When the holidays and New York come together, it is pure magic. No other city shines that bright and gets painted with the colors of Christmas as beautifully as the Big Apple. With snow on the ground in Central Park, people skating at the rink at Rockefeller Center, Times Square all lit up, New York creates the perfect cosmopolitan winter wonderland.
Ask anyone who has been to New York in December and they will tell you that New York becomes much more magical with the spirit of the holidays. I will admit Manhattan can be an overwhelming little island during the holidays, but the boroughs of New York City have changed so much over the past decade that you don’t need to spend all your time in Manhattan to get the most out of New York. Brooklyn, for instance, has just as much to offer as Manhattan.
So, what I recommend is that once you have gotten the major attractions in Manhattan out of the way, like Central Park, the Rockefeller Plaza, the Empire State Building, and even the Friends building, I recommend exploring Brooklyn. Neighborhoods like Williamsburg and Greenpoint are a lot less hectic and charged with character. These neighborhoods are filled with exceptional eateries, interesting, stunning heritage buildings, and unique shops. In fact, if you enjoy art and fashion, I recommend checking out Space Ninety 8.
Although New York can be very expensive, when you find the right places to splurge, it is worth every penny. And I am not denying that a lot of people, including me, romanticize New York a little bit too much. But there is also no denying that New York is and always will be a very special place, flaws and all. Yes, it can be smelly, it can feel like there are just way too many people, and you can appreciate the subway system as much as you complain about it, but in the end, New York is the capital of entertainment, fashion, culture, and art. And it is also the ultimate travel destination for foodies.
We all know New York is the North American capital of pizza. There are so many spots to have good pizza that it is almost tough to be disappointed. However, Paulie Gee’s is a uniquely different pizza place because they have some of the most unusual toppings and combinations you will ever taste. A couple of the most interesting pizzas on their menu are A Whiter Shade of Kale (Fresh mozzarella, kale pesto) and Ricotta Be Kiddin’ Me (Canadian Bacon, Italian Fennel Sausage, Fresh Mozzarella, fresh ricotta on top). Whereas, my personal favorite is Hellboy (Fresh Mozzarella, Italian Tomatoes, Berkshire Sopressata Piccante, Parmigiano Reggiano and Mike’s HOT Honey).
Pierre Loti Wine Bar
Featured on the brilliant TV series Mr. Robot a few months ago, Pierre Loti is one of the chicest and most famous wine bars of New York. The atmosphere is dazzling, the Mediterranean tapas are to die for, and their wine list is exceptional.
Móle NYC at Brooklyn
This hip Mexican restaurant located in Williamsburg, Brooklyn will blow you away with their Coconut Margaritas. The Taco Salad and the Enchilada De Mole Poblano are fantastic and worth trying.
SEA Thai Restaurant
A very authentic South East Asian food experience. With its stunning decor and ambiance, SEA is the perfect place to share some appetizers and have some exotic drinks. The KL Chicken and the Pineapple Fried Rice are delightful.
Einat Admony serves incredible dishes that are fusions of North African, Isreali, and Spanish cuisines at this new restaurant located in SoHo. A couple of must-haves are the Morcilla with piquillo peperonata, Eggplant escabeche, and the Merguez Burger.
Peter Pan Donut & Pastry Shop
Don’t be fooled by its plain look, this Polish donut shop has ruined me, and I am sure many others, for all other donuts. To quote Tina Fey from an interview she did with Esquire: “The best donut? That’s Peter Pan Donuts in Brooklyn. It’s a Polish bakery. We shot nearby once for 30 Rock. It’s a white-cream-filled powdered donut.” The donut she mentions is the White Cream Coconut, and I will have to agree and say that eating this donut was almost a religious experience.
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