. For the “thighs” part, you can’t go wrong with their signature Chicken Biscuit, which is topped with hot sauce and honey butter. For the “pies” part, the fluffy Banana Cream Pie is a perfect introduction to the desserts here, but it’s the doughnuts that will keep you wanting to come back. On your first return trip, make sure you get the Butter Pecan Crunch, a large, pillow-soft yeast doughnut with an irresistibly sweet and crunchy topping.

Chinatown: Ice & Vice

For the most-inventive flavors and the friendliest customer service you could ask for, walk a few blocks farther on East Broadway to get to the hottest ice cream shop of the moment. They are constantly inventing new flavors as well as sundaes and other interesting collaborations, such as the latest one with Daly Pie: Chocolate Peanut Butter Nutella Potato Chip Pie with a Pretzel Crust. While some of the flavors may sound too experimental for some, like the Lavender Pine Stracciatella (which, coincidentally, is one of the best sellers from the current rotation), the simpler flavors are surefire crowd-pleasers. These include Shade, an elevated take on chocolate, and Basic B, the least basic and most-memorable vanilla ice cream you will ever try.

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