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Tuesday, June 23, 2015

CITY GUIDE NO. 2: NEW YORK CITY


Obviously, New York City is an amazingly huge city, and there is no way I could ever hope to put together a truly comprehensive and current guide to this wonderful place. However, I will share with you some of  the can't-miss and the definitely-skip places (based on my experience, and lots and lots and lots of Google time....)!




First up: Shake Shack!

A great place for a dang good burger, and probably the cheapest meal you will eat in NYC. We visited the location on the UES, and there was no line, and it was absolutely delicious. It's just your basic, classic, wonderful American burger, and the SHAKES. OMG. So, so, so good. I got the black & white cookie one, and it was to die for. We almost ate here twice, we liked it so much (but you know me...) If they opened one in Utah or Washington, I would probably die of happiness. 



Not the greatest photo, but hey - I was on vacation! 

We also visited Mighty Quinn's BBQ, because my little brother's name is Quinn! It was pretty good - I liked the sweet potatoes on the side, and the crunchy cucumbers were good, but honestly, I would SO much rather have barbecue at Blue Smoke instead (pictured terribly below). The BISCUITS there basically changed my life, and it had a much cooler, less stoner atmosphere. Plus the most divine fried chicken with honey and OMG IT WAS SO DELICIOUS AND AMAZING. Go to Blue Smoke, for sure. 







Artichoke Basille.

I guess we had just gotten used to NYC pricing, but we didn't balk when we thought about spending $30 for a pizza to share. Yeah, the server really should have warned us. This was literally the biggest pizza I have ever seen in my life. Use my mom's cell phone on the table to the left of the pizza as a size reference!!!!! We each ate one piece and were quite satisfied, then had a second and didn't eat the rest of the day. Luckily, you can order by the slice, so PLEASE DO THAT. This pizza was the bomb, probably the best pizza I've ever had (its all about the sauce), and you would be amiss to miss it!






Smorgasburg over in Brooklyn was definitely a fun experience! Tons of different food carts and stands with flavors from all over the world. We had Korean tacos, spicy chicken and cheddar cheese waffles (with the BEST pickles!) and these amazing ice cream sandwiches from The Good Batch that were so delicious on this hot day. They have other highlights like Dough doughnuts and the famed Ramen Burger - its definitely a fun place to spend an afternoon! 




Eataly was incredible! I know if I lived in NYC, I would be SO tempted to come here all the time and would probably waste very much of my money… The options were incredible, and I wish that I didn't have to try to fit everything into a carry-on (darn liquid limits!) or else I would have come home with lots of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, tomatoes, and more! We ate at the Pasta place, it was the bomb. We had to sit at the bar because of a huge wait, but it was actually fun because we got to see into the "kitchen," and you know how I love that. The Nutella bar also looked like a dream come true, for those of you who are into that :)


Chelsea Market was not as amazing as I had hoped - don't get me wrong, it’s a fun place to walk around for a little while, and I would definitely go there for lunch instead of breakfast like we did. Skip the cupcake that so many people rave about at Amy's Kitchen -  we thought it was dry and unexciting. Also Fat Witch Bakery was a let down…not much improvement over boxed brownies, and you should probably just make them at home (or with this recipe!)


DOUGHNUT PLANT OMG. Home of square doughnuts, and filled doughnuts where the filling goes ALL THE WAY around, this place was the bomb. Their seasonal flavors were delicious, and we especially flipped for the pumpkin and spiced pepita doughnut. SO GOOOOOOD! 



Breakfast at The Smith was quite good, conveniently located to our apartment, and had really fancy ketchup. My pecan caramel pancakes were quite the indulgence, and incredibly tasty. A great option if you're in the area. Plus they supposedly have a photobooth in the bathroom downstairs, but it was out of order when we were there…


Locande Verde was one of our "NYC Brunch" experiences (in Tribeca, it felt quite appropriate), and it was totally worth it. The food was divine (my ricotta pancakes with lemon curd and blueberries were otherworldy, and my mom's french toast with toasted hazelnuts and grapefruit was inspiring) and it had a really fun atmosphere. I definitely would go here again! 





Mary's Fish Camp - this one divided us. I really liked my lobster roll (my first one ever - it was rich, buttery, and divine!!) and my mom was not impressed with her dish (the daily special). It was in a pretty pretentious area in the West Village (Louboutin around the corner), and the service was not amazing, so I'd say only head here if you really, really want a lobster roll. 



We didn't take any pictures at Babbo (it was way too dark), but this was our one total splurge option. Gwyneth Paltrow recommended it, so I felt pretty cool when we got a reservation. Honestly, it was good, maybe even great, but did it change my life? No. The saffron panna cotta was definitely the bomb, and I would recommend this place if you want something fancy but still with a cozy atmosphere.



Tal Bagels has dang good bagels, with lots of options. This was where we went to get our "authentic" NYC bagel, and it definitely lived up to the hype. I'm sure there is somewhere else that the real bagel experts go, but this was in our neighborhood and was delicious, so I was satisfied. 





Other NYC must-dos:

Sail around the Statue of Liberty: This was the classiest and most awesome thing we did in NYC, and it wasn't even that expensive. Skip all the lines on Liberty Island and see the Lady herself in great style.

New York City Ballet: Even if you're not a huge ballet fan, you have to appreciate their dedication and incredible talent. Lincoln Center is gorgeous, and its just a beautiful thing to do in a busy, busy city

Kate Spade New York Madison Avenue: If you're a girl, you're going to love this place. Trust me.

Met Museum: Duh. Not overrated. Must do. Wish we could have stayed there for three days.

Walk across the Brooklyn Bridge: This was totally fun (surprisingly busy!) and a great way to enjoy the Manhattan skyline! Take the subway over, and watch out for bikers on your walk back!

Where we stayed: POD51 Hotel

It was tiny (so tiny), but met our needs, was in a great location, and was not expensive (by NYC standards). I'd probably stay here again if I was traveling on a budget. 

4 comments:

  1. Located just a couple blocks from my place the best party hotel nyc has the perfect location for grabbing drinks on a date or after work. There are never a ton of people here which is really great.

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  2. Indeed a great guide! Really liked street food. I know that street food is not that hygienic but still I love it. Have been to many popular food venues in Houston too and found their food 100% hygienic and quite affordable too!

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