If you know me or follow me on Instagram you’d know I have a huge love for beautiful landscapes and these destinations are usually my preferred choice. However I have always romanticised about New York City and with all the hype placed on it from others and my own imagination, it still exceeded all my expectations. I don’t usually get the travel blues post holidays but I’m writing this now, in December, and still have the ache for the two weeks spent here in August.
Here are a few recommendations of where we ate and what we did (a few extra tips at the bottom of the blog).
+ Jack’s Wife Freda – brunch, a bit of a line up so get there early and put your name down, then go around the corner and have a coffee at Maman – best chai I’ve ever had!
+ Russ and Daughters – brunch, a famous jewish deli, a lot of seafood options, really cool atmosphere and the surrounding streets are worth checking out too.
+ The Butcher’s Daughter – favourite brunch spot (also serves lunch and dinner). It’s 100% vegetarian (vegan and gf options), this place is gorgeous.
+ Mighty Quinn – BBQ dinner, go hungry, make sure you get the burnt end baked beans.
+ Estella – fine dining dinner, best chocolate cake EVER. I told the people at the table beside us to order it and then told the cab driver all about it on the way home (he knew of the cake too, his daughter also loves it).
+ La Esquina – dinner, Mexican, book ahead. Coolest atmosphere, this was one of my favourites. You get taken through a few doors, past the kitchen, down a couple of halls and end up eating the most delicious Mexican food in what feels like a basement with great tunes.
+ Rosemary’s – dinner/lunch. Italian dishes sourced right from the rooftop garden.
+ Shake Shack – you need to try one of these burger chains while you’re there. We went to Shake Shack three times in the two weeks #noregrets. We loved the one at Madison Square Park because of it’s atmosphere and view of the dog park and flat iron building.
+ Rosie’s Tacos – Mexican! If you are what you eat then it’s safe to say that we were going home little Mexicans.
+ Tacombi – Mexican AGAIN. This place looks as good as it tastes.
+ 2 Bro’s Pizza – one day I spent $400 on rugs and Kate spent a few coins on a record player, so feeling a little guilty we had pizza and a drink from here for $2.99. We ate it on the rooftop of our apartment and it was one of my favourite evenings in NY.
+ Best Bagel and Coffee – really original name but it really was an exceptional bagel. Get there early because of the line. We got takeaway and went and ate it in Bryant Park.
+ Big Gay Ice cream – get the rocky road!*drool*
+ Milk – taste like frozen cereal.
+ 10Below Ice cream bar – huge portion and really filling.
+ Free hugs in Union Square – if you’re lucky enough to see this when you’re in NY then get involved. This was my favourite hour in New York.
+ Central Park – walk/ride through it, hire the boat and crash roughly down the stream, pack a picnic or just grab some yummy bagels and people watch.
+ Thrift shops – I love popping into thrift shops all over the world and NY had some of the best. A few items I bought (the red dress and the overalls in the photos below) are still some of my favourite items of clothing now. We went to Buffalo Exchange, Auh20, The Reformation, El Train and some more I forgot to write down. Whenever you see a thrift shop GO IN THERE. We also loved all the second hand book shops and found some absolute scores in them.
+ Brooklyn Bridge – we got a bit of flack that our pictures of the Brooklyn Bridge were photoshopped but we went on a Sunday morning at sunrise. Apart from a few keen exercisers we had the bridge to ourselves. Highly recommend getting up early to do this!
+ If you’re a big Sex and the City fan then you have to check out Carrie Bradshaw’s street, 64 Perry Street. It’s a really gorgeous neighbourhood so would recommend this even if you can’t quote every single line.
+ Bleeker Street, Leeroy Street, St Luke’s Place and St Mark’s Place were my favourite streets. Our airbnb was on SMP.
+ Greenwich Village, East Village and West Village were my favourite hoods (anywhere downtown really). Recommend staying in this area.
+ Washington Square Park – we were staying close by so often stopped here for a break and to people watch. A lot happens in this little park including Mike from Passenger busking!
+ Top of the Rock! Best views of New York. We wanted to go back again on our last night for sunset but got there too late and it was fully booked. So book ahead or get there early. My photos were taken about 3pm.
+ Helicopter Ride. If you have some extra moola to spend then treat yo’self! Really cool experience to fly above NY. The photographer in me was a teeny tiny bit disappointed that the day was hazey and the light was harsh, I would have preferred it to be an overcast/moody day.
+ Broadway – BOOK OF MORMAN. I was in hysterics. Totally not PC but fucking hilarious. Would see it again and again. We also loved Kinky Boots.
+ Flat Iron Building – we went here often because we loved this area (and it was also where shake shack was ;). We got up early and went at 7am one morning to get some photos without a heap of people in them.
+ Cinema. One day we were too hot to do anything so we went to the movies, had some popcorn and watched Bad Moms. This is such a good thing about being in the city for a longer period of time – you could have relaxed activities like this without feeling guilty that you should be doing something a little more exciting.
+ DUMBO (down under the Manhattan bridge overpass). Really gorgeous area in Brooklyn, we went to the DUMBO markets for food and shopping. This is where I found the rugs.
+ Museums – I’m not the biggest museum fan but Kate is. We went to the Met and Moma.
+ Marie’s Crisis Bar – I loved this place but Kate was extremely uncomfortable. A friend recommended we go here for a drink. There was a lady in the middle of the room playing the piano and everyone was singing around her. I would have joined them but a lot of the songs were from musicals I didn’t know. I still loved it and sung along when The Sound of Music favourites came one. If this is your thing thing definitely go!
+ Burlesque Show at The Slipper Room. Really weird night but recommend it.
+ Comedy Cellar – hilarious night, try not to sit in the front row if you don’t want to be picked on!
+ Chelsea Markets and walk the High Line.
Chelsea Markets and the High Line
Top of The Rock
Regulars at Shake Shack in Madison Square Park
Central Park, obvs.
Brooklyn Bridge at sunrise on a Sunday
Brunch at Walters in Brooklyn
2 bros pizza for $2.99, bargain mate.
Waiting for Russ and Daughters – we walked around the streets after putting our name down and had a coffee and doughnut entree at the Yard
Russ and Daughters
Washington Square Park
Perry Street, Leeroy Street, Bleeker Street.
The Butcher’s Daughter
Big Gay Ice cream
Flat Iron Building and Madison Square Park
10 Below Ice cream
Heli above NY
Free Hugs in Union Square
Our airbnb on St Mark’s Place
+ Walk everywhere – it’s such a great way to see a city plus you can burn off all that Mexican.
+ Carry a raincoat or umbrella with you. Unexpected downpours happen often in summer.
+ Get a simcard so you can plan where you want to go/see while you wait for tables. Also a massive time saver with directions.
+ Book ahead for as much as you can so you don’t have to waste time waiting or missing out on certain things – restaurants, bars, museums, top of the rock, broadway.
+ August was hot as – head out early so you can try to beat the heat. Go to the museums in the middle of the day so you can be in aircon.
+ We used Google Maps to pin everywhere we wanted to see/do/eat and colour coded this. Organised huh? This meant that when plans changed we could open up the map and see what was around us to do instead.
+ We flew over with Qantas. You are allowed 2 x 23kg suitcase (a few airlines allow this). I didn’t know this going over so had to buy a suitcase there when I could have just taken two from home.
+ Airbnb was the cheaper than hotels and a better experience, especially if you are staying for awhile – you really do feel like a local.
+ Uber instead of taxis