With New York Fashion Week kicking off Thursday, chances are you could use a list of go-to spots for sustenance that's more than just the granola bar in your purse, or a place near show venues to catch up/vent/gossip/sit and stare at your iPhone with industry pals over cocktails. And if you're not headed to the shows, perhaps you just want to hang out where the fashion folk do. So who better to turn to for some food and drink tips than some of New York City's most Instagram-prolific foodies? Read on and book those meet-ups soon.
From food locales and art installations to cozy coffee shops, designer Kitty Mok is constantly in search of the next #hiddengemofnyc, which is why her 19K followers look to her account for the best off-the-beaten-path ideas when it comes to exploring the city.
Where: 355 West 14th Street (near Made at Milk Studios and The Highline Stages)
Perfect for: An intimate dining experience
Why: "The ambiance and décor is romantic and elegant — and their food is exceptional. I highly recommend their signature dish, spaghetti with tomato and basil, because it's simple but perfectly executed."
What to order: Spaghetti, duck and foie gras ravioli
Where: Chelsea Market, 75 Ninth Avenue (near Made at Milk Studios and The Highline Stages)
Perfect for: Next-level veggie sushi
Why: "Everything on the menu is healthy, colorful and yummy. The sushi rolls are made with multicolored grains, fresh-cut vegetables and fruits, and paired with a tofu-based sauce."
What to order: Spicy Mang roll, Mighty Mushroom roll
The Happiest Hour
Where: 121 West 10th Street (near Skylight Clarkson Square and Industria Superstudio)
Perfect for: Great drinks and bar food in a retro-style setting
Why: "Inside The Happiest Hour, you will find two bars with different vibes and menus. The Happiest Hour hosts a younger crowd while the speakeasy bar beneath, Slowly Shirley, is good for couples or small group gatherings."
What to order: Little Red Dress from The Happiest Hour, Village Bicycle from Slowly Shirley
Where: 13 East 37th Street (near Skylight at Moynihan Station)
Perfect for: A Chinese-New Year-meets-end-of-NYFW celebratory meal
Why: "Rated with one Michelin Star, Café China is worthy of its reputation and is one of the rare Chinese restaurants that's both stylish and authentic. The interior is like an old Shanghai café decorated with vintage posters and accessories. Plus, the food is reasonably priced. Gather a large group for a family-style dinner."
What to order: Chungking braised fish in red (spicy) or white (non-spicy) soup, three pepper chicken
Where: 28 Cornelia Street (near Skylight Clarkson Square)
Perfect for: Surrounding yourself with tasty Italian food and beautiful blooms
Why: "Its main dining room is filled with flowers, rustic tables and paper lamps, which sets you in the right mood for some delicious homemade-inspired Italian cuisine."
What to order: Fettuccine ai Funghi, tiramisù
Besties Olivia & Jennie are the self-proclaimed hungry girls behind this witty and mouth-watering food account. With 85.6K followers, the duo travels around New York City (and beyond) to devour the tastiest dishes out there. Whole30 dieters, beware, this photo feed is not for the faint of heart.
Where: 130 Franklin Street (near Spring Studios)
Perfect for: A get-up-and-go breakfast
Why: "Gotan has the breakfast game on lock. The open space is bigger than your average neighborhood café, so you can either pick something up in a hurry or sit down, relax and enjoy."
What to order: Scrambled cheddar biscuit and a latte
Where: 342 East 6th Street (near Skylight Clarkson Square)
Perfect for: Some one-on-one time
Why: "The food is light, interesting and consistently delicious. And the interior is just as as impressive as its contemporary, yet classically charming, menu. Great for a friend date, work wife/husband date or a date night with your S.O. Just go there on a date. K?"
What to order: Uni toast, oysters and a cocktail
Where: 775 Washington Street (near Industria Superstudio)
Perfect for: Sitting and chatting over bomb bucatini and a bottle of wine
Why: "Jonathan Waxman's Barbuto is exactly what you want an Italian restaurant to be. It's cozy, inviting and the food is damn good. We're not usually ones to order chicken at a restaurant but the chef's JW chicken, along with the bucatini and some vino, is a pretty perfect order."
What to order: Bucatini alla carbonara, gnocchi and pollo al forno (JW chicken)
El Rey Coffee Bar & Luncheonette
Where: 100 Stanton Street (near Spring Studios)
Perfect for: The best avocado toast in the city (yeah, we said it.)
Why: "El Rey is the neighborhood coffee shop plucked right out of our dreams — right after The Central Perk. Go here for a coffee, light bite or even a chill dinner. LA vibes come free."
What to order: Avocado del Sur, grains and crudite salad
Where: 132 West Houston Street (near Skylight Clarkson Square and Spring Studios)
Perfect for: Letting loose and dancing
Why: "Long day of fashion shows and schmoozing? Head to Miss Lily's for tropical-feeling drinks in coconuts and a mix of your favorite reggae tunes and rap songs. Oh, and don't forget the jerk grilled corn. The jerk grilled corn is everything."
What to order: Jerk grilled corn
With a budding career in digital branding for the food industry, maintaining a food-centric Instagram for 10K followers must be a breeze for Marisel Salazar. Her photos follow a clean and stylish aesthetic, much like the places she visits for a satisfying meal.
Where: 10 Downing Street (near Skylight Clarkson Square and Industria Superstudio)
Perfect for: Celebrity spotting and hanging out with the cool crowd
Why: "What do you eat at a cool girl hangout? Pretty, fresh and flavorful food. Cafe Clover's menu is a marriage between taste and nutrition."
What to order: Whole branzino a la plancha, almond milk panna cotta
Where: 35 East 21st Street (near Pier 59 Studios and ArtBeam)
Perfect for: When you need a break from the fashion shenanigans on the west side
Why: "Chef Enrique Olvera knows how to plate each dish beautifully — poised to perfection. Pastry chef Jesus Perea's corn husk meringue with corn mousse might be one of the most photogenic desserts ever (and tastes like a dream, too)."
What to order: Crispy octopus, husk meringue with corn mousse
Where: 128 Charles Street (near Skylight Clarkson Square and Industria Superstudio)
Perfect for: Fueling up in peace before a hectic day of rushing to shows
Why: "Owner Claire Chan is a former womenswear buyer for Bergdorf Goodman, and the The Elk reflects that: It's a beautifully chic café and general store in one, filled with tons of bright light and an air of calm. Shelves are lined with a selected mix of magazines, aromatic oils and even upscale ketchup."
What to order: Egg sandwich, grapefruit brûlée and a coffee or espresso from Sightglass
Where: 1133 Broadway (near Skylight at Moynihan Station and Cedar Lake)
Perfect for: A midday pick-me-up in a minimalist-style space
Why: "Inday has quickly become one of my under-the-radar favorites. The Ayurvedic-influenced, make-your-own bowls are meant to nourish — not just fill you up. Oh, and they taste amazing. Before you head back to the shows, order a cocoa chai to go."
What to order: "Not rice" (shredded cauliflower and brussel sprouts) dish with seasonal vegetable sides (marinated kale, lentils, zucchini noodles, pickled veggies and chickpeas with turmeric and lemon); a bottle of "Arnold Karma" made up of "lemon-aid"-infused hibiscus tea; cocoa and coconut avocado-mousse