Tag Archives: Foodies

Lower East Side: Tenements, Tales and Tastes Tour

BTSNYC Experiences On Going Urban Adventure Tenements Tales and Tastes Fruits

New York is known for its fantastic variety of cuisines from all over the globe. Plus, we know that there are certain iconic foods that you really have to try, when coming here! Explore with us the Tenements, Tales and Tastes Tour that will take you on a delicious journey around the Lower East Side of Manhattan.

BTSNYC Experiences On Going Urban Adventure Tenements Tales and Tastes Cheeses
BTSNYC Experiences On Going Urban Adventure Tenements Tales and Tastes Bread
BTSNYC Experiences On Going Urban Adventure Tenements Tales and Tastes Fruits
BTSNYC Experiences On Going Urban Adventure Tenements Tales and Tastes Little Italy
BTSNYC Experiences On Going Urban Adventure Tenements Tales and Tastes Meeting Point
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When people come to New York, not many know that all these delicious dishes and snacks were actually brought to New York by immigrates years and years ago. And, it definitely helped shape the diverse American food culture found in NYC! We are certainly huge fans!

As you already know, we are all about going where locals go, eating where true New Yorkers eat, uncover spots far away from the touristy scene! If you enjoy this type of experience too, then this tour was catered perfectly for you!

The Lower East Side of Manhattan has a fantastic history and countless stories of the immigrants that settled there. The neighborhood grew a lot, but you can easily find it’s origins.

You’ll enjoy the story of the millions of immigrants and taste several delicious dishes like pretzels, dumplings, potato knishes, waffles, homemade cheeses and even beer, of the many groups that have lived there.

Learning their origin in a fun, tasty way, is totally up our alley and is exactly what you can expect at the Tenements, Tales and Tastes Tour.

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Plus, you’ll also walk the narrow, tenement lined, streets of an area known by names like Kleindeutschland, Chinatown, and Losaida.

Whether they were Dutch, Jewish, or Chinese you’ll learn about and taste something from every group that has called the neighborhood home and you’ll leave happy and full!

So, come enjoy with us and have some delicious food throughout this experience!

Rates & Details:

  • $69 / person – includes food & guide
  • Duration is about 3 hours
  • Tour meets at the fountain in City Hall Park
  • Advanced purchase required
  • Schedule: Every day at 10am

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Other Info:

  • Dress standard: Summers can be hot and humid, autumn can be cool, and winters downright frigid with snow. Dress according to the weather and wear comfortable walking shoes
  • Exclusions: Items of a personal nature, tips and gratuities for your guide (highly appreciated, tks!)
  • Your Trip: The tour is offered on a “join in” basis.  Maximum group size is 12.
  • Confirmation of booking: If you have your voucher, your booking is confirmed. We’ll see you at the start point.  Get in touch if you have any concerns or require more information via the email address or phone number (business hours only) on your voucher.
  • Child Policy: This is a child-friendly tour. Children between the ages of 6 and 11 inclusively are permitted on this tour at the rate listed above. Please select ‘child’ above when booking. Children under the age of 6 are permitted to join this tour free of charge. Please inform us at the time of booking if you’ll be bringing a child under the age of 6. You can do so in the special request box on the checkout page.

In addition, if you enjoyed the Tenements, Tales and Tastes Tour, but you’d like to book a tour for a private group, please submit a request. Further more, for corporate requests, let our experts help you out.

Don’t forget to explore all our other Tours & Experiences too!


Photo Credit: Courtesy of our partner

Namaste: An Indian Restaurant in Astoria

Dining Namaste Astoria Brunch

I was always curious to go to Namaste, an Indian restaurant in Astoria. After visiting the place for the first time, I went back countless times and at every visit, I was surprised with their fantastic food!

Dining Namaste Astoria Brunch
Dining Namaste Astoria Chicken Tikka Masala
Dining Namaste Astoria Lunch Buffet
Dining Namaste Astoria Full Table
Dining Namaste Astoria Chicken
Dining Namaste Astoria Full Bar
Dining Namaste Astoria Interior
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“Namaste”: that’s what you’ll say after eating at this cozy Indian restaurant in Astoria.

In the middle of the Greek part of Astoria I would never think of finding this Indian gem. I always passed by Namaste and contemplated its interior: elegant tables beautifully set with flowers, folded napkins and bamboo-ish placemats.

The waiters would always talk to me and invite to come visit them some day. I had never tried Indian food before, so I was always postponing the experience. One day my boyfriend decided to have a different style of dinner and asked me for suggestions in my neighborhood. That’s when Namaste popped up into my mind. I must say: it was the perfect choice!

As soon as we entered the venue, a nice and smiley waiter approached us and seated led us to a beautiful table. Every table is decorated with a gorgeous flower arrangement. It was casual and romantic at the same time.

When I saw the menu, I have to confess that I was a bit confused, since it was my first time at an Indian restaurant. I didn’t really know what to order. My boyfriend gave me some tips and I clarified all my questions with the waiter, who was always kind and willing to help.

I was getting more and more excited with all the options, but a few minutes later I had a winner: Chicken Biryani – tender slices of juicy chicken prepared with basmati rice and mild spices and served with raita (a minty sauce with a creamy yogurt base). I was in heaven!

The food was delicious and I started asking myself why I waited so long to have dinner at Namaste.

In addition, for appetizers we had Naan, a traditional bread and Baba Ganoush. I loved everything. I was afraid of having spicy food, at first, but it was moderated.

After that first night, I returned to Namaste many times for lunch and dinner and ordered different dishes. It’s really tasty and the environment is quite cozy. Since I do like pretty much everything there, I encourage you to order everything you’d like to try. If you check the full menu I’m sure you’ll be able to find something that matches your taste. They have many vegetarian options, too. For lunch they also have “all you can eat buffet” and you can try a great variety of food!

Oh, and you definitely don’t need to be a big fan of Indian food to enjoy this place.

And, for those who don’t live close to the restaurant it’s just off the N and W trains at the 30th Avenue subway station.

Enjoy and let us know what you thought about the place, on the comments below!!! We’d love to know!

Hours:
Monday – Thursday: 11am – 11 pm
Friday & Saturday: 11am – 11:30 pm
Sunday: 11am – 11 pm
Lunch buffet: daily from 11am – 4pm

Location: 31-15 30th Avenue, Astoria

https://astorianamaste.com


Text by our Contributor: Rafaela Azevedo
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Namaste

Dinner & Discussion: Good for your life, the planet & your belly!

Events Up Coming Get The People Vegan Dinner and Discussion

Clear your calendar! Get The People presents an intimate evening of friend making, 4-course vegan food magic, and an eye-opening discussion with a health and wellness speaker and advocate!

Events Up Coming Get The People Vegan Dinner and Discussion

We are proud partners of yet another fantastic event with Get the People, a New York based purpose-driven digital creative agency!

Get The People presents an intimate evening of friend making, 4-course food magic, and an eye-opening discussion as we lift the curtain to the harmful toxins lurking in our daily lives and learn how to bring health into our homes.

Plus, the dinner is a farm to table, vegan food and we just love these types of private events and restaurants in New York!

Take a look what it’s all about:


The Dinner: 4-Course // Farm to Table // Vegan

You know those dining experiences that are so delicious it completely takes over your body and you start doing a little food dance? Well if that’s your thing, this dinner is for you.

We’ll experience a 4-course vegan dinner prepared by culinary’s best kept secret Ashley Frunzi, Culinary Futurists & Nutritionist – a creator of truly magical food.

For over 9 years Ashley has been influencing the tastes and diets of many fashion industry leaders and icons. She understands that, sustainable living is the best way to nourish their body for a lifetime of health and happiness.

The Discussion:

Health and wellness speaker and advocate, Christine Dimmick, Founder/CEO of The Good Home Company and author of Detox Your Home, will guide us through a deep and eye-opening discussion around sustainable living, our environmental footprint, and how to limit our exposure to harmful toxins and take back control of our health.

From food, water, fashion and kitchen goods, to personal care and cleaning products— even common household items like phones and childrens’ toys. We’ll learn their impact on our health and how we can be the change for wellness.

Christine pioneered the movement to natural home cleaning products more than 20 years ago in her NYC kitchen. She and Good Home products have been featured on O Magazine, Instyle, Dr. Oz, and House Beautiful, and she has made appearances on the Today Show. You can learn more about her incredible work and story on her website.

Ticket includes:

// Speaker & Rich discussion
// Magical 4-course vegan dinner, prepared by Culinary Futurist, Ashley Frunzi
// Evening of delicious wine provided by social impact wine company, One Hope Wine
// Your very own copy of Detox Your Home, written by our speaker Christine Dimmick CEO/Founder of The Good Home Company
// A portion of the proceeds will be donated to RAICES, which provides free & low-cost legal services to immigrants and refugees.

The Schedule:

6:30 PM / Networking & Wine
Rub elbows with other awesome people who love food, their bodies, life, the planet and building businesses for good.

