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NYC Suggestions

by Meghann on February 5, 2010

Only a few more hours until my 5 day weekend! Woop Woop!

This morning I polished off my bag of Nature Valley Honey Roasted Peanut Granola Nut Clusters that were sent to me to review ages ago..

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I still have a few bags left of all the other flavors, but this one was my favorite. πŸ™‚

My fridge was pretty bare bones when it came to lunch today, but I think I did pretty good for what I had.

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Mini Pickles

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Roasted Broccoli and Carrots

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And the star of the show was my left over tofu sandwich.

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I had the other half of my WildWood Baked Tofu from the other night and topped it with bbq sauce and dried apple.

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Is there a meal that dried fruit won’t make a great addition to? This combination of flavors was delicious!

Tomorrow I set off for NYC. Yippee!!

Thanks to FoodBuzz and Electrolux I will be participating in a blogger cake decorating competition that will be featured on Kelly-Confidential.com and will raise awareness for the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund.

Check out the sneak peak coverage I found for the β€˜Cake 4 a Cause’ event by clicking here.

I am really looking forward to meeting our hosts for the event – Kelly Ripa and Buddy from Cake Boss. Expect lots of photos!

The event doesn’t take place until Tuesday, February 9th, but in the spirit of celebrating my birthday my Mom and I are flying up a couple of days early to explore the city.

This will be my 4th time in NYC!

The first time I was 16 and it was just my parents and I. All my other siblings were at summer camp, so my parents and I took off on an impromtu trip.

The second time my parents took all of my siblings and I for Christmas one year when I was in college.

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And the last time I was there was in August 2006 when a group of friends and I randomly decided it would be fun to take a trip together.

Look how young Derek looks in that photo!

This was my first β€˜friends’ trip without my parents and we had a ball!

The best part was that my friend Emily’s Uncle lives just outside the city and was able to hook us up with one of his friends who just happened to be a multi-millionaire and own his own plane.

He took us around the statue of liberty and back.

Seriously this was one of my best memories of NYC. I mean how many people can say they have flown this close to the statue of liberty? Amazing!

So excited to see what adventures await us this time around!

Does anyone have any suggestions on what we could do in NYC this time around? Places to see? Things to do? Where to eat?

I would LOVE some suggestions!!

1 Heather (Heather's Dish) February 5, 2010 at 2:52 pm

I’ve never been but would LOVE to go! I’d like to see what you would get at Serendipity if y’all get the chance to head over there…and maybe some runs in Central Park πŸ™‚

2 Jen February 5, 2010 at 2:54 pm

Enjoy Meghann! I grew up right outside NYC, and actually spent last weekend there visiting friends. You need to see a play, Mamma Mia is the best! Check out broadwaybox dot com for cheap last minute tickets. Try to go for a run in Central Park, too! You’re going to have so much fun! Can’t wait to see pics! I hope the snow storm doesn’t affect your travel πŸ™

3 Annie (Running with Forks and Spoons) February 5, 2010 at 2:57 pm

Oh that sounds like so much fun! If you want to indulge a little bit, you should go to this hole in the wall french fry place. It is called Pommes Frites, and it is at 123 2nd Ave. It has hundreds of french fry toppings and it is so cheap! You’ll love it!

4 Jessica February 5, 2010 at 2:57 pm

oh how I wish I could tell you that the Tavern on the Green was still open…

soooooo sad.

Have a GREAT time.

5 Quinn February 5, 2010 at 3:00 pm

Oh I love NYC. So glad Geoff’s from there so we can go often. You HAVE GOT to go to Dylan’s Candy Bar. Owned by Ralph Lauren’s daughter. ALSO, go here with your mama for brunch / lunch – http://www.alicesteacup.com/. It is so cute and such an experience.

Frozen hot chocolate at Serendipity: http://www.serendipity3.com/

Son Cubano has great Cuban food and Bond Sushi is hands down my favorite sushi restaurant of all time – it’s in Soho.

Have so much fun and let me know if you need more recs!

6 whitinspired February 5, 2010 at 3:01 pm

I always like going to canal street and getting scarves and purses for ridiculously cheap…we always walk up to Little Italy too. Talk about the best italian food I’ve ever had…yum!

7 Evan Thomas February 5, 2010 at 3:01 pm

You’re going to have a blast! I’m still super jealous you’ll meet Kelly Ripa πŸ™‚

8 Abby (Nibble, Nourish, Run) February 5, 2010 at 3:04 pm

Oh my gosh girlie there is so much to do here! I know you’re a farmer’s market fan so I would definitely suggest trying to go to the big one in Union Square – it’s fairly amazing. It runs Saturday, Mon, Wed and Fri and is pretty much my favorite place in the city! Of course Central Park is lovely for a run – but I’m a bigger fan of the West Side Highway!

9 Megan February 5, 2010 at 3:06 pm

Tkts has cheap broadway show tickets too!!

The italian food is better on Arthur Ave than Little Italy, though…and good italian food can be found all over the city, not just in little italy!!

And I secnod the serendipity suggestion…it’s fun and super “new york”

also DEFFF get 40 carrots frozen yogurt at bloomingdales!!

