Los Tacos No. 1 in NYC

New York City is a foodie heaven because of how diverse it is. When it comes to food cuisines you can find a huge amount of options spread along just once city block. Still, most of us have our food favorites and tend to stick to what we know when it’s time to pick a lunch spot or dinner date location. But as a foodie, it’s your duty to venture out and find new places you love. Otherwise, you might miss out on some of these hidden gems right outside your door. Besides, are you a really a foodie if you don’t take advantage of all the great food NYC has to offer?

A plate of tacos from Locos Tacos
Los Tacos No. 1 is perfect for the foodies who loves a good taco. Photo by Los Tacos No. 1

1. Los Tacos No. 1

New York has no shortage of great Mexican spots to fulfill all of your taco needs. However, this hidden gem has sat on top of my best tacos list for two years running. Located inside of Chelsea market, Los Tacos has some of the most authentic Mexican tacos that I’ve tasted in the city. It’s a small shop located in a food hall, which means that if you’ve never ventured into Chelsea market, you probably have never heard of it. The set-up of this spot allows for you to watch your tacos being made and then they’re handed to you for your enjoyment.
Price: $
Location: Chelsea Market, 75 9th Avenue. New York, NY 10011 (Multiple Locations)

2. Verde on Smith

Brooklyn’s restaurant industry has been booming over the last few years, but this cobble hill location has been around for quite some time. If you visit during brunch hours, you can try their thick cut brioche French toast or the rosemary potatoes, wash them down with unlimited mimosas and raspberry, mango, or peach bellinis. Outdoor patio seating means you can soak up some sun and fresh air during NYC’s warmer months. They even have big tables for those group brunches we love so much. If dinner is more your thing, their dinner menu is full of Italian goodness.
Price: $$
Location: 216 Smith St. Brooklyn, NY 11201

Verde on smith bubbly

3. Cuba Restaurant and Rum Bar

Delicious Cuban food paired with Cuban inspired drinks? Yes please! Cuba is a quaint restaurant nestled among the busy streets of the west village, which is why many people may overlook it. The name says it all, as Cuba serves up some Cuban favorites such as vaca frita, ropa vieja, and of course mojitos! Upstairs is a bit tight, but no worries, they have another level downstairs with extra seating and its own bar. On some nights, you can enjoy your meal while a live band plays!
Price: $$
Location: 222 Thompson St. New York, NY 10012

4. Lemongrass Grill

I almost didn’t put Lemongrass Grill on this list because I love how low-key and chill even though NYC is always bustling. Located on court street in Downtown BK, Lemongrass Grill has everything that you need in a Thai spot: nice ambience, great appetizers, affordable entrees, and two-for-one cocktails. Yes, TWO-FOR-ONE! The drink special is just one reason you should be visiting Lemongrass Grill soon. The service is always prompt and the appetizers and entrées are delicious. You’re guaranteed to leave full and satisfied. They also have pineapple fried rice that is served inside of a pineapple, so you can eat delicious food in a new way and stunt for the gram (we won’t judge)!
Price: $
Location: 156 Court St. Brooklyn, NY 11201

thai

5. El Jeffe

Have you ever been craving Mexican and Caribbean food, but had to settle on just one of the two? Well fret no more, because El Jeffe has created a menu and dining experience that allows you to enjoy both at the same damn time all without leaving NYC. Fried shrimp tacos, jerk pork nachos, and grilled fish rice bowls are just some of the dishes you can try here. They have frozen margaritas and Mexican beers available to wash down your food too. Don’t forget to order yourself some delicious Mexican corn!
Price: $$
Location: 1483 Fulton St. Brooklyn, NY 11216

 

Mimosaholics Need This List

Do you often find yourself questioning where you should brunch this weekend? Or maybe you’re tired of the same NYC restaurants. This NYC Brunch guide gives you 6 weeks of Food Before Love Favorites that will change how you eat .

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Have you ever wanted to try new foods with others, or go on a tasting journey at various restaurants and bars in the city with a welcoming group of people who live in the same area? Now you can! Enter: The Before Love Club, our casual and engaging Meetup group for hungry folks who have no shame in putting food before love. We’re looking for new members.

As part of the club, you and fellow foodies will meet up multiple times a month to explore all the wonderful things this city has to offer, one bite and sip at a time. You can join The Before Love Club now for $9.99 per month, and automatically gain access to all official Food Before Love events in addition to the Meetups.

Two friends clinking drink filled martini glasses
Cheers to all the new friends you’ll make at our Meetup!

After you join, you can get your fill by attending every Meetup your taste buds desire, each with a mouthwatering theme. From exploring hotly debated classics like macaroni and cheese to discovering new trends like Poke, there’s a Meetup for every palate. If you prefer sips or sweets to savory bites, you’ll fit right in when we imbibe at the city’s most popular bars and dessert shops. Don’t forget your wallet though, as you’ll need to pay for whatever you order!

In addition to enjoying delicious food and drinks, one of the best parts of being a member is getting to know and building friendships with other like-minded locals in an intimate and approachable setting.

