Best Restaurants To Take Your Significant Other Out For Valentine’s Day (in NYC)

In light of Valentine’s Day quickly approaching, I thought it would be nice to share with you guys some of my suggestions for what I think are some of the best, romantic looking places in NYC to take your significant other for that special day.

And regardless of whether you’ll be celebrating it on the day of, or waiting until the weekend to do something, I think the suggestions I’m going to mention in a moment are nonetheless cute places to go to for a date night sort of thing with your significant other.

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Side Note: If the types of foods served at the restaurants I’m going to mention all are similar and/or the same, that’s completely coincidental. When Diego and I go out and find these places, we’re not actually looking for any sort of particularly cultured food, it just so happens that a lot of them tend to be similar.

Now, in no particular order, here are my recommendations:

  1. Almond Restaurant

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Location: East 22nd street, near Madison Square Park.

Type of food served: Bistro, French comfort food.

Ambience: Rustic, dim lit and comfortable feel.

Diego and I had come here for a date night of ours, without actually having it in mind to dine at. We kind of just stumbled upon it one night when our original dinner plans fell through, BUT, I’m kind of glad we ended up here. It was super cozy, good food and not that expensive either. Service was good, and it definitely had a romantic feel to it with the dim lighting and candles on the tables.

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2. Haven Rooftop

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Location: West 47th Street, on the rooftop of the Sanctuary Hotel, near Times Square.

Type of Food Served: French influenced dishes.

Ambience: Cabana styled, glassed-in rooftop spot.

I actually took Diego here for the first birthday that I had spent with him when we got together. He had mentioned to me that he really wanted to celebrate his birthday on some sort of rooftop, and since I know he’s not necessarily the party type, I did my research, found this spot and figured why not take him to a late lunch/early dinner at this popular rooftop spot?

The food was really good, and since they were just switching over from lunch to dinner, we ended up being some of the first guests here and had the place to ourself. And although I remember it being a fairly gloomy day when we came, the views from the top were still really great. Diego’s birthday is in April, so it was still pretty cool outside, but it’s closed in by glass, so it was still comfortable.

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3. Molo’s Restaurant 

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Location: Weehawken, New Jersey. Definitely on the far side compared to all the other places I’m mentioning, but 100% worth the trip if you decide to come here.

Type of Food Served: Mediterranean eatery, specializing in seafood.

Ambience: Modern, upscale riverfront with an AMAZING view of the city.

Probably one of the, if not THE most beautiful and romantic ones I can recommend. I brought Diego here for his birthday 2 years ago and it legit left an imprint on us…I don’t typically care for seafood, but I know that he does, so I figure why not?

It was about an hour and a half drive but generally it was nice to be able to listen to music and talk. And the location itself was stunning. I remember we had arrived about half hour early, so we got to walk along this boardwalk type thing and take pictures, which was really nice. And then when we finally got to be seated, we managed to get a seat right by the window which was absolutely beautiful to see the view of the city, especially since it was late afternoon and we got to watch the sunset from inside.

The servers were super nice, quick and helpful and the food was good. Although I should mention that this is more on the pricier side, but regardless think it was 100% worth every penny. If you can, I definitely recommend checking this place out.

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4. And finally, Serra by Birreria

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Location: this is another rooftop location atop Eataly in the Flatiron district, right near Madison Square Park.

Type of Food Served: Italian cuisine, house brewed ales and high-end imported beer.

Ambience: At the moment it’s sort of like a themed pop-up restaurant, in that, it’s supposed to make you feel like you’re taking a trip to the Italian Alps, while also being in a Winter Wonderland sort of feel.

I suppose this is kind of cheating to some extent, because we haven’t actually tried this place just yet (we’re supposed to be going next Monday). BUT,  I found this place online and read some pretty great reviews on it. It’s apparently a pretty popular place. It seems to have some pretty good food options, and personally, I think it looks to be a pretty romantic and/or comfortable setting regardless of whether you go with a significant other or friends. I can’t wait to be able to check it out next week and actually give you guys my full opinion on it!! (Stay tuned for that 😉 )

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I could literally probably go on FOREVER giving you guys suggestions of restaurants Diego and I have gone to and loved, but I think (thus far) these 4 are probably the most romantic-feeling ones that I can recommend with Valentine’s Day approaching.