7:30 PM / Seated for Dinner & A Word from The Chef
We’ll be seated for dinner and get a personal walk-through of the vegan menu from our featured chef and culinary futurist, Ashley Frunzi.

8:00 PM / Speaker & Discussion
Listen, learn, ask, discuss. We’ll learn about the toxins, products, food, fashion, and how all of these effect our lives, health and the planet. We’ll dive into open discussion and discover key takeaways for building health into our lives and homes.


Date: July 18th
Time: 6:30pm
Location: Habitas NYC – 240 West 30th Street

https://getthepeople-dinner-lifedetox.splashthat.com


Photo Credit: Courtesy of Get The People

The Biggest NYC Vegetarian Food Festival

Our Experts Recaps BTSNYC NYC Vegetarian Food Festival 2018 Flyer

Take a look to find out who were the amazing vendors and brands present at the NYC Vegetarian Food Festival 2018! Get ready to explore a whole new lifestyle!

Out Experts Recaps BTSNYC NYC Vegetarian Food Festival 2018

I’m a huge fan of the NYC Vegetarian Food Festival, not only because I’m vegetarian, going on vegan myself, but because it’s very friendly and fun for non-vegetarian too.

It’s a great place to go to understand more about this up and coming lifestyle, how to substitute your proteins – that are always a huge issue when you stop eating meat – and to find out fantastic brands and vendors around the city and state of New York, as well as from across the country.

Take a look below at the highlights of this past edition that happened on May 19th and 20th at the Metropolitan Pavilion, in Manhattan! We had an amazing time!

http://nycvegfoodfest.com


Marty’s V Burger

Our Experts Recaps BTSNYC NYC Vegetarian Food Festival 2018 Martys V Burger

Oh, we love Marty and everything he serves! As they say, it’s a “Fast Food. No Bull.” type of food. His burgers are literally some of the best in the city.

They are all house-made and I promise that the meat eaters will never believe they are eating vegan food!

His best seller is the Original World Famous Burger – a burger patty topped with melted cheddar “cheese”, special sauce, pickles, and crisp shredded lettuce, on a sesame seed bun!

We are completely addicted to it, and we’re sure you will to, regardless for being a meat eater! Promise!

http://martysvburger.com


Munk Pack

Our Experts Recaps BTSNYC NYC Vegetarian Food Festival 2018 Munk Park

“On-the-go deliciousness for all life’s adventures.”

They have a great line of protein cookies and Oatmeal Fruit Squeeze that are a great snack to have with you not only during the day, but also during your outdoor adventures!

They are perfect for breakfast, during the long office hours, at school, before or after workouts and yes, for the outdoor trips!

All portable, healthy, great tasting, minimally processed, without the additives and fillers.

https://munkpack.com


Love Beets

Our Experts Recaps BTSNYC NYC Vegetarian Food Festival 2018 Love Beets

“We’re defying all previous notions of beets with our upbeat, fun and tasty beet products!”

Yes they are! I do truly love beets and everything done with beets!

Love Beets started with a great couple spreading their expertise and love for beets and has now grown to having their own state-of-the-art production facility in Rochester, New York!

They have everything from baby beets, cooked beets, salad & snacks, beet juice and even beet powder!

The beet, berry and ginger smoothie is great to start you off!

I personally loved it!

www.lovebeets.com


Pure Batch

Our Experts Recaps BTSNYC NYC Vegetarian Food Festival 2018 Pure Batch

“Don’t fear the treat!” I certainly don’t!

This is what you should try when it’s your day to splurge on your diet. I’m the type of person that actually has to eat something sweet every day, just to keep the fire burning, if you know what I mean. Ha! Well, Pure-Batch has some of the most amazing vegan, organic, gluten-free, soy-free and peanut-free sweets!

Each batch is designed to give your body a healthy dose of protein, fiber, fat + low-glycemic sugar. I loved their ChoCoNut Truffle, the Cookie DŌ Truffle and the Wise Pignoli Cookies!

www.pure-batch.com


Kawi Foods

Our Experts Recaps BTSNYC NYC Vegetarian Food Festival 2018 Kawi Foods

“Taste so good, just the way it should…”

Kawi Foods offers vegan and gluten-free vegetable broths, seasonings and dressings! They are all organic, Non-GMO, paleo, no sugar added and no MSG!

The brand is family owned & operated enterprise dedicated to providing wholesome products created from natural ingredients!

So, if you’re a professional or aspiring cook, they them out and we’re sure your guests will love the final result!

https://kawifoods.com


Banza

Our Experts Recaps BTSNYC NYC Vegetarian Food Festival 2018 Banza

“The most delicious alternative to pasta.”

This high protein, high fiber, gluten-free pasta is really something! Banza explains that they are changing pasta forever, for the better – it’s pasta that loves you back! So, fear no more!

Their pasta is made from chickpea – a superfood – and it’s out of this world awesome, so it’s time to ditch the empty carbs in wheat noodles.

The taste? Unbelievably addictive and delicious! You’ll finally be able to eat pasta guilt-free

www.eatbanza.com


Cedar’s

Our Experts Recaps BTSNYC NYC Vegetarian Food Festival 2018 Cedars

“Know better Hommus. ”

Ok. I’m also completely addicted to hommus. Once I open it at home, I can easily finish an entire pot alone, if I don’t control myself.

That said, Cedar’s sells some of the most delicious hummus, in my opinion. Their story starts back across the ocean in the Mediterranean, but continued in the US, when they decided to spread their love.

They infused different combinations of spices and veggies until they came up with new and exciting flavors.

Today they’ve expanded to their fresh Mediterranean Salads, Greek yogurt-based Dips, Salsa, Pita Chips, Wraps and—of course— their legendary Tzatziki. Hard to know to what buy first!

www.cedarsfoods.com


Hodo

Our Experts Recaps BTSNYC NYC Vegetarian Food Festival 2018 Hodo

“Inspiring adventures in good food!”

Since Hodo’s early days at farmer’s markets in 2004, Hodo has made tofu enthusiasts out of top chefs and home cooks who never noticed plant-based protein before.

It’s delicious, plus USDA Organic, Non-GMO, vegan, gluten-free, kosher certified, and an excellent source of protein.

They have a line of ready-to-eat, delicious tofu and yuba meals. What’s Yuba?

They explain: “It’s the top-layer goodness that we hand skim after we warm our super creamy organic soy milk. With a mellow flavor and the texture of an al dente noodle, yuba is a protein-packed marvel that’s the perfect-match for the Hodo kitchen’s favorite recipes.”

www.hodofoods.com


Follow Your Heart

Our Experts Recaps BTSNYC NYC Vegetarian Food Festival 2018 Follow Your Heart

“Live healthy!”

I love every single product by these guys! They have everything from Vegenaise, Vegan Gourmet & Gluten-Free Bakery, Vegan Cheese Slices, VeganEgg, and Dressings.

It all started back in the 1970’s when Bob, Spencer, Michael and Paul, four young, bushy-haired hippies in Southern California opened a seven-seat soup, salad, and sandwich counter in the back of a small natural food store in the San Fernando Valley.

They were serving a small local community in Canoga Park that was soon to expand across the country.

Today, they’ve expanded their passion for great-tasting, healthy foods, and believe that we should all have compassion for all living things and have a responsibility to be good stewards to the environment! We support!

https://followyourheart.com


Sail Away

Our Experts Recaps BTSNYC NYC Vegetarian Food Festival 2018 Sail Away Coffee

“The new black!”

Sail Away started from the love of a Long Islander musician for good coffee that grew after a specific trip to Colombia! I’m a huge coffee lover myself and the more, the merrier!

Plus, we all know that Colombia, as well as Brazil, has some of the best coffees on Earth!

So, he began crafting his own premium single origin roasts, blends and signature cold brew. So, as they say: “Live Young!”

https://sailawaycoffee.com


P-Nuff Crunch

Our Experts Recaps BTSNYC NYC Vegetarian Food Festival 2018 PNuffs

“Unleash The Power of Plant Protein!”

If you’re in to snack foods, you should try this, after all, there’s nothing better than a healthy snack, right?

P-Nuffs is the only baked puff snack made from heart-healthy and protein-filled peanuts, fiber-full navy beans, and slow digesting complex carbohydrate rice.

It’s made with only natural ingredients, no artificial flavors, no sweeteners, no preservatives added.

It’s quite unique and if you’re a peanut lover, this is definitely for you!

http://pnuff.com


VSpot

Our Experts Recaps BTSNYC NYC Vegetarian Food Festival 2018 VSpot

“Latin Vegan Comfort Food.”

VSpot is a vegan restaurant with two locations – East Village and Park Slope – that was founded back in 2006. They’ve been serving delicious healthy vegan cuisine with a focus on the mouthwatering flavors of Latin America. They offer a number of gluten-free options and are Kosher certified.

They also have a weekly comedy show every Thursday in the Backroom of their Saint Marks location, with stellar comedians on the lineup. So, go eat well and have fun!

http://vspot.nyc


Rescue Chocolate

Our Experts Recaps BTSNYC NYC Vegetarian Food Festival 2018 Rescue Chocolate

“The sweetest way to save a life!”

