Our Favorite Food Editor Dishes On Her Favorite NYC Dishes

She may be a professional food writer, published author, and accomplished blogger, but don't expect Alyssa Shelasky to be lecturing you about the salmon crudo any time soon. As one of the few food critics with a head much like ours on her shoulders — perennially blown-out, looking forward to dinner, and over-thinking last week's episode of Breaking Bad — she's the type of girl you kinda dream of being best friends with... who also happens to have stumbled upon a career that affords her some of the world's most wonderful eats. (Seriously, we're looking for a new BFF, Shelasky!)
The Grub Street editor and accidental foodie had a very public relationship with a very public Top Chef winner (we'll let you Google-connect the dots), all of which was recounted in her blog-turned-book, Apron Anxiety , a memoir of her journey into the kitchen and her whirlwind romancer. She's the type you'd totally want to dish over a plate of pecorino-topped pasta with, which is why her favorite New York spots are a mix of pop-'em-in-your-mouth snacks and pastrami sammiches, as well as an Italian dinner at a spot Tory Burch recently touted. Milkshakes, mangos, and over-the-top Mother's Day dinners? This DUMBO resident's got it all.
1 of 5
"I can't answer a 'favorite food' question without putting a pastrami sandwich from Katz's Deli first. The best Katz's memory of all was probably a night out with my sister years ago where we were both all dressed up for some random party... and, on our way to whatever lounge, we were kind-of like, f**k it, we don't even like these people, we just want to go to Katz's... and we had the BEST TIME EVER.
Katz's Delicatessen, 205 East Houston Street (between Avenue A and First Avenue); 212-254-2246.

Photo: Courtesy of Katz's
2 of 5
"The brisket sandwich at Num Pang with a watermelon juice is soooo good. I go there alone to read, think, and eat, and it's all I need for an amazing afternoon. On the same semi-exotic note, SriPraPhai in Woodside, Queens kinda changed my life, too."
Num Pang, 21 East 12th Street (between Fifth Avenue and Broadway); 212-255-3271.

Photo: Courtesy of Num Pang
3 of 5
"Malted milk balls from Fairway eaten while grazing through the aisles, chocolate milkshakes from Shake Shack (or anywhere), and I've never met a mango lady I didn't love."
Shake Shake, 366 Columbus Avenue (at West 77th Street); 212-747-8770.

Photo: Courtesy of William Brinson
4 of 5
"The Chocolate Almond Croissant at Almondine in DUMBO is my reward-to-self for everything I can possibly come up with. It's my single favorite pastry in the world."
Almondine Bakery, 85 Water Street (at Old Dock Street); Brooklyn; 718-797-5026.

Photo: Via Eat To Blog
5 of 5
"This year my whole family went to Lucali for Mother's Day. Mark, the owner, really hooked it up. It was an amazing night that I'll never forget!"
Lucali, 575 Henry Street (between 1st Place and Carroll Street); 718-858-4086.

Photo: Via Yelp