It’s a coffee kind of weather. :)
What more luxurious than a cup of Campos coffee, a nice view, and rain?
(Image source: pinterest.com)
Behind every successful woman is a substantial amount of coffee so I start my days with a trip to a good coffee shop. One of the best cafes in New York is Stumptown Coffee Roasters.
I dropped by their first cafe in New York, which is at the lobby of The Ace Hotel at 18 West 29th Street. A long line welcomed me but that was a good sign!
The industrial interior gave the cafe a cool vibe. The actual cafe didn’t have any seats but you can meet with your friends and colleagues at the lobby of the hotel. I also noticed that their entire team was made up of women. I’m not sure if it was intentional but I like the idea of it. :)
They have several merchandise but more are available on their website.
Their cappuccino and Dulce de Leche doughnut is a match made in heaven! The creaminess of the cappuccino did not overpower the coffee, which I was happy about. The doughnut had a sweet filling in the middle, which woke my heart, made me smile…
…and it even wished me luck!
After enjoying my “breakfast”, I bought their House and Holler Mountain Blends and to my surprise they gave me a free cup of coffee! Now, that’s something all cafes should do.
It’s a creamy world at Momofoku Milk Bar! It is a happy place for any dessert lover in New York.
My best friend specifically requested that I try their cereal soft serve and it was the perfect dessert on a hot day in NYC! The creaminess of their soft serve will bring you to your very own happy place. The crushed cereal was the perfect topping though you have to eat it fast because it keeps on falling down. :)
Here’s a shot of their menu. Other must tries which I wasn’t able to take a photo of are their Crack Pie, Compost Cookie, and Blueberry & Cream Cookie. :) They’re such wonderful delights!
They have 2 branches in NYC. The one I frequented was a small brick & mortar in East Village (251 E13th St.). If you’re strolling around 5th avenue or looking for the perfect dessert to take to Central Park, I would recommend you drop by their very modern and unique store in Midtown (15W 56th St.). Just be careful because the sign is very small. I had to walk back and fort 56th st. for about three times till I saw the sign. Once you enter though, it’s a very fascinating shop that transports you to some sort of a milk planet.
One of the amazing things about Momofoku is that they sell the mixture of their cookies and even the cereal they put on their soft serve so you can enjoy them at home! I wish I had a bigger luggage to accommodate them :)
One of the best ways to go food tripping in New York is to try our the different food trucks!
Here are my top 4 food trucks in New York:
The Halal Guys
As my good friend said, you cannot say you’ve been to New York until you’ve tried the Halal Guys and this for me is the best! You can find them in Midtown New York near MoMa (West 53rd and 6th Avenue) from 10:00 AM – 3:00 AM. The line is always long so I suggest you go around 11:30 AM or 2:00PM to beat those who are taking their lunch break. However, it is worth the wait and the service is pretty quick. They can serve about 2 people in less than one minute.
Price per meal is less than $10 and with that big of a serving, you won’t even have to eat dinner anymore :) I personally love the chicken with gyro and rice but my sister loved the combination of chicken and lamb.
This is also the perfect meal after happy hour or a long night at the club. Last 4th of July, my friends and I had some $5 margaritas while watching a football match. After a couple of drinks we decided to see if the truck was open and it was. The rain was pouring badly so the hot sauce was such a welcome addition to the meal. One of my best moments in NY :)
The Morris Truck: Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
If you’re craving for the comforting grilled cheese sandwich then The Morris Truck is your best bet! The staff is incredibly friendly too!
On Mondays, you can find them at West 52nd and 6th Avenue (near the Halal Guys) and on Thursdays they’re located at 51st between Park and Madison.
When the sign is on, they’re cooking! I remember seeing the truck around 2:30PM and they already ran out of stocks!
The price varies depending on the kind of sandwich you want. I tried their Delicate Cheese – Truffle Butter, Truffle Cheese & Caramelized Shallots ($10.00) and their homemade Blueberry Soda. You can really taste the truffle but I think they forgot to put in the shallots. Overall – craving satisfied!
I was looking for lunch while spending a leisurely afternoon at the Central Park. I didn’t want to settle for the hotdog carts so I was very happy to stumble upon Rouge Tomate. They used to be located at 64th & 5th Upper East Side New York but they recently posted that they’ll be transferring to a new location.
