A Day of Dining in NYC with Davina Tan
There are so many eateries in NYC that it would take 22.7 years of dining out to experience all of them. That means a lot of variety and a heck of a lot of choice. This is a city where you’re as likely to find no frills, dollar-a-slice pizza joints as Michelin-starred stalwarts renowned the world over. And both will serve a meal you’ll never forget.
Davina Tan is a self-declared foodie. She moved to New York three years ago and has revelled in its food scene. “Because this city is home to people from around the world,” she says, “You can easily get any kind of cuisine.” And because it’s a city that never sleeps, there’s great food to be found no matter the time of day. You can enjoy authentic and delicious dining experiences around the clock.
Artisanal and local food is currently big in NYC. Both chefs and patrons are paying more attention to where ingredients are coming from and how they’re produced. This has lead a number of forward thinking restaurants to develop their own rooftop gardens, home growing the fruit and vegetables they put on their menus. It seems that healthy eating is also rising up the agenda in the city. “Grain bowls seem to be very on trend right now and they're popping up in lots of places,” Davina tells us.
But what does she most like to eat? “I like pretty much everything, “she admits, “But pasta is – hands down – my favourite. And, since moving to New York, tacos are now a close second.” She particularly enjoys the food scene in the West Village, East Village, Lower East Side and parts of Brooklyn. “In these places there are lots of small, cosy restaurants and cafés,” she explains, “The kind of places that are frequented by locals, not just tourists.”
And she’s always on the lookout for new places that combine three important things - “Good food (of course!), a beautiful interior (with lots of natural light for my photos) and friendly service (especially since we have to tip).”
Feeling hungry in NYC? Whatever the time of day, Davina’s insider dining tips have got you covered:
“I actually only become a coffee drinker when I moved to New York, but now I can’t get enough. I love Bakeri - both the Greenpoint and Williamsburg locations - for a quick coffee fix. They’re both so pretty and have a very rustic charm. I’m a little obsessed with their wallpaper…and their coffee and pastries too.”
“Seven Point Espresso, an Australian café, is the place for everything brunch. Anything I’ve ever tried there has always been delicious. Think bacon crumb waffles with maple syrup. Bruschetta with avocado, kale and blueberry jam. And acai bowls filled with fresh fruit and coconut. These guys also do some delicious grain bowls and grilled sandwiches too.”
“Tacombi is a great lunch spot. It’s my go-to for tacos. And their elotes (Mexican grilled corn) are the best in New York. Also, their space is super cute and colourful – tiled counters, tiled floors and painted brick walls.”
Mid-Afternoon Sweet Treat
“When craving something sweet, I love to head to Morgenstern’s for ice-cream. I love the fun, quirky flavours they come up with - so good! Things like cardamom lemon jam, burnt honey vanilla and black liquorice. And their 1960's ice-cream shoppe vibe is just too cute!”
“For dinner, I’d recommend Arturo's for pizza and pasta. This is somewhere we stumbled upon one night in the Upper East Side and now it’s one of our favourites. It’s an old-fashioned kind of place – not particularly Insta-friendly – but the food is great!”
“When you’re out for the evening, Sel Rrose is the place to go for delicious French-style small plates. Everyone should try their truffled fries. And when it comes to cocktails, the Spring & Delancey (peach vodka with blackberries) and Lavender Piscine (with herbs de Provence syrup and Lavender ice) are my favourites!”