When in New York, there are a few things you absolutely must do: you must visit Times Square (even if you hate it), you must do some shopping, and you must eat amazing food. For me, some of that amazing food means amazing cheese.
I decided to share some of the cheesiest restaurants in NYC along with some of the cheesiest places to take your tourist selfies in NYC. Combine them and you’ve got the Cheesiest Guide to New York City.
Let’s get cheesy.
1. Ess a Bagel = Times Square
We can’t discuss cheese in New York, bagel capital of the planet, without discussing CREAM cheese, in all of its creamy, cheesy glory. Bagels are the Times Square of cheesy New York photos, because they’re iconic. Even if you don’t really want to, you have to go to Times Square multiple times on your trip, just like you have to eat bagels multiple times on your trip, even though you might regret it later.
Step 1: Wait in line at Ess a Bagel on the Upper East Side for a killer bagel/ bagel sandwich with whatever you want on it.
Step 2: Eat it in Central Park.
Step 3: Wander over to Times Square for your selfies.
2. Cacio e Pepe = Brooklyn Bridge
It’s a bridge between Italy and the US to eat pasta that has been swirled around in what is essentially a bowl made of cheese. It’s a bridge between one wonderful, overpriced land to another to walk across the Brookyn Bridge. Cacio e Pepe is somewhat Instagram famous, the Brooklyn Bridge is jam-packed with tourists, just ‘grammin away. (I didn’t promise that these metaphors would be insightful.)
Grab your camera, head to the Brooklyn Bridge around sunset (it’s the best time, and you get shots both in the light and the dark), and then go to Cacio e Pepe to eat up the calories you just burned off walking across a bridge. You’ve got material for a whole day of ‘grams!
3. Raclette = Central Park
Raclette is basically a cheese wheel that gets melted and dumped on your plate. This is the Central Park of cheese, because in both situations the pleasure is mainly just the sight of it.
In Central Park, just the sight of trees with skyline in the background is pleasing to the eye.
“Wow,” you think. “This is such a beautiful juxtaposition.” Even though this observation is about as original as florals for spring, you’ll feel it when you’re in Central Park. Do me a favor, though—the park is like 50 blocks long—walk beyond the horses with carriages before you make any comment about Central Park. Then go get melted cheese dumped on your plate and consider what a visually pleasing day you’ve had.
4. Murray’s Cheese Bar = The Statue of Liberty
Murray’s Cheese Bar is the Statue of Liberty of cheese restaurants because it’s a melting pot of cheese varieties from around the country/ world.
Most importantly, when I lived in New York, Murray’s was one of the few places where you could actually get cheese curds. Being from Wisconsin, this was very important to me, and I dragged all of my friends there even though half of them were English or French and even the Americans asked questions like “What is this cheese curd thing? It doesn’t sound very good?” Despite their hostility, they understood eventually, and when an English friend asked if we could order a second round of cheese curds, I was so happy I could cry.
Also, the cheese ice cream was very good and I was the only one of my friends who didn’t think it was gross so more for me! Go to the Statue of Liberty, and just when you’re sick of being squished on a boat with a bunch of other tourists, squish yourself into this little restaurant. Chow down and celebrate the diversity of things you can eat with cheese and/or in cheese form.
Have you been to New York? Tell me your favorite places you visited in the comments!