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Archive for the ‘Cafes’ Category

Garage Restuarant – Live Jazz

Wednesday, March 17th, 2010

Picture 11

Is Greenwich Village’s best casual American restaurant, outdoor cafe, and Jazz Venue; featuring the rich tones of exposed rafters, brick walls. inlaid wood floors and a double story stone fireplace. Multi-level dining allows everyone to have the best seat in the house.


Christmas Window Display Walking Tour

Monday, December 7th, 2009


Time: Leaving Front Desk at 11:00 a.m.
Cost: Free [Only Metro Card Needed]

New York City has long been known for its amazing Christmas decorations. This tour will take you to see the magic of some of the most creative and magical window displays in the whole city including the Saks snowflake spectacular on 5th Ave.

The walk is approximately 2 miles long and will take you from Macy’s at 34th st to Bloomingdale’s on Lexington.

We’ll also stop for a bite to eat at one of the many café style restaurants along 5th Avenue!

Best New York Iconic Food

Friday, July 17th, 2009

Everybody who visits New York knows that they have to try: pizza, hot-dogs, falafel and dumplings. These are iconic dishes that you absolutely cannot miss while staying at L-hostels. And, besides, in recession times, they are a great way to keep your wallet thick not thin…and you not hungry and satisfied!!!


Dumpling Man
100 st. Marks Place (East Village)


Have them steamed or seared. They are absolutely delicious. Try sweet version, golden coin with bananas. Price range : 1-8$. Personal recommendation. (I can eat them everyday and never have enough!!!)

Surprisingly or not (It depends whether you support food chains, organic or just purely commercial) Whole Foods on Houston (between Bowery and 1st street) has amazing vegetable dumplings (6 for 6 $). What is more, you can sit upstairs and have a magnificent view of Lower Eastside and legendary poet area Bowery.

Joe’s Pizza
Dough technician Joe Pasquale has perfected the thin-crust slice ($2.50). It’s well charred, with zesty tomato sauce and a blanket of fresh mozzarella. 7 Carmine St between Sixth Ave and Bleecker St.


Shake Shack
Instead of a burger, opt for the Shack-cago Dog ($4.25). The plump Vienna beef frank is placed on a poppy bun with cucumber, onion, tomato, celery salt and relish from local outfit Rick’s Picks. Madison Square Park, 23rd St at Madison Ave (212-889-6600, shakeshack.com) • 366 Columbus Ave at 77th St (646-747-8007)

Katz’s Delicatessen

These all-beef wieners ($3.10) swell and crisp till taut on a well-seasoned grill, requiring little more than a mustard smear. 205 E Houston St at Ludlow St.


This category, in my New York-focused opinion, nothing can beat Mamoun’s.
No fancy toppings here: Moist, perfectly seasoned fritters don’t need more than cool tomato, lettuce and onion, milky tahini and a squirt of hot sauce. Best part? It’s $2.50. 119 MacDougal St between Bleecker and W 3rd Sts (212-674-8685, mamounsfalafel.com) • 22 St. Marks Pl between Second and Third Aves.
(Sometimes you have to wait and wait but it is so worth it!!!)

Personal Brunch Guide

Friday, June 26th, 2009

This week edition of Time Out New York presents a list of variety of brunch spots in NYC. I decided to present my own personal list of 10 places with brunch to die for. (Order the restaurants are presented in, is completely random.) It’s Summer, brunches outside are so nice and as I always say it is almost a religion for New Yorkers to have them. Be a New Yorker this weekend, enjoy your brunch!!!


253 W 11th St
That part of 11th st. almost until Hudson river bank is really magical. Reminds me of Paris. (Marc Jacobs store, Magnolia Bakery, Bookstore that is amazing and many more). Tartine is a small sense of France in West Village. When you sit outside, you never know who you can see on the street (few weeks ago I saw Willem Dafoe). It is simple French cuisine, big portions, very good coffee. Be ready to stand in the line, especially if you want to sit outside. (pastries are amazing).

Radegast Beer Garden
113 N 3rd St
(between Bedford Ave & Berry St) Williamsburg
Jumping to Brooklyn now, but it is only one stop from Manhattan by L train. I am from Easter Europe, so Radegast’s brunch is really to my liking: crispy dumplings, potato pancakes, French toast with such lavishness of fruit that it takes your breath away. Bloody Mary – amazing if bartender in charge is in good spirits, otherwise wasabi in it can kill Terminator:) Really nice vibe in the big room, especially from 1 pm – 3 pm, before the real crowd comes.

Greenpoint Coffee House

195 Franklin St
(between Freeman St & Green St)
From Williamsburg to Greenpoint, it’s just minutes away.
I would say, come there for two reasons, French toast which is absolutely something else that you might expect and its pure delicacy accompanied with compote. Music is always surprising, so even if the food does not meet your expectations, you will be waiting anxiously for the next song to come. Oh, one more recommendation eggs with avocado, DELICIOUS!!!

135 N 5th St
(between Bedford Ave & Berry St)
Back to Williamsburg. One of the reasons to be excited about having brunch is the opportunity to sit outdoors and have a nice view. There is no place better for that than Juliette with its beautiful interior separated from the street with only glass wall and the rooftop terrace. Food is so, so but it is the best opportunity to watch Hipster Wonderland from the above and feel the Summer breeze.



Continuing in Willyburg. This is one of my absolute favorite places. They have the garden, which is open even in winter. The owners are French, smiling and super friendly. Simple French food again, but super nice atmosphere, cheese plate absolutely worth trying.

Roebling Tea Room
143 Roebling St
(between Hope St & Metropolitan Ave)
This is one of my long-time favorite places in Williamsburg. Located in a spacious loft, high ceilings, bar in the middle of the room, one side tables, the other comfy couches, chairs, kind of lounge style. This place is super spacious, classic brunch with unusual elements. (pickles to die for). Interesting crowd, can get too crowded sometimes.

