New York New York: Empire State of Mind!

(Just updated from my visit last weekend!).

These past years I have been fortunate enough to go on several vacations to NYC, as my older sister moved there a couple years ago for work.  Every time I go I somehow find new amazing things to do and eat!  In New York you really can spend a lot or even a little and experience the city in several different ways.  Below is a list of places I’ve eaten at, things I’ve done, and of course awesome locations for photos and graffiti.

I’ll be updating this list every time I got to NYC!  If you have any recommendations for places to go see or eat at please let me know. :)

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One time my parents and aunt/uncle came to visit so we stayed at an Air BnB in the Greenwich area close by Chelsea Piers.

I think any place is OK to stay at in New York, as long as you’re close to a subway everything is easily accessible!   We bought a $30 weekly transit ticket – highly recommended as it was so worth it.


  1. Steak
    1. [Del Frisco’s] this is a chain around USA that specializes in prime steak and seafood.  The sirloin was amazing and melted in my mouth.  The crab cakes are also a must order as an appetizer.  Don’t forget to order the lemon cake  (its a special order not on the dessert menu ;).
  2. Cheesecake
    1. [Junior’s Cheesecake] dense, creamy, heavenly, cheesecake = enough
  3. Ice Cream
    1. [Big Gay Ice Cream Shop] great stop for some ice cream with sprinkles!
  4. Burgers
    1. [Shake Shack] icon chain in USA.  It was the first time I had it and I thought it was sooooo good and greasy.  The lemonade was very yummy too!
  5. Cupcakes
    1. [Magnolia Bakery] was a bit disappointed in the cupcakes, the icing was great, but the cupcake batter itself was dry and not moist
    2. [Crumbs] was better than Magnolia Bakery, but still I’ve tasted better cupcakes before!
  6. Halal Chicken Food Cart
    1. [The Halal Guys] only $6 for chicken, rice, and vegetable (such a deal)!  They’re right outside the Hilton hotel and there is always a line, but it moves quickly.  The white sauce is so amazing and elevates the dish.
  7. Harlem Soul Food
    1. [Dinosaur BBQ] AMAZING… The portions are massive!  I left so full and happy.
    2. [Harlem Food Tour] had so much soul food I was in heaven.
  8. Sliced Meats
    1. [Katz] massive fresh sandwiches!!!  So many pictures of famous people along the walls of the restaurant.
  9. Paella
    1. [Socarrat] is a great spot for some fresh paella! Definitely try the squid ink paella, you won’t be disappointed.
  10. Fried Chicken
    1. [Root & Bone] has amazing modern soul food with a super rustic and home-y barn like interior design.  Definitely order the deviled eggs, fresh chicken with mac & cheese and the shrimp grits.  Safe room for dessert because the rhubarb pie is divine!!
    2. [Momofuku Ma Peche] is a spin off restaurant by David Chang from the very popular Momofuku restaurant.  I didn’t really know what to expect for food wise but was pleasantly surprised by how delicious the food was!  The fried chicken was spicy and had an amazing crunch to it.  The beef with broccoli was also very delicious, as well as the cod fritters and vegetable rice cakes.  This restaurant is a little more on the pricey side for food, but a great dining experience.
  11. Smorgsburg
    1. Food trucks galore in Williamsburg!  A MUST!!  If you have the patience to line up definitely try the Ramen burger, its a fun surprise.  Some of my other favourite food trucks are Home Frites, The Might Quinn, and Lobster Roll.
  12. Beauty & Essex
    1. If I could I would come here every weekend for brunch!  It’s tapas style so come with a bigger group so you can really taste a broad range of things.  The red velvet waffles, vanilla beignets, blackberry pancakes, fried chicken biscuit sandwiches and grill cheese in tomato soup are a must order!!


  1. Free Walking Tours
    1. Central Park: all day tour – was a great tour to explore the park
    2. Night Walking Tour: best of all the walking tours I did!
    3. Little Italy/SoHo/China Town: great for stumbling upon some graffiti spots
    4. Greenwich: not my favourite tour, could’ve passed
    5. Harlem Food Tour: food was BOMB!
  2. Statue of Liberty

    1. Just take the Staten Island Ferry over for free to get a free view of the Statue
  3. Times Square
    1. A big tourist attraction to go walk through, but after a couple times you’ll hate it as it’s always packed with people!
  4. Grand Central Station
    1. Definitely take a walk through!  The turquoise and gold interior is charmingly beautiful.
  5. Wall Street
    1. Bustling people in suits on a weekday is a sight to see.
  6. 9/11 Memorial
    1. Sign up for a free tour led by New Yorkers who will tell you about their experience!  You have to register earlier though, so make sure you do.
  7. Brooklyn Bridge
    1. A MUST!  Walk over the Brooklyn Bridge – the view walking towards New York is beautiful.
  8. Broadway Show
    1. You can half price tickets by going to the box office the day of at 10 am.
  9. Rockefeller
    1. Great views from the top, especially during sunset!  Definitely go up this versus Empire State, as you get a great view of the Empire State in the back drop.
  10. Chelsea Market
    1. Did the food tour here and it was great, except I got food poisoning :( likely from the Steak Tartar.  There is so much history in this market place!  A great place to grab a bite to eat.
  11. Sleep No More
    1. If you have time this is HIGHLY HIGHLY recommended.  By far the coolest thing I’ve done in New York.  Just make sure you arrive at the earliest time slot.  In the spirit of the show that is all I’ll say. :D
  12. ‘What Lifts You’ Graffiti
    1. It is likely already painted over, but found this gem in Little Italy
  13. ‘Audrey Hepburn’ Graffiti
    1. Also found this spot in Little Italy on a walking tour
  14. ‘Bowery Mural’ Street Art
    1. This mural changes every couple of months!  It always has some kind of amazing backdrop of art that you can’t miss if you’re walking by it.
  15. ‘Rag & Bone’ Graffiti
    1. I stumbled upon this graffiti wall while walking through the East side.  It is super close to the Bowery Mural and on the exterior wall of Rag & Bone clothing store.

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