eating well in new york city

Eating well in NYC

eating well in new york city

Even while traveling in NYC I aimed to stick to my whole foods approach to my diet. It required flexibility, creativity and a little bit of planning but it was possible to to eat well and enjoy the atmosphere and vibe of New York City.

Not only did I want to stick to my whole foods approach, but I also wanted to keep spending on food to a reasonable amount while I was in New York City. My accommodation allowed me to have access to a kitchen so my aim was to have one home cooked meal a day. Depending on what I was doing each day, the meal at home might be lunch, breakfast or dinner, but having the flexibility and comfort of a home cooked meal was something I really enjoyed. I will write a separate post about cooking while away in the coming weeks.

I stayed in the upper west side area of Manhattan, but toured and ate my way around lots of places in Manhattan, managing to finding some great options to eat as I went. Here are a few of my favourites:


BareBurger was my first food stop in NYC. It was about a 10 minutes walk from where I was staying. There is much to love about Bare Burger. They are small but growing franchise that has a philosophy of serving up the fresh organic, no GMO, fair trade and local foods, for example:

  • Beef: organic • grass-fed • 83% – 85% lean
  • Chicken: all-natural • hormone-free • antibiotic-free cage-free
  • Elk: all-natural • pasture raised • hormone-free • antibiotic-free • 90% lean
  • Veggie Burgers: made with organic • all-natural • local • vegetables • grains
  • Bacons | Brisket: organic • all-natural • hormone-free • nitrate free
  • Local food artisans like Little Green Foods, Blue Marble Ice Cream, Grillo’s Pickles, Blackwing Quality Meats, Rumiano Cheese and Maine Root Soda.

They have a very cool fit out with tabletops built from trees felled by storms and reclaimed wood. Packaging for take away meals are made with plant resin or recycled paper products and are biodegradable.

I ate in and had a take away meal from Bareburger enjoying a beef burger with sweet potato fries. They have a fabulous menu set up where you can either order a set burger from the menu or build your own. It was great to be able to build my own, so I could keep to the foods I preferred to eat:
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And also did take away with burger and sweet potato fries another day:
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Sweet potato fries of course were not essential but they were delicious. They were cooked in a NON-GMO canola oil, so not ideal for me as I prefer to stay away from canola oil, but as I mentioned at the start, some flexibility is needed!

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The meal cost approx $USD17 or approx $AUD22. The meal was a substantial size and filling. The Bareburger I went to was always busy, I had to wait 15 minutes to be seated and there was a queue of people waiting the entire time I dined there.

Wok to walk

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Wok to walk is an international franchise serving super fresh stir fry meals. Choosing your meal is a 3 steps process, you choose a base, your favourites veggies and meats if you eat them, then your sauce. Service is quick and my order was cooked only minutes after I ordered.

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You can watch the staff cook your meal. Apparently by shaking the wok constantly, they need less oil, cook quicker and keep more of the good nutrients in your food.

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The price varies depending on what you add to your meal. My box cost me under $USD12 approx $AUD16. My very late night photo doesn’t do the meal justice, it was full of flavour and tasted great. Wok to walk is open late (varies but up to 3am some nights in some locations). It was super tasty and hit the spot after a show on Broadway.

Harlem Corner Social

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The Harlem Corner Social serves up delicious modern comfort food and even more delicious cocktails!

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While cocktails probably don’t fit in with the eating well in NYC strictly speaking, if you have a quick look at the cocktail list, you will see they use fresh ingredients, the secret to them tasting so good. The Corner social also supports local, organic and sustainable farms.

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I had pork belly at $USD13 and it was happy hour for cocktails at $USD8. (Total approx $AUD27.)


I love Mexican style foods, so was thrilled to come across Mexicue. They too serve great comfort food and amazing cocktails.

Mexicue prides itself on

  • High quality ingredients sourced from local vendors when possible
  • Fresh ground spices
  • Whole, fresh vegetables
  • Slow & Low Wood Smoking
  • Everything from scratch by hand

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The smoky carnitas roasted sweet potatoes, salsa verde was great – I do love sweet potato. It was $US14, approx $AUD18.

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They had a great Bourbon menu and can attest the Bootleg was fabulous $USD9, approx $AUD12.

Hu Kitchen

Hu Kitchen was on my list of must visit places in NYC after reading this review by the lovely Merry maker Sisters. And they were right, if you eat along Paleo lines, then this is the best place to eat in NYC.

I ate there a number of times, so managed to eat a breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks! The philosophy of Hu Kitchen is “unequivocally delicious food that also happens to be unprocessed and good for you.”

And it is not just the food that I loved about this place. It has a great vibe, free Wifi (so important when you are traveling!) and friendly staff.

Grandmaster veg + 2 sides ($US13.95 approx $AUD18) – like a grain and dairy free lasagne made up of eggplant, carrot, green cabbage, cashew, and I chose sides of broccoli and sweet potato. Drinks were kombucha and 5 stage ultra filtered water (almond snack for later!)

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Burger and sweet potatoes.

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Salads to eat in or takeaway.

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Selection of prepared foods you can purchase cold.

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A fun mash bar.

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I had the Banana cashew cream – grain-free granola, banana, cashew cream and goji berries which was so yum! (approx $USD6, approx $AUD8).

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The chocolate treats from Hu Kitchen were a little pricey, but they were so, so good I didn’t mind it as they were a special purchase. I adored the choc covered almonds $USD3.95, approx $AUD5.

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And the crunchy mint chocolate I still think about! (approx $USD6, approx $AUD8).

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Hu Kitchen chocolate has:

  • No cane sugar
  • No soy lecithin
  • No refined sugar
  • No gluten
  • No emulsifiers
  • No GMO

Disclaimer: While fries, cocktails and chocolate aren’t necessary to eat well in NYC, I aimed to eat well, have fun and experience some unique food experiences NYC had to offer. All the places I listed above have great side dishes of salads and veggies to choose from.

Have you been to NYC? What places would you add to this list?