You know when you get back from a holiday and you just can’t stop looking at all the photos you’ve taken? Well, that’s me right now. Still holding on as long as I can to the holiday memories of NYC! I am also SO thankful for the opportunity I had to travel. As you may have read in my earlier posts, I had a recent knee reconstruction (ACL) on my left leg due to a Touch Footy injury. So it was the best news to get the all clear from my specialist to fly for 15+ hours! I just had to make the effort to get up and walk around the plane every so often, wear compression socks and take blood thinning tablets to help prevent any risk of DVT. Totally worth it.
New York is where my hubby and I spent the most time in our recent trip to the US. Seriously…what a city! The freezing conditions were definitely a challenge for us Aussies coming out of a hot summer, but we were lucky it was sunny and above 0C/32F most of the time!
One of the first things I did in planning for this trip, aside from study the heck out of our NYC Lonely Planet book, was mark down as many organic/vegan/vegetarian cafes as possible to visit. It was a priority for me, mainly so I wasn’t left unprepared and defenceless to the lure of Shake Shack or the street-side food trucks! I wanted to ensure there were healthy options on hand where possible.
Here is a quick run down of what I found and what I was able to try:
The Butcher’s Daughter: 19 Kenmare St. They call it the “vegetable slaughterhouse”! We had lunch here on a Saturday and were tempted to eat nearly everything on the menu! It was also a perfect morning. The sun was out, blue skies, people were everywhere and the staff were super friendly and quick! I ordered a green juice to kick start things before chowing down on their Kale Caesar Salad (the healthy kind without any of the processed laden sauces of course). Mal had the smashed avocado on their 7 grain bread which I had a little taste of and yes, it was divine! Their list of juices and smoothies looked amazing, and I was really hoping to get back there and try a few more, but unfortunately didn’t get the chance. Absolutely loved the fit out of this place too…Industrial meets rustic farmhouse.
Hu Kitchen: 78 5th Ave. This was hands down my favourite health foodie hideout. Particularly as it was easy for me to get to on our subway line, at Union Square. The juices (fresh or cold-pressed) are just so delicious and bursting with nutrition! I was also a little obsessed with their Kale Caesor/Spiced Pumpkin/Broccoli Salads as well as their Almond Butter + Puffed Quinoa chocolate bar! Admittedly I was a little confused the first time at how you order. Basically you can order hot foods or salads in two different spots. Then there is the juice/smoothie/coffee bar. Collect what foods you want and pay at the register. Don’t hand cash over the counter to the dudes serving your food like I did! Free wifi available which was a bonus, and a nice place to sit either up or downstairs. Perfect place to chill out while enjoying nourishing noms.
Gingersnaps Organic: 113 W 10th St. I fell upon this place whilst exploring the West Village one morning. It was such a welcome surprise as I hadn’t eaten a proper breakfast and it was nearing lunchtime. What immediately caught my eye was the Cauliflower Soup with cayenne pepper (optional). Nothing beats cold weather like a smooth, thick and warming soup. Such a cute and cosy organic cafe, also offering free wifi, and a nice spot to sit at the window and watch the world go by. I couldn’t leave without grabbing one of their cold pressed juices either of course! I had the pleasure of guzzling their Kale, Spinach/Chard, Cucumber, Celery, Pear and Ginger green cold pressed juice.
Candle Cafe: 1307 3rd Ave. I was looking forward to trying this cafe/restaurant out whilst exploring the Upper East Side. It was a lot bigger than I anticipated, but so lovely, as were the people there. I was fortunate to grab a small table right by the window during their lunch rush. Had the most scrumptioius Ginger Miso Stir Fry with beautiful veggies on a bed of perfectly cooked steaming brown rice and tofu. Downed a freshly made green juice too of course.
ABC Kitchen: 35 E 18th St. This was a beautiful place to enjoy good local, seasonal whole foods. A little more pricey, and strongly advised to book as it gets busy in the evening. A popular place and I would say more on the fine dining end of the spectrum. There were no vegan options, but there is a strong focus on organic and sustainable foods. I really enjoyed the Fresh Fettuccine, Swiss Chard and Pistachio Pesto. We also ordered a side plate of wood oven roasted fiddlehead ferns which was on the specials, just for something different. Amazingly delicate, with the right amount of crunch, and perfectly combined with garlic and lemon. Plenty of organic wines to choose from too if you’re keen.
Organic Avenue: Great little organic juice/foods store scattered around the city. Perfect for a pick me up juice or smoothie with a nice variety of healthy breakfast, lunch and snack options. I was quite fond of the Brussels Sprouts and Apple Slaw, though technically a ‘side’. Really enjoyed the Sweet Karma Smoothie with cashew hemp mylk!
Juice Generation: Check website for locations around the city. Another fantastic organic juice bar offering up some pretty amazing concoctions like activated charcoal, spicy ‘lemonade’ and kale colada (out of a fresh young coconut). Not only that, their acai bowls are a must try. The Aloha Acai, with pineapple, was heaven!
Magic Mix Juicery: 102 Fulton St. I fell upon this place after a day trip to Brooklyn and was craving a green smoothie, as you do, so it was such a great surprise to see this on the way back to the hotel. A bigger surprise to learn that it was so close to where we were staying too! A wonderful mix of ‘magic’ juice and smoothie options! I went back and stocked up on goodies for our flight at the end of the trip, taking away the Exotic Strawberry Banana Toast (raw) with a maca coconut kreme, the Iron Man Salad with shiitake bacon and brazil nut parma. Plus a few Cacao power balls.
Wholefoods: Check website for store locations. I found myself in Wholefoods at Union Square most days when I needed to grab a few healthy snacks such as nuts and seeds or a salad on the run. We don’t have a Wholefoods market in Australia, but it’s essentially a big supermarket with a bit more focus on healthy, fresh foods. The bigger stores have in-house salad, raw food bars and delis to pick and choose from too.