New York – The Brooklyn Bridge and my favorite eating places

Notable places: Brooklyn Roasting Company, Brooklyn Bridge, Prince St. Pizza, Big Gay Ice Cream Shop, Biergarten

Favorite coffeeshop: The Brooklyn Roasting Company

We had visited another, more exclusive looking coffeeshop called La Colombe, but BRC stole my heart.  I didn’t want to visit the same place twice, but this cafe was a happy exception.  Not only was it large and, to my unpracticed eyes, well designed, it also had the most friendly baristas that I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting.  Every one of them was extremely personable, and even gifted my friend a free drink for her birthday.

Chai latte from Brooklyn Roasting Company  – $4.25

Longest walk on a full bladder: The Brooklyn Bridge

It actually wasn’t too easy looking for the start point to get on the bridge.  We figured it’d be close to the BRC coffeeshop, but it was still a bit of a walk, I’d say a healthy 15 minutes of pre-walking before we got to our walking destination.  Just make sure to Google Brooklyn Bridge Entrance, don’t try to eyeball it on the map.  There are no shortcuts, you can’t be walking along the water and magically find stairs that lead directly up to the bridge.

Plenty of tourists on the bridge of course, and it was crazy windy. I’d recommend going from Brooklyn to Lower Manhattan, that way you’re greeted with the famous New York skyline.  Just make sure you’re wearing some decent footwear, the bridge itself is one mile long.

Bathroom break: One of the five us desperately had to use the restroom, and it’s not easy finding a clean and free bathroom in New York City.  After being turned away from a couple government buildings, a security guard actually pointed us toward the New York City Comptroller building.  You have to go through a security checkpoint where your bags are checked, but otherwise you don’t need any special permits to get inside, at least from our experience.  We surreptitiously looked for signs to a restroom, and while I don’t recall which floor it was (definitely not ground floor), we got our clean restroom!  If you can find out from the pic what button was pressed, you can figure out which floor had the restroom.

Elevator in the Comptroller building

Best pizza: Prince St. Pizza

It’s not often that five girls are unanimous about something, but this was no contest.  To be honest, I don’t know what made this the best pizza.  I think it was something about the bottom crust being crispy, but not burnt, and the top of the pizza being cheesy, but not dripping with grease.  It also helps that it was a chilly day and the pizza was piping hot.

margherita pizza – $4.95

Honorable Mention: Artichoke Bastille’s Pizza – $5/slice

This was our third pizza stop, and by this time I was stuffed, tired, and had enough of cheese and bread for the day.  Eating this on a full stomach was a struggle; it was too heavy, too salty, and not worth the trek.  (However, I had it again on another NY trip at 10PM after no lunch, and it was heavenly.)

Just Meh: Joe’s Pizza

I was tired of pizza by then, and the inside didn’t feel as hole-in-the-wall sort of special like the others.  It just felt too spacious, fast-food looking, and the celebrity photos covering the walls overhyped it.

Joe's Pizza

Healthiest meal of the day: Sweet Green

After visiting three pizzerias and eating a slice at almost every single one, a dinner full of greenery was a welcome respite.  I couldn’t believe how affordable it was, and so delicious!

Front of Sweet Green

Sweet Green (apple, pear, and cheddar) – $9.10

Best dessert: Big Gay Ice Cream Shop

Schmackary’s was a disappointment, after such positive reviews on Yelp.  However, this ice cream shop did not disappoint, and I’d definitely recommend coming with friends.  Not only does does the ice cream look great in pictures, it’s completely worth the money.  Expensive, sure, but if I’m paying over $6 for ice cream it had better be from here.

Big Gay Ice Cream Shop – $6.25

The Standard Biergarten

After a long day of walking and pizzas, it was nice to just sit back and relax with a beer.  Or at least try to relax in a very crowded and loud biergarten.  Just remember, you have to buy food/beer tickets from a little wooden shack inside, you can’t pay the bartenders directly.

Beer – $9

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