Always looking for new things to do and neighborhoods to explore when I head to New York City for a weekend, this round my friend and I devised a little food tour of some of the best bites in Greenwich Village. This is the part of Manhattan that is bordered by Broadway on the east, Houston on the south, and 14th St. on the north.
OK, technically, we started the tour just outside of Greenwich Village on 23rd Street at Doughnut Plant (220 W. 23rd) because we still had not eaten breakfast and we had heard about these gourmet morning treats.
It’s my understanding that Doughnut Plant is most known for their cream filled square doughnuts, but I actually preferred their vanilla bean yeast option. We also had a Brooklyn Black Out cake doughnut that my friend enjoyed but was too much chocolate for me. We hopped back in a cab and got off at 7th and Bleecker to start the actual Greenwich Village food tour at this point.
Having checked the breakfast box, we could move on to lunch food. First stop was Bleecker Street Pizza (69 7th Ave.), often named NYC’s best pizza. I have to say that I don’t disagree. My friend and I were talking about how good the pizza was all day. We shared a slice of the signature pie, the Nonna Maria, and it took me back to my trip to Italy a few years ago. I love a well executed, simple pizza with tomato, cheese, and basil.
Just around the corner from Bleecker Street Pizza was our next stop, Bantam Bagels (283 Bleecker St.). This take away eatery was one of Oprah’s Favorite Things in 2014 and was featured on the T.V. show “Shark Tank.” The only thing you can get here are stuffed bagel balls. Trust me, you will not be disappointed. We got a 6-pack of both sweet and savory flavors, and I highly recommend the Hot Pretzel with the mustard and cheddar cream cheese in the middle!
After getting stuffed with stuffed bagels, we moved on to pick up some recommended rice balls from Faicco’s Italian Deli (260 Bleecker St.). When we walked in the door, we were a little confused because it was primarily a butcher shop, but at the back counter they had some prepared Sicilian treats, including the breaded and fried rice balls. They were warmed up for us, and they were melty, cheesy, fried deliciousness! I’m not convinced I would go out of my way to get some more on a future trip, but definitely think they are worth a taste if you’re in the neighborhood.
Just across the street from Faicco’s, we switched from savory back to sweet and stopped in Sugar and Plumm (257 Bleecker St.) for one of their hand-crafted macarons. I love the look of macarons, but I don’t know what it is about them that I find off-putting when it comes to taste, regardless of how good they may be to some. I had my first taste of a macaron at Ladurée, which is supposed to be some of the best, but I felt like I was eating soap from Bath and Body Works. My point is that, though they are not a preferred sweet treat for me, the macaron we had at Sugar and Plumm was just as good as the supposed french macaron masterpieces you can buy on the upper east side.
Sugar and Plumm marked the end of our food exploration on Bleecker Street, and we proceeded to walk over to MacDougal Street for some more tickling of our tastebuds. Our first stop was at the famous Mamoun’s Falafel Restaurant (119 MacDougal St.). For only $2, you can get three delicious falafel balls with yogurt sauce. Perfection! (Yes, I know there are 4 balls in the photo)
Just down the street from Mamoun’s is the third location of a popular NYC pizzeria, Artichoke Basille’s Pizza (111 MacDougal St.). This pizza is on many lists of suggested eateries in Greenwich Village, so I was a little disappointed that the popular artichoke pizza was super salty to the point of being a bit unappetizing. The crust was nice, though – thick and crispy.
At this point, my friend and I were petering out with full stomachs. We made our stop at the Creperie NYC (112 MacDougal St.) across the street our last. Finishing with a sweet crepe was the perfect way to end our time in Greenwich Village.
Of course, it’s not a trip to NYC without a little theater going. This trip, I saw Emma Stone as she interpreted the iconic Sally Bowles with Alan Cumming in Cabaret. Then I was absolutely blown away by Bradley Cooper’s portrayal of John Merrick in The Elephant Man. Sadly, both actors will end their Broadway runs in February, so there’s limited chance to see them.