10 Carly February 5, 2010 at 3:06 pm

I love NYC (and thankfully live close enough to visit at least once a month if not more), have fun! I would suggest that you visit Central Park (and maybe join in the never ending stream of runners?) It’s just so amazing to be in the middle of this crazy city and then step into Central Park which seems like a whole other world.

ps- I love those Nature Valley nut clusters and your sandwich looks super yummy! I love your blog by the way πŸ™‚

11 foodfitnessandfreya February 5, 2010 at 3:07 pm

WOW how exciting re NYC! I am so so so so jealous!! It’s my dream to go there πŸ™‚ I hope you have an amazing time, and I can’t wait for the photos.
Oh those PB Granola clusters look so good, I love Nature Valley granola bars so I bet the clusters were good. Wish we could get them in England! You Americans have the greatest stuff…

12 Sam February 5, 2010 at 3:10 pm

Sounds fun! I have recommendation for both but mostly where to eat.

Go to Highline. It’s a new park on 10th ave in Chelsea it’s cool!

Atlas- amazing vegan cake and tons of desserts
Candle Cafe
Cupcakes by Melissa- These are tiny bite size cupcakes so cute!

13 Paige February 5, 2010 at 3:13 pm

My favorite place to eat in NYC is Grimaldi’s pizza. It is located in Brooklyn, right under the Brooklyn Bridge. It is the best pizza that I have ever had in my life, and I have had a LOT of pizza!!! LOL!!!

14 sunnytropic February 5, 2010 at 3:15 pm

Have fun in NYC! I am moving to Manhattan (from CT) this weekend. I grew up in CT and am so excited to make the move!

One of my favorite places to get drinks in the city is the Flatiron Lounge (37 W 19th St) it has a laid back feek with fantastic bartenders who will whip up anything based on the flavors you like/dislike, in addition to a menu of classic cocktails and spirits.

I saw someone else in the comments mentioned Dylans Candy Bar which although crowded and toursisty is a blast!

Oh and Tasti Dlite for froyo!

15 Kelly February 5, 2010 at 3:16 pm

Hooray for NYC, i’m leaving for there tomorrow also! Hopefully you have an easier time getting there then i will. There will most likely be almost 2 feet of snow on the ground where I am leaving from :(. I love, love wandering around the shops in SOHO when i’m there.

16 Megan (The Runner's Kitchen) February 5, 2010 at 3:17 pm

I’ve been living in NYC for almost 3 years now and it’s such a great city! The Popover Cafe (Amsterdam and 87th St) is one of my favorite brunch locales. I also love going to Levain bakery (Columbus Ave and 74th St) for the best chocolate chip cookies in the city. There’s a ton of yummy vegetarian places in the E. Village – Angelika Kitchen is great!

Oh! And tomorrow in Central Park there is a FREE event called Winter Jam 2010. Outdoor activities like snowboarding and skating, free food samples, etc.

17 ellie February 6, 2010 at 11:35 am

I second Popovers!

18 kt February 5, 2010 at 3:19 pm

So jealous! NY is one of those cities I haven’t been to yet but NEED to get to soon! That is awesome about the around-the-Statue flight. Since I’ve never been there, I don’t have any personal suggestions, but I’d say look for foods you usually can’t get at home! And maybe some cupcakes, since they seem to be all the rage in New York πŸ˜‰ haha

19 emily February 5, 2010 at 3:21 pm

I’m so jealous you are going to NYC, I moved away this summer and I still haven’t adjusted! I have two foodie suggestions that I highly highly recommend –

1. Serendipity3. Everyone talks about going here for the dessert but the sandwiches are actually my favorite part. My very best meal ever was sandwiches here.

2. Now a dessert place – Sugar, Sweet, Sunshine. It’s a cupcake spot in SoHo (near Baby Cakes actually) that beats Magnolia x1000. Their cupcakes are less than $2 and are reasonably sized. And they have pistachio!

20 Nicole February 5, 2010 at 3:21 pm

When I lived in NYC, I made this kind of lame “guide” to vegan food in the city and if you’re interested, I can email it to you!

21 Irina February 5, 2010 at 3:23 pm

If you’re in the Times Square area and are looking for a place to eat, I recommend walking a few blocks to 9th Ave. There are a ton of great restaurants on 9th (your best bet is to walk up – in the direction of central park) and it’s not at all touristy. Some of my favorites are Hell’s Kitchen (really great authentic Mexican), Empanada Mama (they probably have 20 diff. empanadas including baked whole wheat crust ones) and Eatery (VERY popular with the locals). Oh, and Amy’s Bread is a great dessert spot!

22 Lou February 5, 2010 at 7:40 pm

If you’re looking for a nice dinner, Seasonal and Vice Versa are amazing and are both in that general area. I would definitely make reservations.

23 Katie @ Health for the Whole Self February 5, 2010 at 3:26 pm

Unfortunately I have no ideas for NYC, but I wanted to tell you that your food combinations always blow my mind! I would NEVER have thought to combine BBQ sauce-tofu with dried apples! And yet it looks and sounds delicious!!! You definitely keep surprising this reader, and I love it! πŸ™‚

24 Jayce February 5, 2010 at 3:26 pm

I love NYC! Get frozen hot chocolate at Serendipity, see something on Broadway if you have a chance, walk everywhere you can (best way to see the city), and spend an afternoon wandering around Central Park (my fave!)!

25 Karoline Engel February 5, 2010 at 3:29 pm

I’ve been living in NYC for 6 months (but going out of town this weekend) and I’ve been wanting to go to the Brooklyn Brewery- supposed to be a great time. 16 Handles is a great frozen yogurt place (as are Tasti DLite and Pinkberry), Magnolia or Buttercup Bakery for cupcakes, and Balthazar for a fancy-ish meal. I also love the Whole Foods in Union Square, and Maoz Vegetarian (if you like falafel). Have fun!

