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New York City Essentials

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Food and Drink Essentials: Best Places to ...


Regional Farmers Markets Throughout The City
One of the most enjoyable ways to buy groceries is at a NYC green market. You can get everything from fish to fowl, artisan cheeses, fresh baked bread and the freshest produce. What began with 12 farmers in an empty parking lot in 1976 now includes almost 50 green markets spread out in every borough. The program has grown into the largest network of its kind in the country. What’s cool about shopping at a green market is that it promotes regional agriculture, supports local farmers and preserves farmland for the future by providing regional, small family farmers with opportunities to sell their fruits, vegetables and other farm products directly to New Yorkers.


You never know what mood you might be in when you need a late-night bite. If you need some late-night chow and don’t want take-out from the corner bodega, the best places to find a wide variety of choices are the East Village or West Village in downtown Manhattan. Here are a few reliable choices that natives know will satisfy late-night cravings:

144 Second Ave. at Ninth Street, 212-228-9682
Ukranian-American venue well known to be open all night. You can get a satisfying borscht or a filling burger at affordable prices. It’s a perfect place to people-watch as the East Village still maintains its anything-goes attitude meaning that at any hour there will be some entertaining eye candy.

Empire Diner
210 10th Avenue between 22nd and 23rd Streets, 212-243-2736
This sleek diner has been around since the 1970s and retains its well-earned popularity. There’s a very mellow vibe enhanced by an art deco elegance that doesn’t leave you feeling that you're stuck in time. In warm weather, sit at a table outside and sip a late-night cocktail and order up some home fries.

The Waverly Restaurant
385 Avenue of The Americas (Sixth Avenue) at Waverly, 212-675-3181
A West Village standby diner. It’s not the sexiest place, but sometimes you just want some good ol' diner food whether it be onion rings or a 3 a.m. Spanish omelet. This one is definitely a step back in time. And, the West Village in the middle of the night can give you the feeling of being caught in someone’s literary novel where you order a cup of Joe from a waitress named Flo and blend in seamlessly with all the other night owls.


The Chip Shop
383 Fifth Ave., South Park Slope, Brooklyn, 718-832-7701
Fifth Avenue in Park Slope is the new hip street of the hood, and it’s lined with all sorts of mouthwatering options. The Chip Shop is a must stop if you’re in the mood for some awesome fish and chips. Have a pint to go with it; make sure you get extra tartar sauce and some vinegar for the chips.


Brooklyn Brewery
79 N 11th St., Williamsburg, Brooklyn, 718-486-7422
Founded by two beer-loving guys who quit their day jobs to open a brewery upstate in 1989. The Brooklyn brewery located in NYC opened in 1996. It is the first company in NYC to have 100 percent of its electricity powered by wind energy. There’s happy hour most Fridays with special low prices on several types of beer. Tours are available on Saturday afternoons. On the way back from imbibing brewskis, you can stop at one of the many popular cafes or restaurants in Williamsburg.


Starbucks is great if you’re in a fix and need a place to rest your weary bones from the hustle and bustle. But there are cooler, more indigenous spots to get a latte such as at Cafe Champignon at 200 Seventh Avenue in Chelsea (212-366-4410). The French-style cafe is run by Lebanese Israelis and part of the bakery next door. You will feel like you're in Belgium or Amsterdam, not New York City.

For a special latte treat, visit the Neue Gallerie Museum for German and Austrian Art (1048 Fifth Ave., at 86th Street, 212-628-6200) on the Upper East Side. There you will find Cafe Sabarsky and Cafe Fledermaus which are vintage recreations of the best Viennese and German cafes at the turn of the century. They are decorated and furnished with exquisite designs from the era’s best artists and designers, period objects and furniture. The museum has one of the best Gustav Klimt collections in the world, so you might want to make sure you have enough time to see the gorgeous art upstairs.

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