Running the NYC Marathon? Wondering about the best running loops, cafes and places to celebrate? We have you covered and then some. Meet the City Birds, two Volée runners living, running, dining, and flystyle'ing their way through NYC. We got the scoop from them on the best of the best in the city. First up, running loops and breakfast then read on for a guide to dining and nightlife



For the marathon you will only run through a small portion of this incredible NYC park, so if you have time a run through here is a must! The main pavement loop is about 6 miles long but a number of trails weave through the general outline of it. This run is a great way to let your legs rest on the soft trails pre-marathon! Finish on either side of the park to enjoy the best breakfast cafes and coffee of the Upper East or West Side. 


  1. Café D’Alsace | French Bistro 

  2. Café Jax | Spacious Café 

  3. Little Collins | Australian Coffee & Food 

  4. Birch Coffee | UES & UWS | Organic Coffee 

  5. Alice’s Tea Cup | Alice in Wonderland Inspired Teatime 

  6. Irving Farm Coffee Roasters | Local Roasters 

  7. Alice’s Tea Cup - Ch. 2 | Alice in Wonderland Inspired Tea 

  8. Zabar’s | Classic NYC Grocery and Quick Bites 

  9. Milano Market | Gourmet Market with Incredible Deli Sandwiches
  10. Sarabeth’s | Fresh and Bright Breakfast Location

  11. Sarabeth’s | UES

  12. H&H Bagels | Best Bagels in the UES
  13. Joe Coffee | Small Café

  14. Jacob’c Pickles l Southern Style Breakfast

  15. Good Enough to Eat | farmhouse-themed digs with a bar. 


Starting and ending in the Lower East Side (LES) this loop offers slight hills (on the bridges) and epic views of the Manhattan Skyline. Treat yourself to a nice breakfast and cup of coffee post run at any of the local favorites below.


Note: Make sure you take the running/walking side on the bridges as cyclists can get a bit too close for comfort as they fly by. 


  1. Cafe Grumpy | Small Cafe 

  2. The Butcher’s Daughter | V GF Vegan 

  3. Erin McKenna’s Bakery NYC | GF Bakery 

  4. Dudley’s | Farm to Table Brunch & Lunch 

  5. Irving Farm Coffee Roasters | Cafe 

  6. Dimes | Eclectic, health-conscious 

  7. Lost Weekend NYC | Surfer Cafe 

  8. Forgtmenot | American-Mediterranean 

  9. Cafe Petisco | Petite, breakfast-to-dinner cafe 

  10. Konditori | Local Swedish-style coffeehouse 

  11. Brooklyn Roasting Company | fair-trade cafe 

  12. Brooklyn Roasting Company | fair-trade cafe 

  13. Hotel Chantelle | Brunch & Lunch rooftop spot 

  14. L’asso | Neapolitan pies with creative toppings 

  15. Two Hands | Bright & airy cafe 

  16. Eight Turn Crepe | Japanese rice crêpes 

  17. Jack’s Wife Freda | Lively bistro 

  18. Whole Foods Grocery store 


Brooklyn is NYC’s best-kept secret. In the Southern
 portion of Brooklyn there are two great running locations. 
For the Brooklyn Bridge Park Loop you will run along the
 East River starting under the Manhattan Bridge (DUMBO)
 and head south. Feel free to add a little mileage to your 
run by deviating out onto the many piers you will pass. If you go
 during the evening you will
 see the sunset over the
 buildings in the financial
 district of Manhattan.  This run makes for
some incredible
panoramic views of 
lower Manhattan.

If you are
 staying a little 
further south or
 east, Prospect
 Park is a solid
 option. There 
are footpaths 
and trails around
 the central loop.
 Both runs measure 
about 4 miles in 
distance but stray 
from path if you’re 
looking to add on and run through Brooklyn’s beautiful brownstone neighborhoods surrounding both runs. 


