New York

How To Spend a Perfect Day Supporting Black-Owned Businesses in Bed-Stuy

Insider tips and recs from the duo behind local shop BLK MKT Vintage.

Photo by S. Bola Oko, courtesy of BLK MKT Vintage
Photo by S. Bola Oko, courtesy of BLK MKT Vintage
Photo by S. Bola Oko, courtesy of BLK MKT Vintage
Photo by Marcus Branch for Thrillist
Photo by Marcus Branch for Thrillist
Photo by Marcus Branch for Thrillist

Breakfast: Cafe on Ralph

Whether you’re a “breakfast is the most important meal of the day” person like Handy or could do without it like Stewart, one thing’s for sure: the food and drinks at Cafe on Ralph make it worth a visit. It’s a perfect spot for a light meal, which is why Handy named it as where she’d start an ideal day. Owned by mother and son duo, Donna Drakes and Jamal Joseph, the cafe located on Ralph Avenue is filled with personality, plants, bright colors, and of course, delicious food. Check out their IG to take a peek at offerings such as avocado toast with smoked paprika; savory duck and waffles, and cold brew to get you up and running.
How to order: Storefront, outdoor dining is available. Order takeout and delivery via website.

Zaca Café
Zaca Café
Zaca Café

Lunch: Zaca Cafe, Soulfood Caterers

As a lunch enthusiast willing to forgo breakfast, Stewart enjoys starting her day with a meal at all-day eatery Zaca Cafe. “For me, a perfect day would be going to Zaca Cafe, which is on Marcus Garvey (one block down from us), because their food is relatively light,” she says. Offering a fusion of French and American dishes from executive chef and founder Inoussa Campaore, Zaca’s menu features the signature Zaca Burger with caramelized onions, lettuce, cheese, chipotle mayo, and toppings. Plant-based options like a popular vegan sandwich served on seven-grain bread or a spinach wrap are also available.
How to order: Storefront, call 718-443-2500 or order takeout and delivery via website.

For Handy, her go-to lunch spot, Soulfood Caterers (aka Soul Food Kitchen), might technically be in Crown Heights, but it’s a literal hop, skip, and jump away from Bed-Stuy. “This is like an old Brooklyn pro tip. Go over to Soul Food Cafe and it’s cafeteria style-but it’s like your auntie and your grandma are back there cooking,” says Handy. At this no-frills restaurant where the food speaks for itself, many diners don’t leave without an order of fried fish or the pork chop plate (and honestly, get a plate or two for later, too).
How to order: Storefront at 88 Kingston Avenue, or takeout and delivery via Seamless

Photo by Corren Conway, courtesy of Peace & Riot
Photo by Corren Conway, courtesy of Peace & Riot
Photo by Corren Conway, courtesy of Peace & Riot

Shopping: BLK MKT Vintage, Sincerely, Tommy, Peace & Riot, Byas & LeonNatty Garden II

No day in Bed-Stuy is complete without perusing some of the local shops to discover new threads, plants, and other cool finds. For Stewart and Handy, it’s only right that their first stop is BLK MKT Vintage-after all, checking on the space and doing preparation is a part of their workday. While the physical store is temporarily closed to customers, check the shop’s IG for updates on its reopening. And in the meantime, take advantage of their online shop

Sincerely, Tommy is another spot that’s always on the BLK MKT Vintage team’s radar. Not only is it a lifestyle store that carries handmade accessories, dresses, jackets, and vegan leather trousers that are perfect for cold weather, but the brand as a whole offers a multitude of services and products. Expect an in-house coffee shop that makes a mean honey latte with Pelah‘s sticky buns to pair it with, in addition to a recently-opened home goods store, Raini Home, located just three blocks away.

“Whenever we go to Sincerely, Tommy, we tend to go to all of the shops that are on that street that we like. So we would go to Peace & Riot and Byas & Leon right afterward,” Stewart said.  

Home decoration and furniture options are abundant with Peace & Riot and Raini Home, both of which offer the option to shop online for anyone not looking to venture out in the winter weather. In addition to Sincerely, Tommy, Byas & Leon also offers extensive vintage clothing options. And the best part about these shops? They’re all within walking distance of each other.

And because there’s proven health benefits to having indoor plants and New Yorkers can never have too many of them, according to Stewart, a trip to Natty Garden‘s Bed-Stuy location is a must. 

How to shop: BLK MKT Vintage online store; Sincerely, Tommy storefront; Byas & Leon storefront; Natty Garden storefront and online shop.

Flickr/Craig Samuel
Flickr/Craig Samuel
Flickr/Craig Samuel

Drinks & Dinner: Peaches

When it comes to Bed-Stuy recommendations on where to eat, like many borough natives, Stewart and Handy say to run, not walk, to Peaches on Lewis Avenue. At this popular restaurant co-founded by Craig Samuel and Ben Grossman, its exceptional Southern cuisine makes it a regular destination for dinner and drinks for the BLK MKT Vintage duo. The spot’s cocktail menu includes signature items like the Miss Jackson (made with gin, blackberries, orange juice and lime), and then the biggest draw from the drinks menu: the Brownstone Punch with coconut rum, pineapple, orange, and cranberry (which can also be delivered, FYI).
How to order: Storefront. Call 718-942-4162 for takeout or order takeout and delivery via Caviar, DoorDash.Sign up here for our daily NYC email and be the first to get all the food/drink/fun New York has to offer.

Kristen Adaway is a staff writer at Thrillist. Follow her @kristenadaway

New York

Scavenge for Peeps Cookies and More Fun Treats in NYC This Easter

The best Easter desserts in NYC this spring include Easter Bunny Churros and Carrot Cake Macarons.

