So first thing’s first, food! I’ve put together a little list of the places we tried out in New York – the good, the great and the not so great so hopefully I can help out if you’re thinking of going and don’t want to waste an okay night when you could have a great one with fabulous food (because obviously, that is the only thing that matters…). P.s I apologise for the ones that don’t have photos, I got hungry.
Before I went, some friends and family provided me with all sorts of recommendations for places to go and eat, so for the ones I didn’t make this time, there’s a little wishlist for my next trip (fingers crossed it’s soon!).
10 Devoe Street | Brooklyn
So on our first day in Brooklyn, we walked to the Brooklyn Bridge and back (more on that soon!), and needed to rest our poor tired feet! We passed this cute looking place all lit up with fairy lights on our walk home and quickly ran back to change into something a little fresher and headed back! It was fairly quiet inside, but the picnic tables outside were busy with drinkers as well as eaters, so we settled in for some proper food! Simon opted for the burger, while I had one of the specials – ravioli and meatballs which was lovely. Definitely recommended for a cute, local kinda place.
The Meatball Shop | Bedford Ave, Brooklyn
The Meatball Shop had been recommended by a couple of people I think, however, I wasn’t as impressed as I had hoped! The restaurant concentrates more on gimmicks like ticking off your choices on laminated menus and was actually quite loud – perhaps we picked the wrong kind of place for the kind of meal we wanted. The meatballs themselves were okay, though I ordered 3 different sorts with 3 different sauces in slider form, and I couldn’t really tell which was which. Needless to say, we didn’t stay for dessert, and I doubt I would visit again. But if you’re looking for that shoreditch vibe, this is where to head!
Davey’s Ice Cream | Bedford Ave, Brooklyn
Helloooo calories! When I walked in and ordered two scoops of Chocolate Chocolate (anything with chocolate in is my #1 choice when it comes to ice cream), the girl behind the counter looked at me eyes wide and asked me if I wanted to try it first. Turns out, Chocolate Chocolate is the chocolateist(?) of all the chocolates, and definitely not for double scooping. So obviously, I had one scoop of that delicious bit rich flavour, and cookies and cream (also great), with hot fudge sauce on top. Perfect!
The Boathouse | Central Park 72nd St
Now this is a place you want to go if you want to feel like an Upper East Sider. Hellooo that Gossip Girl feeling. Simon actually found this place and took me as a treat on our first day in Manhattan. It’s a beautiful set up alongside the lake, where you can sit and watch people rowing across and away. I would definitely recommend booking, as we had about a half an hour wait at the bar (with cocktails. At lunchtime. Hey, I was on holiday!)
The food served here was beautiful, in every sense of the word. It looked amazing and tasted so good! While Simon opted for his fail safe option of burgers and chips, I went a little more adventurous (for me anyway…) and ordered roast pork tenderloin, that was cooked perfectly. For dessert, we ordered the chocolate fondant, which was supposed to be mine – though somehow Simon managed to find himself a spoon – which was equally good! Definitely recommended if you want a relaxing lunch with a view.
Pick-a-Bagel | West End Ave
New York bagels – my favourite kind of breakfast, ever. Simon and I had them most mornings, but this was the place that I was so taken a back by – all the bagels you could ever think of – sesame, poppy, onion, bright yellow egg ones, even purple blueberry ones(?!). We opted for the everything bagels with plain cream cheese and boy do they pack that stuff in there! The everything bagel is really what it says on the tin – poppy, onion, sesame, garlic and salt. Probably a very good thing we both had them each morning, as then we wouldn’t smell each other! I also tried the sundried tomato cream cheese here, which was great. I think there’s a few around Manhattan, so if you see one, make it a morning stop!
Magnolia Bakery | 401 Bleecher St
So I’d heard of the Magnolia Bakery somewhere (probably a Gossip Girl site, let’s not lie), and put it on our list of things to do while in Manhattan. Funnily enough, we stumbled across a cute looking bakery, so I looked up. Lo and behold – the Magnolia Bakery! Obviously, I dived straight in. We chose a Devil’s Food cupcake and a chocolate one, then wandered across to a little park set up with chairs and tables and joined the host of people all tucking into their delicious Magnolia goodies! Needless to say – they were perfect in every way (so much so we revisited later on in our trip!).
Aria | 117 Perry St
Now this place was a lucky find. Hidden away down a street full of little independent restaurants, the big glass doors and lantern lighting drew us in. With a lovely italian menu to follow, we were very happy to have found Aria’s after searching for food after a late finish at Les Miserables! The lasagne was delicious (that is honestly what’s in the photo above. Lantern lighting – not so good for food photography!), and obviously dessert was the only chocolate thing available: fondant. Hello perfection!
Remedy Diner | 245 E Houston St
The Remedy Diner was our Plan C when we walked down to Katz’s Deli and saw the queue out the door (probably wasn’t best scheduled for a Saturday lunchtime), and then headed over to Clinton St Bakery which also had an hour and a half wait! So we plonked ourselves down at Remedy Diner which we’d passed on the way which was great! It turned into more of a lunch than a brunch, with both Simon and I checking out the chicken sandwiches (note: pretty giant), and a milkshake each (American milkshakes – amazing!). This is what I think of when I think Diner – think booths, big windows, a counter to eat at and everything on the menu you could ever possibly want. Including milkshakes (did I mention those already?)
P.G. Clarkes | 63rd Street
This restaurant was situation on the corner near our hotel, so we checked the menu and sat ourselves down for our last night in the city. It was, as Simon described it, a proper American restaurant with checked table cloths and a big focus on steaks. And New York cheesecake! The service was great here, and we enjoyed calamari, a burger and a steak as well as this beautifully soft cheesecake.
On my wishlist for next time –
The Standard Grill
The Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory
Clinton St Bakery