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Top 100 Best Things to do in New York

Top 100 Best Things to do in New York

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Just like the tacky tourist mugs and t-shirts say – I HEART NYC! After living there once (very briefly) and visiting many times, I never get sick of the city that never sleeps. Here is a list of 100 of the best things to do in the Big Apple (in no particular order) and a few what not to do’s:

1. Have a boozy brunch at Clinton Street Baking House

2. Have a day of eating at Eataly

3. Walk around the Guggenheim
4. Go ice skating at Rockefeller or Central Park
5. Go bowling at Brooklyn Bowl
6. Walk down Fifth Avenue
7. Watch (or play) street basketball at Riverside Park
8. Marvel at the art at the Met
9. Take a step back in time at the Natural History Museum
10. Walk the highline
11. Sit on your lap top at the Ace Hotel lobby
12. Catch the subway… you never know what will happen
13. Bar hop in the Lower East Side
14. Go to tranny bingo at Lips
15. Row a boat in Central Park
16. Go to Yankee Stadium and watch a game
17. Kayak on the Hudson River
18. Have high tea at the Plaza
19. Walk done Madison Avenue
20. Wonder through the Chelsea markets
21. Go shopping in the meat packing district
22. Have a cocktail at the Boom Boom room at sunset
23. Have a cheese burger at the Standard Grill
24. Have afternoon drinks at the Frying Pan boat bar
25. Go to the Chelsea Pier driving range
26. Get a chopper ride around Manhattan
27. Pick up a bargain at the Brooklyn flea market
28. Go op shopping in Brooklyn
29. Have a drink at the Wythe Hotel roof top bar
30. Wonder the cobble stone streets of West Village
31. See live comedy at the Comedy Cellar
32. Go to the top of the Rockafeller
33. See a Broadway show
34. Cycle around central park
35. Walk over the Brooklyn Bridge
36. Have a picnic in Central Park
37. Gallery hop around Chelsea
38. Go shopping in Soho
39. Have lunch at the Boat House
40. Eat a gyro platter from the Halal guys
41. Get a massage at Okuyama Bodywork
42. Watch an outdoor movie at Bryant Park
43. Eat a slice of cheese pizza at Joe’s
44. Eat Mexican at La Esquina
45. Take a street art tour of Bushwick
46. Eat a rack of ribs at Dinosaur kitchen
47. Taste some beer at Brooklyn Brewery
48. Go to the big apple block party
49. Get drunk at a dive bar
50. Watch a game or concert at Madison Square garden
51. Volunteer at the Eagle Street Roof Top Farm
52. Go for a swim at the Equinox Printing Room roof top pool
53. Take a break and the Elevated Arce
54. Check out the old city hall subway station
55. Pay your respects at the 9/11 memorial
56. Drink beer at the movies at Nitehawk cinema
57. Eat a sandwich a pastrami at Katz Deli
58. Eat a cream cheese bagel at Murray’s bagels
59. Do sunset yoga in Fort Tryon Park
60. Eat dinner at Baltazar
61. Eat a burger at The Spotted Pig
62. Have lunch at ABC kitchen
63. Stay at The Standard Hotel
64. Admire The Frick collection at The Met
65. Explore the up and coming art scene in Dumbo
66. Drink at a college bar in Union Square
67. Go to a gay bar on Christopher Street
68. Eat dumpling’s at Ping’s Seafood, China Town
69. Eat tacos from the El Ray del Taco food truck
70. Grab a book and a coffee at Housing Works Book Store
71. Eat Sushi at Nobu
72. Spend the night at the Crosby Hotel
73. Have a coffee at Toby’s Estate
74. Go to the underground Apple store
75. Play on the giant key board at FAO Schwartz
76. Hit the d-floor at Brass Monkey
77. Eat meatballs at the meatball shop
78. Eat lunch at Pastsis
79. See a gig at terminal 5 or Radio City Music Hall
80. Go to MOMA
81. Buy designer fashion from a consignment store
82. Eat a cronut from Dominque Ansel Bakery
83. Make dumplings at Brooklyn Brainey’s cooking school
84. Take a Tribeca loft tour
85. Hail a yellow cab
86. Go to the Tenement Museum
87. Admire the view from 230 Fifth
88. Eat a cup cake from Mongolia Bakery
89. Take the aerial tram to Roosevelt Island
90. See jazz at the Village Vanguard
91. Eat a pretzel or hotdog off the street
92. Catch a train from Grand Central
93. Go on the roller coast at Coney Island
94. Admire the Statue of Liberty
95. Go to the top of the Empire State Building
96. Ride the Wall Street bull
97. Spend an afternoon drinking at Bohemian Hall and Beer Garden
98. Walk the streets of Little Italy
99. People watch… anywhere!
100. Have a sleepless night in the city that never sleeps.