26 Evan Barbour February 5, 2010 at 7:08 pm

Hi Karoline πŸ™‚

How funny! We seem to go to the same school now AND read the same blogs. I’ve been in NYC for 4 years and intern for Eater NY, so BOY have I got rec’s for you. A disclaimer: the Brooklyn Brewery is great, but only open to the public once a week, and therefore crowded!! I’m just going to list some ideas, because it’s easier:

1. Cupcakes: BUTTER LANE!!! got them ordered for my 21st birthday at Arlo & Esme and they’re delicious.
2. Cupcakes & Alcohol (Together!): Sweet Revenge
3. Bars (classy): Mayahuel (tequila), Pegu Club, Death & Co, pdt (it’s inside Crif Dogs, which is a bitchin’ hotdog place, behind a secret door), Angel’s Share, Apotheke, BEast.
4. Bars (more laid-back): Black & White, Spuyten Dyvil (beer), Freeman’s (food too!), The Redhead (food is great as well), Bar Veloce (wine), Bourgeois Pig, Sake Bar Decibel (hidden sake bar on st. marks), Louis 649 (free jazz, great drinks), McSorley’s, Pianos, Spitzer’s Corner, Solas, Arrow Bar, Brother Jimmy’s
5. Restaurants: The Little Owl, Market Table, The Mermaid Inn, The Redhead, Resto, EN Japanese Brasserie, Dumont, Marlow & Sons, The Brooklyn Star, The Spotted Pig, Hundred Acres, WESTVILLE (Meghan, you’d LOVE Westville), Blue Ribbon Bakery, Soto (sushi), Dell’anima, Pylos, Cookshop, Five Points, Little Giant, 88 Orchard
6. Restaurants (Vegetarian): Dirty Candy, Caravan of Dreams, Souen, Counter, Candle Cafe, Atlas
7. Pizza: Motorino, Grimaldi’s, Co., Keste
8. Dessert: Lula’s Sweet Apothecary, Magnolia (but only for non-cupcake desserts- banana pudding and icebox cake), Sugar Sweet Sunshine, One Lucky Duck, Bouchon, The Village Tart, Two Little Red Hens (red velvet cupcake=sublime), Pinisi Bakery, Grom, Otto (it’s an Italian restaurant, but their gelato is tops), Jacques Torres and the Roasting Plant (for the cookies!), City Bakery, Doughnut Plant

I can think of a million more, but I think that’s a sizable list for now! πŸ™‚

27 Evan Barbour February 5, 2010 at 7:10 pm

OH, and for good pita and hummus, The Hummus Place.
For Moroccan, Cafe Mogador.

…and you can go to free yoga at Yoga to the People! They have a hot yoga studio uptown and a vinyasa on St. Marks. As for fitness, running on the Hudson River Park is glorious. There’s a trail with piers that stretches up the entire west side of Manhattan.

28 luckytastebuds February 5, 2010 at 3:29 pm

If you’re a hopeless romantic…or you just love tasty food ‘n desserts (which i know you do!!) You should definitely go to Serendipity – the cafe that the film was made!! The Frozen hot chocolate is as good as everyone hypes it up to be!!! http://www.serendipity3.com/

Have so much fun in NY!!!

29 Ashley February 5, 2010 at 3:32 pm

I grew up on Long Island and was a frequent visitor to NYC. Some of my favorite things to do were:

– See a Broadway show. You can sometimes get great deals at TKTS in Times Square but the key is to get there early! Not every show is available but they have some good ones on discount, especially if you can go see it on a Monday night when it’s less crowded.

– Walk around in SoHo/NoHo to shop! There are lots of stores on Broadway to stop into. It’s also close to Canal Street and Chinatown which is always interesting!

-My friends and I also like to go into Tiffany’s and admire all the jewelery that we can’t afford. haha

– And last time I went home my parents and I went to Mesa Grill (which is Bobby Flay’s restaurant). If you can get a reservation I highly recommend it! The food was awesome!

Have a great trip!! πŸ™‚

30 Amisha February 5, 2010 at 3:32 pm

Make sure if you go to Bloomingdales that you stop by the service desk and get a coupon for some % off your whole purchase. It’s only for tourists! If you spend $100 you get a big free Bloomingdales bag.

Go to Pure Food and Wine!! I am dying to go there.

31 katie February 5, 2010 at 3:33 pm

i’d say you should check out city bakery – they’re having their annual hot chocolate festival right now and they have a different flavored hot chocolate every day this month. their pretzel croissants are also amazing, and the perfect compliment to the richness of the hot chocolate [and don’t forget the marshmallow!].

32 Derek February 5, 2010 at 3:36 pm

Remember when you 3 disappeared behind a fake wall to look at purses without telling me? πŸ™‚

33 emlod10 February 5, 2010 at 3:38 pm

Clinton Street Bakery for breakfast!!!!!!! Luke’s Lobster, EJ’s, Candle Cafe, …i’m so jealous!

34 Danielle February 5, 2010 at 3:38 pm

Brooklyn brewery and Graffiti! It’s a tapas restaurant in the east village that is the tiniest place ever but amazing!

35 Becky February 5, 2010 at 3:41 pm

There are so many fun things to do in NYC and a MILLION delicious places to eat. If you like peanut butter, hit up Peanut Butter and Co. If you like macaroni and cheese, try S’MAC. For awesome french fries, I second Annie’s suggestion of Pommes Frites. Their sauces are delicious. The food possibilities are just endless in NYC. Have fun!!

