Just the Very Best Please

Senior Editor Sheila Buckmaster is known for her good taste, so for our Authentic New York coverage, we wondered which New York City locales can satiate her appetite.

Cookbooks and guidebooks aren’t all that different when it comes to taste. When I thumb through a cookbook, I think, Okay, of the dozens of recipes here, which are the really great ones?” When I thumb through a guidebook, I think, Okay, of the dozens of eat/see/do/stay recommendations here, which are the really great ones?”

I’m always after the “don’t miss” spots, and I don’t want to have to guess. But I know that a book can’t have just 30 pages….Which is why I loved writing the New York City Place of a Lifetime mini-guide for the National Geographic website. There is no padding in this set of recommendations, just the very best.

As a native New Yorker now living in Maryland and working in D.C. at Traveler, I try to get “back to my roots” as often as I can so that I can see my pals, walk my favorite streets (Madison, Bleecker), and eat the food that transports me to my New Yorker days.

Here are a few of my favorites, one of which I included in the online New York guide:

  • No falafel sandwich I tasted in Israel holds a candle to what’s served as Mamouns, a hole-in-the-wall West Village storefront open 365 days a year, 11 a.m. – 5 a.m.(119 MacDougal Street).
  • “I’ll have a cappuccino, please.” Invariably the place I place that order is La Lanterna di Vittorio, a Greenwich Village wine bar and coffee house down the street from Mamouns. At night, enjoy live jazz along with your coffee, pizza, desserts, and wine (129 MacDougal Street).
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  • Cookie! Oversize and like a nearly flat iced cupcake, the black-and-white has been a staple at Glaser’s Bake Shop since 1902—and in my family’s house since the 1940s. New York all the way. In the “Dinner Party” episode, Jerry Seinfeld says, “The thing about eating a black-and-white cookie, Elaine, is you want to get some black and some white in each bite. Nothing mixes better than vanilla and chocolate. And yet, still, somehow racial harmony eludes us. If people would only look to the cookie. All our problems would be solved.” (87th Street and First Avenue).

Do you have your own New York dining recommendations? Let us know in the comments below.

Photo: Nikkicookiebaker via Flickr

(119 MacDougal Street).

  • “I’ll have a cappuccino, please.” Invariably the place I place that order is La Lanterna di Vittorio, a Greenwich Village wine bar and coffee house down the street from Mamouns. At night, enjoy live jazz along with your coffee, pizza, desserts, and wine (129 MacDougal Street).
Book your next trip with Peace of Mind
Search Trips
  • Cookie! Oversize and like a nearly flat iced cupcake, the black-and-white has been a staple at Glaser’s Bake Shop since 1902—and in my family’s house since the 1940s. New York all the way. In the “Dinner Party” episode, Jerry Seinfeld says, “The thing about eating a black-and-white cookie, Elaine, is you want to get some black and some white in each bite. Nothing mixes better than vanilla and chocolate. And yet, still, somehow racial harmony eludes us. If people would only look to the cookie. All our problems would be solved.” (87th Street and First Avenue).

Do you have your own New York dining recommendations? Let us know in the comments below.

Photo: Nikkicookiebaker via Flickr

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