The last four months have been a total whirlwind, flying by at an incomprehensible rate. I guess that's always the complaint of going on 'vacation'. While my stint in New York wasn't all lollygagging and sightseeing, I did get to spend quite a few of my waking moments away from my internship, and in full-on tourist mode. Knowing that I had such a limited time in the city, I wanted to make sure that I never missed a beat (I know, an impossible task in a city that never sleeps). Although, I wasn't always able to go to every spot on my list, I would sometimes spend days on end eating every meal at home so that I could budget to go out for a nice bite to eat. And boy was it worth it! The thing about New York is the longer I stayed, the more I found out about, and the larger and larger my list grew, leaving it in the end looking basically untouched.
While this is in no way an extensive list, I have complied a few of my (and my buddies) favourite spots that we'd routinely visit for light meals and coffee. Please add your own recommendations so that I and others can add to our overgrowing "next time" list.
- Happy Bones - Beautiful and minimal coffee shop with little seating, so don't expect to get your drink "for here", but perfect for take-a-way.
- Stumptown - Some of my favourite coffee around, Stumptown serves an array of cold brew drinks with some of my favourite beans. Best of all, it's super close to Washington Square Park, the best spot for people watching.
- Sweatshop - Fact: Aussies make the best coffee in the world (um..wikipedia told me??). Originally, I was put off thinking this place looked too cool for me, by once I got past the hip factor, I found some of the nicest staff and yummiest coffee around.
- Homecoming- Part cafe, part flower shop, part cute bibelot store, all around adorable.
- El Rey Luncheonette - My most visited eatery in the whole city, this small luncheonette has top notch coffee, the best kale salad and other beautiful light meals with an interior that reminds me of my beloved west coast.
- Two Hands - Another Aussie coffee shop which offers wonderfully fresh and healthy light meals. Highly recommend is the avo toast and a flat white - pure bliss!
- Dimes - Like El Rey, Dimes has healthy California style meals in a bright and colourful interior (I detect a theme here). A little out of the way, but worth it!
- Paulie Gee's - Two words - Vegan Pizza (with cashew ricotta!).
- The Butchers Daughter - Veggie and mostly vegan food with amazing fresh juices and elixir shots.
- Sun in Bloom - Gluten free, raw, and vegan, this Brooklyn cafe offers casual dining that doesn't weigh you down (the shiitake bacon B.L.T. in a collard wrap is near perfect).
- Stonefruit Espresso and Kitchen - Farm to table cafe with elegant light meals located in Bedford-Stuyvesant.
- Superiority Burger - Super compact and only open for dinner, this burger joint offers vegan and veggie versions of all your greasy fast food favouirtes. Get it to go, and hang out in Tompkins Square Park for a true NYC experience.
Markets and Shops
- Marlow and Daughters - If you look beyond the fact this is mainly a butchers shop, you'll find the most beautiful produce and seriously the best bread in Brooklyn!
- Black Seed Bagel - I'm a sucker for Montreal style bagels (sorry NYC) and these come pretty close. Small and chewy and baked in a woodfire oven, the are the best in the city.
- Life Thyme Market - Cute little health food story that Amy Chaplin recommended, its one of the few places in the city I could find things like Coyo Yogurt.
- Union Square Green Market - Everything you could ever dream of, all in one location!
- Home of the Brave - Greenpoint home store that will leave you wishing you had unlimited credit cards.
- The Primary Essentials - Locally made pottery, indigo linens, and scented candle heaven.
- Ovenly - Salted Vegan Chocolate Chip, need I say more?
- Zucker Bakery- Recommended by the lovely Izy, this place offers up wonderful little sweets hand made with love. Date Cinnamon bun, anyone?!
- Van Leeuwen Ice Cream - Cashew and coconut milk ice cream as well as dairy versions. I'm a big fan of the ginger, earl grey, and salted caramel. Oh yeah, and the chocolate...and the chocolate chip mint.....and the peanut butter chocolate...
- Four and Twenty - I may be a little bias as I've had multiple roommates who've worked here, but I'd say its the best pie in the city, hands down. And their cookbook is divine!