New York has plenty of landmarks. There’s the Empire State, Central Park, Fifth Avenue and Brooklyn Bridge just to name a few. New York also has plenty of eateries and drinkeries to keep you occupied when you aren’t gawking at skyscrapers or walking across parks and bridges and it’s food and drink scene is certainly comprehensive enough to rival any other city in the world. Here are my top picks of what (and where) to eat and drink in NYC…
The Butcher’s Daughter
There are literally thousands of brunch spots in New York City and, at the weekend at least, it seems to be a favourite pastime of locals and tourists alike. The Butcher’s Daughter, billed as a “vegetable slaughterhouse” gets my pick as it is a great alternative to the meat and dairy-heavy cuisine you can find on every other street corner. Dishes are full of flavour and have enough spice and substance to satisfy any cravings. Go for the Butcher’s Bowl if you are hungry; the fennel sausage is witchcraft in both taste and texture. My tip is to arrive early as the queues can be long, but you can head to their tiny coffee shop next door to get an oat milk cappuccino while you wait.
Honourable Mention – Bubby’s
If you are after the Americana experience and like huge stacks of pancakes with plenty of free-flowing coffee, this place ticks all of the boxes. Their Gansevoort Street restaurant in Chelsea/Greenwich Village is a great launchpad for the Chelsea Highline.
What can I say about Dante that hasn’t already been said? It’s the World’s Best Bar for a start which speaks for itself. Expect some of the most outrageously smooth (and novel) Negronis you have ever tasted in your life. Between 3pm to 6pm is their #NegroniSessions and you can sample one of their signature cocktails for just $10. We coincided our visit with this, sitting down for a cosy lunch at 2pm. The interior of Dante is beautifully simple, barely changed from birth in 1915, and attracts a loyal crowd. Don’t overlook the Prix Fixe if you’re in for lunch; $25 will get you a starter, main and desert. The Pappardelle all’ragu with braised wild boar and the Panna Cotta are both standouts.
Honourable Mention – Plums
A lovely little American-style restaurant housed in a former gas station right next to Brooklyn Bridge. Service is excellent and the food definitely hits the spot. It’s an ideal alternative to the hustle and bustle of the TimeOut market in DUMBO if you’re after a more tranquil setting.
Situated in the very nice neighbourhood of NoHo (North of Houston Street), Bobby Flay’s signature NYC restaurant is no secret. Booking is essential and the place is very busy throughout the week; if you can’t nab a table then the bar area is alternative place to eat and drink. We went for a selection of food here alongside a bottle of red wine; the Crispy Potatoes with egg, smoked paprika and Parmigiano Reggiano probably being the standout dish. Prices are a little on the steep side although portions are generous. Expect to pay between $60-70 per head for a couple of dishes and a drink.
Rooftop bars are a plenty in the Big Apple, and it can be tough to truly find a space that isn’t too stuffy while still giving you that all-important view. The real trick is this; get away from Uptown (where the skyline is) and head down to the Lower East Side. Here, you won’t need a glass elevator to smash through the top floor; the 15th floor of Hotel Indigo will do. Mr Purple is a very airy space that is minimalist and cool. During the day, the space functions as a great day drinking spot, complete with DJ. By night, it starts to get very busy; try and get there before 3pm to grab a table if you haven’t reserved. The outdoor rooftop pool is perfectly positioned in front of a very dramatic skyline, and gives us a reason to revisit in warmer months.
Honourable Mention – Apotheke
I don’t want to spoil the experience, but check out Apotheke in Chinatown if you are after a very unique night out. They have a full schedule of what is on here, but the atmosphere in this speakeasy is absolutely incredible. Think live jazz, a lively crowd, and some very good (strong) cocktails.