Cafe Lalo | The Most Famous Cafe in NYC

Living in New York City

When I lived in Manhattan-NYC back in the 1980s and 1990s, I was single and had a great group of friends. We would hang out and enjoy all the cafes, restaurants, theater, festivals and so much more! It was and still the most magical city in the world. I suggest whether you are single or a young married couple, or maybe an empty nester, make a point of living there even if it is for 6 months of the year. There is nothing like it!

I lived on the east side on 81st between 1st and 2nd avenue for my first apartment. Then I moved to the upper west side in the ’90s and Riverside. It was a lovely apartment with lifetime friends; we’re still friends 30 years later! We lived on the lower level which gave us access to the back courtyard. We would entertain all the time; it was incredible! One of my roommates worked for a well-known magazine and was very talented creatively. Well, actually a few of my roomies were gifted. I was, and still am, gifted in the cooking department. So we all contributed our talents, and we were the party to go to in our single days!

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Going to the Theatre and Cafes

When we weren’t having a party of our own or going to another, we would do things in the city, like going to the theatre. Two of my favorite productions are La Boheme and The Nutcracker still to this day, and some of my favorite memories are of going to see them at the Lincoln Center. A movie that gives the viewer a visual of the Lincoln Center is Moonstruck. In the movie, Cher meets up with Nicolas Cage for a date to go to the Opera as an agreement for him to leave her alone if she’d go with him. They met in front of the fountain at The Metropolitan Opera House at Lincoln Center. And yes, they too, went to the Opera La Boheme. If you haven’t seen the movie, it’s still a must see!

My friends and I would all dress up and enjoy a wonderful dinner, first at a local restaurant. One of our favorites back then was Carmines on Broadway, which is still there today, but we had many others.

The Lincoln Center NYC

Cafe Lalo – The Most Famous Cafe in NYC

Most of the time we would end up at one of our favorite cafes. The one we would go to the most was Cafe Lalo! It was a hot place to go back then and still is now to this day! It was featured in the 1998 movie You’ve Got Mail with Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan. The bench below is where Tom Hanks sat while contemplating to go into Cafe Lalo after his friend had Tom peek in the window to see who his blind date ends up being, his business enemy…perhaps not! Again a must see!

The Bench Where Tom Hanks Sat “You’ve Got Mail”

This photo below is where Meg Ryan sat when waiting for her mysterious date from the internet comes to meet her. Tom finally decides to go in and annoys her while she is waiting for this guy, (which is really him) until… well, I won’t tell you what happens, another classic movie for you to watch, a lighthearted romantic film.

Cafe Lalo the Table Where Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks Sat

So here is a little bit about Cafe Lalo. It is one of my favorite places to have Tiramisu! I have had Tiramisu in many places, even in Italy, and to this day Cafe Lalo is still one of my favorites. Now 30+ years later I have taken my husband and children there over the past 10 years, and we all love this cafe!

We love sitting at the bar that faces the open window in the spring, summer, and fall when the weather is perfect. You can hear the tooting of the taxi horns and watch the people walk down the street to their home or another place they are rushing off to. You are still able to hear the lovely music that Cafe Lalo plays in the background while enjoying a cup of cocoa, Italian soda, Cappuccino or Espresso; they have cocktails, beer, and wine, too. They have an extensive menu, which includes breakfast, brunch, salads, hot sandwiches, cheese platters and of course, a full array of desserts! See more at their site Cafe Lalo, but no worries. I have their link here, so you can check it out in a new tab; you can come back to my site anytime.

Sitting at the Window Bar
Cannoli and Cappuccino

The decor is so pretty with photos all over the walls. The countertop on the window bar is made from pink marble imported from Italy. Gorgeous! Another dessert that is a family favorite is a Cannoli. I am Sicilian, so they are kind of in my blood!

Ok, so you want to see what I have been speaking about this whole time, their Tiramisu! So here it is below! I have made my own version with lots of tweaking over the years. So now you want to go to Cafe Lalo, but maybe you can’t get there soon enough. Well, I have been recreating a Tiramisu that I will share the recipe with you in my next post. It has been tested by friends, family, neighbors and of course me! So if you would like this recipe, please subscribe, and you will get our newsletter with our new post once a week; it will remind you to go to my link to get the recipe. Why wait? I just want to be sure it is perfect and easy for you to make too! It really is very easy. Make it and your friends and family will be blown away and very impressed! Don’t forget to subscribe to get updates below and the recipe posted next week!

Cafe Lalo Tiramisu

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