Food is my motivation. Most people go to New York to shop, but me, I go where the foods at. Here are a few of my top places to visit for breakfast, brunch, lunch, pre-dinner, dinner and drinks, ha ha.
Brekkie and brunch
I am always searching for the best breakfast/ brunch so when I saw Jack’s Wife Freda’s menu I knew that I needed to pay it a visit. A mixture of American – Mediterranean influences, the menu is interesting and super cool with a laid back atmosphere. Head to Lafayette street and check it out. I went for the Bloody Mary to start…. it was amazing. Then I chose the rosewater waffles topped with Lebanese yogurt, mixed berries and honey syrup. When you think of waffles you immediately think stodgy/heavy; well these were surprisingly light and so tasty. It’s in a great area of town and you will love it.
Another great brunch place is Balthazar, serving beautiful French cuisine. It reminds me of the Wolseley in London, fancy but fantastic. You can’t go wrong with the Eggs Benedict but they have everything on the menu so pay a visit (they also have a restaurant in Covent Garden, London of the same name if you’re…local).
Early evening drinkie poos
My friend recently went to NYC and told me to go to the Standard Hotel. In her words, “The bar is a dream and you will love it.” Serving some of the best cocktails you will ever taste, the Skyline Bar at The Standard Hotel has the most incredible view of NYC and is truly breathtaking; the perfect place to get your money shot for the gram. It opens at 4pm so if you head there at the right time, you’ll be treated to some gorgeous sunset views, or head for pre-dinner drinks around 8:00 pm for a view overlooking Manhattan in lights. Be warned, sneakers might be a no-no, it’s not overly casual, and some of my party weren’t made to feel particularly welcome in their trainers. Don’t be put off though, the view is worth it!
I am always on the lookout for the best hidden gem in the city and I found it
I came across the amazing La Esquina. Situated in the lower east side on 114 Kenmare street. An amazing, authentic Mexican spot serving Tacos to die for, amazing enchiladas and the sickest Margarita’s topped with beer. It’s buzzy and the atmosphere is everything. It‘s not too fancy or poncey, they serve real food which speaks for itself; it’s an absolute must-visit whilst in New York city. You know it’s good because the clientele are all locals.
Another great spot is Beauty & Essex on 146th Essex street. I loved this place, but a friend of mine who lives in Manhattan called it ‘bridge and tunnel’ because nobody’s a local! Upon entering, it poses as a pawn shop, selling a collection of vintage jewellery, musical instruments and one of a kind gems. You enter through the back door into the fanciest dining experience. We went on Valentine’s evening and the maître d and waiting staff were so accommodating. With a party of 10 guests nothing was too much for them. The host was amazing, reeling off the menu without a paper in sight. A seamless evening.
You need to order the Bone Marrow on toast (DIVINEEEE). I also would recommend the lobster mac and cheese, rib eye steak and creamy mash. Sooooooo good. Another must visit while you are in NYC is Vandal, which has also become a popular haunt, it is the sister restaurant to Beauty & Essex. I booked dinner at both and my pal recommended that I just visit one of them, as the menus are same same but different. So, just choose the one.
I can’t put into words how special New York is to me. It’s the most vibrant and cosmopolitan city filled with amazing things to do. Most of all I loved catching up with very special friends, those memories will last a lifetime. I hope a few of these places I have chosen make your trip that little bit more memorable too.