When I sat down to put pen to paper regarding the spots that I visited in August in NYC, I found myself having to double check that it was indeed August when I dined at each one. This month seemed to bleed into others this summer, and felt the least definable in terms of its boundaries. Per my recent trend, there were quite a few coffee shops, which I find myself consistently exploring both as a place to work, and as a respite from work. For those looking for food recs, fear not. There were two restaurant highlights this month that I can’t wait to return to for their epic, well, everything. Read on to find out more.
Remi Flower & Coffee – In a bit of a cute coffee shop wasteland in midtown east on 2nd Ave, Remi is part flower shop, part cute cafe, and an excellent alternative to Starbucks. They specialize in unique lattes (think lavender and rose), but their matcha can’t be beat, and it’s a great place to meet a friend during the week.
Lilia Caffe – This tiny cafe offshoot of Lilia in Williamsburg is a place that I truly cannot say enough good things about. Tis true that I had lofty expectations for the cafe based on how much I love the Lilia restaurant, but it certainly delivered. They have an ever-rotating selection of house made pastries, from an olive oil cake to a seasonal focaccia (I tried the fennel seed and plum), and a short selection of sandwiches as well (the burrata with chile is to die for). But the absolute highlight is their soft serve, which you can get Italiano style topped with fennel pollen, honey, olive oil, and sea salt. It’s one of the best things I’ve eaten… ever.
Apollonia – This East Williamsburg all-day cafe is worth visiting if simply to marvel at the beauty of the space. It feels like the kind of well-curated environment that one could live in, or at the very least feature on their Instagram. Go for coffee, go for a snack, sit at the bar or in the natural light-filled dining area. You’ll find a lot of people working here during the week, so the vibe is conducive to productivity.
Hunky Dory – I had the pleasure of returning to Hunky Dory in August, this time for dinner, and this Crown Heights neighborhood spot did not disappoint. There are a few key menu items that you absolutely cannot miss here. My favorite is the roasted cod with maitake mushrooms and a mushroom gravy that I wanted to lick directly from the bowl. The chicken liver mousse app with fish sauce and pickled onions is also divine (pro tip: ask for the housemade potato chips instead of toast, trust me). The owner’s commitment to having a sustainable, low waste restaurant is the icing on top of the cake.
Homecoming – Two words: outdoor space. This tiny cafe is located at the front of the plant shop bearing the same name in Williamsburg, and has a surprisingly spacious outdoor space that’s big enough to meet a few friends in. If only we could BYOB a picnic too…
Citizens of Gramercy – The sister spot to the original Citizens of Chelsea, this Gramercy offshoot is an Aussie cafe classic. Whether you’re going for a brekkie sandwich or my personal favorite, the shakshuka topped with beet hummus, everything is colorful, fresh, and delicious.
Made Nice – I made a lunch pilgrimage to this EMP-owned spot (I made believe I was at Eleven Madison Park, don’t worry) after not having visited again since it opened. It’s still as good as ever for a Sweetgreen alternative, and the salads feel seasonal and refreshing. I went with a summer salad topped with fresh zucchini, tomatoes, and corn, and got that lovely roast chicken with crispy skin on top. Can’t beat that.