When an event promises to deliver the best day of you life, it is a tall order that can mean many things to different people. While one person’s ‘perfect day’ may involve a beach, another’s might include a lazy day at home–yet despite your preference it is likely your best day will always include two things: delicious food and drinks.
This weekend, Thrillist invited me to join them on their #BDOYL or ‘Best Day of Your Life‘ outing on Saturday. As a lifestyle brand that is celebrated for offering insider knowledge on food, drink, entertainment, nightlife and more, I was curious to experience their version of what a best day ever would entail. With high expectations (and a large appetite) I headed towards the East Village to pick up my all-access day pass that would let me breeze through locales to enjoy free drinks and meals.
As someone who lives in New York and is often spending time in the East Village, I was intrigued by all the unfamiliar bars included in the event. Let it be a testament to New York City and its ever-changing food & drink scene that after almost 3 years of living here, I am still surprised by places I have yet to discover. From Polynesian punches to Pickle backs, the day took me through the streets of the East Village–stopping off at eateries and bars I had often overlooked. By 5pm, the past few hours had turned into a blur of mouth watering meals and refreshing cocktails that left me in a happy delirium.
When I think of mybest days, they all involve discovering new places, enjoying good company and tasting delicious food. So while jumping on the subway to the East Village can hardly be compared to flying to an exotic destination; Thrillist’s Best Day of Your Life event gave me great food, yummy cocktails, good company and new places to explore.
35 E 13th St
Johnny Appleseed cider, a swingin’ band and a savory pork roast made Bar 13 my favorite stop on Thrillist’s #BDOYL map. While other places served just a bite of food or a sample of whiskey, Bar 13 served up generous portions of mouth-watering, slow-roasted pork served with a fresh bun and slew of coleslaw. As if the meal wasn’t enough to have me calling this the ‘Best Day Ever,’ it was the open air rooftop and sultry trumpet sounds of the live band that sealed the deal.
The Nugget Spot
230 East 14th Street
I love chicken nuggets as much as the next person–it is a nostalgic treat that I will always associate with childhood and school cafeterias. So, when I spotted the Nugget Spot on the #BDOYL map, I was curious to taste these craft, bacon-coated nuggets served with a maple dipping sauce. While clearly not a treat to eat on a daily basis, the Nugget Spot is a delicious splurge that revamps the classic chicken nugget with different toppings and creative improvements.
231 East 14th Street
Men may have their whiskey bars, cigar hang outs and sports haunts but now ladies have Beauty Bar–a fun spot for where girls can enjoy cocktails and manicures. For the price of $10, you can enjoy a drink–such as the Redhead Cocktail–and sit down to get your nails done. While I have heard of Dry Bar–a great spot to get a blow out while sipping champagne and watching Dirty Dancing– I hadn’t discovered Beauty bar until today! With fluffy, pink cotton candy in hand and an Elvis impersonator singing in the back, Beauty Bar was a fun spot to explore.
196 2nd Avenue
In one hand I’m holding the Bourbon Juke Barmaid–a yummy libation of bourbon, mint leaves, fresh lime and ginger beer–and in the other hand I have a Taiwanese pork bun topped with cilantro and peanuts catered from BaoHaus. Juke Bar is a classic spot serving strong cocktails paired with a new food menu being launched this month.
Dos Toros Taqueria
Move over Chipotle! If I am jonesing for a taco on the go, Dos Toros is the place to check out. Whipping up different tacos like carne asada, pollo asada and carnitas–the tacos are fresh and delicious. Today I enjoyed (and devoured) a complimentary carnitas tacos served with a fresh dollop of guacamole, sour cream, salsa and cheese.
222 Avenue B
My friend, who lives on Avenue B, said it perfectly when she described The Roost: “tons of coffee places have opened and closed on this street but The Roost is the one that stays.” While a coffee shop hardly sounds like a stop on a ‘Best Day Ever’ map, The Roost is both a coffee lounge and a speakeasy. With a bar hidden in the back, The Roost serves up craft beer and brown spirits promising a place where all can come and spend the day–from morning to night. I am quite the fan of speakeasies and have visited my fair share of prohibition-inspired places in NYC, so I’m happy to have been introduced to The Roost.
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