An Aussie's Guide To Eating Well Through New York City

24/09/2015 8:57 AM AEST | Updated 15/07/2016 12:51 PM AEST
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Melissa Hom

They say you can get lost in the concrete jungle that is New York City, so navigating between the 12,225 restaurants (according to Trip Advisor) can be a task.

Peta Shulman, Founder and Director of GoodnessMe Box, spent fourteen days and had forty-two meals in The Big Apple. Here is her guide for the ultimate health foodie.

BREAKFAST

Jack’s Wife Freda, Soho.

"Breakfast, alas the most important meal of the day! Residing in the brekky capital of Australia (Yes, Bondi home of the Sunday brunch) I had high expectations to seek out an awesome breakfast. Head straight to Jack’s Wife Freda in the trendy Soho area. Here you will find brunch with a Mediterranean twist from Green Shakshuka to the Rosewater Waffle topped with Lebanese yogurt. I opted for the Mediterranean Breakfast, 2 eggs any style, chopped salad, labne, avocado and pita bread."

Little Colins Café, Midtown.

"If you are hankering for good smashed avo on toast Aussie style you will be hard pressed to find it in New York. For an Aussie fix you will need to seek out Little Collins Cafe in Midtown and order The Smash, avocado and feta mash on toast with chilli flakes and pepitas."

Juice Press, All Around Town.

"If you aren’t a fan of brunch or have simply joined the New York nightlife (it truly is the city that never sleeps and lives up to its reputation) then for a light brekky on the go I recommend Juice Press. It seems the Raw Revolutions is quite a hit with this cold pressed juice bar taking over the city on every second street corner. Here you will find smoothies from Almond Butter Cup, Chocolate Snap, Clean Green Protein, Fountain of Youth to a Matcha Green Tea Latte made with homemade almond milk, lait de coconut, coconut nectar, matcha green tea and mint.

Forget Starbucks and opt for their cold brewed coffees to keep you on your feet in the hot summer weather. You will see every man and his dog sipping on a cold iced coffee to combat the humidity. I also recommend their desserts including their Acai Bowl and Pumpkin Superfood Bowl (cashew, coconut oil, coconut nectar, almond brazil nut, pumpkin seed, carrot ginger, filtered water, vanilla extract, sea salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, clove)."

Organic Avenue, All Around Town.

"If you are struggling to find a Juice Press then keep an eye out for the Organic Avenue stores who are all about feeding your brain with organic bowls, wraps, salads, sides, soups and dessert. When taking a photo of the options I was informed this was not allowed – I suppose they are aware they are onto something quite unique!"



LUNCH

Smorgasburg Food Flea Market, Brooklyn.

"For a food fiesta, you can’t go past a Saturday at the Smorgasbord Food Flea Markets in Brooklyn. This was my absolute favourite day in NYC with an array of 100+ local and regional food vendors that will put your senses into overdrive. The line up for the greasy Ramen Burger travels into the neighbouring park, voted as one of the 17 most influential burger of all time by Time Magazine (yes, a burger can be influential apparently) this beef patty is sandwiched between two buns made from freshly cut ramen noodles bathed in oil so I was delighted when I came across Chickpea & Olive. The organic Vegan Pop-Up Diner serves ‘phatty’ beet sliders, melts and BLTS. I opted for the Calexico in a bowl with avocado, pickled red onions, pickled jalapenos, daiya cheddar cheese, chipotle aioli. This bad boy was so convincing that it even twisted my partners’ arm to opt for the vegan dish over the real deal burgers and ribs served at the markets. If vegan dishes aren’t your style then check out the fresh oysters, Takumi Tacos or for something a little heartier and heavier the Scotch egg is another clear favourite at the markets by The Imperial Egg, a meat-stuffed, breaded and fried egg. Not the healthiest of choices but certainly filling. Other highlights include the gourmet goods to purchase, my pick is the 3 Nuts peanut butter including flavours ‘cookie dough peanut butter’ and ‘Salted Caramel Peanut Butter’."

Chelsea Market, Chelsea aka Meatpacking District.

