It’s raining, it’s pouring and the city that never sleeps is definitely not snoring, nor is there an old man in sight, let alone sleeping. My penultimate day in New York is definitely one for restaurants and cafes.
I have not planned one thing to do in NYC before getting here, my only plans were to reconnect with old friends. Since then I’ve allowed my trip to be shaped by the recommendations of others. From the lady from the subway who introduced me to 5th Avenue to my friend Jana giving me two tickets to Brooklyn Botanical garden, my friend Marie taking me to Blue Hill Farm at Stone Barns off the Hudson and my friend Sonja, who whatsapp’d her favourite vegan haunts.
Thanks to Sonja, I am sat in this mecca to hot desking, Ost Cafe, in the lower East side, where I am one of 13 people in my immediate vicinity praying homage to a laptop. Not one person is talking to another. There are headphones, and no headphones, perfectly straight spines and slouches, but there is a peaceful, chilled and friendly vibe despite that. The coffee smells good, the vegan muffin is tasty and because nobody is talking, the music is at perfect volume to unite us. I got lucky and I got the last vegan muffin. Outside of that, we’re out of luck. There are other cafes and bakeries nearby that might have my elusive vegan donut, but it’s raining and my bags are heavy so I think I’ll just enjoy what is right here right now!
This in contrast to the bustle of Westville Chelsea, where it was positively humming with the crescendo of conversation. Just as friendly, but in a spoken word way, there were plenty of vegan options on the menu and I took the market plate. I went with what options were vegan and what my roadtrip ‘haven’t had that for a while, mmmm that sounds nice’ cravings led me to. The result? A rather white plate, but absolutely delicious. The mixed mushrooms with leek and herbs were slightly overcooked but tasted so good they were my favourite, closely followed by the cauliflower with tahini dressing.
It took me 3.5 hours to find the space for dessert, which will probably also be dinner and the post winds back to the Ost cafe, with it’s beautiful tiled floor and silent digital community. I like it here and I’m almost sad the rain has stopped and I have to go back outside.
Westville has multiple venues across New York City – West, East, Chelsea and Hudson. I ate at the Chelsea Location:
246 w18th st, New York, NY – 212-924-2223
Ost Cafe has two cafe’s in the East, the one I visited is located in the lower east side – 441 E 12th St, New York, NY 10009