*Also, all of these places take reservations, and they’re all available on OpenTable to be able to do that if you’re interested.*

I really hope you guys enjoyed this post, and that it helped you in some way, shape or form, whether you’re celebrating it on the day of, or just looking for some nice new restaurants to try out.

Also, I’m really sorry that things like this are subjected to the New York area only, but it is where I’m from and that’s all that I REALLY know.

Once I begin to travel a little more soon, I’ll be able to suggest more to you guys for things and places outside of New York.

But nonetheless, as I said, I hope you enjoyed. Please like, share, comment and follow and I’ll see you guys in my next post! ❤

-Xoxo, LeoGirl ❤

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Best Things To Do/See In New York During The Holidays!

For my 4th Blogmas post, I thought it would be cool and fun to share with you guys some things that I think are really great to do and see during this time of year around New York City.

I’ve lived in New York ALL my life, and I can honestly say that the city is such a magical place to be in during the holidays. Personally, all of the shows, attractions, etc. never get old (it could just be because I’m a Christmas fanatic in every sense of the name, but that’s completely besides the point haha).

I do, however, know that it can also be a bit overwhelming to be in the city during this time of the year BECAUSE of everything that’s going on. Plus, there’s so much to do and see, how would you know where to start?! So, I hope you guys find this little ‘guide’ so to speak, helpful in assisting to narrow some of those things down for you! 🙂

These aren’t going to be in any particular order because, well, when do I ever put things in a particular order? And, I literally love going to do and see EVERYTHING that I’m going to mention, so there’s no way for me to order them in any specific way haha.

But anyway, let’s get started!

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  1. Radio City Christmas Spectacular starring the Radio City Rockettes (In Radio City Music Hall).

Diego and I actually just took his mom and nephews to see this show this past weekend. It was their first time seeing it, and our 3rd. It’s quickly become a mini holiday tradition of ours to go every year.

This is something that I recommend for EVERYONE (whether you live in NY or are just temporarily visiting) to go see at least ONCE. It’s such an amazing show filled with skits, Christmas music and just generally a great time. It runs for about 90 minutes, and is a great show to go see with a significant other, family, your kids, friends, etc. Scroll down to see some pictures from the show.

For this show, I suggest using the TodayTix app because they tend to have pretty good (and sometimes cheap) ticket options.

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2. The Botanical Garden Holiday Train Show

This is another great attraction to do with family, friends and/or a significant other. If you’re not from New York, this specific attraction is actually in the Bronx, but 100% worth making the trip to. I took my family and Diego to see this for the first time (it was also my first time), last year right before Christmas.

I wanna say that it’s been open for about 2 years now, because I remember when it first opened in 2016 it was SO popular that it was next to impossible to get tickets for it. Every single day from the time it opened until it closed for the season was completely sold out. So, last year I jumped at the opportunity to grab some tickets, and we all loved it. The way everything was set up from the trains themselves, to the mini set ups for each section, it is SO well put together. Plus, if you buy tickets for the train show, it also automatically allows you the opportunity to be able to walk around the garden a bit afterwards which, in itself, is beautiful as well!

I’m leaving the link here in case you guys wanted to buy some tickets for this!

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3. Holiday window display(s) and other holiday attractions around the city.

When you’re in the city during the holidays, it’s almost impossible for you to somehow miss all of the decor, window displays and attractions, just because a lot of them just happen to be all around each other. Some places in particular I recommend walking through/by are 5th and 6th avenue, just because you’ll easily be passing a lot of the “main” holiday attractions like from Saks 5th Avenue, Barneys, Lord and Taylor, Rockefeller Center, Radio City Music Hall, etc.

Plus, all of these places (although they do get pretty busy and packed), are GREAT for videos and pictures of these things if you’re into that for memories sake.

