10 restaurants to visit in NYC

  1. Pongsri Thai Restaurant

Delicious food at some of the cheapest prices in Manhattan!  The staff is quick and very helpful. All the soups are amazing and served at the right temperature and I fell in love with the pad Thai. It’s one of the spots I visit every time I’m in the City.


  1. Mehanata- The Bulgarian Bar

Of course I found the hottest place in lower Manhattan  ;] The place to be for all Eastern-Europeans, Russians and curious Americans. They serve authentic Bulgarian food, imported beers and other goodies. Fridays and Saturdays after 11pm the place turns into a club with lots of alcohol and dancing! If you are lucky and the ice bar is open so you will get the chance to drink a shot of real vodka while dressed in a Russian coat, surrounded by ice.


  1. Angelo’s pizza Little Italy

Mind blowing coal-fire pizzas! They come out so quick; it’s the perfect place for a pit-stop if you simply can’t wait to explore more. The salads are always fresh and the wine list is consistent mainly of imports. It’s affordable, with cozy family atmosphere and decent prices.


  1. Karizma lounge

I always explore hookah bars and restaurants when I visit different cities. I loved the oriental atmosphere and the hookahs were delicious! They serve traditional middle-eastern dishes and Turkish coffee. The staff is great and the prices are reasonable.


  1. El Toro Blanco- Mexican (West village)

Authentic Mexican dishes cooked to gourmet level! Add a long list of imported tequilas and mixed drinks and I’m sold! Their fresh guacamole and the tacos Al Pastor  were magical and I hope I discover their recipe one day! They have a salsa bar that has a wide variety of dips all of which are worth trying. The service was great and I will definitely visit again!


  1. Candle 79 Vegan-Vegetarian

Melt-in-your-mouth-amazing vegan and vegetarian dishes. Fresh organic produce and great service make this little spot one of my favorites! Stylish atmosphere and affordable prices be sure to check it out! It’s a refreshing restaurant in the land of fried chicken or beef on the go.


  1. Emmett O’Lunney’s -Irish Pub

With so many awesome pubs around NYC, it’s really hard to decide which one is the best.  That’s until you discover O’Lunney’s! Upscale yet authentic Irish Pub! The service is great, the bartenders are some of the best I’ve ever seen and the food is to-die -for mix between American and Irish dishes. They have live bands on Fridays and it’s perfect for late night or in the middle of the night dinners and fun nights with friends.


  1. Hard Rock Café Times Square, NYC

It’s a ritual of mine to visit Hard Rock in every city I visit that has one! Another ritual is to have brunch in the New York one every time I visit. The drinks and service are on point and the food is in a way typical American. It’s the displays that I’m never tired of seeing. The Beatles suits, guitars and posters alongside Elvis Presley and many other music legends. It’s one of these things you have to experience for yourself.


  1. Maze by Gordon Ramsey

I made a reservation two weeks in advance, guys! I’m a huge fan of Gordon Ramsey and I was ecstatic to go! I can describe my experience with two words: Pure Perfection. It’s a very classy place with small sophisticated portions of heavenly food. I can’t say it’s pricey because this is Gordon Ramsey in New York City after all. Just check out the menu and decide for yourself before you reserve a table.


1.The Russian Tea Room

The décor of this place!!!!!  Very 1920’s Russia style which is the first reason I fell in love with it! Make sure you make a reservation (weeks in advance is a good idea) and dress up; you never know when you might run into Serena van der Woodsen! The Red Borscht soup is a must, especially if you are visiting in the winter. I also tried the black Bass entree and the Kulebiaka dish. For desert I’d recommend the Czar’s gold and caviar parfait. I think my third tradition while in NYC will be visiting this place!



I’m sure there’s plenty I missed but I’ll be visiting the Big Apple again soon so feel free to let me know in the comments what places would you recommend!

Xo, Silvia Mélange

Christmas in NYC

If I had to choose one city to spend every Christmas for the rest of my life, it’s without a doubt New York City! It’s a great place to visit all year around but something changes right after Macy’s Thanksgiving parade. Even if you are the Grinch himself, it’s impossible not to get into the Christmas spirit! Picola Italia looks like a Christmas card with displays of the Holy family and every place is decorated better than the previous one. Try some authentic Panettone paired up with delicious imported red wine or sit down and have some real pizza while listening to Christmas canzoni, often performed by the staff and owners.

The New York Public Library

 Central Park entrance
Proceed pass the crowds on 42-nd street and head down to my other favorite place- Central Park. The $80 horse carriage ride is actually worth it, especially after dark when all the lights come on. Sipping on rum and tea while the snow is falling will make you understand what Alicia Keys means by “These lights will inspire you”. I love taking walks around the Upper East Side, swinging by Bloomingdale’s and enjoying what I call “the urban runway”  there is so much high-fashion on the streets of the city! You simply must go ice-skating in front of the Rockefeller Center!  If it’s your first time visiting, you should visit the Empire State Building observation tower but be sure to buy your tickets in advance.

I have visited most of NYC’s land marks one time or another. My favorite thing still remains getting lost within the city; pick a random street, follow it for a while, take a turn if you’d like and just enjoy the walk. I have two routines whenever I visit the City: always eat a breakfast bagel from a different place and a brunch in Hard Rock Café on Times Square.

The last one being one of the few spots in the world where shopping crowds excite me for some odd reason, I’d say that is the pure magic of NYC. Below are some personal pics from my trip for Christmas 2012. I decided to do this flashback as a Christmas gift to my readers who only follow my traveling entries. As I have mentioned in the past, the point of my blog is to share my experiences with all of you, past and present ones.


Happy Holidays, Silvia Mèlange



Jazzed up Christmas songs on the subway


Hard Rock Café