3 things NOT to do:

1.  Go to Time Square – It looks just like the photos, don’t waste your time
2. Go to Mid-town – boooooring
3. Ride the horses in central park – horses don’t belong in the CBD, don’t encourage it!

Oink oink,

Truffle Pig.

P.S Send me any I missed!

Coconut chicken with asian salad ….

Coconut chicken with asian salad ….

DSC_0071This salad is a great lunch or dinner option for warmer weather thanks to its crisp freshness and the tropical punch in the coconut. It is light, fresh, quick and easily “beefed up” with some vermicelli noodles.

What you need:

  • ½ bunch of wombok, thinly sliced
  • ½ bunch of red cabbage, thinly sliced
  • Cup of coriander, roughly chopped
  • Cup of mint, roughly chopped
  • 3 cups of bean shoots
  • 2 x chillies (leave out if you don’t like it hot)
  • 1 can of light coconut milk
  • 500g of chicken
  • ½ cup of roasted, unsalted peanuts
  • 3 shallots stalks, finely chopped
  • Soy sauce
  • Fish sauce
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar

What you need to do:

  • Cut chicken into thin strips and place into a pan on medium heat with the coconut milk, a dash of soy sauce and the chillies finely diced and cook until chicken is cooked through, about 5-10 mintues.
  • While the chicken is cooking place all vegetables into a large bowl and toss
  • To make the dressing place about 4 tables spoons of soy and 4 table spoons of fish sauce into a bowl with the sugar and lime juice and stir, then place over salad, add more ingredients based on your tastes
  • Once the chicken is cooked, place it on top of the salad along with the peanuts and serve.

 

Oink oink,

Truffle Pig.

Review of Capella Lodge – Lord Howe Island

Review of Capella Lodge – Lord Howe Island

Capella is the perfect example of relaxed luxury – spacious but cosy, private but social, simple but sophisticated, friendly but professional and absolutely perfect without being pretentious. Lord Howe has become one of my favourite places on earth, helped by the fact I got to stay in one of Australia’s leading luxury hotels, and there are many reasons why I will visit time and time again, here are just a few:

The food
With views overlooking the towering Mount Gower dropping into the beautiful blue sea, the restaurant itself is enough to make you enjoy your meal before you have even tasted it. Thankfully, the food just makes the experience a whole lot better. Guests are spoilt to a colourful, healthy breakfast buffet with the option of a hot dish from the changing daily menu.

Lunch can be served in the restaurant or in your suite, but it is best enjoyed at your favourite part of the island. There are picnic locations scattered all around the island, you can just let the friendly staff know where you want your lunch served and when, and they will do the rest. One of the highlights of my trip was finishing off a hike and snorkel on a secluded beach with a Capella hamper filled with garlic prawns, eye fillet with paris de butter and salad teamed with a crisp glass of Pikes Reisling… did I mention this place is heaven?

Dinner is just as enjoyable, there are daily cocktails and canapés which provide the perfect opportunity to meet other guests and exchange tips on activities so you can fill up the itinerary for the following day. Be sure not to fill up though because the dinner menu includes three courses and a changing menu. There wasn’t a bad meal served, but the highlight was always the seafood caught fresh from the lagoon only moments away.

The suites:
Whether you’re staying in the huge Lidgbird Pavilion spanning two levels with or a Capella Suite, you will feel like you’re living like a King. All rooms are beautifully furnished with postcard worthy views of the mountains, ocean and rolling hills. All suites have an outdoor area to enjoy the sunshine and plenty of room inside to make yourself comfortable.

The facilities:
The front deck which is home to arguable the best pool in Australia is the perfect place to do absolutely nothing which is a mandatory activity while on holiday. Or, you can enjoy the steaming hot tub under a canopy of tropical trees, perfect for unwinding after a day of snorkeling, hiking and riding. For some pampering you can also enjoy a range of beauty treatments, just make sure you book ahead. For when (if) you actually want to leave Capella to explore the island, you can cycle using your very own bike, or take one of their golf buggies for a spin.

The Service
Year round Capella is managed by the Grants, an incredibly hospitable couple who make you feel right at home. They are supported by a team of friendly staff who will help you with whatever you need – choice of wine, tea recommendation, picnic packing or photo taking.

Add Capella to your bucket list – so far it has been one of the best places I have ever stayed and the perfect place to enjoy Lord Howe Island. If I haven’t convinced you yet, perhaps this video below will….