We love this! Besides being 100% vegan, and delicious, Rescue Chocolate sends portions of its profits to animal rescues, helping to save the millions of homeless dogs and cats.

All of their bars and truffles are vegan, handcrafted, organic, fairly traded and yummy!

There’s nothing better to have a chocolate and still, save a life, right!?

www.rescuechocolate.com


Get Juiced

Our Experts Recaps BTSNYC NYC Vegetarian Food Festival 2018 Get Juiced

“Love Your Guts!”

The founder, Stephanie, decided to help her family have a healthy body and mind and active lifestyle, so she created snacks that are flavorful and packed with nutrition.

All the products are hand made with the finest ingredients, always focused on creating unique flavor experiences. Today Get Juiced offers an extensive line of fermented vegetables and cold pressed juices.

Their priority is people’s health by utilizing local produce, as much as possible, grown organically in nutrient rich soil, using non-toxic preparation and packaging, and minimizing their footprint. Pretty cool, right?

www.getjuiced.info


Now, if you’re into exercise, you might want to take a look at these 3 supplement brands.

TRU Supplements

Our Experts Recaps BTSNYC NYC Vegetarian Food Festival 2018 Tru Supplemenets

Their vision is to “design, test, and build the world’s cleanest and most effective natural supplements with the aim of improving the health and fitness of all those who utilize their products.”

They offer everything from BCAAs, proteins, energy and metabolism products, vitamins, to apparel and equipment.

Online you’re also able to find countless recipes to try out on your own!

www.gettrusupps.com


Superior (Electrolytes)

Our Experts Recaps BTSNYC NYC Vegetarian Food Festival 2018 Superieur Electrolytes

“Turning the electrolyte category upside right.”

Based in Lake Superior, they are grassroots and 100% employee owned.

They do everything themselves!

By eliminating 3rd party formulators, middlemen and mass distributors, it allowed them to have the best tasting, best ingredients and best price on the market.

Superieur Electrolytes can be found in the finest holistic centers, yoga studios, gyms, health food stores, running stores, bike shops, outdoor stores and in the cupboards of the healthiest households.

http://superieurelectrolytes.com


Purium

Our Experts Recaps BTSNYC NYC Vegetarian Food Festival 2018 Purium

“Helping People & the Earth”

100 years ago, all food was organic. It grew in clean, mineral-rich soil and clean, mineral-rich water. Even our food distribution system has created waste in food, carbon and land – while encouraging the use of chemicals, herbicides, pesticides and more.

Today, real food has been replaced by corporate-produced fast, cheap, addictive, processed food-like stuff.

Purium offers a solution that benefits our bodies as well as the Earth.

They take fresh, non-GMO, organic produce from the field and convert nearly 100% of it into stable powder that can last for up to 2 years. They are committed to education and sharing that knowledge with you, and offer certified kosher and certified organic food products.

https://ishoppurium.com


The Fanciful Fox

Our Experts Recaps BTSNYC NYC Vegetarian Food Festival 2018 Fanciful Fox

“Hand crafted, in small batches, with love.”

Based out of Brooklyn, The Fanciful Fox is a brand that cares about animals, the environment, and mostly about you! They have a line of natural, vegan bath and body products.

All of their creations are hand crafted in micro batches, with the finest plant ingredients, and topped off with a whole lot of love.

They believe in the radical idea that if it goes on your skin it should be good for you!

That’s why they leave out all of the junk, so you’ll never find any nasty chemicals, gross fillers, or downright unpronounceable words in any of their products.

https://fancifulfox.myshopify.com


Save Haven Farm Sanctuary

Our Experts Recaps BTSNYC NYC Vegetarian Food Festival 2018 Safe Haven Farm Sanctuary

This amazing animal sanctuary, called Save Haven Farm Sanctuary, is based in the hills of the Mid-Hudson Valley.

They provide a life-long, loving home for farmed animals rescued from abuse or neglect.

Today, they are the home of more than 100 animals.

They hope to raise awareness about the plight of animals raised for food and the benefits of a vegan diet for the animals, human health, and the environment.

They are dedicated to spreading compassion and respect for all living beings.

Great job guys!

http://safehavenfarmsanctuary.org


In addition, there were several other fantastic vendors there that you can check out on their website.

Hope you enjoyed all these amazing brands and vendors from the NYC Vegetarian Food Festival 2018!

Stay tunes for other upcoming events and if you’re vegan or vegetarian, be sure to explore all the amazing local NYC spots! Plus, if you like to eat at the different food markets spread throughout the city, take a look at a relatively new market in Brooklyn!


Photo Credit: Courtesy of all the brands and vendors

7 Secret NYC Spots by Kelley Louise, A Travel Entrepreneur

Curiosities Insider Interviews Kelley Louise

Kelley Louise is a travel entrepreneur, Founder of Impact Travel Alliance and passionate about storytelling and social good! Come explore her favorite 7 secret NYC spots!

Curiosities Insider Interviews Kelley Louise Streets

I’ve known Kelley Louise probably for as long as I’ve been in New York City. I was introduced to her through a friend in common somewhere back in 2015.

Throughout these past years, I’ve been following her work and how she’s also changing the travel industry across the globe!

A travel entrepreneur passionate about storytelling and social good, Kelley specializes in creative marketing and social media management for clients in the travel and impact space. She is also the Founder and Executive Director of Impact Travel Alliance – the world’s largest community for socially conscious travelers.

Kelley has built her career through carefully selected opportunities in the United States and abroad, including leadership roles in entrepreneurial endeavors, social good projects, marketing and media strategy.

A content creator herself, Kelley is an avid photographer and writer, and runs a travel and lifestyle blog, The Culture Collective – focused on travel & lifestyle, she showcases local gems and off-the-beaten-path adventures, and covers social good, empowerment and entrepreneurship.

A passionate connector, Kelley has an innate ability to build loyal and diverse communities.

Kelley has a bachelor’s degree in Media & Culture from The New School. She lives in Brooklyn, and you can follow her adventures on social media Kelley Travels.

Now, take a look below and see her favorite 7 secret NYC spots!


League of Kitchens

Curiosities Insider Interviews Kelley Louise League of Kitchens Sweets
Curiosities Insider Interviews Kelley Louise League of Kitchens Rosbeef
Curiosities Insider Interviews Kelley Louise League of Kitchens Rice
Curiosities Insider Interviews Kelley Louise League of Kitchens Appetizers
Curiosities Insider Interviews Kelley Louise League of Kitchens
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“Hands down, my favorite experience to recommend to New Yorkers and newcomers alike. League of Kitchens is an Airbnb-style format that offers you the opportunity to take a cooking class in an immigrant’s home. Nothing beats breaking bread and learning about someone’s culture through food.”

Pretty awesome, right? These amazing cooks host you + 5 people at their home and teach everything about their traditional cuisine from back home. Plus, you are able to go home with a detailed shopping list of what to buy and the recipes, so you can also cook at your own home.

Oh, it’s also a great opportunity to meet like-minded people!

https://www.leagueofkitchens.com


Nowadays

Curiosities Insider Interviews Kelley Louise Nowadays

“I’ve been a part of the Mister Sunday crowd since it’s early days in Gowanus Park, and it’s been amazing watching how Eamon and Justin have grown this community. Nowadays is their permanent outpost, which opened in 2017. Go for the music, stay for the good vibes and crowd.”

And I love it too! I’ve been there a few times and it just gets better and better!

The music is fantastic, there are a few food trucks so you won’t get hungry, drinks have super reasonable prices, you can be sure you’ll have a fantastic time and even get to meet a few new friends!

They’re located in Ridgewood, Queens, but it’s an easy commute through the L train to Halsey station.

Hours:
Monday – Wednesday: 4pm – 12am
Thursday – 4pm – 2am
Friday – 4pm – Late
Saturday – 12pm – Late
Sunday – 3pm – 12am

Location: 56-06 Cooper Avenue

Other Infos:

  • Nowadays is always free except for indoors on Friday and Saturday nights, and indoors and outdoors every Sunday until 9pm.
  • The kitchen closes at 11pm Sunday through Thursday, and 1am on Friday and Saturday.
  • 2-for-1 happy hour runs from 4pm to 8pm Monday to Friday.

https://nowadays.nyc


LIC Landing

Curiosities Insider Interviews Kelley Louise LIC Landing Queens

“The magic of the NYC skyline never gets old, and LIC Landing is one of my favorite places to soak in the view. Bring friends and grab a drink – take some time to enjoy the slow(er) life in NYC.”

This beautiful, brand-new waterfront park at Hunters Point South, offers a 2000 sq-ft outdoor event space and a high-quality outdoor café.

It definitely has a priceless view of the city!

Try going before sunset and you’ll be able to witness Manhattan’s lights lighting up.

