11 days left.
These past 4 weeks have been full of simplicity, mindfulness, and really great food—minimalism with a splash of indulgence at its best.
What does that really mean? Personally for me, I've been spending my days writing, coaching, cooking, yoga-ing, and finalizing loose ends for our adventure (read: traveler's health insurance). Equally as important, we have also been making lots of space to see friends and family that we may not get to see for quite some time—and that's particularly where all this dining out comes in.
So, in the spirit of 11 more days left in NYC, I thought it would be fun to share the top 11 places that I've dined/worked/been present in for the past month. As anyone who lives here knows, there are millions of magical spots to visit and find yourself in this city. While impossible to visit them all—both for time and your pocket's sake—I do want to celebrate + share this particular handful. Most of them, you'll find, are like secret portals to other places that aren't NYC (see #1 and #2, specifically). They all offer a peaceful contrast to this city in some way, and New Yorkers know how important experiencing polarities is in this place. It throws the mind out of that NYC go-go-go energy and into the present. I'm nostalgic for these gems already.
- Greecologies tasting culture—for a morning/afternoon yogurt break + matcha lattes + bulletproof coffee (with maca powder!). Extra splash of probiotic whey lemonade, on the side please. This place is truly like walking into another world—especially on a day with good weather where the back garden is my ideal place to write. Come here to get your work done. You'll enjoy every moment, I promise. Broome St between Mulberry + Mott, Manhattan
- Manousheh—Beirut has come to NYC, and Aviv and I (and my Beiruti mother!) agree that Manousheh offers the best on-the-go breakfast/lunch sandwich you'll find on this side of the island. Snag one of the tables to play some Shesh-Besh (aka backgammon) and listen to some Fairuz. We recommend the Manousheh with za'atar, lebane, and vegetables. That one's not on the menu, but it's classic. Trust my mother. Bleecker St between Macdougal + Ave of the Americas (6th ave), Manhattan
- Amelie—Arguably one of the best wine happy-hours around. 3 flutes of wine for $12, people! Plus, make it indulgent with an order of escargots + french bread—because the minute you step into this place you're the frenchiest, and why not eat a snail? Dites bonjour et merci à l'équipe française. Je vous promis qu'ils vont vous faire le bonheur. 8th St between 5th Ave + Macdougal, Manhattan
- Le Garage—In Bushwick! Yes, please make the trek out for this place off the Central M stop. Order the ravioli and the moules. The very french mother-daughter duo created such a sweet place to dine. Perfect for a girl-date and(!) word is they are soon to open for brunch! Suydam St between Central + Wilson, Bushwick BK
- Siggy's—Siggy's is our favorite place for really delicious health food that doesn't taste a thing like cardboard. Promise. Say yes to the wine and yes to the 9-grain table bread with EVOO. Elizabeth St between Houston + Bleecker, Manhattan
- Oficina Latina—We've been frequenting Oficina Latina since they opened at least 5 years ago. Go for drinks inspired by a handful of Latin American countries. If you really want to get wild, order the Passion & Love. You can thank us later. Prince St between Mott + Elizabeth, Manhattan
- Via Carota—This place was so delicious, we went twice in 1 week! Definitely an order of cacio e pepe, plus a side of broccoli rabe and blood orange salad. Top it off with a main of sea bream, or the hunk of steak on a plate, your pick. This is really the only fine-r dining experience on the list, and you won't be sorry you went. Be forewarned though, they get packed, so you might have to hop over to their sister restaurant, Buvette, just down the block—which ain't a bad idea either. Grove St between 7th Ave + Bleecker, Manhattan
- M'O il Gelato—Just because the warm weather days these past few weeks had us craving some gelato. You can't go wrong with any flavor here BUT since M'O is frequently on its own timetable, if you find it's closed—go to visit Frozen Sweet on the same street. Either way, you'll satisfy that sweet tooth. Mulberry St between Broome + Kenmare, Manhattan
- Babu-Ji—If I could come here just for dessert, I would (get the coned ice cream and the indian donut!!)—though the coconut prawn curry was truly a dream to eat. I would be remiss not to mention the line that forms outside this place as early as 6p for dinner, so step on it. Make it an event and get reservations for the Chef's Tasting Menu—true Babu-Ji style, as they say. That, or order to-go. Your pick! But trust me on that dessert. Avenue B between 11th + 12th St, Manhattan
- Bunna Cafe—Can you tell we're into ethnic food? Why else are we really venturing out into the world!? That said, I've tried many Ethiopian places in this city, and Bunna takes the cake. All vegetarian, plus brunch, plus live music and the infamous Ethiopian coffee ceremony. They recently started serving beer/wine—who could ask for more? Go there! Flushing Ave between Knickerbocker and Irving, Bushwick BK
- Kiki's—What is there to say about Kiki's, other than you're bound to eat really well and watch some really pretty people around you follow suit. Order the whole damn fish! I'm partial to the Dorade, if they have it—but Branzino is just as tasty. Plus greek wine, and that really delish romaine salad filled with dill and feta. Mouth watering already. Division St between Orchard + Canal (with an entrance on Orchard), Manhattan
- Po—Plus one more for good luck! I actually haven't been to this place yet, but I'm thinking I'm meant to be here. "Po" is my nickname, after all! We'll see if we can squeeze this one in for dinner before April 1. Cornelia St between West 4th and Bleecker, Manhattan