Though we can’t complain that we’re finally reunited in New York City, there is one minor downside: our wanderlust is bordering on out of control. We can’t help it! It seems like every time we’re together we end up pining over the countless cities where we’d rather be drinking wine and catching bits and pieces of a foreign tongue. Though the majority of New York speaks English (albeit with some interesting accents), we’re lucky that when our desire for cultural submersion reaches its boiling point, we can escape to one of the many multicultural spots right here in our hometown.
The romantic has already explored Paris in New York, but France isn’t the only country nestled inside the island of Manhattan….
Italy = Eataly
To be fair, this place can make a girl want to THROW DOWN–especially right after work or during lunch hours. Be prepared for crowds and certainly no shortage of tourists, and yet we still insist it’s worth the wait for seriously authentic pizza, pasta, and focaccia. We also hear the gelato is pretty stellar, and are promising you here & now that it’s next on our list to try when we’re craving a touch of Roma in our lives.
Runner up: Little Italy. The Feast of San Gennaro just wrapped, and we’ll tell you this much… our one attempt at visiting the feast was NOT a success. Picture this: two college freshman with two Spring Break-style plastic cups full of rum (which, we might add, tasted like gasoline) and zero patience for anyone involved. We would do anything for good pasta, though, so maybe next year?
The Dingle Peninsula with Ryan’s Daughter
When we were leaving Dingle, our B&B host recommended we check out a movie called Ryan’s Daughter that was filmed on the peninsula. Though we have yet to sit down and watch, the romantic & the hubs found a Ryan’s Daughter guaranteed to be up our alley… because they serve beer and free chips. The bartenders all sport Irish accents (even if they’re actually from Kalamazoo, Michigan, true story), and they make an insane version of Baby Guinness shots that involves shaved Kit Kat. Pair that with a big wooden bar and lots of Irish mementos splashed across the walls and we’ve got our second home on the UES.
Ok, so the beer menu might snap you back into America… but it’s all about the ambiance, we swear.
Runner up: Biddy’s Pub. More Irish love, though this time the focus is on Galway. This was more convenient when we lived in the high 80s/low 90s, but it’s still in our hearts as a perfect little Irish escape.
We were recently alerted to Chengdu Pambassador’s 2012 PandaQuest. Though we have yet to visit China, reading all about the opportunity to cuddle up with some of Chengdu’s finest kind of bummed us out. We want to panda snuggle! For now, we’ll settle for dumplings in one of New York’s most flustering neighborhoods. We’ll skip the faux bag selection, though.
Old Bavaria at Heidelberg
Our current hood on the Upper East Side used to be home to a significant German population during the turn of the century. And thus, Heidelberg was born. Bartenders in lederhosen and beer served in boots. There’s schnitzel and schnapps and we’re assuming a sausage or two. This is THE spot if you’re feeling a little wistful for Bavaria.
The London Candy Company
(Editor’s Note: The London Candy Company on the UES has since closed. But have no fear! You can still follow them on Twitter to learn all about their London candy deliciousness) They sell Cadbury everything and dark chocolate version of all your favorites (the hubs is partial to the dark chocolate Kit Kat and I’m feeling like some sort of weirdo for mentioning Kit Kats twice in one post). The employees wear cute little bowler caps and there’s union jack printed on anything that’s not already branded. It’s bright and colorful and the perfect place to find all the airport candy you binged out on at Heathrow before your flight home. …Just us?
Do you SEE the bucket full of mini Cadbury eggs?!
Though nothing really cures your travel lust like hopping on a plane, we can at least look on the bright side and admit that New York has more than a few options when you just need to get away.
You know, without actually getting away.
the romantic & the wino