"If food markets are your Achilles heal then the Chelsea Markets are not to be missed. One of the greatest indoor food halls with over thirty-five vendors, I was on a mission to suss out the best stores. After circling the premises three times over I settled on Takumi Tako (a store I missed at Smorgasburg Markets) and boy was I happy to try the spicy tuna sashimi on a corn tortialla, only to turn around and discover Beyond Sushi making Nutty Buddy rice paper wraps filled with buckwheat noodles, cashews, carrots, cilantro, jalapeno peanut butter, avocado, sesame oil, tofu and romaine paired with a super delicious mystery sauce. Be sure to try their black bean and sweet potato brownies for dessert. I purchased three and my friends were none the wiser when they tried them."



Something about a classic sandwich from NYC's BEST bread maker that makes #monday a little better. @amysbread

A photo posted by Official Chelsea Market, NY (@chelseamarketny) on


Whole Foods Market, All Around Town.

"This has to be one of by favourite places in NYC. If you are anything like me and enjoy wandering the supermarket isles and reading the ingredients on all the foods that you purchase then this place is for you - an emporium of health food products. Isle upon isle filled with wholesome GMO-free health food products with an option for every kind of dietary requirement imaginable. If you are after a quick lunch head over to the self-service bar with salads, soups and hot dishes or the fresh sushi bar for a bite."


Candle Café, Upper East Side and Upper West Side.

"For a hearty vegan lunch head to Candle Café, sister to the swankier Candle 79. I enjoyed this vegan café so much I dined here twice. Favourites include the Aztec Salad made with BBQ Temped, bio-colour Quinoa, spiced pumpkin seeds and more, the BBQ Jackfruit Taco, Mexican Lasagna and for the fussier eater, the option to choose 5-7 sides from sweet potato fries, soba noodles, grilled tofu to seitan chimichurri skewers. My experience was made all the merrier by the Café owner whirling in, gushing about her Shakra to the waiter at the bar, before heading out the door. This is a place with soul."



DINNER

ABC Kitchen, Flatiron District.

"Three people recommended heading to this locally focused seasonal restaurant and so naturally, I centered an entire day on reaching this destination. I tried this restaurant for lunch but I would recommend it for dinner as it is a little more stylish. Walk indoors to a beautifully fitted restaurant and sit down to a menu which is free of, and I quote, “pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, insecticides, antibiotics, hormones, is GMO-free, and naturally and humanely sourced from regional farmers and fair trade cooperatives, celebrating community and the future of the slow food movement”. Sit down to pretzel dusted calamari, mushroom, parmesan, oregano and farm egg pizza, veggie burger, akaushi cheeseburger or my pick the sesame crusted salmon salad. If you are here during the day then be sure to make a hop, skip and a jump to the Union Square Farmers Markets for fresh produce including fruit, veg, jams and cheese."

Candle 79, Upper East Side.

"This is one of the top vegan restaurants in NYC with an inventive and interesting menu featuring lobster mushroom ravioloi, stuffed zuchinni blossoms with cashew vegetable cheese, morocco spiced chickpea cake, polenta fries and a gluten free chocolate brownie sundae that is not to be missed!"

Beauty and Essex, Lower East Side.

"My partner and I celebrated our anniversary here with 10 small plates and it was superb! A speakeasy bar where the front is disguised as a shop leading you through a backroom entering into a large dining room decked out with a grand early sixties glam interior. We tried the kobe beef carpaccio, crispy eggplant pizzetta, the house salad, orange glazed baby carrots, grilled salmon and more, but would recommend pretty much anything else on the menu! If you want to be more adventurous try the chipotle duck chilaquiles and crab rangoon. Although a virgin cocktail was in order in the spirit of ‘Dry July’ I can guarantee the Platinum Peakock or Beauty Elixir is just as good as a the real deal."

Buddakan, Chelsea.

"This Modern Asian Cuisine restaurant is the well-known restaurant from ‘that Sex in the City’ episode. The atmosphere and interior was equally an experience as the food. Healthy standouts were the steamed sea bass roll and kung pao monkfish."

Ruby’s Cafe, Nolita.

"If you’re after a great Aussie burger then head to Ruby’s. It is just on the outskirt of Little Italy, a street laden with Italian Restaurants which is a must see but in my opinion not a must-eat and a bad food tourist trap. We stumbled upon Ruby’s and if you are a meat eater then the quality of the meat is fantastic as they only source fresh local produce. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner if I had enough time I would have gone again for breakfast and green eggs."

Ngam, East Village.

"This was some of the best Thai I have ever tasted! I was pleased to discover a Zucchini Pad Thai and a duck curry with lychee that will knock your socks off. Options marked as gluten free and vegetarian."

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