When heading to New York City for the weekend, there are usually so many things to do and see, that it’s hard to pick the best sights, sounds, bites and beverages in such a short period of time.  We recently hit the Big Apple for NY Fashion Week and were faced with the same challenge.  So we decided to share some of our favorites stops along a very busy way through NYC.

The Mean Fiddler: As someone who lived in Ireland for four months I know a great Irish bar when I see one.  It’s safe to say that I felt right at home at The Mean Fiddler.  It was like I was sitting inside the festively decorated Temple Bar with The Mean Fiddler’s live music, strong cocktails, and Guinness Shepherd’s Pie. This spot is a party from the second you walk through the doors, the absolute perfect spot to start the night.

The drinks were spot on, deliciously refreshing, with one hell of a kick. The “Twisted Fiddler” was an adventure of a drink, with Captain Morgan’s spiced rum, Gosling’s rum, passion fruit, pineapple, and a touch of torched cinnamon this cocktail woke me up and kept me strong sltrong all night long.

As our first stop of the night we stuck with just appetizers, but these bites were so packed with flavor they could definitely qualify as a full-on meal. It might sound a bit bizarre but this Irish bar knows how to whip up a FINE house made guacamole, incredibly fresh and flavorful. We also got the buffalo chicken spring rolls, made with homemade buffalo sauce and chunky blue cheese, the Philly cheese steak spring rolls, mouthwatering bites of steak, three cheese blend, onions, peppers, and smoky chipotle BBQ, and the Shepherd’s Pie Empanadas (had to). We cleaned up the entire plate and enjoyed each and every bite. The Mean Fiddler is a fantastic spot for some killer cocktails, snacks, and fun.

The P.S. Kitchen: Alright, let me address the elephant in the blog … this place is 100% vegan. That’s right, a completely plant-based menu, from burger to chicken wing. So, if you know me you KNOW your girl loves her bacon and steak tip; but you also know I am absolutely down to try anything. Especially a place so highly recommended, so off to PS Kitchen we went.

Let me tell you this place is #trendy. The place is a vibe and you feel it from the moment you walk in, vegans clearly know how to decorate. I started off with some gorgeous craft cocktails, first the S.F.H, which was a mix of Fair Quinoa Vodka, lemon juice, lavender syrup, and then the Butterfly Pea Tea and the Share Hope, which blended el Jimador Blanco Tequila, blackberry puree, agave syrup, and lime juice. These drinks were innovative and refreshing, the perfect kick off to a first time vegan feast.

To kick of this meatless adventure, I started with the crispy artichokes, which were packed with flavor and served with a delectable lemon aioli and the warm farro salad, sautéed kale, seasonal squash, and shaved smoked macadamia, it was incredibly filling, and yummy, I loved every bite.

For an entree I wanted to put PS Kitchen to the test and order the Smokey BBQ Burger, I believe myself to be an absolute burger connoisseur. I know a good burger when I bite into one … so I was intrigued to give this beyond burger a shot. Served with BBQ portabella, caramelized onions, American cheese, and pickles on a warm pretzel bun it was truly delicious, juicy, and flavorful; I would recommend this burger to all my beef loving buds.

Last but definitely not least was my personal favorite fish of the evening, the Orzo Alfredo. This plate was served with cashew cream, broccolini, sun-dried tomato chili paste, and our choice of added “chicken,” a complete home run and a must-order to anyone visiting the PS Kitchen. I truly do not know or understand how they do it, but this food is absolutely incredible … even without any form of bacon included.

This meal was one I extremely enjoyed, not only because of how good all of the dishes were, but because it was a meal I could feel good about. PS Kitchen is not only spreading awareness to veganism and the benefits of ditching animal products, but is actually donating 100% of their profits to sustainable charitable work local and overseas, truly a really noble venue and an ABSOLUTE must see in NYC.