After all, we all know how beautiful this experience can be! While you’re around the neighborhood, be sure to explore close by spots like The Standing Room, a great bar and comedy bar!

Hours: Every day – 7am – 10pm (Summer Hours)!

Location: Center Blvd. between 50 Avenue and 54 Avenue

http://www.liclanding.com


Beer Street

Curiosities Insider Interviews Kelley Louise Beer Street

Beer Street is the bar that ruined all other beer bars for me — other bars just don’t compare. Somehow, all other menus just don’t compete with Cory (the owner’s) exceptional taste and attention to detail. Pro-tip: If you’re indecisive on what you want to order, follow Beer Street’s golden rule — Trust your bartender.”

Well, to start, they were chosen as “America’s 100 Best Beer Bars by Draft Mag” for the years of 2014 and 2015.

Located in Williamsburg, they have 10 taps with amazing draft beer, plus great wine, cider and other drinks.

Hours:
Monday – Thursday: 5pm – 1am
Friday: 5pm – 2am
Saturday & Sunday: 12pm – 2am

Location: 413 Graham Avenue

https://www.beerstreetny.com


Furnish Green

Curiosities Insider Interviews Kelley Louise Furnish Green Beach Chair
Curiosities Insider Interviews Kelley Louise Furnish Green Vintage Phone
Curiosities Insider Interviews Kelley Louise Furnish Green
Curiosities Insider Interviews Kelley Louise Furnish Green Orange Chair
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“From the conventional to the quirky, Furnish Green has it all. My favorite vintage furniture store in the city, Furnish Green is great for finding anything from a well-designed dresser for your bedroom to a vintage carousel house (the latter of which I have).”

These guys are vintage experts! Every week you can expect 5-15 new items in the store. As they say, their philosophy is:

“To provide creative local consumers with unique, well-made, long-lasting and reasonably priced pieces of furniture.”

Pretty cool right!? Plus, in a city where most people buy at the same stores, you’ll be sure to have different items decorating your beautiful home!

Hours:
Monday – Friday: 10am – 8pm
Saturday: 10am – 6pm

Location: 1261 Broadway, Suite 309

http://furnishgreen.com


Bistro Petit

Curiosities Insider Interviews Kelley Louise Petit Bistro Oysters
Curiosities Insider Interviews Kelley Louise Petit Bistro Eggs
Curiosities Insider Interviews Kelley Louise Petit Bistro Brussels
Curiosities Insider Interviews Kelley Louise Petit Bistro Pasta
Curiosities Insider Interviews Kelley Louise Petit Bistro Risotto
Curiosities Insider Interviews Kelley Louise Petit Bistro Pan
Curiosities Insider Interviews Kelley Louise Petit Bistro Fries
Curiosities Insider Interviews Kelley Louise Petit Bistro Dish
Curiosities Insider Interviews Kelley Louise Petit Bistro Chicken
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“This is a big statement, but I stand by it: Bistro Petit is the best restaurant I’ve ever been to. It’s a charming little spot – only fitting about a dozen or so people into the entire space – and you can’t help but to fall in love. The cuisine is French/Korean fusion, and BYOB. For the perfect date night, bring a bottle of red, and sit on the bar stools for a view of the kitchen and sit side by side with your date.”

The owner and chef, Sung Park, is truly an artist, in the kitchen. His bold and innovative cooking style is surely what makes the difference for his guests, and obviously, what makes them come back.

Located in South Williamsburg, they explain that they only use only use the freshest seasonal ingredients, local produce, natural organics, grass fed beef, local fish, and free-range chicken.

Plus, for vegetarians, they have great options, so don’t worry about it! You can go and be sure to have a great time!

Hours:
Wednesday – Saturday: 6pm – 12am
Sunday: 6pm – 11pm

Location: 774 Driggs Avenue

http://www.bistropetit.com


Erie Basin

Curiosities Insider Interviews Kelley Louise Erie Basin Jewelry Antiques

“An exceptionally well-curated collection of jewelry (both vintage and new pieces that were crafted using antique stones), pretty much everything you see at Erie Basin is one of a kind. Even if you’re not ready to invest in your next piece of fine jewelry, they’re worth the follow on Instagram for some daydreaming.”

Launched in 2006, the store is located in the far end of Brooklyn in a neighborhood we adore called Red Hook! They are “specialized in antique and vintage jewelry, but also have a selection of furniture, art, and objects dating from the 18th to mid 20th century.”

The brand is, up to date, basically a one-man show, and was founded by Russell Whitmore. An avid collector and antique lover, Whitmore launched in 2014 a fantastic collection around antique gemstones he has collected and many are exclusive, one-of-a-kind pieces.

Hours: Wednesday – Saturday: 12pm – 6pm

Location: 388 Van Brunt Street

http://eriebasin.com


Thank you to my dearest friend, Kelley Louise, for these truly amazing 7 secret NYC spots! I loved them all and will surely visit the ones I haven’t been to yet!

You should too, after all, exploring New York, through the eyes of true New Yorkers, is definitely the best way to do it!


Photo Credits: Courtesy of Tutti del Monte, Clay Williams for The James Beard Foundation and all the venues.

Fê is our Founder & CEO! She’s Brazilian (Yup! Not a New Yorker!), but her indescribable passion and curiosity for NY makes her a New Yorker by heart. Fê worked in companies like Kimberly Clark, Quintessentially, Vogue Brazil and Iguatemi Group, and after 12 years of working for these fantastic companies, she decided to go solo and move to NYC!
She lives in Brooklyn since April of ’15 and has been tirelessly working on BTSNYC, working with huge companies on corporate projects, practicing her Arhatic Yoga meditations, finding time for gym and friends! Phiuf!

Komeeda Chef Showdown VIII – Mission Vegetarian

Events Up Coming Komeeda Chef Showdown Vegetarian Past Event The Mezzanine

If you’re a NYC foodie, come be part of Komeeda’s Chef Showdown VIII at the Food Arts Center (FEDCAP), and see 3 outstanding New York chefs present their Vegetarian expertise!

Events Up Coming Komeeda Chef Showdown Vegetarian Past Event The Mezzanine
One of Komeeda’s awesome past NY events, at The Mezzanine.

By this time, you’ve probably noticed that we are huge fans of everything done by Jabber, the Founder of Komeeda, and his amazing team.

To start, they are truly rocking New York’s food scene with some of the most amazing, exclusive and innovative events in town! And, in addition, foodies, food experts, food lovers and the curious crowd loves them!

We are so excited to share and announce their upcoming event!

They’ll be hosting their 8th Chef Showdown, where 3 fantastic chefs will compete for the 1st place and where guests are the true judges. The event is amazing, super interactive and everyone there is actually part of what’s going on.

RSVP NOW!

So, take a look below to see what their upcoming event will be about:


Mission Vegetarian – Chef Showdown VIII at Food Arts Center (FEDCAP)

Events Up Coming Komeeda Chef Showdown Vegetarian

A Chef Competition, for the People, by the People.

The Komeeda Original Series – Chef Showdowns are recurring Fun Eating Experiences showcasing three super duper talented chefs who will throw down for the showdown!

Taste new innovative bites, sip, engage with the Kommunity, and help us choose the next Chef Showdown Champion!


MENU:

Chef’s Specials
Three self-made talented chefs with roots in the New York City area will be showcasing the most creatively tasty bites to showcase to the Kommunity.

Mission: VEGETARIAN
As the Spring season gets in bloom, we want the Kommunity to taste the creative, delicious, savory flavors of earth’s natural ingredients. Taste innovative vegetarian cuisine like never before!

Showcase Bites
Past Chef Showdown Champions will hook up the Kommunity with their latest creative bites!

***

RSVP NOW!


About the Food Arts Center:
The Food Arts Center is a culinary destination for creativity, culture, and experiences. Through their work, they educate, train, and employ resilient people from underserved areas, empowering a community through food.

About The Kitchen with a Mission:
The Food Arts Center at FEDCAP is a social enterprise for education and career development. In addition, we’re dedicated to helping people facing barriers, find employment opportunities, career pathways and economic independence through our culinary vocational training program as well as through our corporate & event catering, special events, workshops, kitchen rental and food production services in the heart of New York City.

DETAILS:
Cuisine: New York Progressive
Price: $35/person
Includes: Beer & Wine
Date: Thursday, April 5th
Time: 6pm – 9pm
Location: Food Arts Center (FEDCAP) – 210 East 43rd Street

And, if you’re still not sure, take a look at the 1st event that we, at Behind the Scenes NYC, partnered up with Komeeda. It was a fantastic night and we had a full house! And, it’s just gotten better at each new edition!

RSVP NOW!

They always sell out pretty quick, so be sure to guarantee your spot!

So, see you all there and be sure to Like their Facebook Page to stay tuned for all their upcoming events!

www.komeeda.co

Dekalb Market Hall: A New Concept Exploring Brooklyn’s Best Food

Shop Specialties Dekalb Market Hall

The Dekalb Market Hall, based in the upcoming neighborhood of Downtown Brooklyn, is the new must-go-to spot for Brooklyn’s best food and all local vendors! Their new concept is enchanting all the foodies out there!

