During Fashion Week we’re either a) too frazzled to think about food or b) see models and feel compelled to eat for them. To help us out, we asked Immaculate Infatuation’s Andrew Steinthal and Chris Stang for a worthy list of restaurants and watering holes near the shows and presentations. Hopefully big pants are in.
Cafe Grumpy (Chelsea)
Don’t let the angry logo fool you: There’s nothing unsettling about the selection of espresso drinks, coffee, and tea. The folks here pull beans and leaves from across the globe, and if you ask nicely, they’ll even draw your favorite designer’s logo in your latte foam. Actually, don’t ask them to do that.
Elephant & Castle (West Village)
For brunch, E&C makes a delicious and dangerously unhealthy thing called Eggs ’n’ Apples Benedict (French toast, Hollandaise, bacon). But you should stop in this week for poached eggs and a good cup of coffee or pot of English tea.
The latest expansion of Julian Medina’s (Yerba Buena, Toloache) empire, the 24-hour diner on 14th Street has a huge variety of Latin specialties. The nachos are incredible, and we make it rain empanadas (about two bucks each) every time we go.
Big Nick’s Burger & Pizza Joint (Upper West Side)
When you’re wasted and in the mood for something you’ll regret in the morning, Big Nick’s burger might as well be Shake Shack. It also serves decent waffle fries, breakfast, and pizza at all hours. Be ashamed.
Bill’s Bar & Burger (Meatpacking)
Reminiscent of the great middle-of-nowhere dives around the country, the original Bill’s flips low-profile, griddle-top masterpieces on soft sesame seed buns. It’s open late on the weekends, but know that you won’t be the only genius to think 3 a.m. burger.
La Bottega at The Maritime Hotel (Chelsea)
It may not be the hottest hotspot, but there is always some serious scoping going down. Also, the human body needs a few carbs to keep running. Fuel up on tagliatelle alla Bolognese.
Marea (Central Park South)
On any given visit, you’ll see famous faces (as well as “upper generation” folks) at Michael White’s now world-renowned restaurant. Order fusilli with red wine-braised octopus and bone marrow, and marvel at how young you suddenly feel.
The Spotted Pig (West Village)
One of the few sceney places we don’t absolutely loathe. Head up to the second-floor bar for a drink to survey the action. If you can snag a table up there, a burger and some devils on horseback are a must.
El Quinto Pino (Chelsea)
Recover from long Fashion Week days at this tiny, laid-back Spanish wine bar. Try an uni panini (what it’s famous for), ditch the industry types, and grab a nightcap with one of your real friends.
Jalapeño (Upper West Side)
This vibrant Mexican joint’s sangria and spicy jalapeno margaritas will have you walking home sideways. Try the fried fish tacos or the surprisingly good spinach salad.
One Lucky Duck (Chelsea)
Raw, organic, and yet we’re obsessed. Which says a lot coming from two guys who are contemplating a recreational pork bun eating contest. We especially love the taco salad and the blue sunset and strawberry blond shakes.
Josie’s West (Upper West Side)
This decades-old fixture is great if you have specific dietary needs (related to personal vanity or otherwise). Order organic fresh juices and shakes, salads, or the pretty legit turkey burger. You’re gonna look good.
Photo: Courtesy of Immaculate Infatuation