New York, you own my heart!
Last week Anthony and I went on a trip to New York City (AKA FOOD VACATION). It was to take our minds off real life and relax. It also happened to be our 2 year wedding anniversary!
New York is one our favourite places, and we probably go about 3 times a year.
Because of this, I would say my most requested blog has always been my New York recommendations. But full disclosure, I’m usually having so much fun that I forget to properly document the trip!
This time though, I did my best and I can’t wait to share!
Since it’s impossible to go to all my favourite restaurants and spots in one trip, I’ve decided I’m going to share my last trip in this travel diary, and next week I’ll share a list of all my suggested ‘must-do’ things while in NYC. So, stay tuned for that!
Where we stayed
We kind of have our ‘usual suspects’ of where we typically stay when we go. We’ve used the same hotel and airbnb’s quite a few times. We are typically in the Chelsea/Meatpacking area – but this time I wanted to try something different.
We stayed not too far away in Soho at the Public Hotels. It’s less than a year old and has been very ‘hyped up’ so we decided to give it a try.
It was gorgeous, but in full honesty I wouldn’t stay there again. I loved the vibe and it was stunning. The best part was the rooftop cocktail bar (I will get to that!) – but you don’t need to stay there to go up on the roof.
NYC rooms are always small. We are okay with that. But they were just really poorly designed. No dresser to unpack. 4 hangers in the world tiniest closet. No counter space for makeup. No hooks in the bathroom for towels.
Don’t get me wrong – it was clean and gorgeous. They just hired the wrong designer when making the rooms. Zero functionality!
But as you can see, it is gorgeous and it’s also a good scene. It would be a fun hotel if you don’t care about living out of your suitcase. But both of us really care about that!
Public Hotel Entrance
Super cool entrance to the hotel. Love these escalators. There’s actually only 2 they are lined in mirrors!
The gorgeous lobby! COUCH GOALS!
Public Hotel Rooftop (more on this below!)
What we did in NYC
We flew from Porter Airlines because the airport is a 5 minute walk from our house. I love the airline. (usually!). We ended up getting delayed 12 hours (yes 12!) because of bad weather in NYC.
It was a long day – we finally landed in NYC at 10pm. We missed out whole first day, but were thankful to finally make it.
We arrived, checked into the hotel and went to the restaurant in the hotel which I had heard amazing things about!
Our dinner ended up being at 11:30pm and it was a LOT quieter than most of our fav restaurants in New York. The restaurant was called Public Kitchen. I got the coffee crusted waygu beef and Anthony got a pizza. The food, cocktails and service were amazing.
I am 100% an ambiance person though and since it was dead – I would not go back!
If you prefer good service and good food over a good scene, definitely give it a try.
We ended up just walking around Soho and found a little patio and drank some gin mules and gossiped. I don’t know how we still had stuff to say after being delayed for 12 hours, flying together and dinner – but we stayed up until 3am cocktail-ing and chatting… so I guess we did! 😉
Long day of travel and a fun night did NOT slow us down.
We woke up, got cute and went right to it!
First we walked to one of my favourite NYC brunch spots: Jack’s Wife Freda.
This place is adorable. There’s always a wait, but it goes fast and it’s worth it!
Seriously so adorable!
Then we decided to walk around Soho and finally headed to Union Square.
I love union square and if I lived in NYC – this is the area I’d want to live. It is the home to so many adorable restaurants, great shopping and most importantly, the worlds best farmers market!
I could wander around it all day. It just makes me so so so happy!
If you love fresh food and farmers markets – this is a must.
Union Square Farmers Market. The best!
Later that day we went back to the hotel and decided it was cocktail O’clock. This is when we found the magical rooftop cocktail bar. The rooftop of Public Hotel = A new official must for any summer NYC trip. It was gorgeous!!
Can’t beat this gorgeous decor, incredible cocktails and 360 view of the city that owns my heart!
After a few aperol spritz and about 1000 pictures – we went to relax in the hotel room before getting ready for dinner at our most favourite restaurant in the whole world.
