Our second day was actually P’s birthday so we started the day as we meant to go on, with a colossal feeding.
Big Daddy’s Diner www.bigdaddysnyc.com
There’s a few of these around New York City, we went to the Gramercy Park one as it was 15 mins away from our apartment. We’d reserved a table but probably didn’t need to as it was a Friday morning, we were still on jet lag time so it was before 10.30am. The diner is everything you imagine a NYC diner to be; booths, bright colours and neon lighting. We both had a coffee and an orange juice. I went for the Chocolate Chip & Banana Pancakes with a side of bacon and P had the Berry Pancakes. No surprises the portions were huge (diner style) and the pancakes were so light and fluffy – a perfect start to our first full day.
The Gramercy Park location is also right by Union Square which had a farmer’s market (and at this time of year a Xmas market) so you can have a potter post brunch.
In dire need of burning off some pancake calories we got the subway over to the Brooklyn Bridge. There are some great views of New York City (amazing at night I imagine) and the weather was unseasonable warm, around 18c.
Statue of Liberty/Staten Island Ferry
Neither of us were too fussed about seeing the Statue of Liberty up close so decided to do the Staten Island Ferry instead of actually visit it. The ferry is free to ride and you get some pretty decent views. It comes every half hour so you can pop into a bar on the other side and wait for the next one. The walk from the Brooklyn Bridge to Staten Island Ferry terminal is also a nice one as it’s mostly along the waterfront, it takes around 40 mins.
Katz’s Deli www.katzsdelicatessen.com
For lunch we jumped on the subway to visit a New York City institution; Katz’s Deli. It’s apparently busy regardless of time of day and it’s a bit confusing when you first walk in. You get given a ticket which keeps a track of how much you’re spending and you pay on the way out. You either wait for table service or go up to a counter and find yourself a table. P has been lusting after a big deli sandwich ever since he found out we were coming to NYC but even he couldn’t manage a whole sandwich. Instead we got matzo ball soup and a half sandwich; P had corned beef and I had turkey. The soup was delicious; a vegetable broth with a massive doughy dumpling. The sandwiches were also good if a bit dry, they definitely needed the mustard on the table.
Doughnut Plant www.doughnutplant.com
About 10 mins round the corner from Katz’s is a doughnut shop called the Doughnut Plant (they have a few around NYC). I was way too full to have one there and then however got one to take away as I was determined not to leave New York City without having a doughnut. I had it later on in the day and boy I wasn’t disappointed. I’d gone for the a Carrot Cake one which had a cream cheese filling and it was the best doughnut/cake I’ve ever tasted.
Brooklyn Brewery www.brooklynbrewery.com
Brooklyn Brewery do brewery tours during the week however we couldn’t fit one in so settled for a visit to the tasting room instead. A huge room with rows of benches, you buy tokens (5 for $20) and try all the different beers they have to offer. There’s a pizza van outside as well if you get peckish. It has a really chilled out atmosphere, definitely one to visit as it’s cheaper than a lot of bars round that area and you get to try some of the more unusual varieties. Mmmmmmm pumpkin beer.
*We were a little early to Brooklyn Brewery so nipped over the road to the bar in the Wythe Hotel – The Reynard. The bar is absolutely beautiful, the drinks are on the expensive side but it’s perfect for one. Also the hotel is stunning, I can but dream.
*After Brooklyn Brewery we had a cocktail in The Bedford which was a cute little bar.
*Then on the way to dinner we stopped at a place called Dram for a beer which was a bit more studenty with cheaper prices.
Pies n Thighs www.piesnthighs.com
As it was P’s birthday he got to choose dinner so we went for fried chicken! Pies n Thighs was about a 10 min walk from our apartment so perfect to drop by after the bars. It’s really small with minimal seating and pretty rough & ready. Famous for fried chicken we obviously had to have this. P had Fried Chicken Box with Fries and I had the Chicken Biscuit. We also shared some Mac n Cheese and Coleslaw.
P thought the fried chicken was tasty but a tad dry and the fries fairly average. My chicken was doused in a hot spicy sauce so not dry at all and I am totally into biscuits; buttery scone things. The mac and cheese was delicious and the coleslaw a refreshing accompaniment.
Don’t bother with getting seated/served at Katz’s Deli. It’s quicker to go to a counter and find a table.
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New York City Day 1