We have a regular morning tradition at the office when we catch up on our new obsessions, which often include restaurants, shops, exercise studios and treatment spaces. I always look forward to hearing everyone’s new favorites. While brainstorming story ideas for The Thinking CAP we realized we should share these NYC gems with our CAP Beauty family. For our favorite fitness studios and practitioners, check out Part 2 here.
On any given day, you can probably find one CAP team member at Té. Elena and Fred, the super sweet couple and masterminds behind the concept, specialize in curating the best of the best oolong teas. Their food is not to be missed either. Fred worked under the famed Ferran Adria and was the Sous Chef at Per Se. Stop in for a to-go mug of perfectly selected oolong and one of their delicious pastries, or sit down for one of the most beautiful lunches (be sure to ask for a tea pairing). A favorite dish is the thinly sliced radish salad with lemon, anchovy and olive oil. Do not pass over the homemade sourdough, it’s on point.
I don’t think I can overstate how much we love by CHLOE at CAP. Their freshly brewed coffee with “half and half” (half cashew and half almond milk) is the ideal morning treat. We often brave the lunch line for the taco salad and after most CAP events, you’ll find a few of us grabbing a late night dinner of veggie burgers and charcoal cocktails. Here’s to the new fast food.
Melvin’s Juice Box at Miss Lily’s
Melvin got his start running the juice counter at Life Thyme (another favorite, see below), and has been an icon in the NYC organic juicing scene for over 25 years. You can find his juice at Miss Lily’s New York locations, the perfect home for his tasty blends. The Sweet & Dandy (beet, apple, carrot, lemon, kale, spinach, ginger) or the Carrot Pop (carrot, apple, lemon, ginger) are true classics.
Dimes is our go-to breakfast after a morning class at Sky Ting. From their minimalist design to the bad ass Meta Flora arrangements to the always delicious food options, we never leave unsatisfied or uninspired. Erin’s go-to is the Power Bowl, an arrangement of kale, avocado, black beans, pumpkin seeds and salsa verde. I often go for the eggs any style which comes with their juice of the day. Don’t forget to walk across the street to Dimes Grocery for all of your snacking needs (we can’t get enough of the sprouted hummus or their house-made hot sauce).
For a special celebratory night out, En Brasserie tops our list. It’s the ideal spot for date night or a group dinner, and they accommodate dietary restrictions like champs. They offer a traditional Japanese Kaiseki dinner with an entire vegan menu, though if you do eat fish their sashimi and miso marinated black cod are delicious. You must order the freshly scooped tofu, which is made hourly (!) in-house.
Enrique Olvera, the owner and Executive Chef at Cosme is a genius. Cosme has received a ton of great press (hello 2nd best restaurant in the world designation), but it doesn’t seem to have garnered the attention of the wellness set just yet. The majority of the menu is gluten free, they utilize heritage corn from Mexico to make 2,000 tortillas in-house each day. Last time I was there I ordered the special, a vegan mole topped with kale chicharrones. My (very non-vegan) boyfriend agreed that it was the best thing we ate that night.
When we discovered that we could get Inday delivered, our office lunch game was immediately up-leveled. Inday is the perfect option for a group lunch with many dietary needs. Vegan, GF, Paleo, Vegetarian, I’ll Eat Anything, everyone will be happy. They are constantly changing up their menu, and always spotlighting unique and high vibe ingredients. A CAP staff fave is the Namast’ay Healthy bowl with turmeric slaw, chana masala, blackened eggplant, chickpea ranch, topped with a lentil crisp.
Pretty much anytime someone asks for a lunch meeting, I suggest Souen. Following the macrobiotic philosophy, Souen has been a mainstay in NYC for decades and hasn’t lost its charm or relevance. Cindy swears by the chef salad, Kerrilynn raves about the fruit kanten, Erin goes for the macro plate and Michael is into the Pad Thai. I always order a side of the gluten free cornbread with house made miso tahini spread. You kind of can’t go wrong.
