New York City will always be a magical place for me regardless of how COVID has tried to destroy it over the past year. There’s a sense of pride when it comes to this legendary area that goes way beyond its iconic gay bar scene which has thrived here for decades.
It’s an area that is celebrated year-round. The holiday season, in my opinion, is where you really see how wonderful The Big Apple really is. There’s an irresistible energy spread throughout as you make your way through Central Park, Times Square, Chelsea and any other part of NYC that you wish to navigate.
Even with things categorically being changed due to COVID there are still a ton of amazing restaurants to enjoy and hotels to check into while you are here. So if you are thinking of taking a trip to our humble abode over the next couple of weeks and need ideas of where to eat and stay then we are here to help.
Take a look at some of the best places for both below. Travel safely, folks!
Mangia: 9 Restaurants to Dine & Dish At
Adoro Lei: 287 Hudson Street
This Italian hotspot, nestled in the heart of one of the prettiest parts of SoHo, has everything you could possibly imagine when it comes to this kind of cuisine. It’s scrumptious menu features out of this world pasta and pizza creations in a truly hip setting that will make your friends jealous once you post your photos from the night that was. More info here.
Huascar & Co. Bakeshop: 453 W. 54th Street
Owner Huascar Aquino achieved international fame when he won an episode of Food Network’s Cupcake Wars that featured actress Jessica Alba. And yes, his cupcakes are that good not to mention his insanely delicious cookies and wildly amazing cakes. A must-try if you are all about the sweet side of things. More info here.
Amali NYC: 115 E. 60th Street
Amali brings it when it comes to their irresistible Mediterranean cuisine but they also have something bonus in stores for anyone who is into attractive men. Their head chef, Alex Tubero, is not only talented in the kitchen but is also extremely charming and handsome which only adds on to what will be your wonderful experience (especially if you want a darn good Thanksgiving dinner). More info here.
Leyla: 108 W. 74th Street
Leyla is located in a part of the Upper West Side that is the definition of picturesque. Like something out of a movie (think You’ve Got Mail from the late 90’s) with how beautiful it is from the outside and inside. It features delicious Turkish cuisine that will make you a fan even if you’ve never tried it before. More info here.
La Chula: 137 E. 116th Street
If tacos are your thing then La Chula is the place to be. Located next to the 6 train stop at 116th street this Harlem mainstay provides its patrons with mouthwatering tacos and burritos along with some super tasty alcoholic beverages that pair wonderfully together. It’s a super inviting space for the LGBTQ community to kiki it up as the night goes on. More info here.
Noreetuh: 128 1st Avenue
Aloha! Noreetuh is a Hawaiian restaurant in the East Village that is sure to become a place you’ll want to go to again and again. The plates they provide, from its unreal rice bowls to their SPAM inspired dishes, will transport you from chilly NYC to the warm weathers of Maui in an instant. Still salivating about it all this time later. More info here.
Paisley: 429 Greenwich Street
There’s so much to enjoy at Paisley the minute you step inside. One, their pan-Indian dishes are scrumptious beyond belief but the spacious ambiance is also something that adds to your overall experience. Relaxing plus yummy is always a good combination for me and Paisley does that and then some. More info here.
Vestry: 246 Spring Street
Vestry is chic beyond words and when you add a Michelin-starred chef into the mix then you know you are in for a good night. Acclaimed chef Shaun Hergatt (who is also easy on the eyes FYI) has created a small yet incredibly tasty menu filled with items like Nori Chips and Organic Chicken that are jam packed with so much flavor. If there was an Oscar for flavor then he would win hands down. A wonderful place I’d go back to time and time again. More info here.
Proper West: 54 W. 39th Street
Proper West takes bar food and elevates it to a ridiculously good level. They are also blocks away from Times Square making it a perfect place to go to after you’ve experience some time in the most visited place in the world. More info here.
Alfie’s Bar and Kitchen: 800 9th Avenue
If you enjoy a craft beer heavy kind of place that includes rustic kind of cuisine in an area of NYC that’s always popping, Hell’s Kitchen, then Alfie’s is for you. More info here.
Gray Hawk Grill: 1556 2nd Avenue
The Upper East Side just got a fantastic new neighbor courtesy of Gray Hawk Grill. It has a relaxed yet upscale vibe inside which was initially surprising given how restaurants will the name grill evoke a different kind of visual. Regardless this place is absolutely fantastic with yummy and heartwarming items like Cacio E Pepe and Atlantic Cod. More info here.
Checking In: 2 Fantastic Hotels to Lay Your Head At
The Kimberly Hotel: 145 E. 50th Street
Midtown East’s best hotel is easily The Kimberly. It is an elegant experience without the pretention with its fancy everything including its entry way and rooms. The views of NYC outside your window are breathtaking and you don’t have to go far for a great meal as their Italian-inspired restaurant Bistango is to the left of its entrance. More info here.
Sanctuary Hotel: 132 W. 47th Street
There’s so much to do at Sanctuary Hotel that goes beyond the typical hotel experience. For one, it’s a chic place to stay with its beautifully decorated rooms and spacious beds. Secondly, they have a wonderful restaurant on premise called Sushi Lab Rooftop where its name pretty much describes the bomb a** kind of food you’ll eat. Third, they have Haven Rooftop which is an amazing outdoor space for you and your friends to relax at. More info here.