I don’t need to explain how much I love the city of New York. I would move there in a heartbeat if I could. So when my husband asked me to join him for a quick 36 hours in the city, I jumped on it.
People have this misconception that Chicago is a smaller version of NYC. I understand where this might come from, but honestly, it couldn’t be more wrong. It’s an entirely different beast. It’s more congested, the food options are endless and it’s truly the city that never sleeps (we always manage to find ourselves coming home a few hours before sunrise). And don’t even get me started on the 99 cent pizza.
All very much reasons why I love the city so much. You never know where you’re going to find yourself that night, or who you might bump into.
Where We Stayed:
If you follow me on Instagram, you may know that this trip was a very last-minute decision (are you sensing a theme with my trips lately?). The flights were booked a week out, and when it came to hotels, prices were outrageous. Thankfully Hotel Tonight came to mind, so I downloaded the app and took a look. You guys, this app is amazing! *download now* We snagged a room at the Innside Hotel in Chelsea, and were so impressed with our stay.
In the past, we’ve stayed at the Ritz Carlton Central Park or the St. Regis NYC (follow the links to read more), so it was fun to break out of our shell and stay somewhere completely new. The main perk of this hotel: Location, location, location. Chelsea is the perfect neighborhood just to wander. Not plan a thing. Grab your bag and go.
The rooms have massive windows that don’t stare at another brick wall (truly a hard thing to find in NYC), allowing a lot of natural light into the room. The staff are incredibly friendly and had some of the best recommendations for the surrounding area. The overall vibe had a youthful feel to it, with living walls and open floor plans for their restaurant and bar. And let’s not forget the ping-pong tables in the back.
Where We Ate (& Drank):
Toro. I arrived late on Thursday night, so we found ourselves at the concierge desk asking for a recommendation. The lovely woman recommended Toro, near the Meatpacking District, for tapas and a fantastic Spanish wine list. I would recommend this restaurant for a large group or a romantic dinner for two. We were able to snag a seat at the “Chef’s bar” without a wait, and enjoyed watching all the food If you find yourself here, you need to order the house made chorizo, bacon wrapped dates, and the griddled shrimp.
Tim Ho Wan. Where to begin with this one… Hands down one of my favorite meals I’ve had in NYC. After an 1.5 wait, my dreams came true. Tim Ho Wan’s first restaurant opened in Hong Kong and is considered the cheapest Michelin-star restaurant in the world. Since this location opened earlier this year, it’s been on my husband and I’s bucket list. Need to get items? The baked pork buns, shrimp dumplings & steamed rice with minced beef and pan friend eggs. Do yourself a favor and put it at the top of the list!
Nomad Bar. If you have not caught on yet, my husband is quite a foodie (read about our Le Bernardin experience). He has an ongoing list of NYC restaurants and bars he wants to try, and the Nomad Hotel restaurant and bar are at the top of the list. After dinner, we decided to visit the bar for a few drinks. The branding and design for this place is incredible. From the outside, it’s not marked, but once you step inside, you find yourself in the coziest bar. Their cocktail list is insane, so be sure to take the look. Oh, and the ice cubes are even branded!
Freemans. I’ve made two prior attempts to make it to this restaurant for brunch (and managed to oversleep my reservations by HOURS), so I HAD to make it here this time (3rd times a charm, ya know). HOLY YUM. No questions asked, go here. I’ll start by saying, this is one of the coolest places I’ve been in NYC. Located at the end of an alley, this restaurant is the hunting lodge I’ve always dreamed of having. What to order? Artichoke dip. And every other item on the menu.