(Photo: Hotels.com)

Aliz Hotel: New York City is absolutely nuts, like full on crazy town, so it is definitely recommended to have a killer home base to come back and crash in after a day of adventuring the city. The Aliz Hotel was a great spot, right in the heart of the city and walking distance from so much of the activity. We were able to comfortable stroll on down to Time Square, Rockefeller Center, and so much more. Don’t feel like heading out into the city that never sleeps? That is no problem at Aliz, with a rooftop bar (reservations required), and two different restaurants, there is definitely plenty to eat, drink, and look at!

Black Tap: Whenever I think of my time in New York City, my dearest and fondest memories usually tend to be with the Texan Burger from Black Tap, so this stop was a no-brainer for this “Must See of NYC” experience. Now this, is a burger place … juicy, hot, melty cheese, double bacon, meaty GOODNESS. I truly believe Black Tap is the home of the greatest burger I have ever eaten. Oh, and I forgot to mention, they also have the most magnificent milkshakes on planet earth, so yeah it is basically heaven in NYC.

Black Tap has various fabulous locations, but we stopped by their new Herald Square location for this feast, and let me say this venue is a true experience. From the second you walk in the door; from the colorful and fun murals on the wall, to the neon lights and (NYC’s only) stand-alone milk shake bar, I was seriously considering having my next birthday at Black Tap, Herald Square… it is that fun inside.

As all experienced burger & shake lovers, we started out with some fries and a milk shake (so we could dip the fries into the shake… duh!) The fries were perfection, crispy, hot, and delicious. And the brand spanking new Churro Choco Taco milkshake, was absolutely out of this world. This shake masterpiece is served with a vanilla frosted rim with cinnamon toast crunch, topped with an ENTIRE choco taco, two cinnamon sugar churros, whipped cream, and a dulce de leche drizzle, absolutely incredible.

After our first milk shake, that is right … that gigantic shake was just a starter, the all famous burgers made their way to our table. At any good burger joint you absolutely must try their classic cheese burger, Black Tap’s is the All-American Burger, a prime burger served with American cheese and their special sauce. Simple, but absolutely delectable, and guess what? On National Cheeseburger Day they are giving them away for **FREE** to the first 100 people (in all NYC, Vegas, and selected International locations)! That’s right, on September 18th you can come down to Black Tap and get your very own 11/10, cream of the crop, all mighty Black Tap All-American Burger for free.  Just get there early and plan to wait in line!

After trying out the classic we took a dive into some of their craftier burgers. First off was the Carolina Burger, an all-American patty with smoky pulled pork, buttermilk slaw, and sweet Carolina BBQ. This burger was absolute flavor-town. After that was my personal favorite, the love of my burger life, the Texan Burger. This hot, steamy, ROYALTY of a burger is a prime patty, served with bacon, aged cheddar, sweet baby rays BBQ, mayo, and a big ole crispy onion ring. It is seriously one of the best things I have ever eaten.

After three fan-fricken-tastic burgers, one monster of a milk shake, and some French fries … it was time for dessert! We topped off our meal with two of their well know milkshakes. The Cookie Shake is a vanilla cookie shake served with a vanilla frosted rim with cookie crumbles, topped with a chocolate chip cookie ice cream sandwich (because a dessert without another dessert on top of it would feel … deserted LOL), crumbled cookies, whipped cream and chocolate drizzle. This milkshake is vanilla, cookie, milkshake paradise in a cup. The Sweet N’ Salty Shake is a peanut butter shake served with a chocolate and peanut butter frosted rim with M&M’s, topped with peanut butter cups, a sugar daddy, pretzel rods, chocolate covered pretzels, whipped cream, caramel, and chocolate drizzle. Absolute ridiculousness of a milkshake and I cannot even believe how delicious it was.

Black Tap is truly an experience, from the décor and the waitstaff, to the burgers and the milkshakes, it is definitely a must see of NYC and I cannot wait to be back. Make sure to be one of the first 100 people on September 18th for National Cheeseburger Day, where they will be giving away some of their famous All-American Burgers!