You salivate the minute the door chimes behind you as you step into Make My Cake in Harlem NYC. The quaint butterscotch and pink frosting toned bakery cafe feels more like a fairy tale, so much in fact that you wouldn't be surprised to find Hansel & Gretel tucked away somewhere around back, except they'd be safe and sound inside of this house built from a foundation of chocolate, red velvet, buttercream, cream cheese, and sprinkles.
Absolute must-try's (if you don't have room to take one of each back to your home or hotel) are the Red Velvet Cupcakes w/Cream Cheese & Toasted Pecans, a Seasonal Fruit Pie (depending on the time of the year that you happen upon the establishment), and without question you can't visit without sampling the local favorite Sweet Potato Cheescake which surprises your tastebuds with a wave of flavor that changes from first bite to the sweet aftertaste that beckons you to return for more, as soon as possible.
Make My Cake is not just one of the best bakery cafes in New York, it is an official foodie attraction of Harlem.
Rooted in a recipe passed down through generations, infused with inventiveness and entrepreneurial drive, the Doughnut Plant New York locations (we can’t speak for the Japanese franchises) combine to dole out some of the best donuts in America.
Doughnut Plant is known for introducing more than a few innovative offerings. They brought us the original Jelly Filled Square Doughnut, the chocolate superfecta Blackout (chocolate cake doughnut, filled w/chocolate pudding, dipped in chocolate glaze and sprinkled with chocolate cake crumbs), the three sweet milks infused Tres Leche cake doughnut (our favorite!), and Doughseeds – mini crème filled doughnuts that launched Creme Brulee filling into the New York donut scene. Every glaze that graces a Doughnut Plant doughnut creates a silky yet subtly crisp surface that when penetrated releases a flavor burst that makes it feel as if every bite is the first.
Doughnut Plant New York uses homemade, all natural ingredients, in addition to offering organics when feasible. No artificial additives, eggs, preservatives, or trans-fats find their way into the doors of Doughnut Plant. They also serve espresso, tea, juices, and even ice cream in the summer months but to even step into Doughnut Plant New York without grabbing a fresh baker’s dozen of Doughseeds or any cake or yeast molded work of pastry art would be negligent at the very least.
Italian Ice is New York's version of Hawaiian Shave Ice and Benfaremo - The Lemon Ice King of Corona - is unapologetically the Matsumoto's or Aoki's of the pack. They'd (LIKC) probably tell you it's the other way around and who are we to argue with them? Benferamo's has been in the neighborhood for 6 decades and has been serving up the goods to satisfy the sweet teeth of everyone in Queens including a heavy slew of locals and tourists wandering in from famed Flushing Meadows in Corona Park where they may have been taking in the Queen's Zoo or enjoying the week long affair at the summer ending US Open of Tennis at Arthur Ashe Stadium. There's a lot to see surrounding Corona Park and The Lemon Ice King is one of them.
Instantly recognizable by its Airstream chrome toned aluminum siding wrapping the corner of a brick and mortar building on 108th street and a line-up out front on any given sunny day, Benferamo's is NOT unassuming. The sign inside reading WE DON'T MIX refers of course to the Italian ice, but you can't help feel that this is either an intentional or unintentional parody on a sign that could be found in many diners here in Queens in the 40's or 50's. It's worth a snicker nonetheless because it also heralds Benfaremo's proud assertion that they will NOT mix your lemon ice order with multiple flavors - whaddya' think this is, Matsumoto's? In fact, many have compared Benfaremo's to the Soup Nazi from Seinfeld fame and it suits comparison - you come here for the Best Italian Ice in the City so don't waste their time and the precious minutes of those in line behind you humming and hawing over flavor combinations - order quick, be on your way, and enjoy.
The colorful rainbow of flavor menu board leaning on the wall may at first make you shake a fist at the aforementioned "rule" but trust us when we say that the best lemon ice concoctions are best served by the pros. The Lemon Ice King of Corona has spent generations perfecting each flavor so mixing "outside of the box" would dilute the tastebud experience. Don't mess with perfection. Benfaremo's Italian Ice is thick, creamy, and full of flavor. We suggest starting the day with the Coffee Italian Ice which puts your foofy Starbuck's Iced Latte to embarrassment. Our midday suggestion is either for the hefty Peanut Butter Italian Ice (if PB is your thing) or the Orange Vanilla Swirl. Come late afternoon the Mint Chocolate Chip hits the spot as does the Cherry Vanilla and be sure to return for a nightcap worthy Piña Colada or Rum Raisin. Kids coming along for the ride order the Cotton Candy or Bubble Gum every time, and they're not disappointed.
Aside from the masterful Italian Ices, Benfaremo - The Lemon Ice King of Corona - also makes a mean Candy Apple. It doesn't have to be Halloween to chomp down on this candy coated delight as Benfaremo's transports your taste bud senses with their renowned Coconut Candy Apples. Where do these guys think they are, Hawaii? We wish.
