Food is very important to me. My earliest memories revolve around food and the first thing that comes to my mind when I think of a place that I visited or in which I lived is a particular dish or edible good. So it’s only natural that one of the important parts of travelling for me is trying new places and new foods.
I didn’t have much time to research about NY – I usually spend a few weeks scouting internet forums and the blogosphere for some recommendations off the beaten path. But I was busy in the weeks leading up to the trip and it was, after all, mainly a business trip. I knew a significant amount of time would be spent around the hotels where the conference was being held. After a cursory look through some travel books, recommendations from friends, and some googling, I realized the odds where against us – most of the good places were in other parts of the city. The hotel where the conference was held was in a very touristy part of the city, a place tipically associated with overpriced, low quality food.
In the end, NY far exceeded our expectations. We discovered some recently-opened cafes, had some memorable meals and enjoyed lots of very nice coffee (not Starbucks!). Somehow, the places where my friend J. and I hung out the most were French cafes or bakeries. These are the places we patronized – nothing too expensive, very simple and nice:
Amy’s Bread – where we had breakfast daily. For between 4-6$ one can have a breakfast of two scones, (or 1/2 a baguette, or 2 twist breads), a small latte, butter and jam.
Tisserie 55 – Our favourite place. Small pastry shop in front with a little bistro in the back. Owned by a French-trained Venezuelan chef it had some tasty pastries (the macaroons were to die for), amazing coffee, and the food was very nice. Good brunch option.
Nook – tiny cafe, also a bit of a French bistro feel. Sandwiches, quiches, brunch. Good service.
Hummus Kitchen – vegetarian, mediterranean, amazing hummus. Went with two friends from the blogosphere and we tried a smaple of everything. Very tasty. Good place for eating tapas-style.
Edison Cafe – Good for the American deli experience. The Philly Steak Sandwich was juicy and warm.
Heartland Brewery – I liked trying microbrews and this place was highly recommended. Their Oatmeal Stout did not disappoint. Food is pub fare but good. Nachos were messy but very tasty.
Angelo’s Pizza – Walked in my chance on the first night. We were tired, it was bitter cold and we didn’t want to wander off too far from the hotel. Didn’t expect much and were surprised by how nice the thing-crust wood-stove over pizza were.
Mandoo Bar – Korean dumplings. Amazing stuff. Worth a detour.