Hello Friends and welcome back!
If you're a native New Yorker or a returning tourist looking to eat outside of the tourist traps, take a peek at my top five non touristy spots perfect for a weekend off or a few days in the city.
First, and this will come as no surprise....TEA! Afternoon tea is something I loved as a girl but was nowhere to be found in small town South Carolina. Now, of course, I always endorse Bosie which is my go-to spot but if you're looking for something really special but easier on the wallet than an afternoon at the Plaza, my favorite place, Janam Tea, is the spot for you! Janam's exclusive location on the second story of Garfunkel's bar gives it an almost speakeasy vibe, making it the perfect afternoon hideaway. Reservation required as the owner, Amy Dubin, makes all of her afternoon treats from scratch the morning-of, using secret family recipes! Janam also features a wide variety of seasonal Indian teas. I could not give this unique nook higher praise. But please follow the link below to check it out! I hope you all have a chance to enjoy the wonderful tea service Janam has to offer.
The next place on my hole in the wall list is my favorite cocktail spot, Little Branch. This is a legitimate speakeasy and if not for the bouncer outside you might not even realize it exists. This place is cash only with a first come first serve table service that is well worth it. There's also ample setting and standing room by the bar while waiting for a table. The best part about this place is their live Jazz music Sunday-Thursday evenings. Coming in close second to the Jazz is their Blackberry Martini. Hands down, the best drink I've had in the city (I recommend rum but if you're feeling adventurous it's also delicious with tequila.) Make sure you've got cash and your ID. You will not be disappointed with the speakeasy vibe with lots of Jazz.
When David and I are craving Chinese food but aren't lucky enough to get a delicious home cooked meal by his wonderful mom, our go to spot is Joe's Shanghai, located in the heart of Chinatown. I've tried many soup dumplings since my move to the city and Joe's has by far the best in Manhattan. It's a popular spot for the locals so get there early and put your name down and dig into some delicious dumplings! David approved (:
Recently I found out through 23and me that I have some Italian heritage and you better believe that has given me even more excuses to find the best pasta New York has to offer. There are many restaurants that fight for the number one spot but when choosing my favorite I make sure my standards are high. I want the best authentic food but there's one place that tops even that by its ambiance. I recently stumbled upon Palma, a most adorable Italian restaurant that checked off every box. Not only was the food the most delicious I've ever had, with their Lamb Pappardelle and cauliflower palma, but we sat in their "garden" section which was a greenhouse full of rose bushes growing up the walls. This is by far one of the most special, surprising stumble upon's I've ever found. Palma does take reservations and their cocktails are to die for, strongly recommend The Garden or the appropriately named La Vie En Rose. Run to this place, drink and be merry!
Last, but most certainly not least, brunch. There are many lovely brunch spots for me but keeping to the hole in the wall theme, my number one would be Egg Shop. Egg Shop is located on charming Elizabeth Street right beside Little Italy. Egg Shop is also a local favorite and therefore could be up to an hour and half wait on a Saturday. The food is every bit worth the wait though and the best oat milk latte can be found around the corner at any of the independent coffee shops...notice I didn't say Starbucks. (: This is the perfect quick brunch spot before spending a gorgeous Saturday downtown shopping or exploring the winding streets of the city.
This is my favorites short list with so many more amazing restaurants coming in close second and a lifetime more to explore. For more suggestions on my favorite places please feel free to connect with me or if you have some favorites you think I should try please send them on! Be on the look out for my next post of the most non touristy, touristy things to do in NYC. (:
As always, much love....and much food!!