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Reader Request – Rock My NY Style

Author: Lauren Coleman

Today’s Reader Request is a last minute plea from Sarah and she’s in need of our help this coming weekend.

We are heading to New York on Saturday as leg one of our honeymoon, and staying there 5 nights before flying on to Antigua!
We have never been before, and are hoping to find some central, yet not so touristy, places to eat and cosy bars to sip cocktails in.
Can you and the lovely RMS readers help?! Sarah

I’ve been to New York once as part of a trip taking in Virginia, Massachusetts as well as the Big Apple. However for the purposes of this post I decided to call on my friends Sandra and Sam to lend their advice. These girls cannot get enough of NYC and have a whole host of recommendations for the newlyweds. They also managed to make me exceptionally envious. Sarah you are going to have an amazing time!

Breakfast

Both ladies recommended the Pershing Square (90 East 42nd Street at Park Avenue) for breakfast. Located outside Grand Central Terminal, this restaurant is a must for a bustling brekkie.

Brunch

Situated in the trendy meatpacking district, Bagatelle (1 Little W 12th St), is a French gourmet restaurant with a twist. Brunch turns into an aftershow party affair with folks dancing on tables knocking back tequila in the mid afternoon. Goodness gracious.

Lunch

For the New York you see in the movies then Sandra suggests heading to The Loeb Boathouse (East 72nd Street and Park Drive North). Situated on the picturesque lake in Central Park this place is great for an afternoon of celeb spotting.

Rooftop Cocktails

Head to JIMMY (15 Thompson St), the awe-inspiring SoHo rooftop bar with a 360-degree view of the Manhattan skyline. The sophisticated decor includes herringbone floors, a leather trimmed bar and working fireplaces. Definitely a place to see and be seen!

For more rooftop drinks and epic views, Sam also suggests 230 Fifth (230 5th Ave), for a view of the Empire State Building, The Blue Room at the Ides Rooftop (within The Wythe Hotel in Brooklyn) and the Press Lounge (Ink48, 653 11th Ave) for a Hudson River vista.

Best Kept Secret

Sam was keen to mention the secret bar within Grand Central Station. The Campbell Apartment is a cool hidden gem of a cocktail lounge with an opulent interior and a wide repertoire of drinks. As you can tell from the image above it’s a swanky affair so no jeans or trainers. Also worth checking opening times to avoid disappointment.

Dinner

Sam’s favourite restaurant in the world (yes it’s that good) is Koi, (40 W 40th St) Upscale Japanese eats and imaginative sushi are served in beautiful surroundings.

On the Lower East side you’ll find Beauty & Essex (146 Essex St). You enter through a pawn shop which is a fairly unexpected way to access such an elegant restaurant. Swing by the two storey chandelier and feast on a menu of globally inspired small plates.

I’ve had to hugely edit down this list as my friends had a lot of places to recommend. However I’ll end with Sandra’s recoomendation for the Mercer Kitchen ( 99 Prince St) in SoHo. Situated in the basement of the Mercer hotel, this hip eaterie has a laid back vibe in a great location.

Sandra’s biggest tip was always make reservations and dress like you’ve made an effort especially for the bars. I know Sarah would love to hear your suggestions too. Any recommendations or tips for the newlyweds first trip to New York? Any bars, cafes or restaurants you think they should visit?

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22 thoughts on “Reader Request – Rock My NY Style

  1. I was going to suggest the Campbell Apartments – absolutely loved it there when I went! If you ever watched Gossip Girl, loads of scenes were filmed in that bar too.

    Other recommendations:

    The Empire Hotel Rooftop bar (or the lobby bar) – fantastic atmosphere and excellent cocktails. Go to the lobby bar for a real Art Deco feel, or to the rooftop for amazing views and good music!

    Freeman’s – definitely worth checking out – it’s on the Lower East Side.

    Sarabeth’s – the perfect place for breakfast/brunch/lunch. They have a few in NYC, but I’d recommend the one on the bottom corner of central park

    If you’re a SATC fan, then you can’t go wrong with Buddakan for an evening meal – very glam, and it’s where they filmed Carrie and Big’s engagement dinner!

    DBGB – an excellent restaurant that has a real New York feel, you won’t find any tourists here. The food, and cocktails are excellent!

  2. We had a few days in NewYork at the end of our honeymoon last summer and absolutely loved it! Amazing atmosphere and beautiful city. Recommendations would include the rooftop bar at the Refinery hotel in mid- town. We stayed here and didn’t realise it had a bar with views of the Empire State Building! Had dinner at Buddakhan and some of the best cocktails I’ve ever had in a little speakeasy bar called Employers only. Other cool, hidden bars we found were Please don’t tell and apotheke. Might need to book ahead thou. Also loved the free walking tours and the Highline! Would go back in a heartbeat!

  3. Oooooooh love New York!! You must go to the Tick Tock Diner for Breakfast its the best!!!! Also visit Magnolia Bakery for a cupcake or two as they’re delicious too!! xx

  4. I was whisked away to New York for my 30th birthday – can’t believe it is nearly two years ago already. My favourite dinner was in China Town. Although not swanky and not a cocktail in sight the noodles were freshly made for us and the jasmine tea was delicious.

  5. I went to NYC for the last leg of our honeymoon in December and am already trying to convince the husband to go back for our anniversary!

    I agree with Katie on Sarabeth’s for breakfast…overlooking Central park and the most delicious and light and fluffy pancakes and waffles! For dinner i would recommend Smith and Wollensky…. if you like steak you will love it here!

