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New York City Winter Weekend

We had 19 hours and no restaurant reservations this past weekend in New York City – just enough time for another New York quickie. That could be a recipe for a culinary disaster, but, with a little creativity, we ate well without breaking the bank.

During our weekend in New York City, we got around from downtown to uptown and east side to west side. Even without reservations, we ate some of the best NYC food at restaurants helmed by the likes of David Chang and Thomas Keller.

We also enjoyed great burgers from one the nation’s hottest burger chains. The weekend was a lot of things but it wasn’t definitely a disaster. Check it out!

Momofuku Ssäm Bar

Steamed Buns at Momofuku Ssam Bar in New York City
Steamed Buns with Pork Belly, Hoisin, Cucumber and Scallion

Our first meal of this New York quickie of a weekend was a late dinner at Momofuku Ssäm Bar in the East Village. We bellied up to the bar at 11 pm without a reservation or a wait.

After ordering our libations (a penicillin cocktail for Mindi and a glass of red wine for Daryl), we ordered some food to share. Of course, we had to start with the pork belly steamed buns. The simple yet succulent buns are a classic that must be ordered with every meal, at least by us.

We loved the perfectly rendered duck with crispy skin and colorful, seasonal flavors like dried cherries and barley.

Order a dozen Momofuku pork buns to enjoy at home.

Roasted Jurgielewicz Duck at Momofuku Ssam Bar in New York City
Roasted Jurgielewicz Duck with Barley, Butternut Squash and Cranberry

Our favorite dish of the night had to be the spicy pork sausage and rice cakes served with broccoli and Sichuan peppercorn. The intense heat level was not a problem for us, and our taste buds tingled with a pleasant burn as we finished the meal.

Concord Grape Sorbet at Momofuku Ssam Bar in New York City
Concord Grape Sorbet with Black Sesame, Miso and Thai Basil

We almost left without dessert, but the lovely manager surprised us with the Concord grape sorbet with black sesame, miso and Thai basil. Despite the busy description, we loved every bite of this modern take on PB&J. Thank you Kate!

Momofuku Ssäm Bar is located at 207 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10003.

Hudson Hotel

Hudson Hotel Lobby in New York City
Hudson Hotel Lobby

For our one night in the city, we stayed at the Hudson Hotel due to its close proximity to both the Time Warner Center and Central Park. The location of this hotel can’t be beat, and we dug the hotel’s trendy vibe inside.

The Hudson Hotel is located at 358 W 58th Street, New York, NY 10019, United States.

Bouchon Bakery

Breakfast at Bouchon Bakery in New York City
Breakfast at Bouchon Bakery

After a great night’s sleep in our upgraded room (thank you broken heater!), we moseyed over to Time Warner Center for coffee and a light bite at Bouchon Bakery. If we closed our eyes, it was like we were back in Napa Valley.

Order colorful macarons from Bouchon Bakery to enjoy at home.

View from Inside the Time Warner Center in New York City
View from Inside the Time Warner Center

Or was it like we were back in Las Vegas? Either way, it was a sweet way to start the morning.

Bouchon Bakery is located at Ten Columbus Circle, Third Floor, New York, NY 10019.

Central Park

Snowy Central Park in New York City
Snowy Central Park

Despite the polar vortex (brrrrr), we had to take a walk in Central Park – partly to burn off some of the yummy breakfast and partly to revisit the scene of the crime. You see, it was just over seven years ago that we got engaged on a nearby bench in Central Park. Ah, memories.

Umami Burger

Original Umami Burger in New York City
Original Umami Burger with Parmesan Crisp, Shiitake Mushroom, Roasted Tomato, Caramelized Onions and House Ketchup

After our stroll down memory lane and with the help of the A train, we were quickly in the West Village for lunch at Umami Burger. We had been wanting to try this LA burger joint that has made its way east and an invitation from our sister/sister-in-law Amy sealed the deal.

The burgers didn’t disappoint, especially when paired with truffle fries and sophisticated glasses of red wine. It’s not every day that you can get drink 2011 Heidenboden Rot with your Burger Royale, but maybe it should be.

Umami Burger has multiple locations including one at NYC’s Brookfield’s Place.


Shoppers at Eataly in New York City
Eataly Shoppers

After lunch, we walked up to Eataly to join the hordes of Saturday shoppers. We couldn’t leave empty-handed, so we left the Italy-based food emporium with a bottle of wine to enjoy later.

Eataly is located at 200 5th Ave New York, NY 10010.

Joe Coffee

Cappuccino at Joe Coffee in New York City
Cappuccino at Joe Coffee on 23rd Street

As our short time in New York came to an end, we had just enough time to stop at Joe Coffee to grab cappuccinos for the road.

Joe Coffee has multiple locations. We drank our ‘joe’ at the one located at 405 West 23rd Street, New York, NY 10011.

Fun Fact
Everywhere we ate in New York during this weekend has locations in other cities. Joe Coffee even has locations in Philadelphia. Globalization isn’t always a good thing, but this time we made it work for us. That’s our kind of a New York quickie.

Planning Checklist

Hungry for More in NYC?

Check out our New York Pizza Guide and then explore spending autumn, summer and holiday weekends in the city.

About the Authors

About the Authors

Daryl & Mindi Hirsch

Saveur Magazine’s BEST TRAVEL BLOG award winners Daryl and Mindi Hirsch share their culinary travel experiences and recipes on the 2foodtrippers website and YouTube. The married Food and Travel content creators live in Lisbon, Portugal.


We update our articles regularly. Some updates are major while others are minor link changes and spelling corrections. Let us know if you see anything that needs to be updated in this article.

Original Publication Date: March 5, 2014


Thursday 4th of September 2014

I've been to all the places you mentioned! Our apartment building was close to the Hudson Hotel so that was our neighbourhood. The pics are making me miss it!

Stacey Veikalas

Wednesday 20th of August 2014

Oh MY the Bouchon Bakery and Umami Burgers looks amazing. Did they have cheesecake? I soo miss NY Style cheescake and American Hamburgers living in Europe OH YUM someone just wrote me and asked me where to eat in NY they are heading there in December - I will for sure point them to your blog! That is a lot of food in 19 hours ~ I would be so right there with ya!

Dave Cole

Tuesday 12th of August 2014

All of this in 19 hours??!! The Bouchon baked goods look amazing, very jealous that you started your day there. I've never tried an Umami burger, but am definitely headed to the Village for one when I'm home.

Daryl and Mindi Hirsch

Tuesday 12th of August 2014

This is why we walk a lot when we travel!

Red Hen

Monday 10th of March 2014

A visit to New York is on my bucket list. After reading all this and seeing those great pics I can't wait to get there!

Daryl and Mindi Hirsch

Wednesday 12th of March 2014

Let us know when you plan your trip so that we can give you some suggestions.


Thursday 6th of March 2014

This post makes me want to go back to New York for some good eats! There's been news that Eataly will open up a new location here in Toronto, but it probably won't be for a few years!