A Perfect Day Eating Out In New York City - Wallet Free
The early days of Treatmo involved an incredible group of local merchants who helped us test the technology. This is one of our early stories, originally published January 4, 2016.
I arrived in New York City on an unusually warm day in December on a quest. I wanted to spend the entire day eating amazing food -- of which NYC has a lot -- and pay without ever pulling out my wallet. This was my first trip to New York City since I joined my sister, the founder of Treatmo, as co-founder.
Because I had just 24 hours to see and eat as much as possible, ordering ahead with my phone through Treatmo would allow me to plan, save time and share my trip with friends all at once through one app. I wanted to reduce friction as much as possible in the checkout process and record my experience, too. All that in mind, I brought a large appetite, plugged my credit card into the app and left my wallet behind.
As co-founder of Treatmo, using the app in NYC, where Treatmo was founded, for the first time allowed me to experience the full power of the technology to discover food, order and pay from menus, and share the experience with friends in real time all through the app.
Treatmo Hotspots -- places accepting the payment option -- include eateries with innovative menu items. The app's intelligent search feature allowed me to quickly find healthy food trends that I wanted to try (like seaweed or kombucha).
The food scene in NYC is always evolving and now boasts an expansive variety of meat-free, health-focused options, from simple to extravagant. Restaurants are creating sumptuous menus with veg-centric ingredients that rival or exceed the flavor of more traditional preparations. Since the food trends in 2016 include original veggie burgers, dairy-free desserts, seaweed inspired meals, tea bars, and delicious combinations of cooked or raw whole foods, I sought restaurants at the source of these inspirations.
I picked a few and prepaid with Treatmo. Upon purchase, the payment vouchers were saved instantly in the app to 'My Treats' folder. I simply had to make my way to the restaurants. I used the Treatmo maps to navigate my way there, then presented the vouchers, and started eating.
1) Agavi Juice
To fuel a busy day in NYC, you need a strong breakfast with slow burning energy. The East Village was my first stop to fire up the day. Agavi has a bright fun vibe, and the owners clearly love what they do. Like all places in the East Village, it's a small but creative space to grab and go on your way to work or school. You can also enjoy in location at the counter top looking out onto 7th street while noshing on breakfast.
A true New York juice bar and popular among local residents, Agavi's organic menu and atmosphere send you off to work on the right foot. I generally have oatmeal for breakfast and Agavi gives it a gourmet makeover. I had the Oatmeal Orgy, pre-ordered on Treatmo, and was so excited to try it after showing my voucher. Their version of this classic is loaded with nuts, goji berries, and spices.
It's pure fuel, raw and packed with great flavor. I had also pre-ordered another unique Agavi delight - warm juice! Even though the weather was fantastic, the cooler morning made me crave something hot. The Flu Fighter has all of the ingredients I needed such as orange, ginger, turmeric, and echinacea.
While I sipped my warm juice, I glanced throughout Agavi's menu on Treatmo and discovered the Immunizer Shot. Since I had a busy day planned with plenty of time on subways, I thought a healthy boost for my immune system was a good move. I ordered in a couple taps through the app and downed it. Fully energized, I thanked the great guys at Agavi and headed out towards Union Square a few blocks away.
On the way to Union Square I visited the Strand bookstore and flipped through some older titles alongside other bookworms. From there I walked to Union Square and strolled through the festive holiday market at the south end of the square. After roaming among the crowds and listening to an indie band play, it was time to jump on the subway to Brooklyn and hit the next Treatmo Hotspot.
The L subway route from Union Square goes through the bustling Williamsburg area of Brooklyn, which was a short ride across the East River. I hopped off at the Lorimer Station and walked south on Metropolitan Ave until I reached Havemeyer Street. Turning left, I flew down a couple blocks until I reached Little Choc Apothecary, famous for being the only vegan crêpery in NYC.
2) Little Choc Apothecary
Little Choc Apothecary is unique for large crêpes filled with a variety of fun, healthy ingredients. My sister pre-ordered The Masala for me on Treatmo. I showed my voucher and found a table upstairs to catch up with email. The savory crêpe had a South Asian flair with a mild curry flavored pumpkin, tempeh, sliced almonds and hemp seeds. It was a nice treat to receive through the app, and I messaged her on the Treat Feed, which is Treatmo's news feed, that it tasted amazing. and posted a few photos to share the experience.
