My New York Restaurant Guide

I haven’t even put a small dent in the New York restaurant scene however, I find time to visit one or two new places a week so I think it’s about time I share this list with you.

I am still getting loads of messages from you guys for recommendations so I felt it might be easy to put it into all one list! I hope you like it and please keep sharing your recommendations!

PLACES I’VE BEEN:

Le Botaniste – ♥♥♥♥ – Upper East Side

Le Botaniste is a small vegan, all natural restaurant on the Upper East Side. Their mantra, Let Food be Thy Medicine,  pretty much had me in one. Take my money!

100% botanical and 99% organic, you pay for the clean food selection but you won’t be disappointed. Also, their healthy chocolate chia mud pudding is to die for!

Two Hands – ♥♥♥ – Multiple locations

If Two Hands made money on the amount of times they got tagged on Instagram, they would double their profit.

A blogger favorite, Two Hands is the buzzy New York brunch spot that makes me cringe when all I want is a lazy Sunday morning. Glasses are clashing, yoga pants are filling the room and like a typical NYC restaurant, the staff are asking those who’ve over-stayed their welcome to GTFO.

I was unaware of its status on the brunch scene when Steph from StephStyle and I headed for the coolest dish of the moment; avo toast.

Two Hands was nice, but I would leave it at that. It’s healthy, fun and full of Insta-worthy presentations, but $50 brunches isn’t something I dabble in often.

byChloe – ♥♥♥♥♥ – Multiple locations

Another Instagram famous hot spot, this vegan eatery lives up to its expectations. We ordered one of everything (OK not really but kind of) and shared. The service is counter so it’s pretty casual. Out of everything, I highly recommend the vegan hotdog. It’s 9am right now and I’m craving one!

FONDA –  ♥♥♥♥♥ – Multiple locations

Oh, FONDA….yum!

I love Mexican and when Aoife Walsh and I chose this Chelsea hotspot for dinner we weren’t disappointed.

Pic courtesy of FONDA

Their Mexican menu is the real deal ; we had sweet plantains with cream and queso fresco. Delish!  I ordered salmon for main; Pumpkin seed crusted atlantic salmon over sweet potato mash, pineapple, salsa verde and watercress relish.

…still dreaming about it.

Aoife had enchiladas and lapped up every last bite. The atmosphere in FONDA is bustling under candlelit lighting. Definitely the perfect romantic date-night spot.

Chalk Point Kitchen – ♥♥♥♥ – Soho

I booked this restaurant purely based on the fact that Kanye West is a fan.

It lived up to Kanye standards.

Quite a pricey spot, however, this kind-of-healthy quirky kitchen made for a notable experience.

If you’re a drinker, they have a super cool underground bar along with an extensive cocktail menu. The best thing about the night (besides my company) was the edamame protein hummus flatbread. Don’t skip it!

August – ♥♥♥ – Upper East Side

For Sunday brunch, myself, FreyaDrohan and Marissa caught up over a tasty spread in this Upper East Side spot.

I had a salad and all the plates on the table were cleared. The service needed a lot of improving but August is definitely a cute, brunchy spot if you’re in the area.

The Smith – ♥♥♥ – Multiple locations

The Smith is a haunt for hungover brunchy Sundays but myself and LifeofaLadyBear hit it up for a Friday night feast.

We both went for salads – kale and quinoa – which was delicious and the service was fantastic, despite the packed tables and bustle of a Friday night.

The dessert menu – which we skipped – is something they are known for. Cookies called ‘quarter pounders’ and s’mores in a jar. NOM!

John’s of 12th Street – ♥♥♥♥♥ – East Village

This has to be the most friendly restaurant I’ve been in. So much so, we had a ‘lock in’ after hours with the staff. They told us stories of how many celebrities had visited the restaurant. From Ryan Gosling to Celine Dion to the cast of Friends…even The Soprano’s was filmed there.

The food was also good. Very inexpensive and despite it being an Italian restaurant, they had a great selection of vegan and healthy choices. I went for the vegan meatballs and their house salad, which was anything but boring.

