Heading to New York soon? I’ve got you covered with the best (i.e. my favourite) places to eat and drink in New York. From the best healthy food, coffee, vegan treats and fab foodie finds, to New York’s best bagels and a gorgeous rooftop bar, serving up great cocktails and wine. I even came across a dedicated gluten-free Italian restaurant that is 100% GF! Plus, if you’re staying in an apartment with a kitchen find out where to get fresh, seasonal, healthy produce to create your own meals.
Spring Natural Kitchen – Upper West Side [My Favourite]
Ok so this café not only takes the cake for my favourite healthy food find in New York, but also the best vegan food. The menu has something for everyone, from veggie packed omelettes, drool-worthy buckwheat pancakes, and freshly made smoothies, to nutrient-packed healthy salads, sandwiches and burgers (featured photo). I seriously would have gone back here again and again and again. Besides, it’s instaworthy.
Banter NYC – Greenwich Village
A sweet little café in must visit (and shop) Greenwich Village, serving up clean eats and all the best brekkie options. You’ll be pleased to find Matcha and Golden Turmeric Lattes on the menu too. I had the Banter Bowl (pictured), but also eyed off the French Toast ordered at the table next to me. It looked so good I almost asked them if I could take a photo of their food. But seriously, how rude would that have been!
Spring Natural Kitchen – Upper West Side
Yes my favourite place is getting a second mention. This time for their whole menu section dedicated to delicious vegan food, including the Scrambled Tofu Menemen (in the featured pic). Also, it’s walking distance from the west side of Central Park, just around the corner from the Natural History Museum. So get your walk on in beautiful Central Park in New York, then re-energise with a feed here.
Calling all vegan treat & raw dessert lovers, and really all cupcake and healthy treat lovers. This one doesn’t need much of an intro, except go here and #treatyoself
GLUTEN FREE GUARANTEED
Senza Gluten – Greenwich Village
It’s not often you come across a completely 100% gluten free restaurant, let alone an Italian one! I’m impressed New York. Senza Gluten’s menu has a huge variety of traditional Italian dishes from pastas, pizza, antipasti, main dishes and desserts like Tiramisu and chocolate cake, all prepared GF. Being 100% GF kitchen means no cross-contamination so it is safe for Celiac’s and gluten-intolerance alike.
AUTHENTIC ITALIAN PIZZA
Motorino – East Village
I think if I were on death row my last meal would be pizza. But not just any pizza, I’m uber fussy. I like mine brick or wood fired, with a perfect light, fluffy, not-too-thick base using traditional Italian ’00’ flour, good quality toppings (not overdone) and just a smattering of fresh mozzarella cheese. Pizza the authentic Italian way. Motorino Pizza was exactly that, they even had authentic Italian waiters with accents, and all Italian wines on the menu. Try the Roasted Peppers with Burrata as an entrée before you dive into a delectable pizza.
Ninth Street Espresso – Chelsea Markets
I’m sorry to any American’s reading this but it wasn’t easy finding a decent coffee in the USA, even New York. Call me a coffee snob, but I’m from Melbourne and we make a damn fine coffee pretty much everywhere you go there (and in fact most places in Australia I’ve been to). So when I found a good coffee, made from actual freshly ground beans and not an automated machine, it was noteworthy. This is the first NY specialty coffee bar located in Chelsea Markets. It was well worth a visit, and would make a coffee aficionado happy.
Ess-a-Bagel – Upper East Side
New York is known for its bagels, so I couldn’t go without trying at least one. This is one of New York’s famous bagel cafes so be prepared to line up and wait (we did for 35 mins). They make their bagels fresh on site daily and have every option under the sun when it comes to traditional bagel toppings, including a variety of cream cheese and tofu spreads. I went for a traditional cream cheese, salmon, capers, lettuce and tomato on a nine-grain bagel. Can’t decide on toppings? Choose one of the Ess-a-Bagel favourites from the menu.
Somtum Der – East Village
The East Village really delivers on food. It’s certainly my recommended borough to stay at in New York, especially if you’re a foodie. This small but cosy Thai restaurant is filled with mostly bench seating and a few double tables, or you can grab a seat on the bar stools and watch fresh papaya salads being made. The menu is slightly different to your standard Thai, with traditional dishes from the Isan (Northeastern Thai) region, whom say they use more chilli, more herbs and less sugar in their dishes. You’ll find stir-fry, larb salads, noodles and rice dishes packed with authentic sophisticated flavours.
FRESH PRODUCE & HEALTHY MEALS
Whole Foods Market – various locations
A whole foods, healthy food lovers dream. Period. Every time I stepped foot in a Whole Foods Market I nearly lost my mind and walked out with a trolley full of things I didn’t actually need (but clearly wanted and would have needed if I was stocking my kitchen). From your traditional grocery and produce needs (mostly organic), to ready made healthy meals, make your own salads and meals (even Paleo approved ones), fresh baked artisan breads, to healthy snacks; this place is perfect for breakfast, lunch, dinner and everything in between. You simply can’t go to the US without visiting Whole Foods Market.
Eataly – Flatiron District
Foodies rejoice this is the place for you. It’s a marketplace for all the best quality Italian produce and food you can dream of. From cheeses and artisan bread, fresh seasonal produce, to handmade pasta, sauces, chocolate and cannoli. They even have a whole café dedicated to Nutella! Best part – there’s plenty of free food tastings, so take a wander through.
BEST ROOFTOP BAR
Refinery Rooftop – Midtown
First to find this bar… walk into the Refinery Hotel lobby, head straight down the corridor to the back and on your right you’ll find a lift and a door man who will (first check your ID, even at 32 years old), then send you up to the bar on the rooftop. Stepping into the dimly lit industrial-chic bar you could take a seat at the low lying lounges in front of the gas lit fireplace (if it were Winter), or better still, head to the bar and order a Martini whilst gazing out of the glass rooftop (which is opened in summer) to over look the top of the lit up Empire State Building and views of Manhattan skyline. Martini in hand, head out to the balcony for a few glamorous photos.