Dylan and I just returned to Toronto less than 24 hours ago, and we are already missing it. It was our second time travelling to NYC together and this time around, we decided to skip a lot of the touristy stuff and really just focus on the hustle-and-bustle of lower Manhattan and Brooklyn. It was certainly a different trip than last time, but more our speed.
Just our luck, our trip landed right in the middle of bombogenisis, aka the CRAZY snow storm that just hit the east coast. Our flights went smoothly, even though I was stuck on the tarmac for two and a half hours. Anywhoo – the point of mentioning this was to say that I must’ve caught something on the tiny airplane because I’m feeling super under-the-weather.
|Perched at the Allen St. entrance of our hotel
Orchard Street Hotel – You really get what you pay for, and then some. Dylan and I stayed here for the entirety of our trip, and it was just what we needed. A comfy bed, a clean bathroom and just enough space to hang a few jackets. It is very small, but that’s a given with NYC. We spent around $120 CAD per night so you really can’t beat the price. I would only recommend this hotel for couples or siblings staying in NYC, I probably wouldn’t stay here with friends. There just isn’t enough space. There also isn’t a safe or a fridge (or even a space to eat haha), so it’s really just a simple place to put your head at night. The location is about a 12 minute walk from Spring St. Subway station, and the neighbourhood is charming and hip – far from any touristy sights.
Tip: Pack light if you’re staying here. There isn’t much space to put your luggage. We packed with two carry – ons and had just enough space.
plus … Arlo Soho Hotel – We didn’t stay here, but we Dylan’s cousin was here for a business trip at the same time as our stay. His hotel room was gorgeous, and probably the next tier in terms of pricing. I would definitely consider staying here, the lobby was lively and the location was great.
We chose to stay in Soho because of all the food. There were tons of restaurants everywhere and we felt very safe anywhere we went. People were friendly for the most part, and the subways were easy.
Broken Coconut – A cute spot near NYU. We stopped here on our way to Washington Square Park, and they had lots of healthy, cali – inspired options. Definitely great if you’re looking for that perfect NYC Cafe Insta photo opp.
Bar Americain – We really wanted to come here since the last time we ate at Bobby Flay’s restaurant Gato in 2015. It’s a pretty traditional restaurant not far from Times Square. We were happy to knock another Iron Chef restaurant off our list!
|Dig Inn brunch
Dig Inn – We came here for Sunday Brunch. It was lovely but after many failed attempts at the photo above, our food was a little cold (haha).
Mac Bar – One of my favourite meals by far on this trip. If you’re a mac and cheese lover, you have to stop by here on your next New York Trip. The Lobster Mac and Cheese is kind of pricey, but SO worth it. Get ready to have your mind blown…
Jack’s Wife Freda – Was recommended by a ton of people to try this classic spot! Glad we did. It’s very pretty and not far from a lot of the SoHo shopping.
Russ and Daughters – Another classic, and also not very far from our hotel. Breakfast was delicious
One Girl Cookies – We went to the DUMBO location, and were not disappointed. I had a really good hot chocolate.
Mr. Taka Ramen – This place was right beside our hotel, and it was always busy. We didn’t know much about it, but glad that we tried it right before heading to the airport. Their veggie ramen was really good! I’ve never had any other veggie ramen like it. They also had a lot of speciality Japanese beer to choose from.
Brooklyn Bridge – A really fun walk, and a great photo opp. Dylan and I brought a tripod as well to take our couple pics. It wasn’t super busy, but I can imagine it getting crowded in summers.
|Washington & Front Street, DUMBO
DUMBO with the best Manhattan Bridge Photo Spot – Right at the intersection of Washington and Front is one of the best places to take a classic DUMBO photo. We set up a tripod to take multiple shots and were so happy with the results.
Washington Square Park – Another really pretty park to take a photo. It’s also seen in a lot of tv shows and movies!
|Nike Store in SoHo
Shopping in Soho – I think SoHo is one of the my fave places to shop in Manhattan. It’s not too far from a lot of good food spots, and they have all the classic shops that we have in also Toronto, and then some. Make sure to stop at Reformation and the Glossier Showroom.
Tip: It’s really hard to find a restroom in SoHo. You can find one on the third floor of Bloomingdales!
Nolita – Where we stayed. A lot of cool, hip shops. We checked out a REALLY cool shop called Bulletin, which had a ton of sassy AF, female-empowerment products.
Top of the Rock – Very touristy but I couldn’t resist. It’s a lot of fun and one of the best views of the city.
The Met – Another touristy spot that I love. A bit far from where we stayed, but well worth the trip.
Brooklyn Nets Game – I was browsing on the Gametime App one day and saw that the Raptors were playing at the EXACT SAME TIME we were staying in NYC. Tickets were super cheap! The games are definitely not as rowdy as Toronto Home games, but we had a lot of fun. I highly recommend seeing if your home team is playing Brooklyn Nets, because I could not believe how inexpensive the tickets were. Brooklyn wasn’t too far from where we were staying either. Definitely one of the highlights of our trip.