Ever wondered what the life of a Spoon University HQ member is like? Well, they work in the heart of NYC, are constantly surrounded by amazing people, top-ranking restaurants and amazing food culture.
Want to spot them in their natural habitats, AKA their favorite restaurants in NYC? Check out Spoon University's spectacular team, and their favorite restaurants to eat at in the Big Apple.
Mackenzie Barth (CEO, Cofounder): Santina
An Italian restaurant under the High Line with unbelievable squash carpaccio and avocado Cecina. Also, they have super cute plates!
Sarah Adler (CTO, Cofounder): Downtown Bakery
According to Sarah, this tiny Mexican restaurant has some of the best breakfast tacos outside of Texas. She says that it is the best kept secret of the East Village.
For just $6, you can get two huge breakfast tacos with corn tortillas, eggs, cheese, sour cream, black beans, peppers, spinach and onions.
Max Bartick (Director of Video Production): Emporio
"A rustic Italian restaurant with some of the best, most authentic Italian food I've had in New York. The best part is, it's not even expensive."
Matt Lovan (Director of Engineering): Libertador
One of the most popular Argentinian restaurants in NYC. They have awesome short-rubs and authentic Argentinian drinks. Plus, they have outdoor seating, which is beautiful on a summer night.
Rachel Williamson (Social Media Manager): The Mermaid Inn
"It's my favorite because you can go there no matter what kind of evening you want to have."
You can either drop a decent amount of money on a great bottle of wine, shared oysters, premium salads, and other entrees (but who would ever want to do that??), OR you can take full advantage of their happy hour special, which includes $1 oysters and $3 fish tacos.
The Mermaid Inn always draws a large crowd, but has a cozy nautical vibe.
Sara Cohen (Community Engagement Manger): Cafe Mogador
A classic Moroccan restaurant with food that is consistently flavorful and fresh. It is perfect for breakfast, lunch AND dinner, and is perfect for big or small groups.
Cafe Mogador is a great place to go with your family or your friends, even when your friends are vegetarian, gluten free, or dairy free.
Andrea Kravitz (Community Engagement Manger): Egg Shop
"I could eat breakfast food all day, and eggs are no exception."
Egg Shop serves up eggs all day long in the most amazing, creative and delicious ways. AK says that she has tried pretty much everything on the menu, but her favorites are the Poached Burrata, Egg Shop Bap and Golden Bucket (fried chicken heaven, y'all).
Not only is the food bomb, but they have the most amazing cocktails, too. Some of her favorites are the Bloody Marys (with a bacon salt rim…Need I say more?), Micheladas, 'Smoke Show' and in 'Love with the Coco.
David Chester (Video Production Manager): Ivan Ramen
This guy has the greatest story. He is Jewish kid from Long Island who traveled to Japan to learn about ramen and opened two shops before moving back to conquer New York.
Aside from having a great background, this ramen is top class. They have a garlic ramen that has a consistency more like sauce than broth, and you may not be able to talk to anyone while eating it, but you’ll probably be too busy to want to anyway.
Spencer Dukoff (Managing Editor): San Marzano
Most Italian places are 1) over-priced and 2) have portions that are way too big for human consumption. At San Marzano, all the pastas are $9, the sangria is cheap, and their Sunday brunch is bomb. Great for date night, but also a casual dinner with your homies.
Nichol Alexander (Full Stack Engineer): El Rio Grande
"The first time I went there, I was 10 years old. It has been exactly the same ever since—cheap Mexican with strong margaritas and great service."
It gets a bit hectic during happy hour, so Nichol's said his favorite time to go is in the middle of the day on a Sunday. It's empty, quiet, and you can sit next to big windows and look out at the city and the sky. There are two sides of the restaurant, and his favorite is the one closest to 37th street.
Jordan Ryda (Data Scientist): Five Leaves
"Aussie run bistro founded by Heath Ledger (commonwealth big up + Greenpoint bigup) that confidently serves up creative dishes with incredible ingredients—the house made ricotta and fig bread...Sensational."
Emily Pope (Audience Development & Partnership Manger): Emily
This pizza place in Brooklyn serves amazing Neapolitan Pizza. According to Emily, it's "the most delicious pizza in the city."
It's clearly a passion project of the owners, and overall has great vibes. Plus their burgers.....Enough said. <3
Justin Cheng (Director of Sales): The Bao
"All of their Xiaolongbao Dumplings have a thin wrapper and an ample amount of soup. The soup is very clear and not fatty, just purely delicious. Wasabi and Spicy are my favorites!"
Andrea Jacobs (Community Engagement Manager): Kiki's
"A friend took me there this summer—simple, delicious Mediterranean food, half carafes of wine (I think that's the perfect amount for dinner, if that's your thing) great atmosphere and people watching."
Andy Kang (Community Operations Manger): Little Owl
"This restaurant pretty much embodies what eating in New York is all about." Andy says that she has never been to another restaurant that treats guests like family from the moment you walk through the door.
The feeling of hospitality and care inside of Little Owl is impeccable, not to mention the food, which she could eat every single day. It is comfort food that is better than you will ever make at home.
#SpoonTip: It is a foolproof date night spot.
Jess Dickerson (Editor): Bassanova Ramen
"There are few things I love more in the world than a good bowl of ramen and an open kitchen. So naturally, I'm addicted to this place."
Clare Waggoner and Samantha Dilling (Associate Editors): Sweet Chick
"At Sweet Chick, you will find that the Nashville Fried Chicken has just the right amount of heat to it, and is perfect for sharing with a friend! It is a bit on the pricy side, but the portions are huge and the atmosphere makes it worth it. It is a very modernized restaurant, with long communal tables, low lighting and music that gives you good vibes."
Jensen Rong (Video Editor): Choopan Kebab House
"A hole-in-the-wall Afghan place with an awful interior and below average customer service. The food, however, is authentic and ABSOLUTELY delicious. Their basmati rice is an addiction, and their servings of juicy kebab meat are very generous."
Shelby Bank (Social Media Editor): Vanessa's Dumpling
Definitely the perfect place to go when you're #BallinOnABudget. At Vanessa's Dumplings, you can get 8 dumplings for $6, and a sesame pancake for just $1.29. It's super fast, the food is great, and they have a ton of variety!
If you run into one of these awesome Spoon HQ members at their favorite restaurants, make sure you go over and say hey.