I keep thinking you need two extra lives to enjoy a gastronomic scene in New York City. It’s just impossible to name and experience all the best restaurants, bars, and cafes the city has to offer to tourists and locals. It’s quite frustrating and amusing at the same time.
My first trip to New York was fulfilled with unforgettable experiences and memories. When talking about food and drinks, I was completely amused by the places I have visited. Particularly, these three iconic ones in West and Greenwich Village.
Café Reggio, for example, has so much history to be taken in one go. It’s allegedly the home of the first cappuccino. It’s also one of the first cafes in New York, and of course, it was one of Bowie’s favourite places in the city. Enough reasons to have a seat in this historic place, anyway.
But I honestly imagined it would be impossible to have a table there. Thank god, I was wrong. We got a table there on a Tuesday afternoon. Not an average Tuesday, anyway. It was on my wedding anniversary day, which made everything more special.
The idea was to have a drink and grab some food at Reggio’s. Then have a dessert at Magnolia Bakery and drinks in the legendary The Stonewall Inn. We ended up mixing all this schedule up, but never mind. Everything is possible in New York.
Where did I eat?
Café Reggio is an authentic Italian café. It’s full of character and it’s busy all the time. Its décor takes us right back to the 20s when it was founded. The retro atmosphere is all over the place with its quirky paintings, vintage furniture, and famous silver espresso machine made in 1902. It’s a joy to sit and watch it.
It’s one of those places you can imagine in black and white photos. It’s like stepping back in time. That’s the reason it’s so fascinating. It probably is also one of the reasons it was one of the favourite David Bowie spots.
The menu is varied and eclectic. It goes from classic pasta to paninis and sandwiches with a bit of twist. I have asked for a Perugia panini that is served with fontina cheese, pears, walnuts, honey mustard in tramezzino bread, and rocket (arugula) salad. Mine had pears in a very harmonious combination with fine Italian cheese.
My husband had a Negrino: two poached eggs on a toast with a blend of three European kinds of cheese served with rosemary potatoes and arugula. The food and atmosphere at Reggio’s are superb.
The service is exceptional too. Friendly and very helpful. Price is another reason to visit it as soon as you stop in that part of New York. It’s reasonable for the quality service you have all the time.
For drinks, my husband got a Peroni I went for a Bellini and a single espresso to remember this place forever. Not that I am not already planning another visit soon.
The next stop was Magnolia Bakery in West Village. In case you don’t know, it’s considered the birthplace of cupcake madness.
It’s also become a reference in one of the most important shows on tv, Sex, and the city. A pop culture icon, you know. But More than this, it’s a gorgeous bakery with a warm and vintage atmosphere. And have you seen the menu of this place? It’s heaven.
You need at least two more extra lives (or 15k more visits to the city to conquer its bakery with style) or simply try every single cupcake, cheesecake or divine cake served in this tiny charming place.
The great thing is that they deliver everywhere in New York. It was a tempting thing, to be honest. I also heard they are opening in Sao Paulo soon. Yay! Magnolia Bakery can conquer the world easily!
It was a dream to visit this place, and it was a dream to try one of its cheesecakes. But it was more than this, one of the best Key Lime cheesecakes I ever tried. I never had space for its famous banana pudding. But again, when in New York once, you need to keep coming back for more of New York.
Last, but not least, The Stonewall Inn. I was so glad when my husband just took me to the rea to have some drinks in the legendary Stonewall Inn, the gay bar and site of the most important single event that led to a strong gay liberation movement in the early 70s in the United States, The Stonewall riots.
It’s the first landmark recognised by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission dedicated to the LGBLTQ rights movement.
It’s also remarkable as a pub. The ambient is friendly and the drink selection is quite amusing.
We got some Blue Moon to cheer for our 7th wedding anniversary and to celebrate places like this, where love, tolerance, and acceptance can be spread to the world. Yes, we got free happy hour beers too. This place is amusing. It’s impossible to pass by Lower Manhattan without stopping by for a chat and a drink. Cheers to NYC!