I’ll be running the NYRR Gridiron Classic on Sunday too! But I’m a really slow runner so I doubt we’ll bump into each other. πŸ™‚

36 Erin February 5, 2010 at 3:43 pm

Have fun and eat lots of great food. Can’t wait to see your blogs! πŸ˜€

37 Fallon February 5, 2010 at 3:44 pm

I’ve never been to NYC but when I go I’m hitting up the NY Pizza joints and some of the delicious bakeries out there!

Do you watch Cake Boss??? I Love that show and I ‘m slightly jealous that you will get to meet Buddy πŸ˜‰ Have fun!!

38 Lia February 5, 2010 at 3:44 pm

My favorite restaurants are Mercat (Catalan, tapas), Peasant (Italian) and Hearth (Italian). I highly recommend all three. They’re in the East Village. One really fun thing to do if its not too cold is to walk to Brooklyn Bridge and wait in line for Grimaldi’s pizza. It’s very, very worth it. Hope you have fun in this lovely city!

39 Lia February 5, 2010 at 3:46 pm

OH! If you go to brunch, try Friend of a Farmer on Irving Place. And then get coffee at 71 Irving after!!

40 Joanna February 5, 2010 at 3:47 pm

Two random suggestions. Check out Back Forty. Great happy hour, $5 cocktails, Pumkin Risotto and Brussel Sprouts, and Krispy Kreme can take a hike ’cause they have the best glazed doughnuts ever! And great cheap sandwiches (breakfast or lunch) at witchcraft.

41 Kelly February 5, 2010 at 3:47 pm

oh! I just thought of another place. Artichoke pizza on 14th between 1st and 2nd. It is AMAZING. You have to get the spinach and artichoke slice. ohmygod so good!

42 Amy February 5, 2010 at 3:49 pm

You get to meet Buddy, too!?!?! Love that show! Sometimes when I bake, I like to pretend I’m him and pull out the super-thick accent and no-nonsense attitude… What? Is that just me??? Yeah, probably…

43 Lia February 5, 2010 at 3:50 pm

This is the last time I am commenting I promise, but I completely forgot to mention that Restaurant Week is going on right now, so you should definitely check it out. Most higher end restaurants offer a restaurant week menu. Its $35 for an appetizer, entree and dessert.

44 Ana February 5, 2010 at 3:51 pm

Gennaro (on amsterdam between 92nd and 93rd i think) has the best Italian food i’ve ever eaten at a restaurant. i’m full-Italian and i’m kind of a food snob with Italian restaurants because i grew up with it all the time. the only complaint is that its cash only, so make sure you have some before you go.

45 eaternotarunner February 5, 2010 at 3:54 pm

I can’t believe you flew around the statue of liberty!! Amazing. Can’t wait to hear about this trip πŸ˜‰

46 Emm February 5, 2010 at 3:57 pm

Please eat at Waldy’s Wood-fired Pizza! (waldyspizza.com) We were in NYC for just 3 days and ate at this place twice because it was so good! Thin crust pizza and very casual atmosphere.. great for lunch!

47 Hallie February 5, 2010 at 3:59 pm

Ok it sounds like everyone is giving you lots of dessert suggestions, but my vote is to get a REAL cannoli from somewhere. I have never had cannolis as good as the ones in the Italian bakeries in New York. When my dad goes back to NY (my parents are both native New Yorkers) he brings an empty cooler to fill up with cannolis to take back to California! That’s dedication right there. NYC is truly magical. My suggestion is just to walk…walk through SoHo, across the Brooklyn Bridge, the diamond district, central park, everything. Take the subway or taxis as little as possible to really drink it all in. (weather permitting of course)

48 The Brunette February 5, 2010 at 4:09 pm

Josie’s East or Josie’s West are FANTASTIC. I actually first went to Josie’s East after reading about it on The Actors Diet blog, and it did NOT disappoint. Not a strictly vegetarian restaurant, but a pretty significant emphasis on vegetarian food. They bring out sweet potato spread with the multigrain bread at the beginning, and I seriously had the most delicious roasted vegetable plate I’ve ever had. So good. Seriously, if you get the chance you MUST go.

49 Lauren February 5, 2010 at 4:11 pm

Make sure you check out The Peanut Butter Company!

And definitely Serendipity. Frozen hot chocolate = heaven!!!!

50 Erin February 5, 2010 at 4:24 pm

definately go to Carmine’s- it’s famous for its family-style Italian dishes!

51 Kerry @ Running on Faith February 5, 2010 at 4:27 pm

I second the Alice’s Tea Cup comment! Their scones, desserts, and food is SO yummy with tons of tea to select from! You feel like you are in Alice and Wonderland! Running through Central Park is a MUST. I suggest the 6 mile loop that allows you to see the majority of the area. That was my training epicenter during the summer πŸ™‚ Walking over Brooklyn Bridge is amazing and the shopping at South Street seaport is so fun! Send me an email if you want more food/bars/random places to go. I’m from NY and went to school in the city!

52 Em February 5, 2010 at 4:33 pm

I live in the West Village and highly recommend coming downtown to get away from a lot of the tourist traps in midtown (including Serendipity, sorry guys, and Times Square generally). Email me if you want details on any of the following:

Brunch:
Blue Ribbon Bakery
Little Owl
Morandi
Standard Grill (in standard hotel right by the highline)
Extra Virgin

Dinner:
Market Table
Tipsy Parson
Pure Food and Wine
Pylos
Barmarche

Drinks:
Little Branch
Blind Tiger
The Rusty Knot

I too will be running the 4 miler on Sunday!!!

53 marge February 5, 2010 at 4:39 pm

Meghann,
I have lived in New York City for about five years now. It is wonderful that you have seen a majority of the tourist attractions and I would suggest you enjoy parts of the city that people who live here experience.

