For Christmas Eve, my mom’s big conjoint Christmas/21st birthday gift to me was a 3 day trip to Portland, Oregon for spring break. For the longest time I’ve been dying to visit because their food scene is beyond amazing for a plant-based foodie like myself and I knew right away I’d take my friend May. After a month or so of chatting about it and what plans we had, May and I literally changed our idea from Oregon to New York to South Carolina and then finally deciding back on New York.
In February one night we just messaged each other ticket rates and right there and then booked a round-trip for $130 (couldn’t be cheaper) to New York City. I hadn’t been since I turned 16 with my best friend, Lylah, back when I wanted nothing more than Pinkberry covered in fruity pebbles and a bag of sugar-coated candy from Dylan’s Candy Bar (boy how times change) so I was so excited to go back. This time for açai bowls, matcha, almond milk lattes and spaghetti squash dinners.
Not to mention, I ended up meeting not one, not two but FIVE bloggers along the way, including my girl Rachel Mansfield. P.s. she’s like the second big sister I never had, aside from May.
Because we arrived last Sunday and stayed until early Wednesday morning, I figured I’d pack this post into three parts because there are so many pictures and comments I want to share! And of course let us not forget how many restaurants and juice shops we managed to conquer. I wish we could have conquered 20 more but let’s be real, my stomach (and checking account) can only handle so much.
Right when we got in on Sunday, we wasted no time and got straight down to business. First we stopped at CHALAIT for those gorgeous matcha green tea lattes you might have seen on Instagram. Plot twist: they ended up looking absolutely awful.. kind of similar to asparagus or broccoli soup. No joke. We were completely astonished and considering the harsh lighting of the small café, no photos were snapped. Unless you follow me on Snapchat (addiemartan) then you got to see a glimpse of the ugly latte art. However, their greek yogurt muesli toast was so yummy. It was covered with chopped dates, berries and a drizzle of honey. A perfect pre-brunch snack.
Despite the drinks looking rather ugly, Rachel and her husband stumbled into us and we got to chat for a bit. Good conversation over good lattes. Ya win some, ya lose some. We then headed out to meet with two other bloggers, Sarah and Jess, at Bluestone Lane Café.
The almighty Bluestone avocado toast. This toast convinced me that NYC is pretty much a conglomeration of toast after toast. May and I were so hungry at Chalait (we split a small toast there) that we figured we’d split the Bluestone Lane toast too. We went into the trip with the idea of doing “tapas style dining” of everywhere we went (sharing plates, basically) so we didn’t explode. Because we split Bluestone’s avocado and feta toast with a poached egg we were STILL so hungry only a few hours later. Naturally.
Goes to show ya can’t walk NYC blocks and thrive off of one piece of toast! 😉
After Bluestone, we walked from West Village to Chelsea Market to meet up with one of May’s blog friends, Kayla.
We roamed around the Chelsea Market less than an hour before we ventured out onto The High Line (that mile-long bridge that stretches through Manhattan) but while we browsed, we stumbled upon Seed + Mill.
Can I pretty please have a neon sign in my kitchen like this one but instead it says HUMMUS?
I had heard of goat milk ice cream before but seeing Seed + Mill in the flesh was super exciting to me. So get this, they serve all sorts of halva (sesame seeds and sugar combined into a block similar to a cake), flavored tahini and goat’s milk soft-serve ice cream with tahini blended into it. Um, YUM?!
If there’s one thing I love more than hummus, it’s tahini… and after that, ice cream. Unfortunately their machine was acting weird due to heat issues so we didn’t end up buying any but the sample was phe-nom-enal. So light and refreshing.
After walking the whole High Line and then numerous blocks to find a bathroom, I discovered two things: walking numerous blocks in booties may be fashionable but definitely not comfortable (you’ll see the next two days I rocked my nikes) and don’t plan on drinking water at all if you’ll be walking in the city because there are 0 bathrooms anywhere… especially in Mid-town.
When we finally found Juice Generation, I ended up ordering my açai bowl (Almond Butter Bliss) and running across the street begging a restaurant host if I could use their bathroom. This is the struggle of being a girl who sucks down water like a fish.
May got the Amazing Green bowl and I can’t remember the last time I witnessed two foodies suck down açai bowls so fast. It was so thick and spoonable I wanted to savor every last bite but let’s be real… a hangry girl like myself wiped that bowl clean in a matter of seconds.
After our bowls, we went back to our hotel (Hotel Hugo in SoHo) for a bit before we left for our dinner at Café Clover located near Washington Square Park. Rachel recommended it to us and thank GOD she did because it was my favorite meal in NYC by far.
The space would have been unbelievably beautiful for breakfast, brunch or lunch but the dinner menu still blew me away. Sometimes it’s nice to just take in the food without photographing it and when you have a dark setting like this, it gives you an excuse to do just that.
We ordered three salads: the celery root and rutabaga noodles with pistachios (reminded me of Hungryroot), baby beets with lemongrass yogurt and my favorite – the roasted carrots with cashew cheese and pesto. DROOL.
Along with our three salads we grabbed the sweet potato carpaccio which was a plate of thinly sliced (think paper thin) sweet potatoes covered in tahini, pumpkin seeds and turmeric-lime dressing. Once again, tahini anything has me swooning all day every day. It wasn’t my favorite dish but it was amazing to see something usually so comforting like sweet potatoes be presented as a light dish!
For our main course? How about that hemp seed spaghetti. Yes, you heard me right. It came with peekytoe crab, pea greens and a light miso sauce. Even for one person it was a decent size without making you feel like that i-can’t-breathe stuffed.
After just one day in New York, meeting with blog friends and eating some of the best food in the city, I without a doubt fell in love even more with traveling and this whole blogging lifestyle than ever before. I can’t even begin to describe how much fun I had on my three day vacation and am looking forward to sharing the next two days of the trip with you!
It’s still crazy to me to think that a year ago I had no idea who May or any of my other “blog friends” were and now they’re some of the greatest friends I have. I knew going into 2016 that I would be meeting so many wonderful people this year through blogging and after this trip, I only want to do it more and MORE.
Stay tuned for NYC Part 2 and 3!
Have you been to NYC before? What’s your favorite health spot in the city? What city should I pop into next? Let me know!