Planning your first time in New York City is fun - but can be overwhelming. There is so much to do in "the city that never sleeps!" Here is a list of all of the places to see and most importantly where to eat on your first trip to New York.
Where to Eat in NYC
La Mela Italian Restaurant
I have eaten at Italian restaurants before... but never one like this. La Mela is the best Italian restaurant I have ever experienced.
From the calamari appetizer to the main courses that you can have family-style, this is a culinary experience not to be missed.
La Mela isn't just the best Italian Restaurant in NYC, but it also has the best meeting space or party room for your special occasion.
Whether you are holding a mastermind meeting or a birthday party or graduation, La Mela has space for you and everyone you love.
Vandal NYC was a unique dining experience where I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed the food. I am not much of a "foodie" - I really enjoy simplicity - but from the first to the last bite, Vandal was absolutely delicious.
We enjoyed a full sampling of Vandal's favorites - from Cauliflower Tacos to Chicken Taquito appetizers followed by pan-seared scallops with butternut risotto to Vandal chicken parm... and of course... some birthday shots for "dessert."
Vandal was delicious but also had a super fun party atmosphere that was perfect to celebrate our friend's birthday! It is the perfect NYC Girls Night Out location.
Tavern on the Green
Overlooking Central Park is Tavern on the Green, the iconic restaurant where locals and celebrities mingle.
Tavern on the Green is upscale without feeling stuffy, and the food was delicious. As one of the oldest restaurants in NYC, Tavern on the Green offers a classic style that should not be missed.
I had the Tavern on the Green Salmon with lentils... and I ate every.single.bite. The flavors and portion were perfect.
Rainbow Bagels. Enough said.
Baz Bagel offers hand-rolled bagels in a variety of flavors... all of which are simply delicious. You can dine inside or grab your bagel to go from the counter.
They also offer a variety of coffees and teas, salads and sandwiches, all made fresh - they even deliver!
Admittedly, I did not look to see if they had any keto bagels... NYC was a full-carb experience.
Before visiting New York for the first time, I had never even heard of arancini balls! But after the very first meal, I was hooked. The Clam is a stylish little restaurant tucked away in West Village offering some of the best seafood on the Eastern seaboard.
Things to Do in NYC
Drag Queen BINGO
Is any trip complete without Drag Queen BINGO? Linda Loves BINGO is every Friday and Saturday night at Le Poisson Rouge and an absolute must-see.
The adults only event is hysterical from start to finish and even if you do not win one of their awesome BINGO prizes - like a big money doormat or a Cinderella style vanity mirror - you will have still won an experience you will never forget.
And yes, even though you can walk anywhere, you should absolutely ride the New York City Subway your first time to NYC. You just have to. Germs and all.
You are pretty much guaranteed to see something interesting - from local artists to amazing musicians to... well... a bit of NYC weird. Just embrace it. Bring on the crazy.
The Ride NYC is an enclosed bus tour experience that shows you landmarks all over the Big Apple... with a few surprises built-in.
Just a few weeks after we experienced The Ride NYC they entertained their one-millionth guest during their 28,545th performance!
Want to really commemorate your first time in New York? How about getting professional photos by the best photographer in NYC!? Jane Goodrich Photography specializes in family and lifestyle photography in the New York City area.
I had the pleasure of getting new headshots done while I was in NYC, and I could not be happier with them. You can see them here on the blog, my business cards, and more.
I began my session by telling Jane that I have been uncomfortable in front of the camera ever since my basal cell carcinoma surgery and in seconds she put me totally at ease and had me laughing and feeling confident... even though it was 42 degrees!!!
New York is on my list of places to visit. I will remember this guide.