I have been to New York City a good number of times in the last 3 years with my husband, Max, and we have tried so many different yummy places - finding all of the EATS AND TREATS! Being a hot vacation spot ALL year round, I figured I would share some of these with YOU! These were all recommended to me by Max, my brother’s girlfriend Liz, or other friends who live in the city! Of course, you can find thousands of restaurants in NYC (and there will be thousands more that I will discover in years to come), but here are my recommendations AND my top 10 things to do when YOU come to visit NYC!
MAX BRENNER – Okay, if you like chocolate – it’s a MUST! They have a wide variety of options as far as desserts go, including a “chocolate bar” and even a chocolate pizza! YEP! I had the Havana Waffle Sandwich - black forest ham, spiced bacon, crispy prosciutto, provolone cheese, sweet butter pickles, mayonnaise, mustard - and it was DELICIOUS! They also have a brunch menu, other handhelds, hot dishes, burgers, and as you might expect, a full desert menu! We left this place in a food coma and would DEFINITELY go back!
FRIEND OF A FARMER – talk about a yummy brunch! We waited outside in the rain for about 20 minutes for this one, but it was worth the wait! We started with the (free) warm cornbread topped with applesauce, and I was pleasantly surprised at how good it was! For brunch, I went with the Boomer Special – 2 eggs, choice of sausage, ham or bacon, & choice of pancakes or French toast. I ate every last bite! They don’t take reservations for brunch, but it’s worth the wait!!
TAVERN ON THE GREEN – this historic restaurant is located in the middle of Central Park. It couldn’t be a more beautiful setting to have a meal! I had the grilled sausage mozzarella and tomato flatbread because I was not super hungry, and y’all, it was quite the size! They have quite the variety on their menu as well, from salmon to burgers to salads. But I can definitely report that my flatbread was delicious and I will try something more adventurous next time.
THE SMITH – MIDTOWN- an American + Seafood option (and a great atmosphere I might add!). I am not a huge seafood person, but I knew it had to be good if Liz recommended it. I decided to get the Shrimp Tagliatelle (I rarely EVER get pasta!). It's a black pasta, sautéed shrimp, scallion and crumbled garlic bread. My mouth is salivating just looking at the picture!! Other menu items include steaks & salads. I was also looking and their brunch menu looks fantastic! If you know me, brunch is my absolute favorite so I will definitely be going back to try it!
EATALY FLATIRON- A true unique experience where you get to discover the taste of Italy! It is overflowing with breads, cheeses, wines, & meat all from Italy that you can shop and take home with you in the Market section. You can also dine in at several different restaurants with a wide variety of options. We just wanted some good old PIZZA! I got a calzone and it was mouth watering! They use all the ingredients that are sold in the market so it truly is one of a kind! Dying to go back already!
MOMOFOKU MILK BAR – MY FAVORITE! But then again, all desserts seem to be my favorite. This is a MUST in NYC! It is a Cereal Milk Bar that has turned into just “Milk Bar,” and they are doing QUITE well! I got the cereal milk soft serve ice cream (yes, it takes like cereal!!!) with sprinkles on top, and I was in HEAVEN!! Other desserts include Crack pie, truffles, cookies, cake & gluten free treats. Oh, & their cookies are my favorite in all of NYC!
MOLLY’S CUPCAKES – The cutest little cupcake shop with SWINGS in the seating area! Yes, swings as seats! They have a large menu, but we tried the Blueberry Cheesecake and the Cake Batter cupcake, and both were SO YUMMY! There is plenty of sugar to go around with other treats and drinks, so I would check this place out!
SUGAR FACTORY ROW - Talk about a popular place!! We were just craving some ice cream and stumbled upon this place, and they had WAY more than just that! I will say their mint chocolate chip ice cream was one of the best I’ve ever had (and if you know me, that’s pretty hard to top!). They also had an assortment of pastries, breakfast favorites, sandwiches, yummy milkshakes and sundaes, ice cream and gelato!
MAGNOLIA BAKERY – I guess you could say I am a cupcake fan! No shame here. But, I am in love with their cupcakes!! I had both the red velvet and the vanilla, and they are scrumptious! They also have a lot of cake options, mini cheesecakes and cookies too!
JUNIORS CHEESECAKE – Cheesecake is one of my top 3 desserts of choice, and they have SO many options here! I prefer the regular strawberry or blueberry! They are very generous with their servings to so be prepared to save room! I would also recommend eating at their restaurant. The burgers are quite good & the service is outstanding! Not to mention the location is convenient for just about anything in NYC!!
I know I am no expert in food and I am certainly no “foodie,” but I think you can go to any one of these places and find something that YOU like! I sure did and would go back in a heartbeat and try something different the next time!
TOP 10 TOURIST-Y things to do in NYC!
1. 911 Memorial & Museum - it will change your heart and perspective on life. Everyone should see it in person.
2. Broadway Shows – There are plenty of shows on Broadway to choose from, and they are all vastly different! Do your research & enjoy a night at the theatre!
3. Statue of Liberty/Ellis Island Boat Cruise – This was so much fun! You get the full view of everything, and it is simply stunning. You can choose to get off and explore both islands if you choose to as well.
4. Empire State Building – There isn’t anything like being at the top of the Empire State Building! Just be prepared for wind and amazing views!
5. Brooklyn Bridge – You will already be doing a lot of walking in NYC, but this way you can do it with a beautiful view. You will definitely want to take pictures on this one!
6. Central Park – A nice way to relax and walk in a more peaceful setting in Manhattan. The perfect place to read, have a picnic, or just sit down for a break! If you want to be real touristy (like I was when I first went), you can get a carriage ride that takes you around Central Park!
7. Shopping – Times Square or 5th Avenue – to be honest, there are shops everywhere! You really can’t escape it, so go on! Shop til you drop!
8. Times Square – It’s the heart and center of NYC (it can be crowded so be prepared!) that has many shops, restaurants, flashing billboards, entertainment – it’s a spectacle!
9. Rockefeller Center – it’s a national historic landmark in Midtown and home to the Top of the Rock Observation Deck. You can shop dine and explore one of NYC’s most popular locations! I definitely recommend going to the top! The views are just gorgeous!
10. Grand Central Station – It’s pretty amazing to visit one of the busiest train stations in the world. The architecture & significance alone are worth the visit!
I hope you all get to visit New York City sometime - it's one of those places that you will never forget! It is full of ADVENTURE and we could all use a little more of that!