Last month I was lucky enough to be whisked away to New York City for my 30th birthday. I knew about the trip 6 months before we went which left a lot of time for planning the most important things... where to drink coffee and where to eat! I've made a small list of my top 5 places to visit based on the experiences I had whilst eating my way around the city...
Best Brunch; Bubbys
I found this place whilst lying in bed with jet lag at 4am with a deep longing for American pancakes! When trawling trip advisor I kept seeing this place pop up and it looked incredible and conveniently it was also only around the corner from our hotel in Tribeca. Bubby's brunch did NOT disappoint. From the immediate super friendly meet and greet from our waitress to the prompt delivery of a steaming hot filter coffee with cream (with bottomless refills!) I knew we'd made a good choice. After a lot of deliberation I went with the blueberry pancakes with bacon and eggs as recommended by the waiter. The pancakes were made with their secret sourdough recipe and were ridiculously lite and despite the huge pile I managed to eat the lot, along with lashings of organic maple syrup! I also had a fresh juice made with fiery ginger which was the perfect immune booster after the long flight. If I'm lucky enough to return to NYC this would be a definite on my list.
Best Bagel; Black Seed
Having bagels on the menu at the jam jar I made it my mission to find a great independent bagel shop as crucial "research" for the cafe! I found Black Seed on Instagram before I even arrived, the place looked really cool and like the Jam Jar it was only small and was independently owned. We timed our visit just right at around 9am as there were only a few customers in front of me and after I'd ordered a que appeared of around 15-20 people! We decided we'd get two and share so we had one classic breakfast option with bacon and eggs on a poppyseed bagel then a stereotypical American style filling of sliced turkey, mustard, Swiss cheese & kraut. Both were so delicious and served with great coffee too, always a bonus!
Best Coffee; Blue Bottle Coffee
Blue Bottle Coffee was recommended to me by a customer of the cafe who had visited New York just a couple of weeks before me and knowing our shared love for coffee he recommended I go here to get the best flat white. We went to the cafe in the financial district after visiting ground zero around 11am, just in time for elevensies. The interior was so bright and clean with high walls with floor to ceiling glass walls and a clinically precise coffee station of meticulously made cold drip coffees. Despite the current trend for cold brew I still fancied my usual flat white, especially given the brisk 5 degrees outside! A lovely surprise was their selection of cakes, I opted for a classic chocolate chip cookie and a small salted pecan blondie as I wanted to save room for the 99c pizza slices we kept seeing on every street corner. The whole experience was exactly what I wanted- perfectly made coffee in a relaxing calm environment after being in the mad hustle of the streets and topped off with a memorable "something sweet."
Best Doughnut; The Doughnut Project
This was another place I'd seen thanks to the magic of instagram. In the heart of Greenwich, we made an extra trip purely for The Doughnut Project! It was the only overcast day of our trip so we stocked up on a selection of caramel malted chocolate (my choice) and a sea salted lemon cheesecake and took them back to our room to watch elf in bed, it was December after all!
Best Vegan Food; The Butchers Daughter
When talking to friends, family and customers about my trip, multiple people recommend The Butchers Daughter for when I'm in need of a detox from all the delicious but naughty fast food the big apple has to offer. So halfway into the trip after copious amounts of pizza, burgers, doughnuts and pancakes, the fresh clean vibrant entrance to the butchers daughter filled with fresh fruit hanging from the ceiling was a welcome sight. Despite being on the hunt for clean healthy eating I managed to chose the naughtiest option from a super healthy menu!...it was a vegan cheese & avocado toasted sandwich on sourdough with a side of green melon all washed down with a freshly juiced watermelon. The perfect nutrition to fuel my 5th avenue shopping trip to follow!
Over the 6 nights spent in New York I managed to fit in two decent training sessions. I like to see them more as a reason to eat extra...but to be honest with all the walking we did we definately didn't need to use the gym. However doing a couple of crossfit style work outs before getting ready to go out gave me the energy boost I needed to snap me out of my bad jet lag and keep me awake past 6pm! Our hotel, the Soho grand, had a really cool gym set up and there was no one else around so couldn't resist taking a snap!
If you make it over the Brooklyn bridge, which I would highly recommend walking on a sunny day, a great spot to check out is Five leaves. It's an epic little cafe/bar which serves generous brunch all day and has an extensive back bar which I'm sure would produce amazing cocktails by night. I also spotted a stack of well used old vinyl which reminded me of the early days at the cafe when we used to listen to Nina Simone and Fleetwood Mack on a daily basis. We visited here on our last day so I couldn't resist getting pancakes, these again were made with a sourdough batter and served with strawberries, banana, crispy bacnon and maple honeycomb whipped butter!!!
On the topic of bars I need to quickly mention my favourite place for a cocktail. My friend from Boston insisted we go for a drink at The Top of the Standard just off the high line. Unfortunately I didn't get any good photos as we were having too much fun! But the experience here totally encapsulated New York for me. With the sunset skyline as the backdrop, a three piece jazz band playing softly in the corner and a cosmopolitan (with activated charcoal!) in hand, I literally felt like I was in a movie.
So that's my New York Top Picks, if you've been to NYC, let me know your favourite places to visit, six days wasn't nearly enough time to explore this vast and beautiful city but it was certainly food for thought and I can't wait to share some of my New York inspired recipes in the cafe soon.
Love Jam Jar Jess x