Most of you know by now how I am when I travel. I leave the world behind, get into the moment, take in all there is to enjoy, and then come back and tell all about it. I like to share what I love so that other people can have a great experience, too. And there is so much to love in New York City.

I can’t possibly tell about everything we saw and did this past weekend without writing on and on, so I’m just gonna tell you a few highlights for those of you who may be going soon and for those of you who dream of going someday.

I’m just gonna start with food today because it’s just so fun to eat in NYC, and there’s no place I know on earth with more choices and varieties.

So, here we go–first stop, Ellen’s Stardust Diner on the corner of 51st and Broadway is a super-fun place where wanna-be Broadway stars are waiting the tables while they wait to land that role in a Broadway show. They sing your favorite Broadway tunes in between serving you traditional diner food like burgers and fries. They told us there have been something like 14 servers called up to Broadway from this diner in the past several months. This was our second time eating here, and we loved it both times.

So, the next place we ate was a little place we came across while walking called The Crooked Knife on 30th St. between Madison and Park Aves. Great Chicken Pot Pie if you’re looking for a great place in this neighborhood.

For breakfasts in New York, we always try to find a cute coffee shop or diner, and this time we found Gene’s Coffee Shop on 60th between Madison and Park. Perfect typical NY coffee shop with everything from bagels to made-to-order eggs. And of course, great coffee.

In that same neighborhood is one of our all-time favorites in New York. Isle of Capri on the corner of 61st and 3rd is a super-cozy, Mom and Pop Italian that’s truly authentic. We first heard about this place from a local New Yorker, and we’ve eaten here 2 or 3 times in the past. This time, we passed by when it was still morning, so we missed our chance. For a romantic Italian dinner–this is a great choice.

And right across the street is our favorite candy store, Dylan’s Candy Bar, which has just as much eye candy as it has real candy.

For lunch this day, we found Bill’s Bar and Burger on 51st near Rockefeller Center. Really cute and fun place. Dave had a chili dog, which he loved, and I had the Butternut Squash soup topped with sour cream, apples, and dried cherries–it could not have been more perfect for a drizzly fall day in New York. Yum!

That night, we ate at the Bryant Park Grill in Bryant Park. With the green bistro chairs and the cute carousel, this park reminds me a little of Paris. It’s a great place to sit and relax for a while. Dinner in the restaurant was delicious.

For breakfast the next day, we ate in Greenwich Village at The Grey Dog. This place was folksy and friendly with delicious food. They were playing bluegrass music, which made it seem a little more like home here near the Smoky Mountains in Tennessee rather than NYC, but it was fun and cute and obviously a big hit with the locals there as well.

For lunch that day, we made our way to Little Italy for some authentic Italian…

And, Holy Cannoli—-had to have one of those as well.

For our last dinner, we chose Penelope, a little cafe on the corner of Lexington and 30th. Cozy and cute, this is a great choice for comfort foods.

I know what you’re thinking—that’s a lot of food! And, yes, you’re right. I didn’t even mention all of it to save some time. But, here’s a little tip that will help keep your diet and your budget on track in NYC…share your meals. Dave and I do this a lot when we eat out anywhere just to maintain portion control. But, especially in New York because we want to save room for a snack on the street or a cupcake from a fabulous bakery. (Like this Peanut Butter one from the Magnolia Bakery.)

There’s so much to enjoy, so try a little here and a little there.

More New York coming up, but I want to know what your favorite NYC restaurants are! Leave a comment below and tell us all about it.