New York, New York, what a wonderful town….
And wonderful it sure is, especially the food and drink scene. From fancy restaurants and rooftop bars to markets and traditional street food, New York City has it all. There is so much to be savoured and never enough time to try it all, so I thought I would share a few of my favourite finds from my most recent visit to the Big Apple.
I hope you find something to tickle your tastebuds!
Smorgasburg is an open air food market in Brooklyn and it’s open from the beginning of April every year. There’s one in Williamsburg on a Saturday and in Prospect Park on a Sunday (10-5). Prospect Park is beautiful, so if you have a free morning or afternoon, it’s well worth the trip out there to enjoy the park as well as the food market. You’ll find all kinds of food and drink here, from ready to eat snacks and meals to items like hot sauce and maple syrup to take home. Dough doughnuts (see below), Dorset Maple Reserve Maple Syrup (the Bourbon Barrel Aged is amazing), Queen Majesty hot sauces, and The Good Batch ice cream sandwiches were all memorable!
Prospect Park – Breeze Hill (East Drive at Lincoln Rd.) Brooklyn
IL LABORATORIO DEL GELATO
You are not even ready for the amount of flavours Il Laboratorio has on offer. They have around 300 flavours, no exaggeration and they all sound delicious. I don’t believe they are all out on display at the same time, but that number is crazy, and it’s clear that they have way more than just your regular vanilla, chocolate and strawberry. 4 different kinds of apple sorbet, 3 types of cinnamon ice cream, yuzu, red bean, pink peppercorn, chirimoya (a Peruvian favourite), rhubarb, marshmallow and birthday cake to name just a few alternative flavours! The gelato itself is super delicious and you can order up to 4 flavours in a regular cone or cup.
188 Ludlow St, New York, NY 10002
Brooklyn Brewery is famous the world over, but visiting their tasting room is so much fun. They have a huge number of beers on tap to try, so you could sit at one of their beer hall style tables of an afternoon or evening and never drink the same one twice. All you need to do is buy your chips/coupons at the front door and then use those to grab your beers. The stronger beers cost more chips so choose carefully, but the Brown Ale is always a good choice! Opening hours are different most days so double check the website for times, plus if you’re interested in learning about the process, they also run tours at certain points during the day.
79 N 11th St, Brooklyn, NY 11249
Come here just for the cheesecake or, what I would recommend is, come for the cheesecake and breakfast. Junior’s seriously has one of the best breakfasts ever. It’s ginormous, but it’s also delicious, and I can’t stop thinking about it. Firstly they bring you a basket of bread and pastries (try all of them – especially the dark bread), then you should definitely order a brunch cocktail. Yes, I know your breakfast comes with a hot drink and juice already, but what the heck. Then pick your breakfast of choice. I went for 2 eggs with bacon and fried potatoes and it was amazing, although my brother had the pancakes and they were a top pick too. Don’t forget to pick up a slice of their famous cheesecake on the way out. It’s totally worth it.
They have a few branches but I’ve only visited the Brooklyn branch, so it’s the only one I can recommend!
386 Flatbush Avenue EXT, Brooklyn, New York, 11201
Joe’s has some of the best pizza I’ve eaten, maybe ever, in my life, I kid you not. I had to buy another slice straight after my first one because I didn’t want it to be over. So damn good. You can get other toppings, but I recommend getting a slice, or three, of their regular margherita/plain cheese pizza to see how wonderfully amazing it is.
Union Square site – 150 East 14th St, New York, NY 10003
Chelsea Market is a foodie’s dream. It’s jam packed full of restaurants, shops, and stalls, and almost everything is food and drink related. From beer and oysters, to brownies and spices, you can find just about anything that you might fancy eating or buying right here. There are also cookware and homeware shops too so that you can get anything you might need for preparing and dining at home. You could literally spend every lunchtime for a month in here and still not get around all of the places to eat. Ah, how I loved it.
75 9th Avenue (between 15th and 16th Streets), New York, NY 10011
The Ink48 Hotel has two hidden gems inside it; the Press Lounge rooftop bar and PRINT. restaurant. Located a block from the Hudson River, you get a fabulous view over Manhattan’s skyline while you sip on your cocktail of choice. There’s an outdoor and indoor section, but outdoor is way better for enjoying the view and sunset, and if you get chilly, then blankets are provided. PRINT. is dedicated to sustainable and seasonal dishes and their website says that between May and October they can achieve up to ‘a 90% fulfillment of local, traceable products on the menu’. The food is so good here but as it changes often, I can’t recommend specific dishes to you, but if they have duck then you absolutely must have that! The desserts are fabulous too so make sure you leave room at the end of the meal.
653 11th Avenue, New York, NY 10036
Well, the hype at Katz’s is definitely to be believed; the sandwiches are huge and pretty delicious. You’ll definitely wait for a table, but go out of peak hours on a weekday and it’ll likely be a whole lot better! The menu is big, but the choice of meats isn’t so you won’t take long to decide. I’m partial to pastrami and brisket, but corned beef and turkey are also on there. Just make sure to order some pickles, as you’ll need that acidity to deal with that amount of meat! A bonus would then be to walk less than a block to Il Laboratorio for the best gelato dessert. The perfect end to your meal, if you still have space!
205 E Houston St, New York, NY 10002
ERIN MCKENNA’S BAKERY
At Erin McKenna’s, they make really excellent gluten-free bakes (they do sundry other free-from options too). I brought my mum here to choose a birthday treat and honestly their brownie cupcakes are probably some of the best cakes I have ever eaten. Try the mint one; it’s the perfect combination of minty frosting and dark chocolate brownie. Obsessed.
248 Broome St, New York, NY 10002
Dough has the biggest doughnuts in the most delicious and interesting flavours. Hibiscus, Chocolate-Earl Grey and Yuzu Curd are some of the more unusual options, but I can say for certain that the Salted Chocolate Caramel is a winner! I would have loved to have tried all the flavours, but NYC is a big city full of food, so I had to hold myself back…
Flatiron Area Branch – 14 West 19th St, New York, NY 10011
THE DEAD RABBIT
World’s Best Bar in 2015 and 2016, this traditional Irish Bar is upping the game. I stayed on the ground floor – the taproom or traditional Irish pub – during my visit but there are in fact 3 floors that make up The Dead Rabbit. A wooden bar, sawdust on the floor, beams filled with photos and a well stocked bar is what you’ll find in the taproom and I highly recommend trying one of their own beers. There is also an extensive cocktail list of their own creations if you’re not a beer drinker, or maybe you just fancy an Irish whiskey? They’ve got it all and more. I love the atmosphere in here; it’s homely and traditional, like your local back home, but it’s also got that edge and modernity that makes it so interesting. I think that’s probably what helps to make it such a great place to sit back with a drink. It’s not far from the ferry terminals, so pop in for a swift one after your trip to Ellis or Staten Island, or even Lady Liberty herself.
30 Water St (near Broad St), New York, NY 10004
Photos by Emma Louise & my brother Matt