Calamari and Wings Mullanes
Photo by Alissa Nichole

During the Mac & Cheese Meetup at Brooklyn’s Mullanes restaurant, members sipped on sangria while trying a range of macaroni and cheese dishes — from classic plain that pleased the purists to buffalo chicken with jalapeños for the more daring members. Around the table, lively conversation began about everyone’s favorite ways to enjoy macaroni and cheese and soon evolved into a rich and genuine discussion about travel, life experiences and best places to visit around the area. Everyone left with smiles on their faces, and the next one will be even better with you there.

Not ready to commit on a monthly basis? Hey, we get it, test the waters with a 14-day free trial. That’s enough time to go to the next Meetup and get to know the other hungry members of the group to make sure it’s right for you (though we already know it is).

Two girls in a restaurant smiling at the camera.
Come meet your new foodie friend at one of our Meetups!

The benefits of joining don’t stop with Meetups. As a member, you’ll automatically gain access to official Food Before Love events as well. So, those awesome featured events you see in the works? Tickets will start at $10 for non-members, but as a member of The Before Love Club, all you’d need to do is RSVP and you’re in. Yes, that means in one night, your membership could pay for itself.

Join The Before Love Club today, and feast with us at the next gathering. We can’t wait to see you there!

A group of friends smiling outside of a restaurant in Philadelphia.
Picture yourself here with your new foodie friends. Join our Meetup today!

 

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Do you often find yourself questioning where you should brunch this weekend? Or maybe you’re tired of the same NYC restaurants. This NYC Brunch guide gives you 6 weeks of Food Before Love Favorites that will change how you eat .

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Tipsy Scoop is an ice cream bar-lour found in the Kips Bay neighborhood of NYC. Since we recently launched our NYC Desserts Meet Up, we thought it would be the perfect first stop for our group.  While the space is small, our crew managed to fit inside with enough seating and space to devour our boozy flights and big tipsy scoops. They have a vast selection of boozy ice cream flavors from Dark Chocolate Whiskey Salted Caramel to Raspberry Limoncello, my personal favorite. Certain flavors had already sold out which was a sure sign to come by early.

With the boozy flight, you get the chance to try four different flavors if you’re a bit indecisive like we were. If you know exactly what you want, they offer also ice cream cookie sandwiches and sundaes in cake batter bowls to choose from. Tipsy Scoop also featured specials of the week that you could only get ahold of for a limited time.

Tipsy Scoop Flight - Hazelnut and Strawberry

None of the flavors we indulged in had an especially boozy aftertaste, which I personally liked because it made each flavor more enjoyable. The ice creams were great but the sorbets were even better. If you decide to get the boozy flight, I suggest you eat the ice creams first because they may melt faster than you’d imagine.

All in all, Tipsy Scoop has a great selection of flavors all for reasonable prices. If you’re looking a place to cool off after a long day or just an excuse to eat liquored ice cream, Tipsy Scoop is the place for you. The flights are also a great idea to indulge in with your food bff or a date. After all, there was enough ice cream to go around.

Tipsy Scoop Flight

If you can’t make it out to their NYC location, Tipsy Scoop delivers their boozy scoops right to your doorstep. Check out www.tipsyscoop.com for more information.

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Pokebab

We recently hosted a meet up at Pokebab, a bright and quaint Poke (pronounced Poh-Kay) Bar in the heart of Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Poke, which is native to Hawaii, is a dressed raw tuna salad with fresh toppings such as scallion, cucumber, and seaweed salad. This restaurant had more of a Japanese influence so ingredients such as edamame, masago, oshinko and ponzo are available.

As I entered, I immediately felt a warm and inviting environment. The restaurant was brightly lit with earth toned decor. The relaxing ambiance and neutral decor allowed all of the vibrant colors of the fresh toppings to stand out. This enabled me to build a Poke Bowl based off of how the options looked rather than the taste. I haven’t had many of the Hawaiian and Japanese vegetables and flavor options before eating at Pokebab and I am excited that I was able to explore the diversity of Island flavors.

This restaurant offers a fast-casual dining experience (think Chipotle but with Poke) allowing customers to create their own unique Poke Bowls, Poke Burritos, and Poke Salads. Already being an extremely indecisive person, I did not know where to start. When it was my turn to order I froze and quickly chose the Classic Poke Bowl. The sweet counter person who made my bowl made many suggestions and gave me an array of sauces to sample. Their Ponzu sauce which looks similar to soy sauce is Amazing! Also their Pokebab Sauce had me licking the spoon. It’s super tasty. At one point i was just shaking my head yes to whatever she suggested for my bowl. The end result was a colorful and nutrient packed bowl with raw tuna, corn, cucumbers, radish sprouts, ginger, edamame, scallions, with their Sweet and Sour, Pokebab, and fresh Ponzu flavors on a bed of spring greens and white rice. If consuming raw tuna is not your thing, grilled chicken, seared tuna, shrimp and tofu are alternative protein options. They also have canned tropical juices available like Strawberry Guava. I sipped on an Island Iced Tea.

