**Updated September 2019
Where to Stay:
World Center Hotel: This is a great budget-friendly hotel that’s located in Lower Manhattan. I like it because it’s out of the touristy area but close to the subway so getting to and from the hotel is quite convenient. It’s within walking distance to the 9/11 Memorial and the newly constructed World Trade Centers which offer great shopping. This hotel offers complimentary wine during Happy Hour (yes, please!) Make sure you head up to the 20th floor to take in the view at the View of the World Rooftop Restaurant & Bar. Bonus: they also charge one of the lowest nightly resort fees.
Where to Eat & Drink:
Gregory’s Coffee: My new favourite NYC coffee chain. There’s 24 locations within the city. Their coffee is amazing and their pastries are delicious. Their menu includes vegan and GF items. If you’re looking for something more substantial, they do offer breakfast sandwiches and avo toast.
Joe & the Juice: THE place to go for smoothies or that shot of ginger or turmeric you’ve been craving. They also serve coffee and panini’s and have over 20 locations in NYC. This is our go-to place when we need a between-meal fuel up. Fun fact: they are located worldwide, with even two locations in Iceland. Sadly, they have yet to come to Canada.
Brodo: My love for bone broth got really intense after my hubs bought me the Brodo cookbook for my birthday a few years ago. This is a great place for a quick cup of delicious bone broth to take to-go. They have five permanent locations in NYC and one seasonal.
Joe’s Pizza: If you only had time for one meal in NYC, make sure it’s a slice from Joe’s Pizza. This is where you’ll get that quintessential New York-style, thin crust, super cheesy, kinda oily, crispy crust slice of ‘za. They have six locations throughout the city.
Dante: Voted Word’s Best Bar in 2019 (I can confirm the Manhattan cocktails are fantastic). This restaurant offers Italian-style food, served as small, sharing dishes. It’s located in Greenwich Village and is actually over 100 years old!
Jack’s Wife Freda: A fantastic spot for brunch with three locations in NYC. They only accept reservations for parties of six or more and they do fill up quickly, so the earlier you can get there the better. They offer a Mediterranean-inspired menu that won’t leave you feeling overfull. I would recommend either the Mediterranean Breakfast or Poached Eggs with Grilled Holloumi.
The Butcher’s Daughter: This is a plant-based restaurant, serving veggies in all sorts of fun ways. Another great spot for brunch; they are not strictly vegan and do serve eggs. They have an extensive smoothie and cold-pressed juice menu. There are two locations in NYC.
Westville: There are a few locations throughout NYC. This is a restaurant on the healthier side and one of my favourites for dinner. You can mix lean proteins with different veggies and not compromise on taste. Last time I was there I had the marinated chicken with beets and brussels sprouts. Happy Hour drinks include $6 glasses of wine.
Chinese Tuxedo: This is a really cool restaurant located on Doyers Street in Chinatown. Doyers Street was once know as The Bloody Angle and was the deadliest street in the city in the early 1900’s. I would recommend the BBQ pork bun, crispy short ribs, Chinese broccoli and vegetarian fried rice, which is enough for two people.
Apotheke Cocktail Bar: This is a speakeasy located directly beside Chinese Tuxedo serving well-crafted cocktails. I recommend Catcher in the Rye. The entrance is under the small “Chemist” sign. There is a strict dress code after 9pm and they do not take reservations.
The Dead Rabbit Grocery and Grog: Another spot for well-crafted cocktails located over two floors. This place has more of a pub-type feel to is and offers a fun, relaxed atmosphere. It’s a great spot for lunch, too!
Subway: Probably the easiest way to get around and you can get pretty much anywhere by subway. Each ride cots $2.75 but your first ride will cost $1 more because you’ll have to purchase a MetroCard – don’t lose that card, or you’ll have to buy another one. Your MetroCard is reloadable and transferrable so you can share. Unfortunately, NYC’s subway system does not offer weekend or day passes so you pay per ride.
Taxi & Uber: Not my preferred way to travel, the costs can add up and traffic builds quickly in NYC.
Walking: One of my favourite ways to explore NYC is wandering aimlessly through the neighbourhoods. They are so different in the early mornings; quiet and peaceful.
Things to Do:
Central Park: An obvious stop for anyone travelling to NYC. Central Park is iconic and huge!! You won’t be able to see much if you’re only in town a few days but it’s still worth the time. You can pick up a free map from either an Information Kiosk or a Visitor Center and then pick a path to follow.
DUMBO: Actually in Brooklyn, DUMBO stands for Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass. If you head to the intersection of Water and Washington Streets, you’ll get that drool-worthy IG photo that everyone seems to have (yes, I’m guilty of it too). There are a few ways you can get over to DUMBO/Brooklyn. You can subway, taxi/uber, walk the Brooklyn bridge, or my personal favourite is the ferry. It’s a short ferry ride from the Pier 11/Wall St. Ferry Terminal to DUMBO and it costs the same as the subway.
Friend’s Apartment: Located in Greenwich Village, the Friend’s Apartment is right at the corner of Bedford and Grove Streets. This is such a fun photo-op if you’re a fan of the show. Keep in mind, though, that this is an actual apartment so try to be as quick as possible.
The High Line: This is a raised garden/park area that was build overtop of an old rail line. From end to end it will take between 30-60 minutes depending on how fast you walk, or how often you stop for IG-worthy photos. You’re not trapped, though, there are a few exit/entry points along the way.