Shop Specialties Dekalb Market Hall

We all know that New York City is the perfect place for all the professional foodies out there, as well as the enthusiasts, right?

You can literally find any type of cuisine and restaurant you are craving for and have a fantastic gastronomical experience that will blow your mind.

We are a company extremely focused on working with and promoting sustainable traveling experiences, showing people that even in huge urban cities, you can travel, enjoy and leave a positive impact.

In short, sustainable tourism is made up of 3 main pillars.

Big part of our mission is to promote the values of tourism to the economic growth, cultural and environmental protection, in addition to mutual understanding and peace.

That said – and as you probably already know – our platform is also focused writing about independently owned businesses that have outstanding products and services, and works with other local partners.

So, talking about the new Dekalb Market Hall is a must! Located in Downtown Brooklyn, this area is expanding rapidly and must be in your radar.

The Dekalb Market Hall is not a food-court, as many would imagine or name it. It’s a new concept of a culinary center, with 40 Brooklyn-based vendors. They showcase the best of the local culture and ethnic diversity, offering dining experiences and innovative cooking.

The interesting part of the story is that many of these vendors have opened their very first brick-and-mortar location there and are now able to show the world their craft and expertise!

The space is amazing and the atmosphere very welcoming with a neighborhood vibe. They attract not only the market’s neighbors, but a Brooklyn-based crowd, as well as other curious and community-engaged folks from all over the city.


See below which vendors are part of this amazing initiative:

Shop Specialties Dekalb Market Hall Ample Hill Ice CreamAmple Hills: Founded in the spring of 2011 by a Brooklynite couple, Ample Hill offers hand-made ice creams. They were named after Walt Whitman’s poem “Crossing Brooklyn Ferry”, which speaks of the connectedness of people across time and space. Their ingredients? Some of the best hormone free milk and cream from grass fed cows and organic cane sugar. Plus, their mix-ins are made in house from scratch, like the peppermint patties, honeycomb candy, pistachio brittle, munchie mix and brownies.

Andrew’s Classic Roadside Hamburgers: Known as “New York City’s Best Burger Truck, the Founder Andrew Zurica has over 25 years of relevant experience in the food service industry being with family owned restaurants in the 80’s. They offer countless burgers, a few hot dog options as well as yummy sides!

Arepa Lady: They are famous for serving Latin American food in Jackson Heights. What is an Arepa? It’s a food made of ground maize dough or cooked flour, super popular in a few Latin American countries like Venezuela and Colombia. Besides the arepas, their menu is filled with patacones, chuzos and a few appetizers!

Belle Cheese: Lets start with their mission – “To transport your taste buds all over this big, beautiful world through cheese”. Sounds exciting, right? If you love cheese, but don’t really know that much about it, they are happy to offer samples! Within your picks, try their best upstate New York’s artisan options!

BK Jani: Are you looking for an authentic Pakistani picnic? With lunch, dinner, delivery and take-out options, you’ll be able to fulfill all your barbeque desires at BK Jani, founded by Sibté Hassan!

And still:

Bread & Spread: Offering a variety of gourmet sandwiches made to order, Bread & Spread has also super fresh veggies to order on the side. They newest special? The Italiano Cubano – house brined and roasted pork, kurobuta ham, swiss cheese, whiskey sour spicy pickle, house-made apple mustard on a ciabatta roll! Go hungry!

Brooklyn Juicer: If you are part of the healthy-lifestyle group of people, this is the place to go for some of the freshest juices and smoothies.

Bunker: The mission at this spot is to share the home-style Vietnamese street food the owners grew up eating. They source some of the best ingredients using vegetables and heritage meet from local farms. In addition, they have the finest quality condiments and no MSG shortcuts. They have a few great vegan options too!

Bunsmith: Founded in 2015 with the objective of spreading the love for delicious buns, Bunsmith now makes bomb-tasting food! They use some quite authentic ingredients and are vegan-friendly too! They have a delicious mouth-watering Jack-Fruit BBQ bun that will make you come back for more. Oh! Pair your order with a drink off their beer, wine, sake, Korean spirits or cocktail menus.

Shop Specialties Dekalb Market Hall Arepas

Café D’Avignon: This spot is amazing! They “bake, serve and eat everything fresh on the same day”. So, you can expect super fresh pastries and breads baked daily and served warm, directly from their oven. They still have a few selections of quiches, sandwiches, scones, tarts, cakes, afternoon snacks and coffee.

Also, try these:

Craft + Carry: Ah! These guys are the one that have great beer! They are known as “da beer guys” in the market. Options are great, varying from the Austin Eastciders Blood Orange Cider and Erdinger Weissbier to the Greenport Harbor Tidal Lager and Industrial Arts Wrench IPA.

Cuzin’s Duzin: The original hot mini donut has made its way back home to Brooklyn! With over 40 years of expertise and 25 specifically in the mini donut industry, The Donutologist, Todd Jones, has a passion for making specialty mini donut treats with customized toppings and alcoholic infusions. As they say: “Mini is the new skinny.”

Daigo Hand Roll Bar: Oh yum! Japanese food! Daigo Hand Roll Bar has it all. Try the spicy tuna, toro, salmon with avocado, snow crab with avocado, braised octopus, hokkaido scallops, uni and the vegetable rolls. Or better, try them all!

Dekalb Taco: Who doesn’t love splurging on calories, right? The Dekalb Tacos come from Macondo Taperia Latina, in the West Village. They guys know with craft pretty well, and bring to life a ‘culinary journey into the streets of Latin America and stops to pay homage to the crudo scene that defines most of Latin America.”

Dulcienea: Churros, churros and more churros! We love them! They explain that: “Dulcinea does not settle for what “is” a Churro, we are here to bring you a Churro unlike what you have seen, tasted or imaged. Our story begins with “what was” the Churro: we proclaim a revolution and will take the Churro to new heights. Our Churros are stuffed, dipped and coated with ingredients that will delight your senses. We are here to push the culinary envelope we dare you to join the revolution.” What more can we say?

But wait…!

Eight Turn Crepe: If you’re a crepe lover, this is a place to certainly try! Eight Turn Crepe “takes rice flour, whips it into a silky mix, turns that on the griddle, and poof!”…you get a delicious crepe with an exquisite presentation. They have a great savory and sweet selections that will teleport you directly to Tokyo! Enjoy your journey!

Fletcher’s BBQ: Founded in Gowanus, in Brooklyn, Fletcher’s ‘honors the uniquely American tradition of crafting pit smoked barbecue’. They have everything from ribs, pork, sausages, brisket and even tacos! They explain that: “we create our own style of ‘cue that melds the tradition of wood fire cooking with responsible farming and flavor profiles inspired from the many ethnicities experienced while walking the streets of the largest borough of New York City.”

Shop Specialties Dekalb Market Hall Wilma Jean Chicken Sandwich

Foragers Butcher, Market & Rotisserie: Founded back in 2005, in DUMBO, their mission has been to always offer fresh and high quality grocery options sourced from local farms and producers. We’ve also written about them before!

Forcella: “Picture a pizza made on a cloud — that’s the best way to describe their pizza, a fried pizza all the way from Naples, Italy. Fluffy, airy, saucy and crisp are some of the words that can best describe fried pizza. Surprisingly, considering it’s fried, by no means is this fried pizza greasy. And for those of you who love crust, you’re in luck. There’s lots of it, and it’s one of a kind.”

Fulton Landing Seafood Market: This is the place for super fresh seafood. Their principals are based on sustainable concepts, making it all even better. The menu has rolls, grilled seafood options, few fried ones and even steamed. The crab and lobster selection is also great!

Yummm….

Guss’ Pickles: Uuuuu, we l-o-v-e pickles! Izzy Guss was an immigrate over 100 years ago and lived in the Lower East Side of Manhattan. There, he started his craft and never stopped (lucky us!). What to expect? Sour pickles, half-sour pickles, hot & spicy chips, kosher dills, whole, spears, chips, deli mustard, sweet peppers, hot cherry peppers, giardiniera, marinated mushrooms, pickled tomatoes, sauerkraut, large assortment of olives, horseradish, sweet relish, and much more!

Hana Noodles: Yum, noodles. We could eat noodles every single day of our lives! Hana Noodles has great options with chicken, pork, beef and some veggie options. Their noodles are literally hand-made right in front of your eyes!

Home Frites: Tell us one person you know that does not like French fries. Impossible, right? Home Frites has a small, but tempting menu with options of truffle fries, cheese fries, chorizo fries and a few other variations! Pair it with a beer or a glass of wine!

Jianbing Company: The jianbing breakfast is an iconic, traditional, and downright delicious option, loved by all Chinese folks. “Starting with the ‘Original’, you can choose your own adventure. Add applewood-smoked bacon for a hearty breakfast. Revolutionize lunch with thin-sliced lemon-garlic chicken or hoisin-lime beef. Keep it veg with honey-ginger tofu.”

