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Sun Fruits Apple Juice: In the basement of the swanky Tokyo Midtown department store is a speciality fruit shop called Sun Fruits, the type of shop where sumo oranges (dekopan) are individually wrapped in a form-fitting web of styrofoam and boxes of pale white strawberries go for 8,000¥ ($73 USD). The one item I felt I could afford, and also I was most interested in trying, was a bottle of what I presumed to be a barely-pink fruit soda, which cost $3.50. It turns out that it was a bottle of apple juice, with frui... (read more) 4.0/5.0

4.0 juice apple sunfruits japan tokyo applejuice drinks exceptional
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Naniwaya Taiyaki: Wandering aimlessly around the Roppongi Hill neighborhood of Japan, I stumbled upon a small sweets shop with a sizable line and a pleasantly sweet aroma. The man in the front asked if I had a reservation – I replied that I did not and he asked me to kindly sit in a designated waiting area while their speciality taiyaki, a fish-shaped Japanese pastry filled with red bean, was made to order. After just a few minutes, and passing over 180¥ in coin (about $1.65 in USD), I was handed a taiyaki ... (read more) 4.0/5.0

4.0 taiyaki naniwaya redbean tokyo recommended
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Summerdown Mint Chocolate Peppermint Creams: I bought these chocolates from the English-focused Chelsea Market shop Chelsea Market Baskets as a holiday present. They're kind of like peppermint patties on steroids, with a very satisfying, thick dark chocolate shell and potent mint filling, slightly chewy and somewhat viscous. It's made using English Black Mitcham peppermint, and you can taste the quality. It cost a little over $10 for a box of 16 pieces, easily enough to share. 4.0/5.0

4.0 creams peppermint chocolate summerdownmint mint darkchocolate british chelseamarketbaskets chocolates
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That Indian Drink Blueberry cardamom lassi: Got this mini 8oz lassi from the Park Slope Food Coop, which has a very creamy yet sharp flavor combining blueberry and cardamom. It reminded me of Siggi's skyr but spiced. Really liked it! 4.0/5.0

4.0 lassi cardamom blueberry thatindiandrink parkslopefoodcoop drinks recommended
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Bao Tea House Jasmine peach milk tea: Bao Tea House is a small shop in the West Village close to the West 4th subway stop, and it's my favorite place in the city for tea. Their jasmine peach milk tea was very well balanced, with a fragrant, creamy, floral, and fruity flavor (a combination I imagine most places would not get right). The drink came with brown sugar aloe cubes, with a slightly chewy texture that still has a bit of bite. Though it's an entirely different type of dish, the closest analogy I can make in terms of textu... (read more) 4.0/5.0

4.0 tea milk peach baoteahouse jasmine milktea nyc drinks recommended
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Zabar's Black and White Cookie: Despite having lived / been around in NYC for most of my life, I had not had a Black and White cookie until this week. I learned from Wikipedia that there are at least two styles of Black and White cookies; a dense shortbread base is common in NYC, while a more cake-like base with frosting is more likely to be found in Central New York. Zabar's is the latter, with a sizable diameter and soft, moist-enough cake base with a generous spread of chocolate and vanilla frosting, split evenly down... (read more) 4.0/5.0

4.0 cookie white black zabars jewish nyc cookies recommended