The run down:

  • Price – very expensive but everything is included
  • Food – exceptional
  • Perfect for – honeymoon, special occasion

Oink oink,
Truffle Pig.

Getting there: Qantas fly direct daily from Brisbane and Sydney

For more information visit the Baillie Lodges website here.

Best Bars in Bondi Beach

Best Bars in Bondi Beach

Bondi's Best Bars

Ranging from quaint wine bars, buzzing cocktail bars to rowdy sports bars and late night or early morning venues, here is a list of the best bars in Bondi Beach.

BEST WINE BARS IN BONDI

Porch and Parlour:
This place is quintessential Bondi – rustic interiors, men with beards and girls in bikinis all enjoying kale smoothies from dawn to dusk. They are predominately a wine bar despite being a popular breakfast haunt, and make one of the most generous cheese and meat boards I have ever feasted on, and best of all their delicious food and wine can be enjoyed looking at the ocean. The staff are knowledgeable about their wine, and will sit down and talk you through the options, and life if they are in the mood. So if you like your own space or don’t like talking to strangers… keep walking.
Porch and Parlour –  – 110 Ramsgate Ave, Bondi Beach, NSW 2026
Porch and Parlour on Urbanspoon

The Shop:
Not to dissimilar to Porch and Parlour, The Shop is a tiny little hole in the wall that is a long-time favourite among the Bondi socialites and is the perfect place to see and be seen. Their wine list is complimented by their evening menu which is short but sweet and consists of four of my favourite meals – a gourmet burger, grilled haloumi, meat balls and a killer antipasto plate.
The Shop Wine Bar – 78 Curlewis St, Bondi Beach, NSW 2026
Shop and Wine Bar on Urbanspoon

Chapter One Coffee and Wine Room
Right at the end of my street, it is hard to go past this place. With sun drenched seats outside looking at the ocean and cosy seats on the inside, Chapter One is a perfect meeting place year round. The menu and wine list are both short and simple, but well considered as the owners are clearly very passionate about both as all wine are handmade and ethically produced. A glass of red  accompanied by soft cheese with honey… you will never want to leave.
Chapter One Coffee and Wine Room on Urbanspoon
Chapter One –  – Shop 3, 34 Campbell Parade, Bondi Beach, NSW

BEST COCKTAIL  BARS IN BONDI
The Corner House
The Corner House is made up of several different areas, you might be tempted to linger out the front in the beautiful  restaurant, but make your way upstairs as that is where the magic happens. Here you can get amazing gourmet pizzas, off-beat beers and creative cocktails. The veranda is perfect for any time of the year, heaters during winter and a nice breeze during summer. A little stroll from the beach, this is one of Bondi’s best kept secrets.
The Corner House on Urbanspoon
The Corner House – 281 Bondi Road, Bondi, NSW 2026

Icebergs
This iconic building is home to Icebergs Dining Room, but you don’t need to have the full fine dining experience to enjoy what they have to offer. The front bar is in prime positioning with a veranda overlooking the famed Bondi icebergs lap pool and serves some of the beach’s best cocktails which can be enjoyed with a side of sea breeze. If you’re hungry, the school prawns flash fried prawns with aioli are a must! Full review can be read here.
Icebergs Dining Room and Bar on Urbanspoon
Icebergs Dining Room and Bar - 1 Notts Ave Bondi Beach, NSW 2026

Bondi Hardware
Located on the thriving thoroughfare of Hall Street, hardware is always busy no matter what night of the week. Unassuming in from the outside, Hardware has indoor or outdoor dining or a bar on the side filled with hanging plants and an extensive cocktail menu. The highlight being the vanilla infused expresso martinis, which will be sure to keep you going all night. A full review of the venue and menu can we read here.
Bondi Hardware on Urbanspoon
Bondi Hardware  – 39 Hall St Bondi Beach, NSW 2026

Mr Moustache
New to the block, his little Mexican joint is fast becoming one of the most popular places in Bondi. Serving margaritas by the jug full and incredibly fun staff, it seems near impossible to have a bad time here. Don’t forget to try the drowned pulled pork roll – it is so spicy you will definitely need to down a few icy cocktails afterwards. A full review of the menu here.
Mr Moustache on Urbanspoon
Mr Moustache  – 69-71 Hall St, Bondi Beach, NSW 2026