Shop Specialties Dekalb Market Hall Katz Deep Fried Veggies

Katz Deli: This is the only place that is not Brooklyn-based, but is certainly one of their great additions. The famous Katz Delicatessen was founded back in 1888 in the Lower East Side. The place is family owned and run for over 100 years, is known by celebrities, chefs and foodies all over the world. If you’re a meat eater, this is the place for you!

Oh! Don’t miss these:

Kotti Berliner Döner Kebab: “Kotti caters to a growing health-conscious consumer base seeking healthy, sustainable, and satisfying food that’s good for them and the planet. Using antibiotic-free meats, local produce, and a rainbow of nutritious vegetables, Kotti is for the discerning customer who wants to make responsible choices about food without sacrificing taste.” They have options for vegetarians too!

Likkle More: Do you enjoy Caribbean food? If you’re not sure, this is the right place to try it. If you do, you know what we’re talking about! Chef Kemis’ food is “best described as a fusion of Caribbean flavors with classical cooking techniques”. This journey started back in Montego Bay, Jamaica and luckily is now spreading around Brooklyn!

Shop Specialties Dekalb Market Hall Kotti Doner Pretzel Bun

Lioni Heroes: With over 150 different sandwich options, this Italian spot is known for serving the creamiest mozzarella in town! After trying one, we’re sure you’ll be back for more!

Nobletree Coffee: This is for the coffee lovers, like us! “Nobletree Coffee is the culmination of passion and precision. Through their dedicated work as farmers, roasters, and baristas, they offer specialty coffees meticulously produced on their own farms and sourced from around the world”, from countries famous for their coffee, like Brazil.

Paella Shack: Everything here is made by Barraca NYC, a Spanish restaurant well-known for its tapas, paellas and sangrias. Well, who’s in the mood for some Spanish goodies?!

Pierogi Boys: Not sure what a pierogi is? Well, let us explain: they are a type of filled dumpling, famous in Central European origins, in countries like Poland and Hungary. Be sure to order your preferred option, with a great glass of wine.

And, don’t skip these either:

P.O.P. Cake Shop: They are a Brooklyn Cake Shop known for their PushPops! Founded by Shana Lawson, the spot if the place to go if you have a sweet tooth!

Steve’s Key Lime: Ahhh! Key lime pie! But wait, these guys use freshly squeezed key lime juice! They explain their simple, yet unique craft: “We use 5 simple ingredients. First, we make a hand formed crust using specially formulated premium graham cracker crumbs – no trans-fats, no high fructose corn syrup – blended with 100% pure butter. Our filling uses Wisconsin dairy fresh sweetened and condensed milk, cage-free egg yolks and our fresh squeezed key lime juice. Like we always say, this isn’t rocket science.”

Oh! Can’t wait to try:

Two Tablespoons: This is a NYC-based vegetarian pop-up restaurant, with some delicioussss food! Founded in 2012 by a few friends, their goal was to show the world that healthy vegetarian and vegan food is far from boring. They use many organic and local ingredients and no meat and cheese imitations!

Shop Specialties Dekalb Market Hall Pierogi Boys by Empirestateofdine

Wiki Wiki: This popular Hawaiian food place has some great poke bowls that will make you come back for more! If you like seafood, pass by this spot!

Wilma Jean: This local joint is specialized in fried chicken, burgers, and comfort food classics. The name behind these creations is: Chef/Owner Rob Newton and the name is an homage to Rob’s grandma! Cute!


Lastly, beside all this fantastically curated list of local vendors, the space will open, in the summer of this year, an event area!

The space will not only be available for rent, but will also host shows and events curated by Dekalb Market Hall. So, you can expect lots of fun, besides the delicious food!

So, if you haven’t been much to Brooklyn, but would love to start exploring this gorgeous and unique Borough, you can start here! The market is super well located and close to countless subway stations, so commuting is pretty easy.

Since you’ll be in our hood (Yup! We’re neighbors to the Dekalb Market Hall!), be sure to walk a bit around the area and explore Fort Greene, just on the other side of Flatbush Avenue! The famous Digital Influencer, Tamara Peterson, shared with us some of her tops spots, if you’re not sure where to go.

COOL TIP: If you’re planning in visiting the market soon, but is just craving to try some of these local vendors N-O-W, you can start by ordering a few options online! And, you can still order delivery through Caviar and Seamless!

Hours: Monday – Sunday: 7am – 10pm

Location: 445 Albee Square West, Downtown Brooklyn

http://dekalbmarkethall.com

Shop Specialties Dekalb Market Hall Neon Lights
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Gary He

Photo Credits: Courtesy of all the vendors, Gary He and Empirestateofdine.

New York Through The Eyes of the Tech Entrepreneur: Graham Mann

Curiosities Insider Interviews Graham Mann by P_Nali

New York-based Tech Entrepreneur, Graham Mann, shared with us his 7 top tips in New York! Check out where the cool tech crowd hangs out!

Curiosities Insider Interviews Graham Mann by P_Nali

Graham Mann is cofounder of Lean Systems, a logistics startup with offices in New York and Montreal, a graduate of Techstars NYC, and recipient of the 2017 Startup Canada Young Entrepreneur award. He grew up in Nova Scotia, Canada, and did his undergrad degree in engineering at McGill University in Montreal.

He still leads the non-profit organization he founded, called Sail All, which provides sailing opportunities for youth in his home province of Nova Scotia, and mentors new entrepreneurs whenever he can, particularly for Founder Institute Montreal and Startup Weekend.

In his spare time you can usually find him on or near the water, sailing, windsurfing, or attempting surfing and kiteboarding, or out taking photos.

He writes regularly on his blog, and just launched a podcast called Starting Stories, where he interviews entrepreneurs, creatives, and more to talk about how they got started, and the habits and tools that led to their success.

Take a look at his 7 top tips in New York:


For Pizza: Lucali

Curiosities Insider Interviews Graham Mann Lucali Pizza
Curiosities Insider Interviews Graham Mann Lucali Close Up
Curiosities Insider Interviews Graham Mann Lucali Margherita
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“I discovered Lucali through a cousin living nearby, and it’s known to locals for good reason: their pizza is delicious. They only serve pizza and calzones, and have different ingredients every day. It’s also BYOB – go to Henry Street Wine and Liquors down the street for some super-friendly advice on which wines to get. Go early as there’s no reservations, and it’s cash only.”

Their first and only location in New York is Carroll Gardens, in Brooklyn. The restaurant is specialized in pizzas and calzones, but also offers appetizer salads and fresh sides. Their thin-crusted pizzas and home-made sauces are loved not only by their neighbors, but by guests that come from all over NYC. Hence, the house is always full, as Graham mentioned above.

If you’re into craft draft and bottled beers, they have a good selection, as well as a wine menu with low production Italian wines.

Who’s the mind behind this all? The pizzaiolo Mark Iacono and he also has a location in Miami.

Hours:
Monday – Thursday: 5pm – 12am
Friday – Sunday: 1pm – 12am

Location: 575 Henry Street

www.lucali.com


For Cocktails: Brooklyn Social Bar

Curiosities Insider Interviews Graham Mann Brooklyn Social Club

“After pizza and wine at Lucali, you can stop by Brooklyn Social Bar on your way back to the subway. The atmosphere is great, cocktails are delicious, and the bartenders are super friendly. Go on an off-night and get to know the bartenders.”

Located in Carroll Gardens, this spot was the former Society Riposto, a private member’s Sicilian Club. This group started back in the early 1900’s, and only in 1967 they actually rented out this spot.

They had private gatherings and parties led by Isidoro Parisi and his group of Italian friends.

After the memberships slowly dissolving throughout the years, 3 30-year old Brooklyn residents decided to purchase and renovate the place.

Many of the decorations are still the original ones with amazing, vintage pictures and ornaments, allowing it to keep its original vibe.

It’s surely a place that will take you back to the past, as in you entered another place on Earth.

Hours:
Sunday – Thursday: 5pm – 2am
Friday – Saturday: 5pm – 4am

Location: 335 Smith Street

http://brooklynsocialbar.com


For Those Interested In Travel: Voyager HQ

Curiosities Insider Interviews Graham Mann Voyager HQ

“For anyone interested in, working in, or looking for a job in travel, you should be hanging out at Voyager HQ. It’s where we work in New York, the staff are super friendly, and they hold lots of great events. If you’re interested in travel, you should be there.”

We have to agree! We love everything that VoyagerHQ does and we are there quite often!

The place is great and the crowd is perfect for networking. They say they are “A Club for Travel Innovators”, so if this at all calls your attention, you should pass by.

In addition, they host some pretty cool events from breakfasts with industry professionals, to pitch nights with fantastic start-ups urging to change the world!

