Soooo, if you didn’t already know from the massive NYC photo spam all over my Instagram (follow follow follow @sopha_sogood), then I thought now is the chance to share my recent adventure in New York with you all. My boyfriend and I decided New York was the place we wanted to go, especially to celebrate his 21st and even better, the wonderful news of him gaining a first in his degree. What a star! Anyway, we had the whole trip planned out and loosely fit into an itinerary (which was of course created by me because men are useless, sorry J…) to make sure we had time to visit all the places we wanted to see, hit all the top brunch spots, and make some awesome memories. The trip, with the help of the itinerary, did not disappoint.
I thought I would split my guide into two parts, because we really did do a lot in our 8 days spent there. Part one, being what you’re reading now, is ‘to eat’ and part two is ‘to do’. Unfortunately, with my on going recovery and lots of tablets, my appetite was and is still pretty sparse, but we still ate at some great places, and drank some insanely good juices, smoothies, coffees (and mojitos) which I’m sure will be useful for you if you are thinking of heading to NYC any time soon.
There are so many brunch places, coffee shops and juice bars dotted around New York within the many districts, that even in 8 days (which I think for NY is a pretty long trip) it is impossible to get around very many. Saying that, I think we visited a few gems.
Bluestone Lane- An Australian style cafe, said to be one of the most popular brunch spots in NYC, well known on Instagram for its pretty looking coffees and crazy good looking avocado toasts. The cafe offers a wide variety of gluten free options so it worked well for me. We visited both a ‘cafe’ and a ‘coffee shop’. To explain this, the ‘cafes’ (we went to the one in Greenwich village) have a bigger brekkie/brunch menu, whereas the ‘coffee shop’ (we went to the one near Bryant Park) is more of a take out in a brown box kinda deal- which I loved! Here’s what we had..
Juice Generation- I’m actually obsessed, I’m pretty sure this place makes the best smoothies I have ever tasted. It was perfect for me if I couldn’t stomach proper food, these would give me energy for the day. My two favourites were the ‘smooth strawberry’ and the ‘joyful almond’. I tried replicating it at home, it just didn’t taste quite as good. Damn! Juice Gen (omg I sound like a local) is dotted all over NY, just head to their website to find ones near where you are staying!
Kellogs Cafe- Ok, so this wasn’t really my thing, but for the amount of times I drag my boyfriend around avocado obsessed brunch spots, I thought it was only fair to visit a cafe specialising in one of his favourite breakfasts- cereal. This totally juxtaposes another post I have written about cereal being full of sugar/having no nutritional value (rant over), but if it’s your thing, GO FOR IT! Even better it’s only $5 for cereal with as many toppings are you want. (It’s situated just off Times Sq)
Bluebottle Coffee- I popped in for a coffee in the one just next door to the Chelsea Market. It was a pretty good coffee, and I’m a coffee snob so… plus, it took a cracking good picture!
Maison Kayser- This was literally a 2 minute walk from our hotel, although I’m pretty sure they are dotted around all over. This is a Parisian style coffee shop/bakery. I can vouch for the good coffee, and my boyfriend can vouch for the supposedly insanely good baguettes and pastries. He says go for the almond croissant, and with the amount of ‘oh my words’ he exclaimed while eating, it certainly made his review believable.
Joe and the Juice- I know we have these in the UK, but they serve good fresh juices and panini’s (+ gluten free bread) so they’re pretty handy for a quick something to eat amidst a day of exploring the city.
Places we didn’t quite make..
Little Collins- We always walked past this place on the way to Juice Generation. It looked amazing but they didn’t have any gluten free bread for me so it wasn’t ideal, however it was seriously busy and buzzy- definitely a hit spot!
Two Hands- Find this place on Mott St in the buzzy area of Little Italy. We were spoilt for choice so we didn’t quite make it here. Cool, light and bright interior, and a great menu full of a variety of yummy options including, acai bowls, corn fritters, banana bread, avo toast, bacon and eggs, you name it.
The Butcher’s Daughter- So sad I missed it, but it sounds and looked insane! If you visit NYC and make it here, let me know what you think!
Friedman’s- 4 locations throughout NYC, specialising in gluten free dining.
Blank Slate Coffee and Kitchen
Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to stomach a lot of food whilst we were away, and even though that meant my boyfriend and I couldn’t enjoy sit down dinners every night, we organised a few special dinners to look forward to. Plus, this did give Jordan plenty of occasions to have his favourite Shake Shack burgers if I wasn’t feeling too well. The places below are ones that should not go a miss!
Cuba NYC- When I visited NYC with my parents a few years ago, we ate at an amazing Cuban style restaurant, however we couldn’t for the life of us remember the name of it. We researched online and found this place named ‘Cuba NYC’ which supposedly serves the best mojitos in town. I hardly drink, but if there are good mojitos I’m open to a few… I took a plunge and booked us in for our Friday night, hoping that it would be the same one I’d eaten in before. Honestly, I have no idea if it was the same restaurant, all I know is that you MUST visit this place if you head to NYC. For starters, these were definitely the best mojitos I’d ever tasted (there was a fresh sugar cane stick in every one!), and four mojitos later I was still claiming the same (obviously). Secondly, this place felt local, atmospheric and buzzy, with people next door to us on the bar stools sharing stories and laughter, making this place feel like a real gem. I don’t think you could find half as much character or authenticity in any other touristic restaurant throughout NY. To top it off, the food was beautifully fresh and flavoursome. I had a starter of ceviche as my main and it was so good! We also ordered some grilled plantain and sautéed corn which were both delicious- I’m hoping I can find plantain in the supermarket over here to make, although I doubt it would taste as good! Jordan had a cheesy, gluten filled starter, which I obviously couldn’t try, but his face said it all! He then ordered a seafood paella recommended by a local. I don’t even think the pictures do it justice, but take it from us, you will have an unforgettable evening without a doubt. (Greenwich Village/Soho- 222 Thompson St, New York, NY 10012, USA)
Buddakan NYC- Situated in the Chelsea district, this place is famous for its grand interior and wonderful food. It is definitely on the more expensive side, but perfect for a treat and especially nice to get dressed up, which is quite rare for NY. The food was full of bursting flavours and the portions; unlike a lot of pricey restaurants, were surprisingly generous. I’m so glad we spent a little more money to share this dining experience together, it was definitely a night to remember. Ps. If you go, you have to order the black cod- it was melt in your mouth goodness!