Y'all... It took almost 25 years, but I finally made it to New York City and it was magical. A few of my college best friends and I decided to meet up for a little Girl's Trip. We went back and forth deciding between NYC and Washington D.C. Ultimately, we decided New York would be great since my friend, Taylor, and I had never been. Below is a recap of our trip. Keep in mind that we tried to keep things very budget friendly, so if you are looking for great places to eat or things to do in New York City on a budget then this is a great starting point! I know we had a blast!
All of us got into the city pretty late on Thursday night. My friend, Ellie, and I met at LaGuardia, Taylor took the bus from D.C., and Jess (the only one of us who lives in the city) had a work happy hour that night. Around 8p.m. Ellie and I checked into our Airbnb [if you haven't ever used Airbnb then use this code to get a $40 travel credit: www.airbnb.com/c/ellenb4091] and Jess brought over some wine and snacks. We chatted until Taylor arrived then we had a late dinner at The Meatball Shop in the East Village. The Meatball Shop was incredible. It isn't too loud and it's a great place to hold a conversation. We ordered multiple plates along with a few bottles of wine and ended up sharing everything. I thought it was a great place for a quick, sit down dinner as we didn't make any reservations for Thursday.
Taylor, Ellie, and I woke up early on Friday morning and went to the 9/11 Memorial Museum. I truly think it is an experience everyone young and old should have. Word of Wisdom: buy your tickets early online, get there as soon as it opens (9:00a.m.), and plan on spending about 3 hours there. We got there a little after 9:00a.m. and all of the exhibits were pretty empty. It gave us time to look around and really take in the museum without a lot of people crowding around. By the time we left at noon, the museum was packed and the line to get in wrapped around the building. My best advice: GET. THERE. EARLY!
After the museum, we met up with Jess and headed uptown to Serendipity! It was ~quite~ an adventure. Don't get me wrong, everyone should eat at Serendipity at least once. However, we made reservations and still waited about 30 minutes for a table, our food took forever to come out, and it was packed. Make reservations and have a snack (or two!) before you go!
The rest of the day we walked around Central Park and hung out at our Airbnb.
For dinner, we went to Pizza Loves Emily in the West Village. Jess made reservations and I'm so glad! (You MUST have reservations!!) It's Detroit style pizza and simply amazing. We shared a few pizzas (and LOTS of wine) and it was perfect before we went out for the night.
Our first stop of the night was While We Were Young. The drinks and atmosphere are very cute and it was a great place for the awkward time between dinner and nightlife. I wouldn't say that I would ever go back but it's a great place to go for a cute photo op.
We then headed to Marie's Crisis Cafe, which was a piano bar down the street. Keep in mind it's cash only. We ran into the problem of always needing cash in NYC, so the best advice I have is to keep at least $50 cash on you every day - you'll thank me later. My friend, Lexi, came to meet up with us and we headed to Hair of the Dog. The bouncers were extremely rude so would I go back? Nope. We ended the night at Artichoke Pizza [cash only!] - they raised their prices from $5 a slice to $6 a slice, which was an ordeal. It's the best pizza, ever, and a must try in NYC!!
On Saturday we got up around 10a.m., grabbed some Gatorade, and headed to Pietro NoLita. Y'all... If you are anything like me you MUST go here. EVERYTHING IS PINK! Just look at the cute pictures... I mean, it can't be beat. There are no reservations and it's a pretty small restaurant so make sure you get there early. It's also cash only so plan accordingly!
Then we cha cha'd to Cha Cha Matcha and grabbed some caffeine before we headed to Soho to shop.
Taylor grabbed some of the coolest, custom shoes at Nike [how cute is she!!!] and we all saw the building Jess works in... Those views though!
For a late lunch, we grabbed some tapas, sangria, and churros at Boqueria- Soho. I would HIGHLY recommend. Great service and such a fun atmosphere. I think we spent about 3 hours here chatting about life, love, and everything in between.
Around 7p.m. we headed to Times Square to see Waitress. I love musicals and I had such a great time. I listened to this entire soundtrack before seeing the musical (and may or may not have memorized all the songs...) but none of the other girls did and I think they loved it as well! Times Square was a nightmare, but I'm glad I experienced it once! We were all exhausted after the show, but were craving pasta so we headed to Bar Primi and AHHHH so yummy. It's definitely a bit pricier, but totally worth it. We didn't need a reservation because we went so late, but that may be something to keep in mind if you plan on going to dinner at a normal time - ha! [FYI Jess said she saw Amanda Seyfried there once... Just saying!]
Ellie and Taylor had to leave Sunday to get back to work, but we couldn't leave NYC without getting some bagels! First stop, Mud Coffee. Black coffee with almond milk. The best. Next stop, Tompkins Square Bagels. I got the everything bagel with chive cream cheese and the french toast bagel with triple berry cream cheese (sue me!) I believe both were cash only, but either way I'd have some cash on hand to get your coffee and bagels faster. If I could have coffee and bagels with my gals every morning, I'd be in Heaven!!
Taylor headed to the bus to go back to D.C. and Ellie, Jess, and I headed to the Friend's Apartment with Mud Coffee in hand [90 Bedford St, New York, NY 10014].
I wanted a Black and White cookie so we headed to Russ & Daughters THEN we realized we were hungry so we went to Katz Deli for a reuben and fries. If any of you are When Harry Met Sally fans Katz Deli is the deli from the "I'll have what she's having!" scene. 😉
Later that day, Ellie headed to the airport to go back to Dallas, so Jess and I did some shopping. I returned some things to Rent the Runway, and picked up a jacket for an event later that week in Chicago. [More on my rental experience with Rent the Runway soon!] Later that night, we headed uptown to meet my friend, Lexi, at The Smith. It was Easter night and we didn't have reservations but easily got in, so I think it's a good place to pop into. If you go here, you MUST get the gnocchi. It's seriously the best. Yum.
Monday morning I planned to go on the Sex and the City tour, but I woke up without a voice and felt super sick. Instead, I grabbed coffee at Third Rail Coffee and ventured to see Carrie Bradshaw's apartment [64 Perry St, New York, NY 10014]. It was a dream!
I did some sightseeing at St. Patrick's Cathedral, Rockefellar Center, and The Plaza Hotel. And a little shopping at Tiffany's (those rings though!!) and Bergdorf's.
Then, I met up with Jess after she got off work at Mimi Cheng's Dumplings. Ugh, literally the best dumplings of my life. At last, it was time for me to leave this extraordinary city. I gave Jess a big hug and vowed to myself that I'd be back soon! NEW YORK I LOVE YOU.
What are your favorite places in NYC? What city should we go to next?!