Disclaimer: Some of our articles contain affiliate links. We may receive compensation if you click on these links and make purchases, but it won't cost you anything extra.

New York City Street at Night

Yet Another New York Quickie

In Food Travel, USA by Daryl & Mindi Hirsch29 Comments

As we rocketed up the traffic-free turnpike and easily parked our car on the streets of Midtown Manhattan for free, we knew that it could only be two things – a holiday weekend and yet another New York Quickie.

Empire State Building on Labor Day

Empire State Building on Labor Day

We shouldn’t share our secret, but we’ve figured out that New York City empties out on the summer holiday weekends, giving opportunities to savvy travelers to score cheap hotel rooms, easy dinner reservations and free parking.

We booked the cheap hotel room through Hotel Tonight and a dinner reservation via Open Table. New York’s Holiday suspension of parking rules allowed us to park in spots on the street usually reserved for commercial vehicles. Check, check and check.

Yet Another New York Quickie

We were in NYC for less than 24 hours. That was just enough time to buy a new camera lens, eat NYC food favorites and celebrate our brother-in-law’s special birthday.

Lunch at Ivan Ramen Slurp Shop

We were curious to check out Ivan Ramen Slurp Shop in the Gotham West Market after our superb meal at the flagship location on Clinton Street. Plus we had heard good things about the market.

Gotham West Market in NYC

Gotham West Market

So, our first stop on this quickie weekend was for ramen. Daryl ordered the Tokyo Shoyu Ramen, and Mindi ordered the Roasted Garlic Mazemen.

Ivan Ramen Slurp Shop in NYC

Ivan Ramen Slurp Shop

Both bowls were tasty, and we appreciated the multidimensional flavors of the shoyu ramen broth and the garlicky savoriness of the mazemen. However, we were disappointed by the dining experience which is more suited to a quick lunch.

The surly service and crowded atmosphere had us feeling like just another number in the New York tumult. We also missed the cool manga art and convivial patio seating that we had loved downtown.

Pro Tip: Skip Ivan Ramen Slurp Shop and instead go to the flagship Ivan Ramen on Clinton Street.

Ivan Ramen Slurp Shop is located at 600 11th Ave, New York, NY 10036, United States.

Shopping at B&H

We do much of our shopping online, especially for gadgets. Sometimes, though, we want to sample an item before we plunk down our hard-earned cash. When it comes to cameras and photography equipment, there’s no better place than B&H – the NYC photo and electronics superstore.

This store has it all from colorful iPhone cases to cutting edge 3D printers. More importantly, the store has a full selection of lenses to try and buy, including the one we bought for our DSLR camera. They even place little candy bowls on the sales counters – a plus when you have to test a lens for food photography.

Candy Bowl at B&H in NYC

Candy Bowl at the photography counter at B&H photo.

Almost anybody would be in shopping heaven at B&H. We were no exception.

B&H is located at 420 9th Ave, New York, NY 10001, United States.

Dinner at Alder

It’s not every day that we get to eat food designed by a leader in the molecular gastronomy movement. Since it’s relatively easy to get last-minute reservations on holiday weekends, we celebrated our new lens by sharing small plates at Wylie Dufresne’s Alder.

2foodtrippers at Alder in NYC

2foodtrippers at Alder

We’ll be writing about this dinner in more detail later. For now, here’s a tease of our meal.

Food at Alder in NYC

Food at Alder

Alder was located at 157 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10003, United States. It is now permanently closed.

Drinks at Booker and Dax

A special birthday warrants special drinks. As part of the David Chang empire and right next to Momofuku Ssäm Bar, Booker and Dax fit the bill.

Booker and Dax served drinks concocted by true mixologists. We tried some great drinks like Bee Sneeze (milk-washed gin, honey, lemon and cracked black pepper) and BDX Marg (mezcal, yellow chartreuse, Cointreau and lime).

Our drinking companions enjoyed snacks like steamed shitake buns and a mason jar of spicy kimchi. Best of all, we got to toast Brian’s birthday in person

Birthday Cocktails at Booker and Dax in NYC

Birthday Cocktails at Booker and Dax

Booker and Dax was located at 207 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10003, United States. It is now permanently closed.

Coffee at Birch Coffee

It’s fun to try new coffee shops when we travel. We had originally planned to get some Stumptown coffee at the Ace Hotel. However, the line was too long so we changed our plan. That’s how we ended up at Birch Coffee, one of the best coffee shops in NYC.

Mindi at Birch Coffee in NYC

Mindi at Birch Coffee

Birch Coffee in NYC

Birch Coffee

Pro Tip: The New York Times has an interactive map for coffee shops. Use the application to avoid caffeine withdrawal and/or bad coffee. Life is too short for bad coffee.

