Before you start, make sure you’re wearing an elasticated waist, and begin the morning with breakfast at upmarket Balthazar; a converted warehouse-turned-brasserie on Soho’s Spring Street. We suggest skipping the (admittedly great) full English in favour of the sour cream-hazelnut waffles or smoked salmon tartine, and why not treat yourself to a kir rosé while you’re here? If you’re still not full, take a 5-minute walk to the Dominique Ansel Bakery on the same street, inventor of that oh-so-New York concoction, the Cronut: a delectable croissant/doughnut mash-up.
Over on the Lower East Side, make time for a lingering lunch at Freemans American tavern-style restaurant; a masterclass in rustic elegance set down the end of a low-key alleyway. Grab a rear table overlooked by various taxidermied animals, or a front one beside the floor-to-ceiling window – and depending on your hunger levels choose from lighter dishes like Prince Edward Island mussels and various salads, or a blow-out like the Piedmontese cheeseburger or five-cheese macaroni.
Still hungry? Maybe let’s just start with a drink. We’re big fans of Lower Manhattan’s Dead Rabbit on Water Street, where you’ll find an eye-popping menu of hand-crafted cocktails served in one of the most aesthetically pleasing bars in New York. Or if you have a particular tipple in mind, consider somewhere like the Brandy Library in Tribeca. This golden-coloured drinking den has a sophisticated, lounge-like atmosphere and also serves up delicious plates of cheese and charcuterie. Finally, just when you thought there was literally room for no more, you’ve remembered you’re in New York where the 24-hour eatery reigns supreme. Get yourself over to buzzing Veselka in the East Village, a Ukrainian diner popular with night owls and post-club crowds, and tuck into a steaming plate of grilled keilbasa or pierogi.