Location: 137 West 25th Street

www.voyagerhq.com


To Escape the City (sort of): Roosevelt Island

Curiosities Insider Interviews Graham Mann Roosevelt Island Mc Gutty
Photo Credit: Mc_Gutty

“One of my college roommates grew up here, and I’ve spent quite a bit of time in Roosevelt Island. It’s right next to Manhattan, yet you’d never know it when you’re there, given how peaceful and quiet it is. Take the tram or subway there, go for a run, grab a coffee, or check out the beautiful new Cornell Tech campus.”

Yup, Roosevelt Island is a “life apart”, even though it’s nestled in the middle of the East River.

It’s a great place to go explore during the weekends!

If you have to pick a way to get there, we do recommend the tram. The journey will start with a spectacular view of Manhattan Island, Queens and the East River.

You’ll most certainly capture breathtaking Instagrammable shots!

The island has only one main street, called Main Street, ha, and a few additional side roads! But you can always walk towards the water through the path – that’s there the best views are.

If you’re the adventurous type, be sure to explore the Smallpox Hospital, also known as the Renwick Smallpox Hospital, in the Southern tip of the island.


Place to Take a Canadian: New York Islanders game

Curiosities Insider Interviews Graham Mann New York Islanders Hockey

“For Canadians, there’s no better way to spend an evening than at a hockey game, but given how popular it is in Canada, you’re lucky to get seats for a reasonable price. Take them to an Islanders game and they’ll love it, and for bonus points take them when they’re playing their favorite team.”

Canadians do love Hockey, but his is literally an activity for anyone that enjoys sports.

Moreover, if you or your friends have never been to a hockey game, we have to agreed you HAVE TO go to one.

Live hockey is definitely a thrilling experience and it’ll be a night of fun!

https://www.nhl.com/islanders 


For Whisky: Caledonia Bar

Curiosities Insider Interviews Graham Mann Caledonia Bar
Curiosities Insider Interviews Graham Mann Caledonia Bar Menu
Curiosities Insider Interviews Graham Mann Caledonia Bar Area
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“I got more of a taste for scotch after spending two weeks traveling Scotland last spring, and Caledonia Bar has the best selection I’ve found in New York. The atmosphere is as good as the whisky selection, and it’s a great place to take a date.”

Caledonia Bar has two locations in Manhattan. One is at the Upper East Side and the other at the Upper West Side, of Manhattan.

They have a great drink list, a few food options that vary a bit in each location and, a fantastic list of House Rules!

Wanna know some of them?

  • Five percent off for Tinder dates, you need to prove it by showing us your initial awkward messages
  • No credit card minimum, but if you keep swiping your card all night you are wasting paper, killing trees and in the long run killing all of humanity you selfish bastard. Start a Tab!
  • Gentlemen, this is a lady friendly bar, if it’s clear that they are not interested in you then stop talking to them. Obviously this rule does not apply to me.

Ha! So fun! Anyway, enjoy your scotch night out!

Hours:
Upper West Side: Monday – Sunday: 4pm – 4am
Upper East Side: Monday – Thursday: 5pm – 4am and Friday – Sunday: 4pm – 4am

Locations:
424 Amsterdam Avenue, Upper West Side
1609 2nd Avenue, Upper East Side

www.caledoniabar.com


For Shopping: Everlane

Curiosities Insider Interviews Graham Mann Everlane NYC Store Interior
Curiosities Insider Interviews Graham Mann Everlane NYC Store Shoes
Curiosities Insider Interviews Graham Mann Everlane NYC Store Denim
Curiosities Insider Interviews Graham Mann Everlane NYC Store Clothes
Curiosities Insider Interviews Graham Mann Everlane Human
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“I generally try to avoid shopping in person as much as possible, but Everlane makes the experience enjoyable. I love that their simple, classic lines don’t overwhelm you with choice, and their commitment to ethical factories and transparent pricing make them a brand you can get behind. They currently only have two brick-and-mortar locations, and one is in New York.”

Located in the super cool neighborhood of Nolita, in Manhattan, Everlane believes in “Exceptional quality.
Ethical factories. Radical Transparency.” Totally up our alley!

Plus, their collections and products are timeless pieces that will be part of your wardrobe for a long time. How? Well, they source the finest materials and aren’t too focused on trends.

Oh! And still, they let the customer know exactly the true cost of materials, labor, transportation, taxes, etc…for the item they are purchasing. We love it!

They offer a complete line of products for men and women that believe, like them, that “we can all make a difference”.

Hours:
Monday – Saturday: 11am – 7pm
Sunday: 10am – 5pm

Location: 28 Prince Street

www.everlane.com


Thank you, Graham, for sharing these 7 top tips in New York! We are sure you will enjoy them all!

Finally, if you enjoyed this interview, we are positive you loved all the places that David Yarus, the Founder of the app JSwipe, shared with us! He listed 5 NYC spots that you’ve probably never been to! They are all surely worth the visit, so check them out!

 

Photo Credits: Courtesy of The Associated Press for the Washington’s Top News, Mc_Gutty, P_Nali and the venues

Cheryl Wat: From Marketing & Finance To A NYC Food Influencer

Curiosities Insider Interviews Cheryl Wat

Cheryl Wat went from Marketing & Finance to becoming a NYC Food Influencer! Take a look at her 7 secret New York City tips and be sure to add them to your To-Go spots!

Curiosities Insider Interviews Cheryl Wat

Cheryl Wat was born and raised on Long Island, but now lives in Queens. She graduated from Northeastern University with a degree in Marketing and Finance and has 10 years of marketing experience working in the Finance industry as an Analyst in Marketing Research and Product Management.

During this time, Cheryl’s boyfriend wanted to open a restaurant. She became interested in learning about influencer marketing and using social media as a means to build his restaurant’s brand awareness and anticipation of its opening. To do this, she realized that she had to open up her own Instagram food account.

In July 2016, Cheryl established Book of Eats on Instagram and as a site, with the initial focus being restaurants, food, and beverages primarily in NYC area.

As she shared her dining experiences, she realized a community of people was being built who share the same interests. Since then, Book of Eats has expanded to travel, food around the world, and interesting food/travel related news.

See below her 7 secret New York City tips:


Trademark Taste & Grind

Curiosities Insider Interviews Cheryl Wat Trademark Taste Grind Entrance
Curiosities Insider Interviews Cheryl Wat Trademark Taste Grind Inside
Curiosities Insider Interviews Cheryl Wat Trademark Taste Grind Sween N Salty Granola
Curiosities Insider Interviews Cheryl Wat Trademark Taste Grind Pistachio Ice Cream
Curiosities Insider Interviews Cheryl Wat Trademark Taste Grind Coffee
Curiosities Insider Interviews Cheryl Wat Trademark Taste Grind Cookies
Curiosities Insider Interviews Cheryl Wat Trademark Taste Grind Chocolate Popcorn
Curiosities Insider Interviews Cheryl Wat Trademark Taste Grind Burrata Knots
Curiosities Insider Interviews Cheryl Wat Trademark Taste Grind Avocado Toast
Curiosities Insider Interviews Cheryl Wat Trademark Taste Grind Squash Ricotta
Curiosities Insider Interviews Cheryl Wat Trademark Taste Grind Fried Chicken Sandwich
Curiosities Insider Interviews Cheryl Wat Trademark Taste Grind Office Hero
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“I love how this Midtown restaurant, called Trademark Taste & Grind is hidden behind a coffee shop. It’s one of the few places near Penn Station that I can think of with good food, isn’t touristy, and that I would want to bring someone.”

Yup! They are known for their delicious food, coffee and cocktails. The front area of the restaurant – Trademark Grind – is a coffee shop with a great selection of pastries and coffees. Walking towards the back area, you’ll find Trademark Taste serving new American comfort food.

It’s located in the Hotel Le Soleil.

Hours:
Monday – Friday: 7am – 11pm
Saturday & Sunday: 8am – 11pm

Location: 38 West 36th Street

www.trademarktaste.com


Fry Guys

Curiosities Insider Interviews Cheryl Wat FryGuys Façade
Curiosities Insider Interviews Cheryl Wat FryGuys Pulled Pork
Curiosities Insider Interviews Cheryl Wat FryGuys Chicken
Curiosities Insider Interviews Cheryl Wat FryGuys Avocado
Curiosities Insider Interviews Cheryl Wat FryGuys Mural
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Fry Guys is a super cool retro looking French fry spot in the East Village with vinyl records all around the floors, walls, and ceiling. There’s even disco balls hanging from the ceilings. If you come here get the Drunk Guy, its fries are loaded with guacamole, bacon and cheese.”

These guys are really experts when the subject is “fries”. Their food is gluten-free fries and made from delicious Idaho Russet potatoes. How do they make it? They hand-cut everything, season it and perfectly fry it to get that crunchy texture.

The décor of the place is also fantastic and it’s vintagy look will take you back decades. It’s most certainly a nostalgic feeling.

This is the place to splurge and forget your diet! Forget about calories and just be happy! Ha! After all, as they say ‘Every day is FryDay!’.

