Iconic MC of the Beastie Boys fame, Mike D, requires very little by way of introduction, such is the impact he and his bandmates Adam Horowitz and Adam Yauch had on the course of music and culture at large. 

Not only will he always comprise one third of that iconoclastic collaborative venture, Mike Diamond is also an accomplished editor and curator, a lover of fine food and wine and a New York native who lives and breathes the city that raised him. It’s for that reason that you’d be hard pressed to find a better tour guide than he to point you in the direction of vital sustenance should you find yourself sleepless in the city over the course of a weekend.


Recently in the country to launch the 43rd issue of Monster Children, the similarly as iconic print publication he guest edited that includes appearances from Spike Jonze, Ryan Sheckler and Method Man amongst others, we coaxed the following pro-tips out of Mike, an accomplished oenophile and DIY almond milk enthusiast alike.  


MIKE D: It’s tricky with New York because there are so many good places. You have to go by categories, by micro-geographic areas or by what you’re looking for. There are a lot of different takes, and that’s the thing – you’ve got so much variety.


WHERE TO EAT

In my hood there’s a very good Spanish tapas place around the corner from me that I took [Monster Children Creative Director] Campbell to around the corner from me. La Vara – it’s a local place, a great place to just sit and eat two plates of their spice fried chickpeas. They have the best bar food and you can sit there and have a glass of wine that turns into three glasses of wine.


LA VARA

Address: 268 Clinton Street, Cobble Hill, Brooklyn, New York, 11201

Hours: Monday – Thursday, 5:00pm – 1:00pm; Friday, 5:00pm – 12:00am; Saturday, 11:30am – 12:00am; Sunday, 11:30am – 11:00pm

Phone: +1 718-422-0065

WebsiteLa Cara Cocina 



I’d have to say, for reliable family meals in Brooklyn, Franny’s is the place. It’s like a great pizza oven, they do that really well. It’s kind of like Italian food but made with local New York ingredients. So I’ve gone there with Italians who are kind of confused by that Italian-New York twist. They were one of the first restaurants in Brooklyn take that whole approach of ‘farm-to-table’, but now you go to a hot dog stand and it’s like, ‘farm-to-table’ hot dogs.


FRANNY’S

Address: 348 Flatbush Avenue, Brooklyn, New York, 11238

Hours: Open daily, 12:00 – 2:30pm, 5:30 – 11:00pm

Phone: +1 718-230-0221

WebsiteFranny’s Brooklyn


I took Campbell to an Italian place, Il Bucco, that would be another one. That’s done really well. 

If you’re really into sushi and sea urchin – and most people are not – there’s a place called New York Sushi Ko. The guy’s out of his mind. He always has four different kinds of sea urchins – it’s like being in a cult. You want to go diving for it and crack them open. Being someone who has removed far too many sea urchin spines from my heels for not surfing as well as I should, I have a bizarre love-hate relationship with sea urchin.


IL BUCCO

Address: 47 Bond St, New York, NY 10012

Hours: Monday – Thursday, 6:00pm – 11:00pm;
Friday and Saturday, 5:30pm to 12:00am;
Sunday 5:00pm – 10:30pm.

Phone: +1 212-533-1932

WebsiteIl Buco Alimentari e Vineria


NEW YORK SUSHI KO

Address: 91 Clinton St, New York, NY 10002

Hours: Monday – Tuesday, Thursday – Friday 6:00am – 1:00am; Saturday 5:00pm – 11:00pm; closed Sunday and Wednesday.

Phone: +1 917-734-5857

WebsiteNew York Sushi Ko

WHERE TO DRINK
There’s a bunch. There’s so much variety. If you want to go deep into beer, you can go to this place near me, The Brazen Head. It’s a brewery or you can get take away growlers [a returnable jug of beer that you can refill] that’ll last you a few hours or a few days depending on what your pace may be. 

THE BRAZEN HEAD

Address: 228 Atlantic Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11201

Phone: +1 718-488-0430

WebsiteThe Brazen Head Brooklyn

For wine, it’s tricky, because the places I like the best are kind of spread out. There’s a place I take people for wine called Charlie Bird in Manhattan on the West Side. I like it because they play really loud hip-hop but the wine list is really good actually. I kind of like that. The people who eat there are more conservative and are there for the fancy food and wine, but to me it wouldn’t work if they weren’t playing hip-hop too loud.


CHARLIE BIRD

Address: 5 King St, New York, NY 10012

Hours: Monday – Thursday 5:30pm – 11:00pm; Friday 12:00pm – 3:00pm, 5:30pm – 12:00am; Saturday 11:00am – 3:00pm, 5:30pm – 12:00am; Sunday 11:00am – 3:00pm & 5:30pm – 11:00pm.

Phone: +1 212-235-7133

WebsiteCharlie Bird NYC


There’s also a place on the Lower East Side called Contra that’s cool because they do a prix fixe menu but it’s not like a thing where you’ve got a gazillion courses and you have to have like eight people tuck you into bed afterward, which is what I do every night anyway – I have a staff of people that tuck me into bed. That’s what I call a turn down service. It’s like affordable prix fixe – like $50 USD – and it’s really cool food, but they’ve got a great natural wine list so you can drink well. They do a good job.


CONTRA

Address: 138 Orchard St, New York, NY 10002

Hours: Tuesday – Saturday, 6:00pm – 11:00pm.

Phone: +1 212-466-4633

Website:



WHERE TO GO OUT

There’s a bunch of different, good venues. The Bowery Ballroom is always very reliable for a good mid-size venue. As is Williamsburg Music Hall in Brooklyn. In a weird way, I usually don’t like to see a band in a big arena, but Madison Square Garden is always a cool thing to see because it’s such an exciting moment in a band’s career to see them play there. 

Then go wherever the waves are. Montauk or Long Beach, or Rockaway Beach, it depends on what’s happening.

The Beastie Boys’ Mike D’s Guide To Eating Your Way Through New York

Images supplied unless noted otherwise. 

Monster Children #43, guest edited and expertly curated by Mike D is out now everywhere quality print is sold. You can purchase both issue #43 and the fruits of Mike’s collaboration with LA accessories designer Clare Vivier here