For example, visiting a beer hall in Brooklyn, shopping at interesting stores downtown, experiencing some of the most amazing artisinal gelato (L’Arte del Gelato, Grom, Laboratorio del Gelato or Ciao Bella!), breads (Amy’s Breads, Sullivan Street Bakery, Grandaisy), bagels (many places, I like H & H or the beast of a bagel at Ess-a-Bagel) and tea (Tea Salon or SeridipiTEA). I think you should make a point to have pizza–either a Neopolitan pie/brick oven style (Motorino or Co.) or for a slice (someone else mentioned, the decadent Artichoke Basille’s or the slimmer Joe’s or Bleeker Street pizza).

While February is not the most interesting month for the Farmer’s Market, I think you would really enjoy the community and energy at the markets, especially the one in Union Square on Staurday and Monday. I also recommend seeing a show on or off Broadway (not necessarily a musical but perhaps a drama or comedy that might have more depth or a famous actor, ie Scarlett Johanssen in View from the Bridge). Another fun activity is to go ice skating. Rockefeller Center’s rink is very nice, but there are cheaper and larger ones in Central Park and Bryant Park.

Of course a most wonderful aspect of NYC is its international representation. Some communities really seem to take you to another part of the world. There are streets in the East Village that have restaurants, bars, cafes that feel like Japan or there is Chinatown, or cafes that take you to France, Italy or Germany. (Blue Ribbon for sushi, Pastis or Balthazar for a French Cafe…Chinatown dim sum for brunch is very memorable and very New York!). East Sixth St is filled with Indian food restaurants, with its owners outside beckoning you inside in a playful way. There are also many healthy places that I think you would love when you are sick of eating out.

Then there are many fancy, underground bars that you would never know about unless a tipster clued you into it. I am happy to recommend.

I have already gone on way too long! If you shoot me a quick email, with something more specific you have in mind (even the day of!), I am happy to give you helpful suggestions. It’s my favorite game! πŸ™‚ I really love helping others find the right place according their preferences! I hope it gets a bit warmer because one of my favorite things to do is really explore and wander the streets. In fact, I would reserve a part of the day to stroll a certain area (I would recommend downtown) and just soak it all in.

54 astrid February 8, 2010 at 6:03 pm

marge-

i am actually going to new york with my best friend and our two husbands this weekend. it will be my husbands first time there and we are looking for some suggestions! i would love to hear some of yours- could you email me at lifeartandbluejeans@gmail.com (or i can email you) and i can get into specifics of what we are looking for??? i know we are looking for dinner spots- nice restaurants but not formal, and some classy bars along with some more laid back whole in the walls. we don’t mind some touristy spots that are famous for certain things, but we don’t want to do all touristy stuff. not sure if that helps!

anyways if you could email me i would appreciate it very much!

55 Melissa February 5, 2010 at 4:51 pm

One of my favorite places (and a great place to go with your mom) is Alice’s Tea Cup- http://www.alicesteacup.com/ . There are three locations in Manhattan and it is FABULOUS for brunch. You get your own little pot of tea and a “Mad Hatter” three tiered platter (scones and jams on top, sandwiches of your choice in the middle, and desserts on bottom!). Also, not to be missed is The Peanut Butter Company’s original sandwich shop in the Village… Yeah, YUM…! Finally, I love Mario Batali restaurants and he has a lesser known (and less expensive) one in the Village called OTTO. It is amazing and I have seen him in the restaurant walking around with a glass of wine multiple times.
Sorry, one more thing- run around Central Park. It is about 6.25 miles and it is fantastic because all the great people watching makes it fly by.
Enjoy!

56 Jenny Palacios February 5, 2010 at 4:54 pm

i am the QUEEN of nyc restaurants

Otto for CHEAP but delicious pasta/pizza!!!!!!!!
Blue Smoke for bbq
Clinton St. Baking Co for breakfast/pancakes
β€œGood Restaurant”
Josie’s
Balthazar- good french food in soho
Norma’s β€” expensive but wicked good breakfast
Bar Americain (expensive though)
Esca (Expensive)
Sugar sweet sunshine for cupcakes
Levain for cookies
***let me know if there is a neighborhood you know you’re gonna be in & i can give you more recs!

57 marge February 5, 2010 at 5:07 pm

I am also with you Em!! Serendipity is overpriced and I think it is a little touristy. There are many other dessert places that are much more interesting, ChikaLicious, Dessert Truck Works, Emily mentioned Sugar, Sweet, Sunshine or Jacques Torres for all things chocolate. For an expert view, check out this website Seriouseats.com. Under Sugar Rush, there is excellent food porn of desserts throughout the city:

http://newyork.seriouseats.com/tags/Sugar%20Rush/

58 Ada February 5, 2010 at 5:16 pm

My advice: Stay away from Times Square! It’s so touristy and not representative of NYC at all. The lower east side is a fun area, or you could come visit me at Columbia:) Some great vegetarian restaurants are Candle Cafe (I think the best in the city) but do NOT confuse it with Candle 79 which is not so good, Blossom Cafe on the Upper West Side, and Peaecfood Cafe on the Upper West Side. Can’t wait to meet you Sunday and have a safe flight!!!

59 Silvia February 5, 2010 at 5:19 pm

Eat at John’s Pizza on Bleeker. Easily the best in the City. Grimaldi’s is way overrated. Also, stay away from Times Square and the other touristy places. They’re way overrated. Real New Yorkers don’t go there ever! Walk around in the West Village and go to Bruno’s for cannolis. These are also the best. Get burgers and shakes from the Shake Shack in Madison Square Park.

