Welcome to The Lunch Belle, a NYC based food and travel website that views various dining scenes and destinations through the lens - and belly - of a highly opinionated thirty-something.



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Entries in My favorites: Restaurants + bars + hotels (7)


In NYC, where are the best...?






Bread basket


Brunch cocktail


Cheese enchiladas

Cheese plate


Chile con Queso dip

Chips & salsa

Chinese "tapas"

Chongqing Chicken

Cinnamon rolls

Comfort food


Corn bread

Creamiest caffe latte made with *skim* milk


Creative egg dish

Croque Monsieur



Drinks with a killer view

Dumplings (Chinese)



Free bar snacks

French fries/frites

French onion soup

French toast

Frozen margarita




Greek salad

Grilled cheese sandwich 


Hidden gem

Homemade sausage



Latkes/potato pancakes


Mac & Cheese



Most breathtaking space


Onion rings

Osso bucco

Overall restaurant experience  a kick-ass meal from start to finish, dine-in only and service excluded

Pan-fried pork dumplings


Pate d' Fruit

Peanut butter indulgence


Pizza pie


Queso fundido


Salted-caramel ice cream




Side dishes / small plates 

Spanish rice

Stuffed pide

Tex Mex-style taco   fried outer shell, shredded cheese, shredded iceberg lettuce, chopped tomatoes

Tuna tartare

Whole wheat pizza


NYCs best TexMex-style tacos

Believe it or not - I wouldn't have believed it until I was dragged there for a birthday dinner, recently - Arriba Arriba's Hell's Kitchen location has the city's best TexMex-style tacos.  Why?

  • Their taco shells are *FRIED ON PREMISES*
  • They use moist, shredded meat (beef was my protein of choice)
  • ...which sits atop a mound of melted, shredded, cheese
  • and is finally crowned by crisp, fresh lettuce and tomatoes
  • Arriba Arriba also has really good salsa for dipping and dunking
  • With every bite you take, a hearty blend of juices grease drips out from the opposite end

Now, for all of you fellow Texans out there, I want you to give this taco a try and report back to me.  I'm willing to bet that you, too, will fall in love.  For NYC, this is pretty damn good.

See for yourself!  GET. HERE. NOW.


Read it & eat,

The Lunch Belle


A mid-summer night's fling

Since there are so many small treasures that I'm crushing on this summer, I thought that it would be best to consolidate everything in to one list.  From cocktails and bites to hair accessories and beach bags, these are a few of my favorite things:

Headbands, bandannas, and scarves: I love how a simple headband or bandanna - or Pucci scarf - can completely transform an outfit.  A bold pop of color will breathe life in to any all-black business suit.  And in my case, these hair accessories aid in lengthening my rather-large, heart-shaped face.  Wouldn't you agree?

Sour-cherry bellini at ABC Kitchen: I ordered this brunch cocktail while I was waiting for two of my girlfriends to arrive.  Sour-cherry puree, brandy-macerated sour-cherry juice, and champagne was delicately blended together, creating an orgasmic trinity of effervescent flavor. 

Since ABC's market table and ingredients frequently change with the seasons, I would advise going ASAP, as this cocktail masterpiece makes ABC Kitchen destination-worthy.  *As embarrassing as it is to snap photos at restaurants, I'm kicking myself for not capturing this beverage.  Sorry, folks!

Shopstyle.com: what doesn't this website carry?  From Christian Louboutin heels to the swankiest interior decor for your home, you can't help but spend hours skimming through this amazing website.

My Other Bag is Hermes: can't afford a Birkin?  Well, neither can I; so instead of maxing out my AMEX, I chose to save $6,430 by picking up the next-best-thing at Colette.  Hell, for $70, let everyone think that "my other bag really is Hermes!" 

City Limits Magazine: a bi-monthly investigative journalism publication on (New York) city-wide civic issues

Esperanto's spiced oil: served alongside freshly-sliced bread at Esperanto, I fell in love with this bold and fragrant spice-infused oil...so much so, that I purchased a bottle to take home.  I use it so often that once the bottle becomes half-full, I refill it with my own olive oil.  My favorite things to make using Esperanto's oil include: sauteed scallops, fried eggs, Brussels sprouts, and drizzled over sliced avocado.  Click *here* to purchase your own bottle of this liquid gold!   

Sour Patch Kids Fruit Salad: now if there's one candy that I never tire of, it's these sweet n' sour morsels.  The original SPK's are tasty, but trust me when I say that the "Fruit Salad" version reigns supreme.  Unfortunately, if you're located outside of NYC, they're pretty hard to find, at least in my experience.  Luckily, Amazon.com sells 5-lb. bags!  

Ben & Jerry's Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream: if you've been following my website for a while, you may recall how devastated I was when Haagen Dazs decided to discontinue their "Reserve" line of ice creams.  The departure of my beloved "Fleur de Sel Caramel" was a blow on par with breaking up with someone.  I wasn't quite sure if it would ever become replaceable.

While strolling past my grocer's freezer with baited breath, I decided to "man up" and give another ice cream flavor a try.  And there it was, Ben & Jerry's Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream.  I was surprised by my choice because a) I rarely purchase anything from Ben & Jerry's because they use so many preservatives and additives, and b) I typically shy away from fruity ice cream. 

Imagine rich and creamy, strawberry-laden, not-overly-sweet ice cream swirled with salty/sweet ribbons of graham cracker.  Even texturally, this dessert bomb will do numbers on your tastebuds.  And I promise you this: you will finish the pint in one sitting.


"The Best of New York 2010," according to New York Magazine

Click *here* to read about the winners in each category