Our trip to NYC for Thanksgiving a few weeks ago was a whirlwind! Every time we visit, it goes by in the blink of an eye. There is always so much to do and see and a plethora of amazing restaurants and bars to enjoy. Our trip was filled with a lot of friends and family time, eating, drinking and being merry in the spirit of Thanksgiving and all of us being together! Needless to say, New York City is a culinary mecca and we visited some awesome restaurants that I wanted to share with you to add to your foodie bucket lists.
Empellón Taqueria – West Village
Our first night in NYC, Ciaran and I met up with my best friend from high school and her boyfriend for dinner and drinks. We kicked off our reunion with champagne at Wilfie & Nell, a cosy neighbourhood bar right next to Empellón. The music was great and it had a really fun atmosphere. It was the perfect place to grab drinks before our dinner! Empellón was AMAZING. We were blown away at the incredible tacos. There isn’t a huge Mexican food scene in London, so whenever we go back to the USA, I try to eat as much Mexican as I can. We ordered up nearly the entire taco menu and none of it disappointed! Delicacies such as lobster with sweet corn and epazote tacos, fish tempura with cabbage and lime mayo tacos, duck carnitas with habanero honey and skirt steak with onion tacos are all highlights on the menu – the duck being the star of the show. If you love Mexican food (and in particular tacos) I highly recommend Empellón – in fact, I loved it so much, I tried to work in a trip back there before our visit was over.
Miss Lily’s, Soho
The next morning, we met up with our British friends who recently moved to NYC (check out Roxanne’s fitness blog here!) for brunch at Miss Lily’s in Soho. This lively Jamaican style diner was so much fun. Before we went, both my sister and our friends we were with the previous evening said how fun it was and how great the food is and they were right! The menu includes renditions of Caribbean island specialties including jerk chicken, escovitche fish, oxtail, curried goat, all seasoned with fiery jerk spices. It was so colourful and bright inside, with island music playing – I felt like I was transplanted to Jamaica. Definitely a fun one for brunch with a group of friends!
Good Enough to Eat, Upper West Side
On Sunday, my sister and I took my dad to Good Enough to Eat near her apartment for brunch. This farmhouse-style casual American restaurant felt like home to me. It was so nice and cosy in there and reminded me of how much I miss traditional American food from time to time. They serve breakfast, lunch and dinner with all dishes made from scratch. You can tell how much care goes into each dish and so can the rest of NYC because there was a queue around the block! Be sure to book ahead – rest assured, it is worth the wait! I was delighted to see that they had pumpkin French toast on the menu, so of course I went for that while my dad and sister ordered an omelette and a traditional American breakfast (toast, eggs, bacon). I would definitely make a return visit to Good Enough to Eat next time we’re in NYC.
Sahadi’s isn’t a restaurant, but I feel that it needs to be on the list purely for its awesomeness. It is a Middle Eastern market in Brooklyn with the BEST bubba ganoush and hummus I’ve ever had! Middle Eastern food is one my sister and mine’s favourites so she took me here to explore and buy a few things for Thanksgiving. As we stepped in, it definitely had an old-world feeling to it. It was bustling with people getting their last-minute shopping done and we had to grab a ticket and wait for our number to be called to order. The family who started Sahadi’s is originally from Lebanon and opened the market in 1948 – selling all sorts of delicacies you won’t find in a regular grocery store including cheese, olive oils, ethnic items, more than 30 speciality dishes, a variety of olives, spices, candy, etc. It was a truly incredible experience that it’s no wonder Sahadi’s attracts people from all boroughs of New York. I am now on a mission to find the equivalent of Sahadi’s in London – if you have any ideas, please leave a comment below!
My mom and I had a whole day together during our trip, which was so nice to be able to spend some real quality time with her. We jumped in a cab over to Chelsea and ate a really cute restaurant called Westville before walking the High Line. Open for brunch, lunch and dinner, Westville has all sorts of delicious American dishes on the menu from salads, sandwiches and burgers to bigger plates of steak and fish – there’s truly something for everyone. If you are with a really picky eater, I would recommend Westville because there really is an option for anyone! I was feeling quite large after all the food at this point, so I opted for a healthy kale salad 😉
Carragher’s Pub & Restaurant, Times Square
Ciaran is an avid Liverpool fan, so of course we had to make a pit stop to Carragher’s Pub & Restaurant, a Liverpool pub owned by Jamie Carragher himself. The pub had so much character with an awesome atmosphere – it was decorated for Christmas and looked super festive. They stream all of the soccer games so if you are a British expat living in NYC, this bar is for you! They have a great happy hour with $5 pints too and a huge beer selection. We loved it so much, we took my mom and dad back for a second visit to grab a few drinks after walking around all day. As for the food, it’s pretty good as far as pub grub goes! Think burgers, appetisers, wings, chips, Mac n Cheese. There’s also some traditional British dishes on there too like Shepherd’s Pie, Bangers and Mash and Fish & Chips, so you’ll no doubt feel right at home if you are a British expat 🙂
BAGELS, BAGELS, BAGELS
You can’t go to NYC and not have a New York bagel! Rise and shine and walk into any bagel shop you can find to get your carb fix. It’s one of the things I enjoy the most when I go to NYC – there’s nothing better than starting your day with a delicious bagel, fresh cream cheese and a coffee.