60 Melissa February 5, 2010 at 5:23 pm

wow meghan I’m actually worried for you – I just read through the suggestions above and every.single.place. that was mentioned is amazing! haha not sure where you’re supposed to go from here because I’m seeing upper west suggestions leading to lower east side places (all good places, too).

check out http://www.yelp.com or http://www.menupages.com to see reviews of places before you go (yelp is especially good). that way you can see if you’ll like the atmosphere and food of the place before going.

also, if you can, try to go to central park to go for a run. the big loop is 6 miles around and was made so that you never see too far ahead of you (so it’s really curving) which makes for such an interesting run. It’s honestly gorgeous – and will be even in February. I really hope you can but definitely BUNDLE UP. There was one morning I tried to brave the cold so I ran to the park, realized I was nuts, and ran straight to the gym with tears in my eyes haha. so layers layers layers. but definitely, above all else, CENTRAL PARK.

61 Melissa February 5, 2010 at 5:25 pm

Oh and yes, please try to stay away from Times Square unless you’re seeing a show. I always feel disappointed for people when that’s all they experience of the city. Times Square definitely does not define NYC.

And remember, the city really isn’t that overwhelming, the subways are easy (just ask people – even if they look mean, they’ll be happy to help) and taxis are $$$ but sometimes (often) they’re just worth it.

62 Ava February 5, 2010 at 5:28 pm

Haru for good sushi.. lombardos for good pizza… pinkberry for good frozen yogurt πŸ™‚

63 Ida February 5, 2010 at 5:31 pm

you’ve gotten a ton of good suggestions! i’d put a vote in for Pure food and Wine too. I’m interested to see what a non-raw foodie thinks of it. No matter where you go I can’t wait to read about your trip.

64 Jenny February 5, 2010 at 5:41 pm

I like Tea & Sympathy….on Greenwich Ave.
Its tiny….and very British. They have lots of fun tea.
Have fun in NYC!

65 Heather @ (The Single Dish) February 5, 2010 at 5:47 pm

For dessert you might want to try the bakery Baby Cakes- it has vegan, gluten free- all sorts of stuff about health. Anyway, it is supposed to be excellent!
http://www.babycakesnyc.com/

66 Maura February 5, 2010 at 5:57 pm

Yuca Bar in the East Village on 7th and A. Favorite Resaturant Ever. Think Spanish Tapas and Sangria (who said you can’t have Sangria in the Winter.)

67 nutritionbyeve February 5, 2010 at 5:59 pm

It looks like you’ve gotten tons of recommendations. But I would like to recommend Enoteca Barbone – I think it’s a well kept secret in the east village. It’s a tiny Italian restaurant, the food is fantastic and very well priced. The owner is so friendly (he’s gotten to know us over the years) and treats everyone really well. It’s on Avenue B between 12th & 13th. I highly recommend going there.

I also saw Alice’s Teacup mentioned and I agree, their scones are fantastic!! The last time I was there we split a few things, the egg dishes were really not so great, so I would just go for tea and scones πŸ™‚

For the best bagel, hands down Ess-a-bagel, it’s amazing.

To get a good idea of NYC I just say put on really comfy shoes and walk everywhere. Go through various neighborhoods and wander, it’s my favorite thing to do here.

68 betsy February 5, 2010 at 6:24 pm

You HAVE to eat some truffled honey. It is served at both Batali’s restaurant “Otto” in Greenwich Village with their cheese plates… so delicious. And on some fresh ricotta at DeNiro’s restaurant in Tribeca “Locanda Verde”. Delicious.

69 ilanalala February 5, 2010 at 6:45 pm

Ahhh one of my friend’s dads took us flying like that! It’s really hard to get clearance for stuff like that after 9/11 – air traffic over Manhattan is so tightly controlled – but it was so much fun. My blog header comes from that particular flight.

Looks like you have tons and tons of recommendations on where to go in my fair city. I would suggest going to see Billy Elliot on Broadway if you can get tickets – it’s one of the best newer shows out there. Also, I highly highy highly (I can’t say this enough) recommend a visit to Becco, located on W 46th in Times Square. It’s a gorgeous Italian restaurant with all the ambiance and flair of any New York Italian restaurant. They are famous for their AMAZING price-fixe pasta special: Every single night, the kitchen whips up three different kinds of pastas and for about $22 you get as much of it as you want (plus salad/antipasto and a dessert). They just keep coming back with huge pans full of pasta and you tell them if you want more, and which one you want more of. Every time I go there I am left aching for whatever creation I last tried. They also have an a la carte menu – it always looks great but I’ve never gone past the pasta part. Other restaurants – I just went to Kittichai for the first time, which was all the rage a few years ago, one of Mario Batali’s favorite restaurants to eat at – it’s avant garde Thai food and it’s pretty spectacular. I don’t know if Cafe des Artistes is still open (I heard it went bankrupt) but if it is, it’s a really beautiful location for an upscale brunch.

70 Sarah February 5, 2010 at 7:01 pm

so Jealous you’re going to NYC, I love going there! If you’re going to be in Times Square, there is a restaurant at Broadway and 51st street called Ellen’s Stardust Diner. It’s a typical diner/breakfast place, but the waiters/waitresses are broadway actors, and they sing throughout the meal.

If you like BBQ food, there is a restaurant at 42nd and 8th (right beside Cold Stone!) called Dallas BBQ – certainly a splurge calorie-wise, but their cornbread is sooooo goooooood. Have a great time! I’m looking forward to pics of your cake!!! Also Happy early Birthday!!!

