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Retracing David Bowie's Food Routine

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Sietsema samples David Bowie's favorite sandwich and coffee beverage.

All Photos by Robert Sietsema

A piece in Sunday’s Fashion & Style section of the Times by Steven Kurutz highlights the normcore nature of David Bowie’s 20-year residence in New York City. It charted Bowie’s wanderings around his home neighborhood of Soho, detailing his favorite sandwich shop and coffee bar, making possible a sort of culinary mini-tour. First stop was sandwich shop Olive’s (120 Prince St), a small spare establishment with rustic fixtures and a red bench out front. His regular acquisition featured a grilled chicken breast on focaccia with watercress, tomatoes, and chipotle mayo. It is really quite delicious, with an herby flavor emanating from the poultry.

[Top row: Olive's. Bottom row: La Colombe]

Next stop was a few blocks east and around the corner on Lafayette Street between Prince and Houston. The late singer’s loft residence (285 Lafayette St) has metal barricades out front meant to hold back the small crowd now gathered there. The pile of tributes includes roses purchased from a nearby bodega, helium balloons, and hand-scrawled reproductions of Bowie photos and album covers from every stage of his long career. The last stop is a few blocks north at coffee shop La Colombe, a Noho fixture of relatively recent vintage. There his regular order was reportedly a double macchiato, delivered with a small spoon in a shot glass. The milk foam tracery on top of the espresso looks like a small candle flame, which seems to flicker at you carry it to the table.