Gallatin Student Hanna Domit Turned Her Food Obsession Into a Brand
From Miami to NYC and other travels in-between, “Hanna Munchana” brings her followers along for culinary exploration.
The moments right before college can truly be formative: some may get a new look or go on a trip out of the country for the first time, all to prepare themselves for the expansive experience university life will offer.
For junior Hanna Domit, those moments prior to coming to NYU were spent on foodie Instagram.
“Before moving to New York, I was doing an internship in Mexico City and I was there for the entire summer,” Domit told NYU Local. “And the entire time I became obsessed with following New York City Instagram food bloggers because I was so excited to try all the food there was in New York. So when I moved here I had a huge list of restaurants that I could go to.”
Domit, a Fashion Business and Marketing major in Gallatin, naturally started going to each of the restaurants she’d learned of — taking photos of each of the meals.
Soon, however, she explains she felt the need to separate her love of foodie Instagram from her regular personal Insta-consumption, in order to better curate her feeds.
“I made an Instagram and I just followed food blogs on it and I had it for two months, Domit said “Then one day I went through my phone and I counted all the pictures on my phone of food that I’d had. There were about 600. Once I realized that I had 600 pictures of food I was like it’s time for me to start sharing them and it just started like that.”
She describes her page as being a mix of restaurants she’d heard of from other New York foodie Instagrams and spots she’s come upon through her own exploration of the city.
What Domit specifies as the most substantial reason behind choosing the restaurants she does — beyond them just having amazing food — is exposing her followers to culinary corners of the city they may otherwise not come upon. This goal also comes out of Domit’s personal experience as a Mexican woman born in Mexico City, growing up in Miami, and now being based in New York. Over the course of her life, being exposed to many cultures is something she strives to showcase on her Instagram page.
“The most important thing for my blog has always been to showcase authenticity in different kinds of foods in different cultures,” Domit said. “When I travel I make sure to post a lot of pictures of stuff like that because I feel a lot of people don’t know about foods from other countries and I think it’s really important to get people into that kind of stuff rather than just posting pictures of melted cheese or chocolate.”
With the holiday season falling over the city, family and friends are bound to be coming through New York at some point. Although Domit herself spends the holidays with family in Miami she still has multiple restaurants she swears by when family or friends are in town.
“I would say my favourite Italian — it’s so expensive so I can never ever go, but the two times I have gone have been my favourite — Carbone on Thompson St. I love it,” Domit gushes. “Whenever my dad comes — I’m fully Mexican but my dad’s part Lebanese — so whenever he comes he likes to go to this Lebanese restaurant called ILILI. It’s in Flatiron on 30th and 5th Ave.”
And the one East Village eatery Domit emphasizes she’s “obsessed, obsessed, obsessed” with is a soup dumpling place called Carma East. “I go there literally three times a week.”
Now that her Instagram presence is well established, Domit has begun thinking about what comes next for her.
“I’ve always been looking to expand,” Domit said. “I mean, I would like to have a website some day. My food blog is called @hannaeats so I think it would be cool to have other aspects to “Hanna” besides eating. I could do ‘Hanna travels,’ ‘Hanna reads,’ ‘Hanna wears,’ stuff like that. That’s the way I’ve tried to expand my brand as a whole but I think the food blog is already really cool in itself. But yeah if I were to expand it’d be in that way: the brand is ‘Hanna.’”
For now though, the feedback she’s gotten on her Instagram is exactly what she wants to be hearing from her followers: that some of the plates she features aren’t anything they recognize or even look gross to them. This is the highest form of praise in her eyes.
“I’m showing people stuff that they’ve never even seen before so they can call it gross all they want but it’s probably fucking delicious,” Domit said. “I actually love it when people tell me that I’m posting shit that they’ve never seen before.”