Conscious Food Choices

For the love of delicious healthy food…

NYC Favorites

Planning a visit to New York City?

Here is a list of some of my favorite places to eat in NYC…and also a bunch of other good stuff for New York  City visitors…

Upcoming events sites/magazines:

Sightseeing: NY Water Taxi
Great way to get around the island of Manhattan, and over to Brooklyn too. Recommend the Hop On/ Hop Off all day pass in good weather.

Sightseeing: New York City Pass
If you are planning to do the full-on tourist thing, check out the City Pass. The best thing about it? It will let you skip the lines!

Broadway Shows/Theater/Major Events:TKTS
½ priced Broadway Shows and theater tickets.

Art/Out of Town: Storm King Art Center
If you are into massive sculpture, Storm King is not to be missed. One of the most impressive outdoor sculpture collections on the planet, about 1.5 hours drive North of NYC in the beautiful Hudson Valley, or you can take a bus from Penn station. Well worth a day trip out of the city to experience.

Art/Out of Town: Dia Beacon
Also a great day trip out of the city, the Dia Art Foundation is a huge private modern art collection located in an old Nabisco printing factory in the town of Beacon, on the East side of the Hudson River. You can take a train from Grand Central or 125th St in Harlem and be there in a little over an hour. Worth going just for Richard Serra’s Trio of Torqued Ellipses, which are breathtaking.

Maps/Food: NYC Food Map is awesome.

Maps/Site Seeing: Scouting NY has a fun map of quirky off-the-beaten-track NYC things to see…

————–Chelsea Area—————

Site Seeing/Art/Coffee: The High Line park
10th Ave around 14th – 25th St
Blue Bottle Coffee cart up top around 14th Ave (Best coffee in NYC!). Great hang out in good weather, nice sunset walk. Alternative views of the City.

Art/Wine: Chelsea Galleries
Around 21st and 24nd St. between 10 – 11th Ave there are lots of world-class art galleries. Thursday nights is opening nights for new shows and is a big scene.

Food/Atmosphere: Chelsea Market
9th Ave at 15th St.
Fantastic indoor food market – used to be a big biscuit factory – really cool atmosphere but can sometimes get nightmarishly  crowded, especially on weekends. Find something interesting for everyone who loves food: lobster on paper plates, asian tacos, Cambodian bahn mi on toasted semolina baguettes, and the best gelato in Manhattan at L’Arte Del Gelato. Don’t miss.

Food/Atmosphere: Pier 66 Maritime
12th Ave at 26th Street (on the River)
Hang out on the Hudson River on a funky old pier overlooking New Jersey.  Perfect sunset spot in good weather! Outdoor seating and super casual in an overpriced-but-worth-it NYC way. Think bikers & buckets of beer + pitchers of white sangria & kale salad + fancy burgers on paper plates and the best fish and chips in town…).

Sports/Entertainment: Manhattan Kayak
12th Ave at 26th Street (on the River)
Kayak or Paddleboard on the Hudson river! This place is also on Pier 66, right next to Maritime and offers a number of tours and adventures. Fantastic views of the city from the water. Free Kayaking is also available at various other locations around the city.

Coffee: Cafe Grumpy
224 West 20th St between 7th and 8th
One of the best coffee places in NYC

Sports/Entertainment: Chelsea Piers
HUGE Sports/Entertainment Complex on the river… health club,  batting cages, 2 ice skating rinks, golf driving range, bowling….worth seeing, at least.

Food/Coffee/Atmosphere: Ace Hotel
20 W 29th Street
Cool public lobby/wifi space, great for handing out, people watching, taking a break.

——— Greenwich Village/ SoHo ————–

Hair/Atmosphere: Astor Place Hairstylists
Best $15 Haircut anywhere in hilarious old-timey NYC atmosphere.

Bookstore/Atmosphere: The Strand
18 miles of new and used books in a great atmosphere. A NYC landmark.
828 Broadway – a few blocks south of Union Sq – around 10th?)

Music: 55 Bar
Great little jazz/blues bar with live music every night. Look out for guitarist Mike Stern on Monday and Wednesday nights when he is in town.

Music: The Bitter End
147 Bleecker Street (between Thompson and LaGuardia)
Supposedly NY’s oldest rock club, but great jazz bar too. Look out for guitarist Oz Noy on Monday night when he is in town.

Music: Terra Blues 
149 Bleecker Street
Famous for blues guitarists and singers. A hidden blues gem on the second floor, overlooking Bleecker St.

Food: Mamoun’s Falafel
Best damn falafel you can get anywhere…for like $3.00?…at 4 in the morning! I love this place!

Food: Joe’s Dairy
Fresh, smoked mozzarella like you have never tasted it. This place is another NYC gem.

Music/Food: SOB’s
204 Varick St.
Live Latin and African music and supposedly very good food. (I have not been yet). Bossa Nova Brunch on Sundays, with open sangria bar… let me know how it is if you go!

Food/Atmosphere: La Esquina Taco Shop
Funky authentic tacos and other Mexican food

———-East Village/Union Square———–

 Sightseeing/Food: Union Square Greenmarket
North and West sides of Union Square Park
Open Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday
8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Best farmer’s market in the city… lots of artisanal products. Great for lunch or a light snack – there are always good food carts here and its great for people (and celebrity chef) watching!

Art/Music: Madison Square Park
Madison around East 23rd
Various art installations and live concerts throughout Spring and Summer.

