I have been thinking about starting a blog for a while – mostly to have one place, that would serve as storage for all my travel notes, photos, favorite recipes and other stuff that makes me happy.
A while ago I went to New York City with my boyfriend and all the research I was doing prior to the trip was what prompted me to start a blog of my own. There is endless amount of information and recommendations how one should spend a long weekend in New York City – guide books, bucket lists, lists of places that tourists shouldn’t miss, lists of places to avoid any tourists, local’s favorite spots and top ten places to do just about anything…but the advice that I relied on the most were recommendations from friends and snippets of information I found on blogs of what I assumed to be like-minded individuals.
We got on a plane to New York with two lists – mine was filled with hippie food places, cutie cafes and art galleries; Jerry’s was full of delis, bbq and pizza joints. Here is what we actually did, broken down by neighborhood:
Emily Pizza – hipster pizza place with a creative menu, tomatillo salsa pizza with spicy sausage was amazing!
Hophill – craft beer bar just across the road from Emily – popular waiting spot for people waiting for seating in Emily, we even saw some people get take out from Emily and eat there. Nerdy, specialized beer and cider bar, no frills
Blue bottle coffee – I am obsessed with Blue Bottle ever since I first tried their coffee in SF couple years ago, their single origin drip coffee is amazing, they have nice simple breakfast options and interesting pastries (4 more branches in NYC)
Little Neck – seafood restaurant, my uncle took us here for dinner, we shared super fresh and tasty oysters, clams, a lobster roll and nice vegetable sides. Simple short menu and everything was good. Service was friendly (despite the fact that we were dining with a hyperactive toddler) and it was a good place for a long sit down dinner
Ample Hills Creamery – the above mentioned toddler loved this place! And so did we – interesting ice-cream flavors with cookies, cake and anything-you-can-think-of-bits in them and a beautiful rooftop patio
Pratt Institute – beautiful garden open to public, great place for people – watching!
Prospect park – great for running but also for long strolls and people-watching, the parkside street reminds me of areas in London around Hyde Park – majestic pre-war buildings
Brooklyn coffee roasters – really cool space in Dumbo, close to Brooklyn Bridge park, I had a delicious latte and they also sell their freshly roasted coffee beans
Grumpy’s coffee – I was hoping for a low key neighborhood café with delicious coffee, it was pretty good but the space was crammed and mostly oriented for take out, maybe their other locations are better
Williamsburg bagel – you will not find this place on google maps or yelp but there was a long queue of Ortodox Jews and it looked intriguing so we had a spontaneous lunch there – the best bagel I have ever had. Get an everything bagel with pastrami salmon, cream cheese and additional toppings of your choice / correction: you CAN find this place on google maps, however their hours are somewhat unpredictable
Plaza by Williamsburg bagel – great place for people watching and enjoying your take out
Greenpoint – nice park, piers with a beautiful view of Manhattan, little oasis of calm and quiet
Ovenly bakery – you can find their pastries in coffee shops all over the city but I think it’s worth making it to their flagship location, their café is really cozy, has great ambiance and they serve the most delicious and creative sweet and salty snacks. I was smitten by this place! Recommended by one of my favorite foodbloggers – Apt 2B Baking
Manhattan – Midtown
Murray’s bagel – best bagel place in NYC according to many lists but we were a little disappointed, it was a good bagel but the one in Williamsburg was just so much lighter, fluffier and the salmon was more flavorful. Also – their coffee tasted burnt and horrible
Neue Gallerie – one of the many galleries in the Museum Mile, we saw a Shiele exhibit but what I enjoyed the most was their permanent collection and the all their Klimt paintings, this one was my favorite – Dancer. Other galleries to check out: MoMa, Guggenhaim museum
Hangawi – vegan Korean restaurant, very unique dining experience, super creative and delicate food, classic Korean flavors (I feel like I can say that after living in Koreatown for 9 months) with a modern twist – I was very impressed! Get their vegetable bowl and try their desserts!
Manhattan – East side
Katz – deli institution, walls are filled photos of celebrities who have eaten there (mayor Bloomberg was there at least three times), we had a pastrami sandwich with extra pickles and then we walked all the way back to Brooklyn to digest (7km) but it was worth it
Happy Bones – the best Flat white I have had for ages, cozy space and desserts from Ovenly
Black Ant – if I had to pick one place as my favorite in NYC, this would be it! I guess you could describe it as modern Mexican cuisine, I would describe it as a NYC version of Nopalito – everything we tried was delicious – tacos, ceviche, bacalao and their avocado ice-cream. Each dish had a creative twist, exploded with flavor and was beautifully presented
Manhattan – West side
High Line Park – park in a place of old elevated railway tracks, so beautifully done! Great place for a stroll and enjoying great views of the city. We went on a Saturday morning and it was pretty crowded, I would recommend going early in the morning on a weekday…
Greenwich village & NYU – great areas to explore on a long walk
Colombia University – so pretty to walk around!
Cathedral – interesting sculpture next to it
Miss Mamie’s Spoonbread Too – place on Jerry’s list, southern soul food – he had a fried chicken, I had a spicy jerk chicken with delicious collard greens and tasty rice and beans and we loved it. However our friend got stone cold ribs and was not as enthusiastic as we were, maybe ask service for recommendation about what is freshly done, it can be a bit of hit and miss
This is what we managed to see and eat in four days. We also managed to walk around 20km every day, because I consider that one of the best ways to slowly and intimately discover a city and watch it’s neighborhoods transition (and work up an appetite). There were many more places on our list and I hope to be back at some point. If you have any other NYC recommendations, please do share and I will keep them on file for my next visit.