Post-NYC depression is real. A day after I was back home I instantly felt nostalgic. There’s something about New York. Every time I’m there, it just clicks. Like riding a bike! This time, I had so many places I wanted to visit. It’s had been a little over three years since I had been back. So, the list was lengthy! If you’re like me and want to hit as many places as possible in as little time as possible, this is the guide for you.
What to EAT:
- Two Hands Café: This place has two locations. Each with it’s own particular style. One is a café and one is a restaurant. If you’re into instagraming a place, go to the café at Mott Street. It has clouds hanging from the ceiling and their breakfast is straight out of heaven. Order the Bacon and Egg Sambo with avocado! Have some coffee while you’re there as well. Compared to most coffee shops in NYC, this coffee is actually good! I’m puerto rican, so you know I like it strong! (Also, let’s all ignore the fact that I completely forgot to get a mani before heading out. Kay? Thanks!)
- Roberta’s: Download OpenTable right now to reserve a spot! This place gets crazy full and you might even walk past it ten times because it’s behind a very discrete red door. BUT. So. Damn. Worth. It. The service is amazing, the pizza is all the reasons I will never leave gluten behind and the music is great. Don’t expect to have a great conversation here, it gets quite loud. Just order the “White Guys” pizza, add some sopresatta, be merry and tell everyone you went and didn’t wait in line.
- Momofuku Noodle Bar & Momofuku Milk Bar: I’ll start things off by saying we waited two hours. Not that there’s a two hour wait list, just that we were nine people and this place only let’s you in if your whole party is there. It’s so good that NINE people waited in line with me just to get a bowl of ramen. If you’ve ever seen Mind of a Chef or happen to be obsessed with David Chang, this is THE place to visit. Every savory sip was mind blowing. MIND. BLOWING. For dessert? A compost cookie from Milk. Thank me later!
- Egg: This cannot get any more straightforward. It’s a breakfast spot. Go for brunch, order the Biscuits with gravy, a side of eggs and candied bacon. We ate in silence throughout the whole meal. If no one says a peep, you know it’s because the food is good! It’s right next to Mast Brother’s in case you’re down for dessert.
- Mission Cantina: Came in for the guacamole, stayed for their neon lit bathroom. (pictured above) We might have been judged and side eyed when we all went in to take a photo inside the bathroom but I’m totally fine with that. The guac is made in your face and it’s insanely good! The place looks hella kitschy and it has a Chinese menu board that confuses everyone because they don’t serve anything shown on it. Pure decoration! Their real menus are neon yellow and the staff is so friendly you’ll never wanna leave. Well, we didn’t!
- Sweet Chick: Chicken and Waffles, Mac n’ Cheese. Enough said! But really, if you’re into comfort food, this is the place to have a massive dinner. Massive, because the Mac n’ Cheese is so good you might want to order seconds…
What to DRINK:
- Cha Cha Matcha: I must admit, I’d seen this place all over instagram. I wanted to taste what all the fuzz was about. I imagined it bigger and fuller. But, to my surprise, it’s quaint and cozy. Be ready to wait a bit, as it’s packed most of the time. But when you do get to the cash wrap, make sure you order their matcha cronut as well. Both Iced Matcha Latte and Cronut were incredible! Cronut not pictured because we ate it in mere seconds. HOT TIP: The bathroom has pink lighting for one of the many selfies you’ll probably be taking that day.
- Blue Bottle Coffee: My love for Blue Bottle Coffee knows no limits. Every place I visit, I actively seek it out. Their New Orleans Style Iced Coffee is the stuff of dreams. So good I had two in a day. You can get your coffee fix in their pop-up at the High Line or in their Williamsburg location.
- Loopy Doopy: Amazing views, colorful cocktails… this place is unexpectedly awesome. It’s on top of the Conrad Hotel so you think it will be very fancy, and it is. But, I went with chucks and jeans. Still got in! This bar is known for dipping a ‘paleta’ in a huge glass of Prosecco. Which means, I obviously got the damn palette dipped in Prosecco. 10/10!
- Cafe Standard: Great coffee, minimalist aesthetic, awesome breakfast… All the things that make a great coffee shop great, right? Pink menus and neon lights are like a calling to me and this place has both! Being able to finally sit down at a place I had only seen on numerous insta-accounts was like a very millennial bucket list moment but a bucket list moment nonetheless.
- Magic Mix Juicery: A mid day refresher after a long night involving pints of beer? This is the place. I was in dire need of some hydration, specially after all the food we had been eating. This was perfect! Great to stop by before heading to the Brooklyn Bridge.
What to SEE:
- Oculus: Oculus means a round or eyelike opening and THAT it was. This architectural masterpiece left us speechless. From the outside, the spiky silhouettes merge perfectly with the World Trade Center behind it. Then once you go in, it’s ike stepping into another dimension. It has stores inside that border the giant opening in the middle. Making it spacious and full of light. Truly magical!
- Mast Brothers: Minimalist aesthetic + chocolate bars = the perfect place. Their bars are known for the packaging and I was lucky enough to snatch their Calico x Mast Sea Salt Collection! Before you take anything you won’t like, make sure to ask for samples! I almost took home an Aji & Habanero bar because the packaging was beautiful and thankfully I tried it out first! Wasn’t my type of chocolate and ended up finding a beautiful Black Truffle bar that made my heart sing.
- Williamsburg Smorgasburg: We got to visit this place a week or so before it closed for the season! It’s 100 food vendors in one place with river views, live music and a whole lot of people watching. This was going to be on my “What to EAT” section but, it’s more like an experience than it is a place to sit down and eat. Try getting there early and grabbing some Mofon.Go!
- Tom Fruin’s Kolonihavehus at North Brooklyn Farms: This was more of a coincidence than an actual planned stop but it might just be the best stop on the whole trip! We were walking over to the Williamsburg Bridge when behind some construction I saw some color peek out! Once we made our way to the side, a colorful house made of glass was awaiting! We had some fun playing with the lights and shadows that the house was projecting unto the floor and I was able to take some portraits of Marlene!
- OK Garage Doors at North 6th Street, Williamsburg: Any sign that reminds me that things will be OK are welcome. I’d seen this all over pinterest a while ago but, didn’t make it a point to find it. Once we got lost looking for Sweet Chick, we saw it in all it’s yellow glory. Photo? Snapped!