30 October 2016

Eating and Drinking in NYC - My Five TOP PICKS!




"New York is ALWAYS a good idea..."


I've been to New York a few times now and having done all the 'touristy' things in the past I prefer to see a more 'chilled' and 'authentic' side to Manhattan when I go there now.   In my opinion the best parts of New York City are those that are not swarming with tourists and where you actually get to experience a real bit of New York City life.  

I stayed at a hotel situated on the border of Tribeca and SoHo this time.  An absolutely fantastic location that I can highly recommend if you're looking for a 'cool' place to stay in NYC where you are surrounded by outstanding restaurants, cafes and bars and places to walk around and take in the culture. 

Of course, there is also shopping - something that New York is renowned for! But with the exchange rate for sterling dying of death at the moment, everything was actually more expensive to buy over there which left me only really buying a few little things in the American drugstores (just as well really, since I blew most of my spending money in Chanel at Heathrow on the way out!) If you are interested doing a spot of shopping in this area you aren't far from all the designer shops in SoHo (head to Spring Street or Broadway!) 

So, with shopping on the back burner for me on this trip it meant that it was pretty much a eating and drinking fest! I've put together a list of a few great cafes, restaurants and bars I enjoyed while I was out there just in case you might be making a trip soon and want some recommendations! 


BREAKFAST / BRUNCH AT 'GOTAN'












Situated in Tribeca (and conveniently just around the corner from the hotel I was staying in!) Gotan was hands down, my favourite place to go to for breakfast or that 'early lunch' (for when you are jet lagged and get up too late for breakfast!) Although I enjoy the more 'traditional' style of American breakfast, my tastebuds really do sway more towards something that's equally as tasty but offers more on the nutritional and healthy side of things too.  

"GOTAN pays tribute to an infinite and evolving coffee Culture"


 I enjoyed Gotan so much I actually went there twice and ordered the Avocado and Feta on sourdough toast....twice! It was that good!!! 

Gotan pride themselves on their menu being light and seasonal, placing an emphasis on fresh vegetables and excellent coffee.  What's not to like?! 

It has the ultimate trendy, 'uber' cool NYC vibe with many locals sat alone accompanied by a coffee, some breakfast and their MacBooks! And if you fancy a bit of 'people watching' grab a coffee and  a table outside, then watch the world go by!




MEXICAN FOOD WITH A TWIST AT 'LA ESQUINA'







I've been wanting to visit this Soho restaurant for so long!  It's featured in countless restaurant reviews of New York and to be honest I really didn't know quite what to expect.  I was a little dubious, mainly because from the photographs it doesn't look like anything special at all (The outside makes it look like some dodgy American diner!) 

"How wrong could I be..."


On arrival at 'La Esquina' you are met by a doorman who announces your reservation on a walkie-talkie and then ushers you down some very dark stairs to the restaurant reception area.  From here you are then instructed to walk through the restaurant kitchen (where the chefs are all busy cooking!) and enter into one of the coolest bars I've ever been in! 

It's a mixed crowd ('model' types, businessmen, a few birthday parties, couples) but everyone looks effortlessly chic.  The ceilings are low and it's very dark.  It has a somewhat 'funky' vibe.  Oh and if you're not a fan of loud music then I wouldn't recommend picking this restaurant! They have a live DJ playing at a relatively high volume, fine for me because I'm a huge fan of house music!  

The cuisine is classic Mexican street food using fresh ingredients and bold flavours and my food did not disappoint! The one thing I will say though is that you MUST book and ensure you do it far in advance. Being a favourite of the likes of Kate Hudson, George Clooney and Julia Roberts...it's a popular spot! 



COFFEE & COOKIES AT SWEET CORNER BAKESHOP







"The perfect pitstop!"


Situated on Hudson Street, the Sweet Corner Bakeshop was a great little 'accidental' find in a moment where I was desperate for some coffee and something sweet after a lot of walking! 

The coffee was fantastic and if you're planning on going there I urge you try one of their Oatmeal and Raisin cookies because mine was absolutely divine! (Check out the menu here

And shortly afterwards I made a quick little visit to Carrie Bradshaw's flat from Sex And The City (because last time I visited New York they were doing building work on it!)






COCKTAILS AT THE ORIENT EXPRESS





Whilst waiting to get a table at The Spotted Pig in the West Village, the 'Orient Express'  was recommended for some top-notch cocktails!  You are transported back in time to what feels like a 'old-school' American cocktail bar modelled on an old-fashioned railway carriage. 

"Loved by cocktail enthusiasts"


I ordered the 'From Russia with Love' which is expertly mixed concoction of Russian Standard Vodka, Ginger, Lime and Rosewater rinse and it was so so good!  



BREAKFAST AT THE CUPPING ROOM CAFE





"It was originally a wholesale coffee establishment.  Different blends of coffee were brewed and tasted by perspective customers.  This act of blending and tasting different coffees is called cupping- hence the name The Cupping Room Cafe"


The 'Cupping Room Cafe' in SoHo is located in a gorgeous old building and has a very 'New York' vibe to it.  With bare brickwork and gorgeous artwork hanging throughout, it has an almost 'homely' feel to it.   Full of locals grabbing a quick bite to eat for breakfast in the morning, this place is equally as busy in the evening apparently with live Jazz bands on Friday and Saturday.  When I go back to New York again I'd definitely like to go here again for dinner on one of those evenings! 

Back to the food though, I had the Shakshuka skillet with Home Fries - and I've gotta say it, this was on a par with the Avocado and Feta on toast from Gotan - I loved it!  A great little spot for breakfast, brunch or dinner and a spot of Jazz!

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"Until next time New York...."




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1 comment

  1. Ahhh I'm going to NYC for the first time in April as part of my 21st and this post has made me so excited! I cannot wait to go!!! Have added a few of these recommendations from your post and can't wait to try them.

    Thanks for sharing such great tips!

    Niamh x

    niamhserena.co.uk

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