I’m very lucky to have friends and family that live in the Big Apple! When I visit, it’s a whirlwind tour of everything that I need to eat and drink, all while catching up with some awesome people.
Here’s a few of the cool places I got to check out on my most recent visit over the 4th of July weekend!
But First, Coffee
Fika Coffee, Multiple Locations
I love love love coffee, and in the summer in NYC you need some good iced coffee to get your day started. Fika has a simple coffee menu without too many fancy drinks, but definitely does regular cold and hot brews right. Their lattes are also on point. If you’re fueling a full day of touring I recommend their “power bars” which are really like candy bars, but hey with 16 grams of protein that’s nothing to snuff at in regards to getting your energy boost! Totally a vay cay treat and not to be had on the reg unless you’re super active and burn calories like crazy.
Where to Roll
Burger and Lobster, 39 W 19th Street, Flat Iron District NYC
One of the first things I need to eat when I touch down on the East Coast is a Lobster Roll. One of my newest finds was Burger and Lobster, because it’s an AMAZING deal. 20 bucks gets you a roll, fries and salad. Just the roll alone can run you 15-30 bucks in NY or anywhere, so for this to include two sides with a hearty portion of seafood, I say “yesssss please.”
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Toro, 85 10th Ave, Meatpacking District NYC
This was one of the best new places I tried! Toro is a tapas restaurant in the meat packing district that has a fantastic atmosphere, great people watching, and delicious food. Slightly upscale, but still approachable and casual, this is a great place to go with a small to mid-sized group of friends for a great meal. Notable dishes were the Pimientos Del Padron, Datiles Con Jamon, Jamon Serrano, Maiz Asado con Alioli y Queso Cotilja, Pulpo, and Empanada De Pollo Y Patatas.
Bathtub Gin, 132 9th Ave, Chelsea NYC
Looking for great cocktails that no one can find? This place is an homage to prohibition era, and is located literally behind a coffee shop storefront. Look for a coffee shop from the street, then walk on through to find this hidden gem. Their cocktails are mostly gin-based, but have a full menu with a variety of classic and new mixology-based cocktails to satisfy anyone’s whim. Notable cocktails: Shirley’s Temple and Blonde Ambition.
Quintessential Brunch Goals
Penelope Cafe, 159 Lexington Ave, Midtown East – Kips Bay NYC
No trip to NYC is complete without #brunchgoals. Penelope has been a favorite of mine, and a mainstay for locals since 2003. This comfy spot is good for hangovers or to enjoy a great brunch bevvy. The queue can be long especially on weekends, so feel free to put your name in and go grab a quick coffee and check out the neighborhood. If you’re venturing on a weekday here, breakfast, and dinner offer great options. It’s very “chick” friendly during the dinner hour, so think SATC #squadgoals. Also, I highly recommend a slice of red velvet cake no matter what time of day. Notable brunch items: Salmon wrapped poached eggs and Nutella French Toast.
Seafood with a View
Brooklyn Crab, 24 Reed Street, Red Hook, Brooklyn NYC
#PatioTimes for daaaays here at BK Crab. This place is great for everything outdoors and is apparently great in the winter too. Grab yourself some fresh oysters, fried seafood, or a seafood pot… whatever you get it’s ALL good. In addition to some seriously fresh seafood fare, they have entertainment and views that make you feel like you’re not even in NY. But then you take a look around and realize, this is definitely Brooklyn with the cast of characters surrounding you. Worth the trek from the mainland.
Pro tip: Take the FREE Ikea Boat from Pier 11. Notable dishes: Blue Crab Roll, Seasonal Oysters, and the BK Steampot for 1.
Lavender Lake, 383 Carroll Street, Gowanus, Brooklyn NYC
So, I have to admit I was super disappointed with my visit to Lavender Lake, because they offer alcoholic slushies on Fridays and Saturdays and I went on a Sunday (insert sad face emoji). So, despite not getting the draaaaanks that I wanted, the atmosphere and patio at Lavender Lake is totally worth checking out. Next time I will be in for some fancy drinks and food! But for now, their atmosphere won me over.
Tiki with a Twist
Zombie Hut, 273 Smith Street, Gowanus – Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn NYC
Looking for strong frozen drink with some flare? Zombie Hut has got an array of fruity strong cocktails to satisfy a hot summer night on the patio. It’s also super cool and fun inside, so I am torn whether I say go for their patio or go for some inside times. Regardless what you choose, there’s board bames, fun drinks and a great atmosphere inside and out. Notable Drink: The Frozen Zombie.
Bar Tabac, 128 Smith Street, Cobble Hill, Brooklyn NYC
If ever there were a “feeling” that you’re in Brooklyn this place is it. The candle lit, euro influenced dishes and random artisty types that hang out here make you feel right at home. Whether you’re settling in for a chill date or throwin’ back some wine with friends this is a neighborhood joint that anyone can enjoy. Comfort food galore and live music 4 nights a week makes me wish I lived around the corner. Notable dishes: Burger Bar Tabac and Couscous Merguez.
Where all the Cool Kids Hang
Gansavoort Park Avenue Hotel, 420 S Park Ave, Midtown East – Flat Iron District NYC
I was fancy during my visit this time and got the opportunity to stay at the Gansavoort Park Ave. I recommend this place because it was a luxurious hotel without being stuffy. It’s also a great neighborhood location that is convenient to getting to lots of tourist areas, without being in tourist central. The bi-level rooftop during the day was a fantastic place to sun bathe, hit the pool and grab a delish snack like their guac with plantain chips. Even if you’re not staying at the hotel, hitting their rooftop bar, The Drift for some cocktails and views is definitely a great idea if you’re in the area. If you’re up for some cluuuub times see about hitting the VIP Red Room for some DJ, dancing and a scene.
And Hey, it’s Okay to Be a Tourist
Eataly, 200 5th Ave,Flat Iron District NYC
I love going to off the beaten path places, but it’s a-okay to enjoy places that are touristy central, including Eataly. Eataly is a unique market place chef-driven and totally amazing, so don’t beat yourself up if you just can’t help indulging in their artisanal market shopping, delightful desserts or going carbie barbie and sitting down to a hearty pasta or pizza dish. No judgments over here, because Eataly is the best!
Always looking forward to more NYC finds next time I visit! Comment below with your favorite places to eat, drink and parte! Would love to check them out soon!