While we were in New York City we tried to stay away from any chain restaurants or coffee shops. Our restaurant experience is skewed towards vegetarian friendly, without the reliance of mushrooms. The following is a review of the restaurants we did go to:
–Spring Natural Kitchen: Veggie burger and house-made ginger beer, Morning Glory and ginger, pear, etc. juice. The first place we ate for lunch was sort of a hipster millennial restaurant. This included very health conscious food and drinks as well as upscale but rustic decor.
–Burrito Box: Take-out; quesadillas. A hole in the wall take-out mexican restaurant near our hotel that also included free chips!
–Boqueria: Tapas. Sangrias (rose and red). Great variety of shareable small plates and tasty drinks.
–Menkui-Tei: Kaila basically ate raw tofu and tomato soup, Kirk had regular ramen. Seemed like a go-to place for dinner and drinks for mid-level business people. Unfortunately no proper vegetarian options.
–Juniors: salad and sandwich with chocolate swirl cheesecake, soup and sandwich with raspberry swirl cheesecake. Regional diner chain with multiple locations just in Times Square, plus they serve cheesecake!
–Famiglia Pizza: New York Style pizza. Near Times Square with indoor seating; we only say this because there was a place down the street that only had a counter facing the sidewalk.
–Silvana: Yogurt bowl with chia and veggies, chicken schnitzel. Cute boutique shop that serves middle eastern food in Harlem.
-(Leftovers): from D.C.
–BCD Tofu House: who knows…Our mistake was wanting more authentic ramen, so we went to Korea Town. They gave each of us a whole (small) fried fish and an assortment of other appetizer (we think?) dishes that came out with our ramen.
–The Grey Dog: Zucchini pesto tofu, green apple, brie turkey cranberry sandwich. Local beer. We were on a hunt for a place we could get local beer before we left. It had a kind of bar merged with Panera vibe that you would only find in Chelsea, where we seemed to have left most of the tourists.
–Piccolo Trattoria: Pasta arrabiata, Broccoli rabe. Local beer. The restaurant had a greasy diner feel but the veggies were fresh and we wouldn’t be surprised if the pasta was made in house. The gentleman running the place reminded Kaila of some of her Italian “cousins”.
-(Leftovers): Grey Dog. Local beer. We were exhausted by Saturday night and more than happy to try some more local beer and finish a wonderful meal.
Grey Dog, Piccolo Trattoria, and Boqueria…these three topped the charts for our favorites.
Some other things of note:
The hotel we stayed at served continental breakfast that was way better than any other hotel breakfast experiences either of us have had and was welcome after our rubber eggs and plastic bagels on the train.
Liquor stores in New York (City, at least) don’t sell beer, they only sell liquor and wine. Grocery stores and markets sell beer.
Surprisingly we didn’t get to as many coffee shops as we thought we would have but the ones we did had great restrooms.