Take your best girlfriend + a great pair of walking shoes +and three days in the Big City and what do you get? Just the most fun, fabulous weekend of your life.
This January I followed this recipe and met my bestie in NYC for a final trip to end our Christmas Break with a bang. We had the most amazing time shopping, eating + sightseeing our way around New York. Sound incredible? It was. Follow this guide and you can have just as amazing of a time!
WHO: Find yourself a travel buddy who can handle 20,000+ steps a day on your Fitbit, loves hunting down the best shops and restaurants, and most importantly, someone who you can laugh with when things go awry. (AKA, when you spend one hour walking from platform to platform in the subway because NYC undergrounds are confusing as mess sometimes- yes it happened, yes we laughed it off and had the best time).
WHEN: Here’s a pro-tip for ya: After the first of the year, airfare to NYC drops dramatically! I was able to secure a round-trip flight with United for less than $200, amazing right?
WHERE: Another tip for traveling on the cheap? Groupon offers hotel deals! We found an amazing deal at the Ameritania Hotel in the theater district. Just a few blocks from Times Square and Columbus Circle, this hotel was an amazing, central location that was perfect for us.
*Disclaimer, our rate was cheap but it came at a price. When I walked into our room for the first time all I could do was laugh at the size of it. (Think college dorm and then subtract a few square feet). The size was comical but honestly perfect for the two of us for a weekend. You know you’re doing NYC right if you spend as little time as possible in your hotel room!
Now let’s talk about the important stuff: FOOD
Italian: There’s nothing better than walking through the picturesque streets of Little Italy, taking in the scent of fresh baked pizzas as they’re pulled out of the ovens, chatting with flirtatious waiters who use their best efforts to get you in their doors.
As it is for any carb lover, Little Italy is my paradise: Fresh bread dipped in olive oil, mouth watering cacio e pepe, and fresh basil atop the best pizza I’ve had this side of the Atlantic.
At Osteria Morini on Lafayette Street (granted a little more Soho than Little Italy, but nonetheless delicious) I tasted the best ravioli of my life. Scrumptious stuffed shells in a white truffle sauce with pancetta delighted my taste buds in a truly incredible way. The ambiance was cozy and authentic, a true gem.
On Mulberry, we passed a sign that read “Best cannoli on planet earth”. Naturally, we had to put them to the test. At Cafe Palermo, the advertising doesn’t mislead. There, Baby John the Cannoli King bakes traditional Italian pastries of all shapes and sizes, including, as promised, the best cannoli in NYC. After our weekend in the City, I think I can call myself a Cannoli Expert and let me tell you, Baby John is the real deal.
This cannoli talk is making my mouth water, and it leads me to my next topic: Desserts.
On a Monday in the Meatpacking District, a Facebook video lead us to our next conquest. Milk and Cookies in the Lower East side serves up the most mouth-watering, sugar high inducing, totally worth it ice cream sandwiches in NYC. Two fresh baked cookies of your choice sandwich a generous scoop of your favorite ice cream, and if that’s not enough, they’ll even roll your creation in the topping of your choice. Our masterpiece: an M&M cookie + a rainbow sprinkle cookie around a scoop of vanilla rolled in white chocolate chips. Suffice to say, it was worth the 17 blocks we walked to get there.
One of my favorite repeat treats (discovered it my last time in New York) is Baked by Melissa. If you have the hankering for a sweet but your wallet or waistline can’t afford it, Baked by Melissa is the place for you. These tiny pop ups found all throughout the city offer bite sized cupcakes in a dozen different flavors. At $1 a piece, they’re just enough to satisfy a sweet craving.
Sarabeth’s is a Manhattan staple that shouldn’t be missed. Traditional breakfast/ lunch cuisine in a quintessential city setting. Their Salmon Eggs Benedict are an absolute win. But, do yourself a favor and make a reservation beforehand at one of their 5 locations because they do get busy, especially if you’re going at the ever-so-coveted brunch hour.
Stay tuned for Part Two where I’ll tackle things to do, shops to hit!