Last week I went to New York for the first time… it definitely lived up to expectations, I really did feel like I was in Friends (even attempting a ‘Pheobe run’ in the middle of Central Park… had to be done). The city is buzzing 24/7; full of sites to see, shops to spend a small (or large) fortune in and, most importantly, delicious food. You really are spoilt for choice.
I was only there for four days, but even in that short time I managed to find some really great places to eat. Most of these are situated in the West Village, as that’s where we were staying.
The ethos behind Chalk Point Kitchen is “market to table” meaning everything from the decor and crockery to the food has a farmer’s market feel to it, rustic and homely. We went late in the evening, so it was candle lit and cosy, but the restaurant is open for breakfast and lunch too.
If you’re a foodie and you like to try slightly alternative dishes, this place is definitely for you. There are options for veggies, vegans, carnivores and everything in-between; the menu will certainly make you go “oooooh that sounds interesting”, and guaranteed you’ll have to ask your waiter what some of the ingredients are (a ‘sunchoke’ for instance…I’m still not quite sure). Some of the most intriguing dishes were the goji-berry toast, açai BBQ chicken sandwich, cauliflower flatbread and wild bitter dandelion greens (queue the “ooooh”). Unfortunately, I’d had a ridiculously large lunch so my appetite wasn’t quite as on form as usual, however I still managed to polish off a black kale, quinoa and goats cheese salad and a slice of their shaved Brussel sprout toast.
I can see why this place would be more of an acquired taste, but I loved it! The flavour combinations were so different to any other dishes I’ve had which made the whole meal far more exciting than the usual stuff you get. It definitely inspired me to be more experimental in my own cooking.
A quirky little restaurant situated in the heart of the West Village. The arty vibe and story behind the business was what attracted me to this place, and the look of the food, of course! The cafe is open all day, we went along in the evening for dinner but did have to wait at the bar for a table; unfortunately, like with most other cafes and restaurants in the city, you can’t book in advance. This was fine as we weren’t in any rush (I enjoyed a cocktail or two in the interim) but if you’re looking for somewhere quick to eat this
probably isn’t the place.
The staff were warm and welcoming, and very attentive considering how busy the restaurant was. The only downside was that it was very noisy, I didn’t mind this much as I thought the atmosphere was great, but it did make it a tad difficult to have a conversation with everyone on the table without completely mishearing part of a sentence… which was rather entertaining.
As for the food, there’s definitely something here for everyone. My family have a wide range of tastes, from my cousin who will run a mile at anything green on his plate to me who… well, you know by now I love my veggies. The menu isn’t massive but has a wide variety of American-cross-Middle Eastern dishes like steak and chips, burgers, chicken schnitzel, vegetarian curries and salads, all made fresh and with real ingredients. If you love the food that much, you can even buy Freda’s cookbook!
I have to admit, I was sold on this place by their aesthetically pleasing Instagram account; the colourful food, washed-down white walls and hanging plants were all very appealing to the eye (not to mention some of the staff…). The cafe is bright and airy with a beach hut kind of vibe, despite being situated on a busy main road in the Village.
We went along for breakfast quite early as we had to check out of our accommodation, but it was just as well as the Sunday brunchers began filing in towards 10.30am.
I was being indecisive (no changes there) and the large menu full of mouth watering dishes did not help. In the end, my Dad and I ordered the ‘Monterey Eggs’ (toast, avocado, salsa, potato hash and fried eggs) and the berry waffles, halving them so we got to try both (the only time I will ever share food). Being completely honest, the dishes weren’t as glam as they look in their photos, but when you’re half asleep and hungry it’s not really an issue.
The food was filling and flavourful. Although I am a huge egg & avocado fan, I actually preferred the waffles. They were light, sweet and fluffy, and complimented my almond milk iced coffee perfectly. It’s worth bearing in mind that this place isn’t cheap, working out at around $65-$70 dollars for three breakfasts and four coffees. A lot more than I would usually spend, but hey, when in New York right?
Wholefoods and Essen became my go to little supermarkets while I was in the city, particularly because they both have a self-serve section where you can grab a box and fill it with whatever you like. They have hot and cold options, sweet and savoury, veggie/vegan, meat/fish and the food is all made fresh everyday. In the mornings, we went to Essen to buy breakfast which we brought back to our accommodation, and on the last day we had a picnic from Wholefoods in Brooklyn Park. Buying your meals from these places definitely works out cheaper than a restaurant or cafe, and the food is just as good, if not better than most! Just be wary… it’s very easy to get over excited and fill your box to the brim with a bit of everything, resulting in paying more than you had expected. This may have happened to me once, or twice…