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Ask the Critic: 'A 10-Year-Old Foodie's Quest of NYC'

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[Illustration: Robyn Lee]

Editor's note: Here to answer your questions is senior managing editor, former SENY editor, and frequent author of our NYC restaurant reviews Carey Jones. We'll take a few of your questions each week and give you the New York restaurant advice you're looking for. Email carey@seriouseats.com with the subject line Ask the Critic to submit your question!

'A Young Foodie Quest'

Hi, I am a ten year old foodie. My father and I are coming to New York for a foodathon. Could you please give me your top five food stops? I promise to send pics of every dish.

Thank you,
Ten year old foodie

You've come to the right place! Here's a list of five great places to eat, which hopefully won't get you too full in one afternoon—but will show you lots of different foods that New York is great at.

Have you ever watched hand-pulled noodles being made? It's almost like magic; the noodle-maker starts with dough, rolled into a long rope, then folds and pulls it until long, thin strands stretch out into skinny noodles. (Here's a video!) Start your journey at Lam Zhou in Chinatown. It's a small place, but you'll be able to watch the man up front making the noodles. Then, enjoy a big bowl of them in a rich beef broth, flavored with warm spices.

The Doughnut Plant

[Photograph: Laura Togut]

Ready for something sweet? Walk straight up Essex Street and turn right on Grand, for the Doughnut Plant—which has doughnuts in crazy flavors I bet you've never seen. Ever tried a carrot cake doughnut? Peanut butter and banana, or chocolate chip cookie? You can get them all here. (And if you have family back home who aren't coming on your foodathon, this is a great place to pick them up presents!)

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[Photograph: Robyn Lee]

Time to take a little walk up through the Lower East Side —maybe stopping at Economy Candy, one of our favorite candy stores, as you go. Just don't fill up on (more) sugar, 'cause you'll need your appetite for Katz's. It's one of New York's most famous delis, in lots of old movies, and it's one of the best places in the city for a big pastrami sandwich. And we mean big—trust us, you and your dad will want to split one. Eating at Katz's is a part of New York history. It's been around since before your great-grandfather was born—and, if we know Katz's, it'll still be serving pastrami when your grandkids do a foodie tour of their own!

Fries and Dipping Sauce at Pommes Frites

[Photograph: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt]

After Katz's, you probably won't want another big meal right away. So walk up through the East Village and head to Pommes Frites. They sell cones of big, crisp French fries—the way they make them in Belgium—with dozens of dipping sauces, which go way beyond plain old ketchup. A small order should be plenty, but get a few extra sauces on the side. You might find out that you really love curry ketchup or peanut satay.

Motorino (East Village)

[Photograph: Robyn Lee]

Last stop? You can't go to New York without eating pizza, and we're big fans of Motorino, also in the East Village. The pizza here might not be like the pizzas you're used to. In the town of Naples, in Italy, which many people consider the best place to eat pizza in the whole world, pizzas have puffy crusts and very thin middles, with little dabs of mozzarella cheese rather than a thick, gooey blanket. Motorino makes pizza the way they do in Naples, except with their own creative toppings. Try the soppressata if you usually like pepperoni. Or try the Brussels sprouts pizza if you really want a food lover's favorite!

It's a whole lotta food for one day, but that's the nature of a foodathon. Go slowly, and don't eat too much at the first few stops, no matter how delicious everything is. You can always take the leftovers home!

Any other recommendations for a 10-year-old foodie?

Ask Us!

Email carey@seriouseats.com with the subject line Ask the Critic to submit your question. All questions will be read, though unfortunately not all can be answered.

About the author: Carey Jones is the former managing editor of Serious Eats. Follow her on Twitter (@careyjones).

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