Pies 'n' Thighs may have you waiting in line for a long time, but this is no reflection on the service, it is simply a testament to the popularity of this soul food based eatery in Brooklyn and should not by any means disuade you from paying an impromptu visit to this no nonsense diner with a flare for Georgia (state) inspired cuisine that disappeared from the scene only to reappear one year later (March 2010) along South 4th Street at Driggs Avenue.
For breakfast or brunch at Pies & Thighs we recommend the Rob Evans ($7 reg. $ 9 lrg. sausage gravy, egg & cheese on a bun biscuit) and for dinner go with an order of Fried Chicken Biscuit ($5), a side of Mac 'n' Cheese ($4) with Sweet TeaLemonade ($2.50) for sipping. If you have a fun special event coming up or simply because its a Sunday afternoon, be sure to take home the bane to anyone unfortunately stuck with a peanut allergy, the Peanut Butter Pie ($30), which is basically one massive peanut butter cup.
On the way out we swear we heard someone say "Ya'll come back now, ya' hear!". We will.
Listed as "Where To Get Real New York Pizza, In New York" by YAHglobal.Com. Read below:
Famous Ray's Pizza is synonymous with New York City Pizza. Although it is not as heralded by locals, visitors, or reviewing periodicals as much as one may think, it is still a must visits as much as you have to see Time's Square, Central Park, Statue of Liberty and The Empire State Building. It's just what you do when you come to NYC.
But now for the confusing part. There are dozens of variations of Famous Ray's Pizza, either with identical names or slight adjustments made to each; Famous Ray's Pizza, Famous Original Ray's Pizza, World Famous Original Ray's Pizza, and even a Not Original Ray's Pizza. Every one claims to be the original or the best of the crew and thousands of reviews will have your head spinning as to which is the go-to favorite. This is partly why "Ray's" rarely makes Top 5 lists for Best Pizza in New York. Who wants to do all that leg work and research? We do, sort of. While we didn't track down each and every one and sample each and every pizza, we took an informal survey of the most accurate public opinion we could find; the average New Yorker on the street (and online) and picked their brains on which "Ray" monikered pizzeria was legit. We narrowed it down to two locations:
Famous Ray's Pizza - Greenwich Village (on the above map and pictured on the left) 465 Avenue of the Americas, 6th Avenue at 11th Street, Greenwich Village, NYC (between 11th and 12th street)
This one is probably the most visited and the pizza is considered to be the best amongst all Ray's Pizza joints
Ray's Pizza - Little Italy 27 Prince Street at the northern end of Little Italy, Manhattan, NYC
This one is the true original (allegedly), founded in 1959 by Ralph Cuomo, a made man (allegedly) of the Lucchese Crime Family. With that being said, outside of our recommendation to visit this historical pizzeria, we are not at liberty to discuss this location any further...
The popularity of the Wafels (proper Belgian spelling) & Dinges waffle (U.S. Spelling) truck has skyrocketed over the last year, even appearing on Law & Order SVU recently. Any eatery, mobile or otherwise, in Manhattan gains that kind of momentum from word of mouth for good reason. Wafels & Dinges brings the Belgian waffle to the streets of New York via big yellow truck and offers such a twist on the concept that it could be considered blasphemous enough to get the owners banned from their home country. All the better for us New Yorkers (and visitors).
While W & D does serve the classic varieties of Belgian Waffle such as strawberry or banana and whipped cream toppings, they are better known for the above mentioned tradition breakers. Try the Pulled Pork Waffle (yep!) that places the shredded barbecued meat, coleslaw on a crisp waffle and topped with, get this, a Kool-Aid dipped pickle. It's so ridiculous it has to be delicious, and it is. Our pick however, is the Corn Waffle and Chili, which combines a cornbread texture and flavor into the waffle, making the usually out of place chili, a perfect topping. For the more risk averse that still want to venture a little from the classics, we suggest the Lemon Zest Waffle, which uses a process of blowing air bubbles into the batter, creating a crispy cloud (if such a thing existed) like texture and exquisitely complementing the light lemon flavor. Perhaps Wafels & Dinges is not quite so Belgian, but quite unbelievably fantastic!
YAH Says : YAHglobal.Com listed Grimaldi's on… view more
YAHglobal.Com listed Grimaldi's on the "Where To Get Real New York Pizza, In New York". Read the reason below:
We couldn't put together this list without throwing in a Brooklyn establishment, and Grimaldi's Pizzeria is a community landmark frequented by everyone with a serious penchant for serious NYC pizza. As with Lombardi's, Grimaldi is a firm believer in the dying art of the coal burning brick oven in preparing authentic New York style pizza. Frank Sinatra visited Grimaldi's often in his day as does former mayor Guiliani, dare you argue with those two?
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