NEW YORK CITY, NY
There isn't much to say about New York, other than .... delicious, delicious, delicious!
For me breakfast is a real luxury, because during the week it is usually a half-hazard kind of meal. So on trips, vacations and weekends I love to indulge.
Bubby's, located in Tribeca (120m Hudson Street), is my favourite New York brunch place satisfying all my American breakfast cravings. Everything I have had here has been mouth-watering good...the pancakes, the eggs Benedict, the huevos rancheros, the milkshakes...oh the list goes on and on. I have never left here unsatisfied or with any room left in my poor overloaded stomach. The decor is inviting and homey. It's the perfect place to start your day. (Also, check out their second location on the High Line if that suits you better.)
If you are looking for something more sophisticated, there is SoHo's bistro Balthazar (80 Spring Street). The atmosphere is elegant and French all-in-one. You genuinely feel like you're in Paris. The food is of course French and delicious. The eggs are divine, the bread and butter is to die for, the smoked salmon is perfect! Also, they have great coffee and tea. The bustle of waiters and guests is also great, providing that perfect NY feeling!
I'm not a big fan of big lunches, preferring something light and delicious that will keep me going till dinner, rather than set me to sleep. This is especially important if you're sightseeing or wandering through town, a heavy lunch will only slow you down. So here are my two favourite places for lunch. They are on opposite sides of town, so E.A.T is perfect if you've just been or about to go to the Met, the Whitney, the Guggenheim or the Frick Collection. Chelsea Market is better suited if you've just done some shopping in the Meatpacking district or been wondering the High Line.
E.A.T. (1064 Madison Avenue) is one of those deli's where everything looks and is delicious. Walk in here hungry and you find yourself wanting to try everything. They have a great selection so you are sure to find something that makes your mouth water. My advice is stick to the great/ best sandwiches and salads ever. Of course, there are the scrumptious bagels! You can take-away and sit in Central Park or you can sit in the restaurant. Either way lunch is bound to be memorable!
I love going to Chelsea Market (75 9th Avenue), wondering about and seeing what strikes my fancy. Considering the great choice that is assembled here I always try something new. You can sit down in the little cafés, delis, supermarkets, and mini restaurants or venture outside and sit on the High Line.
Eataly (200 Fifth Avenue) My newest discovery. Part of the Mario Batali empire, this place sells everything Italian you could possible wish to eat! Great produce has you salivating! Sit down at one of the restaurants and enjoy! (While they are now increasingly found all over the world, this is still, hands-down, the best Eataly I’ve ever been to!)
AFTERNOON TEA + DRINKS
After a morning and afternoon in New York you need a little rest and a something to nibble on. You can do so over afternoon tea at the Crosby Bar or a more relaxed cold German beer outside at the Biergarten.
The Crosby Bar, part of the Crosby Street Hotel (79 Crosby St), is a nice little treasure tucked away in SoHo. The food is great, but even better is the special attention and detail given to the food - they have a rooftop garden where they plant seasonal fruit and vegetables, as well as fresh herbs. Afternoon tea is great here and always a treat. If you crave something a little stronger they also have a lovely bar, where you can enjoy a delicious nibble and a fantastic drink.
For something more chilled and outdoorsy, go check out the The Biergarten at the Standard (848 Washington Street). Here you can sit inside or outside, depending on the weather. It should be noted that you sit on typical Bavarian beer benches and have the option of drinking and eating German and Bavarian specialities. Again, it is a little world of its own in the middle of New York - and that's exactly why I love it!
Of course, if you just want a sweet treat you can always pop-by the Magnolia Bakery (401 Bleecker Street and W. 11th Street) or Birdbath Bakery (160 Prince Street), where you can pick-up a delicious cupcake or slice of cake. Note that these are my favourite locations, but both have several in New York.
Dinner is my favourite part of the day, because I'm always hungriest. What's particularly great about New York is great choice available to you. As such, I have picked a diverse lot of favourites.
Now, seeing as we are in New York, it seems only appropriate to include a steak house. However, Strip House (13 E 12th St) isn't exactly your traditional steak house - the decor is burgundy and red, making quite the statement, the lighting is dim, giving the whole place a mysterious feel, and then there are the walls, adorned in black and white burlesque photos, giving the whole place a sexy feel. All in all you are transported into another era. And then of course there is the food...delicious! The meat is superb and the sides are delectable. Strip House satisfies your meat cravings plus providing that special something.
Yum, Yum, Yummy, is what Ippudo is (65 Fourth Avenue). The decor and atmosphere are laid back and a little-grungy. The whole place is open plan space and includes an open kitchen, which I always find adds to the atmosphere of a place. Then there is of course the ramen they are famous for. However, you must also try their hirata buns, which are exceptional, and accompany them with Ginga Kogen, the best Japanese beer ever! If you're looking for a more elegant evening out, Ippudo has another location on the West Side (321 W 51st St New York, NY 10019) which is sleek and elegant and serves a more refined menu. One thing they have in common - the delicious food!
Another yummy and laid back location is La Esquina (114 Kenmare) where they serve the best Margaritas I've ever had in my life. And that's saying something, cause I'm not usually a fan. The food is equally on par and you enjoy fantastic and creative tacos. The place has several entrances and seating options. I've only ever been in the restaurant but absolutely love the look of the bar and seeing as the kitchen is one and the same I say pick whichever one suits you best.
Crosby Street Hotel (79 Crosby St). I absolutely adore the entire hotel, having stayed here the last time I was in New York. The decor is modern yet quaint English and I enjoy the easygoing atmosphere. And if you decide to stay a little longer you can enjoy their luxurious and private in-house movie screenings. What else could you want from a relaxing evening after a long busy day?
I’ve also stayed at the Trump SoHo and admittedly enjoyed it. It doesn’t have personality like the Crosby Street Hotel, but everything is pristine, stylish and modern. There was nothing we could complain about! It’s what you want from a five-star hotel! Also, we enjoyed the divine view across Manhattan.
The High Line. With the first part open since 2011 and the last part scheduled to open in 2017, this is a great use of space and the perfect place to enjoy a ray of sunshine and rest your tired feet. Just over two kilometres long, this is a park is elevated and built on a disused railway line.
The Empire State Building at Night. I never figured I'd enjoy this, but I loved it! We headed up the Empire State Building at night and it was mesmerising to see the city and its endless streams of light unfold beneath you. Tourist and absolutely worth it!
When it comes to museums, I am a traditional girl. I like to go to the Met and MOMA.
The Met. My favourite museum in New York. It is huge and enormous and often too full. But go early and see the less visited galleries and enjoy the sheer number, variety and quality of work on display. It is the perfect place to always discover something new!
MOMA. This place never gets boring, with fantastic permanent and temporary exhibitions. Plus, it has a fantastic museum shop 🙂
A trip to the Lincoln Centre for Performing Arts and/or Carneige Hall. Both locations offer some of the best performances in the world. So, plan ahead and book tickets. The same goes for musicals on Broadway! Absolutely awesome!!