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Friday, October 7, 2016


Most of you know that my husband and I spent last week in New York City.  We went so that I could attend the Better Homes and Gardens Stylemaker event, and added several days to our trip to have some extra time for ourselves to enjoy the city.  I'm going to break the trip down into 3 bite-sized posts rather than having one big whopper, so today is all about where we stayed and ate.

Let me preface this by saying that we're not very fussy travelers and don't particularly care about ultra-hip or "cool" places to stay or eat, we just want a clean room and good food that won't break the bank- I'd rather spend my money on pillows! ;)   We had a pretty good mix of price ranges in the places we ate, but overall I was surprised about how reasonable most of the places we ate were...not much different than home.  These suggestions don't even scratch the surface of the countless restaurants available, this is just where we landed for meals.


Just like we did the last time we visited NYC, we rented an apartment for our stay.  The BHG event was being held at the Gramercy Park Hotel, just off of 21st and 3rd, so we wanted to be in that general vicinity.  I looked into some hotels, but it's NYC, and anything that was appealing was just more than we wanted to pay for the 4 nights that we stayed.  So, searching VRBO and HomeAway, we found a simple, pretty bare bones but clean one bedroom apartment, including a full kitchen, for much less than the best rates I could find for a tiny hotel room.  (Read this older post for tips when booking with one of these sites.)  It was located on 3rd and 14th, with an east west subway line just outside the door, and Union Station (a major stop) just about 2 blocks down.  We loved the area, it was very easy to get around, and there were plenty of places right on that corner if there were any necessities we needed.  When renting an apartment, you truly feel a little bit more like a "local"!  We bought an unlimited week-long subway pass for around $30, and never used a cab.  We used Uber for the first time back and forth to the airport, very happy with that experience!


This was caddy-corner from where we were staying, so we grabbed a quick slice just after arriving before we could get into the apartment.  Jimmy Fallon's pic was on the wall and he said it was the best pizza around, so it must be good, right? (It was!)

On the cutest little street in the historic Dumbo neighborhood just under the Brooklyn Bridge.  DELICIOUS burgers and fries for a quick, reasonably priced meal.  We got the cheese fries, but I wish we would have skipped the cheese and just ordered them plain.  They were super crispy on the outside and soft in the middle and perfect!

A few doors down from Shake Shack in Brooklyn.  We were there in the evening and had just eaten pizza for lunch, so we didn't actually eat there but a friend highly recommended it and I feel confident recommending it to you.

A NYC classic.  We actually ate a late breakfast instead of one of their famous deli sandwiches (in hind sight I wish I had ordered a sandwich), and it was good.  We were especially glad we went after we got home and saw an article that they will be closing their doors at the end of the year.  I'm sorry I didn't get a slice of cheesecake, it's supposed to be delish!

Ok.  I'm a little embarrased to admit that we ate at this chain restaurant with ALL of the quaint restaurant offerings in NYC.  But, it was there, we were starving, and tired of walking around that evening playing eeny-meeny-miney-moe to choose a place to eat.  And honestly, it was very good.  When you're eating every meal out and just want some fulfilling comfort food, you can't beat 7.99 for rotisseire chicken, a baked potato, and cornbread.

Our favorite spot to pop into for a snack after hitting The Today Show.  A good restroom stop with tons of quick serve restaurants and coffee shops. I even said Good Morning to Hoda as she casually strolled down the hall all by herself... I didn't realize it was her until I had already spoken to her and she had passed by...  missed photo op for sure!

I actually ate here with some blogger friends after the Stylemaker event was over (hor d'oeuvres at these events only go so far...). It was close to the hotel where we spent our day so we walked and had to wait just a few minutes to get in.  Oh my.  I don't think I've ever had a thin crust pizza like NYC's thin crust pizza... YUM!  We all got different kinds and everyone loved theirs.  I chose the pesto base and added chicken, and it was quite possibly one of the best pizzas I've ever had.  Vezzo was another thin crust pizza place that Top Chef host Padma Lakshmi recommended to us, lots of the girls went there and enjoyed it too.

We stopped after an evening walk and grabbed chocolate shakes, they were the perfect late-night treat!

The quintessential, classic, family owned NYC italian restaurant, a favorite among celebs and complete with a maitre d' named "Vinny."  Popular as a pre-show dinner spot in the evenings.  We stopped in early evening after spending the afternoon in Central Park and got a table immediately with no reservations, but they are recommended if you're there at a later, busy dinner time.  We ordered the manicotti and the chicken parmigiana, and highly recommend both!

In the basement of the Plaza Hotel, many of NYC's favorite restuarants offer walk up counter service.  My husband had the shrimp roll of his dreams here!

More walk up counter service offerings, under the main concourse at Grand Central.  We grabbed a quick lunch here before we packed up and headed back to the airport, and I snagged my first Magnolia Bakery cupcake (chocolate with chocolate buttercream!).  I saved it and ate it on the plane home, and oh. my.  Every bit as delicious as I had hoped!

This isn't the best photo, but it's a big open area with food stations around the edges that surround a central open area with tables.

Located just outside Grand Central Station, famous for their breakfast.  Another that we didn't actually eat at, but also highly recommended to us and I trust that to share it with you.

The New Yorker that we sat by on our flight back home was appalled that we grabbed a hot dog for a snack from a cart near Central Park... but oh well...   ;)

You guys also gave some great suggestions, we'll have more places to choose from when we go back some day!

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Would you like to comment?

  1. I LOVE NYC! So much to see and do and you can walk off any extra treats. :) For me, I think it's a tie between New York and Chicago pizza.

    Glad you had a wonderful trip!

    1. You are so right! I loved the thin and crispy crust, but there's nothing like a deep dish Chicago pizza!

  2. Thanks for the great information! I'm ready to go back - I'm happy y'all had fun!


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