New York is the kind of city that you could go back to time and time again – it’s so dynamic you’ll never run out of things to see or do. So I was excited to head back there and experience it for the first time all over again!
Over 5 days and 4 nights we crammed quite a bit in, allowing for a (very) small amount of down time too… after all it was a holiday and you can easily come back from the ‘city that never sleeps’ feeling like you need another holiday!
Day one: We arrived late afternoon, so didn’t do too much in our first few hours in the city. After freshening up, all we wanted to do was fill the empty pits in our stomachs with an NYC burger so after a bit of googling we found a place nearby called Bareburger. I’d recommend giving this a try, even the burger connoisseur said it was good! The beers are also the biggest I’ve ever seen, you can order a 2l beer! I opted a frozen margarita, which went down very well…
Day two: The great thing about jet lag when travelling to America from the UK is that you wake up before everyone else. We headed through Times Square – which at 7am on a Sunday morning is completely deserted – on our way to Grand Central Station. If you can drag yourselves out of bed, I really would suggest getting up early to visit some of these places – it was amazing to see the station so empty and really get to appreciate it’s grandeur.
From Grand Central Station we hopped in an Uber down to Greenwich Village and ducked into La Bonbonniere. What can I say about this place? It’s an absolute New York classic! A complete dive of a diner, you couldn’t get more welcoming staff or more delicious pancakes, you know what I mean, the proper kind. The walls of the diner are covered in pictures and clippings from all of the extremely well known visitors they’ve had (a lot of them live in Greenwich Village) and the countless number of films they’ve been in – if you’ve seen Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind or Californication then you will have seen this diner. For a traditional diner experience, this is your spot. But beware, it get’s busy! If you get there early like we did, you’ll have the whole place to yourself.
Fuelled for the day, our next stop was the 9/11 Memorial Museum. This is a must see – it documents everything from the construction of the towers all those years ago to the events of the day on 9/11. There’s also a huge tribute to all those who lost their life that day. There is a particularly poignant art installation with the quote ‘No day shall erase you from the memory of time’.
By the time we came out of the museum we were ready to eat again. Wanting to spend a bit more time in Greenwich Village we headed back and straight into Joe’s Pizza, another NYC institution that you have to try, the pizza is SO good. This is really close to Fat Cat’s; a jazz bar offering live music, pool and ping pong. Wanting to shelter from the rain, we thought we’d check it out and found a band playing in the underground bar. A couple of beers, countless games of pool lost to my far superior opponent and some great live music later we followed the light back out to the street and to my complete and utter delight realised there was a Milk Bar bakery right opposite. I went straight in and got a cornflake, marshmallow and chocolate cookie, warmed of course… oh my god. I should have brought a supply home with me. Do not miss out on these cookies!!
Maybe it’s quite apt but Sunday became a day of classics when in the evening we ended up going to Jimmy’s Corner. Another gem, it’s a boxing themed dive bar tucked away just off Times Square – Jimmy was a boxer himself who once trained and sparred with Ali, among many others. I absolutely loved the bar – tiny, filled with character, completely tourist free and walls plastered with boxing memorabilia. It felt a little unwelcoming when you walk in, everyone keeps themselves to themselves, but its actually a really fun, cosy and intimate atmosphere. Another recommendation!
How have I only covered two days! This post is getting a bit long now so I’ll continue with the final few days in a Pt.2!
I hope this was useful, if you have any questions or your own favourite spots in NY I’d love to hear about them in the comments!