The Butcher’s Daughter- Kenmare Street
Having seen other bloggers rave about this place, there was no doubt I would be making a trip here myself. The white exterior gleamed in the sunshine and the atmosphere was buzzing, even on a week day. I made myself comfortable at a window seat and admired the white brick interior that housed copper utensils, open pipes and rustic lighting.
I went for the Butcher’s Grilled Cheese because, well, when in New York.. And I just had to try the adzuki bean bacon. It was smokey, salty, and went perfectly with the vegan cheese. The sourdough was crisp and so buttery considering it had no.. butter.
The cafe has recently opened a take-out market store next door where you can buy hot drinks, salads and treats to go, as well as their super cool cold-press juice boxes.
Juice Press- various locations
Mint choc chip was always my favourite ice cream flavour as a kid. And now it’s been cloned into a protein shake?! Wow. This was delicious. The smooth, creamy mint base came from fresh coconut meat, almonds and brown rice protein and the chocolate chip crunch came from chia seeds and cacao nibs.
Juice Press serves a range of meals and snacks, both sweet and savoury such as salads, raw oatmeal and chia pudding. I also tried the ‘Clean Green Protein’ smoothie which was really tasty, but the mint choc chip was a winner hands down.
Babycakes Gluten Free & Vegan Bakery- East Village
For all the vegans out there, a visit to the New York branch of this bakery is a must. The recipes are gluten free and use low GI sweeteners where possible. On offer is an array of American-style bakes such as muffins, cookies and donuts. I tried the samoa donut which tasted so indulgent you wouldn’t know it was ‘free from’ anything!
When I want to find the best of something in a certain city, I always know I can count on Time Out. And one of the ten ‘best New York bagels’ did not disappoint. I arrived late morning and Ess-a-Bagel already had a queue through the middle, a mix of tourists and suits. Always a good sign.
The menu was extensive and covered an entire wall. With over ten varieties of tofu cream cheese, this is another one for the vegans. I decided to go classic with a smoked salmon and cream cheese ‘everything’. There were also healthier bread options on offer such as wholewheat everything and oatbran bagels. This was probably one of the best things I ate in New York. In fact, I don’t think I really knew what a bagel was until this. ‘Nuff said.
Organic Avenue- various locations
I didn’t spend much time in Organic Avenue but I did pop by to pick up this delicious basil and mint iced tea which was very welcome on such a humid day. Also on offer were fresh salads, wraps and desserts. With various locations around town, this is a convenient stop for a light and fresh lunch or breakfast.
Two Little Red Hens American Bakery- Upper East Side
Another trusty Timeout search, this time for traditional American bakeries, led me to this wonderful little shop on the upper east side. There was so much choice and I was having as hard time deciding as the two kids in the queue in front of me. I decided to go traditional with this New York baked cheesecake which I took to a scenic spot in central park. Also on offer were giant cupcakes, scones and pies.
Jack’s Wife Freda- West Village
This American-Middle Eastern restaurant is a blogger’s dream. Everything is photogenic, including the sugar sticks. My friend had named this restaurant as a must for whilst i was in the Big A. My first trip here was when I had just arrived from my flight and the red wine was very much welcome. This accompanied the sesame-soy glazed salmon with kale, with sides to share of the eggplant (aubergine to y’all fellow Brits) and spicy beet dip.
The second trip to Jack’s was for Sunday brunch. The atmosphere was buzzing and we had a short wait for a table which we spent walking around the neighbourhood with a cold brew. Unusually, for my indecisive self, my choice of the green shakshuka was made within seconds. Served with the first challa I have ever tried, it was the dream. Then, in true New York style, we ordered the orange blossom honey pancakes to share. I wish I could make pancakes like the Americans do, it’s a work in progress.
My only quarm was the echo of the building, meaning I had to put my lip reading into practice at times, butJack’s Wife Freda will definitely be my first stop next time I’m back in town!
Chelsea Market- West Village (The High Line)
This quaint market is located just a few hundred metres from the start of the High Line. Perhaps not quite a Borough or Broadway market, but nonetheless worth exploring. There is plenty of food and drink on offer from lobster to donuts to gourmet bakeries. There’s also a couple of specialist supermarkets and a space for temporary sample sales. At the time, this was Billy Reid where I found a few gems. I then picked up some (surprisingly delicious) Japanese-meets Mexican tacos and took these back up to the High Line and found a shady spot to eat and people-watch.
Five Leaves- Brooklyn
A chilled weekend in Brooklyn really showed the New York summer at its best. The weather was perfect and not too humid and we headed to Five Leaves for a late brunch. There was initial outrage at the removal of the mushroom toast from the menu, but I was sold on the farro bowl purely because of how beautiful it looked. It was full of fresh, vibrant goodness and lots of flavour. Once again, in true New York style, we shared the pancakes. This time fluffy ricotta pancakes with berries, honeycomb and maple syrup. Delish.
Wholefoods- various locations
I’ve always loved wandering the aisles of supermarkets in other countries. American Wholefoods was a whole other level, I was like a kid in a candy store. They even sold sweet potato and parsnip yoghurts. Yup.
This store was located on the Upper East Side, the perfect place to grab a wholesome lunch and head to Central Park. I had a mixture of the salad and hot food, the perfect opportunity to try some mac ‘n’ cheese!
Victory Garden Goat’s Milk Ice Cream- West Village
This was a must-try place, recommended by my lovely friend. A quaint little store with a middle eastern vibe located in the middle of the West Village buzz, Victory Garden changes its menu regularly. I’m always swayed by unusual flavours so I dared to try the mastic ice cream topped with halva. It was different but delicious and I would definitely have it again! The store also sold original and salted caramel flavours for the more traditional palette. The coffee here was also a hit when I returned for a cold brew a day later.
Buddha Cups- various stores
I spotted these raw little cups of goodness on Instagram about a year ago and was dying to try them. I hadn’t seen them anywhere in the city until the last day when I was wandering around Brooklyn and found them in a small newsagent (yes, healthy and niche food is so much more readily available than it is in London!). These make a nice alternative to the often sickly-sweet peanut butter cups, and definitely something I need to try and recreate in my kitchen! If you can find one, buy it!
Lara and Quest Bars- various stores
It’s a tough life, this Instagramming. You see all these wonderful treats half way across the world that you can’t find back home. The grass is always greener! My sister had already given me a list of Quest and Lara bar flavours, in order of preference, so I had to leave plenty of room in my suitcase! They aren’t hugely different to the raw bars you can buy in the UK, but somehow American flavours seem so much more exciting! It’s worth scouting out a few health stores to see if you can find some offers, I managed to get BOGOF on the Lara bars, score!!