If you’re not fussy about a fancy location and more into an experience and good quality food, go here.

MissParadis ♥♥♥♥ – Soho

New  to the New York City restaurant scene, Miss Paradis has become a Instagram sensation for all the right reasons.

The activated charcoal black bread is one for the books. What looks like a piece of coal, is actually a soft naturally good-for-you appetizer that is definitely worth a try.

The Soho spot is pescatarian, with a menu that is healthier than standard. The best thing is the dessert menu is split into ‘naughty’ and ‘nice’ meaning you can enjoy a nutritious delicious treat.

Le Percora Bianca – ♥♥♥♥ – Gramercy / Flatiron

This is the best brunch spot I’ve come across since I arrived in the city.

The cutsey, European decor is Pinterest friendly and the buzz on a Sunday morning makes you feel as though Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte and Miranda could be occupying the table next to you.

The girls choose waffles, pancakes…the whole hog! I stayed modest with a chicken salad and lapped up the NYC’s brunch scene.

 

Mexicue – ♥♥  – Multiple locations

When I decided to eat at Mexicue, I didn’t realize it was a chain. It’s good, for Mexican food when you’re near mid-town but like most chain restaurants, it’s overpriced with small portions.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BP_pSMZFiWV/?taken-by=stephanieoquigley&hl=en

Flatiron Hall – ♥♥♥♥♥ – Flatiron

This is a great spot for a gang. Order loads of sharing platters – pulled BBQ pork sliders, tater tots, wontons, meat and cheese board and you have to order the Proscuitto toast with fig jam, goats cheese and Balthazar Levain bread..and the giant pretzel. Warm, soft, bouncy, bread-y goodness with ale dip and honey mustard cheese. Oh em G! 

Photo courtesy of Flatiron Hall

Sarabeth’s – ♥♥♥♥♥ – Multiple locations

With sides at $12 dollars, Sarabeth’s isn’t for any budget busters. The views of Central Park are beautiful, and the quiet, reserved atmosphere in the restaurant is a rare find in Manhattan. I loved Sarabeth’s, for dinner, I choose a salad for $24. We also shared truffle fries which were just, yes!

For a romantic date or a visit with your parents, Sarabeth’s is a great choice!

COFFEE

Healthy:

  • Chobani – Yes, the yogurt. They have their own cafe in SoHo. Fun.
  • Muscle Maker Grill – They serve everything in forms of MACROS. High protein, healthy food aimed only at gym goers.
  • The Butchers Daughter – Vegtarian market style restaurant with modest pricing.
  • Jacks Wife Freida – Another blogger hotspot that I haven’t gotten around to trying!
  • Hu Kitchen – A completely healthy kitchen.
  • Bluestone Lane – Healthy brunch & lunch. Insta-famous.
  • Erin McKenna’s Bakery – A healthy bakery! Rare.
  • The Smile – I read that GiGi Hadid always goes here…

Treats:

  • Hold my Knots – All the sell is warm, knotted bread. I need it.
  • Kelloggs – Cereal is one of my favorite things in the world.
  • Big Gay Ice Cream Shop – Need I say more?
  • DO – They ONLY sell raw cookie dough. Prepare to queue.
  • Max Brenner – The king of choclate. Google, choclate pizza.
  • Schmackary’s – Dem cookies tho.
  • Levain Bakery – This is on my life bucket-list. One word; cookies.
  • Milk – Neon lit ice-cream shop
  • 16 Handles – A popular fro-yo spot.

Dinner:

  • Serendipity 3 – A celebrity favorite on the Upper East Side.
  • Jacobs Pickles – Looks like  they put melted cheese on everything.
  • Guys American Kitchen and Bar –  Love his show!
  • Penelope – Cutesy setting and health-ish, fresh food.
  • Ellens Diner – They sing and dance on the tables here.
  • Mr.Purple – Amazing rooftop bar.

Lunch/Other:

S’MAC – Mac & cheese porn.

Bubby’s – All American diner, perfect for a traditional spread.

 

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Stephanie O'Quigley