NYC Food Map: Conscious Consumption Made Easy

Sometimes I spend a dumb amount of money eating and drinking out.

Fortunately, spending a dumb amount of money doesn’t inherently mean your spending habits on a whole are dumb. In fact, many would argue that your spending is actually smart if it produces a larger, positive outcome for yourself and those around you. Therefore, with a little bit of good intention and research, you can turn dumb spending into smart spending. It’s a simple equation, really:

{Dumb amount money} * {Good intention ^ {place/service/thing/person that enhances life for more people than just yourself}} = Very Smart!

And so, with this reliable and highly vetted equation in mind, I decided to make my spending habits less dumb and be better about where I did said eating and drinking. Enter: this map focused on pointing me towards restaurants, coffee shops, and bars I feel good about supporting. You can link to the map below or here, where you can also get more thorough instructions on how to use and save google maps.

So, what businesses do I feel good about supporting? Small businesses, businesses that give back or reinvest in the community, and businesses with diverse ownership.

While almost all of the businesses on this map hit all three of those marks, I would say this map primarily focuses on businesses with diverse ownership. This felt essential: to truly love NYC is to love the different backgrounds and stories of the 8 million people who live here. And like you do for any true love, I want to make sure it sticks around. This means that 1) I want to make sure if I’m seeking out and experiencing a different culture’s cuisine, I’m patronizing the right people*, and 2) I want to do what I can to fight the steady decrease in POC-owned businesses in our city.

Some tactical things:

  • If a business is on this map, I learned about their ownership from other lists, the business’s website, restaurant profiles, or simply going in and chatting with the staff.
  • This map is not complete in the slightest, so give me a shout if there’s a business you think I’m missing.
  • I do include a few chain spots on here that give back a portion of their proceeds to the community or other causes. Not your cup of tea? Simply uncheck that box within the map legend to exclude these businesses from your view (note: these bigger businesses have teal icons).

...And that’s the deal with the map!

I hope this helps you find a new Banh Mi spot or go-to coffeeshop, or better yet, inspires you to look more closely at your lovely city and the people who make it what it is.

New York, I love you, and you never bring me down,


*There are a surprising number of food places started by white people who felt inspired to replicate the local cuisine after going on a nice vacation - watch out!