Manhattan may be cold this time of year, but Macondo NYC is an inviting escape– warm in cuisine, color and culture. Macondo serves up gourmet-style street food from around the Latin world in a casual-yet-design-friendly setting. Think arepas from Venezuela, ceviches from Peru, tacos from Mexico and other dishes inspired from the streets of Central and South America. Macondo has adopted a gourmet perspective on these popular street foods, dressing up the local favorites with fine ingredients that dance across their menu.
The design is immediately inviting, thanks to street-facing signage that looks more comfortable in the Amazon than the concrete jungle. We walked past Macondo a few times during a recent trip to NYC, and upon our third pass we couldn’t help but stop in for a nice malbec and some photography. The environment feels traditional and casual, but the modern accents are apparent throughout. Design travelers will dig the big, bulbous lamps that hang from the ceiling over leather seats and carefully-placed table settings. The bar and kitchen feature a reclaimed wood base, twine-wrapped columns and a wall of ingredients to the rear, where the chefs and bar staff work tirelessly to create something special.
While we stuck with a malbec this time, we’ll be tasting one of Macondo’s many fresh-fruit cocktails from their Brazilian juice bar on our next arrival. The cod fish arepas, skirt steak cocas and fresh patatas bravas will round out that visit quite well. If you’re in NYC, Macondo is worth a visit, on Houston not far from Bowery St in Manhattan’s lower east side. The design, the food and the feeling are all the product of in-house creatives, and the drinks are likely to keep you there until close.