This was my fourth and longest trip to the Big Apple. And while our days were full of meetings, calls, and work stuff, our nights were full of sightseeing fun. I still can’t believe how much we were able to fit in!
So before I talk about all the food we tried, I have to say that my food pictures didn’t turn out as great as I had hoped. It just so happens that the lighting in small NYC restaurants isn’t as good as the food!
Also, FYI – super long post ahead…
Bill’s Bar and Burger – Don’t ask me how two vegetarians ended up at a burger joint. Sunday evening was kind of hectic, so we went with what was easy and available. I wasn’t a huge fan of this restaurant for a number of reasons. One, the service was a little slow. Two, the food was just average. We ordered nachos to share that were topped with nacho cheese sauce versus real cheese. This really bothered me for some reason. And the veggie burgers we ordered tasted like they came right out of the freezer – no seasoning at all!
Europa Cafe – We wanted Sunday to be a little more go with the flow, and the lunchtime flow led us to Europa Cafe. While this is a chain restaurant, the food was pretty good. We shared a warm Greek quinoa salad and an avocado sandwich. Great healthy fare that was reasonably priced as well!
Le Pain Quotidien – My boss, Bhusha, is from London, where this restaurant is known to serve fresh, delicious food. When she suggested we check it out, I was game. The ambiance is very rustic and community oriented with large tables/benches that seat numerous people. And the food didn’t disappoint either. I ordered a Gruyere and spinach quiche, while Bhusha ordered a quinoa salad. Both dishes were delicious and very light. We also shared gluten free crackers topped with avocado mash. I loved how accommodating the menu was in terms of different food preferences. Anyone would be happy eating here!
Hangawi – This was by far my favorite NYC restaurant that we tried. Everything from the food to the decor to the ambiance created an amazing dining experience. When you enter the restaurant, you take off your shoes. You are then led to your table which is set up like a traditional Korean house. The menu is 100% vegetarian Korean food with a healthy twist. We ordered a couple of appetizers – organic kale dumplings filled with tofu and combination rolls (so unique and flavorful). And for dinner, we both ordered organic bibimbap that came in a hot stone bowl. This is a must visit NYC restaurant that looks unassuming from the outside yet is anything but in terms of the food.
Sinigual – This Mexican restaurant was located near our office so we headed here for lunch one day. I ordered a dish that included roasted veggies and a chili relleno that was stuffed with a cheesy corn mixture. The veggies were a bit oily but the chili relleno was amazing! We also got guacamole to share…always a good choice!
Kati Roll – So we went to this place three times. THREE! I had it on the list of restaurants to try, so we went for dinner one night. My boss (and I) loved it so much that we went back for lunch two more times! Kati rolls are Indian flatbreads stuffed with a spicy mixture of either meat, chickpeas, paneer, or potatoes. So so good! I remember the rolls being a little oily from my last trip to the city, but I was pleasantly surprised to find that the rolls we had this time were not oily at all and actually tasted semi-healthy.
Bar Centrale – One of our coworkers recommended we eat here because it’s known to be frequented by celebrities. Well, we didn’t see anyone famous, but we did eat some delicious food. Bhusha and I shared guacamole, chickpea fries, flatbread pizza, and potato skins. The menu reminded me of a tapas menu filled with bar food. Good stuff!
Times Square – Our hotel was really close to Times Square so we walked through several times. So much hustle, bustle, and energy!
The Metropolitan Museum of Art – We spent a few hours on Sunday exploring the museum, and I felt like a kid in the candy store. Every piece I saw amazed me, from the Iron Age Spouted Jars to the Egyptian jewelry. I could have honestly spent all day in there! We were able to fit in a guided tour highlighting some of the main sections of the museum and a self-guided tour of the Lost Kingdoms exhibition. This special exhibition explored the Hindu and Buddhist kingdoms that flourished in Southeast Asia from the 5th to the 8th century. Absolutely fascinating!
Walking tour of Central Park – Did you know that Central Park is 2.5 miles long and 0.5 miles wide? I didn’t either…until this tour! We walked across the 0.5 miles and learned all about how and why the park was commissioned and developed.
Rockefellar Center Tour and the top of 30 Rock – This was a fun tour of Rockefellar Center, where we learned about the history behind the development of the buildings, gardens, and plazas. We even got an up close and person look at Studio 1A (home of the Today Show)! After the tour we went up to the top of 30 Rock where we experienced some of the most amazing views of the city!
Aladdin on Broadway – THIS WAS THE ABSOLUTE HIGHLIGHT OF THE TRIP!!! You guys, if you have the opportunity to see Aladdin on Broadway, please do it. The show was SO funny, magical, romantic, and awesome. The actors, the set, the costumes, the music, the theater itself…ahh I want to see it again!! I was 10 years old when Aladdin was released, and I remember falling in love with everything about it. Watching it on Broadway brought back those same emotions. There are just no words to adequately describe how amazing it was!
Have you been to NYC? Favorite restaurant and/or sight to see?