Pokebab

Upon first taste, I drew a similarity to Sushi. Poke reminded me of a deconstructed tuna roll. With my extra toppings added it was as if a tuna roll literally let loose and had a dance party. Poke was extremely fun for me to consume and I really enjoyed how all of the many flavors and textures were able to marry into pure deliciousness.

Although the dining area was limited, we were able to join tables and enjoy our Poke Bowls. Everyone had different bowls and most of us were able to agree that the Poke was fresh and delicious. All the flavors really stained my taste buds with a happy feeling which makes me want to go back and make endless Poke Bowl combinations. If you’re ever in Williamsburg, I totally recommend that you try Pokebab at 209 Bedford Avenue, Brooklyn, NY, 11211.

Do not forget to add the Pokebab Flavor!

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Secret Summer NYC Cocktail Glass

Pssst…can you keep a secret?

Well some secrets aren’t meant to keep!

Secret Summer NYC is back for another exciting installment as the first and only farm-to-bar immersive food and cocktail festival combined with music, fashion, art and performance.

Only days away, this one-of-a-kind event takes place on Sunday, August 6th, from 4pm – 10pm at the The Foundry, an event space located in Long Island City, Queens that will be transformed into a lush, garden-like setting befitting for this summer time soirée that attracts NYC’s hottest crowd. What better way to spend your Sunday Funday than sipping on creative cocktails and noshing on gourmet bites in a beautiful urban oasis!

Secret Summer NYC Bartender
Shot by Dee Williams

The MVP of the day – the drinks – will be curated by bespoke catering and hospitality company, RAPT New York, who specializes in farm-to-bar mixology sourcing the best ingredients from locally owned farms and urban hydroponic gardens. A glimpse into the cocktail menu showcases intriguing creations with clever names, such as the “Resting Birch Face”, with Woodford Reserve bourbon, foraged black birch, Wilklow Orchard cherries and Farm One mints and the “Figgedaboudit”, a concoction of Zacapa 23 rum, mission figs from Murray Farm, Harmless Harvest coconut water, honey and thyme.

Secret Summer NYC Cocktail Menu
Shot by Dee Williams

After getting your drinks on, you’ll definitely want to sample some food to accompany them. This year’s featured food trucks include Luke’s Lobster, La Pulperia, Big D’s Grub Truck and Wafels & Dinges. Offering a variety of flavors and cuisines to satisfy multiple palates, from savory to sweet – these trucks will have you covered whether you want a light bite or something heartier.

Secret Summer NYC Cocktail
Shot by Dee Williams

What’s a good summer party without entertainment? Secret Summer will present a live band, drumming performance group and a DJ to set the musical mood. Plus, for extra fun factor, a photo booth, gold flash tattoo stations, nail art stations and face painting and mehdni body art will all be featured.

Secret Summer NYC Cocktail Glass
Shot by Dee Williams

General Admission tickets include complimentary cocktails and drinks; food is for purchase. And luckily, tickets are still available here. Be sure to use the promo code ‘SecretFoodies‘ to receive 20% off.

If indicative of summers’ past, this year will sure to be an experience like no other. Hope to see you there!

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GRACE JAMAICA JERK NEW YORK 2016-558

Delicious food hailing from the Caribbean, musical performances, cooking exhibitions and demos, giveaways, contests and more. Did we get your attention? The Grace Jamaican Jerk Festival is back for its 7th year and we want you there! It’s touted as being “New York’s Biggest Caribbean Food Festival” and rightfully so. This annual fête held at Roy Wilkins Park in Queens, New York on Sunday, July 23rd from noon – 8pm, attracts a mix of over 20,000 foodies, reggae and soca music lovers and cultural enthusiasts from all over the city.

NYC Jerk Fest Logo

Imagine being surrounded by all your favorite Caribbean dishes cooked up in flavorful jerk spice, of course. This jerk themed festival gives you a chance to sample and indulge in it all with several food vendors present! Patrons will also be able to witness and cheer on their favorite chefs competing and showcasing their talents in the Jerk Cook-Off where one deserving chef will be declared the festival’s Jerk Champion.

GRACE JAMAICA JERK NEW YORK 2016-558

Plus, this year special guests such as Morgan Heritage, Alison Hinds, Konshens and Barrington Levy will be hitting the Main Stage with exciting, explosive performances that are sure to please and get you winding your waist!

Visit the Cultural Stage and connect with Caribbean heritage while enjoying dance performances, poetry, story telling and comedy.It really is a win, win situation so round up your crew of friends and family and spend the day enjoying the cool vibes and celebrating the Caribbean’s vibrant culture and distinctive cuisine.

GRACE JAMAICA JERK FEST 2015

Wait, did you get your tickets yet? If not, don’t worry, go to Jerk Festival NY  to purchase yours and check out the full itinerary of fun-filled festival events and happenings.

Don’t wait too long though, ’cause the countdown is on and Sunday is almost here!

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