A few weekends ago, Taylor and I decided to take a spontaneous road trip to New York City! New York always has my heart. I love the food, the coffee culture, the beautiful architecture and the overall vibe. Whenever I visit, I always ask myself why I didn’t come back sooner.
Taylor and I have both been to New York City (separately) and have always talked about exploring New York together so we packed our bags, threw our suitcases into the trunk of our little Mini Cooper and off we went! We left on Saturday afternoon and planned to return Monday night, that meant we had just about 36 hours to do everything we had on our list.. and then some!
We always based our travels on the best restaurants/food and will always travel for food. Now with my blog and Instagram, I will not only travel for food but will also travel for the photo, haha. I find the best way to explore a city is on foot. Of course you’ll have to take an uber, cab or metro every now and then but to me, it not just about the destination but everything in between.
So, follow along on my food diary, here’s Where To Eat in New York City in 36 Hours.
Where we stayed
Taylor and I stayed at 11 Howard. Its a new, modern boutique hotel located in SoHo, Manhattan. We booked this hotel because we love the simplicity and minimalism of Scandinavian design and this totally delivered! The hotel has 221 rooms but doesn’t feel massive by any means. I love the way the lobby is designed, it feels more like a condo than a hotel. Its located in lower Manhattan, which had a mix of grimy streets next to some pretty high-end shops.
Where we ate
We started the Sunday bright and early to grab a cup of coffee and breakfast at the cute Cafe Henrie. You’ve probably seen photos of Cafe Henrie on Instagram, its so cute with their perfectly pink and teal tables and the cutest neon sign out front. I love visiting cafes/restaurants right when they open that way the place is quiet and empty so you can capture all the interior shots you want.
I had the Acai bowl with fresh fruit and my favourite toppings chia seeds and coconut and Taylor had the egg sandwich. Not only was the food delicious, the coffee was SO good.
Next on our list was Dominique Ansel’s Bakery, which was a 15 minute walk from Cafe Henrie. You guys have no idea how badly I wanted to try the Cronut, I had even picked up his baking book and thought about making it at home. We walked to the bakery at about 10am and there was already a line up outside, surprise, surprise. We waited in line for about 45 minutes before we finally order the Cronut (caramelized pineapple and rum) and a Dominique’s Kouign Amann (DKA). The cronut was good and super sweet but the DKA stole the show. OH EM GEE, it was super flakey, crisp on the outside, tender on the inside and similar to a croissant but with a million more layers! It is worth every calorie and any line up, it was SO good, I wish I had taken a box home with me.
Our bellies were so full we knew we needed to walk it off. We headed toward the Chelsea Market walking down all the beautiful streets of New York. Every time I visit New York, I wonder why I don’t visit more often. It has all the beautiful architecture and old buildings that I wish Toronto had.
The Chelsea Market is full of food, shopping and history.
I had so many restaurants on my list for lunch it was hard to decide where to eat while we were in New York. I am however, always in the mood for Italian food, I seriously feel like I should’ve been born Italian. Oficina 1M is a cute rustic restaurant in Little Italy. Whenever theres pappardelle on the menu, I have to have it, especially when its with duck ragu. My favourite Italian restaurant, Nodo, in Toronto has MY fave duck ragu pappardelle.
We ordered the Caprese di Pesche which is buffalo mozzarella, proscuitto and grilled nectarines and the Pappardelle al ragu d’anatra – duck ragu pappardelle. The Caprese di Pesche was great, what’s not to love creamy buffalo mozzarella, proscuitto and sweet grilled nectarines. The duck ragu pappardelle was delicious, hearty and made with fresh pasta (yum). The decor is raw and has a cool and relax vibe.
