It’s been four years since my last visit to NYC but it feels like a lifetime. Food trends have changed, museums have moved homes, and there’s a whole new generation of hotels in and around the city to explore. Here’s my 2018 pick of the bunch from the city that never sleeps…
Viceroy Central Park – Conveniently located in the centre of Manhattan this stylish Viceroy hotel is ideal for business and leisure visitors. Opt for a Park Suite, decorated in a glamorous 1920s art-deco style with spectacular views of the city down below.
Eleven Madison Park – Recently crowned the World’s Best Restaurant, Chef Daniel Humm’s Eleven Madison Park lives up to expectation with delicate and delicious dishes, all served within a beautiful historic building. Check online to book a few months ahead, and book a table in the bar area for a slighter shorter (and cheaper), five course menu.
Egg Shop – The ultimate brunch stop in New York, the iconic Egg Shop has recently opened a second branch in Williamsburg but many say the original is still the best. The menu is full of tempting recipes, I loved my Pepper Boy sandwich, filled with fluffy scrambled eggs, gruyere cheese, bell pepper and maple cured pepper bacon.
The Musket Room – This civilised and sophisticated restaurant in the Nolita area was opened by Matt Lambert, a New Zealand native in 2013. The food is refined and exciting, inspired by the spirit of New Zealand.
Supermoon Bakehouse – A psychedelic bakery on Rivington Street, with a range of instagrammable baked goods. The croissants take three days to make but it’s worth it for the flaky buttery goodness.
Five Leaves – A cool and casual brunch spot in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. The all day menu features New American fare with an Aussie accent and great coffee from Parlor. After trying a few dishes I can vouch for the indulgent pancakes.
Russ & Daughters – This family operated store is a New York favourite. The location and decor has been the same since its opening in 1914, specialising in smoked salmon bagels and other fish specialities. Visit the nearby Deli for takeaway treats (like the delicious black and white cookies).
Katz’s Delicatessen – Katz’s is a NYC foodie institution that you have to try at least once. The Kosher-style delicatessen was founded in 1888 and is located at 205 East Houston Street. Inside the no frills dining room is filled with tourists and locals feasting on the legendary pastrami sandwiches. Priced at $21.45 for their standard sandwich it is not a cheap eat, but the sandwich is so big it can be shared between two.
Morgenstern’s Finest Ice Cream – If you are in need of an ice-cream fix Morgenstern’s is the place to go. The chic parlour offers a range of creative flavours, most famously their striking Black Coconut Ash. I also loved the Burnt Honey Vanilla.
Tacombi – There are several Tacombi branches in the city, a cheap, cheerful and colourful taco joint inspired by the balmy beaches of Mexico. I have fond memories of the Corn Esquites, Black bean and Sweet Potato taco and the refreshing vibrantly flavoured soda drinks.
Nomad Hotel Bar – The Nomad Bar is so much more than just a hotel bar. This lively tavern is where some of the city’s most talented bartenders work, conjuring up exceptional cocktails with a range of rare spirits. If you are peckish there is a menu of American comfort food to satisfy your appetite.
Dead Rabbit – Previously crowned the world’s best cocktail bar in 2016, Dead Rabbit is found in on Water Street in a tiny Irish pub inspired venue. Downstairs a casual tap-room serves beer and food, and you can wait here until there is a table available for you upstairs in the celebrated cocktail parlour. Drinks are innovative and delicious and the atmosphere is cosy and exclusive.
Kings County Distillery – Kings County is a micro-distillery in the Brooklyn Navy Yard which produces corn whiskey and bourbon whiskey. The distillery was founded by Colin Spoelman and David Haskell in 2009 and now operates as a bar and shop, alongside the distillery which is open for tours. Sit in the atmospheric bar and enjoy one of the best old-fashioned cocktails in town.
SEY Coffee – Found on the border of Bushwick in Brooklyn this light and spacious coffee shop is a lovely place to sit and work during the day. The SEY team serve carefully sourced beans which supports sustainable producers. Sit in the plant-filled space and enjoy a strong and creamy flat white.
Three Seat Espresso & Barber – This cute multi-purpose space is a sunny spot for brunch and coffee in the East Village. I loved the bright yellow coffee cups and the fun and friendly attitude of all staff.
Happy Bones – Happy Bones is a tiny coffee shop on Broome Street, but despite its size serves some of the best coffee in New York. Owners Jason Woodside and Kirsten & Craig Nevill-Manning grew up in New Zealand and hope to bring the excellent coffee from their homeland to America. The cafe is minimalist in style with white walls and circular marble tables and the coffee is perfectly poured by the brilliant baristas.
Ludlow Coffee Supply – This hipster spot in the East Village is a great place to get your caffeine fix if you are in the area. The space is relaxed (and very photogenic) and the coffee and pastries are tasty. I recommend trying the bourbon vanilla latte made with their homemade syrup.
Whitney Museum of American Art – The Whitney Museum is now found by the High Line in an expansive and impressive new building designed by famed architect Renzo Piano. The collection is devoted to twentieth-century and contemporary American art, and often artwork is purchased in the year it was made before the artist has even gained recognition. For modern art lovers this museum is a must.
Greenpoint – Move over Williamsburg, Greenpoint is the new area of Brooklyn worth exploring. Wander round this friendly neighbourhood at the weekend, stopping at buzzing restaurants and trendy design stores.
New York Library – The New York Public Library is grand and impressive inside and out. It is the flagship building in the New York Public Library system and is a prominent and spectacular historic landmark to see in Midtown Manhattan.
Still House – Still House is a small and contemplative store in the heart of the East Village, founded in 2011 by Urte Tylaite. On the pretty shelves you will find thoughtfully designed jewellery and homeware, beautiful objects that are unique and timeless. I loved the Hasami porcelain and Hudson Beach Glass bowls.
Mast Brothers – The pristine white Mast Brothers store is a homage to all things chocolate. The artisan company was founded in 2007 by brothers Rick and Michael Mast and is committed to delivering you delicious, sustainable, and beautiful chocolate.
Goods For The Study West 8th Street – This immaculately organised shop is devoted to offering the perfect workplace tools and equipment, from furniture to lighting, pens to prints.
The Apartment by the Line – Tucked away in the heart of SoHo, The Apartment by the Line is accessed by a tiny street level lift which transports visitors to the most beautifully arranged apartment. Admire the designer clothing, original artworks and desirable homeware within a charming and intimate apartment setting.
Nalata Nalata – Quiet and calm the Nalata Nalata shop is all about showcasing products, the design process and the brand’s stories. Every object is special and unique, but comes with a high price tag. Most of the items hail from Japan and Taiwan and are made with great precision and care. Marvel at the beautiful items on sale and dream of owning everything!
Upstate New York – Just a few hours drive from the city, Upstate New York is the perfect out-of-town escape for a few days of calm and relaxation. Head to Hudson and Kingston for quirky shops, tasty eateries and cute cafes. And if you are looking for a place to stay I can recommend Rivertown Lodge, Scribner’s Catskill Lodge or the blissfully remote Getaway House cabins.