What’s life without carbs?

New York bagels — a tummy tuck may be in order.

I used to eat healthier before my life in Manhattan — the island of opportunity, stylish shoes, and gluten-full foods. I remember my boring pre-NYC diet, which consisted primarily of omelets, peanut butter, fish and grilled chicken salads. I rarely ate (don’t say it!) a sandwich.
 
But in this town, also known as the capital of bagels and pizza, I can no longer resist the temptation. The goal that seemed not so challenging before, has now become nearly impossible to attain while living in New York City — avoiding that high-calorie food group also as known as “carbs.”
 
My days of cooking most every meal in a sprawling gourmet kitchen are long gone and the nights of starchy food delivery are here to stay. The local doughy options are greater, more indulgent and guilt-full. I succumb to the bread fairy on a daily basis, be it a bagel for breakfast, a slice of pizza for lunch, or a bowl of pasta for dinner. Some days, I indulge in all three — horror, I know. These menu items are belly fat’s besties for sure, and the six pack’s enemies. (I’m okay with this since I’ve never owned or drunk a six pack.)
 
All Spanx aside, I have a rule that I rarely break — “Don’t eat carbs unless they’re really worth it.” That means no Wonder Bread, Domino’s Pizza or Lender’s Bagels for me. These are nothing but poor imitations of the real thing, and can’t come close to the crusty French baguette, the melt-in-your-mouth slice of pizza, or the crispy-on-the-outside, soft-on-the-inside New York bagel. (Ok, I’m craving now.) But these ‘real things’ are made and sold on just about every corner in this city. Where are those Spanx?

If you need a natural mood enhancer or an energy boost, here are a few carb-loading spots in NYC that are well worth the calories and inches. Warning: A tummy tuck may be in order.
 

Bagels

 
Tal Bagels
2446 Broadway between 90th and 91st Streets, Upper West Side
Whole Wheat Everything Bagel (untoasted) with veggie cream cheese is not to be missed.
 
Ess-A-Bagel
359 First Avenue between 20th & 21st Streets, Gramercy
Crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside —this might be the perfect bagel. Pair it with the strawberry cream cheese.
 

Bakeries

 
Balthazar
80 Spring Street, between Broadway and Crosby, SoHo
With a baguette like no other outside of Paris, this bistro/bakery is not for Atkins or Zone diet followers. Also famous for French pastries and flaky croissants, you’ll find Balthazar breads scattered throughout other restaurants in Manhattan.
 
Silver Moon Bakery
2740 Broadway at 105th Street, Manhattan Valley
Charming spot with delectable tarts and cookies and 44 kinds of bread on the regular menu; many use organic and whole grains.

 

Pizza

 
Di Fara Pizza
1424 J Street, Midwood, Brooklyn
Attend pizza theatre and watch owner, Dom, pull each pie out of the oven with his bare hands, only to clip fresh basil and drizzle with olive oil. No frills, long waits but best pizza anywhere (in my opinion). Nuff said.
 
Celeste
502 Amsterdam Avenue between 84th & 85th Street, Upper West Side
Trattoria has best Pizza Margherita with thin crust, fresh mozzarella and basil, and baked to perfection in a wood-fired oven.
 
Co.
230 Ninth Avenue at 24th Street, Chelsea
Beautifully crafted artisanal pizzas in modern space by Sullivan Street Bakery owner Jim Lahey. This man knows bread. Love the Stracciatella Pizza with arugula, crushed tomato, and black pepper. For meat and carb-lovers, go for the Veal Meatball Pizza with caramelized onions. (Salads are also delicious, but who needs those?) Bellissimo!
 
For more about New York, follow me on Twitter, or on Tracy’s New York Life.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Is #JusticeForAvaLynn a case of bullying?

On Saturday, the hashtag #JusticeForAvaLynn became one of the trending topics on Twitter. Users circulated the above photo of 5-year-old AvaLynn, posted by her mother…

International

Terrorism could spread to US and Europe in…

Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah said terrorism would soon spread to Europe and the United States unless it is quickly dealt with in the Middle East,…

National

Ex-Bitcoin official to plead guilty to Silk Road…

Bitcoin entrepreneur Charlie Shrem has reached a plea deal to resolve U.S. charges that he engaged in a scheme to sell over $1 million of…

International

China's army changes tactics to prepare for war…

Chinese President Xi Jinping has said China will spur military innovation and called on the army to create a new strategy for "information warfare" as…

Gossip

Joan Rivers on life support: Report

TMZ reports that comedian Joan Rivers has been placed on life support, "completely reliant on machines to stay alive." Rivers has been hospitalized since she…

Movies

What's new on Netflix in September

September has a supernatural theme for Netflix. UFO "documentaries" and the survivalist reality series "Doomsday Preppers" are among the new series coming to the online…

Going Out

'Friends' coffeehouse Central Perk coming to NYC —…

"Friends" is coming back for a one-off special: "The One with the Free Coffee." Warner Bros. is bringing a pop-up replica of Central Perk, the…

Movies

Interview: 'As Above, So Below' directors: 5 ways…

The fraternal directors of the found footage horror "As Above, So Below" dish on the best ways to frighten the bejesus out of audiences.

NFL

3 things we learned in the Giants preseason…

The final score didn’t matter — a 16-13 win by the Giants — but it would’ve been nice to finally see Big Blue’s new-look offense get on track.

NFL

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots, 49ers start…

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots start at top

U.S. Soccer

5 facts about new England captain Wayne Rooney

Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney was named as the new England captain by coach Roy Hodgson on Thursday.

NFL

Jets vs. Eagles: 3 things to watch

A win on Thursday night at the Eagles would give the Jets a 3-1 record and just their second winning preseason under head coach Rex Ryan.

Wellbeing

VIDEO: Still not wearing sunscreen? You will after…

Sunscreen is possibly the most often repeated - and ignored - piece of skincare advice. But Thomas Leveritt took a different tactic. With a short…

Food

Twitter used to track down sources of food…

When Chicago health officials saw Twitter users complaining about local food poisoning episodes, they reached out on Twitter to those users and often ended up…

Style

Trend: White hot on the 2014 Emmy's red…

White was one of the big trends on the Emmy's red carpet.

Food

Recipe: Samuel Adams beer-marinated grilled shrimp

Summer calls for two things: a cold beer and light food. Sam Adams' Latitude 48 IPA fairly bursts with citrus notes, making it an ideal marinade…