Welcome to The Lunch Belle, a food website/blog that views the New York City + Los Angeles dining scenes through the lens - and belly - of a highly opinionated, critical, adorably quirky, and culinary-obsessed thirty-something year old.

Just consider me your one-stop NYC - and, most recently, Los Angeles - shop!



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Entries in NYC tourist tips (8)


(NYC) From where to sip cider to the best bars to catch the football game: Fall for Fall with Foursquare's "Ultimate NY Fall Guide"

In anticipation of my upcoming trip to NYC (ahem, tomorrow!), I couldn't wait a second longer to post this outstanding NY-centric Fall guide!  It's got everything, from the top orchards for apple picking to the city's best bars to watch the football game! 

Per the list, below, I've highlighted some of my favorite tidbits...but please find the full lineup *here.*  Enjoy!

Photo found on: offmetro.com.

Where to Watch FOOTBALL

There are 248 Sports Bars in NYC:

  • 54: # of flat screens at The Grayson, the East Village’s new football-watching spot
  • 23: # of stops on the 1 train from Times Square to Bronx Alehouse, the no. 1  sports bar in NYC overall (on 238th Street, in the Bronx)


The Resurgence of CIDER

When American settlers came to the New World, they found barley hard to grow, so they turned to apples for cider. By the 18th century, New England was producing over 300,000 gallons of cider a year. A lot of the apple trees planted by “Johnny Appleseed” didn’t survive prohibition however, and Americans later started planting and eating apples as snacks.  Hard cider didn’t regain popularity, until... NOW!

Union Square Greenmarket

“Sweet cider still out-sells hard cider but hard cider is on the rise.” -Samascott Orchards, Kinderhook, NY

    6 vendors sell sweet cider
  • 2 vendors sell hard cider

Wassail: NYC's 1st cider bar (12 ciders on tap, 100+ by the bottle)

*Wassail (def): The traditional practice, dating back to Medieval England, of singing to the trees to foster a bountiful harvest.



Forget Sleepy Hollow! These are three spooky spots right in NYC:



*As picked by the Foursquare community:



Best apple picking locations by state:

*Did you know that New York is the second-largest apple producing state in the country, next to Washington State?  Peak season for picking: September 1 - October 25



BEGINNER Peebles Island State Park, Waterford, NY

    Perimeter Trail, 1.8 miles
    • FOURSQUARE TIP: “Do the hiking trail around  the island. The walk along the water is beautiful.”
    • POPULAR NEXT STOP: The Snowman, Troy


    Blue Trail, approx. 2 miles, Inwood, NY
    • FOURSQUARE TIP: “Witness the changing colors of the leaves while trailing through the last remaining, naturally occurring, native hardwood forest on the Manhattan Island.”
    • POPULAR NEXT STOP: Indian Road Café, Inwood

ADVANCED Bear Mountain State Park

    Appalachian Trail, 6 miles, Bear Mountain, NY
    • FOURSQUARE TIP: “Beautiful when the leaves change color during the fall. Great Oktoberfest event but don't go during the last two weeks. Mad packed.”
    • POPULAR NEXT STOP: Woodbury Commons, Central Valley

OVERNIGHT Mohonk Preserve

  • High Peters Kill Hike, 7.5 miles, New Paltz, NY
    • FOURSQUARE TIP: “The most beautiful, if not most intense, hiking in Ulster County.”
    • POPULAR NEXT STOP: Mohonk Mountain House New Paltz



Sakuro Martini

‘Nduja Pizza

Pesto Meatball Sandwich

Orange Wine

Spicy Fried Chicken Sandwich

  • Fuku, East Village

Jams Chicken

  • Jams, Midtown East

Wasabi Guacamole and Japanese Pancakes



B & H Dairy, East Village (Now reopened)

  • WHAT TO ORDER: Vegetarian matzo-ball soup

Black Seed Bagels, NoLita

  • WHAT TO ORDER: Bagel sandwich with tobiko spread

Russ & Daughters Cafe, Lower East Side

  • WHAT TO ORDER: Super Heebster: bagel toast, whitefish & baked salmon salad, wasabi-infused fish roe, horseradish dill cream cheese

Sadelle’s, SoHo

  • WHAT TO ORDER: Everything 2.0 bagel with Nova lox

*An outpost of H&H Midtown Bagels is scheduled to open on the UWS this winter



“Comfort Food” is a trending taste in the Fall.  And, speaking of this season...

  • In the Fall, people search more for pumpkins than they search for ice cream in summer - but beer beats both tastes all year long!  Here are some of our favorite haunts:



  • Corn vs Corn Dogs vs Sweet Corn
    • Of the three tastes, corn is the most popular with a rise from mid-September to early November; corn dogs spike in late October; sweet corn is small and steady.
  • Funnel Cake vs Caramel Apples
    • Funnel cake fervor starts to rise in early July and peters off; caramel apples take off in Fall.
  • Chicken Noodle Soup vs Fried Chicken
    • Chicken noodle soup may be food for the soul—and especially desirable in Fall—but of all soul food, fried chicken is by far the most popular year-round.


Until we eat again,

The Lunch Belle


NYC tourist-tip of the day 

Summer is upon us even though it's only 55 degrees and rainy!  Are you in need of ideas for where to grab the city's hottest outdoor table, whether it's for drinks, snacks, or a meal?  Here are two great guides to help get you started:


Until we eat again,

The Lunch Belle


NYC tourist-tip of the day 

If you're coming to The Big Apple from another state or country, do yourself a favor and expand your dining horizons!  For god's sake, avoid McDonald's - Olive Garden - Red Lobster - TGIFriday's - and the like.  Support local business.  Educate your mind and belly!

On that note, grab a pen.  Because it makes sense to jot down which foods and beverages NYC is famous for:

...and remember, you don't come to Gotham for Southern-style BBQ or San Fransisco-style Mexican food.  So do your homework and take advantage of what WE have to offer!  Trust me, you'll be 'mighty glad you did.

Read it & eat,

The Lunch Belle


NYC tourist-tip of the day

Leave your body wash/soap at home?  Hotel bar (of soap) too small? 

Lather up with shampoo!  Pour in to wash rag, get sudsy, and scrub those germs away.  Remember, if it can wash your hair, then it can do the same for your body!


Read it & eat...and travel like a pro,

The Lunch Belle


NYC tourist-tip of the day

For the *best* views of the Empire State Building, head over to Broadway, between 21st & 22nd Streets.  Make sure you're standing on the Westside of the street.  Now, go ahead and snap those priceless photos!

Read it & eat...and you're welcome, in advance,

The Lunch Belle


NYC tourist-tip of the day

How to politely navigate through NYC by foot

  • If you must stop to read directions, kindly move over to allow for pedestrians to pass.
  • When in doubt, keep to your right.  Otherwise, just be cognisant of how the crowd in front of you is moving and follow suit.
  • On escalators: stand on the right, walk on the left.
  • Unless the sidewalk is virtually empty, no more than two people should walk side by side.  Avoid group sidewalk huddles.

Read it & eat...and be wise on the street,

The Lunch Belle