Before we dive into the city adventures, I want to give a shout out to my friend Dahlia! I have a deep appreciation for her spontaneity and willingness to travel to New York with me. She is also the one who encouraged me to start this blog and my Instagram. So thanks Dahlia, you da best ❤
This was my first ever visit to NYC, and as luck would have it, our travel dates unintentionally overlapped with the New York Restaurant Weeks! If you know me, you’d know I’m a huge fan of Seattle Restaurant Week so it was practically destiny. We decided our trip would literally be planned around our food (the best idea ever). Let me go ahead and break it down by things we did!
Food. Delicacies. New York Eats!
For New York Restaurant Week, I composed an excel sheet that cross-referenced information from the actual restaurant week website and Yelp. It included the $ and star ratings, as well as the type of cuisine, neighborhood and address. I’m so proud that I want to include the link to it. Please admire my work. But from that sheet, we narrowed down four restaurants for the weekday lunches and dinners.
We went to: Gotham Bar and Grill, Aureole, Morimoto and Rafele. Out of all these restaurants our favorite was Morimoto but due to a number of reasons! The service was pretty good (although Aureole treated us like queens), the decor in the restaurant was spot on, and the food was exotic and tasted out of this world. The bathrooms at Morimoto were also super cool! It had like an aquarium vibe to it and fancy bidets. These four places were a good representation of fine dining in New York; each one provided us with a unique experience.
But the food doesn’t stop there! We also visited The Bagel Store, home of the infamous rainbow bagels. It was a cool place, but I wasn’t personally blown away by their bagels or any other New York bagel. But I was impressed by this pizza place we went to one late night called Lil’ Frankie’s and omg wow their pizzas were so delicious. They’re located in East Village, and I highly recommend it! I ordered the Pizza Bianca, which was a beautiful blend of rosemary, olive oil, sea salt, mozzarella and truffle oil (I’m a sucker for truffle oil). We also visited Chelsea Market on two separate days and surveyed a lot of the food there. The highlight of the market would have to be Los Tacos No 1. Their tacos were filled with so much flavor and it was literally an explosion in your mouth, in the best possible way.
We were your typical grandmas on our first two nights there. But we saw the Book of Mormon on our first night! That show was fantastic. I had high expectations going into the show given it was a Broadway Show, and it definitely did not disappoint. The performances had me either laughing or smiling throughout the entire show. OMG AND SOMETHING I SHOULD MENTION, the intermission was probably only about fifteen minutes long but I have never been involved in a bathroom experience as efficient as this one. The ladies line wrapped around the venue, and I literally thought I wasn’t going to make it before the end of intermission. But there was someone in the actual bathroom just calling out stall numbers to keep the flow going. They really excelled at that, shouting out numbers like their life depended on it. One of the highlights of my night tbh. Anyway, I recommend going to see the Book of Mormon! It had such such a good mix of witty and crude humor, along with awesome choreography. Hopefully you also get to experience my bathroom experience along with the amazing show.
On our third night we met up with someone who knew his way around NYC. He took us to places like Tiki Tabu (a rooftop bar), Rockwood Music Hall (a music lounge), Jump Into the Light (a virtual reality place), and Beauty & Essex (a speakeasy hidden in a pawn shop). My favorite had to be Beauty & Essex just because it was a club, and I enjoy dancing and some good beats. It had nice decorations all over, multiple chandeliers and a grandiose staircase leading up to the top floor! There was even free champagne in the girl’s bathroom (my trip to New York had amazing bathroom experiences lol). It was all pretty swanky.
After a wild night, we decided to keep our last night lowkey since we had a 7am flight the following morning. So what did we do? Venture out to more speakeasies and a cute bar named Lover’s Lounge! The lounge was a cute, intimate place with tasty cocktails, possibly a place you take your hot dates. Then we went to Please Don’t Tell and The Back Room. We had to enter a phone booth inside a hot dog restaurant in order to make our way into PDT. Everyone was so friendly here (maybe it was the alcohol, I’ll never know). I barely made it to The Back Room, which was hidden in a dark alleyway. This was actually a real speakeasy that was around during the 1920s, and they continue to serve their drinks in teacups!
I totally get why they call New York the city that never sleeps. The nightlife was poppin’, and the places we chose were all in close proximity to one another, which was nice.
Random notes & tidbits.
Consider this my overflow miscellaneous section.
As you may or may not know, New York is a pretty large city, filled with lots to do. We rented bikes and biked around the entire Central Park (omg such a workout)! We also visited the Museum of Modern Art and the American Museum of Natural History! Oh man, museums are so mentally draining after 2+ hours. But there were some fascinating exhibits in both places! The natural history museum had such life-like models of sea animals. There was one of a whale that gave me chills because it looked so real and up close. Then in the MoMA, one of Andy Warhol’s pieces in The Last Supper series was featured, and I fought my way through the crowd to view Vincent Van Gogh’s Starry Night! Also, MoMA was partnering with UNIQLO and provided free admission Friday evenings so that was a nice deal. We also made our way up the 850ft Rockefeller Center, to the Top of the Rock! We went right before sunset and watching the city lights turn on was unreal. So pretty (but also freezing up there)! We also went to an early yoga class one morning, and I didn’t anticipate how challenging the class would be. I was able to do a supported headstand by the end of the class (omg it was so scary)!
There’s also something cool at Grand Central Station called the whispering spot! It’s just a plain archway that is actually magical when you have a person standing at each end facing the wall. You can whisper cute pickup lines and sweet nothings through the wall to your special someone or just a friend, either one works. It felt like I was in the Harry Potter Chamber of Secrets, and the wall was speaking to me. This was definitely an interesting find and a unique experience!
This trip made me want to live in New York sometime in the future. Every time I encountered someone doing their job, I was like, “I could move to New York and do that!” There was a person at the Top of the Rock just keeping track of how many people they were sending up. I can also count people! Maybe one day ya girl will be living and eating her way through New York. Thank you for sticking around and reading through this long post!
Till the next journey,