Back in September 2016 I took myself on a solo adventure to NYC for my birthday (treat yo self etc.). After speaking to some friends who live there, I decided to stay at an Airbnb in Bushwick (Brooklyn), which is a hub of fantastic street art, food, drink and vintage shop delights.
I’ll do a post soon on my favourite spaces and places, though seeing as I’m the daughter of a published chef (that’s my Pops!) and an amazing cook (my mum’s cooking is outstanding) I thought it would be rude not to post about some of my favourite places to grab a drink, eat some food and watch the world go by…
Katz Deli– This family run deli has been running for over 100 years, though is maybe most famously known for that scene in the film ‘When Harry met Sally’, Katz is a place of organised chaos, electric atmosphere (the staff there are all about the banter, which suited me down to the ground) and amazing food. I remember watching an episode of ‘Man vs. Food’ where Katz was featured and thinking “I will go there one day!”. You go in and take a ticket, then you have to join a queue (canteen style), choose what you want (I went for a beef brisket sandwich, chips and a cola), they write all the food you have on your ticket then you go and take a seat with your tray of delicious delights. DO NOT LOSE YOUR TICKET! You need this to pay at the end! The sandwich was ridiculous in size and tasted amazing. It came with a couple of different pickles and I felt like I needed a good nap afterwards?! It’s safe to say I only ate couple of chips and just over half of the sandwich. I wish I’d taken the rest of it back to the apartment with me now, damn it! A place not to be missed. 205 East Houston Street (corner of Ludlow St), New York City, 10002
Four & Twenty Blackbirds– Recommended to me by my lovely friend Tessa, Four & Twenty Blackbirds is just a stone’s throw away from the Morbid Anatomy Museum (you have to go there!) in Gowanus, Brooklyn. In this cosy little bakery you can buy pie whole or by the slice. I went for a slice of their traditional apple pie with cream (I’m shocked I came back from this holiday a few lbs lighter?!). Created by two sisters with a passion for baking passed down from their grandma, Four & Twenty have three different locations in NYC and were named “Artisans of the Year” by Time Out New York in 2011. The portion size thankfully wasn’t overwhelming, but for someone with a sweet tooth it was very satisfying without being too sweet (just the right tartness of apple to sugary sweet ratio- yum!). The perfect place to sit down and unwind of an afternoon. Four & Twenty Blackbirds, 439 3rd Avenue, Brooklyn 11215
Hanamizuki– This little oasis of calm situated in the busy hub of Midtown was a welcome break from lots of the heavy food traditionally associated with America. It’s also SUPER CHEAP and filling! I went for the lunch menu and got quite a lot of food for around $10.00, plus a small glass of beer for $6.00. I didn’t feel like I needed anything else for the rest of the day food wise, so that was a bonus as saves on the cash flow. Hanamizuki, 143 West 29th Street, Store Front, Between 6th and 7th Avenue, New York, NY 10001
Cha Cha Matcha– So, I sort of fan girled it up a bit by going to Cha Cha Matcha as I saw it featured on Lena Dunham’s Instagram feed. Moving swiftly on (I’m super cool, honest gov). I was never a fan of matcha tea in particular before I went to NYC, I always found it tasted of grass cuttings (random, or non?) and smelt, well, just plain weird. Then low and behold Cha Cha Matcha changed my mind and I’m now one of the converted (praise be to Cha Cha Matcha!). They have matcha tea (obviously), cakes, cronuts filled with matcha cream (if you ever go, get one of these), soft serve icecream matcha and the place is so tiny and cute being all green and pink themed. Can we have one in the UK, please? Cha Cha Matcha, 373 Broome St. New York, NY
Serendipity 3– Ever since I saw the film Serendipity with John Cusack and Kate Beckinsale, I’ve always wanted to go to this adorable restaurant situated in the hustle and bustle of the big city. It’s also mentioned on an episode of GIRLS (FYI- I do not have a Lena Dunham obsession… maybe a little). They are most famously known for their frrrozen hot chocolate, which as you can see in my photo below is HUGE. There were cute couples sat around me, sharing food and their own frrrozen hot chocolates, and then there was me with my massive bowl of chocolate and cream delight. Zero f**ks were given. Did I drink it all? Yes. Was milk “a bad choice” in that stinking, hot heat of the big city. Absolutely. Still, no regrets. Serendipity 3, 225 East 60th Street, between 2nd and 3rd Avenues, New York, NY 10022
Cafe Ghia– This place was very close to where I was staying and I’m so glad I went. After a long flight from London and minimal sleep I left my apartment at around 9am hoping that somewhere would be open (for the city that doesn’t sleep, a high percentage of places are closed at that time in the am?!) and thankfully Cafe Ghia called to me like a beacon of hope. This seems to be a brunch hot spot with the locals (they love brunch out there!). I went for a potato bowl topped with bacon, egg, scallions (spring onions in the UK) and cheddar cheese. I’m not sure that I managed half of it due to my woozy, jet-lag brain, but it was a taste sensation. 10/10, would eat again. Cafe Ghia, 24 IRVING AVEBROOKLYN, NY, 11237