If you’re lucky enough to have booked flights in one of the airline sales, or are planning a trip to New York in the future, I thought I’d put together a little guide of some of the best places to eat that we found during our trip.
I love food. I especially love brunch and any kind of baked good. And as we have all come to know, America does pretty well in both of those departments. For me, our trip to New York was as much about finding all of the good food places as were the sightseeing attractions. And as Paul liked to tell anyone who would listen, I had a list of about 54 brunch/lunch/dinner/bakeries and coffee places on our Custom Google Map (has anyone used this before? If I’m late to the party then I apologise, but I found it so useful in pin pointing everywhere we wanted to go and you can colour code it too! Totally geeking out there… The only downside is that you need wifi to use it properly when you’re on the go, but in the US, that wasn’t such a problem. I found this explanation of setting one up really useful!).
We pretty much got through my whole list in 6 days (I did put multiples of some places on our map in case we ventured to different areas) and our itinirery was planned around where we got breakfast!
So without further ado, I will take you through some of our favourite places to eat in New York City.
Before our trip, I’d seen tons of photos on Instagram of Jack’s Wife Freda, and as brunch is one of my favourite meals to eat out, this place was top of my list. I can honestly say, this was the best breakfast I’ve probably ever had. It was so good that we ate there a second time when we met our friends from London who happened to overlap with our trip. I had the same thing both times – the Mediterranean Breakfast. Ask for the green hot sauce… I promise you won’t regret it.
Apart from the food being delicious, the vibe was chilled out, the staff were really friendly and the sugar sachets have cute slogans on them!
Another spot on the top of my list was Egg Shop. We came here for breakfast before wandering around SoHo and the shops along Broadway and Mercer Street. It became apparent that my favourite breakfast includes copious amounts of avocado (so much so that I’m surprised that I didn’t turn into one during that week), but definitely order the hash browns whatever you have. They come homemade with a type of ketchup with a bit of a kick. Also, if you haven’t gathered already, they do eggs in all different shapes, sizes, bowls, plates, sandwiches…
It’s a small little place so be prepared to put your name down and wait, but it’s definitely worth it.
Union Fare is a Gastrohall with a bakery and different kinds of street food as well as a Restaurant. The general look is industrial with hanging filament bulbs, copper pipes and neon signs set in a building that spans a whole block.
In the Gastrohall by the bakery, there’s also a Smash Bar, which does amazing open sandwiches (we had the avocado smash, obviously…!). The bakery was also on my list, mainly for the different flavours of croissants they sell – red velvet, cookies and cream, creme brûlée etc. The one that I had my eye on from over the Atlantic was the Birthday Cake flavour complete with sprinkles and a filling in the middle. It didn’t disappoint.
We actually came back for dinner at the Restaurant another night with our friends and the food was delicious. It’s a bit more upmarket than your standard American Cheeseburger, but if you want a treat in a place with great decor and a good atmosphere, I’d recommend it.
I’d vaguely seen Maman online before our trip, however it wasn’t until we were in New York that I somehow stumbled upon an article about New York’s best hot chocolates. Maman was on the list with their lavender hot chocolate, which already sounded appealing and then the pretty cups sealed the deal for me.
There are a few locations across Manhattan and lucky for us, one was in Tribeca on our way from the One World Trade Centre to our hotel.
Maman is probably one of the prettiest cafes I’ve been to, with its French vibes, white washed walls, industrial fittings and delicate, feminine blue and white patterns across their packaging, tiles and ‘peeling wallpaper’. The atmosphere was really chilled out and it was lovely to just sit and while away an hour or two after such a busy day and people/French Bulldog watch.
We went in to sample the lavender hot chocolate and I was pretty excited when they started to steam the milk with real dried lavender, added in dark chocolate and then strained it. It was rich and delicious and I hope they come over to London very soon!
UNDER THE HIGH LINE
I probably wouldn’t have initially put this place on my list, being part of a hotel (The Standard), but I’d heard from 3 separate people that they went to The Standard Grill for brunch by the High Line and to definitely give it a go. So on a very rainy morning, without an umbrella, we ran over to the High Line and ducked in to The Standard Grill for breakfast. We sat in the French Bistro Bar part of the restaurant and it felt pretty vintage with an old enamel bath cooling the water bottles and the black wooden benches and chairs.
The brunch menu was good, with me ordering the standard avo & egg combo and Paul going for the buttermilk pancakes. One definite highlight to note was the black and white Photo Booth downstairs by the Bathrooms.
Tacombi was one of the best places we went for dinner. I mean, tacos out of a converted VW bus? They’re definitely onto a winner there. There are lots of different tacos to choose from and they are delicious. So much so that Paul had to order more.
The laid back vibes and industrial garage setting made for a unique dining experience and you really felt like you were stepping onto the streets of Mexico.
We ventured to the one in Nolita, but there are a few other locations across New York so be sure to check one of them out.
Before our New York trip, I’d never tried Matcha in any shape or form. I’m more of an Earl Grey or Caramel Latte kind of girl, but I’d seen the pretty pink and green branding on Instagram and put it on my list.
When we were waiting for our table at Egg Shop, we went for a wander around the Neighbourhood and accidentally stumbled across Cha Cha Matcha with its pink awning outside and so we thought we’d sample our very first Matcha Latte.
To be perfectly honest with you, I’m not a sudden Matcha convert… but if you like it or even just want to go and see the pretty interior, I’d recommend this cute little shop. They do normal coffee as well!
I probably don’t need to introduce Magnolia Bakery as most people have heard of it, either due to it being on Sex and the City or because it may be the bakery that started the whole ‘cupcake craze’ in the first place. Staying in Greenwich Village, the bakery was only around the corner from us, and this one on Bleeker Street is the original location.
The interior is probably still original from the 90’s and there was a queue inside the shop to pick up lots of baked American goods such as cupcakes, cake slices, pies and desserts.
We had to go for the original cupcake, but I have heard that the Banana Pudding is good, so maybe next time!
This one was totally for me. We’ve already experienced the magic of the Sprinkles Cupcake ATM on our trip to California last year, but knowing there was one in New York and not finding it felt a little bit wrong to me. So on our last day in New York, before the taxi came to pick us up and take us to the airport, we went to find it and took our cupcake to Central Park.
It’s fun and it’s novelty and the Sprinkles theme tune won’t leave your memory for days…
So that’s it! Some of the best eateries we sampled in NYC. There are tons more places I’ve seen and heard about, but I’ll just have to save them for next time…