Monday, February 16, 2015

Top 5 Foods to Try in New York City! (and tips to travel with a baby)


New York City! The city that never sleeps... except when you have a baby. 

A couple months ago, S, Baby and I vacationed in NYC. I had been debating about whether or not to share pictures and finally decided, why the heck not! As you all know, I'm a major foodie. So more than half of our trip was planned around trying out places to eat. There are so many food trends in NYC that were calling my name - including cronuts, frozen hot chocolate, and street cart food! So today I'll be sharing my top 5 favorites from the foods I tried in NYC, as well as some tips I have learned for successful traveling with a baby. 


1. Cupcakes and Banana Pudding at Magnolia Bakery

Magnolia Bakery is a sweet little shop on the Avenue of the Americas that is famous for its banana pudding and other delicious treats. The banana pudding was fluffy with the right amount of sweetness and the banana flavor was not overwhelming - just perfect. The cupcakes are also to die for, moist and fluffy. Yum!


2. Yeast Donuts at Doughnut Plant

You have to try donuts from Doughnut Plant! They have an amazing selection of yeast and cake donuts, filled and plain. Their flavors are unique and the square filled yeast donuts have the right amount of jam for each bite - not too much and not too little. The creme brûlée donut (small one in the top left picture) is their most popular - sticky and sweet with a creme filling. My hot chocolate was served with a pattern on top, I almost didn't drink it because it looked so good! 


3. Frozen Hot Chocolate at Serendipity 3

Serendipity 3 is a quirky little restaurant with wacky decor and long waits. Though this frozen hot chocolate (dessert/drink) is overpriced, it was definitely worth the hype and money... but just one time. Delicious for sure, I would recommend it for first timers and tourists that want a NY experience - like me! But in all honesty, the drink is a glorified chocolate milk shake that I would only pay $9.00 per person for once.


4. Chicken and Rice Combo at The Halal Guys

The Halal Guys food cart is insanely popular in NYC. They have 4 locations and from the moment they open, their lines - made up of a diverse crowd, I was pleased to notice - are incredibly long. My favorite item from the food cart has to be the chicken and rice combo. Topped with a sharp white sauce and spicy hot sauce, the dish is the perfect lunch on the go. Unfortunately I don't have pictures of the dish to share, but you must try it next time you visit.


5. Kati Rolls at Biryani Cart

Kati rolls are a popular Indian street food consisting of kabob meat rolled in parathas with a variety of toppings. The chicken kati roll at the Biryani Cart really hits the spot. It's spicy, flavorful, and absolutely delicious. We ordered chicken biryani as well, since that is where the cart gets its name from. Both were delicious and we were once again, pleasantly surprised by the diverse crowd waiting to get "chicken tikka masala" or "kati rolls" or "biryani." 

I hope you guys can give these foods a try if you ever visit NYC. 



Now, as promised, I'll share some tips on how to travel with a baby. Because this was also our first time vacationing with Baby, S and I were pretty nervous on how it would go. Baby was 10 months old when we went to NYC. It was his third trip flying but his first time touring (in the past we flew to visit his grandparents). Thanks to a couple tips and tricks, we think it went pretty well! 

1) Plan your trip the way you want it, but center it around baby. You're taking baby out of his element, so try to keep at least a few things as regular as possible. Baby took 2 naps at the time, so we planned to come back to our hotel 2 times in the day so he could nap. During that time, we would plan our next routes, eat, or just spend quality time together as he snoozed. Continue the rest of the day by trying to accommodate as much of baby's routine as you can in it.

2) Pack light before your flight! You can always buy all of baby's necessities, such as food, diapers, and wipes from wherever you are headed. But always make sure you leave your hotel with one or two of everything baby could possibly need, especially if you're going to be traveling far from your hotel. This includes things like baby food, a change of clothes, diapers, toys, etc. One night, while we waited in a 2 hour line to get into the Empire State Building, Baby didn't like the food pouch we brought for him. It was his dinner time so he had to eat but he refused. We didn't have an extra one to try but thankfully, the hotel was nearby so hubby ran and got a different one while we waited. What a drama!

3) Keep a few new toys handy to distract baby with while you're flying or at any rough times.

4) Remember, it's okay to bend some rules when you're traveling. Usually, I make all of baby's food at home but for the trip, I had to buy everything. This was really hard for me but I realized that it was impossible for me to make his food or somehow store, warm up, and travel with all his precooked food. But in the end, it all worked out.

5) Try not to have a very strict schedule or really high expectations for the trip. Especially if this is your first time traveling with baby, you might run into some setbacks along the way. Don't be disappointed and be sure to have lots of fun!

Hope you enjoyed this post! Till next time.

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