Growing up in New Jersey, it’s been a tradition to visit New York City during the holiday season. Not only is it fun to see the Rockefeller Christmas tree but it’s also the perfect time to take photos with the giant Christmas ornaments scattered throughout the city. Over the weekend, Dave and I took a trip out to the Big Apple. Read on to find out where we went and what we ate.
Rolf’s German Restaurant
Unfortunately, we were not able to get in because of the long lines wrapping around the block and no reservation made. It’s a shame because Rolf’s is known to decorate with Christmas lights and ornaments all over the restaurant. When I asked the body guard he told me reservations were booked until January. If you plan to visit this spot, book in advance. I suggest booking in October or November for next year.
230 5th Avenue Rooftop Bar & Lounge
In the Winter, the rooftop transforms itself into an Igloo bar. We had no problems getting in on a Saturday at around 1pm. Igloo’s are heated with an electric fireplace and are meant to be shared. The rooftop offers specialty holiday drinks too that include spiked hot chocolates and holiday cocktails. I was tempted to get the Godiva Peppermint Hot Chocolate but instead opted for the Navidad Blanco which had tequila in it.
New York Public Library
I never went inside the New York Public Library until this past weekend. If you’ve never been inside, I recommend going in especially around the holiday season. The library itself is beautiful and the building reminds me of some of the places I saw in Italy. They decorate the inside with a beautiful Christmas tree and have spruce garland with white lights hung throughout.
Bryant Park could be magical if it weren’t so crowded. In the winter, Bryant Park becomes an ice-skating rink and there are pop up shops all around. We weren’t here for very long and left without a picture.
Giant Christmas Ornaments
You can find the giant red Christmas balls and light bulbs on 6th Avenue across the street from Radio City Music Hall. A few blocks uptown we found these giant Nut Crackers.
Where to Eat If You’re Vegan…
There’s not many vegan restaurants near Rockefeller Center. It’s mainly Irish pubs and American cuisine. After all of the walking we did, we needed a break from the crowds, and a place to have a quick bite to eat. Luckily, one of my favorite vegan restaurants by CHLOE, is next to FAO Schwarz. It’s a vegan fast food chain that has multiple locations in NYC along with locations in L.A. and London. My go to is The Guac Burger which is a black bean-quinoa-sweet potato patty with a side of Air Baked Fries.
It’s always crowded during this time of year but if you can handle the crowds it’s worth it. The best picture I took of the Rockefeller Christmas tree was when we stood in line for FAO Schwarz.
If you’ve never been to FAO Schwarz, I recommend you visit at least once. This is the store that was featured in the 1988 Tom Hanks film Big where Hanks and Loggia danced on the floor piano. Although there is a line to get in, it always moves pretty quickly. We were in within five minutes. It’s fun to see the larger than life stuffed animals, candy, and classic toys.
Madison Square Park
After Rockefeller Plaza, we were ready to get out of the crowds and have a little downtime. We walked downtown to Madison Square Park in the Flatiron District. We stumbled upon this Asian Fusion restaurant called Wagamama and were pleasantly surprised that they had a Vegan menu! I ordered the Tofu Ramen with regular vegetable broth and Dave ordered the Kare Burosu Ramen.
Note: The vegetable broth is spicy. If you don’t like spice tell the server you want the regular vegetable broth. I ordered mine with regular vegetable broth and it was super yummy and flavorful. Dave ordered his as is and he felt it was too spicy for him.
We had a fun filled day in the city this past weekend. If you’re looking to take a trip to the Big Apple I hope this guide helps you. Have a safe and happy holiday!
Where’s your favorite city to spend Christmas? Comment below.