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NYC Food and Drink Guide

NYC Food and Drink Guide


The most important meal of the day doesn’t even have to include wine

Wouldn’t you know it? Kara Newman, who reviews spirits for the magazine, recommends a coffee place that measures simple syrup with jiggers. Everyman Espresso, in a small space in the East Village that formerly served as the box office for the theater next door, is her go-to for lattes (there’s a Park Slope outpost as well). Sonoma-based Managing Editor Stacy Briscoe may have never been to New York City, but nonetheless has three (!) of those ceramic souvenir I [heart] NY coffee mugs that friends and family have brought back from visits, so she can at least pretend.

Publisher and Editor Jacqueline Strum is a big fan of Buvette on Bleecker Street for breakfast. “I highly recommend going as early as possible to grab a table outside and watch the West Village wake up,” she says. You won’t find a better pastry this side of Paris. And while you may be pining for past Parisian patisseries, the baked delights at Ciao, Gloria in Prospect Heights are worth the trek to Brooklyn, says Digital Managing Editor Rachel Tepper Paley: “The icing-slathered cinnamon rolls will make your eyes pop out of your skull Looney Tunes-style.” President of Commerce Erika Silberstein urges you to visit Upper West Side’s Silver Moon Bakery and try a slice of olive rosemary sourdough, a tomato feta quiche, a pretzel roll or a macaron.

Last Thanksgiving, LaShana Daniels, Events Manager, discovered Brooklyn Heights-based L’appartement 4F (which will soon be expanding to the West Village). While this spot is known for its viral mini-croissant cereal, Daniels says not to sleep on its ham and cheese croissants—get them hot if you can—almond croissants or raspberry kouign-amann.

The Empire Diner restaurant is located in the Chelsea neighborhood, 210 10th Avenue. – Photo by: Sergi Reboredo/VW PICS/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

You might miss The Empire Diner on 10th Avenue in Chelsea if you weren’t looking for it based on our cofounder Sybil Strum’s recommendation. “It’s within view of the Highline,” she explains, “but sits demurely on the side without fanfare.” And don’t send her straight to the California Issue, but she wants you to give the avocado toast a chance.

Director of Public Relations Bonnary Lek always makes a stop at Café Madeline when in Brooklyn and picks up the Breakfast Salad with chopped bacon, gem lettuce, spinach, farro, sliced avocado and a choice of poached or crispy egg. “I always go crispy to see if they nail the fried edges with runny yolk,” she says. “They do every time.”

“There’s no bad time to go to Veselka,” says Georgian and Greek wine reviewer Emily Saladino of the Ukrainian institution that’s been a fixture in the East Village since 1954, “but I especially love its weekday breakfast.” It’s hearty, consisting of four potato pierogi, two eggs, a side of something porky (Saladino likes the kielbasa) plus beet and horseradish salad. Bring a friend, she advises, “or eat it alone with zero regrets.”

Buvette – Photography by Tom Arena


Midday martinis in midtown, bubbly brunches and unusual office supplies

Jeff Porter, who reviews wines from northern Italy (and we should mention, hails from Texas and coined the term “Ciaody!”) takes meetings at a new wine bar near his apartment in Brooklyn that opens at 8 a.m. called Anaïs, from the owners of another local favorite, Rucola. At Anaïs, which he calls his second office, “I can start my first meeting with an amazing espresso and then end with a great bottle of natural wine alongside a plate of New York State cheese and charcuterie.” Yellow Rose, proclaims Danielle Callegari, who reviews southern Italian wines, “is the second-best thing to come to New York City from Texas.” (First place goes to Porter.) “A cold Lone Star and a bean and cheese taco here could make you believe in bipartisan politics.”

Koreatown has boomed over the past few years, and it abounds with lunch options that are easy on your wallet. Kara Newman vouches for Woorijip, a favorite, where you can get the kimbap of the day for under $10. Saladino strongly seconds this move.

You could call this sandwich the Caviar Index: When caviar prices trend too high for the Grand Central Oyster Bar to offer its signature handheld featuring the fish eggs on old-school white bread with a smear of cream cheese for less than $15, it takes it off the menu. Get it if you see it, advises Executive Editor John Capone. Tepper Paley likes the Oyster Bar, too, saying “Here, a Dirty Martini is actually dirty—bartenders do not skimp on the olive brine—and it comes with a brimming sidecar, aka an extra few sips of Martini.”

Looking north towards Midtown
Looking north towards Midtown – Photography by Tom Arena

If your lunch is mostly liquid, the Corkbuzz location in Chelsea Market opens at noon. “Perfect for a glass of Champagne— or a guided blind tasting flight before grazing and shopping your way through the market,” says contributing editor for food Nils Bernstein. “Then walk a block west to City Winery for Hudson River views with your next glass.” Christina Pickard, who reviews wines from New York as well as England, Australia and New Zealand, also loves Corkbuzz (which has a second location in Union Square) for its selection of home state wine.