  1. Ted & Honey l Known for its breakfast sandwiches 

  2. One Girl Cookies l Charming Bakery
  3. Bien Cuit l Pumpkin Latte with REAL Pumpkin
  4. Peas and Pickles l DUMBO Grocery Store 

  5. Iris Café l Simple American Café 

  6. Vinegar Hill House l Funky Hipster Brunch 

  7. Rucola | Charming brunch spot 

  8. Café Luluc | Best pancakes in Brooklyn 

  9. Brooklyn Roasting Company | Fair Trade Café 

  10. Café Grumpy | Small Café

  11. Miriam | Meditteranean Brunch (Challah French Toast!)
  12. The Breukelen Coffee House | Cozy coffeehouse with great pastries
  13. Bergen Bagels | Best Bagels in BK

  14. Konditori | Local Swedish Coffee House

  15. Tom’s Restaurant | 1936 era Diner

  16. Olea | Fort Greene Brunch Spot
  17. Juventino | Farm fresh brunch

  18. Cheryl’s Global Soul | Upscale Comfort Food 


This out and back run can honestly start anywhere along the West Side bike path. But on this particular map I have it starting in Battery Park near the Financial District and running north towards Chelsea Piers at West 20th Street. You will see views of the statue of liberty, Jersey City, and get a fresh breeze off the Hudson River. This run is great for a shake out beause of its flat easy terrain.


The East River Run is another easy shake out run. We have it starting by the East River Esplanade at Pier 15 and running north along the East River to the Water Club at East 30th Street. This run is flat and offers great views of the Brooklyn Bridge, Manhattan Bridge, and Willisamsburg Bridge. 


Pre + Post Race by Neighborhood


Cozy Italian
Address: 1486 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10075
Phone: (212) 472-4552

The Writing Room
Sophisticated Comfort Food
Address: 1703 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10128
Phone: (212) 335-0075

Candle 79
Eclectic Vegan
Address: 154 E 79th St, New York, NY 10075
Phone:(212) 537-7179


Upscale Irish Gastropub
Address: 1590 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10028
Phone: (212) 203-2751

The Supply House
Rustic, brick-walled bar with American eats, tacos & brunch plus craft drafts & specialty cocktails.
Address: 1647 2nd Ave, Manhattan, NY 10028
Phone: (646) 861-3585

Upper West Side

Candle Café West
Casual and Light Vegan
Address: 2427 Broadway, New York, NY 10024
Phone: (212) 769-8900

The Dead Poet
Irish Pub with Killer Cocktails
Address: 450 Amsterdam Ave #1, New York, NY 10024
Phone: (212) 595-5670


The Smith
Casual American Brasserie
Address: 956 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10022
Phone: (212) 644-2700

Classic Family Style Italian
Address: 200 W 44th St, New York, NY 10036
Phone: (212) 221-0242


La Birreria
Inside Rooftop with Beer on Tap and Wine Straight from the Barrel
Address: Rooftop, 200 5th Ave, New York, NY 10010
Phone: (212) 937-8910

Draught 55
Hip spot with elevated bar food & a rotating list of 42 local & international craft beers on tap.
Address: 245 E 55th St, New York, NY 10022
Phone: (212) 300-4096


Rubirosa Ristorante
To Die For... Fresh Pasta and Pizza
Address: 235 Mulberry St, New York, NY 10012
Phone: (212) 965-0500

Ruby’s Café
Low Key Eclectic Australian Café
Address: 219 Mulberry St, New York, NY 10012
Phone: (212) 925-5755

Senza Gluten
Cozy bistro offering classic gluten-free Italian dishes & cocktails in a dimly-lit romantic setting
Address: 206 Sullivan Street, New York, NY 10012
Phone: (212) 475-7775

Paulaner NYC
Spacious German Brewpub
Address: 265 Bowery, New York, NY 10002
Phone: (212) 780-0300

Mothers Ruin
Bespoke cocktails, bar snacks & booze-filled slushies keep this neighborhood lounge bustling.
Address: 18 Spring St, New York, NY 10012

Puck Fair
Narrow Irish pub with rotating draft beer selection & a menu of stews, skewers & Irish fare.
Address: 298 Lafayette St, New York, NY 10012
Phone: (212) 431-1200

East Village

Farm to Table
Class Country-Cooking, Located on Quaint Irving Place
Address: 77 Irving Pl # 1, New York, NY 10003
Phone: (212) 477-2188

Tuscan Inspired Italian
Address: 545 E 5th St, New York, NY 10009
Phone: (212) 979-1005

Best Thin-Crust Pizza in Lower Manhattan
Address: 349 E 12th St, New York, NY 10003
Phone: (212) 777-2644


The Wren
Perfect Post-Race Burgers & Fancy Cocktails
Address: 344 Bowery, New York, NY 10012
Phone: (212) 388-0148

The Mermaid Inn
Upscale-casual seafood spot with a Cape Cod vibe known for its lobster rolls and cheap oyster deal.
Address: 96 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10003
Phone: (212) 674-5870

Retro-style bar with leather banquettes, serving kitschy drinks, beer cocktails & burgers.
Address: 13 1st Avenue, New York, NY 10003
Phone: (212) 995-5400

