TravelNoise: Rose & Basil, New York City

25 Oct 2017

Ever wanted to know what it’s like to transport yourself to actual fairyland bliss and eat yourself into a sugar coma? Yeah, Rose & Basil will take care of that for you. Owner Ioana Holt carefully curates a totally relaxing yet adventurous vibe in the cozy East Village cafe and self-proclaimed healthy dessert bar. After just one bite of their special treats, you’ll wonder how you’ll ever leave.


My guest and I walked up to the cafe on a hot afternoon ready to cool off. In front of Rose & Basil is a perfect little seating area that feels intimate despite that it’s on the street. Just a few steps down and we found ourselves in the even more intimate cafe, decked out with wall-to-ceiling flowers, display cases boasting gorgeous chocolates (also showcased in flowers) and comfy-looking seats and couches. My favourite spot is the seat next to a big, beautiful window. Relaxing acoustic pop was playing and the barista behind the counter had a smile on her face as she made someone’s latte. I knew, without a doubt, that I would fall in love with this place.

We were warmly greeted by the barista and shown to a few seats toward the back of the restaurant. The cafe was in the process of switching to their fall menu, so the majority of available items were written on a super cute chalkboard. We loved the laid back feel of the whole experience, so we figured we’d go with the flow and let our server choose some things for us.

She started us off with the rainbow latte, which included lovely elements like coconut milk, fruit purée and rose water. The drink was topped with dried flowers and sprinkles and was a wonderful balance of sweet and tangy. We’d barely gotten through the latte when our server brought out two mini cakes: jasmine ($11) and gluten-free rose and basil ($11). The cakes were perfect to share between two, probably three, people, and both were delicious. The jasmine cake had a crust, a custard-like texture, lots of fresh cream and — of course— tons of great jasmine flavor. The rose & basil cake had a rose buttercream and a dense green cake.

We were polishing off the cakes when our server then brought over a selection of chocolates: cayenne, rose, raspberry, jasmine and espresso. Each were incredible. My favourite was the cayenne while my guest preferred the espresso. Finally, to add a savoury note, we got the avocado toast ($9.50), which was super creamy and made with dried garlic and red pepper flakes.

We were perfectly satisfied and had our sugar-fill, but we know we’ll be back soon for sure. The fall menu looks amazing, and we could totally imagine sitting next to that big window with a big mug of something delicious when the weather changes. Yep, we’re in love with Rose & Basil, alright. Call it a problem, but we’d rather stay in fairyland.

Address: 104 E 7th St, New York, NY 10009
Telephone Number: (917) 634-0016

Sami Allen

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