Unfortunately and probably due to extreme hunger, I forgot to take a photo of my Portobello Mushroom Burger but it is a MUST TRY! I am always hesitant to try vegetarian burgers but this was surprisingly really good! The patty was tender and juicy and it didn’t feel like I was eating mushrooms. If healthy food always came this way, I’d be so happy!
From a distance, you can already smell the sweet, inviting scent of the wafels. It will surely wake up your senses and brighten your mood. It’s like seeing a rainbow on a gloomy day.
You can find them at the City Hall Park every Saturday and Sunday 10:00 AM – 8:00 PM.
After surviving half of my Digital Analytics class, I decided to indulge on the de Bom as my lunch. It is wafel drizzled with chocolate and hazelnut syrup and then topped with a scoop of classic vanilla ice cream. Yes, in my world #dessertcomesfirst. ;) And the best thing about this moment was that I got to indulge it while looking at this amazing view of the City Hall Park. There is something so refreshing about eating lunch outdoors.
People say, life is too short to drink cheap coffee. I say, “life is too special to drink bad coffee.” It’s not really about the price. It is about the quality of coffee you’re drinking and the overall experience you get from it.
In my first few weeks in New York, I asked my acquaintances where I can find great coffee and they always led me to Starbucks. Don’t get me wrong, I love Starbucks but it is already too commercialised. When I travel, I am always in search of quaint coffee shops that offer a great cup of coffee that gets your day started or comforts you after a long day.
Pardon the photos because I didn’t really think I would blog about my search for great coffee. I just realised that someone might be experiencing the same feeling I had on my first day in New York – being literally lost and clueless as to where to find great coffee.
Think Coffee, the first coffee shop I tried was a place I just stumbled upon as I was looking for NYU 7 East 12. What makes them unique is that sustainability is at their core. Not only do they support and practice Fair Trade, they also make sure that the way they run their business has minimal impact on the environment.
On my first visit, I tried their Cappuccino and it was fairly good. Their Think Blend is bold and bitter but the creaminess of the cappuccino was just right.
The back part of the coffee shop is more quiet and suitable for working. The interiors are simple, straightforward, and comfortable.
I love this idea because it creates engagement with customers and baristas.
On my 2nd visit, I tried their Spanish Latte. I was having a slow morning and I told the barista I wanted something comforting and on the sweet side so he recommended this. It is espresso with textured milk and a dose of sweet condensed milk. I would gladly come back to order this! :)
Enjoying coffee and books at The Strand
|Blue Chiffon Top: Forever 21| Black Leggings: Stradivarius| Black Ballet Flats: Dexflex by Payless| Red Bag: Micheal Kors Selma Studded Bag| Gold Necklace: Forever21|
After spending a few weeks in the area, I realised that the East Village has so many neighbourhood cafes that make you feel at home at 8:00 AM on a Saturday morning when everyone is still sleeping and you’re getting ready for class.
Till my next coffee blog :)
Travel far enough that you conquer your fears and dreams. Travel with no expectations and see yourself through others’ eyes. Travel and meet yourself….that part of you that was once broken….that part of you that is waiting to be realised.
As I sit here outside our patio, I chase after the sun. Time flew too fast. My journey went by too fast but I am grateful.
When I packed my suitcase to come to New York, my heart was filled with anxiousness. My decision to study at NYU was an impulse decision driven by my subconscious but as I say, the best decisions are those you take bravely.
It is not so much about the excellent education and training I got. It is about the people I met who made me see myself in a different and beautiful light. It is about the streets that made me feel I was so much more braver than I thought. It is about the moments of solitude in the park that made me realise than being alone makes you realise what matters
I can feel it…myself coming back….my spirit on greater heights.
New York, I will miss you for everything that you are.
Simple routines can turn into meaningful rituals. They can reflect affect how you feel and how your day will go. Find happiness in them. You are doing them for a reason.
My best friend had a great message for me when the year started. She lent me one of her favourite quotes by Rainer Rilke, “Let everything happen to you: beauty and terror. Just keep going. No feeling is final.”
And she’s right. No feeling is final. There were so many broken promises and unfulfilled dreams last 2013 and a part of my spirit was broken. It was time for change. So I cut my hair, boarded my plane, and started my search for the great perhaps. I was scared but as I got closer to New York, courage embraced me. It’s been three weeks and New York has changed me.
This was a journey I had to take alone. And everyday, as I lose and find my way around the city, create friendships with strangers, lose myself in desserts, and learn something outside my expertise, my spirit is renewed.