There are several reasons for the profuse smiles in this picture, taken outside of Milk & Roses in Greenpoint just after I reunited with a longtime friend for a delicious brunch there.
First of all, we had the bottomless mimosas. Second, I think I developed a bit of a crush on the owner around mimosa #7.
The biggest reason for my uncharacteristic happiness, though, was the dessert I had. The bombolone, a legendary Italian donut with a nutella filling.
This is what happiness tastes like.
The brunch at Milk & Roses was the first meal I had on my latest visit to New York City, and it really set me up with grand expectations. Ones that were answered tenfold during my time in the city.
Also in Greenpoint, Peter Pan Donuts (727 Manhattan Ave) has some of the best treats in the city!
The avocado toast at Sauvage (905 Lorimer St) is a legend, and rightfully so. One of the best (and most beautiful) brunch dishes available in the city, by far.
Morgenstern’s is extremely popular, with a constant line of people waiting outside. I usually get a bit suspicious whenever a specific spot creates a mania overnight, but this time it’s well deserved.
The Lower East Side shop at 2 Rivington St has some incredible flavors, such as burnt honey, durian, sweet potato, vietnamese coffee, black licorice and banana agave.
My favorite? The beautiful coconut & black ash ice cream.
Speaking of ice cream, Van Leeuwen (620 Manhattan Ave) also has some wonderful and delicious flavors, including sicilian pistachio and candied ginger. They also have a wide selection of vegan ice creams.
My absolute favorite is the classic and delicate honeycomb ice cream, a true delight!
At some point a person will get tired of just eating ice cream, though. That’s when you need a cronut.
Dominique Ansel Bakery (189 Spring St) became a worldwide sensation overnight when they began serving the now-legendary cronut, a combination of a croissant and a donut. Undeniably delicious and decadent, a cronut is always a great idea. It’s not my favorite treat over at Dominique Ansel, though…
That honor goes to the incredibly delicious kouign amann, a breton pastry that resembles a swirled and caramelized croissant. It’s flaky, buttery, sugary and mindblowingly delicious. My mother always says there’s no reason to get fat, but she hasn’t tried the kouign amann at Dominique Ansel.
After all that sugar, it’s only normal to crave something savory. Over at Tamashii Blue (47-36 Vernon Blvd) in Long Island City I found said something. Actually I found my new favorite appetizer in the city. The pork buns are incredible, a true work of art. They also serve some delicious gyoza and ramen, but I could basically just have a bunch of the app buns and be satisfied!
Chinatown is another great spot to find some savory treats. The neighborhood is filled with fantastic restaurants offering delicious dim sum and authentic Chinese cuisine. I found my new favorite by accident, wandering into a tiny no-frills space that somewhat resembles a meat locker or a morgue.
Fried Dumpling (106 Mosco St) is tiny, but very potent. A huge plate of dumplings and a hot & sour soup will only set you back a few dollars, but the taste is worth thousands. The place is very popular with businessmen working nearby, and can get crowded during lunchtime.
Back to sweets, eh?
I’ve always seen the donut as a glorious symbol of New York City. And not for nothing – the city is full of fantastic donuts. Over at Dough (several locations throughout New York) you get an incredibly soft and pillowy dough combined with some fresh flavors.
My favorite donut flavor is now and will always be the plain glazed one, but the dulce de leche and lemon poppyseed donuts at Dough are close competitors for the number one spot!
Whenever I’m in the West Village, I have to head over to Sockerbit (89 Christopher St), which has an awesome selection of Scandinavian candies and treats.
Meanwhile, over in the East Village, Pig and Khao (68 Clinton St) has an amazing weekend brunch with some pan-Asian flair, and bottomless mimosas with several flavors…
I know the picture doesn’t look like much, but that right there is the best papaya salad I’ve ever had. Maybe even the best salad I’ve ever had.
Added bonus, every single employee and customer at Pig and Khao is usually extremely good-looking!
The Standard High Line (848 Washington St) is one of my favorite hotels in the world. The hotel’s restaurants also serve some great dishes in a delightful anything goes atmosphere.
Smorgasburg is a criminally bad pun, but the seasonal outdoor food market in Prospect Park (right at the edge of Williamsburg in Brooklyn) is still a must-try for any foodie. They have an incredibly wide selection of international cuisines, and some of the best views of Manhattan.
I fell in love with Indian street food chaat at Smorgasburg
One day I was wandering around Hell’s Kitchen, looking for a quick snack. I ended up at Tehuitzingo, a small taco joint at 695 10th Avenue. From outside, it looks sketchy. Once you step inside, it looks even sketchier. Braving your way through the endless kitch is definitely worth it, though. The tacos are insanely good!
And since I was in town for my birthday, I couldn’t possibly leave without a special birthday cake.
My cake of choice was a pistachio cheesecake on filo dough, from the incredible Sugarcube (10-16 50th Ave), which has some of the most inventive cakes, chocolates and ice creams in Long Island City.
I enjoyed my cake outdoors, on an unseasonably warm November night, on the boardwalk at Gantry Plaza State Park. Watching the sun set behind Manhattan was almost as delicious as the cake. Almost.