Hours:
Sunday – Thursday: 12pm – 2am
Friday & Saturday: 12pm – 4am

Location: 150 East 2nd Street

http://fryguysnyc.com


Gaijin

Curiosities Insider Interviews Cheryl Wat Gaijin Bar
Curiosities Insider Interviews Cheryl Wat Gaijin Bar
Curiosities Insider Interviews Cheryl Wat Gaijin Outdoor Patio
Curiosities Insider Interviews Cheryl Wat Gaijin 6 Pieces Omakase
Curiosities Insider Interviews Cheryl Wat Gaijin Uni Ikura Donburi
Curiosities Insider Interviews Cheryl Wat Gaijin Kamasu Japanese Baracuda
Curiosities Insider Interviews Cheryl Wat Gaijin Tuna
Curiosities Insider Interviews Cheryl Wat Gaijin Toro Uni Caviar
Curiosities Insider Interviews Cheryl Wat Gaijin Mixed
Curiosities Insider Interviews Cheryl Wat Gaijin Robata Binchotan Grill
Curiosities Insider Interviews Cheryl Wat Gaijin Bone Marrow
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Gaijin is the only place in Astoria that I know of with a legit omakase sushi menu. I love the whole experience of sitting at the counter, interacting with the Chef, and being told the preferred way of eating the sushi is with my hands like in Japan. I can’t think of any other restaurants like this in Astoria, but in the city I definitely can.”

Chef Mark, a Chicago-native, is the artist behind it all. His outstanding culinary career gave him enough experience to open Gaijin – the result of his take on modern Japanese food.

Moreover, he blends his traditional Japanese cooking technique with a personal touch and inspiration. It’s known that his signature nigrizushi toppings are outstanding!

Nigirizushi (“hand-pressed sushi”) consists of an oblong mound of sushi rice that the chef presses between the palms of the hands to form an oval-shaped ball, and a topping (the neta) draped over the ball.” ~ Wikipedia

Hours:
Monday – Thursday: 5pm – 10pm
Friday – Saturday: 5pm – 11pm

Location: 37-12 31st Avenue

www.gaijinny.com


Vaccaro’s Bakery & Café

Curiosities Insider Interviews Cheryl Wat Vaccaro's Bakery Cake Pops
Curiosities Insider Interviews Cheryl Wat Vaccaro's Bakery Nutella Donnoli
Curiosities Insider Interviews Cheryl Wat Vaccaro's Bakery Cake
Curiosities Insider Interviews Cheryl Wat Vaccaro's Bakery Sawdust Pies
Curiosities Insider Interviews Cheryl Wat Vaccaro's Bakery Minnie Mouse Cupcakes
Curiosities Insider Interviews Cheryl Wat Vaccaro's Bakery Apple Pie
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Vaccaro’s Bakery & Café is a bakery in Astoria, Queens, that has the most delicious donnolis. It’s basically a cannoli wrapped in a donut. It’s the best thing ever.”

This authentic Italian bakery was founded in 1981 and has been one of Astoria’s to-go spots. Loved by locals, they sell everything from delicious cakes, desserts and pastries, to breads and breakfast specials!

It will be hard to pick only a few things to try. But, remember you call always buy more and take home!

Hours: 6am – 9pm, daily

Location: 28-05 Steinway Street

https://vaccarosbakerycafe.com


The Last Word

Curiosities Insider Interviews Cheryl Wat The Last Word The Fat Monk
Curiosities Insider Interviews Cheryl Wat The Last Word Rakish Jaunty
Curiosities Insider Interviews Cheryl Wat The Last Word Posada Punch
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“A speakeasy in Astoria, called The Last Word, serves really good cocktails and is hidden behind a hardware store. I know in Astoria it’s well known, but I’m not sure about the general public.”

So, if you enjoy oysters paired with a good cocktail, this is the place for you! They still have a great menu with beer, wine and a few bites to nibble on.

They explain that:

“Our name comes from the gin-based prohibition-era cocktail called, The Last Word.”

And still, if you enjoy Soul, Rhythm and Blues, they have it live, every Thursday night. It’s definitely a place to got more than once! You’ll love it!

Hours:
Tuesday – Thursday: 5pm – 2am
Friday – Saturday: 5pm – 3am
Sunday – Monday: 5pm – 1am

Location: 31-30 Ditmars Blvd

https://tlwastoria.com


Shuraku

Curiosities Insider Interviews Cheryl Wat Shuraku NYC Fried Lotus Root

“Of course I have to mention my boyfriend’s restaurant on here. I’d be a terrible girlfriend if I didn’t, I’m also a bit biased, but read his Yelp reviews if you don’t believe me! Shuraku is a hidden Japanese Grilling restaurant without a sign on the building. You would only know it exists if you walk up close to the building and see a menu hanging from the window. This is the only place that I know of in NY that serves gyu-katsu (deep fried breaded steak).”

We love Shuraku too and we’ve recently visited and written about them.

They are certainly a new place to have in your To-Go places in New York, especially if you’re into high-end Japanese spots with unique tasting menus!

Hours:
Wednesday: 5:30pm – 10pm
Thursday – Saturday: 5:30pm – 11pm
Sunday: 5:30pm – 10pm 

Location: 47 8th Avenue

www.shurakunyc.com


Jason Naylor’s murals

Curiosities Insider Interviews Cheryl Wat Jason Naylor Murals
Jason Naylor, in action!

“The murals all around the city by Jason Naylor. Offhand, I can only think of the one on 60th and 2nd Ave and the one on 16th and 6th Ave. I’m amazed by his graffiti work. The colors he uses are so vibrant. It’s so distinct that you don’t even need to see that it’s his work, you’ll just know.”

Jason is not only an artist, but he’s also a designer, writer and creative director. In addition, his colorful art works certainly make the city look even more beautiful and the quotes are very inspiring!

He was born in Salt Lake City, but fell in love the NY at an early age. His works can be seen in the fashion industry, as well as magazine, footwear and even in tattoos. We personally love the Statue of Liberty in his left arm!

http://jasonnaylorcreative.com


Thank you, Cheryl, for participating in our Insider Interviews and sharing with us these 7 amazing secret New York City tips!

Stay tuned for more upcoming interviews!

 

Photo Credits: Courtesy of the venues

Williamsburg Bites In A Brooklyn Food Adventure

BTSNYC Experiences On Going Williamsburg Bites Brooklyn Food Adventure Like A Local

Williamsburg Bites – A Brooklyn Food Adventure is one of our most amazing food tours! Explore the food scene in the neighborhood and have a taste of it all!

BTSNYC Experiences On Going Williamsburg Bites Brooklyn Food Adventure Like A Local

“​Want to know the best way to learn about Brooklyn? It’s through food!”

So, come hungry!

BOOK NOW!

(Get 15% off with the exclusive Promo Code: BTSNYC!!!)

This tour has been recommended by Vogue, TripAdvisor and more! (Can easily accommodate vegetarians!)

To start, Williamsburg, one of Brooklyn’s most popular and exciting neighborhoods, straddles old and new. You can enjoy the lively arts, music, and boutique scene here, chill in numerous cafes, dine in some very good restaurants — and soak up the unique vibe.

During this gastro experience you will discover the cultural delights and delectable bites of Brooklyn, by the hand of local food experts. And, delve into the rich culinary history of the area as you visit iconic institutions to sample tasty treats.

Food included in the price:

  • Step into Williamsburg’s past at this traditional Polish bakery (pierogis and pastries), award-winning BBQ (with excellent vegetarian options)
  • Enjoy two types of pizza from a NY Times recommended pizzeria and true hidden gem. Plus, the owner is host of Vice Munchies and is Brooklyn born and raised
  • Savor bagel bombs and cereal milk ice cream at Momofuku Milk Bar (owned by celebrity chef, Christina Tosi of Master Chef)
  • Sample chocolates direct from a artisanal Brooklyn chocolate factory (flavors like sea salt, coffee, lavender and more!)
  • Eat ice cream from an Iron Chef contestant
  • Authentic BBQ from a Kentucky transplant using his grandmother’s recipes (excellent veggie option)
  • Perk up with a guided coffee tasting from the owner of a locals only roaster + cafe (with quite a story!)

Also, see large scale street art, learn fascinating history (see author Henry Miller’s home and learn how the neighborhood shaped his writing), and capture the best view of the New York City skyline.

In addition, the guides are working actors so every tour has history through fun storytelling and lots of personality! Let us show you the Williamsburg that locals know!

The tour is 3 hours long and includes 7 gourmet, full portion tastings. Enough for lunch!

PLEASE NOTE: You will walk a total of 2 miles.

Rates: $50 / person
Times: Wednesdays, Fridays & Saturdays at 1pm

BOOK NOW!

(Get 15% off with the exclusive Promo Code: BTSNYC!!!)


Also, see the “Sunday Funday: A Boozy Brooklyn Tasting Tour“! During the hotter months, we really recommend the “Rooftop Reds: Brooklyn Wine Tour & Tasting” too.

If you need help in NYC, or if you’re a company looking for Corporate Concierge Services, contact our experts!

 

Photo Credit: Courtesy

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