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Saks Fifth Avenue

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Macy’s Herald Square

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Lord & Taylor
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Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree
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Radio City Music Hall and surrounding holiday attractions/decor.

4. Ice-skating!

Ice-skating is definitely a go-to thing to do while you’re in the city. Obviously other cities and places have ice-skating as well, but what better then being able to do it in some of the most popular places in New York like Bryant Park, Central Park or even Rockefeller Center?!

Plus, this is a perfect little date night to have with your significant other. Super cute and romantic, and these are definitely other great spots to be able to take cute and memorable pictures.

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Rockefeller Center
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Bryant Park
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Central Park (although they have 2 different ice skating rinks here, one called Lasker and one called Wollman’s rink, the one pictured is Wollman rink).

5. See and buy stuff from the holiday markets around the city (i.e., Bryant Park and Union Square (14th St.) holiday markets).

This sort of piggybacks off the ice-skating suggestion just because, right outside of the ice-skating rink at Bryant Park, they have these little holiday market shops where you can buy all sorts of things from snacks, to clothing, jewelry, etc.

They are the PERFECT little shops to stop at before heading home for the night, especially if you happen to be doing any last minute Christmas shopping for people. They also have mini holiday shops/stands like this in 14th Street, Union Square if you happen to be in that area instead of around Bryant Park.

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14th Street Union Square Holiday Market
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Bryant Park Holiday Market

6. Cocoa & Carols Holiday Cruise

And finally I want to suggest the Cocoa & Carols holiday cruise. Personally, I think this would be the CUTEST little date to take your significant other on. It’s super chill, not that expensive, and also pretty romantic. HOWEVER, this little excursion is also just as good for family and friends as well (it’s what you end up making of it).

The entire cruise itself goes on for about an hour and a half, and when you buy a ticket, it comes with a complimentary beer, glass of wine, champagne or (the more obvious one), hot cocoa! There are also cookies and other sweets that are included as well. You get to hear and sing along to Christmas songs, and you’ll end up seeing a TON of some of the most popular attractions/sights of New York like the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, Battery Park, South Street Seaport, etc.

*Groupon and Goldstar tends to have pretty good dates and deals for this excursion btw, so you should definitely check that out!*

The link for Goldstar I’ll leave here for you to easily access. And the one for Groupon, I’ll leave here .

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I hope you guys enjoyed this post, and that whether you’re already from New York, or just visiting, that this helped you in some way, shape or form to narrow down some of the (best) things to do/see in Manhattan while you’re there during the holiday season. It can definitely be a little crazy here during this time of the year, but I think it’s definitely worth the wait and trip.

Thanks so much for reading, please follow, like, share and comment, and I’ll see you guys on Sunday for my next Blogmas post! 🙂

-Xoxo, Leo Girl ❤

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Travel Diary: Cancun, Mexico.

So this might be considered cheating to some extent, because it’s been about 3 years since the last time I was in Cancun, but a lot of people would always ask Diego and I about the hotel we stood at, the things we did, our general package when we were there, etc. so I figure why not do an entire post detailing it all?

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Cancun was the first place that Diego and I had ever traveled to together. We went there in July 2015 to celebrate our 1-year anniversary as a couple, and then, since we loved it so much, we went back again the following summer (summer of 2016).

Both times that we went, we stood for a week. Saturday to Saturday if I remember correctly.

Pricing

I guess first and foremost we should talk about the pricing of it all. I don’t remember any specific amounts or prices, but I do remember that because our package was all inclusive, it was one set price for relatively EVERYTHING.

For both times, Diego and I didn’t pay more than about $1,200-$1,400 (each), which included flights going and coming, hotel, car service to and from the hotel when we were arriving and leaving, and breakfast, lunch and dinner at the hotel. Plus there was all the cool little extras within the hotel that were included, which I’ll get into in a little bit.

So, all in all, we really didn’t spend all that much (thankfully). The only outside things we spent some money on were the excursions we did, souvenirs, and if we decided to eat or order out from the hotel.

