- New York City is one of the world’s largest fashion hubs, so it’s no surprise that many models like to frequent Manhattan‘s incredible restaurants.
- Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue star Halima Aden loves everything from the luxe Beauty and Essex restaurant in the Lower East Side, to a small Ethiopian restaurant in the East Village.
- Soo Jee Park has favourite spots for Greek, sushi, and Chinese food throughout the city, while HoYeon Jung prefers the chain Juice Generation.
- Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
New York City is one of the world’s largest fashion hubs, so it’s no surprise that many models like to pop into Manhattan’s premier restaurants for a bite to eat (or a great Instagram shot).
CNN Style interviewed four high-profile models, including Halima Aden and Jordan Daniels, and asked about their favourite places to eat in the Big Apple.
Aden loves everything from the luxe Beauty and Essex restaurant in the Lower East Side to a small Ethiopian restaurant in the East Village, while HoYeon Jung prefers the quick chain Juice Generation.
Here are 10 restaurants where you might bump into models in New York City.
Halima Aden loves restaurants in downtown Manhattan.
Halima Aden made headlines when she wore a hijab and burkini at the Miss Minnesota USA pageant and in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. She has walked for brands including MaxMara and Alberta Ferretti, and is a UNICEF ambassador focused on children’s rights around the world.
“At Sant Ambroeus, you can’t go wrong with really anything,” Aden told CNN Style.
Italian food is one of Aden’s favourite cuisines, and Sant Ambroeus is where she gets her pasta fix. This trendy SoHo eatery offers classics such as tagliatelle alla Bolognese ($US26) and New York prime steak ($US65), as well as more modern dishes like avocado toast ($US16) and pan-seared organic wild Scottish salmon ($US38).
“I like ordering lots and sharing with friends at Beauty and Essex so I can have a bite of it all,” Aden told CNN Style.
Beauty and Essex is located in the back of a pawn shop in the Lower East Side neighbourhood of Manhattan. Its glamorous, low-lit dining rooms boast chandeliers and luxurious round booths that stand in stark contrast with the beat-up facade.
The menu offers dishes ranging from pastrami-style beef carpaccio ($US16) and dumplings in the flavours of grilled cheese, smoked bacon, and tomato soup ($US17), to a 24-ounce bone-in ribeye ($US65) and the classic Beef Wellington ($US48).
Aden also loves Haile, an Ethiopian restaurant in Manhattan’s East Village.
Aden told CNN Style that she loves the shiro wot (chickpea stew, $US15.50), doro wot (chicken stew, $US18.50), and sambusa (a savoury baked pastry, $US7) at the small and intimate Ethiopian spot Haile.
Daniela Kocianova is a fan of healthy cuisine.
Kocianova is a Czech model who works with labels including Dolce & Gabbana and Céline. She is also a contributing editor at Vogue Czechoslovakia.
When Kocianova stops by vegan restaurant Caravan of Dreams for a bite, she goes with the simple yet delicious hummus and falafel.
The cosy East Village spot has a plant-based menu that offers dishes including wild rice and cremini risotto croquettes ($US20), Spanish paella ($US20), and seitan taquitos ($US19).
Soo Joo Park is a huge fan of restaurants in New York City.
Though born in Seoul, South Korea, Soo Joo Park grew up in California and earned an architecture degree from University of California at Berkeley. The model has walked for major designers including Moschino and Tom Ford.
Park is a fan of Greek destination PYLOS’ moussaka ($US22) and avgolemono (egg and lemon soup, $US10).
The East Village restaurant also serves up seafood dishes such as solomos ston atmo (poached salmon served over spinach-rice pilaf with sun-dried tomato and olive sauce, $US28) and psari sta karvouna (classic grilled whole fresh fish, $US31).
Takahachi, an East Village sushi bar, is on Park’s list because it has “great sushi rolls and amazing broiled yellowtail collar,” the model told CNN Style.
In addition to an impressive sushi selection, Takahachi serves meat skewers as well as udon and soba noodles ($US9-$US16).
Park told CNN Style that Regina’s Grocery has a spot on her New York restaurant list because of the “strong roster of delightful sandwiches.”
The Lower East Side restaurant features a slew of mouthwatering specialty sandwiches, including the “Grandma Lucy” (Genova Italian tuna, provolone cheese, Regina’s olive spread, on Stirato bread, $US14) and the “Cousin Anthony” (smoked chicken, fresh mozzarella cheese, on a hero, $US12).
Park goes to Mission Chinese for its “fun atmosphere and mouth-numbing mapo tofu,” a classic Chinese tofu dish made with spicy Sichuan peppercorns, known for their tingly, numbing effect on the palate ($US18.50).
The critically-acclaimed Mission Chinese also serves staples including coconut lobster fried rice ($US30), and high-end dishes such as Beggar’s Duck, a duck that is roasted in lotus leaves and clay, then cracked tableside ($US100).
Park also loves Miss Lily’s, noting that the Jamaican restaurant is located across the street from her East Village apartment.
“I love the vibe there, from the vibrant island-vibe decor, to the reggae and dub music they play,” Park told CNN Style.
“Of course the jerk chicken is a staple, but rum punch and oxtail stew are my all time favourites,” she added.
Also on the menu at Miss Lily’s is jerk ramen ($US18), West Indian curried shrimp ($US25), and crispy fish tacos ($US14). The restaurant is also well-known for its weekend bottomless brunch.
Jordan Daniels loves dining in the Lower East Side.
Jordan Daniels, born in Cape Town, South Africa, has walked for well-known designers such as Prada and Jeremy Scott, and modelled for the likes of Marc Jacobs and Calvin Klein.
“You have to try Balvenera and all its Argentinean fare!” Daniels told CNN Style.
Daniels’ favourite dishes from Balvanera in the Lower East Side include sweet corn empanadas ($US10), cauliflower croquettes ($US12), garlic-grilled market mushrooms ($US15), burrata salad ($US16), grilled octopus ($US20), and the 16-ounce ribeye steak ($US42), which Daniels calls “incredible.”
South Korean model HoYeon Jung is a fan of juices.
HoYeon Jung is a South Korean model who appeared in “Korea’s Next Top Model,” nabbing second place in the show’s fourth season. She often models for designers including Marc Jacobs, Fendi, Max Mara, and Alberta Ferretti.
Jung loves Juice Generation, a juice bar chain that is well-known for its acai bowls.
“I always have the one called Aloha Acai,” Jung told CNN Style.
The menu at Juice Generation also features health foods including salads and muesli cups.
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.