I find New York so theatrical. Of course this has something to do with me seeking out theatre but without seeking, I find it spills out onto the streets anyway!
Here are some of the highlights from my most recent trip to a city that steals a little more of my heart each time I go.
Where to stay-
It has to be Lower East Side. If you're a foodie and you most probably are if you're reading this then Lower East Side is a must in terms of where you rise and bed. There are so many gems for coffee, breakfast, lunch and dinner in this area and it's also super close to Manhattan bridge for getting over to foodie Brooklyn in a hurry! I stayed at Hotel Indigo which I loved for its views, working space, rooftop bar and walking distances to so many places I went whilst there.
When you land you're gonna want a bloody good coffee and something healthy to eat. I mean, you'll want access to good coffee always and my favourite spot was El Rey. There I had an epic Kale, Chickpea and Pickled Egg Salad with a Cold Brew straight off the plane to get me into my NY time zone. Their americano coffee is completely delicious too! They roast their coffee in Brooklyn and seemingly the Founder is a total perfectionist. It shows in his coffee.
The Smile on Bond Street makes the best Buckwheat Banana Bread I've ever had at a restaurant. If you're gluten-free I highly recommend this place. Superb vibe too! I always need a high dose of grain in the morning for happy poos so mixing up a routine of granola with this bad boy was essential. Get it with eggs for something a little heartier!
Dudley's do a good granola which I ate on my first morning there. If poo is your struggle I recommend getting this in on one of your first mornings.
Vinegar Hill House in Brooklyn is insanely good! The coffee isn't great but I forgive them that in exchange for their EPIC Sourdough Apple Pancake and Pulled Pork with Grits. Outstanding. Total highlight of the trip. Book in advance as it's a total gem and you don't want to miss out.
Sadelle's a classic Soho institution do epic gluten-free bagels which went down a treat with smoked salmon, house coleslaw and pickled things Sunday morning. They make their bagels in a large glass box in the middle of the restaurant which brings a sense of theatre to the space. Loved it! Grab your coffee elsewhere though! Definitely book in advance. This place gets crazy busy super early!
The Wild Son is new to the meat packing district and I loved it there. Super healthy and nourishing. Exactly what you need when you're doing a lot of city walking and need to stay regular. Highly recommend the grain bowl with chicken.
Sauvage in Brooklyn has everything I love in a restaurant. Awesome vibe, incredible food, incredible decor and interiors, great staff, good wine and a sort of speakeasy vibe to it with perfect lighting. GO. You will LOVE it. Trust me.
MIMI on Sullivan Street is fantastic! Small, dark, seriously great food! The menu is hand written in French so you may need a lot of it translated. Go as a group of four so that you can try most of the starters. The Boudin Noir was divine! The sashimi a triumph! The main dishes are super meaty and rich! We went a little overboard and got one each! I'd share two mains between four next time. Incredibly hard to get a booking here at short notice. Book well in advance!
GATO off Bowery is fabulous! Go with someone super fun as the vibe is energetic and you'll want to feel a part of the buzz as opposed to stuck with a chat-less date! Order the scrambled eggs if it's on the menu. I know it's dinner but it works!
Semilla in Brooklyn is quite pricey but is a good restaurant to do a tasting menu at if that's what you're after with close proximity to the kitchen and a long bar table vibe which everyone eats at. Their bread is exquisite served with buttermilk and freshly churned butter.
For Gluten-free Bread-
- Le Pain Quotidien Bleecker Street These guys do a really good high-fibre bread. If poo is your struggle get a loaf of this to bring to restaurants with you whilst there.
- Jennifer's Way Bakery A fab bakery for the residents of the Lower East Side. Super small and gluten-free producing small breads, bagels, cookies and cakes. However if poo is your struggle I wouldn't depend on the bread here to help you go! They also use a little rice flour which doesn't agree with me personally but some good stuff here regardless.
Where to drink good wine list-
Before I left for NYC Charlotte Wilde very kindly hooked me up with her best list of where to drink great wine. She's a huge authority in this space as Co-Founder of Sager + Wilde. Unfortunately I didn't make it to all of these. More to do for my next trip! :) Thanks Charlotte!
- The Four Horsemen Brooklyn
- Pearl & Ash Bowery
- Rebelle Bowery
- Ten Bells Broome Street
- Charlie Bird King Street
- Aldo Sohm Manhattan
- June Brooklyn
- Wildair Lower East Side
- Contra Lower East Side
- Untitled at the Whitney
As a drama student growing up and immersing myself in the world of writing and acting when I first moved to London I'm a huge fan of improv! If you want to experience some intimate New York theatre then I hugely recommend improv nights at The Pit. I took a number of friends there on different nights who all loved it as first timers to improv. On Wednesdays a crew called Vern perform there who are killer! Super smart, super energetic, GO SEE THEM.
As a Suziki trained violinist I grew up with a huge passion for classical music. If you're into classical music check out Carnegie Hall and The Lincoln Center for some incredible performances! You can also go to rehearsals in the morning midweek. In saying that though, even if you've never been to a classical music concert before doing so in NYC is something I definitely recommend!
On A Weekend-
Grab a coffee and walk from Lower East Side over the Manhattan Bridge to Brooklyn for brunch and take in the spectacular views to be had from that bridge. Walk around Brooklyn's warehouse scene to spot a wave of new industry.
Too many great ones to mention! NYC is cocktail bar heaven. I *think* you'll manage to find some!
Other than that do a lot of walking around with a coffee in your hand and keep your eyes wide open! New York is truly a feast for the eyes and the mind. Sleep before you go! There's too much fun to be had in New York for sleep to be your struggle!