12 Chairs Café: 12 Chairs Café is a fantastic Mediterranean restaurant located on the edge of Soho (which is the location we recommend for this plan) and has a second location in Williamsburg. Pro tip: there are more than 12 chairs, so don’t worry! Every time I go here, the food is so delicious and the prices are extremely reasonable. It's truly a great deal because the portions are huge; you may even have leftovers for lunch the next day! I’m not going to lie; this also may be home to some of the friendliest wait staff in the entire city. Everyone is so nice, welcoming, and the restaurant has very “homey” vibes. I can almost guarantee that anything that speaks to you on this menu will be good. I do have some favorites! You MUST get an order hummus, or maybe 2! It comes with the fluffiest white or whole-wheat pita and is insanely fresh and tasty. I also love the 12 Chairs Salad, which has avocado, grapefruit, and roasted pecans, making it not only healthy, but a delightful combination that I have now tried to recreate at home! The baladi eggplant topped with tahini sauce and pine nuts is also high up on our list and their cauliflower is to die for! Another great thing about 12 Chairs is that they serve breakfast all day, so you can get their Shakshuka and other authentic Mediterranean breakfast dishes any time you want! Check out their menu and head over for a casual, fun, and seriously great meal.
Mother Of Pearl: Mother Of Pearl is a fun cocktail bar located in the East Village (about a 20-minute walk from 12 Chairs Café). If you arrive later in the night, there may be a bit of wait, but the most I’ve waited was about 30 minutes. The first time I checked out this spot, I ordered the Shark Eye cocktail. As you all know by now, and I will happily admit, I love ordering cool and photo-worthy food and/or drinks! However, @yourweekendplans will always steer you in the right direction and make sure we only send you to places that offer both eye pleasing and tasty creations. This particular drink consisted of passion fruit, lemon, and bourbon. If you like your drinks on the sweeter side, you will definitely enjoy drinking and taking photos of what arrives at your table! Whether you’re looking for a less complicated concoction or a drink with a more unique twist, they really have it all. From cocktails that light on fire, to a “Taste the Rainbow” Skittles Daiquiri, there is something for everyone to enjoy!
Barney Greengrass: Barney Greengrass is a classic Jewish delicatessen in the front, with a full service restaurant in the back, located on the Upper West Side. We arrived around 12:45pm, but were pleasantly surprised by our short 10-minute wait (definitely beats the hour-long waits at Russ & Daughters!). The best way to describe the ambiance inside is a mix between your grandparents’ living room and an old school diner, in the best possible way. I think this was probably one of my all time favorite brunches in New York, reaching top of my lists in best bagel, lox, and cream cheese. Our extremely friendly waiter helped us navigate through their HUGE menu, which is great because there is something for everyone. There are plenty of ways to have a little bit of everything with their endless combinations! We each ordered some form of lox, eggs, and bagels, along with a side of pickles to share! We also tried their crispy potato latkes, which were the perfect addition to our delicious meal. Pro tip: These are not on the menu, so make sure to ask your waiter for these! Although none of this was super out of the ordinary, it’s the ideal comfort food to wake up to on a Saturday afternoon. As if that wasn’t enough, there is also something extra special about dining here. It’s definitely one of New York’s best-kept secrets, so make sure to keep what we’re about to tell you under the radar. There is a secret mind reader that works here! After a lot of searching, we finally found him, and immediately felt like we were watching America’s Got Talent in the middle of the smoked salmon aisle. He completely blew (and read) our minds! We won’t disclose any more, because the mystery was half the fun, but let us know if you find him! Where else can you enjoy a delicious meal and an aftershow? Brunch at Barney Greengrass is a truly an experience to remember.
Exhale Chill Yoga: Exhale (about a 12 minute subway or 30 minute walk – take advantage of the heat while you still can!) is a great studio and spa near Columbus Center. Since we recommended the Upper West Side for an amazing brunch, we thought this would be a great place to head to afterwards. Exhale, in general, is a wonderful, clean, and super nice spa that offers fitness classes as well. My favorite class is the “Chill Yoga”. It’s a mix of classic yoga moves and mindful meditation. The class blends together some of your favorite poses to calming playlists, puts priority on focusing on your breath, and gives you plenty more “savasana” (a fancy term for laying down!!). We even have more good news! If you check in online or with the Yelp app you get 20% for a limited time only! Get ready to get your relaxation on!
