New York City is a place where everything and anything can happen.
You can at one moment be in an unsuspecting cafe, and the next be whisked away into a hidden bar – true story – and you can all the same be whisked off the street into a hole-in-the-wall palm reader who blows your mind. Another true story.
Either way, New York City is an absolute must. Having been to the city now nearing 10 times, I’ve learned some of the best local spots for eating, drinking, and enjoying the local jazz scene, as well as the tourist must-haves of wonderful places to stay.
Here are my top suggestions for NYC stays, eats, treats, and indulgences.
I had an incredible time getting to know NYC even more intimately, thanks to my wonderful stay with Loews Regency NYC. Situated on Park Avenue just a stone’s throw from Central Park, staying in this part of Midtown had me experiencing New York City in an entirely new way, and suddenly I was amidst the “New York” one would expect from the plethora of our favorite TV shows and movies.
I particularly enjoyed my little perch overlooking Park Avenue, where I’d sit sipping on champagne and watching the hundreds of taxis drive by on the busy street below. We also found it incredibly handy to be located on such a picturesque street for the purpose of our photography, and the hotel’s salon, Julien Farel, was an incredible experience for a fresh blowout.
From the welcoming staff to the wonderfully comfortable accommodations and the great location, I’d highly recommend Loews Regency for your NYC stay.
Food is another part of NYC that will have your mouth-watering, quite literally, and it’s really quite difficult to go wrong in this department when in the Big Apple.
I loved eating at the hotel’s restaurant, The Regency Bar & Grill, because of the delicious food, wonderful service, and live music.
Another great option is called Bread & Tulips, a rustic Italian kitchen, also on Park Ave, that will fill you up and leave you satisfied without breaking the bank.
Finally, be sure to check out Eataly located right by the Flat Iron building for a truly unique (and delicious) experience, and perhaps take an Affogato out to Madison Square Park across the street to enjoy on a sunny day.
Live music performances are the epitome of the culture in NYC, and no trip to the Big Apple would be the same without at least one or two. While you might be lucky enough to catch musicians and performers in the subway stations by mere accident, you should definitely make it a point to seek out some live jazz while in town.
Jumaane Smith is an amazing musician, and the trumpet player next to Michael Buble, who I had the honour of meeting (and listening to!) on my latest trip to NYC. You can catch him playing at The Regency Bar & Grill (inside Loews Regency Hotel on Park Ave) on Friday nights.
If you don’t get a chance to catch Jumaane while in town, take a walk through Washington Square Park where you’re bound to find a plethora of live musicians and other performers on a sunny day. I once saw an uber-talented performer playing two trumpets at once here!
I discovered a new speakeasy bar called Bathtub Gin which might be a little hard to find due to it’s unsuspecting cafe storefront, but is certainly worth the effort! I also had a great time dancing at Catch, which is a rooftop restaurant/lounge in the Meatpacking District that gets a little bit more “dancy” in the later evening hours.
There you have it: NYC in a very, very small nutshell.
If you missed my NYC video, you can watch it here.
And of course – enjoy NYC!