    Also if you can, try and get tickets to a basketball or ice hockey game, i’m not a huge sports fan but had the best time, such a fun atmosphere!

  6. We stayed in the Strand, only a couple of blocks from the Empire State. The hotel bar is on the roof and has glass roof which opens. Well worth nipping in for a tipple!

  7. I got engaged in NY and we had our honeymoon part 1 there in January, it’s a very special place!

    Must visits: Spice Market in the Meat Packing, brunch at The Standard, Buddakan (as already recommended!) Plunge roof top bar at the Gansevort is great and no guest list needed! I would highly recommend the Berg’n in Brooklyn, it’s a beer hall (lots of wine and cocktails too) with independent food outlets. It is super cool and if you are there at the weekend it’s next door to the Brooklyn Flea, which is a treasure trove on a Saturday & Sunday! If you want an authentic non Cheesy American Diner for breakfast head to George’s in the financial district. It looks nothing from the outside but their blueberry pancakes and bottomless coffee are heaven sent!

  8. If you’re a beer fan (as well as cocktails) then a visit to The Ginger Man – http://www.gingerman-ny.com/ is well worth it – they do amazing food too.

    Beer Culture – http://www.beerculturenyc.com/ is very cosy and friendly and Pony Bar – http://theponybar.com/ is very cool – all beers are $6.

    You HAVE to go to Shake Shack, the burgers are incredible but be prepared to queue!

    Hell’s Kitchen is a treasure trove of bars and restaurants – there’s a place called Rudy’s which is a traditional dive bar where the mafia used to launder their money. Very cool people and very cheap indeed plus a free hot dog with every drink!

    I went with my Mum in December and we did a pizza tour with Scott’s Pizza Tours – if you’re looking for something fun and quirky (with AMAZING pizza) then give it a go!

  9. Buddakann is one of my favourite restaurants in NY. It has a great bar as well and serves amazing Dim Sum and fusion food. http://www.buddakannyc.com/

    The High Line is an old railway line than has been converted into a park in the sky. All paid for through public fundraising, it is designed by the same guy who did the main bulk of the landscaping in the Olympic Park. http://www.thehighline.org/

    Great place to start off or end a walk along the High Line. Chelsea Market is an urban market with some cool shops and restaurants. Great bakery and coffee- http://www.chelseamarket.com

    Soho has also come on leaps and bounds in recent years. If you want to do some shopping where it is slightly quieter and still has many of the top brands head down to Spring Street. Balthazar is a celeb favourite and is a great spot for brunch. You will need to book or try your luck and eat at the bar at the weekend. http://www.balthazarny.com

    New York local buses are super easy to use and the drivers allow slightly gruff will help you out. I think it is the No 1. Bus that goes the length of the city.

    If it is a nice day walk over or hire a bike and go over the Brooklyn Bridge – gives a very different view of the city.

    If you want a view with the Empire State Building in it I would recommend the Top of the Rock http://www.topoftherocknyc.com/

    1. I’m so jealous! Have an incredible time. Hopefully you’ll get to see the sights as well as drink a lot of cocktails 😉 x

  10. Hi Sarah, congratulations on your wedding and setting off on your honeymoon. I LOVE NYC!! You will have such a great time, there’s so much to do and never enough time. It’s been a few years since the last time I went (I’ve been 4 times now and can’t wait to go back again) but a couple of things we did which I imagine won’t have changed that much are:

    Doing one of the Hop on Hop Off bus tours – great way to get around
    Getting the free ferry to Staten Island and seeing the Statue of Liberty
    Walking through Central Park, the horse ride is a bit cheesy but good fun or just walk round!

    I can’t really recommend any bars as we didn’t strike lucky last time we went and things have probably changed loads in the last few years but a couple of places we went which were fun:

    http://www.ellensstardustdiner.com

    Have lunch with the singing waiters and waitresses! Lots of fun for something a bit different!

    If you’re up for a big slice of pizza pie, i loved going to John’s Pizzeria!! Expect a wait

    http://www.johnspizzerianyc.com

    Went there a few times over the years!! Pizzas are lovely and the Baked Ziti is divine!

    And of course don’t forget shopping! From memory I think if you go to the customer service at Macy’s you can get a discount card if you’re a tourist, bring your passport (although this might have changed since I last went) as proof.

    Have an AMAZING time! x

    1. Definitely still valid and you can download from the Macy’s site. I just got one for my Mum a couple of days ago. I think technically you are supposed to go to customer services to get something else to go with it but about 9 out of 10 departments (tried my best to hit them all) just accepted the online voucher I had printed.

  11. This post comes at the right time. In 3 weeks we will be in NYC for 4 nights and I just started to look for restaurants, cafes, etc. All your recommendations are very helpfull and I thin I will check out Sarabeth and maybe Buddakan. While searching for restaurants I found this one: http://thespottedpig.com/ Maybe some of you know it? It has good reviews online and I think I give it a go.

  12. We went to NYC for our honeymoon (back in 2009) and I have to recommend, for breakfast and lunch, Prime Burger on 51st Street (between Madison & 5th Avenue right near St Parick’s Cathedral). It’s like something out of Batteries not Included! Decorated in the 60’s and not changed since! It’s a great place and gives you a real American/NY experience. The waiters wear white coats and bow ties and load you up on coffee. We only went in the mornings for breakfast (EVERY morning) but the home made pies/cakes looked amazing. It’s by no means swanky but it’s very real and cheap! We loved it. Enjoy New York – it’s my favourite place 🙂

      1. Nooooo! What a crying shame. It will probably be replaced with a Starbucks. There’s no place for small independent shops/cafes/retailers in this World! 🙁

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