Cupcake, Macaron and Foodie Trip to NYC

Last weekend two of my besties and I had an amazing foodie and shopping weekend in NYC. I always like to seek out great places to eat when I travel, so I thought I’d share the food portion of the trip which was pretty amazing. I can’t believe how much food we actually consumed in two days!

We decided to drive to the city instead of taking the train which we usually do. The main reason why is we knew we’d be shopping and thank goodness we drove…way to many bags. When we arrived on Friday evening, we decided to grab a bite at the French bistro Pastis in the meatpacking district. We were lucky to grab some seats at the bar. I’d suggest making reservations if you want to go. It’s a crazy busy place.

In addition to the super yummy hot fries and delicious pear cocktail, the floating island dessert was incredible. It’s a fluffy meringue on top of crème anglaise. I could have had two of them.

For breakfast on Saturday, we hit my favorite breakfast spot in NY city Le Pain Quotidien. Lots of yummy organic options and the most delicious cafe au lait.

I always get the organic soft boiled egg and bread and fresh berries. The egg is soft boiled in it’s shell, so you crack it with a spoon and dip your bread into the yummy yolk.

So many delicious pastries and breads to choose from. The giant meringue cookie is a must get.

After stuffing ourselves at breakfast, we jumped on the subway and headed to Grand Central Market to get some spices at Penzeys Spices.

They have the best cinnamon. There were at least 5 different varieties to choose from.

While strolling through the Grand Central Station shopping mall, we came across a wonderful bakery called Financier Patisserie. Anytime I see French macrons, I will stop in my tracks. The macarons were big and super yummy!

Our next eating stop was to Eataly. Owned by Mario Batalia and Lidia Bastianich this is a must go to spot. It’s a combination of an amazing Italian market and restaurants.

You can purchase homemade pasta which they make right in front of you.

There are several different restaurants including pasta, vegetable, fish and a cheese and meat area. We ate at the fish restaurant and had the most amazing broiled and pan fried whole fish entrees.

Of course I had to get some desserts. We took home some delicious panna cotta desserts for later. The espresso bar is pretty amazing too! They offer several types of beans which are pressed in a 5 foot silver espresso machine. If you are in New York, you don’t want to miss Eataly.

After a little shopping to burn off some calories, we had dinner at Anja Bar which was also in the meatpacking district. The executive chef is Hung Huynh who was one of my favorite contestants on Top Chef. The decor was pretty amazing. Our appetizers were yummy but the entrees were just okay. This would certainly be a great place to hang out at the bar. Oh…by the way, while I was shopping in Anthropologie before dinner, Rachel Ray was shopping right next to me! She is as cute in person as on TV.

For lunch on Sunday we went to Bouchon Bakery near Columbus Circle. It is owned by restaurateur Thomas Keller. I got the grilled cheese with tomato soup which was super delicious. Why the to go container? We opted to eat at the quick cafe instead of waiting an hour to be seating in the restaurant area. They did have macarons, but not as tasty as Financier.

No trip to New York is complete without hitting at least two cupcake shops. Crumbs was our first stop.

I tried the chocolate cupcake with white cream filling and white cream topping with Oreo crumbs on top. It was very tasty. The chocolate cake was very moist. The filling and frosting tasted like the filling in a Hostess cake..a little artificial but still yummy. In New York, they have to post the calorie count for every food served on their menu. I don’t know if that’s a good or bad thing! I think that Raspberry Swirl cupcake says 500 calories…ugh!

While strolling from Crate & Barrel to Bloomingdale’s we came across the Macaron Cafe. Yes…our 3rd macaron stop in 2 days.

The tiny shop had a huge selection of beautiful macarons in many flavors and colors. I tried the coconut macaron and it was very good.

I did a little research before the trip and Two Little Red Hens was a highly rated cupcake shop, so we decided to make the short subway ride to the Upper East Side to do a taste test.

We tried the chocolate cake with vanilla frosting and red velvet with cream cheese frosting. The chocolate cupcake was yummy.

The very tiny shop also had beautifully decorated buttercream cakes similar in style to the Cupcake Cafe creations.

For dinner before we left, we went to Mario Batali’s Otto Pizzaria.

We started with a cheese sampler which came with the most yummy sauces. A cherry, apricot and olive oil to pair with each cheese.

The pizza was so thin and beautiful. The pasta carbonara was delicious too.

I feel full just posting this. I think it took me 4 days to recuperate from the food binge…but I’d do it again in a flash!

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