as you all know i originally started the blog to encourage me to take more photographs, but although the first few started with just a photo, i gradually started to add more words – and now, its actually become my address book and source finder. even I have to refer to it to remember the names of places, things, restaurants that i have been to… the search engine within the programme is limiting, but at least I can browse through categories. i wondered who came up with the term ‘blog’ – its actually a pretty ugly word – shortened from web log – they emerged in the late 1990’s, mainly from individuals who used it like me – more like a personal diary, but now they are professionally edited and are big additions to corporate businesses.
anyhow, here is my list of interesting cafes and restaurants in new york that are worth visiting – most i have been to, or they have been personally recommended to me via friends who live in new york. one of the trials and tribulations of travelling is discovering decent affordable places to eat – it really annoys me to waste not only money, but time in a bad restaurant. by the way, remember that portions are generally more generous than uk sizes, so bear that in mind when ordering.
matilda’s, 11th street – a fusion of mexican and tuscan food – a really nice informal space, not overly expensive – the tacos were delicious
ootoya japanese – has a lot of set menu dishes and is quite authentic in its food – some of the dishes are unlike the typical dishes that you get in commercial japanese restaurants. most of the clients were japanese which is always a ver good sign. a modern interior, but they dont take bookings and so you may have to wait half an hour during busy times – we just put down our name and then had a walk around the block.
ofincina latina on prince street is reminscent of being east in london, its retro/work place interior makes you feel as though you are in havana – brunch is great – a typical cuban dish of rice, beans, plantain, but all types of latin american food are available and not at all expensive. there are also lots of brunch choices.
il buco – italian food but hearty and tasty, a mix between sicilian and spanish with an emphasis on organic pork products like ham. there are 2 branches, the original one is more typical and the one on great jones street is more informal with sharing tables and sells italian produce too as well as freshly baked bread. more expensive, so suited for dinner than lunch.
hung ry – aisan inspired noodle highly recommended by my native new yorker friend michele.
katz deli – a bit touristy, but is an authentic jewish deli that still has all the hustle and bustle that makes it interesting – its popular because apparently When Harry met Sally was filmed there. its still worth the visit, just because of the old fashioned interior, but its not a relaxing place to go.
cafe habana – one of my favourite cheap eats to visit – but also because i love cuban food – give me a plate of rice and beans with plantain and i am happy.
indochine - for high quality french vietnamese food but in a stylish and hip atmosphere, you cant beat indochine. always popular with the fashionable crowd, great looking staff, its a perfect night out. try the sister restaurant kittichai – even more up market in the lovely 60 Thompson hotel that we stayed in before.
la esquina – great mexican food, informal, young and trendy, but you can also book the restaurant downstairs which is more finer dining.
grimaldi’s pizza brooklyn – popular place to eat in the evenings – walk over the brooklyn bridge, its an amazing view – especially in the early evening and as the sun goes down.
balthazar – great for bistro food, full of atmosphere, makes you feel as though you were in Paris.
sobaya japanese noodles – great japanese food – watch them hand making the soba noodles in the restaurant.
highliner diner – formerly the empire diner, but now the highliner restaurant, this typical retro eatery retains its original interior and feel, serves typical diner food, but on a higher level now. kids will love it and its great to combine it with a walk along the highline
abc kitchen – behind the really simple facade is a tastefully designed restaurant, modern with that french shabby chic look that is very fashionable. i noticed that there is a theme to a lot of the restaurants in new york at the moment, metal cage lights, bare bulbs – the industrial look – worn out wide floorboards – french antique furniture – school type chairs and all of them use white tea towels with a utility stripe as napkins. abc also uses the beautiful ceramics that you can buy in the adjoining store abc home, including a vintage floral style side plate. the menu is healthy, more geared towards women who lunch, but very tasty. best value is the menu for the day for lunch, which gives you 3 courses for about 30$.
pastis – a french bistro located in the fashionable meat packing district – perfect for burger and chips!