Who Knows NYC Best?
Man v. Food’s Casey Webb matches wits (and appetites) with Food Network’s Vivian Chan to find out who has the real 411 on their home city. Ready to judge their throwdown?
There are more than eight and a half million people in New York City, which means that there are approximately eight and a half million World’s Most Knowledgeable New Yorkers — if there’s one thing that binds the locals together, it’s the certainty that their NYC is the best NYC.
That’s a fair description of Casey and Vivian, who took to the streets (and the rooftops) in “Man v. NYC,” an all-new Man v. Food digital short, to see whose city expertise reigns supreme.
Vivian kicked things off by hoisting Casey up at Trapeze School New York, a high-flying, beginners-welcome aerial-arts group near Pier 40 that offers heart-pounding, one-of-a-kind views of the Hudson River and downtown Manhattan.
Is this Casey’s “I’m about to fall to my death” face, or his “I’m going to flip like a graceful human pancake and stick the landing” face? We’ll let the short tell the tale of this one, but we’ll note that it was wise of Vivian to plan this adventure before she and Casey started chowing down.
Not to be outshone, Casey produced some rooftop riches of his own: He took Vivian to Rosemary’s in Greenwich Village, where seasonal Italian dishes boast herbs and produce grown directly above diners’ heads. Hey, even NYC’s gardens know the place to be is on the roof. The salumi and formaggi selections are pretty killer, as well.
Is Vivian pausing to savor her aperitivo or contemplating her next aerial maneuver? Could she simply be pondering how many lunches one can eat in a single day? We know where Casey’s thoughts are: “You’re the food stylist, I’m the food annihilist,” he announces.
Vivian’s afraid of heights, but she hides it well: Her next power move is on the fifteenth-floor deck of the Hotel Indigo Lower East Side.
Meet Mr. Purple, a rooftop bar that serves up cocktails like the Casamigos Frozen Marg (Vivian’s summery pick) and the Toucan Sam (Casey’s gin-and-Campari refresher, which arrives garnished with Froot Loops) and pitch-perfect noshes like sliders and fish tacos. Oh, yeah — and there’s a postcard-worthy view of the Empire State Building, too. “I’m kinda crushing the competition,” Vivian notes.
In retaliation, Casey hits his social-media-savvy competitor where she lives: He ferries her over to Brooklyn for a stop at Shelter, a pizza-and-empanadas joint that could be the most Instagrammable spot in the neighborhood (which is saying something). “This place is so cute, I don’t even feel like I’m in Williamsburg!” Vivian gushes. “Their plates are charming, too!”
Shelter’s pizza and its empanadas are cooked to perfection in its wood-fired oven. Perhaps Vivian and Casey could stretch cheese as a tie-breaker?
In the end, one competitor concedes victory to the other — but we’re not about to spoil that. Who would you declare the ultimate New York City insider?
Watch Casey and Vivian’s battle from start to finish here...
Man v. NYC: Who Knows New York City Best? 09:57
Vivian Chan and Casey Webb battle to show which one of them is the truest New Yorker, in Man v. NYC.
...And if you’re in the mood to eat and explore in the Big Apple, read on: