HUNGER in New York: A guide to Manhattan

Thinking of heading to the Big Apple but have no idea where to start? Let us give you a hand.

HUNGER hit up the city that never sleeps, New York, for a quick escapade across the pond, soaking in the bustling energy at the core of the five iconic boroughs. Diving headfirst into all things Manhattan, we threw the spotlight on two of our favourite hotels and a restaurant tour that spotlights the hidden gems in the city’s countless eateries.

Where to stay

The Bowery

Stepping into The Bowery is like time-travelling back into a 19th-century Gothic tale. It’s a magnet for the creative crowd – musicians, writers and artists – all seeking a sanctuary of opulence with a trendy streak. The lift to your room is an adventure in itself, especially if you are heading to the top floor. Once you’re in your room, the downtown loft seamlessly blends with the neighbourhood’s edgy-to-gentrified evolution. Floor-to-ceiling windows light up brick walls, gorgeous velvet sofas, and antique lamps. Sleeping at The Bowery is nothing short of exceptional – the super king bed is the perfect combo of firmness and comfort, with soft sheets and plush pillows for a killer night’s rest. But the real winner, the star of the show? The view from the bedroom is so outrageous, you’ll instantly forget splashing the cash for the stay. As for the pampering, expect Egyptian cotton towels and bathrooms that scream elegance, with marble counters, brass fixtures, and a tub big enough for the whole family.

The lobby lounge makes you want to read a good book and relax for hours by the fireplace; it’s the epitome of cosy on a cold winter’s day. Who doesn’t crave a blazing fire and a glass of red in minus 0? Rest assured, this isn’t just for those who like to hibernate by the fire; The Bowery has the most beautiful terrace garden that looks like the perfect spot to indulge and hang when the sun comes out. The location couldn’t be more ideal either. The Bowery borders the East Village and the Lower East Side, and if you’re like us and like to explore by foot, you have everything you could ask for right near the hotel. It’s not just a hotel; it’s a culinary hotspot with its in-house restaurant Gemma, an Italian restaurant serving top-notch grub and is a favourite hangout spot for the local New Yorkers. In a nutshell, The Bowery masters the hospitality game – from plush guest rooms and room service so good, there’s no need to leave your room at all! It’s a mix of history and top-class decor with a sprinkle of New York magic.

The Standard

In the heart of Manhattan’s eclectic East Village, The Standard, is a tower of contemporary charm and urban sophistication. Nestled off Cooper Square in one of New York City’s most vibrant and artistic neighbourhoods, this 21-story tower offers a unique blend of cosiness, charm, and eccentricity that perfectly mirrors the spirit of its surroundings. As you enter the hotel through an original tenement-style building, you’re immediately immersed in the energy of the East Village and welcomed by attentive and gloriously friendly staff. Make your way to the upper floors to discover unparalleled views of Manhattan’s iconic skyline, a testament to the hotel’s prime location. At street level, a quiet and serene garden provides a tranquil escape from the bustling city streets. At the same time, the lively Café Standard offers all-day dining with an indoor mushroom farm, adding a touch of whimsy to your culinary experience. NO BAR has an inclusive atmosphere for evening revelry, featuring weekend drinks and DJs that capture the vibrant essence of the East Village nightlife. It is a playful atmosphere showcasing innovative cocktails, guests are invited to embrace the spirit of experimentation and inclusion, reflecting the culture of its East Village home. At Café Standard, we indulged in the colossal breakfast delights, Whole Wheat Pancakes stacked with fresh berries and drizzled with velvety maple syrup, creating a blend of sweetness and tanginess. Alternatively, immerse yourself in Eggs Benedict, a true testament to breakfast luxury – perfectly poached eggs and slices of Canadian bacon, all crowned with a rich and velvety hollandaise sauce, over an English muffin. Rooms at The Standard, East Village, are a perfect mix of comfort and style, with newly refreshed designs as of Summer 2023. From exceptionally comfy beds, so comfortable we begged to know where they were from – luckily, they have their own website where you can recreate that hotel experience. If you want Italian sheets, fluffy down pillows and big windows offering beautiful views, this is the place to be! Whether you’re seeking a weekend retreat or a stylish getaway, The Standard, East Village offers an unforgettable experience that celebrates the unique spirit and energy of New York City’s most dynamic neighbourhood.

Where to eat

Vinyl Steakhouse

In the heart of NYC’s Flatiron district, Vinyl Steakhouse is where you can connect with your senses. Who doesn’t like chowing down on a medium rare steak whilst listening to nostalgic records? The restaurant is loud (in the best kind of way) and buzzy, and you feel like you’re a part of something different, exciting and new.

Step inside and let the rock legends serenade your meal, surrounded by vintage vinyl records that set the mood. Executive Chef Nickenford Joseph and co-executive Chef Gus Caballero work harmoniously to whip up dishes that not only hit the taste buds but leave a lasting impression. The Cowboy Ribeye for two steals the show – a whopping 38 oz marvel cooked just right, paired with a killer marrow herb butter sauce. Meanwhile, the truffle mac and cheese and shoestring fries are the perfect backup dancers.

 But Vinyl Steakhouse isn’t just about steaks. They’ve got a menu that caters to everyone, from fresh seafood to tasty vegetarian options. Sommelier-owner Sofia Flannery ensures your sips are on point, curating a solid selection of wine and cocktails that match the vibrant vibes. Vinyl Steakhouse is a must-do in Manhattan, it’s an experience that mixes the best of music, food, and NYC’s lively spirit. So, roll in as you are and let Vinyl Steakhouse treat you to a memorable evening.


Katz Delicatessen in New York is more than just a restaurant – it’s a foodie haven, revered by locals as the go-to spot for the ultimate pastrami sandwich. Although our stay was brief, we knew we had to make a stop at Katz and let me tell you, it did not disappoint. Stepping into Katz is like stepping into a piece of New York history. You grab your ticket upon entry, make your way to the ordering counter, and watch as the skilled staff assembles your dream sandwich right before you. Then, armed with your loaded creation (don’t forget the side of gherkins/pickles!), you find a spot in the bustling communal dining area to dive in. And if you’re looking for a more upscale experience, you can opt for table service and let a friendly waiter cater to your every whim. Now, let’s talk about the star of the show – the pastrami on rye. This isn’t your average sandwich. Katz takes their pastrami seriously, curing it for 30 days to bring out the rich, smoky flavours that make it famous. One bite, and you’ll understand why people keep coming back for more. And speaking of more, Katz isn’t shy about portion sizes – be prepared for a sandwich bursting at the seams with delicious, tender pastrami.

Los Tacos No. 1

Nestled within the vibrant and always-bustling Chelsea Market, there’s a taco stand that transcends the ordinary. Amidst the tempting array of meat options, one culinary gem beckons your taste buds: the adovada taco or al pastor. Imagine savoury pork meticulously cooked on a rotating spit and delicately shaved onto a warm tortilla. It’s a gastronomic delight that not only holds its own but could easily rival the best in Mexico City, making it an absolute must-try on the East Coast. While the scarcity of seating may pose a minor inconvenience, the moment you sink your teeth into these tacos, any concerns about finding a place to sit fade away. The exquisite flavours and textures create an experience that transcends space limitations, leaving you with a newfound appreciation for the artistry of this taco stand in Chelsea Market.

Gage & Tollner

Gage & Tollner, standing tall for over a century, exudes the quintessential essence of a contemporary Brooklyn eatery – warm, deliberate, and brimming with vitality, all with a generous sprinkle of history. It captures the very spirit that makes dining in New York an unparalleled experience. An architectural treasure, the interior boasts mirrored walls, cherry wood arches, and an ambient glow cast by elegant brass chandeliers. It is a perfect setting to savour a timeless cocktail, perhaps one of the arrays of seven martinis or a classic Manhattan. The culinary offerings at Gage & Tollner nod to traditional steakhouse favourites such as the iconic New York strip steak and shrimp cocktail. Yet, the menu also dances with modern flair, featuring delights like clams infused with bacon-kimchi butter and crispy hen of the woods mushrooms accompanied by black garlic aioli and house-made Sriracha. Whether opting for a classic or contemporary dish, leaving room for dessert is a must!

WriterCherelle Chambers