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
Local

NYPD looking for man they say assaulted elderly…

      The New York City Police Department is asking for the public's assistance in locating a Hispanic male 20's wanted in connection with…

Local

Three arrested after allegedly assaulting off-duty officer in…

Three men were arrested early Saturday morning after allegedly assaulting an off-duty officer at a Bronx bodega, and the NYPD is asking for the public's…

Local

Healthcare union creates vibrant West Indian Day Parade…

Volunteers worked almost around the clock through the weekend, putting the flashy finishing touches on hundreds of costume pieces 1199SEIU members will wear while marching…

National

Top 10 most hipster college campuses

Hipsters are everywhere these days. You can't walk down the anywhere anymore without seeing a pair of skinny jeans on a handlebar mustachioed 20-something, a…

Arts

Theater: Discouraging 'Poor Behavior'

Theresa Rebeck's latest off-Broadway play, about two couples sparring on a weekend getaway, repeats a few mistakes of her past.

Gossip

Chef Todd English arrested for DWI in the…

Celebrity chef Todd English is facing DWI charges after a traffic stop on Sunday.

Movies

Box office: 'Guardians of the Galaxy' is 2014's…

This weekend "The Guardians of the Galaxy" passed the fourth "Transformers" movie to become the highest grossing film of 2014.

Gossip

Spears back with controversial ex?

Is Briteny Spears back with Adnan Ghalib?

Sports

Novak Djokovic feeds off US Open crowd to…

Novak Djokovic isn't a native New Yorker, but he sure knows how to use the U.S. Open crowd to his advantage.

NFL

Odell Beckham still 'weeks away,' Tom Coughlin angry…

Giants head coach Tom Coughlin has fought a losing battle against the media all preseason over the status of wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr.

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

Education

These college students think breakfast is the most…

  It should be no surprise that the city that never sleeps is also home to the most students who like to order food in…

Sex

When it comes to dating, height matters

Does a man’s height really matter when it comes to dating? Unfortunately - according to a new study - the answer looks like it’s yes.…

Travel

10 free apps to make traveling easier

Finding the nearest bathroom, calculating currency exchanges and locating your departure gate must have been difficult for travelers of previous generations. But we wouldn't know,…

Travel

How to get a seat upgrade to business…

It used to be much easier to upgrade your coach seat to business or even first class, but rigid rules and tighter schedules have made…