A couple of weeks ago, Ben and I spontaneously decided to plan a long weekend trip to New York City! For years, we had talked about visiting New York City in fall. In addition, with my upcoming surgery in November, I really wanted to do something fun and unique before I’m officially in recovery-mode. To plan our trip to New York City, we consulted close friends and read lots of reviews — so, below, I’ve collected all of the places we visited and recommend, along with a brief video of our trip at the end!
Just like our summer road trip to South Dakota, we were very conscious of coronavirus. We spent a vast majority of our trip outdoors, and additionally, many people wore masks both indoors and outdoors. Currently, in New York City, vaccination cards are required for admission to certain attractions and when choosing to dine in at restaurants. All of those precautions and safety measures helped me to feel protected and protective.
We arrived in New York City at 11:00 PM — and we were really hungry! In all of our research, we noticed many places are open late, so we walked a few blocks from our Airbnb to NYC Falafel for falafels! NYC Falafel was part-convenience-store-part-falafel-restaurant — and we loved every detail.
Thursday was our first full day in New York City. We began the day by walking to Blue Bottle Coffee which had a really cool atmosphere and delicious vegan chia seed pudding. (Just outside of the coffee shop, filming for And Just Like That… was happening!)
After coffee, we visited the 9/11 Memorial & Museum which was a really powerful and emotional experience.
Afterward, we walked north to Tribeca for lunch at Maman. Their mostly plant-based menu was really great, and both Ben and I ordered their fall salads.
We continued our day by walking around the city and searching high and low for vegan pizza — and we succeeded! We ended the day with dinner at Rubirosa Ristorante. This restaurant had a warm and cozy atmosphere and absolutely delicious pizza.
We started the day at Bluestone Lane, where we had the very best avocado toast, pictured below. The atmosphere and decor of Bluestone Lane was also really neat; the space was an indoor-outdoor space, so it made for the perfect place to start the day!
Afterward, we decided to visit Essex Market — New York City’s most historic public market. When we arrived, the market was nearly empty, because it had just opened. This made for a really neat experience, because we were able to freely walk around and explore all of the vendors. I recommend planning a meal or two at Essex Market, simply to be able to try all of the different vendors’ food.
In the afternoon, we visited Chinatown. Ever since visiting Seattle’s Chinatown a few years ago, Ben and I always explore Chinatown in new cities we travel to, because we both really value people and culture and cuisine. (We’ve visited in Vancouver and Victoria, too!) In Chinatown, I had my aura read at Magic Jewelry — which was truly one of my most memorable and favorite experiences!
We walked across the Brooklyn Bridge to have dinner with friends. The walk was really fun, especially because the weather was so beautiful. After walking through DUMBO (Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass), we watched the sunset at Pebble Beach.
We planned for Saturday to be a full day, not only because it was our last day in New York City, but also because we weren’t sure what to expect on a Saturday in NYC! We started the day with coffee from Ralph’s (They’re grab-and-go for now!) and walked to a bench in Central Park to people-watch.
We walked south through Time’s Square to Rockefeller Center to visit Top of the Rock.
A little rain passed through, so we found shelter at Chelsea Market — another really neat marketplace with lots of vendors! We ended our weekend trip with dinner at Willow, a cozy vegan bistro with comfort food, like mac ‘n cheese!
Our weekend in New York City was both fast-paced and truly memorable. Here is a quick 1-minute video recap of our trip, too!
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I'm Kelly Zugay — a Saint Paul, Minnesota-based small business owner, podcaster, and content creator.
By day, I am co-founder of With Grace and Gold and host of Brand It, Build It Podcast.
Here, since 2013, I've explored and shared about lifestyle, plant-based, vegan recipes, home building and decor, and travel — and I am truly so glad you're here!