In December I headed to New York for the second time. My first visit to the Big Apple was in October 2017 for my partner’s birthday and for Christmas we returned with my family. So after getting to know the city, I thought I’d share my top picks.
Places to Eat
Is there anywhere dreamier than Buddakan? Featured in the first Sex and the City movie and also the restaurant we chose for our Christmas dinner, Buddakan is sleek, classy and perfect for a special meal out.
The staff are attentive and the food is incredible, so it’s worth every penny.
From high cost to low cost, Black Seed is a casual lunch spot that sells delicious bagels. We had the vegan tofu cream cheese, buffalo cauliflower and pickle bagel which was a flavour sensation.
Ellen’s Stardust Diner
Ellen’s has earned itself a great reputation as it was recommended to me by everyone! With future Broadway stars flitting between songs and waitressing, you experience a fun experience like no other. The food was also pretty good, we got the Beyond Sausage Pasta and Beyond Burger.
The only fully vegan restaurant on this list, Spicy Moon offers Chinese Szechuan cuisine. I’d recommend Vegetable Fried Rice (as it tastes exactly like it does in Asia), the Spring Rolls and a Dry Pot.
Macy’s is an institution and the store in New York is one of the largest shops in the world! With a large selection of cosmetics, discounted bags and other items all under one roof, it’s a one stop shop for your needs.
Granted many countries have a Sephora (although sadly not the UK, boo!) but it offers an extensive range of cosmetics, skincare and haircare. With affordable brands such as Sephora’s own range all the way up to high-end products, I never leave the store empty handed.
Bryant Park Winter Village
Bryant Park Winter Village is seasonal as it’s only open near Christmas, but it has everything you need. From brilliant food, an ice rink and lots of fun, quirky stalls where you can buy your Christmas gifts, this market was one of my favourite parts of my recent New York trip.
Top of the Rock
New York has several viewing platforms but my personal favourite is Top of the Rock. Less crowded than the Empire State and with much better views, this is the one to visit.
Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island
A trip to the city isn’t complete unless you’ve visited Lady Liberty. To see an iconic sight up close and to take in the spectacular views of Manhattan from the top of the statue, makes the ticket worth every penny. I’d recommend doing a tour to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, as Ellis Island has such a fascinating history it’d be a shame to miss it.
A Sunset Boat Cruise/Tour
The best way to see the city is by water, it’s only then that you can fully appreciate the city lit up at night. To see New York at sunset all the way through to darkness is a must-do.
Central Park is the best place in the city to get some fresh air. With plenty of sights to see along the way such as Strawberry Fields and a boating lake, you could easily spend the day here just exploring.
If you are in New York at Christmas time you NEED to visit Dyker Heights! House after house, street after street are decorated in this area of Brooklyn and it creates the most magical, cheerful atmosphere.
LuminoCity is a new light festival that was on from November 2019 to January 2020. As well as being beautifully Christmassy, there was a live band and food stalls. Lumino looks set to come back again this winter but if not, New York hosts several different light based events in the winter months.
Let me know your top New York picks.