One thing we were a little worried about the first time we went was money. We weren’t sure if we HAD to convert our money, how much we should bring, etc. And if I remember correctly, the first time we went, we brought/converted I believe $300-400. We came to find that although it was fine that we did that, it really wasn’t necessary. They’re pretty modernized over there (in the touristy parts anyway), so just keeping our American money and credit cards was fine, which we learned our lesson with the second time we went.

Hotel

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What the outside and general area of our hotel looked like. I took this while I was like a zillion feet in the air when Diego and I went parasailing!

The name of the hotel we stayed at (both times) was the Riu Palace Peninsula. It’s such a freakin’ beautiful hotel to stay in when you’re in Cancun, 10/10 would recommend it to ANYONE that asked me. The scenery was gorgeous, the hotel was AMAZING, and all of the staff were so nice. I literally cannot say enough amazing things about this hotel.

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The rooms were really nice and cozy too. Comfy bed, nice decently big shower, and even a Jacuzzi! The first year we stayed here our Jacuzzi was outdoor, right outside our room on the balcony, and the second time it was right in the middle of our room which was pretty cool.

 

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For both times that we went, we stood in the same hotel. Which, looking back at it now, probably wasn’t the smartest thing to do. Yes we loved it both times and there were never any issues, but we pretty much experienced everything that we could the first time around, so the second time was ultimately just a repeat of that. Same amazing service, still, but it would’ve been best for us to book a different hotel, just to be able to experience a different one.

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One thing that was really great about this hotel (among other things), was the fact that within the hotel, there were 4 different kinds of restaurants, plus a buffet area separate. There was a steak house, an Italian restaurant, a Japanese restaurant, a Mexican restaurant, and a fusion cuisine restaurant. We’re huge foodies, so for us, this was heaven. We legit tried a different restaurant everyday that we were there, plus ended up at the buffet for breakfast, lunch and dessert (and occasionally dinner as well haha). Not to mention there was 24-hour room service and a sports bar that was open 24-hours as well to get drinks and little snacks.

All of the restaurants were included in the ‘all-inclusive package,’ so the only thing we had to worry about was making reservations for the restaurants and leaving tips.

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Not a great picture representation of it, but this is the sports bar.
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The Italian restaurant.
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These next 3 images were from the buffet they had there. Unlimited EVERYTHING; food, drinks, etc.

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The steak house restaurant they had in the hotel. Dinner with a view of the ocean ❤ _ ❤ even though it was dark lol.
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One of the MANY desserts they served on a regular basis ❤ _ ❤
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Side Note: The second time we stood here was really cool because SOMEHOW or another Diego and I got totally bumped up from the normal rooms/suites, to an adults only, VIP access type of section of the hotel. To this day we have no idea how that happened, but it was amazing. And along with being in that section came with also having a private restaurant for that area, which is where this was. I believe it was predominantly Greek food if I remember correctly.

Excursions:

Aside from the hospitality and great food, I think we can all agree that excursions are probably the best part(s) of ANY trip. Fortunately for us, Cancun had a TON of them.

Our first time here we did 3 major ones that were 100% outside of BOTH our comfort zones, which made it that much more great.

And the second time we were here, we did a bunch that were somewhat out of our comfort zones as well and just as fun.

When we first decided to come here and were thinking about the stuff we wanted to do, we knew we wanted to do one thing/excursion that was super adventurous and one that would allow us to not only have a good time, but also learn more about the history and culture of the destination we were at.

  1. The Xplor Park

If you are in Cancun and looking for a day-long, amazingly fun excursion, I 1000000% recommend for you to come to this park. We got to do this amazing ziplining course, swim in a cave, and ATV through the freakin jungle. To this day, that was probably my favorite excursion EVER. To be honest, I’m the biggest scaredy-cat EVER, so I don’t know what had suddenly came over me to be able to do all of these things, but it was AMAZING and so fun! I wish I could do it all over again.

What was really great about this excursion too was that it came with a lunch buffet; all types of great food, desserts and drinks. So we burned ourselves out with all of these activities and then got to stuff our faces afterwards lol.

Price wise, this was also the most expensive excursion. If I remember correctly, it was over $100 per person. But considering everything you were getting for the price, I think it was 100% worth it.