West Village

Italian small plates are matched by an extensive wine list at this bi-level restaurant.
Address: 228 W 10th St, New York, NY 10014
Phone: (212) 255-5757

Blossom Restaurant
Vegan/Vegetarian Cuisine
Address: 187 Ninth Ave, New York, NY 10011
Phone: (212) 627-1144

Joseph Leonard
Welcoming and Warm, New American Cuisine
Address: 170 Waverly Pl, New York, NY 10014
Phone: (646) 429-8383

Jeffry’s Grocery
This homey American eatery is notable for its oyster bar, creative Caesar salads & Bloody Marys.
Address: 172 Waverly Pl, New York, NY 10014
Phone: (646) 398-7630

Welcoming restaurant doling out Italian small plates & other chow, plus drinks in cozy surroundings.
Address: 289 Bleecker St, New York, NY 10014
Phone: (212) 488-5800

Seasonal antipasti & pastas accompany affordable wines in this airy space with a rooftop garden.
Address: 18 Greenwich Ave, New York, NY 10011
Phone: (212) 647-1818

Lower East Side

The Fat Radish
“Trendy eatery serving modern British fare using farm fresh veggies & meats in a rustic setting.”
Address: 17 Orchard St, New York, NY 10002
Phone: (212) 300-4053

Oblong Roman-style pies are the star at this brick-oven pizzeria with a hip industrial look.
Address: 98 Allen St, New York, NY 10002
Phone: (212) 614-7252

American fare, craft cocktails & Colonial tavern decor draws a hip crowd to this hidden-away spot.
Address: End Of Freeman Alley, off of, Rivington St, New York, NY 10002
Phone: (212) 420-0012


Beauty and Essex
Happening restaurant/lounge hidden behind a pawn shop, with American food & upscale cocktails.
Address: 146 Essex St, New York, NY 10002
Phone: (212) 614-0146

Spitzers Corner
Gourmet bar food & huge beer list in a bustling gastro-pub setting with shared tables & an airy vibe.
Address: 101 Rivington St, New York, NY 10002
Phone: (212) 228-0027

Back Room
Hideaway with a Prohibition-esque vibe, offering cock- tails in teacups and beer in paper bags.
Address: 102 Norfolk St, New York, NY 10002
Phone: (212) 228-5098



Vinegar Hill House
Seasonal New American cooking served in a cozy, salvaged-decor setting with a garden. Tucked away in Vinegar Hill.
Address: 72 Hudson Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11201
Phone: (718) 522-1018

River Deli
Cozy, Rustic Fare
Address: 32 Joralemon St, Brooklyn, NY 11201
Phone: (718) 254-9200

American fare is locally sourced at this sociable wood-accented spot with an open kitchen. Good Oyster bar.
Address: 127 Atlantic Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11201
Phone: (718) 855-7500

La Cigonge
Alsatian eatery serving dishes like spaetzle & tarte flambée along with the region’s wine & beer.
Address: 215 Union St, Brooklyn, NY 11231
Phone: (718) 858-5641

The Long Island Bar
Atmospheric watering hole serving up cocktails, beer, wine & more in simple, retro surroundings.
Address: 110 Atlantic Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11201
Phone: (718) 625-8908

The Atlantic ChipShop
Fish ‘n’ chips & pints capped with a fried Twinkie in punk-themed setting with rugby & soccer on TV.
Address: 129 Atlantic Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11201
Phone: (718) 855-7775



Rustic Mediterranean
Address: 348 Wythe Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11211
Phone: (347) 689-3594

Marlow & Sons
Farm Fresh American
Address: 81 Broadway, Brooklyn, NY 11249
Phone: (718) 384-1441

Funky Vibes, Amazing Food
Address: 85 Broadway, Brooklyn, NY 11249
Phone: (718) 486-3077

German Beer Hall, Perfect for Large Groups
Address: 33 Nassau Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11222
Phone: (347) 987-4632

Radegast Hall & Biergarten
Sprawling, boisterous beer hall offering brews, grilled wursts & regularly scheduled live music.
Address: 113 N 3rd St, Brooklyn, NY 11211
Phone: (718) 963-3973

Vintage video games (Pac-Man, Donkey Kong, etc.) & beer lure patrons to this Williamsburg bar.
Address: 388 Union Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11211
Phone: (718) 302-6464

Love This
October 22, 2015 — Allyson Ely

Leave a comment

Please note: comments must be approved before they are published.