Monday, 22 August 2016

Travel: NYC City Guide - Food and Booze

Welcome to the second part of my NYC city guide. Part one is here but this part is about food and booze so stick around because it's good even if I say so myself. My first time in NYC as a veggie but fear not - unlike other parts of the good ol' USA, NYC is a haven for all your dietary requirements, restrictions, aversions and trends. I had a few places on my NYC vegan map and also hit up my friend's favourite spots (stick with the friends who have the same spirit of choice as you and the same drinking pace of said spirit), although due to gin-induced lie ins and it being far too hot to want more than multiple Diet Snapples and iced soy lattes in the daytime my food list is still about a mile long.

Happy Birthday Darlin' - The Standard has "birthday cake with a candle" on its dessert menu.
The first time I visited NYC in 2008 my mother and I wandered around in the pre-iPhone world wondering “where are all the restaurants”. Clue: not on the Upper East Side where our hotel was (but back then we were just happy that Starbucks was "half the price" thanks to the old £/$ exchange rate). The West Village is my favourite night time spot – all cute fairy lights and old cobbled streets. Bell Book and Candle (named after a Kim Novak film, grows its own herbs and veg on the roof) and Market Table (seasonally changing menu, un-American portion sizes - a good thing) are both great - make a reservation because everyone in NYC does that. Head for post dinner drinks at Highlands or Wilfie and Nell where cocktails are strong and there is table service. No photos of dinner and drinks because I was too busy eating, drinking, conversing and enjoying not being surgically attached to my phone so just take my word for it that these places were good.

Lunch at Angelica's Kitchen in the East Village - the "Friday Salad" at the communal table which is a cool NYC concept to make solo diners not have to stare at an empty chair opposite them 
Matcha and Cookie Dough vegan ice cream - help, I'm a wannabe hipster cliche 
The East Village and Lower East Side were new areas to me on this trip. Both great for veggie, vegan and slightly off the beaten track offerings. We dined at Hearth which serves sharing plates of Italian food - it's not a vegetarian restaurant but vegetables are the star of the menu. Egg Shop and The Butcher’s Daughter are across the road from one another for brunch (pick the latter if you have an aversion to eggs). Satisfy your sweet tooth at Momofuku's Milk Bar (where Karlie Kloss has a range of supermodel cookies!), Van Leeuwen ice cream parlour for vegan ice cream and Erin McKenna’s vegan (/gluten free / Kosher) bakery for the cutest sweet treats. Angelica's Kitchen is a super cute vegan cafe, more of a hippie than hipster vibe (some people were vegan before 2014 I guess) and somewhere I'd had on my list for the last couple of trips.

Over on the West Side, The Standard (walk down the High Line first) does a great all day brunch with cheery service and perfect Bloody Mary's (I had two because that is the optimum Bloody Mary number). 

Egg white and feta sandwich and a hydrating (hangover curing) watermelon juice at Egg Shop (have a medicinal coffee while you're there too)
Back up town and Maya does the best guacamole imaginable, such a far cry from the sad green gloop that British supermarkets sell. The margaritas are good too and I say this as a dedicated gin drinker. Lexington Bar and Books may not be everyone’s scene but the gin and elderflower martinis should come with a warning (in a good way) and it lets one smoke inside - one of the most fun and bizarre nights out I've had in a long time. Closes at 4am when it's already getting light outside. If you’re after a rooftop bar then The Hudson’s is pretty great, albeit a challenge to get up to. Watching the city go from day to twilight from this vantage point was the best way to spend a Sunday afternoon. 

International avo-toast eating at The Standard 
Vegan cinnamon roll from Erin McKenna's - final day sweet treat



  1. Mmm all looks good. I think our menu choices would be vastly different though ;-) I couldn't be a veggie in the US (or anywhere really!) and I think I have fro-yo like every day there hehe.

  2. All of that food looks yummy! I remember having some amazing meals when I was there in NYC. Time for another visit I think!

  3. Love this! Such a fun weekend (frankly, I think my liver is still in recovery mode...) xx


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