Reggie Solomon, who reviews wines from Languedoc-Roussillon, Loire Valley and Beaujolais, frequents classic bistro Le Relais de Venise L’Entrecôte on Lexington at 54th Street for steak frites. The steak is cooked to order and served with a green sauce that you’ll certainly end up dipping your frites in.

Upper East Sider and Tasting Director Anna-Christina Cabrales starts with oysters and fries with a glass of Champagne at Flex Mussels on 81st and 3rd Avenue. For brunch she pairs that with a lobster roll and reposado margarita. Aleksandar Zecevic, who reviews wines from Germany and Austria, drops into Ho Foods in the East Village for a weekend brunch when he is in town from Berlin. The tiny Taiwanese place is dinner-only during the week, but on weekends they open early. Zecevic says not to skip savory soy milk with added pork floss. As long as we are on the topic of brunch, LaShana Daniels says you must try the shrimp and grits at BLVD Bistro in Harlem.

The Jazz Club at Aman New York
The Jazz Club at Aman New York – Photography by Tom Arena


From evening-starting aperitivo to history-steeped watering holes to hit before the last cab ride home

“I send friends visiting NYC for the first time to Dear Irving on Hudson,” says Kara Newman, for its spectacular views and what she calls the best Gibson in the City. But, she adds, “I take people I really like to the original on Irving Place.” Now you know where you stand.

Our favorite Milanese, Advertising Consultant Sara Maule, visits New York often and goes to Aldo Sohm Wine Bar for aperitivo and a great glass of wine when she’s in town.

If you are craving oysters and martinis, head over to Grand Army Bar in Boerum Hill. Advertising Social Media Manager Irvin Vidals says it’s one of the best cocktail bars in all of Brooklyn and, as a bonus, hosts revolving pop-ups. You especially don’t want to miss oyster happy hour weekdays 5–6 p.m. (and weekends 2–4 p.m.).

According to Casey Levine, who assisted with photo production on this issue: “When in Williamsburg the move is to put your name in at Bernie’s and instead of standing around for two hours, take a stroll across McCarren Park and have a Martini at the bar at the historic Bamonte’s.”

Rachel Tepper Paley says Bar Goto Niban on Bergen Street, an offshoot of a lauded Lower East Side drinking den specializing in Japanese craft cocktails, is highly underrated. She steers toward libations like the Far East Side, which marries sake with tequila, shiso, elderflower and yuzu. While there, take the time to admire the bar’s opulent 35-footlong backsplash, depicting a gold-hued garden scene.

Nils Bernstein’s favorite spot these days is the newish location of the pioneering cocktail bar Angel’s Share. “The West Village is the most charming neighborhood in the City,” he says of the bar’s home, “and this is one of its most romantic hideaways.”

Stop in for a stylish cocktail at The Campbell Apartment at Grand Central Terminal, says LaShana Daniels. In the roaring ’20s, the space served as an office-cum-private bar to a wealthy financier named John W. Campbell, who was known to throw lively parties and entertain in the space during Prohibition.

Le Bain at The Standard Hotel
Le Bain at The Standard Hotel – Photography by Tom Arena

In New York City, expect breathtaking views even while relieving yourself. “The swanky bar atop The Standard Hotel along The High Line in the Meatpacking District takes high-class entertainment all the way to the restroom,” says Matt Kettmann, who reviews wines from Southern and Central California. “In the men’s room, the urinals peek out over the Manhattan skyline, while the toilets sit in front of floor-to-ceiling windows. Just make sure no one is looking back.” Sky’s the limit.

Danielle Callegari gives Earl’s Beer and Cheese 10 out of 5 stars “just for making sure everything you need to know is in the name.” And while she doesn’t know how you ended up in the UES so late at night (maybe you were visiting AC), she says if you find yourself in that situation, “hit this place like a Cat 5 hurricane.” Pro order: “The grilled cheese that I think is technically only a side to the tomato soup but is itself the star, plus a pilsner.”

While the Holiday Cocktail Lounge’s colorful proprietor and former Ukranian professional soccer player Stefan Lutak, who ran the bar through its gritty heyday serving drinks to everyone from W.H. Auden and Allen Ginsberg to Joey Ramone and Madonna, sadly passed away in 2009, the East Village fixture is in good hands. “It feels divey in all the right ways without compromising on drink quality,” says Jacqueline Strum. “Not to mention, the late-night eats make it a perfect spot for a nightcap.

This article originally appeared in the May 2024 of Wine Enthusiast magazine. Click here to subscribe today!

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