88 Orchard
Now, Lower Eastside. This place isn’t super cheap but it has a great modern cafe vibe, located in the heart of LES, very cozy corner. Great coffee, variety of sandwiches, cookies, eggs. Good salads, nice staff.

Cafe Colonial
Very convenient corner of Elizabeth st. and East Houston (border between Soho and LES). This place is so calming with its blue interior and nice exterior with tables outside:) They surprised me with the variety of food they offer for brunch. It is by all means so much more than eggs, eggs, eggs…Sandwiches – mouth watering, basil mayo so good.
Simple Grilled Chicken Breast Sandwich – very good!!!! Coffee – Brazilian Paradiso. Just follow your inner Samba and come here.

Take a walk in the West Village

Wednesday, May 27th, 2009

L-Hostels is on the Upper West Side, but dear visitors, take a walk on the wild downtown part of the city and end up in West Village.
The West Village was this open-minded, politically active neighborhood that many members of New York artists called home or hangout since the early 1900s, and where the modern gay pride movement got its start on the night of the Stonewall Riots in 1969.

A Morning Jolt
Every fantasy of the West Village—charming historic streets packed with historic buildings, creative people absorbed in conversation, closet-scale intimacy—comes to life at Tartine. This archetypal corner bistro is as small as they come, even in warm weather when sidewalk seating wraps the storefront, underneath green-and-white-striped awnings. Because Tartine’s Lilliputian proportions usually spells lines, especially at night, consider arriving at opening hours for brunch. Opting for a morning meal is no sacrifice, since, like lunch and dinner, Tartine’s egg dishes and other platters feature fresh ingredients prepared with little pretense, and the atmosphere is consistently jovial. (253 W 11th St )


Literary Lunch
The pressures of big chain stores and online shopping have not kept independent booksellers from thriving in New York, and Three Lives & Company defines excellence in the field. Bibliophiles have been flocking to the den-like nooks and crannies of Three Lives since it opened in 1968. The store’s small size is deceiving, since its breadth of selection and artful arrangement of new works and classics is as impressive as ever, and both big names and emerging writers participate in enthralling monthly readings. Every day, the Three Lives staff dazzles customers with their attentive care, insightful recommendations and expansive knowledge of the literary universe. (154 W 10th St )

Dig into the pages of your Three Lives & Company purchase at The Spotted Pig. Like Tartine, this restaurant enjoys the kind of popularity that guarantees celebrity sightings and overwhelming crowds. So go for lunch, when it’s easier to grab a seat at the ground-floor bar or a table beneath a lace-curtained window in the upper dining room. Although The Spotted Pig recently passed the five-year mark, what keeps New York’s first gastropub both surprising and relevant is its extemporaneous approach to food. Chef April Bloomfield has done a tour of duty at Chez Panisse, and in that locavore spirit her approach to British and Italian cuisine is simple yet inventive, and constantly changing with the seasons. Despite the celebrities and crowds, Spotted servers are cheerful, generous with their time and suggestions, and adorably scruffy. (314 W. 11th St. )

Fashion designer Marc Jacobs is known for making big statements. The native New Yorker applied plaid patterns to silk and introduced grunge to the runway in 1993, hired Winona Ryder to star in an ad campaign following her shoplifting trial and had dropped trou in print. Another grand gesture can be found on Bleecker Street: the designer has ostensibly transformed that row into a shopping compound, with two freestanding stores devoted to his diffusion Marc by Marc Jacobs collections, another location that sells clothing by his namesake fashion house and a fourth filled with branded children’s clothing. (382 Bleecker St. )
Just Desserts
Although LGBT nightlife is dispersed throughout New York, the West Village still offers multiple destinations for girls and boys. Whereas Henrietta Hudson and Julius are no-nonsense, The Duplex revels in pomp. The City’s oldest continuously operating cabaret serves drinks, drag performances and disco. At the ground-floor piano bar, The Duplex’s multitasking waitstaff alternates between taking orders and belting tunes, and a 70-seat theater is busy almost every night. Patrons may strut their own stuff at an open-mic session, or just chill in the upstairs bar. Overlooking Sheridan Square, it is also an ideal perch from which to view the home stretch of the annual Pride March. (61 Christopher St. )

Coffee with Alice in Rabbit Hole

Tuesday, April 21st, 2009


The weather today, I would say without offending anyone, is very European but brings back fresh Spring vibe. There is no sign of torrential rain today. (Yesterday many people fell victim of it, with painful or rather super wet consequences), therefore I would like to convince you to take a ride to Brooklyn and visit a place just below Williamsburg Bridge; Rabbit Hole. It is one of those seemingly dark looking places which reveal their charm when you go inside. Unexpected music choices, hip people, plenty of laptop users (free WIFI), amazing coffee, really good Morning Glory Muffins, which are the base of healthy breakfast around NYC lately. You can smell that Alice and Rabbit might have visited the cafe recently. You get out, and here you are on Bedford Avenue with so many entertaining choices to have fun . So take a train, and enjoy the Willyburg.

The Rabbit Hole has a bakery in the basement, from which the scent of freshly baked goods will reach your senses and make you smile inside…and the taste…absolutely Wonderland…you may grow taller or be small enough to enter the keyhole. (Please re-read “Alice in Wonderland”, if you are getting confused.)

Rabbit HOLE
352 Bedford Avenue (corner of South 4th St.)
Take L train to Brooklyn, get off at Bedford Avenue Station and just walk south Bedford Avenue. It is a very enjoyable walk, lots of cafes, boutiques, bookstores and hipsters strolling around in their cool attire.