If you're as lucky as I am, you have a friend that goes to school at NYU aka a free one night stay in NYC on a college budget. Although I hate The City, I went to see my friend and gave in to my inner foodie. As health conscious as I am, I decided to forget my diet and indulge on new foods, but unfortunately there was no room for New York bagels or cheesecake. 

Fall in love with these underrated food destinations over-shadowed by the environmentally unfriendly lights of a city that never sleeps.  

sandwich, cheese, swiss cheese, ham, bacon, turkey
Jess Kaplan

I got into NYC late on Friday night and was hungry for an entire Thanksgiving dinner, so I went to Merci Market at 12:24am and ordered a Chicken cutlet whole wheat bread sandwich —because what else would you want at 12:24am. This cute little upscale convenience store had both a full functioning 24-hour deli AND wine AND Doritos. 

egg, bacon, fried egg, steak
Jess Kaplan

The next day, we chose to go to a good looking restaurant called John Doe Craft Bar & Kitchen for lunch. Although we were given the brunch menu, we were unable to pick just one thing on the menu. We decided to get two dishes— Steak & Eggs Flatbread and Avocado Toast— and share. Let me tell you, it was delicious.

salad, vegetable, lettuce
Jess Kaplan

After a long day of 5th Avenue shopping, questionable Subway rides, a quick stop in Southside Brooklyn to visit the beautiful art, and hitting our goal of 10,000 steps way before usual we were hungry. So hungry. Figuring it was time to pay a visit to the uncomfortably bright lights and bustling crowds- Times Square we were overwhelmed by food choices.

Noting that every restaurant had a wait time of 2 hours (no joke), we decided to check out the Hard Rock Cafe. To our surprise, the wait was 20 minutes, the meal was incredibly delicious, and the hosts were entertaining. 10/10 would recommend. I mean just look at that grease with amazing french fries (not pictured) to boot. 

bacon, cheese, cheddar
Jess Kaplan

On Sunday morning, my friend treated me to the biggest highlight of my New York City stay— NYU all you can eat breakfast buffet. Unfortunately, I did get more food than this one picture, but I'm not ashamed. All you need to know is that it was flavorful and yummy. 

Jess Kaplan

If you find yourself in The City and hate it just as much as me, have some fun and take advantage of the good food and culture— your taste buds won't be sorry.