|Grand Central Oyster Bar|
I’d like to share some of my favorite food and beverage places. I’ve frequented many of them in solo walks this year, and I’ve taken visiting friends to these spots. They’re on this list because they tend to be convivial, comfortable, and reliable, and they are near great places to walk.
The restaurants are listed in geographical order from Lower Manhattan to the tippy top of the island.
10 Manhattan Food and Drink Places to Pair with Walks
|Pier A Harbor House|
Los Tacos No. 1. Chelsea Market, 75 9th Ave. Chelsea Market features dozens and dozens of good places to eat, including The Lobster Place and an outpost of Freeman’s, but the outstanding tacos at this stand-up counter are worth any wait in line. Their choice of corn or flour tortilla is most welcome. Chelsea Market makes an excellent companion for a High Line stroll. Website
|Los Tacos No. 1 in Chelsea Market|
Pete’s Tavern. 129 E. 18th St. Gramercy/Flatiron. Classic bar and restaurant on Irving Place near Gramercy Park. Sometimes, you want to go old school, such as a dark-paneled bar with lots of literary history and celebrity photos. Make yourself at home at the bar. Years ago, I brought in a baker’s dozen of fun-loving Canadian visitors, and Pete’s extended a most gracious welcome to one and all. The food tends toward the standards. A good place for conversation, Pete’s makes a romantic stop for a walk around the Gramercy and Flatiron neighborhoods, especially in the colder months. Website
Grand Central Oyster Bar and Restaurant. 89 E. 42nd St. Midtown West. Grand Central Terminal, lower level. Oyster bars were once plentiful on Manhattan Island, and happily, many more bars and restaurants are serving oyster specials these days, especially at the happy hour. Here, under the tiled vaulted ceilings, oysters rule the day and night. A dozen Blue Points, a few crunchy seeded crackers, and a glass of crisp wine, and I’m good to walk another mile. Pair the Oyster Bar with a long walk east or west on 42nd Street. Website
|La Bonne Soupe|
Santa Fe. 73 W. 71st St. Near Columbus Avenue. Upper West Side. Good Southwestern fare located within easy walking distance of museums, Lincoln Center and more. I’m all about the black bean dip and margaritas. If you live way uptown, like I do, and have friends that live downtown, Santa Fe is a good place to meet. The B and C trains are a block away. Central Park highlights such as Strawberry Fields and Bethesda Fountain are nearby. A favorite building in the neighborhood is the Pythian Temple on W. 70th between Columbus Avenue and Broadway. You must see it. Website
Kitchenette. 1272 Amsterdam Ave. Morningside Heights/West Harlem. Cute, yes, but southern home cooking has to be better than cute. Kitchenette fits the bill with turkey meat loaf, crisp fried chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, and all sorts of burger variations. Etc, etc. You’ll want these items because Morningside Heights is hilly, and you’ll be traipsing through cathedrals and walking through an Ivy League campus and such. Website
Coogan’s. 4015 Broadway. Washington Heights. The owner of this venerable Irish restaurant and bar got into a sparring match outside the establishment, and the video was put on the Internet. (Story on DNAinfo.com) During the tussle, he assumed the classic boxing stance, the kind depicted in many of the boxing posters that line the walls of the restaurant. Coogan’s has a nice selection of food and drink. When I’m in the mood for bar food, I’ll go here. Where to walk? The Morris-Jumel Mansion, of course. Coogan’s is a good launching pad for exploring the Heights and New York’s uptown colonial history. Website
Indian Road Café. 600 W. 218th St. Inwood. The Inwood neighborhood is endlessly fascinating with its Irish and Dominican roots, hilly terrain, and Art Deco-era apartment buildings. It’s a friendly neighborhood with great parks and lots of dogs. Locals know about Indian Road Café, situated on the corner of W. 218th and Indian Road, the only “road” in Manhattan. Aside from its friendly vibe and good coffee bar with early morning hours, the food here - farm to table - is rather excellent. Walk around the nearby cove in Inwood Hill Park and commune with the geese and the ducks. Website
A map, yes:
Images by Walking Off the Big Apple from 2015.