The first time I went to New York, we hit up 65+ food & drink joints in seven days. A bit ridiculous, but ideal for writing a mini-guide. Ok, totally ridiculous. The second visit was more relaxed, by my standards at least. The third? Sign me up. Right – let’s just dive in with some Williamsburg recommendations.
Carnivores cannot miss Fette Sau; it’s bloody lovely smoked BBQ in a superior space. Couple it with some Crack Pie from Momofuku Milk Bar and a trip over the road to Spuyten Duyvil, a hipster beer bar with a picturesque patio (that’s a beer garden to us Brits). Another great combo is grabbing a Blue Bottle Coffee and checking out the Mast Brother’s Chocolate Factory whilst on the waiting list for an awesome brunch at Egg.
Also in Williamsburg, grab a slice at Best Pizza; play Dig Dug to your heart’s content at Barcade, master Skeeball at Full Circle Bar; take a distillery tour at NY Distilling Co.; and visit the Brooklyn Brewery. Embarrass the locals at shuffleboard and hang out in a ski gondola at The Diamond; play arcade games with coffee whilst doing your washing at Sunshine Laundromat; have more caffeine with the cool kids at Devoción and Sweatshop; head to Beer Street; eat square pizza at Emmy Squared; attempt to pronounce Tørst whilst drinking Evil Twin brews; eat literally everything and get some bear hugs at Smorgasburg; and get your cocktail fix at Maison Premiere, Fresh Kills, Donna or Dram. Phew.
Head South to Fourth Avenue for all the beers at Fourth Avenue Pub (come on, guys), Three’s Brewing, and our favourite, Mission Dolores – a magical taproom with stylish interiors and pinball. Hit them all at happy hour for bonus points. That’s right, pubs have happy hours, and on drinks that you actually want. God bless America (Chicago not included).
Complete your Brooklyn tour with a couple more beers at the wonderful Cardiff Giant and Glorietta Baldy; all the meat at Hometown BBQ; smoked carrots (drool), next level pizza and that burger at Emily; and classy cocktails at Leyenda, Grand Army, Clover Club, or the understated Weather Up. And squeeze in trips to King’s County Distillery, Cacao Prieto, Other Half, Transmitter, Featherweight, Covenhoven, Berg’n, Nowadays, Tradesman and Roberta’s somewhere along the way. Plus a couple hundred other places. Gah.
Am I forgetting something? Oh yeah, Manhattan.
Dead Rabbit Grocery & Grog (that menu) and Attaboy (no menu) are regulars on the World’s Best Bars and Tales of the Cocktail lists, and they were our favourites too, with outstanding & memorable service to match the impeccable cocktails. Check out BlackTail, a new Cuban-inspired bar from the Dead Rabbit folks. You also can’t go wrong with Pouring Ribbons, Mayahuel, Booker & Dax, Employees Only, Mace, Dante, Little Branch and Death & Co. (if you can get in), and there’s fun to be had at PDT (Please Don’t Tell) which you access through a fake phone booth inside Crif Dogs. For drinks with a view, sunset on the Salvation Taco rooftop is pretty spectacular.
Katz Deli (monster reubens) and Russ & Daughters (smoked fish) are classic NY food experiences, but you should also make time for Fuku, Genuine Superette, Jack’s Wife Freda, Mile End, Mission Chinese, Tacombi at Fondi Nolita, Xian’s Famous Foods (get the cumin lamb noodles), and trips to Gotham West Market and Chelsea Market. And all the super expensive restaurants that I can’t afford. There’s food worth eating up on the High Line too. Get your bagels from Murray’s, Absolute or Black Seed. Blue Bottle, Voyager, El Rey, Abraco and a million others are around for caffeine. Doughnut Plant is glorious. Big Gay Ice Cream is fun – order a Salty Pimp.
And yes, there’s more beer. Pony Bar is super friendly and all drafts are $6; Blind Tiger & Ginger Man have a massive range and great atmosphere; Standard Hotel Biergarten has free table tennis underneath an old railway line; and too-cool-for-school Proletariat has some pretty rare brews on an outstanding list. Nearby, Augur’s Well, Good Beer, and Jimmy’s No.43 make for a rather exceptional beer crawl. But our favourite, just, was Upright Brewhouse; coffee house by day, taproom by night… and day. I would love to own a place like that.
Walk around Central Park. Go to MoMA. Catch the legendary Johnny O’Neal at Smalls (thank me later). Solve a crime around Greenwich Village with Accomplice. Grab a slice. Support the Cyclones. Head to the Top of the Rock. Spend all your money. You won’t regret it.
Matt The Tips – Don’t hesitate to get in touch if you are planning a trip to New York and have any questions, or want some more ideas. P.S. Since I don’t live in NYC, there’s a high chance that some of this info is out of date; and I’ve definitely missed some great openings since my last visit. Please send in any corrections and suggestions! Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I might just send you the Map The List : New York edition.