If you follow me on Twitter or Instagram you'll know that I recently visited New York for a second time, over Thanks Giving and Black Friday.

Tom and I went with a couple of friends and we have 5 days of heaven exploring the city and seeing things we didn't get round to doing last time when we visited in 2013.

Something that I find important when visiting a city is finding good food. New York has over 24,000 places to eat in the city alone so it's quite a minefield when it comes to choosing somewhere. New York is such a busy and happening place that it can also bite you in the but if you don't pre-book your restaurants if you're planning on eating out while you visit. I really recommend signing up to TripAdviser and creating a Saved Trip and reading the reviews and recommendations of places to eat. TripAdviser is also super handy because you can use it to book restaurants too, as you can on OpenTable also.

I found a great list of NYC dining destinations on Tanya Burr's blog which gave me some unique places to research and locate.

As there were for of us visiting the city we each decided to choose somewhere for lunch and somewhere for dinner each day which actually worked out quite well and meant there was no issues in being able to decide.

I thought I'd share with you where we ate and what I thought of the food and the location.

Rafele's was the first place we ate lunch on the first full day. Located in the stunning West Village on 7th Avenue it's a traditional Italian restaurant with a welcoming and friendly atmosphere.
The waiting staff were so lovely and made time to chat and share their food and wine recommendations.

The food was outstanding and very reasonably prices (which can be an expensive issue in NYC sometimes). The waiter recommended we try their signature cheesecake for dessert which is Voted 6th Best Cheesecake in New York City. It lived up to all expectations and if you visit Rafele's, you must try the cheesecake.

We loved our visit to Rafele's so much, we actually went back on the last day for lunch before flying home.

Midtown Manhattan
We all love curry and were super excited to visit Spice Symphony as it's voted 8th Best Restaurant in New York City. Close to our hotel in Midtown and only a short taxi ride away once we arrived we had a little chuckle as our friends had actually visited this exact restaurant when in NYC last year.

Spice Symphony is a very small and compact restaurant but that didn't hinder the atmosphere at all. It's quite relaxed feel and very informal. Staff were so lovely and the food was amazing, but not like traditional Indian restaurants I'm used to in the UK the food was different and super tasty.

Spice Symphony is a great restaurant, in a fab location of New York with amazing food. However as the seating is cramped I would strongly advise that you book in advance as if we hadn't there was no way we would've got in.

450 East 29th Street, New York
East River, Midtown
A Gossip Girl choice from my friend Chloe who is Gossip Girl obsessed.
River Park is located in what feels like a very business/industrial place, however once you've walked through an empty hotel-like lobby hidden is a stunning and picturesque restaurant with stunning views.
Firstly, the wine. We ordered the best wine we'd ever drank at River Park and ending up consuming 2 bottles between four of us over lunch - naughty, but oh so nice!
So you must try the 'Muscadet-Serve et Maine Sur Lie 2015' if you
The Menu is amazing with something for everyone. River Park isn't the cheapest of our choice of restaurants but is of incredible quality and has an elegant atmosphere.
Despite the rather slow staff, I do think it was one of my favourite dining experiences of NYC.

70 West 45th Street, New York
Midtown Manhattan
Another Gossip Girl locations, but has relocated since filming.
We went to Butter on our final night in New York.
A really trendy and cool atmosphere with low lighting which makes it the perfect evening location.
Again, with higher prices than most but a really unique but friendly menu and great cocktail options.
For us, Butter was more about the experience than the food as there was nothing outstanding about the courses, however the restaurant is beautiful.

Upstairs at Kimberley Hotel
145 East 50th Street, New York
Midtown Manhattan
After we left Butter, the bartender recommended we take a trip to the roof top bar of the Kimberley Hotel as it's one of his favourite evening bars, and we we're completely overwhelmed with The Kimberley's roof top bar, Upstairs.
If you love unique experiences, cocktails, a fun atmosphere and stunning views inside and out, you'll love Upstairs. We couldn't believe the views.
Upstairs, is almost like a trendy conservatory in the sky with an outside garden with sofas and fires. The cocktails and drinks are expensive at $20 each however, it's totally worth it for the experience.

 Grounded Café
28 Jane Street, New York
Greenwich/West Village
Located in my favourite area of New York just around the corner from the famous Friends building lies the most adorable café. I'm not a coffee drinker myself however Grounded gave off the most amazing smell, like no other. The cool café seats around 20-30 with seat and sofa combinations, greenery and a very friendly and welcoming atmosphere.
But to the coffee, I've never seen a menu like it! We visited grounded because our friends visited last year, not big coffee drinkers themselves to be honest, but said it's the best coffee they have ever had.
The display of coffee is amazing! But they have other drinks too. I decided to choose a blood orange iced tea - it was amazing.

K Rico Steak House
772 9th Avenue, New York
Midtown Manhattan
As a vegetarian you can tell this wasn't my choice. But this was a very cool restaurant.
Busy. Very, very busy. Even though we booked it still took them 40 minutes to seat us, but it was fine because there was so much to look at and lovely regulars to speak to.
If you love Steak then I'd highly recommend taking a trip to Rico's. I've never experienced anything like it or seen steaks of such size!

Dining Concourse Food Hall at Grand Central Terminal
89 East 42nd Street, New York
Midtown Manhattan
Possibly one of the most iconic buildings in New York, seen in all the movies. But it's not just a train terminal! Downstairs in Grand Central hidden is a foodie's dream, a really gem of unique food brands and some of the best food I've ever eaten.
I've been to Rome and eaten Italian pizza, but I've never even a pizza similar out of Rome, until now.
Nestled in the bottom left hand corner of Grand Central's food hall is the best pizza I've had out of Italy and they're so affordable, great portions, and extremely delicious.

Hell's Kitchen
754 9th Avenue, 51st Street, New York
Hell's Kitchen
While waiting to be seated at K Rico's we nipped a couple of doors down to a very quirky Mexican bar called Hells Kitchen on the well known foodie street of New York, 9th Avenue.
This happened to be just around the corner from out hotel too, which is always super handy.
A really quirky bar with unique drinks, great cocktails and a unique feels with unusual glassware and great decoration. I love bars that give a memorable feel and welcoming atmosphere.

Hudson Hotel, Bar
358 West 58th Street, New York
Hell's Kitchen/Central Park
Our hotel, The Hudson actually had a number of bars including a garden bar, indoor bar and roof top bar however, the garden and roof top are only open in the summer so we didn't get the chance to enjoy those. But, the in door bar on the lobby level itself is really something! A huge bar with a great array of spirits and beers with quirky seating too, priced similarly to most bars in New York.
But they also have

So, they are my Top Food & Drink Destinations when visiting the amazing, New York City.
If you have any favourite places in New York please let me know in the comments so I can add them to my list to visit next year.

New York Vlog COMING SOON!
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Merry Christmas!

Thanks for reading,

Charlie xo

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