Photo courtesy of Funny Face Bakery
Photo courtesy of Funny Face Bakery
Photo courtesy of Funny Face Bakery

As spring makes its way through New York City, not only do we get to enjoy beautiful weather, stunning cherry blossoms, and cool activities priced at $Free.99, but it’s also the perfect time for some limited-edition desserts.

With Easter fast approaching, bakeries are filling their shops with tons of chocolate eggs, carrot cake-flavoured everything and all types of flavours that offer both nostalgia and innovation within the city’s dessert landscape. After you’ve picked up a cake from the city’s best new bakeries, from Easter Bunny Churros to Carrot Cake Macarons, here are 8 Easter desserts to try in NYC right now.

Photo courtesy of Magnolia Bakery
Photo courtesy of Magnolia Bakery
Photo courtesy of Magnolia Bakery

Magnolia Bakery

Throughout April
Various locations
There’s great news for devotees of Magnolia Bakery’s Classic Banana Pudding: For Easter, the spot is mixing up the iconic dessert’s vanilla pudding with some carrot cake. The Carrot Cake Pudding is filled with freshly grated carrots, coconuts, pineapples, raisins, and walnuts. And if both bananas and carrots aren’t your thing, they’ll be offering their Classic Vanilla Cupcakes in pastel colours with a Cadbury chocolate egg hidden inside.

Photo courtesy of Funny Face Bakery
Photo courtesy of Funny Face Bakery
Photo courtesy of Funny Face Bakery

Funny Face Bakery

Through Easter Sunday
NoHo and Seaport
Known for their celebrity face and meme-worthy decorated cookies, fans of Funny Face Bakery know that a new fun design is always just around the corner. For Easter, they’ve created the adorable Hoppy Easter decorated cookie that resembles a classic box of marshmallow Peeps. Along with that, they also have the return of their fan-favourite Caramel Pretzel Chip cookie flavour, plus a set of three mini-decorated cookies perfect for gifting.

The Doughnut Project

Friday, April 7 through Easter Sunday
West Village
With the ever-changing flavours at The Doughnut Project, it’s super easy to miss out on trying out a new debut. But this Easter weekend, there will be two new flavours available. One is of course, a carrot cake doughnut topped with a cream cheese glaze, and the other is known as the Doughnut Nest-a French cruller “nest” with a cream-filled doughnut hole “egg” in the centre.

Photo by Cole Saladino, courtesy of The Fragile Flour
Photo by Cole Saladino, courtesy of The Fragile Flour
Photo by Cole Saladino, courtesy of The Fragile Flour

The Fragile Flour

Wednesday, April 5 through Easter Sunday
East Village
For stellar vegan desserts this holiday, head to The Fragile Flour, a plant-based bakery and dessert wine bar. They’re known for going all out for each holiday with a variety of new pastry options that you can pair perfectly with a glass of wine. This Easter, they’ll have a whole dessert menu that’s both delicious and gorgeous for posting on IG. The menu includes Stuffed Carrot Cake Cookies, a Lemon Cake (whole or by the slice), some festive cupcakes, and specialty macarons.

Photo courtesy of Kreuther Handcrafted Chocolate
Photo courtesy of Kreuther Handcrafted Chocolate
Photo courtesy of Kreuther Handcrafted Chocolate

Kreuther Handcrafted Chocolate

Through mid April
Midtown
For a luxurious take on Easter chocolates, browse the selections available at Kreuther Handcrafted Chocolate. You can even pick the Easter Signature Chef’s Selection for a special box curated by award-winning chefs. For something other than chocolate, choose between the Carrot Cake Macarons or the cake flavored Easter Marshmallow Trio, both of which are almost too cute to eat.

La Churreria

Throughout April
Nolita
This churro-centric spot is putting the cutest Easter spin on their crispy cinnamon churros by twisting them up into bunnies and bunny ears. At Churreria, choose from a Bunny Churro Lollipop topped with your choice of chocolate or dulce de leche and sprinkles, or the bunny ear churros in the Ube and Matcha ice cream sundae or the Ube Milkshake, both of which are made with ice cream from il laboratorio del gelato.

Photo by Briana Balducci
Photo by Briana Balducci
Photo by Briana Balducci

Lafayette

Throughout April
NoHo
You’ve surely seen this croissant tons of times while scrolling through IG or TikTok, whether it’s the Pain au Chocolat one or the latest of the month. Known as Supr√™mes, these filled croissants went viral and continue to live up to the hype each time a new flavour comes out. April’s flavour-sour cherry amaretto with a Luxardo custard and toasted almonds. While you’ll have to be super early and wait in line during one of their three drops of the day to get a taste, we promise you it’ll be worth it.

Photo courtesy of Levain
Photo courtesy of Levain
Photo courtesy of Levain

Levain

Seasonal
Various locations
We all know the iconic cookies from Levain-they’re gigantic, perfectly crispy and chewy, and well worth the long lines. For spring, the shop is launching a new flavour: Caramel Coconut Chocolate Chip. Filled with gooey caramel chips, fresh shredded coconut, and melty dark chocolate, it’s one you’ve got to try while it’s still around. To further celebrate the new season, all of Levain’s storefronts will be decked out in spring floral displays, serving as the perfect backdrop for pictures.

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Alaina Cintron is an Editorial Assistant at Thrillist. Her work can also be found in Westchester Magazine, Girls’ Life, and Spoon University. When she’s not at her desk typing away, you can find her exploring a local coffee shop or baking a new recipe.

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