Just recently I took a trip to New York with my husband and we loved it! We took the train from Baltimore and it only took 2 hours. Why I’ve never done that before – I have no idea, but it was so easy. It was my first time in NYC and it was kind of a spontaneous decision to go depending on my husbands work schedule with playoffs, so we booked the hotel last minute and asked for recommendations last minute, but we made the absolute most of the few days we had. I suggest going for at least 5 days to really take everything in.
Here’s our recap:
Tuesday January, 8th – my 25th birthday, the reason for going to New York. CELEBRATE and live our best lives, duh.
2 hour train ride that dropped you off smack dab in the city, which was so convenient!
Got into the city and took an Uber to our hotel in SoHo, Manhattan. We checked into The James and made ourselves at home.
This is such a beautiful hotel in such a great location. Something we had to get use to quickly was the size of the room. Lots of hotel rooms in NYC are very small, most of them not even being 1,000 sq. ft. but that’s just how it is. Our hotel was very tidy, luxury and modern.
Not to mention the view was gorgeous of the city and the huge glass shower with a giant shower head and hose was an added bonus. The space was perfect for two people for just a few days.
After settling in, we wanted to get out and see what was near. We were starving at this point, and were craving a burger and draft beer. We decided we would try Black Tap. A friend suggested this spot to us and it was literally a block up from our hotel. It was amazing to say the least. Best place for a burger, beer and an out of this world milkshake in SoHo! Btw, we were not counting calories on this trip! ($$)
I was more interested in the shake, lol. It was delicious. Order the Cookie Shake – you won’t be disappointed.
LAVO later that night for my birthday dinner, which is an upscale, industrial-chic Italian eatery with a downstairs nightclub featuring DJs & bottle service ($$$).
Easily one of the best Italian restaurants I’ve been to, thanks to a girlfriend of mine for suggesting this place! You absolutely have to get the meatball for an appetizer because that’s what ya do, you pregame the food. And you HAVE to get the fried Oreos for dessert. That was my first time ever having a fried Oreo and it was heavenly.
This was the move after dinner at our hotel – there’s a rooftop bar & lounge that we enjoyed. It was a beautiful night to have some celebratory drinks.
Fast forward to Day 2, 3 & 4.
The Cupping Room SoHo, which is a longtime cafe with exposed brick, a historical setting serving classic American eats & weekend brunch ($$).
To be honest, we didn’t spend a whole lot of time here. It was definitely amazing to see in person for the first time, but I was over it after about 20 minutes. It is one of the most chaotic, most touristy spots in NYC. Don’t get me wrong, I loved taking it all in because I’m a city girl, but this was a bit much for us. Literally everything was the exact way you see it in the movies and television shows.
This park is massive and beautiful to say the least. We strolled through probably about a mile of it. It was freezing and the wind chill didn’t help, or else we probably would’ve attempted to walk the whole park. Neither of us realized how big the park was until we got there, but it was so charming.
Jin Ramen Upper West Side – a variety of ramens, including vegetarian broths, rice bowls, pork buns, beer & sake. This place was delicious! We love a good ramen joint and this one was so satisfying ($$).
EMPIRE STATE BUILDING
Okay guys, this was one of the coolest things to see during our trip. This historical building is a 102-story Art Deco skyscraper in Midtown Manhattan. We bought tickets online while having lunch and learned so much about how it was built and other interesting facts. We were able to go in and head up to the top where we saw the entire view of New York City and parts of New Jersey. It was very fascinating seeing the Statue of Liberty from the view as well. I definitely recommend doing this while you’re in the city. Also, if you have time visit the 9/11 memorial. Unfortunately we didn’t, but we will for sure next time.
We had dinner with a close friend at the connecting restaurant/bar of our hotel. It was called Gitano, Jungle Room where we had dinner and cocktails. This place was really cool because it was total jungle vibes, you totally felt like you were somewhere tropical. Gitano is also located in Tulum and Caló. If you’re staying in or near SoHo, this place is definitely one to try for dinner ($$$).
NoMo Soho, represents an intrigue for the nostalgic + modern. This is a hotel that includes a curated collection of vintage and contemporary art, representing the eclectic mix of those who made SoHo what it is today. The menu offers rustic American options with Mediterranean influences. We had a very delicious breakfast here in the sunroom and enjoyed the scenery. Get the lemon ricotta pancakes, they’re amazing ($$).
BELL’S COFFEE & DESIGN
Cute and quaint little coffee shop with modern rustic design elements and aesthetically pleasing. Their spiced latte with oat milk is amazing. I absolutely love local coffee shops and baristas here were so kind.
If you want to come to NY to shop, you’re definitely in the right city. There are stores everywhere, but depending on what kind of shopping you want to do, I would hit up Broadway which is a long strip of stores. Broadway runs the entire length of Manhattan, more than 13 miles. Many of New York’s most famous department stores occupy real estate on Broadway. Exploring Broadway’s unique shops and markets is like going on an adventure. And if you know where to look, you can find a wealth of treasure. Another area I loved for shopping is SoHo, right where we stayed. They have literally every designer boutique you can think of and consignment stores where you can buy and/or sell. All of these boutiques are quaint all along cobblestone side streets that give you that east coast vibe.
We obviously had to walk the Brooklyn Bridge to get to the pizza place across. It was beautiful and one of the nicest views of the city by far. It was cold, but the walk was so interesting and pleasant.
DIFARA’S PIZZA – Brooklyn’s Best
When we first arrived to this spot, I have to admit I totally judged the appearance of the building and overall location. It doesn’t look aesthetically pleasing or “insta worthy” for that matter, but I put those judgements to the side real quick because what really mattered was the quality of the pizza since that’s what we wanted. It was BOMB!
Our first time having a donut ice cream sandwich and I kid you not it was like sex in my mouth. I love sweets- donuts and ice cream are my favorite kind of sweets so whoever invented this is amazing. If you like ice cream and donuts, look no further and try Holey Cream at least once. We split one, but in all honesty I know I could’ve took one down myself LOL.
I found this place under the most recommended Mediterranean cuisine in SoHo andI can definitely vouch for that. It was very close too our hotel which we liked because we were exhausted from everything we’d done. This restaurant has a funky, exposed-brick vibe with antiques & occasional live jazz making it intimate and memorable ($$).
LAST STOP FOR BREAKFAST
DOMINQUE ANSEL BAKERY
So this place, my friend told me about their cronuts, which they’re known for and I apologize I didn’t get a picture of it because I literally devoured it as soon as the baker gave it to me. I mean… if you want a good cronut, coffee and chocolate chip cookie, or any baked good for that matter, come here! This bakery is famous and serves up the most delicious, creative and beautiful French treats.
Because NYC is so massive, don’t try to do EVERYTHING. Pick 1-3 “must-see’s” a day, and let the rest kind of fall into place. most importantly enjoy yourself!
That’s all for now folks.