Before wrapping up this amazing experience in New York we would like to share the best addresses we compiled, from many many blogs, and tried once we were there. So be prepared for lots of yummy & tested addresses ahead in our NYC guide!
We were in NYC for a week and let me assure you that we did our best to squeeze as many food dates as possible, we even had an afternoon 'tea' with snacks at a Korean in Chelsea Market to not miss our starred restaurants. So, this is more a foodie guide than a regular addresses one, but we are including a couple of shops too for a change!
The Arlo is a modern and lively hotel located in our favorite hood to stay in Manhattan, the Soho. I loved their bedrooms where the bed is a nook with the biggest window to the street, it was quite perfect to start the day with that view (swoon!).
As a bonus we used their complimentary service to rent a lovely looking vintage bike, which stole our hearts. On the first day we also visited their bar on the terrace, it is quite useful for people like us who prefer to hangout near the hotel at night and it was very popular for non-residents too.
Tim Ho Wan is a dumplings Chinese restaurant from the namesake Michelin star chef, whom decided to have also a restaurant which everyone could afford. That's how we found here delicious plates for very few dollars that made our bellies super happy.
You can't miss the baked bbq pork buns for anything. The turnip cake was also recommended but we enjoyed more the sticky rice in a lotus leaf. A tea pot costs 1$ and is huge. Lines should be expected but they have a great system where they call you to your phone number when the table is near to be ready, so you can go for a walk or home (if you are from NYC).
My engagement ring is from Catbird so my opinions for this wonderful tiny jewelry store from Brooklyn are totally biased ^wink^
I specially love their thin delicate pieces. It may not be a casual shopping stop (depending on your budget, of course) but if you have something special to celebrate it will be totally worthy to check their catalogue & invest in one of their sweet rings or necklaces. We visited on mother's day and they had lots of people getting their reserved jewelry boxes.
We couldn't be in New York and not have a brunch (or should I better say a big American breakfast?) and Reunion in Brooklyn was no doubts the best choice. This place looks as it is storing all the goods from the royal Tenenbaums family and, if you know me, this is a huge compliment to the decor of Reunion!
The food was as good as the looks. You will find here lots of locals, which always make you feel like a New Yorker too.
Joe's pizza is a New York institution we just had to try (and you too, ha!). They sell pizza slices for 2.75$ and usually have only two types: plain cheese and pepperoni. The price-quality relationship is unbeatable and was a very fun stop to recharge batteries.
It's typically a grab-and-go place, but if you are lucky enough (or are happy to wait a few minutes) you can eat it from one of the counters. I even was able to sit by the outside-window counter (yay!). I was surprised that the take-away sodas came in glass bottles (which I much prefer over plastic).
Mökbar is a Korean comfort food and ramen at the famous Chelsea Market. Due to our planning to visit the market during the afternoon, we were not able to have a proper meal in Mökbar. However, we couldn't miss the chance to grab a bite anyway so we decided to have some mid-afternoon snacks.
We tried one of the highlights in the menu, the ho' cake, which was, in Dani's words, probably the best bite from the trip. I certainly hope we can go next time to try one of their Korean Ramens.
We loved this quirky store near the Flatiron Building called Fishs Eddy. They sell home trinkets, from useful plates, glasses and napkins or tea towels, to that perfect gift for your hosts. We weren't able to leave the store without a little souvenir: we brought home a small candy dish with a 18th century looking lady with the word "bitch", which is a perfect example of the type of humour in Fishs Eddy.
If I haven't already convinced you, maybe Netflix can, ha! The store is one of the locations of the New Yorkers episode from Master of None.
Ed's Lobster Bar is a classic in New York where to eat one of the most famous northeast coast dishes: the lobster roll, a yummy sandwich with lobster meat in a hot-dog type of bun.
As you can imagine, when it involves fresh quality lobster in New York, it is not a super cheap dish, but it is amazing.
I was very looking forward to our visit to Forbidden planet, a famous comic & merchandising store. It certainly didn't let us down, it had lots of Funko pops (which I was most interested in) and board games.
I think where I spent most of our time was with the blind boxes. They have tons of it (maybe not as much as in Japan, but hundreds compared to Barcelona) and I was trying to guess which one was inside them by their weight and noises. I am the only one with this addiction? hope not, ha! I was looking for a Rocket or Groot, from Guardians of the Galaxy, but if my theory was right none of the boxes had them.
