Caroline Schiff's New York City Guide

·6 min read
Caroline Schiff
Caroline Schiff

Alex Lau; Matteo Colombo / Getty Images

Learn more about 2022 Food & Wine Best New Chef Caroline Schiff.

All The Pastries

"Fany Gerson of Fan-Fan Doughnuts is my doughnut queen, and fortunately, I live walking distance from her life-changing shop."

Drip Drip Drop

"I'm a hot drip coffee kind of gal. I love stopping at Baba Cool on my way to work—they make a great cup. If I'm getting an espresso drink, it's more of an afternoon pick-me-up. I love my local coffee shop, Bittersweet, where they make a perfect latte. Plus, the proximity to Fort Greene Park is excellent for a little stroll, coffee in hand."

Wine Not

"I'm a wine gal through and through! Some of my favorite places for a glass and a catch-up with friends are LaLou, The Fly, and Grand Army Bar."

New York Nostalgia

"Ask a million New Yorkers what the signature dish is and you might get a million different answers, which is one of my favorite things about NYC. For me, the things that bring some real NYC nostalgia are pizza—F&F and Scarr's are two favorite spots—and bagels, especially from Tal, my go-to growing up.

Diner Breakfast

"I love visiting my pals at Gertie in Williamsburg! Bagels, schmears, great egg dishes ... incredible marzipan babka! I have to order like three things every time I go. I love the broccoli melt, too. Also, I love a coffee shop breakfast. Like an old, no frills, neighborhood coffee shop. Some of my favorites are Cobble Hill Coffee Shop and 7th Avenue Donut Shop. I just want some eggs, home fries, rye toast with butter, and coffee. The smell when you walk into a diner or coffee shop is absolutely one of the best smells in the world. And, of course, breakfast burritos at Ursula!"

Pastry Pals

"Some of my other favorite pastry people: Jessica Quinn of Dacha 46; Michelle Palazzo of Frenchette; Karen DeMasco at the ABC restaurants; Claudia Fleming, currently at Daily Provisions/USHG; the team at Ovenly, run by my friend Agatha Kulaga; Umber Ahmad; and Daniel Alvarez."

Diner Breakfast

"I love visiting my pals at Gertie in Williamsburg! Bagels, schmears, great egg dishes ... incredible marzipan babka! I have to order like three things every time I go. I love the broccoli melt, too! Because this is NYC, there's almost always a good local bagel around the corner. Nothing fancy—just your neighborhood joint. I've been going to mine for years and love seeing all the same faces there week in and out. I am such a sucker for neighborhood spots that endure the hype and are fixtures of the community, and I always get an everything bagel with a scallion cream cheese schmear.

Also, I love a coffee shop breakfast. Like an old, no frills, neighborhood coffee shop. I was so sad that my local one closed during the pandemic, but some of my favorites are Cobble Hill Coffee Shop and 7th Avenue Donut Shop. I just want some eggs, home fries, rye toast with butter, and coffee. The smell when you walk into a diner or coffee shop is absolutely one of the best smells in the world. And, of course, breakfast burritos at Ursula!"

Gone Shopping

"I love different shops for different things. For spices, condiments, bulk olives, nuts, and oils, I love Sahadi's. I've been shopping there for 15 years. Damascus Bread and Pastry Shop, just a few doors down, is also a go-to for sweets and baked goods, and I love their baklava.

For cheese, snacky things, and great produce (if I can't spin through the Fort Greene Park Greenmarket), I pop by Greene Grape Provisions. It's definitely my favorite cheese counter in Brooklyn.

For daily needs, I love all the little grocers that are ubiquitous throughout New York. There's a small chain in Brooklyn named after various fruits, like Mr. Coco and Mr. Melon. Mr. Mango is my local one, and they're open super late, which is great for someone on a chef's schedule. I often walk home and grab a seltzer or a few odds and ends that I need for breakfast. There's something so nice about seeing the same employees and owner each week and creating those relationships with them. They are constantly getting fresh produce in, rotating stock, and keeping a diverse selection of goods in such a small space, which is so impressive—plus, there's an incredible seltzer selection. What more could I ask for?

If I'm stopping by my parents' apartment for a visit, I always leave time to visit Kalustyan's. They live a few blocks away, and I really can't resist a spin through the maze of aisles and alcoves. I always leave with at least 10 items I didn't know I needed, and I love all the sweets they have at checkout.

Pine & Polk in Hudson Square is new—it was opened by some friends of mine. (You can get my cookies there!) It's a perfect place to get special chocolates, prepared foods, and little one-of-a-kind local treats."

Local Vibes

"The patio at Rhodora Wine Bar in my neighborhood has a real vibe, and I always run into so many people when I'm there. I also LOVE the backyard at the HiHi Room. So chill, lively, and fun. It's not reopened yet (so soon!), but the backyard at the Good Fork is my happy place, along with the rest of Red Hook, and the back patio at Sunny's Bar!"

Creature of Habit

"Black Iris is my local Middle Eastern place. It's always fresh and so flavorful, and I've been getting takeout there since 2008! I'm such a creature of comfort and habit."

Good Work

"Ursula, Dacha 46 (currently popping up in various places, but fingers crossed for a brick-and-mortar soon), Flourish Bakeshop & All Day Café (Long Island, but perfect for a day trip), Agi's Counter, Gage & Tollner, Insa, Fort Defiance, and Good Fork (reopening soonish as a pub, and I know they're my employers, but Ben [Schneider], Sohui [Kim], and St. John [Frizell] have created such wonderful work environments, and they really are putting employees first, which is rare in our industry. I'm so proud to work for them, and they set a gold standard!)"

All-Around Faves

"Semma, Sofreh, Roman's, abcV, Miss Ada, King, Fausto, Gage & Tollner (seriously! I love my place of work!), LaRina, Rolo's, Shuka, B&H Dairy (kosher lunch counter), Court Street Grocers (the sandwiches!), Dick & Jane's (local bar), Olea (the fried olives with harissa and yogurt), Deluxe Green Bo, The Original Buddha Bodai Kosher Vegetarian Restaurant, Sohui's japchae and bibimbap at Insa. Buvette is one of my all-time favorites. Bati Ethiopian in Fort Greene, Ferdinando's Focacceria, Odeon (classic NYC and where I had my 16th birthday dinner with my family), Ras Plant Based."

Meet all of Food & Wine's Best New Chefs 2022: Warda Bouguettaya | Damarr Brown | Ana Castro | Calvin Eng | Tim Flores and Genie Kwon | Melissa Miranda | Justin Pichetrungsi | Emily Riddell | Rob Rubba | Caroline Schiff