NYC in a nutshell: We all know there are heaps of blog posts, TripAdvisor reviews and Instagrams floating around the WWW tempting you to eat out, sample cocktails, order take away or try new recipes at home. I believe the scientific term for this is: food porn.
Now I am guilty of the odd FP snap so I will share a few with you on this post, but what I mainly want to do is reminisce about what I ate and drank while I was in NYC for 10 days, with some links to guide you if need be.
So let’s just go in order of meals shall we?
Breakfast – otherwise known as my favourite meal of the day –
I was guilty of filling this meal slot on most mornings with an American staple: toasted bagel, cream cheese and a cup of coffee. Nothing fancy and I’m sorry to disappoint the baked goods connoisseurs out there, but most days it was of the wholewheat variety from Starbucks complimented by an Americano with a shot of hazlenut. Cheap, cheerful, close by and it did the job. Moving along…..
A couple of other breakfast spots I frequented:
- Nectar Cafe near the Met and Central Park, a traditional diner surrounded by large windows for people watching on Madison Avenue with decent prices near the touristy spots
- The Grey Dog had a nice breakfast quesadilla and good flat white coffee, all a stone’s throw from Union Square and it was buzzing on a weekday during brunch!
A few places of note if you’re travelling in a group or meeting someone for a bite to eat:
- Check out Chelsea Market for food and shopping under one roof near the Highline – my delicious grilled cheese (gruyere, white cheddar, bacon and caramelised onions on ciabatta with a dill pickle on the side) pictured above was from Friedman’s Lunch
- Gotham West Market is a new foodie destination serving craft beers in a cosy atmosphere
- Eataly is chock full of multi-storey Italian deliciousness: pop in for a quick espresso and take away from their market or stay and enjoy a glass of wine over a shared cured meat and cheese board from one of their restaurants as we did – they also sell their sauces, ingredients and produce so you can do your weekly shop there too!
- ABC Kitchen offers farm to table fare and plenty of inspiration in one building near Union Square’s funky design shops
Because let’s be fair, every girl needs to treat herself to a nice dinner. Great food, service and conversation were enjoyed at all of these spots:
- Balthazar bistro in NY has been open since 1997 and is very popular (call ahead to reserve a table) and lucky me, there’s a location in London too!
- Natsumi offers up tasty Japanese in the Theatre District where we grabbed a bite to eat after seeing a Broadway show
- Buddakan was featured in Sex and the City (of course) and again, you need to book ahead to visit their intimate dining room but it’s well worth it just to sneak a peek at the well heeled diners to your left and right and marvel at all of their intricate wood panelling – just how much joinery did they use to decroate that place?
- Shake Shack for those who love great burgers, crinkle cut french fries and frothy milkshakes
- What’s a trip to the Big Apple without a stop at Magnolia Bakery? If it’s good enough for the celebs, it’s good enough for me. I tried a red velvet cupcake and my friend had their famous banana pudding (mmmhmmm)
- We enjoyed some cute LDV Hospitality emoji sugar cookies courtesy of Social Media Week – you can also learn how to make your own with this emoji cookie recipe
- We stopped at the M&M’s World Store in Times Square to stock up on airplane treats (me) and gifts for friends and family (the others…what were they thinking?)
- Don’t Tell Mama NYC – a friend tipped me off to this long and narrow piano bar off Restaurant Row near Times Square and I loved it! Cocktails were the standard price for Manhattan ($12-15) except the bartenders and wait staff are all off Broadway singers so you get serenaded while they serve you drinks
- 230 Fifth has a rooftop bar/penthouse lounge with glorious views of the Empire State Building, decent cocktails and NO COVER. Since it was freezing while we were there, we didn’t go outside for too long but if you wanted to hang out in -15 during winter and sip your mojito, they offer complimentary furry capes and heat lamps on the rooftop to help you enjoy the views!
- Joshua Tree Bar: an Irish influenced sports bar where I met my friend for a few drinks and a bit of casual beer pong with some strangers on a weeknight. A bit more suited to the college or knock off drinks crowd but with a laid back atmosphere and good prices near our hotel, where could you go wrong? Oh right, playing beer pong for the first time in 5 years…
- Don’t worry kids, I made up for my college antics at The Ginger Man over some aged scotch and social media conversation with a lovely lass I met at the conference. MUCH closer to Madison Avenue and MUCH classier, but better suited to any business catch ups you may be planning while you’re there!
Next time I’m in NYC:
- I will be stopping in at one of Sarabeth’s locations to sample their lemon ricotta pancakes
- Booking in a catch up with friends over a boozy brunch at Agave in the West Village (one dish and all you can drink Bloody Mary’s, mimosas and the like for $28!)
- Venturing over the bridge to Brooklyn for some eggs Ben-a-Dizz at Dizzy’s, comfort food at Buttermilk Channel and picking up a sweet treat from Ladybird Bakery
- I might bring the hubby for a tour of Wall Street and splurge on lunch at Wolfgang’s Steakhouse in TriBeCa
- Then redeem ourselves with an Organic Vegan dish the next day at Blossom in Chelsea
- Burritos or soft shell tacos are always a welcome choice: I will be adding Taco Chulo in Brooklyn to my list!
- Booking in at Please Don’t Tell, a speakeasy you gain access to by calling ahead after 3pm that day and entering via a phone booth
- Sampling pints at McSorley’s Old Ale House – one of the oldest pubs in NYC with a small taste of Ireland: I hear there’s sawdust on the floor and apparently Frank McCourt has frequented it
That’s all for food and drink sampling in NYC for now – please do share any tips or great places you’ve happened upon in the comments below, as I have a feeling I will be back soon!