Right beside Oficina 1M is Cha Cha Matcha. Oh em gee, this place has all the tropical vibes, its pink and green all over AND how cute is the name!? It was definitely time for a caffeine kick! I am obsessed with matcha (check out my matcha, coconut ice cream) and a little picky when it comes to matcha lattes. A lot of places use lower grade matcha where the colour is an army green/yellow and it tastes like dust or hay. This place uses high quality matcha from Japan (YES!) and offers a selection of non-dairy milk (another win!). The matcha was SO good, it was bright green in colour, tasted like fresh greens with a hint of sweetness. They also serve soft serve matcha… which I totally regret not having!
We finally walked back to the hotel to recharge and for a quick break before we headed out to the Brooklyn Bridge. Although our hotel is located in lower Manhattan, I never felt like any destination was too far or out of the way. It was pretty central to where we wanted to be with delicious food and great shopping! Like, Reformation, which is located 2 doors down!
Woops! Cafe on Worth St is super cute, I’m so surprised it was also completely empty around 3pm when we visited. The interior is covered in beautiful white tiles along with the tabletops, it was Instagram heaven! There’s no latte art here if that’s what you’re after, which I definitely was.. but apparently the one in Brooklyn is the original location, has the same beautiful decor AND latte art.
I’ve walked the Brooklyn bridge before, in the winter and it was beautiful and vacant. Brooklyn bridge in the summer is crowded and chaotic. It’s about fifteen minutes from our hotel and about a half an hour walk across the bridge. I would do it again early in the morning when there are less tourists but never again in the middle of the day lol.
This one was Taylor’s pick. Juliana’s pizza is located in Brooklyn, under the Brooklyn bridge. It’s well known for it’s New York-style pizza, thin crust, crispy but foldable. Sounds great to me even though my favourite are Neapolitan pizzas.
We arrived at Juliana’s pizza around 4:30pm and waited in line for about one and a half hours before we sat and ordered our “small” pizza. Oh my goodness, we had the Margherita pizza with sausage and it was MASSIVE and so good. Would I stand in line again for this pizza, probably not. Do I regret having the pizza, heck no.
After a full day of walking, we decided to head to Central Park and hopped in an uber. I’ve never actually walked the entire length of Central Park but it is beautiful and so peaceful. One of my favourite things to do is just sit and people watch.
Monday was gloomy, wet and just bleh. We were lucky that Sunday treated us so well and we were able to get the most of our exploring done. Today we decided to make our way to Sadelle’s because you can’t visit New York without trying New York style pizza and.. BAGELS! If theres ever smoked salmon on the menu, I am all over it. I ordered the smoked salmon with onion and chive cream cheese and it was SO good, check out my smoked salmon tower!
We ended the trip off on a sweet note at Sweet Moment. I was deciding whether or not I wanted one last treat before we left New York. I had eaten my weight in food and was totally coffee’d out. We passed by Sweet Moment on our way back to the hotel so I took it as a sign from the universe. Its not a typical hot latte you would expect, its cold brew coffee layered with flavoured cream, then perfectly decorated by the barista. It was totally worth E V E R Y calorie. The coffee was so smooth and the red velvet cream on top tasted like melted ice cream.. not to mention the little drawing on my coffee was so cute I could cry. The lighting here is not the best but they do have the perfect little “Instagram station” by the window.
What we missed but will definitely come back for:
Egg Shop – cute little brunch spot, definitely known for their eggs. Just the name alone makes be want to go. We actually walked by it on the Sunday but it was packed.
Pietro Nolita – when I told my friend Joelle I was heading to New York City, this was the first place she sent me to! It just screams pink, which is perfect for me! Pietro Nolita is known for their healthy Italian restaurant, and their Bucatini Cacio e Pepe looks amazing.
Tacombi – loving the colours and vibe here. This taqueria serves Mexican food that looks so good I drool on my phone every time.
by Chloe – I didn’t want to make Taylor suffer through SO many cute and pretty restaurants and cafes.. especially not vegan (he’s totally not into that) so I kept this place a secret. Vegan, plant-based, beautiful food by Chloe. What’s not to love.
While We Were Young – Pink booths, beautiful decor. That is all.
Hope you enjoyed my food diary. Have you visited any of these places yet? What’s on your list for New York City? Let me know!