Ok, I know I went on about some of this stuff in another NYC post but that was like a year ago and some of it is STILL worth going on and on and on about!! So this is basically a post detailing our favourite haunts in New York and pretty much covers everything south of Central Park! In true us-ness (got to be a word, right?) this one’s mostly food. A girl’s gotta eat.
Firstly though, on a non-foodie note we went to see On the Town on Broadway. Some pretty cool songs but Jesus it was a long show. At least John didn’t fall asleep…unlike our trip to San Francisco’s Christmas Nutcracker performance. Nope, he shall never live that down. Pup.
The Chelsea Market takes up an entire block of the Meatpacking District. There’s a really good Anthropologie store and a sister Artists & Fleas Market to the one in Brooklyn; there’s a lot of lovely delicate jewellery on sale here. Visiting the Chelsea Market is all about eating though. The Lobster Place is my favourite spot in the entire market. Crab clubs, lobster rolls, even whole steamed lobsters to chow down on – yes, please! It’s always packed full of people and always awesome. Lucy’s Whey has really tasty cheese toasties and lovely, friendly staff. Buon Italia has got lots of food options from Italy at really good prices. More so foodstuff for cooking yourself though so it’s really only good if you’re in an Airbnb. Chelsea Market Baskets sells artisan food, gifts and eh, baskets. A good perusing spot. Away from food again and Posman Books have a fantastic selection of New York themed books, cookbooks and beautiful cards too. I could spend HOURS in here! Once you eventually decide on a place to eat within the Market you could hop up to the High Line (if you visit New York and you don’t walk the elevated park that is the High Line then you’re missing out) and find a bench between the trees or overlooking the street to devour your haul but if you don’t fancy total strangers staring your food down then I suggest crossing the street to the 14th Street Park for your very own table for 2.
One of my favourite cafes in New York is Maman. It’s right across the road from the beautiful old Police Building (which is now a seriously luxurious apartment block – we’re talking Net-a-Porter delivery vans constantly arriving at the door). I just cannot explain the deliciousness of the hot chocolate at Maman, the prettiness of their coffee cups or the awesomeness of their bathroom. They’ve a lavender hot chocolate too. They can do no wrong. No wrong. They just opened in Toronto too.
Since our visit to Brazil I’ve developed a bit of an addiction to açai bowls. I’ve tried to recreate them with the frozen pulp from Whole Foods (crap) and the açai powder. My skill level isn’t there yet either. Liquiteria does them but they just taste like bananas and although they’ll make them without bananas they’re just not right. Whatevs! Two Hands does their own version; super pretty but again very banana-y. Damn it people!
Gansevoort Market is a cool, industrial style market in the Meatpacking District, which is easily accessible from the southern end of the High Line. We had awesome pizza from Luzzo’s here. It’s not a huge market but there is plenty of choice so it’s definitely worth a look. Another market similar to this is Gotham West up in Hell’s Kitchen (near Times Square). It’s a down-with-the-cool-kids sort of spot. They have a Blue Bottle Coffee Bar; we’re talking coffee for serious coffee lovers. They even have their own book. Oooh, very fancy!! There’s also a Blue Bottle across from the Chelsea Market. Since we’re on coffee I guess I should mention Joe Coffee (various locations), which, according to the coffee connoisseur that is John has the best coffee in New York. So there you go!
Back to NoLita and the Little Cupcake Bakeshop still reigns supreme as one of the cutest bakeries on the planet. Just look at it. Black and white tiles inside with red velvet and coconut cloud goodies. Adorable.
Harney & Sons Tea Blenders in SoHo. Oh the Paris tea. I don’t even need to say more.
The BEST street to wander in New York is Bleecker. It’s full of great boutiques (hello MAJE), a lot of beauty stores (MAC, Fresh! and Marc Jacobs Beauty) and lovely eateries such as the Magnolia Bakery (yes, that of Sex and the City fame). Need I say more? Get them and pop up to Washington Square Park to people watch. Perfection! Across the street from the Magnolia Bakery is Bookmarc NY, a small bookstore by Marc Jacobs. It’s small enough and sells mostly fashion books but they also have cute gifts and book bags. If you’re down around this area then you shouldn’t miss a trip to 64 Perry Street AKA Carrie Bradshaw’s apartment. Molly’s Cupcakes way down Bleecker street is a cute little spot to grab a hot chocolate and some sweeties. They have indoor swings! Right next to Molly’s is Winston Churchill Square – a cherry blossom filled haven in the city! Just across the street from here is the Porto Rico Importing Co. which is, it seems, a mecca for coffee and tea lovers. It’s been around since 1907 and is just a lovely store to wander around. Back up near Washington Square Park is probably one of the coolest old school pharmacies in the world – C.O. Bigelow is just special.
Eataly in the Flatiron district is perfection. Their meat and cheese plates with a glass of vino or a craft beer makes for a splendid evening 🙂 A stroll in Madison Square Park after a feed here and you’re sorted. The Lego store is right next door and it has the most amazing creations of New York scenes. Some people have talent. Toby’s Estate coffee in the Club Monaco flagship store around here is pretty good for a coffee to go. There’s a well curated Strand Bookstore within Club Monaco too. The destination with a destination in a destination!! The main Strand Bookstore is at 12th Street and Broadway – if you’re in to books then it’s absolutely worth a visit here. Beecher’s Handmade Cheese Shop does an amazing cheese and fig toastie. DEFINITELY worth some pennies!
We were very well advised by our Airbnb hosts that Mamoun’s is THE spot to come for falafels. It’s tiny and the decor looks decades old but that just adds to the experience. It’s right next to the lovely Café Reggio which incidentally houses the coolest coffee machine on the planet. Oh and they served the first cappucino in the US. No biggie. Tea & Sympathy is a great (albeit teensy!) spot for British style afternoon tea, it’s actually run by Brits so you can’t go wrong with the scones here. They’ve got a store next door selling British goodies too.
We hadn’t spent any time in the East Village on previous trips to New York to be honest but we were keen to try out Jennifer’s Way – the cutest little bakery specialising in gluten-free goodies. Actor Jennifer Esposito owns it. HA and OWNS IT, go Jennifer!! You could pick up some goodies and enjoy them in Tompkins Square Park, just down the street. This park was a great find for us – there was a market around the edges, some cool music and lots of beautiful flowers. A little oasis in the city. Ninth Street Espresso is a block away from the park and although it has a few outpost John liked this one best. A very chilled out spot to grab a coffee. Since we’re on food…the Clinton Street Baking Company. Sweet Jesus, just go there for brunch.
Battery Park, waaay down the southern tip of Manhattan (Bowling Green subway stop) is a lovely place for a walk, it’s also where you get the free ferry to Staten Island or have a stare at the Statue of Liberty. You could walk from here up to the 9/11 memorial and the World Trade Center. We happened upon the Irish Hunger Memorial around here, it’s uncanny how like Ireland they managed to get a spot in the middle of Manhattan. I’d continue up to TriBeCa to the adorable Tiny’s bar then.