Empire state of mind
New York, the city that never sleeps. Much like London, you could visit New York City every year — or even live there — and still not uncover all it has to offer. We loved it so much last year that we decided to go back and explore some more.
The Manhattan skyline is so amazing that we decided to stay in Brooklyn to get the best views every day. And we loved it. Brooklyn is vibrant and busy, but has a relaxed feel of small town community about it. And while we thought it would be easy to eat veggie and vegan (two thirds of our party are veggie) we were pleasantly surprised to find a vegan bakery just round the corner from our apartment, which was queued out the door most mornings.
This vegan bakery is the stuff dreams are made of. From biscuits (American style), cookies, savoury Danish pastries and so much more, it was too hard not to take some away for later. And as if the cake counter wasn’t enough, the breakfast and lunch menu were original and tantalising.
The breakfast burrito is huge, but delicious. With tofu scramble, vegan cheddar, fakin’ bacon, spinach, tater tots and mayo, the amount of flavour packed into this wrap is insane. And the BLAT was our favourite sandwich — a vegan BLT on a rosemary focaccia.
A gorgeous vegan restaurant with street-side tables for the warm summer nights in the city. The thing that stood out about Blossom was the attention to detail on every dish. The menu has so many delicious looking options that we suggest getting a few and sharing. We went for the nachos, the wild mushroom ravioli with truffle-butter sauce and the southern seitan, which was served with caramelised onions, rocket and tapioca mozzarella. The food is comfort with a gourmet twist and the staff are so friendly and helpful.
We were attracted by the name and won over by the food. With lots of wood, white tiles and greenery, The Butcher’s Daughter is a vegan delight. The Portobello “steak” and mash was so beautifully presented, it was almost sad to dive into it. But after we did, it didn’t last long. The mushrooms are cooked to perfection, served on a bed of mashed potatoes and smothered in mushroom whisky gravy and chimichurri. The pesto linguine with spiralised courgette or angel hair carbonara with shredded spaghetti squash is a great (and gluten free) alternative to heavier carbs. This is an absolute must for any vegan.
A stunning Mediterranean restaurant with a huge outside area adorned with umbrellas, fairy lights and trailing plants. The picturesque surrounding is so welcoming and the staff were some of the friendliest we’ve ever experienced. Get there before 7 for happy hour including some amazing cocktails. The blood orange martini and cucumber cooler were our favourites. The stuffed aubergine dolma and Mediterranean gnocchi were bursting with flavour, and the smoked aubergine with garlic yoghurt and the spicy pepper and walnut muammara are the perfect starters.
The famous musical diner will give you dinner (or lunch, or breakfast) and a show. Singing waiters and confetti cannons are not for everyone, but if you like musicals, you will LOVE Ellen’s. Try the waffles or pancakes for breakfast, along with a bloody Mary to loosen those vocal chords.
This food and drink market on the hipster banks of the East river in Dumbo is the perfect place to try lots of different foods and enjoy them while looking at the Manhattan skyline. Time Out offers a huge range of vendors — Jacob’s Pickles, Avocaderia, Little Ada (Middle Eastern cuisine), Center Cut (Kosher bagels), Breads Bakery, Cookie Do and so many more. The cookie dough is a must, along with the bagels and babka from Breads Bakery. Right in the middle of the Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges, the view from Dumbo is like nothing else, so even if you can’t possibly eat another mouthful, grab a drink and head to the rooftop bar or sit in the park and watch the city lights twinkle into the night.
Something we love almost as much as food here at Love Hospitality is a secret bar. So when we heard of Bathtub Gin — a bar hidden through the wall of a café — we couldn’t turn it down. Stepping through the door, we were met with a 1920s style speakeasy with dimmed lights and velvet booths, complete with a copper bathtub in the middle of the room. Try the Pandan Express, Bombay Sapphire East Gin, Pandan-lemongrass syrup, pressed ginger and fresh lime or the Jack & Jin, Aviation Gin, Apple Jack brandy, banana, almond Orgeat and pressed lemon. But be warned, they are incredibly moreish and you just might not want to leave.
This is one of the most the most picturesque bars we have ever seen. The rooftop bar — Serra on the Roof — has been transformed into a haven of flowers and sun. Eataly is the perfect place for afternoon drinks or brunch. It boasts a classic Italian menu of Burrata, Panzanella, cheese and meat boards and a selection of pasta. But we loved the choice of spritzes the most. With eight to choose from, including a frozen Aperol spritz, our favourites were the refreshing Limoncello spritz and the floral spritz Viola, with crème de violet.
In the heart of Greenwich Village, Café Wha? Has been a musical institution since it was founded in 1959. A favourite of artists such as Jimi Hendrix, Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen, the bar has not lost its air of excitement. The incredibly talented house band put on an amazing show every Wednesday-Sunday, with featured shows every week or two. If you only go to one late bar in NYC, this is the one to choose. The electric atmosphere and music will leave you with memories you will never forget. Make sure to ask for a table by the stage too, for an up close and personal view of the band.