RWA 2019: A Culinary Trip Around Times Square

I wish I could’ve titled this post “A Culinary Trip Around Manhattan,” but alas, five days at a conference doesn’t provide quite that many dining opportunities. Nevertheless, today I’ll be sharing pictures from my meals in NYC for this last in our series of blog posts on my RWA National experience.

Confession: Before leaving for New York, I jokingly told my family I was heading into the “food desert.” I’m not a huge fan of big cities, and my previous experiences in San Francisco and Chicago left me expecting restaurants to be difficult to find and food prices exorbitant. While the latter is true, the former certainly isn’t! There were food choices everywhere I turned, and a number of them were much healthier than I’d ever hoped to find.

So in case you’re worried about starving to death on your trip into Manhattan, fear not! Here’s how I ate my way through the conference… (And I apologize in advance that some of them are blurry. I’m a writer, not a food blogger, after all.)

Since you probably don’t know much about my usual eating habits, let me tell you. I’m a big fan of eating local and try to stick to whole foods (instead of processed) as much as possible. Imagine, then, my delight at discovering a Whole Foods less than a mile from my hotel. My first day I stocked up on fruit, veggies, local bagels, and snacks for my room. No more fear of starvation for me… 😉

My first night, I had dinner with fellow MMRWA member Anne Stone at Daniela Trattoria. My pasta with vegetables was light and flavorful!
Anne and I enjoying dessert from Junior’s. Check out all the layers on that carrot cake!
Lunch the next day at Junior’s, conveniently located right across the street from our hotel.
Mmm, this dinner at Ceci’s Italian Restaurant was so good. Alas, I could barely eat half of it. The Marriott Marquis really needs mini-refrigerators in their rooms!
I was delighted to find this healthy, vegetarian salad at Pret a Manger just down the street.
An afternoon of sightseeing meant I had to taste the famous New York style pizza. Plus, with a networking reception coming up, I couldn’t force down a big meal.
Thursday’s Golden Heart luncheon. Here’s what $150 a head will buy you in New York City. 🙂
Fish and chips with my MMRWA friends at Rosie O’Grady’s pub. Good, but not as good as Ireland. (Read more about my trip to Ireland here.)
Friday morning’s conference breakfast buffet. So nice to wake up to a hot meal! Plus free books from keynote speaker Jennifer Armentrout.

To celebrate our last night in Manhattan, my favorite date took me to Carmine’s Italian Restaurant. Next time we need to bring about six more people along, because the food was fabulous but the portions are huge. They’re meant for sharing, so we had to limit ourselves to only trying two things. But watching the heaping platters of salad and pasta and the towering desserts go past made me wish we had bigger stomachs!

There you have it, five days of eating in New York City! I know I missed out on plenty of fabulous restaurants, but I was stuffed enough sampling everything I did. I’m sad to report my popcorn and bagels from Whole Foods went largely uneaten, though I did nosh on berries and veggies every morning before heading out. Had to balance all those carbs with some produce. 🙂

Have you been to the Times Square area? What restaurants do you recommend? Do tell!

Header image credit:, CC0 license.

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