71 tiffnie February 5, 2010 at 7:09 pm

I just came back from NYC last weekend and my favorite part of the trip was the high tea experience at Alice’s Tea Cup (my most recent blog post is on it so feel free to check it out if you want to see pics). We went to the Upper West Side location but I’m sure the other ones are good too. Their teas and scones are AMAZING. You *have* to try the pumpkin scones! I dream about them even now.

Hope you and your family have a great time and that the cake competition is fun. Sooo jealous you get to meet Kelly Ripa!

72 Jenn @ reason2run.com February 5, 2010 at 7:25 pm

Have fun Meghann! You’ll have sucj a great time. I love, love NYC. Make sure to catch a show if you can, they’re the best. BTW–I’m super jealous you get to meet Kelly Ripa…Love her! Hope you have a blast.

73 Olga February 5, 2010 at 7:47 pm

Curly’s Vegetarian Lunch (near Union Square)

STOGO Vegan/Raw/Delicious ice cream

Williamsburg for hipster people-watching and great bar life/drink deals

Brighton Beach for Russian/Eastern European fare (email me if you’d like to hit this up…you kinda need a Russian with you hahah)

Ippudo NY for Japanese ramen noodles (also near Union Square)

Magnolia bakery

Angelica’s Kitchen (vegan/vegetarian, great atmosphere)

74 Heather February 5, 2010 at 7:52 pm

All of these responses are realllllly making me want to go to NYC!!!!

75 melruns February 5, 2010 at 7:54 pm

Grab dinner at The Smith one night, it’s right off of Union Square so it’s easy to get to. The food is delicious–the fish always rocks & it’s served over a veggie medley. They also have whole wheat naked pene. Perfection. It’s a hipster-y, cool place too, and not too expensive. The specials are always surprisingly awesome too.

76 Jill February 5, 2010 at 8:02 pm

Mesa Grill! You don’t need reservations for Sunday brunch. Just show up before they open. Southwest egg benny’s to die 4!

77 Lisa February 5, 2010 at 8:13 pm

Have an awesome time in NYC! It is great to see you will be out there supporting a cause close to my heart ( My mom has been battling Ovarian Cancer for 11 years, and is very involved with the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund). My sister lives in NYC so I go to visit her multiple times a year, so I am full of suggestions. This last time I went we went to OTTO, a Mario Batali restaurant. Awesome food and wine! I would definitely make a reservation though, it gets packed and fast πŸ™‚

78 Lisa February 5, 2010 at 8:17 pm

Oh and I forgot… a great brunch place is Sarabeth’s on the UES, I believe on Madison!

79 Gracie February 5, 2010 at 8:37 pm

I second the Stardust Diner! It’s super fun.

80 Simone February 5, 2010 at 8:57 pm

AGHHH!..welcome to my city!!! While I could easily give you a while list of places to go, I just need to say two words to you: Cafe Habana (Corner of Prince and Elizabeth St). I probably have had the best nights of my life at this place. AMAZING! The restaurant itself is very very tiny, and therefore there is always an hour wait, but the vibe, the atmosphere, the margaritas/sangria, and the food (aka, the corn is pretty much to die for) is ALL worth waiting for. I hope you get there!! (don’t confuse with their to-go location next door, but if you can’t justify the long wait, at least stop in for some of their corn one day as a “snack”…I promise you won’t be sorry!!)

Also, knowing your never-ending love for frozen yogurt, I highly suggest 16 handles. It’s a do-it-yourself frozen yogurt shop with the BEST product.

As for things to do, the Natural History Museum has an amazing butterfly exhibit right now which is pretty neat and definitely worth checking out.

81 caronae February 5, 2010 at 9:27 pm

Definitely go for a run along the Hudson on the West side! You might also enjoy the union square farmer’s market on saturday, it’s huge! Other options include the museum of natural history, the cloisters, and crumbs bakery’s massive cupcakes. Have fun!

82 eatinggreenstayinglean February 5, 2010 at 9:30 pm

This isn’t related to NYC (have fun, for sure!) but I’m SO EXCITED FOR YOU that you get to meet Buddy from Cake Boss. I used to relax with my roomie monday nights and watch the show. A little dramatic, but they make AMAZING cakes.

That’s so exciting!

83 j.l. February 5, 2010 at 10:06 pm

i second hummus place – http://www.hummusplace.com/ go to the one down on st. mark’s. def. a fun part of town.

candle cafe (very homey, cozy feel) or candle 79 (it’s more upscale big sister, if you will). http://candlecafe.com/

if you’re on the upper east side and think whole foods/trader joe’s is fun, zabar’s will make your head explode. http://www.zabars.com/

and book love has to make a trip to the promised land – the strand. 18 miles of books. wa-hoo! http://www.strandbooks.com/

bowery poetry club always has some fun band/artist performing.

god, i need to get back to nyc, although my heart is in hipster brooklyn.

84 maren February 5, 2010 at 10:12 pm

hmm so many great places to choose from!!! grimaldis pizza in brooklyn and the brooklyn ice cream factory right on the water… serendipity, chelsea market has lots of great places, pure food and wine.. sacred chow is a casual vegan place with a GREAT brunch!!! stogo vegan ice cream, candle cafe.. boqueria is a great spanish tapas place! have a great trip!

85 Susan February 5, 2010 at 10:17 pm

Most awesome burger ever=Bar Americain (Bobby Flay’s place, midtown) pricey for a burger, but so worth it; it is your B-Day after all!

I also love the Tasti D Lite. I know how you love your frozen yogurt, and this one is right up your alley!