A good tip if you are, like me, looking for Funko pops, is that the nearby Barnes & Noble in Union Square Park has also a large collection. Go check it out too!
La Esquina was the first thing we ate in New York, and we had a very lovely evening indeed. There are three different locals, the taco truck, the hidden brasserie downstairs and the café; we ate at the latter. From their menu we decided to try only the tacos with some guacamole as starters; we specially loved the rib eye taco and the guacamole. The plates are big, so order wisely.
You can see more pictures & read some words about our experience in this post too: Catweek - Modern cats of the city
We have a dedicated post to talk about the treats from Dominique Ansel here: NYC - Cronuts, 4 years of deliciousness so I won't get into lots of more details.
Yes, it is totally worthy if you have to wait in line during the morning. They change the cronuts every month and they never repeat the same combo of flavours, so it feels like a unique experience. It's not only about the cronuts, although they are obviously their highlight, don't forget about the mouth-watering DKA, the frozen s'more, the madeleines or the also famous cookie shot (only in the afternoon).
The Meatball shop is a fun concept where you can choose your type of preferred meatballs and the sauce you want with them. It was so successful they have up to 7 different locations, all of them in Manhattan and Brooklyn. We tried their Chelsea location and were lucky to score a table without reservation. We were able to see that it is very popular amongst group of friends, which is quite comprehensible due to the personalization and price. We fell in love with their meatballs!
They have daily specials, and precisely that's what we got, the Mac&Cheese meatball with the cheese sauce. We can't recommend any of the regulars but I'm pretty sure they will be equally good. Dani, whom has a sweeter tooth, ended his meal with the ice-cream sandwich that also follows the personalization route, they allow you to choose each of the two cookies and the ice-cream flavours.
We explain a lot about the story behind Juliana's in this post: NYC -Pizza date & Manhattan sunset, but I need to add a few bits about it here too. This restaurant is from the pizza celebrity Patsy Grimaldi and offers the best (arguably for some, not us, read the post!) pizza in New York City. If you are a pizza lover you're for a treat, thank me later, ha!
We had a large margherita pizza to share for two people.
Matcha is getting lots of attention lately, more coffee shops are offering this magic and delicious Japanese green tea, which is something great in my opinion. Since I'm a big lover, when I learnt about a dedicated coffee shop in New York to matcha I added it on top of my list. Even with more emphasis when I learnt that the name was so catchy "Cha Cha Matcha" and that the decor was the cutest in pink and green.
We have a dedicated post to Cha Cha Matcha here: NYC - Cha Cha Matcha
New York City is probably one of the best places to try cuisines from all over the world, but as happens with pizza the temptation to eat Mexican in New York is too big. Thus, we added a second Mexican to our list, the neat Tacombi, after our successful dinner in La Esquina.
Tacombi has four locations in Manhattan, we visited the one in Nolita that has a van inside the restaurant. The industrial meets vintage Mexican style of the decoration is perfect and I think we loved the food even more than in La Esquina, maybe (just maybe) because we had tostadas and not only tacos this time. My favorite was the tuna tostada with avocado. If you like spicy, the toasted corn with chipotle mayo is perfecto to share.
Jack's wife Freda is a bistro with Mediterranean influences. Being Mediterranean guys ourselves, we hesitated to include it in our foodie route or not, but with a published book and lots of praise we were curious to see how this American-Mediterranean fusion works out.
Well, we loved it and became part of the fans of Jack & Freda. We had breakfast, a rosewater waffle (Dani) and one of the most delicious yogurts I've ever tried (myself). So, we can only encourage you to try it as well!
Specialty coffee is a big trend everywhere, and of course New York has to be one of its pioneers. The most famous roasters are these three here, and we tried them all, ha!
I have mentioned it a couple of times before that I don't drink coffee, but I love the smell of the coffee places where they grind the beans or even roast it in the location.
Dani's favorite was Toby's Estate for the perfect Brooklyn location and its filtered coffee. I loved Stumptown more because they had an amazing chai latte too.
Milk bar is an award winning bakery with a trademark milk cereal ice-cream that words fall short to describe. It's totally addictive and even though I was running back to the hotel to take a plane back home I was devouring it like there was no tomorrow. If you like this type of milky flavours (guilty!) it's a MUST.