Before we went to New York, one of the things we were most excited about was the food. We had big plans to indulge in plenty of American staples: pizza, hotdogs, BBQ, deli sandwiches…the works.
But I think my favourite place turned out to be a diner around the corner from our hotel, where we had breakfast several times.
I’m not usually a big eater first thing in the morning, but there’s something luxurious about taking the time to enjoy a nice, leisurely breakfast when you’re on holiday. Breakfast is an important meal in a place like New York, where you can spend all day pounding the pavements, sightseeing or shopping, so it’s a good idea to indulge in something filling.
We stayed a few blocks from Times Square, in Midtown, and a quick glance at Google one night when planning the following day’s itinerary uncovered a little gem.
The Market Diner can be found on the corner of W43rd Street and 11th Avenue, in Hell’s Kitchen. It’s tucked away alongside a building site, across the road from the UPS customer centre.
It’s a proper traditional 1960s style American diner, the kind that we’re used to seeing in the movies. We only ventured across for breakfast, but they open 24 hours if you fancy a late night snack.
Sadly, diners aren’t something that we tend to do well in the UK. We’re nation of pub meals and fish and chip shops rather than diners with vinyl booths serving pancakes, pie and endless coffee.
But in America, a good diner is worth its weight in gold.
We enjoyed some fantastic meals at the Market Diner, but I’d have to recommend the pancakes. For US readers, in Britain pancakes tend to mean something a bit different. We make pancakes once a year, on Shrove Tuesday – or Pancake Day – and they are closer to a crepe rather than the sweet and fluffy pancakes you get in America.
So American pancakes are a real treat; much more like a dessert than a breakfast dish. I’m partial to eating them with bacon and maple syrup. It might sound like an unlikely combination, but if you’ve never tried it, you don’t know what you’re missing. Definitely the perfect hangover food!
But if you’re in New York and you’re looking for a friendly place to eat breakfast before you head out for the day, check out the Market Diner.
Market Diner, 572 11th Avenue, New York, NY 10036