The Masala was the perfect healthy lunch -- light and full of engaging tastes and textures. Crêpes have a way of making the filling taste extra delicious. Because I enjoy desserts, I ordered a Sweet Crêpe from the Treatmo menu as well, consisting of bananas and dairy-free caramel sauce. Little Choc also makes an amazing chocolate cake which I tried along with a couple of different juices and smoothies. I loved the Yellow Cold Ninja Juice.
The interior of Little Choc Apothecary is so bright and happy that I wanted to share the experience with my Treatmo social network. I took a bunch of shots of the food and cafe and uploaded them instantly to the Treat Feed.
My friends messaged me back in the feed after seeing the photos and one even bought me another juice while I was in the cafe, so I redeemed the voucher and sipped it while scouting my next stop.
What a wonderful way to eat socially while discovering new places on your own in NYC, all without my wallet. It felt very liberating.
From Little Choc Apothecary, I casually strolled down Metropolitan Avenue and through lively Williamsburg. It's fun to shop and explore the neighborhood then have a little something to refresh. MatchaBar is one of my sister's favorite places and an early Treatmo Hotspot. I was really excited to finally taste it and use Treatmo to share the experience with my network in the app.
From Bedford, I strolled over to Wythe. Treatmo founder, Anna, had already pre-ordered a matcha for me from the MatchaBar menu on Treatmo. It's great whether someone treats me or I order for myself, there are no receipts to track, no cash or change to fuss with and everything is there to instantly repeat next time in the app.
MatchaBar's matcha delivers a balanced energy. It's a perfect for a pick-me-up after a busy day of exploration in the city.
The cafe has a very hip and chill vibe. The baristas were so friendly. I got my Matcha Latte with almond milk. It was delicious and so nice to hang out. A great spot to savor your sips.
It was late in the afternoon and time for dinner. Using Treatmo's maps, I pinpointed where I needed to go next. I walked to Bedford Station on 7th Street and boarded the L, returning to the East Village.
I got off at the 1st Avenue station (at 14th Street) and had a few moments before dinner. I walked to Tompkins Square Park at the center of the neighborhood where Treatmo was born. It's fun to sit in the park and soak in the atmosphere.
The day had been a breeze all because of Treatmo. And even though I was traveling solo, I felt like I had friends with me the whole way because of the ongoing conversations over food and places I had visited on Treatmo. All my dining and a record of it was right there in the app. It made my life simpler - easy to discover great places to eat, convenient to pay instantly from anywhere, and fun to chat about it entirely from my phone.
The last stop of the day was only a short walk away. Quintessence is the original raw food eatery in Manhattan--a must for any food lover. Located on 10th Street, just half a block from the park, it was just a quick hop to dinner.
The inviting interior and friendly owners welcomed me with enthusiasm when I told them I had a Treatmo voucher. The peaceful garden-like ambiance of the restaurant is an oasis in the big city. The restaurant has a really calm and relaxing feeling. I took a photo and posted it on Treatmo for my friends to join in from other points in the U.S.
I had pre-ordered the All American Burger with BBQ Sauce, and a friend on Treatmo treated me a Chocolate Shake from the app. It was fantastic. The veggie burger had two patties, amazing sauce, and kamut bread for the buns. The shake was pure cacao just slightly sweet and went nicely with the burger -- a real happy meal!
The combo was filling and energizing after a long day in the city of eating and exploring. It was a great dinner, but I still wanted to taste the desert, which looked delicious on my friend's Treatmo page. I ordered a raw vegan seasonal pumpkin pie while in the restaurant. It was incredible and a nice top off to a fabulous day.
Finding the best places to eat when you're visiting or even living in a big city is not always easy to do. It takes time and persistence to find a good place. Searches on Google and other sites aren't always forthcoming. By using Treatmo, there was no guesswork and the minute I saw food I liked in the menus or through my friend's orders in the Treat Feed, it was a no brainer to pre-order it straight from the app.
Treatmo partners validated Treatmo vouchers with ease. It's a slick way to travel. Most importanly, Treatmo kept me connected with my friends and family. Everywhere I went I was able to involve them in real time with my experience. I had a blast using Treatmo on a wallet free day out. I can't wait to do it again.
Treatmo Co-Founder, Spiro Zefferys. Loves hiking, cooking and vegan food. He's a graduate of Johns Hopkins University and has worked throughout Asia and Europe as a product engineer.