Okonomi in Williamsburg is a dream. It is a teeny tiny space so you may run into a line, but we couldn’t love their mission more. They strive to embody the Mottainai philosophy of minimizing waste and appreciating what is given. All of their seafood comes from the Atlantic Ocean, their produce comes from local farmer’s markets and they make their ceramics with an artist upstate. Part of the charm is that everyone in the restaurant receives the same set meal, which typically includes a combination of perfectly cooked seven-grain rice, miso soup, roasted fish, the most gorgeous vegetables and an egg.
The Fat Radish
We’ve had our CAP holiday party at The Fat Radish the last two years and running. Their cozy dining room, killer cocktails and comforting yet healthy dishes make for the ideal CAP dinner party. The team always dives into the heirloom carrots with hijiki and avocado, along with the Fat Radish macro plate. Don’t miss the lavender lemonade cocktail (with or w/o the booze!).
Two Hands is the place to bring a friend who may not be on the wellness train just yet. We almost always order the Brassicas Bowl with charred broccolini, brussels, kale, hummus, avo, and a variety of pickled veggies and seeds. Your friend is probably going to be pretty into the sweet potato waffles, corn fritters or the pickled chili scrambled eggs. It’s hard to choose between the café or the restaurant, they are both bomb and have slightly different menus.
We are so lucky Life Thyme is in our neighborhood. Many of us stop in sometime throughout the day for dinner groceries and a to-go lunch. Their soups, juices and salad bar are the perfect takeout. If you are in need of a sweet treat Kerrilynn discovered Rawmantic bars during checkout one day. Just try one, you’ll thank us.
Many hear vegan cheese and wrinkle their noses. Put together a platter with Dr. Cow’s aged cashew cheese, their sesame crackers and a bowl of their in-house activated nuts and I guarantee no one will be mad. It’s impossible to go into their cozy shop to taste and browse, and not walk out with a big bag of treats. Pro-tip, their vegan desserts are beyond special. A CAP birthday favorite is the Lime Pie.
Kalustyan’s has been supplying specialty foods to New Yorkers since 1944, and isn’t letting up anytime soon. You can find literally anything on your obscure grocery list. You’ll find every spice, herb, nut and flour under the sun, it is a foodie heaven. Trying out a new Indian dish, exploring dehydration, testing out a nut cheese creation? This is your place.
The Natural Wine Company
Similar to the natural beauty movement the natural wine industry is attracting more and more attention these days, though natural wines have been around for, well as long as wine has. While natural wines can be subject to variability in taste and are often a bit funkier in flavor, to me that adds to the fun. New Yorkers are lucky to have an array of natural wine bars to try out the trend (June in Carroll Gardens, The Four Horsemen in Williamsburg, The Ten Bells in the Lower East Side). My go-to place for buying bottles for dinner parties or a special night in is The Natural Wine Company in Williamsburg. They specialize in wines made from sustainably grown grapes, by small, independent producers using traditional methods. They don’t carry any wines that use utilize coloring agents or artificial flavors. Their staff is incredibly helpful and their selection is varied and unique.
Integral Yoga Natural Foods and Apothecary
One of our favorite weekend morning activities is lazily roaming the shelves at Integral. They sell only 100% certified organic produce, so we never question that we are getting the best available goods for the week ahead. We are always discovering our next favorite kitchen essentials and stocking up in their insanely good (also organic!) bulk section. Their food and juice bar is great for a quick lunch in the neighborhood, too.
Perelandra Natural Foods
Perelandra in Brooklyn Heights is a gem. Around for over 40 years, this locally owned store stocks a massive selection of of local products. They’ve taken a stand against ingredients like high fructose corn syrup, artificial flavors and colors, hydrogenated oils, and artificial preservatives. To top it off, they donate over 50,000 pounds of food a year to organizations such as City Harvest, Food not Bombs, CHIPS Brooklyn, among others.
The beauty tide is turning. Naturals are the new wave.
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