Who doesn’t love a trip to the big apple?! You’re exhilarated when there, and exhausted by the time you’re home three days later. We visited NYC for Memorial Day weekend, and although most spend the weekend lounging in Tahoe, The Hamptons, or some sort of lake with rosé in hand, NYC ended up being a great option because the city was DEAD. I mean, dead for New York standards. It was my boyfriends first time there and he thought it was wild. I tried to explain that he hasn’t seen “wild” until walking the streets at rush hour on a Monday. Visiting New York while all the locals are out of town is the move. Top restaurants are easy to book, hotels are lower in price, and there is no traffic whatsoever. We’ll definitely be making it a tradition. Plus, you can still get your rosé sipping on a boat crossed off your list. More on that below…
We flew into JFK super late on Friday night and hit the ground running fairly late into the morning on Saturday. We stayed in Chelsea, which was fairly central to most of the sites we wanted to see, and the restaurants we had on our list. Next time though, I’ll definitely stay in Soho. I love the vibe in that chic neighborhood, so many restaurants to choose from, and unlimited shopping. I’m dying to try the Soho Grand Hotel.
We grabbed coffee at Variety Coffee every morning (and every afternoon), right on the corner next to our hotel. I’m not one to swoon over a coffee joint, but this little cafe had the friendliest baristas, outstanding coffee, and offered every nut milk you could think of. Even oat milk!
After my caffeine fix, we headed to Central Park. I’ve had countless trips to NYC growing up, and more recently with work, but still had never walked through the park. I think we chose the hottest summer day ever to go, but it was a great time nonetheless, and a nice change from the constant shopping/eating/drinking/subway riding that a trip to NYC is filled with. During our walk, we stopped at The Loeb Boat House, right on one of the lakes in the park. This is a darling little place to escape the sun and sip a mimosa during brunch hours. After a quick drink, we bought avocado toast, fruit, and sandwiches, and eat while enjoying each others company and the surroundings around us. I live for a good people watching moment.
After the park (and sweating through our *cute* outfits) we headed downtown to Grand Banks. I read about this floating boat bar and restaurant on multiple sites and was so excited to try! We got right on the boat with zero reservations and enjoyed a few summer cocktails and rosé on the river. It was the perfect Memorial Day weekend activity!
We headed back to the hotel to freshen up and take cold showers, then enjoyed happy hour at our hotel’s rooftop bar. After, we went to Greenwich Village to have a pre-dinner cocktail at Happiest Hour – a super cool bar with a great drink menu, and right next door to Rosemary’s where we had dinner. My girlfriend that lives in NY recommended this dinner hot spot and it did not disappoint. They had incredible pasta dishes, fresh seasonal appetizers and a gorgeous ambiance. It was the perfect night spent enjoying special time with each other.
Post dinner, we met my said New Yorker girlfriend at The Standard – an awesome bar in the meatpacking district with a fun crowd, biergarten, and separate cocktail bar. This night turning into a late one! Whenever I see my east coast friends, its like no time has passed and we end up talking for hours and hours. The best kind of friendships!
Day 2: Our second full day in New York somehow turned into an unplanned food crawl. We started the morning off at Chelsea Market for coffee, lox & NY bagels, and brunch cocktails. Then we walked to the Highline and and had fun taking in the gorgeous views, and amazing new construction thats been growing rapidly in the neighborhood.
As if our walk along the Highline was good workout, we made our way to Soho (and unintentionally start our self-led food tour) to try out the famous Joe’s Pizza – which was absolutely, 100% worth the hype.
As the rain started to drizzle down, we popped into a few fun bars to enjoy some east coast beers with crispy french fries. Then, I couldn’t pass up a cookie at Birdbath Bakery after seeing them deliciously stacked in the window…
After strolling around Little Italy, we finished the day off with dinner at Tony’s Di Napoli in Times Square. Don’t write it off due to the location just yet!! We’ve been coming back to Tony’s every trip to New York since the first time we ever came as a family. Tony’s is a total Italian institution. My family and I are serious Italian food fans, and every time we leave Tony’s we can’t stop talking about it. The restaurant is huge, always packed, and tables are about an inch apart. They serve all dishes family style, and when I say family style, I don’t mean a dish the size of my pinky that you’d find at the newest sought after restaurant that claims their dishes are family style. Tony’s dishes are HUGE and 2-3 will feed well over 4 people. Of course, we can’t help ourselves and always over order. Tony’s is a must – don’t knock this Times Square gem until you try it 🙂
Day three started out with an awesome run with my dad along the river. The Chelsea Pier was super close to our hotel, which was a great workout spot. I had no idea New York had these awesome running trails along the water! We followed up our workout with some thrift shopping in Chelsea, and brunch at The Smith. The avocado toast was to-die-for! After brunch I stopped by Cha Cha Matcha for a soft serve bowl. Before jumping on our longggg flight back home, we stumbled upon a street fair and a little NYC street meat was a must. I like to keep it real over here!