Okay, it's definitely no secret how much either of us love New York. Jenna lived there for a while, and Ty and I (Cort, obviously) visit on the reg. And one of the things we love most about the city that literally never sleeps is the FOOD! It's also no secret that we're foodies, and love trying new things...hence us trying E'scargo (sp?) in Paris...and Jenna actually had it twice after that. I wasn't as into it. I'd have to agree with Christopher on Gilmore Girls when he says that it kind of tastes like a buttered gummy bear. But I digress!
Back to NYC. There is absolutely no shortage of cute, tucked away restaurants in every genre and culture you could ever imagine. There's no way you'll ever hit them all, but we try to hit our faves and add some new ones to the list every time we go!
Now, I actually didn't take a ton of photos on this trip. Ty and I agreed before our plane left L.A. that this trip was not going to be about work...something that's really hard for both of us to agree to, but I'm so glad we did. We spent a week just walking around, soaking up each other's company and the people and things around us. That being said, we didn't do photoshoots in the places we went (as we often do), so this post will be more words than photos. A little different than our norm, but when it comes to amazing food, I firmly believe it's worth it to read. Dinner, breakfast, brunch, dessert, we've got it all for ya. :)
Here we go!
1. Blue Ribbon Sushi
119 Sullivan St, New York, NY 10012 (Soho)
Again, you're definitely not going here for the Instagram opportunities (it's hella pretty in there, just also hella dark). Although I did sit two feet away from Ben Platt here, and I'll never get tired of saying that. Not normally one to freak over celebs, but I did over him. This one is a little tricky to find. It's nestled underneath an apartment building, and there's no sign, which is half the charm in my opinion. Some of the best sushi we've had, and not horribly priced for where it is. Also, get the smoked yellowtail. You 100% will thank me for that advice.
2. The Coffee Shop
29 Union Square W, New York, NY 10003 (Union Square, obviously)
This place definitely gives you the feel of a classic NYC hustle & bustle diner. We went here for breakfast at 2 pm with one of our friends who lives in the city (his recommendation). We both love little divey diners like this where we can people watch. I just always like wondering where everyone around me is going, what they're ordering, what their plans are for the holidays, do they eat breakfast/lunch here everyday, that sort of thing. Is that weird? It's something I've done for as long as I can remember. It stayed busy the entire time we were there, so apparently it's a favorite for some people. Ty and I both got mushroom & leek omelettes (if you don't eat dairy or meat, it is a little harder to eat here, I will say, cause that omelette was about the only thing we could get) BUT it was really good & light. Not heavy like a lot of diner food! And like I said, the atmosphere is really fun, and it's right across the street from the Union Square holiday market!
3. The Spotted Pig
314 W 11th St, New York, NY, 10014 (West Village)
This place made the list two years running, because OMG, it's so good! Funny enough, we went the first time because Jim Halpert mentions this place in The Office. Tucked away in the West Village (one of our favorite neighborhoods), it's just warm and always full of people, and the staff is always suuuuper nice! Pretty sure they're best known for their burger and fries. We came here last year, and at that time, we still ate meat, and the burger was pretty amazing. Once more, if you don't eat meat (we eat fish, but no fish here) or dairy, it is a little tricky to eat here, but we had to try because we loved it so much! And it wound up being one of our favorite meals of the trip. They had like an appetizer of steamed vegetables, and we each ordered one of those as an entree. When we did that, our server asked if we were vegetarian, we said yes, and he generously offered to sub in additional veggies from other dishes to ours so we could leave full! SO nice! And we looked at our receipt and he definitely didn't charge us for the extra ones. A little kindness goes a long way, and we'll definitely be going back. They also have a kick ass bar.
4. Dough Doughnuts
448 Lafayette Ave, Brooklyn, NY, 11205 (Bedford-Stuyvesant)
I don't even know what else to say about this place. Apparently there's more than one, but I'm not sure if they're the same? We've only gone to the one in Brooklyn and it's a MUST anytime we're in NY. Best donuts I've ever had, hands down, and I've tried A LOT of donuts. ;) Like, the Cafe Au Lait one will make you roll your eyes back in your head at least 4 times. You can also watch them make the donuts through a window and it's just a cozy spot to grab a snack and a cup of hot coffee. Also, the Dulce de Leche one is my second favorite!
5. Five Leaves
18 Bedford Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11222 (Greenpoint)
We spent an entire day in Brooklyn this time around since we really didn't get to explore it last time! We met some friends here for dinner, and again, super small and cozy (which is just my fave...L.A. needs more places like this) and DELISH food. Has like a British/Aussie twist to the menu, and everyone really liked what they had. I had some sort of gingered sea bass with brussel sprouts, and normally I hate ginger, but it was so fresh. I loved it! They also have seasonal drinks like mulled wine and apple cider & rye. Definitely a good dinner spot if you're in Brooklyn!
6. The Smile
26 Bond St, New York, NY 10012 (Noho)
Another adorable basement cafe and maybe my favorite meal of the trip. Which probably has something to do with the fact that they majorly decorate for Christmas as you can see in the photo! It didn't feel like we were in NYC, more like England or somewhere European. They're apparently known for their scrambled eggs and cheese, and Ty got the scrambled eggs with no cheese, and they were still pretty amazing! I'm weird and I love oatmeal, so I got the steel cut oatmeal with coconut milk and dried cranberries and a quinoa banana muffin and holy everything, it was a perfect breakfast on a super cold morning. For sure a place we'll go back to!
7. La Lanterna Di Vittorio
129 Macdougal St, New York, NY 10012 (West Village)
The one exception we made while we were there for real cheese was NYC pizza and it was totally the right decision. We went to La Lanterna, a cute little garden style Italian restaurant, on our last night (because pizza had to be our last meal, duh!) and it had a super romantic vibe AND one vegan pizza on the menu (which we also got!) The vegan option was a potato and onion pizza. No vegan cheese, just olive oil, and while it sounds weird, the server recommended it and it was actually really good too! We each split that and a mushroom pizza (not vegan, but amazing), and it was the perfect way to end our trip! Also not bad pricing here, and amazing ambiance. They had live music, which is apparently a regular thing, and a full Italian menu, not just pizza! Also hot toddies. *thumbs up emoji*.
8. Schmackary's Cookies
362 W 45th St, New York, NY 10036 (Midtown)
I'm always lost for words when it comes to dessert. Hahah! Sugar addict, much? I can't take credit for finding this spot, because Jenna is the one who originally got me hooked when she brought a cookie back for me once. And now Ty and I absolutely have to go when we visit. It's not negotiable. We usually stop by on our Central Park day, since we typically spend most of our time downtown vs uptown, and it is always worth the wait (which is usually around half an hour). The funfetti cookie will make you question everything you thought you knew about any funfetti cookie you've had in the past. It's that good. And this time, we took them back to our hotel, and ate them in bed while watching Elf and it was perfect. Haha!
9. Matcha Bar
There's a few scattered around the city!
Ty and I also love a good matcha, and this is some of the best I've had. We went to a couple different locations throughout the week. So, obviously, it's worth more than one stop. Oat milk matcha latte with vanilla. Nuff said.
And I really hate that there's not a 10th place, but we'll cap it at 9, because these were the ones on my list! Please, if you have any favorites, share them! I'd love to know!