This part of my New York adventure has been a bit of a long time coming. I know. But I had so much exciting stuff to tell you all about in the run up to Christmas. And so many events and happenings which had to come first.
Finally, to add to my list of all the things to do and see, and my New York food edit. The New York drinks edit. Covering my favourite three bars and three coffee shops from my five days away. These should be on everyone’s list for trips to New York.
Atop the Refinery hotel in central Manhattan, the Refinery rooftop bar has a classy industrial feel. It’s super cute with hanging strings of bulb lights and greenery. The main attraction to the bar is most definitely the views of the New York skyline including the Empire State Building. It seemed a popular spot for both tourists and professionals out for a cheeky beverage after work. It does get busy, so I’d recommend a afternoon visit if possible.
The drinks are great – we had a frosé and a Sangria (Rosé, Ketel One, peach, orange blossom, apple). Service is efficient, but not overly friendly. As for the cost, it’s probably about the same price as you’d pay for a cocktail in a fancy spot in Central London – with cocktails at $16-18, about £12-14.
Pod 39 is another rooftop bar on a hotel, in central Manhattan – not that far from Grand Central station. It’s a stunning old school rooftop, with mosaic tiled tables and beautiful arches. It has a lovely skyline view too, although not quite as impressive as Refinery.
The drinks are about the same price as Refinery, with wine costing $11 a glass, cocktails $14 and Aperol Spritz $14. I bet you can tell what I couldn’t resist!
We tried a mushroom taco each too from Salvation Taco which cater the bar snacks – there’s a full restaurant downstairs. The tacos were dreamy! Definitely a good spot for a taco or two and a couple of drinks over a catch-up.
City Vineyard at Pier 26
City Vineyard is a spot right on the waterfront along West Street of Manhattan. It’s a winery which uses local ingredients and wine made in the heart of NYC using grapes from vineyards in the USA. The views are second to none – truly stunning sights of New Jersey. Service was super friendly and helpful. I feel like I could have sat in City Vineyard all day!
Wine on tap starts at $12, which appears to be the norm for a nice bar in New York. It’s well worth it here. Grab a glass, sit back and watch the world go by.
Urban Backyard is one of the cutest coffee spots I’ve ever seen. A plant lovers/Instagrammers heaven, it’s filled with green leaves, cute tiles, natural woods and low hanging strings of bulbs. They’re all about sustainability and encouraging green living, to bring the change to the community and the impact on the environment – SO GOOD! Service was super friendly and chatty too.
The coffee itself doesn’t just look good, it tastes smooth, yet rich and delicious. The menu features plenty of specialty lattes, teas, and matcha options too, as well as pastries and desserts. A cappuccino is $3.75 (roughly £3), which is what we’d usually pay over here for artisan spots.
Based in Lower Manhattan, it’s a cute spot for enjoying a leisurely cuppa before heading out exploring!
Birch Coffee is an NYC based coffee roaster and coffee shop with branches across the city. One of the locations was super close to where we stayed, so we stopped here a couple of times to grab a morning brew before heading out on a mission of a walk to the next brunch spot on our list. Service was friendly and coffee was really tasty.
Flat white is priced at $4 (roughly £3.17), which is about what I pay here in London. Tea was $2.75 (roughly £2.18) and wasn’t too bad for a cuppa in the US.
A great spot for a takeaway!
Brooklyn Roasting Company
Brooklyn Roasting Company is a roastery and espresso lab, with several branches in NYC, including one just the other side of Brooklyn Bridge. They’re another championing sustainability – serving coffees from the world’s most renowned growing regions. They claim to favor third-party-certified coffees in order to help guarantee a living wage for historically impoverished farmers.
The coffee shops have a converted warehouse feel, radiating that Shoreditch vibe. They’re cool, edgy and minimalist. When we visited there were a number of groups of people catching up, working on laptops or drinking a coffee over a book they were currently stuck in.
I had a cold brew, which was actually pretty tasty – I was keen to see what the fuss was about. Katy had a fruit iced tea which was delish. With cold brew at $3.50 (roughly £2.80) cappuccinos priced at $3 (roughly £2.40) it’s a little cheaper than the cute spots.
A fab, edgy spot for a chilled drink after walking Brooklyn bridge. Or even a quick caffeine stop to grab one for on the go whilst heading back over to Manhattan/up to Williamsburg.
And there you have my top pick for bars and coffee shops from my first ever visit to New York. If you’re heading off for a short break, I’d highly recommend popping these on your list!
Have you been to any of the above? Where are your fave NYC spots?