Aunt Jake’s (Greenwich Village): You may remember Aunt Jake's Restaurant from a recommendation in our very first newsletter. Time flies when you're having fun! We are almost at our 20th edition! Due to high demand, Aunt Jakes has now opened up a second location in the West Village. We loved discovering Aunt Jakes in Little Italy for the amazing pasta class led by Chef Carmine. While we still love this and highly recommend it, we now want to share his latest venture! Chef Carmine describes this second location to be a more unique place for a date or to celebrate a special occasion because of their great and lively location on W 8th Street. Some of our favorite parts of the Aunt Jake’s experience are the same in their new location, such as watching homemade pasta getting rolled and shaped before your eyes at the bar and the DIY experience on the menu. Be sure to create your own pasta dish with different types of pastas and special sauces all offered for you to make your ideal combination. Dig into your bowl of deliciousness, order some crafted cocktails, and mention that @yourweekendplans sent you here for some extra special service!
Sunday In Brooklyn: Sunday In Brooklyn is a new-ish popular restaurant located in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. It’s been on my list for a while, so when I saw a reservation pop up on my Resy app, I grabbed it immediately! Definitely check the app beforehand, because having a reservation is the way to go. We went at 10am and there was a line before they had even opened their doors! However, if you don’t have a reservation, I still think you could go around 10-10:30 because there is an upstairs area that had ample seating when we arrived. There is so much I want to say and rave about with this spot. First of all, the overall ambiance here is fresh, modern, and really cool, with tons of succulents and giant colorful wall hangings. The entire place is super bright and airy, which we really appreciated. Now, on to the food portion of this review. We had to try out some drinks including the Sundae Coffee (which has cold brew, bourbon, and allspice cream) and the Sunday, Bloody, Sunday (their take on a Bloody Mary). If you don’t like your Bloody Mary’s super spicy, ask them to put in some of their grapefruit juice to tone down the spice make your drink even tastier! Shout out to our waiter (and former bartender) for the awesome additions! If you scan your eyes around to the tables around you, you’ll see that everyone has ordered the malted pancakes with hazelnut maple praline, so, of course we did too! These pancakes are probably their most popular dish and we can understand why! From the pictures, I thought the praline sauce would have a much stronger taste and thicker consistency, but the actual dish was not too sweet and the pancakes were super fluffy. The best way to describe them was probably salted caramel, mixed with hazelnut, mixed with brown butter – yum! We also got the avocado toast, the house smoked salmon plate, and the spicy roast beef, which everyone enjoyed. Everything from the peach flower straws, food, and atmosphere was Instagrammable, so expect lots of pictures on our feed soon! Sunday In Brooklyn serves brunch all week and weekend long, so no matter when you go, you can always enjoy a delicious brunch. Pro Tip: make sure to leave room for dessert because we have a great one in store for you!
Mister Dips: Mister Dips (about a 12-minute walk from Sunday in Brooklyn) is a year-round food truck outside the William Vale Hotel (a past #YWP spot!). It can be hard to find, so make sure to look for their neon sign (in a shape of an ice cream cone) by the staircase on N 12th Street. Once you get to the top of the stairs, you will arrive into a mini park area I never even knew existed called Vale Park. There are beautiful views of Manhattan and there’s tons of adorable, multi-colored, outdoor seating along with a grass area to hang out at while the weather's still warm. Right away you will notice the giant silver food truck, which has been serving up lots of treats all summer long! There are only a couple of soft serve ice cream options to order, but don’t be wary because each of them is more decadent then the next. We ordered the Malter Cronkite (a vanilla and chocolate swirl dipped in chocolate sauce and loaded with crunchy malt). The soft serve itself is creamy, richer than most, smooth, and not too sweet. The chocolate soft serve in particular is really fantastic. We got our ice cream, sat in the sun, and enjoyed the end of our afternoon! If it’s a nice day, take some time to walk around and explore the Williamsburg Waterfront. You can also check out the East River Ferry that can take you from Brooklyn to Midtown East (34th street & 1st Avenue)! We only came for ice cream, but they are also known for their delicious burgers, making this an all-around great spot!