Birch Coffee is located at 21 East 27th Street, New York, NY 10016, United States.

Brunch at Maison Kayser

There’s nothing like a Paris Baguette. That’s why we eat so many whenever we’re in France. Now we don’t have to, though, because Eric Kayser has brought the French baguette to New York with his Maison Kayser bakeries.

Baguettes at Maison Kayser in NYC

Baguettes at Maison Kayser in NYC

Maison Kayser serves brunch on weekends and on holidays. The menu of French food is just right for a casual meal, especially when enjoyed with a bread basket. Then again, almost anything would taste good with bread like this.

Brunch at Maison Kayser in NYC

Brunch at Maison Kayser

Pro Tip: Try to save room when you’re at Maison Kayser so that you can enjoy the lovely desserts. We didn’t do that, but the pastries sure looked good, especially the eclairs.

Eclairs at Maison Kayser in NYC

Eclairs at Maison Kayser

Maison Kayser has multiple locations in NYC. We ate at the one located at 921 Broadway, New York, NY 10010, United States.

Walk Through Eataly

We ended the weekend with an obligatory walk through Eataly, where we bought some cheese to go with the baguettes that we bought at Maison Kayser. We’ll surely be back again for more New York quickies.

In our opinion, it’s the best way to celebrate holiday weekends without getting on a plane.

Eataly is located at 200 5th Avenue, New York, NY 10010, United States.

Hungry for pizza? Check out our New York Pizza Guide.

Research New York City Hotels

Click here to research rates for hotels in New York City.

Book a Tour

There’s more to do in New York City than eat great food. Click here to find an awesome New York City tour or try one of these tours:

Buy a Travel Guide

Read These Next

About the Author

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

Disclaimer: As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases.

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.


  1. I’m noting down Maison Kayser for the next time we’re in NYC. I need some respite from my usual bagel extravaganza… Lovely photos, kudos! Good luck!

  2. I did the same thing, kind of, a couple of years ago. Just spent 24 hours in NY and was amazed at how much I got to see and do. Your meals look awesome and congratulations on the new lens. I guess it is working fine.

    1. Author

      Thanks – we love the new lens. We should be set with lenses, at least for now.

  3. Quintessential NYC – the good life! I think neon signage is an iconic trademark of the Big Apple, and I think you captured that very well in your photos.

  4. I just had almost an identical trip! Gotham West Market to B&H then back around again! I grew up near NYC and Hells Kitchen is one of the only areas I don’t know well, on my last quickie trip I needed to check out this neighborhood and eat at Gotham West Market! Sorry you didn’t love it there, I went knowing what the atmosphere would be like, which was right up my alley!

    1. Author

      We usually like upscale food courts. However, for the same price, we think the downtown Ivan Ramen experience is way better

  5. Yay for your new camera purchase! I still have to get to that slurp shop when I go back to GWM! 😀

  6. Travelling and food goes hand in hand… Those pics makes me so hungry looks appetising

  7. Those drinks at Booker & Dax look and sound absolutely delicious! Thank you for sharing your secret tip re the city emptying…I absolutely love New York, but growing up in a small town means I hate big crowds, so this sounds like the perfect time to go. What kind of lens did you guys buy?

  8. Nice! You got to go to a lot of the same places I went to on my last trip to NYC. Birch coffee is nice but I was disappointed about their wifi policies.

    I went to the Ivan Ramen location in the Lower East Side and was very impressed with their ramen. It was definitely very pricey but high quality.

    Looks like you had a great time!

  9. Looks like you had an epicly tasty weekend. I can’t wait to see what you tried at Alder!

  10. I love the idea of New York quickie! What an amazing plethora of food you encountered! Such a delicious variety 🙂

  11. I want a NY quickie, looks like a fabulous time! I’m drooling over your food photos, per usual, and look forward to seeing photos using your new lens. What did you pick up?

  12. mmmmmmm I’m not sure which one I’d like best. Alder? The Ramen shop? French baguettes in NY? Sounds like an amazing weekend eating your way around the city!

  13. Yum! That all looks delicious! I love the name Slurp Shop, haha, seems perfect for a Ramen shop! Next time I’m in NYC I’ll definitely have to check out some of these. Especially that brunch place!

  14. I used to love holiday weekends when I was living there and everyone emptied out to the beach! Alder looks great!

  15. Seems like fun trip to New York. We love Birch and can spend hours in B&H. Did you get anything?

  16. Sounds like a fun trip and I certainly didnt know there was ever a quiet moment in NYC but I will be sure to visit during the summer holidays now that you say that its the cheaper period too with hotels!

  17. Well, that title was misleading 😛 I love B&H I can be there for hours (and I hate shopping). Ive never heard of Maison Kayser but that bread looks so fresh!

Leave a Comment