When it comes to eating in NYC, there are no shortage of options. Having lived there for 3 plus years I definitely have my favorites. To keep it short and sweet I’ve mapped out my typical day of eating and drinking while in the concrete jungle. I have breakfast, midmorning coffee, lunch, dinner, and after dinner cocktails all covered for you.

When finding a new fave spot I look for three key components:

1. Menu: (obviously) but I’m not just asking myself: does the menu sound good?  I’m looking for heart and soul, I want to know who the chef is and the stories behind each menu item, I want the menu design to be clean, cohesive and exciting. So when I read ” house made bucatini pasta,” I know someone is spending his or her mornings creating these spaghetti like pasta noodles, probably in the hot prep kitchen/basement of a New York restaurant knowing someone like me is going to be so thankful for their creation.

2.  Ambience: What’s it like inside? How’s the lighting? I’m a sucker for big windows and natural light ( hello Rosemary’s ). But more importantly, I love the communal feel you so often get when dining in New York. It’s cramped, you have little elbow room, and you can’t help but eavesdrop on your neighbors conversations. That’s kind of the beauty of it though. I want to feel cramped, I want to wait an hour for a table, and I want to ask my neighbor what they are scarfing down.

3. Insta-worthy: not just insta-worthy but eye catching. We really do eat with our eyes first. I find so many new restaurants via Instagram, solely based on plating. It’s not only plating that is important though, I also look at the overall decor. I love a great marble bar or bistro table, and you really can’t go wrong with a white brick wall, or rose gold finishes.

Breakfast: Two Hands NYC

My NYC top spots for food and drinks

No food hangover here. What you will get is healthy, delicious, and thoughtfully created dishes. Oh and probably the best flat white in all the land.

Get the Acai Bowl it’s a game changer.

Mid morning latte: Sant Ambroeus

soho nyc eats

The location here is amazing. Take a shopping break and sit down and enjoy a latte. Italians know there coffee, and Sant Ambroeus is no exception.

Lunch: Meatball Shop

nyc eats meatbal lshop

Thank you James for introducing me to MBS years ago. Back then they only had the Greenwich location, but I think everyone knew they were onto something big. Now you can get yourself some hot and tasty balls in one of their six locations! Everything on the menu is customizable to how you want to eat your balls. You choose the meatball, the sauce, and the side. Any which way you have it, it’s delicious. However, my fave combo is the chicken meatballs with pesto over a bed of creamy polenta and a healthy topping of grated parm. Don’t forget a Rittenhouse old fashioned to go with your meal. You’ll thank me later.

Dinner: Rosemary’s

rosemarys italian nyc

Now I may be a little bias, since I did work here a few years back. But trust me, you need to eat here. The lines are long, and the tables are small, it’s crowded, it’s loud, and it’s everything you want nestled away in the heart of Greenwich Village. This restaurant is a power house when it comes to farm to table, sustainability, and made from scratch meals. Boasting one of the few rooftop gardens in NYC, most herbs and veggies on your plate are grown above you. Start with the focaccia, but don’t fill up! You need to save room for more carbs. Delicious, glorious, carbs. Get a few pastas and share, or don’t share. Get the orecchiette, cavatelli, and bucatini all’amatriciana if they happen to have it as a special. Orecchiette means “little ears,” and I have witnessed the creation of these beautiful delicate little pieces of pasta. It truly is an art. Marta the sommelier over at Rosemary’s consistently keeps the wine list fresh and interesting. Hit her up when you get there she’ll recommend some perfect pairings with each course.

Drinks: Cibar Lounge

nyc cibar lounge

Located below the The Inn at the Irving Place in Gramercy Park this sexy lounge is not to be missed. The music is amazing, the cocktails are innovative and delicious, and the staff are both beautiful and attentive. Word on the street is that they are expanding the garden out back into a massive patio, to fill all your day drinking needs.

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I love a good cocktail ?

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