Where do you go if you’re a starving artist in New York City? You can’t just sit in your apartment being creative, because your apartment will be the size of an elevator and will only have one never-cleaned window that looks on to a dark air shaft. So you need to get outside and throw yourself into the arms of the city. You’ll spend a lot of time wandering the streets thinking of ways to make money by selling your art…or by selling anything.
Eventually, you’ll have to spend your dwindling savings on food. You obviously can’t cook in the apartment; your ‘kitchen’ is in the living room and comprises a dirty microwave with a frayed flex, an A4-sized sink, and absolutely no preparation surfaces. You do not want to chop onions on that floor.
Here is a list of places where you can get cheap food and drink, as well as hang out at for protracted periods enjoying someone else’s heating/air-con, while you wonder what the hell you’re doing with your life.
Image by Melissa Hom via Grubstreet
As you can imagine, we are pretty excited to hear (via Grubstreet) that a new donut spot is opening up in a rather unique location: a car wash on the West Side Highway. Underwest Donuts will be at Westside Highway Car Wash at 12th Avenue and 47t Street, a spot next to the former H&H Bagel. Like the recent French bakery, Arcade Bakery, located in a gorgeous office lobby, location was half luck. When Scott Levin, a former sous chef at Chanterelle, was looking for a storefront, it turned out that his father-in-law is an owner of the car wash, and the place in the tunnel was unused. There’s going to be an automatic donut robot to add to the fun.
The original Guss’ Pickles on the Lower East Side. Image via Guss’ Pickles
New Yorkers take food seriously right down to the pickle on their plates. After all, the pickle has history in this town. It started as a peddle-cart finger food back in the 1930s on the Lower East Side. With a plethora of competition, it didn’t take long for the best pickle vendors to emerge successful and among them was Isidor “Izzy” Guss of the famous Guss’ Pickles. His pickles lived on after his death in 1975, creating a sort of pickle war between the family who bought his business and the company who sold him his cucumbers. In the end, the name Guss’ Pickles went with the cucumber supplier. The Baker family, who bought Guss’ pickle business eventually sold to Patricia Fairhurst who renamed her shop Ess-a-Pickle and then, after moving to Brooklyn, Clinton Hill Pickles.
Finback Brewery. Image via Tasting Table
We’re excited to announce that the Untapped Cities Holiday Happy Hour will be at Finback Brewery on Wednesday December 10th. Finback was a reader’s choice in our article on the Top 12 Microbreweries in NYC and at this special free event you’ll be able to take a tour of the Queens brewery and try some of their great offerings, with drink specials just for attendees. Entrance to the event is free, but you do need to grab a free ticket below. Mingle with Untapped Cities readers and our large group of NYC-based contributors. The event goes from 6 to 9 pm.
Finback Brewery has an expansive evergreen offering with awesome names like Coasted Toconut and Plum & Proper, along with seasonal beers. If you’re looking for more unique flavors, this is the place for you–with sour beers and others flavored with the likes of jalapeno, coconuts and plum. But there are also more easy drinking options, like the Fort Tildenist brew.
We hope to see you there!
Beer is as American as apple pie and baseball, and definitely more New York City than Taylor Swift. Here at Untapped Cities, we’ve been known to enjoy light beers, dark beers, weird beers, local beers and even Jewish Beers. For the fall, we’ve rounded up 10 beer halls you have to check out in NYC.
Image via The Infatuation
This is the spot that everyone knows about but still loves. Radegast is a Williamsburg institution that stays packed and thankfully does not take reservations. To experience the 22 beers they have on tap and over 50 different bottled beers from around the world, it’s first come, first served. When the summer months disappear making way for the fall and winter, the beer garden (with retractable roof) is not as packed. The beer hall features a beautiful red-oak bar (along with a bartender in full German garb) that keeps the hipsters coming for a large mug with a large pretzel and bratwurst on the side.
Coney Island Brewing Company. Image via Wikimedia Commons by Amuggle
In 2011, the Coney Island Brewing Company opened up to much fanfare, selling (really small) batch brews–in fact, before it closed in 2012, it was the smallest commercial brewery in the world, according to the Guinness World Records. Only one gallon of beer was produced per batch, out of a space in Sideshows by the Seashore which they were allowed to use rent-free. According to World Record Academy, the equipment consisted of “Bunsen burners, hot plates, and old-timey mechanisms that cast a Prohibition-style moon-shine vibe over the entire operation.” But despite the nano-batch production, Coney Island Brewing Company was actually part of Schmaltz Brewing Company, which produces the equally fun line of HE’BREW beers. Sadly Hurricane Sandy flooded the property and Schmaltz sold the line to Alchemy, a subsidiary of Boston Brewery who makes Sam Adams.