BEST SPORTS BARS IN BONDI

North Bondi RSL
Bondi do RSL’s a little differently, they aren’t just where you get a bargain steak (although they do have those too), they are a great place to have an awesome afternoon and night out. The RSL, affectionately known as the “rissole” among locals has unrivalled beach views as it is perched on the north hill next to the beach. If you like live music, cheap drinks and meat trays, you will love it here. For any major sporting event, you can’t go past their big screen.
Blue Wave Bistro on Urbanspoon
North Bondi RSL – 120 Ramsgate Ave, North Bondi, NSW

Ravisis
Entering this place sets the tone, the foam entrance lets you know how howdy crowds can get and how bouncers literally need to be thrown out. Split between two levels you can get two totally different experiences at Ravisis. Down stairs is perfect for people watching, live music and sports while upstairs is the place you want to be for a view and a cocktail. Ravisis lacks charm that the smaller bars in Bondi have, but I am yet to have a bad time there. 118-120 Ramsgate Ave, North Bondi NSW 2026

The Stuffed Beaver
If you love North American sports and want heart-stopping deep fried food while you watch it, The Stuffed Beaver should be your first port of call. Resembling a typical north American dive bar, this is not a place you want to go to enjoy some drinks in the sunshine, but one of my favourite places to go if I want a cheerful crowd and live sport. Full review can be read here.
The Stuffed Beaver Dining Parlour on Urbanspoon
The Stuffed Beaver Dining Parlour - 271 Bondi Road, Bondi, NSW

LOUD AND PROUD
Hotel Bondi:
If these walls could talk, they would probably cry. Bondi Hotel’s main advantage is it is the only place in Bondi open past 4am. The drinks are as cheap as the interior, but when it is that time of night/morning, who really cares?
Hotel Bondi – 178 Campbell Parade, Bondi Beach NSW 2026

Beach Road Hotel:
Notorious for being the place where many holiday flings have been conceived, there is always a crowd at the “beachie”. Downstairs has one of the only beer gardens in the area, perfect for sunny summer day and upstairs as a great line up or live music every week and a dance floor full of hipsters and backpackers competing for the attention of all the bronzed swedish babes.
Beach Road Hotel on Urbanspoon
Beach Road Hotel  - 71 Beach Rd, Sydney, NSW 2026

Oink oink,

Truffle Pig.

The Best Mexican Food in Sydney ….

The Best Mexican Food in Sydney ….

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If you follow me on Instagram or read my blog you would know I am a sucker of a good Mexican fiesta. As part of my job and an Enthusiastic Eater, I have happily done some in depth market research in finding the best Mexican restaurants in Sydney. So here is my list, which will grow over time as my appetite and belly will also do, I am sure.

Mejico

Jamie’s Italian has a new neighbour in the city, and they are equally as in high demand. Mejico’s take on Mexican food is modern and the guacamole (prepared right in front of you) isn’t served with your typical tortilla, but a bowl of fried zucchini chips. The tacos are a delicious, you can mix and match, making it easy to try them all. My favourite would have to be the grilled chicken taco topped with chorizo, cucumber and cumin salsa. The highlight for me was suprisingly not the food but the cocktails. Magaritas are the cure all for any bad party or a long day, and Mexico are serving yo all different varieties like the chargrilled pineapple and sage margarita. If you want to enjoy some tequila and a feast, find a free Friday night in the diary and book ahead.

Méjico on Urbanspoon

Mr Moustache
I love this place for many reasons. Firstly, I date a Mr Moustache, so I am bias. Secondly, it is about 800m from my front door. Thirdly, the staff are ridiculously helpful, friendly and fun. Fourthly, they serve Mexican at breakfast time. And lastly and most importantly, the food is epic. Designed for sharing, there is plenty to choose from like the delicious pulled duck tostads, crisply fish tacos, ceviche of scallop and guacamole with house made beet room tortilla chips. If those reasons aren’t enough for you to want to go there, the ‘drowned pork’ sandwich will be. This phenomenal phenomenon is so spicy and juicy, they provide you with rubber gloves to eat it.

Mr Moustache on Urbanspoon

Barrio Chino
The clientelle here think they are as cool as the margaritas that are sold by the jug here. The front bar looking onto Bayswater Road is always packed and a place to be seen. You will usually find me down the back getting comfortable in one of the many booths, I recommend you do the same. The Barrio Chino menu will spoil you with choice, but it s essential to order the guacamole with bacon… no you’re not misreading this… there is such a thing and it is as good as it sounds. I advise going with a group so you can try the long list of tacos – if you can’t rustle up the crowds, just stick with the tuna sashimi tostadas and the BBQ corn cob which is topped with chipotle mayo, cheese and lime.

Barrio Chino on Urbanspoon

Oink oink,
Truffle Pig.