I hope you are able to avoid the “Nor-Easter”

Have fun!

86 megan February 5, 2010 at 10:54 pm

peanut butter and co! http://www.ilovepeanutbutter.com/

87 Bridget February 5, 2010 at 11:41 pm

I spent part of winter break in NYC (and was *almost* sad to come back to Japan)!

Two of the favorites amongst my friends and I (both in Astoria) are:

Cafe Kyclades at 33-07 Ditmars Boulevard Astoria, NY
Fantastic Greek seafood. They have a wide array–including shark, which was delicious. Great service, and pretty good prices, as well.

and

Omonia Cafe 3220 Broadway, Astoria
This is also Greek with a fantastic selection of food, but desserts are what they are most famous for. (There is another location at: 7612 3rd Avenue,
Brooklyn). My friends were surprised at the high price of the drinks, which are not listed. The Baklava and and some of the other Greek desserts (that I can’t pronounce) were amazing! The people there are also very nice.

Have a great time and happy birthday! Stay WARM!

88 Erin @ Cooking and the City February 5, 2010 at 11:43 pm

I have been living in New York for almost 4 years and I feel like whenever anyone asks me for recommendations on places to visit/eat, I’m always stumped! Here is what comes to mind at the moment:

Brunch – Norma’s at Le Parker Meridien, Penelope, Atlantic Grill, E.J.’s

My fave restaurants – Otto (pizza/wine), La Palapa in the East Village (amazing mexican), Patsy’s (good pizza & salads and lots of locations), B. Cafe (good bar and food), Ruby Foo’s (asian fusion and sushi, near theaters so good for pre-theater meal)

Also, if you are grabbing food on the go, Lenny’s and Chop’t are two great chains for salads and sandwiches.

Forget about Pinkberry, you MUST go to Bloomingdales to get their frozen yogurt – it is in the cafe on the 7th floor called Forty Carrots. It is unparalleled, trust me. πŸ™‚

Definitely visit the MoMa, it’s a great museum and in a perfect location for strolling 5th avenue and the park.

Have fun!!!! Can’t wait to hear about your trip!

89 retta @ runrettarun February 5, 2010 at 11:50 pm

Have a wonderful long weekend! Your sammie looks faboosh!

90 Jenna February 5, 2010 at 11:50 pm

Love NYC!
I say you should go to pb & co for dome pb and serendepity!!!!

91 justjac February 5, 2010 at 11:59 pm

Meghann, I have to tell you about THE BEST place EVER in New York City: Spice Market. It’s a restaurant located in the meatpacking district…on 13th? i think??
ANyway, it’s like, MAGICAL!! IDK what lol but there is something about the food & atmosphere… seriously it is the. best. restaurant. food. It’s pan-asian, thai-ish and I promise you, you will not be disappointed.

oh i forgot i blogged about it when i was there last year:
http://justjac.wordpress.com/2009/02/10/spice-market/

have an amazing trip!!! πŸ˜€

92 Rachel in NC February 6, 2010 at 12:57 am

You should definitely go to Chelsea Market!

93 Rachel in LA February 6, 2010 at 2:51 am

Meghann! I’m a huge fan of your post and have never commented, but your NYC trip makes this absolutely necessary!

Please Please Please check out these places:

1. Pure Food and Wine–> its a great health restaurant but if you don’t have time to sit down and really eat…HIT THE TAKEOUT ROOM BEHIND THE RESTAURANT. It’s called “One Lucky Duck” but it comes from the same kitchen. Try their homemade ice cream! Amazing raw desserts. Please Meghann…do this for me.
Here’s the website: http://www.oneluckyduck.com/takeaway/

2. Max Brenner–> Chocolate. If you haven’t been, check it out.

94 Courtney February 6, 2010 at 8:36 am

So many good recommendations. But seriously, I tell anyone who is going to NY that if they don’t go to Grimaldi’s in Brooklyn, they are CRAZY. I lived in Brooklyn for 4 years. I ate at every well-known pizza place and hole in the wall pizza place. Grimaldi’s is hands-down the best pizza you will ever ever eat. Don’t miss it!

95 dianacheung February 6, 2010 at 9:03 am

for fun: moma, the met, WICKED.
foodie heaven: zabars (jewish supermarket), CHELSEA MARKET (all food shops/cafes FRESH FRESH..go here for I won’t read your blog anymore tee hee)
touristy but good restaurants: KATZ’s deli, Bar Americain (BOBBY FLAY), carnige deli (for the cheesecake)

Um…did I mention I love new york and food?

96 ellie February 6, 2010 at 11:36 am

There is a great place for brunch called “Fred’s” on 82nd and Amsterdam- the whole place is decorated with zillions of photos of dogs! Kinda crazy, but great food. Cafe Lalo is near there too.

Someone mentioned Popovers- they also do a great brunch.

Babycakes is amazing too…

97 ellie February 6, 2010 at 11:40 am

hit “submit” too zoon…

Zabars (81st and Broadway) is a foodie heaven and such an NY experience- they have a cafe next door which is incredibly, but really cheap if you want a fast breakfast one day. Chelsea Market is also great.

Good restaurants: Peacefoods Cafe, Wild Ginger, Blossom, Candle Cafe (not Candle 79)…

98 kristilyn February 6, 2010 at 12:26 pm

I’ve never been to New York, so no suggestions! But I do have to say your tofu sandwich looks interesting – I would have never thought of that combo!

K

99 Anne P February 6, 2010 at 1:46 pm

Holy crap what an awesome previous trip to NYC!! So jealous of the plane ride! Cute old photos of you and Derek, too πŸ™‚

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