Food: Madison Square Park Shake Shack
Celebrity Chef Danny Meyer’s burger joint. GREAT ‘Shroom Burgers. Funds go to support the Park Conservatory.

Food/Shopping: Kalustyan’s
123 Lexington Ave at 28th
Amazing for spices, herbs and condiments – Indian and otherwise. Great gifts for cooks and foodies here.

Food: Ngam Thai
99 Third Ave (at East 13th)
I have not been here yet but it is on my “must go” list. Try the papaya pad Thai, also known for $0.99 raw oysters…

Food: Piccolo Strada
77 East 4th – between 2nd Ave and Cooper Sq
Supposedly great cheap Italian. Highly recommended to me but I have not yet been. Let me know.

Food: Num Pang
21 E 12th at University
Cambodian Ban Mi and other crazy, inventive sandwiches

Food: Sigiri Sri Lanka Restaurant
91 First Ave (between 5th and 6th Sts)
Spicy delicious Sri Lankan food – try the steamed noodle things with curry…

Food: ChikaLicous Dessert Bar
203 East 10th, between 1st and 2nd Ave
Amazing  dessert cafe with a Prix Fixe dessert menu. A don’t miss it NY experience for dessert lovers.

———–     Lower East Side      ———————-

 All along Orchard St is good to explore. Old world NYC…

Museum/Atmosphere: Tenement Museum
103 Orchard St
Worth checking out for great NYC history

———    Harlem/Morningside ————

(West Harlem – Our Neighborhood)

Food: Vinetaria 
2211 Frederick Douglass at 119th
Fresh, delicious Italian and Spanish dishes with sidewalk seating. Everything is so so good… and don’t skip the bread! Or the patatas bravas, or any of the veggie side dishes, which you can order a whole table full like tapas.  Highly recommended.

Food: Lido
2168 Frederick Douglass at 117th
This place is vying with Vinetaria for my current favorite neighborhood restaurant. Nice seasonal menu – super fresh veggie dishes, seafood perfectly cooked, interesting combinations. Nice waitstaff and outdoor seating. Delicious sangrias! I remember when this building was a “Fix Flat” tiring changing place, with hubcaps on the windows… Harlem, you’ve come a long way.

Food: Patisserie des Ambassades
119th on Frederick Douglass
Old timey little French Bakery/African café, outdoor seating on nice days.

Food/Cafe: Cafe Amrita 301 West 110th (on the north west side of Central Park)
Friendly neighborhood cafe with outdoor seating, just off the park. Nice for breakfasts or light lunch.

Food: Lee Lee’s Baked Goods.
118th, just off of Frederick Douglass
Harlem Bakery famous for handmade rugelach (cookies). Called “Rugelach by a Brother”

Food: Zoma
Frederick Douglass at 113th St
Really nice Ethiopian food. A super fun, delightful food adventure if you like to eat with your hands. Fresh sourdough injera, topped with different interestingly spiced overcooked mushes, and served with more injera to sop it all up. It’s completely delicious.

Food: SettePani
Lenox Ave at 120th
Nice little Italian cafe and bakery, with outdoor seating. In the section of Harlem that really looks like “Old Amsterdam”

Food: Chai Wali
Lenox at 124th
Currently closed, but I am eagerly awaiting their reopening. Very interesting East Indian menu in a terrific atmosphere that is not to be missed. Open up again soon, please!

Music/Entertainment: Apollo Theater
Sometimes live music at the Music Café

List of other Harlem Jazz Clubs

(East Harlem)

Pizza/Atmosphere: Patsy’s
2287 1st ave btwn 117th & 118th
Classic old-timey NYC vibe and one of the best thin crust pies in the city. Worth the shlepp into this somewhat desolate but unpretentious neighborhood. Supposedly Frank Sinatra’s favorite pizza place.

(Washington Heights/Fort Tryon)

Food/Art/Music: New Leaf Restaurant
Fantastic  Non-profit restaurant which supports Bette Midler’s New York Restoration Project. Located in Ft Tryon park with outdoor seating, it’s a great brunch spot on a sunny day. You can walk to the Cloisters Museum from here. Live music on Friday Nights.

———Morningside Heights / Upper West Side  ——–

Food: Roti Roll – Bombay Franki
994 Amsterdam Avenue at 109th
Yummy stuffed Indian roti – great for cheap bite on the go.

Food: Thai Market
960 Amsterdam Avenue
Great great great Thai food in a noisy, boisterous setting.

Food: Gennaro
665 Amsterdam Ave
One of my top 3 favorite Italian places in NYC. Really great food and desserts too. Can be very very crowded and noisy on Friday/Saturday nights so plan accordingly.

 ————-   Brooklyn ————–


Food: Almondine Bakery
85 Water Street
Classic French Pattisserie, but they do a great job.

(Park Slope)

Site-seeing/Art: Botanical Gardens, Prospect Park and the Brooklyn Museum
are all great and right next to each other. Then make sure to go to…

Pizza: Franny’s
295 Flatbush Ave Brookyln
Fantastic pizza and all their food is amazing.

Pizza/Atmosphere: Di Fara Pizza
1424 Avenue J
Check out the video. A classic Brooklyn institution.

(Red Hook)

Super industrial, funky and arty area… non-touristy. Lots of artist galleries on/around the Pier. Take the water taxi there from Pier 11.

Van Brunt Street: great for little funky shops and wandering…

Food: The Good Fork
391 Van Brunt St
Great food – famous for dumplings.

That’s it for now… if you have any more recommendations of great places to go in NYC, please let me know!

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