Sunday, 27 December 2009

A Little Bit of New York Zest

New York has been pretty awesome, what with the Christmas season being in full motion and all. And I've also just really enjoyed walking around Central Park, the Upper West Side and Chelsea, eating at my fave restaurants, shopping at my fave shops, breathing in the Christmas cheer, going to my fave museums, and just taking in all the cool things I used to love about New York. This is my top 10 list of everything from food, shops, walks and cultural bits that make New York, for me, a special and unique place in the world.

1. Best skyline view/ sunset walk: The most beautiful walk and view in New York takes place on the Brooklyn Bridge. I used to recommend this walk to all my friends/family that would come visit. The coolest thing to do is to take the subway to the other side of the bridge and walk (or bike!) back towards the city, at sundown when the skyline is a multitude of colorful patterns, lines and curves. That view, in my opinion, is the best view of the New York skyline.

2. Best neighborhood for an afternoon walk/shop/coffee stop: the Lower East has, over time, climbed its way to my favourite places to shop, walk around and grab a late afternoon coffee or early evening drink. Rivington, Ludlow, Essex and Norfolk are among the many funky shop-filled streets of the neighborhood.

3. Best dress shop: Honey in the Rough: my lovely and bubbly friend Ashley Hanosh's quirky and secret dress and accessories shop on Rivington Street offers the most fantastic and unique pieces for ladies with style and sass. Stop by for a lovely shopping experience and you will not leave empty handed. And that's a good thing.

4. Best banana pudding/cupcake: The Sugar Sweet Sunshine Bakery on Rivington Street will leave you salivating for more. The sweet smell of icing and banana cream will knock you over with excitement. I've never tasted such heavenly banana pudding or red velvet cupcakes- and I'm no fan of bananas nor have never been one to go on and on about red velvet cake, mostly cuz I never got where that funky color came from.


5. Best 2 Italian restaurants: Bar Pitti on Sixth avenue and Houston (Soho) followed by Malatesta Trattoria (West Village) both offer some simple and inexpensive Italian dishes and pastas. Bar Pitti has the people watching, while Malatesta just has a kick ass tiramisu. Your choice.

Bar Pitti, Soho/West Village

 Malatesta Trattoria, West Village

6. Best brunch: Bubby's in Tribeca. Best green eggs and ham and eggs benedict south of Houston. This legendary joint has much more to offer than a mile long queue and Harvey Keitel sitting in the back room chatting up the waitresses and sipping on his beer. It's a lively place, really, with some good ol' Southern American food, but some normal American food as well. 

7. Best burger: Shake Shack at Madison Square Park and the Burger Joint at the Parker Meridien Hotel. New York's 2 unmissable burger places, both located in the lower to midtown areas.

Shake Shack, Madison Square Park

8. Best cocktails: Little Branch on 7th avenue and Leroy Street, serves the most funky drinks ( a la Milk & Honey) from the vamped up Pimm's Cup (go Britannia!) to the classic but sexy Mojito, Trinadadian style: The Queens' Park Sizzle.

9. Best manicure/pedicure: and this is for us Londoners who can't get enough of the Vietnamese style mani/pedi, just cuz it's quick and dirty, cheap and chic. Iris Nail on Broadway between 10th and 11th, does the job just fine. You get a little MTV reality junk, with a side order of NYU students' gossip. Love it.

10. One more for the road- Best Borough Market New York equivalent: Chelsea Market (on 9th avenue between 15th and 16th) is the luxury version of a department store food court, offering a wide variety of different food joints, Lobster shacks, delis and grocery stores and also housing the famous Nicole Farhi store and restaurant, known to all us Londoners as 202. 

That's it for now, zesties. Heading to Paris tonight for some New Years celebrations. I hope the Christmas festivities were warm and fuzzy for all of you. Enjoy the New York Zest. In the meantime, LondonZest will be on hold til further notice:)


  1. I will definitely have to refer to this list next time I'm in NYC!

    Happy Holidays! xo, Crystal

  2. For someone who lives in New York I haven't hit a lot of the places you mentioned so I am going to have to add onto my list of places to go before I leave NYC...especially Sugar Sweet Sunshine as I LOVE sweets! I am always on the lookout for something other than Magnolia.

    Have a wonderful New Year!


    ps~ Love Little Branch. I was introduced to it on a very boring and unsuccessful date, it's the only thing good that came out of that date!

  3. Your post makes me feel as if I am transported there! I will store this post in my favourites and if I am ever lucky enough to go, will check out all your favourite places, it would be a dream come true!

  4. I'm DYING for an NYC trip! Was supposed to be going in Jan for a week but no dice. Have a burger at Shake Shack for me!

  5. Hi there. Hope your trip was fabulous. Stop by my blog and you'll see that I've tagged you for revealing your 5 highlights of 2009. Hope you'll let us know. Happy 2010.

  6. Thank you ladies! Happy New Year to you all, wish you all the best for the new decade! xxx LZ

  7. ...hmmm shake shack. This post triggers some good memories. I am a bit surprised that Momofuku did not make it on the list but i guess NYC is a pretty competitive place.