Strolling Notes: Restaurants, Cafes, and Walk-Ups (With Dog-Friendly Advice)

• While drive-in windows are standard in the car culture beyond New York, more walk-up windows would be welcome for food-friendly and dog-friendly pedestrian New Yorkers. According to NYC offleash, there are 1.4 million dogs living in New York City. 

For those walking dogs in the Villages, NoHo, SoHo, and NoLita, I am scouting all the good hangouts where we can take our dogs and drink coffee at the same time. A truly civilized society should accommodate people with their dogs, especially when al fresco dining or drinking coffee is concerned. In a recent post on Petrosino Square, I mentioned the convenient walk-up window at La Esquina, a Mexican restaurant near Lafayette and Kenmare, as a good place to order quality tacos and then sit down in the newly-renovated square. My dog seems more than happy with this excursion, but she has also become a fan of Little Veselka, an outdoor kiosk in First Park at the convergence of E. 1st St., E. Houston, and 1st Avenue run by the parent restaurant on Second Ave. at 9th St. They sell good dog biscuits at the kiosk. So, one of those for her, please, and a coffee and regular human biscotti for me.

• Chelsea has some nice restaurants, but don't try to take a dog into any of these places. There are rules. For the recent Orphan Film Symposium, a gathering of film archivists, scholars, filmmakers, and preservationists organized through NYU by the professor spouse of WOTBA, I assembled a map of dining places near the SVA Theater. Word has come that the information was useful to people, so I am now passing it along to you.

View Chelsea: Assorted Restaurants in a larger map

• I'm late to the game with the Standard Biergarten, the outdoor beer garden associated with the hotel, but last weekend, while exploring the underworld of the High Line, I stopped in and ordered a mimosa made with orange juice and Prosecco di Conegliano. Yes, there's a full bar in addition to beers on tap, but the point is that mimosas are much better mixed with Prosecco than with regular champagne. By the way, if you need a great strolling destination in the Veneto, I highly recommend Conegliano, a small town with hills and beautiful buildings just about an hour's train ride north of Venice. I haven't been in years, but I'm guessing it hasn't changed all that much.

• Kinski, at 128 Rivington in the Lower East Side, is a small and unpretentious Austrian restaurant specializing in kn√∂del, both of the sweet and savory kind. On a recent mid-day afternoon, we opted for the sweet kind of dumpling, choosing both the apricot kind with whipped cream and vanilla sauce and the sweet cheese ones with plum preserve. We thought they were heavenly. If walking here isn't possible, take the F train to Delancey and walk a block north past the Essex Food Market. Kinksi is a few doors down from Sugar Sweet Sunshine, WOTBA's favorite bakery for cupcakes. Because the dumplings and cupcakes are too good, it's just as well that these two places don't have walk-up windows. Though the dumplings somewhat resemble hushpuppies, do not give them to the dog.

Images by Walking Off the Big Apple from April 14 and April 15, 2010.

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