Dinner was at Tao. Which is the one place I will never miss while in NYC. The food makes me salivate just thinking about it. The service is incredible. But the best part is the ambiance and vibes. Ugh. It’s like a gorgeous candle lit football field sized dining room full of beautiful people, incredible music and the most incredible decor. Ambiance =A+++++!
This picture does NOT do this place justice. You must go!
Must order: Miso Black Cod, Lobster Drunken Pad Thai & Waygu Beef Sushi Rolls. YOU ARE WELCOME!
Literally we order so slow, enjoy the company, have lots of cocktails flowing and we just soak in the best place on earth for a night out dinner. This place is pricey, but 100% worth every penny in my opinion.
After this we went to the Dream Hotel Lobby Bar (always a great vibe!) and had cocktails.
It was a great day!
We slept in a bit this day and when we woke up, Anthony’s youngest sister was arriving at our hotel to check in early. She had been in New York for her work as a dancer and we got to spend part of the trip with her before she headed home.
We went to the cutest place for brunch called Freeman’s. It was down this secret alley and it was the cutest!
The end of the alley to get to Freeman’s!
The food and ambiance for brunch were great too! Not like typical brunch places in NY where you are 1″ from your neighbour. It was spacious, which I appreciated!
Later that day we met up with some friends, did some exploring and shopping and ended up at Vandal for a patio cocktail. This place is so modern-art-graffiti-chic! I love it. I’ve only ever had cocktails here so I can’t speak for the food – but it’s amazing vibes and I highly recommend.
On the patio having a spritz at Vandal!
We ended up getting ready fairly early this night. (Note: Early is by 8pm! ha. – NYC is notorious for 10pm dinners!).
So we headed back up to the Public Hotel rooftop with our crew to catch the sunset – and then headed to dinner at La Esquina for our 10pm reso.
Sunset cocktails on the Public Hotel Roof before dinner.
The deceiving outside of La Esquina!
La Esquina is an amazing Mexican restaurant that looks like a deceiving small diner from the outside.
But when you go in there is a secret door with security in front of it. If your name is on the list (make reso’s at least 3 weeks in advance!) – someone takes you down a stair-well, through the kitchen where the staff is cooking, and into a cave-like nightclub vibe restaurant. It’s super cool!
The food is also incredible. If you can handle cheese once in a while – this is your time! Get the Queso Funditio. OMG. It’s melty-sweet-cheese-dip heaven.
It’s a must do if you can get a reservation! 🙂
This was our 2 year wedding anniversary!!
Victoria wasn’t leaving until late afternoon so the 3 of us headed uptown to the central park for brunch and exploring.
We did brunch at a classic, Sarabeth’s Central Park South location. It’s a must do at least once in your life. It’s right beside the Plaza hotel from Home alone! And it’s famous for it’s creamy tomato soup (a full meal in itself!).
Then we just walked through Central Park. There is always so much to see!
At the North end of the park is The Met, and it was the Heavenly Bodies exhibit, which is inspired by all the fashion at the Met Gala. It was GORGEOUS and I highly recommend.
Some of the gorgeous fashion at the Heavenly Bodies Exhibit.
After that Victoria had to catch her flight and we got to start celebrating our anniversary!
It was our last night so we decided to get ready fairly early and just head our and explore little Italy. My husband is Italian and it’s always a tradition to do little Italy the last night of a trip.
We ended up eating at a place right outside of Little Italy that my sister recommended called, John’s of 12th street. It was very classic Italian. Good service and very affordable for NYC.
Next time I would stick to staying inside Little Italy – but it was good!
Dinner at John’s.
That was pretty much it! We got gelato on our walk home and then needed a tea to digest and we were so wiped from the past 4 days that we went to bed by 11pm! ha.
We flew out the next day at 11 so it was perfect for me.
Thanks for reading this travel diary and I hope it inspires you to book a trip to my favourite place on earth, too!
Stay tuned for my NYC fav places and my What I Wore in NYC blogs – both coming soon!