When Tres and I travel, we never even think about eating the basic 3-square meals a day. Food is so much more to us than that. Food and drink is what’s most important to us when on holiday, so we center each day around just that and tend to do “food hops.” If you follow me on Instagram, you know it’s hard to believe how many restaurants/bars we will hit in one day and how much we eat when we do, but it’s all true and it’s how we like to explore different cities. A lot of times, I will plan a themed food/drink hop – like this one, a pasta hop. All day long, we went to the top pasta restaurants, got a glass of wine or cocktail, and asked for the pasta dish they’re most-known for and shared it. On these food-hops, we can hit anywhere from 5 to 10 restaurants seeking out the best dishes. And it’s so. much. fun! This is my NYC Pasta hop guide with several other great restaurants/bars in case you get pasta-ed out. I have no idea how that’s possible though!
*** For pics of all dishes, videos, and more details, visit my Instagram page: @Andreas_Cooktales
*** All Professional pics by: Mary Kate Steele
Known for their Bucatini Caico e Pepe. It’s unique, as they use chickpea paste in the place of cheese, but it’s not vegan as it’s loaded with butter. Such goodness!
Hands down, this was our favorite restaurant on the pasta hop and period on this particular trip. We rarely re-visit restaurants on the same holiday, but we went to this one back to back days! Pasta they’re known for: Tagliatelle with Peas, Prosciutto, Parm – unbelievable! What else they should be known for: their Negroni. It’s the best one I’ve ever had, and we snagged the secret from the bartender so have been making the them Via Carota-style at home since we got back. What else we got: Anchovy Butter Toast, the gigantic octopus that had so much flavor!!
This place had my favorite pasta dish on the hop. They’re known for their Borsa “Little Purse” with Ricotta, Butter, Lemon, Hazelnut. The little dumplings are called Borsa because they actually look like little purses - little purses filled with the creamiest, most cloud-like texture and bursting with butter and bright lemon flavor. We also had the meatballs and loved them. Cocktails here were stellar too and the patio is the way to go!
We sat at the bar and had good wine and ate their most popular dish: Linguine with Garlic and Breadcrumbs. This dish is how I prefer pasta – simple, good ingredients, nothing fancy, just fabulous bites of al dente pasta.
Great atmosphere for a date night. We went casual and sat at the bar for fabulous cocktails, wine, and an Amaro tasting! What to get: Roasted Mushrooms with Pancetta, Fried Egg, and Ricotta Salata – it was everything. And I can’t remember the name, but their spaghetti with greens and breadcrumbs was lovely.
This is my #1 rec on the entire list. It was recommended to me by a friend of mine who loves food as much as I do and lived in NYC for some time. She was spot on! If you don’t eat here, you are NOT living your best life. The best, most authentic tomato burrata salad I’ve ever had outside of Italy lives here. The burrata was a gigantic, plump, fluffy cloud of goodness – all tied up in an extra-large knot at the top – like an actual gift with a bow is delivered to your table. The Cacio e Pepe Pizza is life. The number one, must-not-miss is the Spaghetti Limone – they’re known for it, and its life-changing. Reservations are crazy – get them early and still plan to wait – believe me, it’s worth it.
Eataly NYC FlatIron
I always tell folks, if you have never been to an Eataly in any city, go if there’s one in the city you’re visiting. If you enjoy European culture and their food and drink – particularly Italian – as much as I do, you’ll die and go to Heaven when walking in an Eataly. So much beautiful food, so many places to eat and drink, and the best coffee. I always get a coffee and croissant and walk around all morning.
Serra by Birreria at Eataly
This is a very popular (line forms 30 minutes before it opens at 10:30am popular) restaurant/bar on the rooftop of Eataly. It’s the #1 Insta-friendly place I can recommend, but the food and drinks are stellar too so this place isn’t just for taking pictures. They seasonally theme this place, and completely deck it our beyond measure. Because we went in spring, we got the beautiful floral scene. Beyond gorgeous. The smoked trout in a jar is beyond unbelievable – don’t leave without getting it. The ricotta toast is also fresh and to-die-for.. I would bet anything on this menu is stand-out. Perfect for lunch or a pre-lunch app/drink.
Elsie Rooftop Bar
Gorgeous interior and exterior – you won’t be able to stop taking pictures. A very Insta-friendly place for you and you gals or beau to pose and be fabulous. Cocktails and small bites – good but this place is really for the atmosphere. It’s so relaxing up there – go when it opens, before it gets too busy. Perfect for happy hour.
Amazing restaurant in Tribeca for a romantic date night or simply to just eat great food. Here’s what to order that can’t be missed: Hiramasa – one of the cooler, mind-blowing dishes I’ve ever had that literally tickles your taste buds. What’s on the wooden spoon is to be eaten before the dish to “waken up your palate” then it’s all fresh, clean, beyond magic from there. Chili Lobster Toast – you’ll soak the bread on the side until it’s all gone! The chicken – they’re known for it.
If you’re looking for a nightcap after Marc Forgione, this is your place, as it’s right down the street! Cute atmosphere, great drinks in Tribeca.
A gorgeous, twinkly cocktail bar with one of the best drinks I’ve ever had (it’s the one with almond milk… here’s to hoping it’s on there when you go)! This place is another Insta-friendly beauty. It’s like a little fairytale land with magical lights strung everywhere.
If you like French food and you like an elegant brunch/lunch, this is your place. It’s so extremely beautiful. The food is French perfection – just like being in France and you won’t want to leave because you’ll feel like you should live there.
Restoration Hardware Restaurant
One of the most beautiful interiors of a restaurant you’ll ever experience with gorgeous rooftop views of the Meatpacking District. The salads at this place are fresh, clean, healthy, and delish – I went home and recreated two of them, I loved them so much. Perfect for a very elegant lunch.
Amazing rooftop bar with views for days, retroish decor, great cocktails, and delish bites of food. Perfect happy hour or per-dinner stop!