The city that never sleeps always has a restaurant open for people to eat. Thousands of tourists travel each year just to get a taste of the amazing food New York City has to offer, however, when it comes to finding aesthetically cute food and drink items, it has always been a mystery to me. Social media fills my expectations high as I constantly see beautifully filtered photos of precious treats and dishes. Anyone who sees it wouldn't doubt the idea of traveling across the country to simply capture a photo for themselves.
As the food scene is ever-changing in the Big Apple, it tends to overwhelm me as I question where to eat for my next meal. Being an avid "cute food" seeker for many years, I decided to create a new blog series where I share picture-worthy foods and drinks that are delightfully pretty to look at! I hope this encourages you, whether your a tourist or a local, to try these amazing menu items at the selected food spots I personally enjoyed during my trip.
CHINATOWN, MANHATTAN: DIM SUM VIP
68 Mott St, New York, NY 10013
I don't think the internet is quite ready for these carrot custard buns...I know I couldn't handle the cuteness! This food spot came as a surprise when a friend casually suggested it while we were hanging out in Chinatown. Although Dim Sum VIP has a menu cheaply priced for crowds to invite themselves inside, it has a local, hole-in-the-wall ambiance with simple wood dining sets and narrow white walls that could probably seat no more than 30 people at a time. Each food item was approximately $3-5 each, and the one dish that stood out from the rest was the carrot custard buns! Although it's shaped into the face of a pig, it's actually a dessert item with an amazing rich, yellow creamy filling. With each bun made to perfection, I could definitely tell the dedication to detail that the kitchen staff has done. If you're visiting, I would suggest dining early morning (10-11AM) or late lunch (2-3PM) to avoid waiting in a line.
GRAND CENTRAL AREA: JOE AND THE JUICE
286 Madison Ave, New York, NY 10017
This trendy little coffee and juice shop is a few blocks away from the Grand Central Station. Although I am aware that Joe & the Juice is a European chain, I was really impressed with the ambiance, decor, and service I was given during my visit at this location! Expect cute succulents, colorful local art, and pretty lighting fixtures beautifully decorated around the drink shop for picture perfect photo-ops. What made this place on my list was the impressive latte art that the sweet barista created for all the customers. Who wouldn't adore this teddy bear latte? Getting a latte with any kind of art personalization would be $6 in a specialty coffee shop in LA, and I got it in a coffee chain in NYC for approximately $4...so, who said coffee was expensive in New York? I can't guarantee that your latte will look like a teddy bear every time you order here, but I don't think it's a stretch if you politely request it. With the drink shop's semi-spacious seating, I think you'll have little issues with lines and crowds on an average weekday since many people order and go.
SOHO: DOMINIQUE ANSEL BAKERY
137 Seventh Avenue South, New York, NY 10014
Ever imagined tasting a piece of pastry heaven? Then, snag a bite of the DKA at Dominique Ansel Bakery for a fluffy baked goodness that can fit in the palm of your hand. The taste of an infused scone-croissant texture with a caramelized coating is what makes it a crowd favorite in the city. Even the daily long lines are worth it for many tourists and locals to wait, and is it just me, or does this pastry have four mini shaped hearts as well? Although it's not the "cutest" pastry from the list, the creative flavoring and recipe is what makes this baked good a deserving precious treat. Close your eyes when you take your first bite and it'll almost feel like you're being teleported to a chic European countryside on a beautiful spring day. It happened to me at least when I first tried the DKA on a gloomy, rainy day in Soho.
CHINATOWN, MANHATTAN: SWEET MOMENTS
106 Mott St, New York, NY 10013
Get the cutest milk tea over at Sweet Moments! Although this drink can also be made with cold brew coffee and in three different colors, you'll always get one that will make your heart melt as each adorable cream art is created freehandedly. I would highly suggest visiting this place with friends, ordering different flavored drinks, and snapping a photo of it together for that Instagram worthy shot. With the painted colored tables, brick walls, and neon blue sign at the entrance, you're bound to nail a foodie photo. Although I was initially worried that the cute cream art and opaque coloring will compromise with the taste, I felt like it was a true rich milk tea flavor when I was tasting the red velvet milk tea. I will definitely revisit this place when I return to the city!
CHINATOWN, MANHATTAN: TAIYAKI NYC
119 Baxter St, New York, NY 10013
Did you really go to Chinatown if you didn't stop by Taiyaki NYC? This popular Japanese Ice Cream shop has originally introduced the Instagram famous fish-shaped ice cream cones in New York back in 2016, and the craze is still going strong today. Although this Japanese dessert comes in a variety of flavors, it's no surprise that the unicorn taiyaki is the most photographed from the menu. Because the ice cream shop is small with limited seating, you'll most likely order and go. However, If you're seen walking around the block with this soft serve ice cream treat, don't be surprised if people ask where they can get one, too. It's too cute not to ask!
With all the cute treats in the city, it's nearly impossible to try them all in one visit! If you were in NYC, would you try any of my cute food picks? Comments below your thoughts and other restaurants you would recommend! Please share this to any of your friends and family who are looking for some cute treats in NYC. If you want to follow more of my travel and food adventures in New York, be sure to follow me at @ressamazing. Until next time- Ressa