 

 

2. Chichen Itza

Chichen Itza is considered to be one of the seven wonders of the world. Ultimately it’s an archaeological site, displaying the advanced civilization of the Mayan people. It was actually a really great cultural experience, and interesting to see a lot of the natives from the area going about their daily routines, seeing the way they lived, etc. I would definitely recommend this if you’re looking to add a bit of an educational aspect to your trip. One thing I will say that we were totally unprepared for was the HEAT. We knew we were going to be outdoors, but didn’t know how intense it was going to be out there. It was so hot that both Diego and I got such an insane sunburn.

I would definitely recommend bringing a backpack with a few bottles of water, sunscreen, sunglasses and/or a hat, and a mini fan if possible because that Mexico heat is NO joke.

 

3. Parasailing

Doing this little excursion was actually Diego’s idea. It was the day of our one year anniversary, and I remember he was looking up at the sky watching these other people doing this, and just ended up being like “you wanna do that?”, and I was like ….. ._. um…not really. He ended up pushing me to do it, and as you can tell from the video below, I was shitting bricks. Overall though, I don’t regret it at all, it was fun and definitely something different that neither of us had tried before.

 

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4. Jet-skiing

I feel like jet-skiing is one those things that’s kind of a must whenever you go away on any sort of tropical vacation, and we hadn’t gotten to do/try it the first time we were in Mexico, so we definitely had to make time for it the second time around. It was a great little experience for the both of us, even though I was nervous as hell because I had heard a lot of scary stories from people I know when they were on jet-skies.

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5. Snorkeling

I have absolutely no idea why I don’t have many pictures and/or videos from this excursion we did, but we also did snorkeling which included speedboating as well. This was cool because we got to ride by other portions of Cancun which were absolutely beautiful, which then led us to a portion of water that allowed to snorkel for a bit. Again, I was a chicken shit lol. It was all fun and games until I actually got in the water!

*Side Note: I can’t swim, which is why I got freaked out in the water.*

But it was a pretty cool overall experience for the little time that I actually spent in the water. We got to be around a ton of fish for a while and then ride all the way back to the starting point.

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6. Speedboating

This particular excursion was really cool because it came with 2 different things to do, which was speedboating and ATV-ing. Since Diego had driven the boat the first time we did it, I figure I take a crack at the second time around 😉 . I’m sure it’s safe for me to say that we were both a bit nervous for that; and I was definitely a little shakey at first, but by the end of it I got the hang of it lol. I for sure got too excited and was on my Fast & Furious shit haha 😂

 

7. ATVing

And finally, we did ATV-ing. This was dope because we got to ride through the Mexican jungle where we saw natives on foot going about their business, and also other people on a separate excursion riding horses and we got to ride along the beach too. This excursion also came with lunch included which was great because after being in the blazing sun for the majority of the day, that was definitely needed.

 

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Another great thing Diego and I got to do was a little photoshoot on the beach and throughout the hotel to celebrate our one-year anniversary. Neither of us had done anything like that before, and it was really special for us so we figure why not. It was definitely a little pricey, but all in all I would say it’s worth it because the pictures came out beautiful and now we have that memory and those keepsakes of our first anniversary AND trip ❤

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These 2 were just a few of the pictures that we took, and also just my favorites in general ❤ _ ❤

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Overall, this was a GREAT first (and technically second) trip for both of us, especially since we were more or less just starting out as a couple and knew we wanted to go somewhere fun, but not too pricey. So I definitely recommend this to anyone, or couple, that may be contemplating a place to go that’s nice, fun, and not CRAZY expensive, especially if you really look into it and see how many great things will come along with wherever it is that you may be staying, or the excursions you may be doing.

I know this was actually a pretty long post, but it was really just because of all the pictures and videos that were included!! Hopefully I’ll get better at narrowing down all of these things as I continue to do these particular posts.

But I hope you guys enjoyed it and this was helpful to you in some type of way when it came to knowing about the hotel we stood at, the particular excursions we did, and the trip in general!

– Xoxo, Leo Girl ❤

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