Guide: The Charms of New York
There’s a million great places in New York. I mean a million. But one of my favorite areas is without a doubt Brooklyn: Williamsburg and Greenpoint in particular. In Manhattan I love West Village and Greenwich Village, and this is also where our hotel is located when we visit. Keep away from the touristy areas and you’ll find all the amazing things that New York has to offer.
Here is a list of our favorite places!
The Spotted Pig: Greenwich Village. This little place has a Michelin star, takes no reservations and is really, really great. It's famous for its burger with Roquefort cheese and a mountain of string fries, but it's really worth checking out the other items on the menu too. The chicken liver toast is out of this world.
Joseph Leonard: West Village. Excellent for brunch but also good for breakfast, lunch or dinner. The place is really cosy, it has that granny's-apartment kind of feel to it, and the food is very tasty.
Tacombi Cafe El Presidente: Flatiron. Excellent Mexican food very close to the Flatiron building. The decoration is very hip and the tacos excellent. A big plus is also the fact that you can order one taco of each flavor (not three or more as it often is in Mexican restaurants) and this way you can taste lots of different ones.
Ice-cream: There are many good ice-cream places in NY but there are a few that have been chosen as among the best ones in the world. My favorite ones are:
- Oddfellows Ice Cream in Williamsburg. the flavors are very surprising and the taste is fantastic. A good idea is to try their sundaes, they are huge and are like pieces of food art.
- Sundaes & Cones: East Village. The flavors..! I had lychee and lavender, amazing.
- Morgenstern's Finest Ice Cream: East Village. The flavors are amazing! A few examples: Black Ass Licorice, Durian Banana, Banana Curry... They have 5 different flavors of just vanilla!
Mast Brothers: Williamsburg. Mast Brothers are famous all over the world for their chocolate that's made of the purest ingredients (you will not find any soy lecithin or other crap in their chocolates) and the packaging design is phenomenal. Their shop in Williamsburg smells excellent, you can buy their chocolate bars or their pralines that are specially made and that they don't make into bars.
House of Small Wonder: Williamsburg. This place is so incredibly adorable, they have another location in Berlin and they are both to die for. The place is small but so charming, there are actual trees growing inside the bar! The food is very good, and the Nutella Banana croissants are...unforgettable.
Smorgasburg: Williamsburg/Brooklyn/Queens. Smorgasburg is an event that takes place every Saturday and Sunday (Sat Brooklyn, Queens, Sun Williamsburg) and is a food feast. There are lots of little stands with food and drink, and it's really worth a visit. This is an excellent place to try a delicious lobster roll, a pulled pork sandwich, a ramen burger or anything else that's cool at the moment.
Eataly: Flatiron. Eataly is an Italian food market where you can both buy Italian food and eat it, too. The one in New York is gigantic and you can spend hours there just looking at different cheeses, pastas or beers. They also have a great rooftop restaurant and brewery called La Birreria, it's really worth checking out.
Gallow Green: Chelsea. An amazing rooftop bar that looks like a jungle with all the plants. It's so charming but gets very busy, so it's a good idea to go early.
Murray's Cheese Bar: West Village. This place is also very busy so you need to book in advance, but it's really worth it if you like cheese. For dessert the S'more is amazing with chocolate, marshmallow and....cheese. :)
Cannibal: Midtown East. This is the place to go for really good bone marrow, foie gras, cheeses, cured meats... Their back yard is really lovely and it's worth going for lunch so that you'll have space there.
The High Line: Chelsea. The High Line has been built on an old, raised railway that goes up high above all the streets in Chelsea. It's filled with lots of trees, plants and art installations, and is really worth a visit, also for the great views.
La Esquina: Soho. This is a Mexican restaurant that you need to book well in advance (online), but it's worth it! It's a secret restaurant that you go into from a bar, google for instructions on how to get in. The food is very good and a lot of celebrities visit the place.
The Garret: West Village. This is a lovely speakeasy which can only be found if you know it's there. :) You go into a burger place called the Five Guys (looks like a McDonald's) and you pass the kitchen all the way on the other end of the place. There you find stairs that go up one floor, and you find a small but really cosy bar with delicious cocktails. Go early so you can find a seat.
The Woods: Williamsburg. This bar has a big patio in the back with trees and a kitchen, where you get really excellent burgers and fish tacos.
In addition to this I also can recommend a day trip to Philadelphia. It only takes 1h20min by train, and there’s lots to see and do:
A great diner breakfast at Sam's Morning Glory Diner:
Drinks at Independence Beer Garden:
And finally the best second hand bookstore I've ever visited, Mostly Books, with 100.000 books in a labyrinth of rooms: