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Travel Feature: New York City

As many of may have heard, there is a huge snow storm hitting the Northeast right now. My now Fiance and I just got back from NYC last night just in time before the storm hit.

That’s right….FIANCE. Mike proposed to me last Thursday in Central Park. He organized a carriage ride that took us to the Gapstow Bridge – the area that HE picked! I was completely surprised. NYC was just magical. I had never been in the winter months. It was definitely FREEZING. But we made a point to find some superb restaurants. One thing I love about New York is that they are so aware of allergies compared to other places. I think this can be said for most big cities that are known for their cuisine and unique restaurants.


After our engagement, we went directly into JJ Marriott at Essex Place near Central Park to warm up and have some celebratory beverages. The bartender made me the best Maker’s Mark (gluten-free) Old Fashioned I have ever had. It was slightly spiced and I may have had 2. We also called our family and friends. We had reservations that night at Molyvos on 7th which was very close to where we had our carriage ride. I was honestly too in the moment with what had just happened (and slightly tipsy) that I did not take any pictures of the food. One thing I will say was that they were incredibly allergy friendly and friendly in general for putting up with our excitement!

The picture of me above was taken the day after our engagement (Friday) at Gigino at Wagner Park in the Financial District. It was probably the best bowl of gluten-free/dairy-free pasta I have ever had. They had the most diverse menu with a great wine selection.

We started off with some grilled calamari over roasted potatoes, tomatoes and mint. No dairy or gluten.

My entree was the linguine alle vongole – Linguine with imported clams, garlic, olive oil, parsley and peperoncini. I mean, look at this dish! There was no dairy, no gluten and no nuts (to my knowledge). Y’all – IT WAS SO GOOD. I ate every bite. After all, it’s New York – we walked everywhere. Totally acceptable hehe. Our waiter treated us so well. We really enjoyed the experience. The food and wine was a nice addition to the dinner conversation – planning our engagement party etc. (eek!!!!)

Breakfast and Coffee

For breakfast the following day (Saturday), I discovered Joe & the Juice on Wall Street. It was the perfect “light” breakfast after a pasta dinner the night before. I ended up getting a protein shake with cacao, banana, vegan protein, almond milk and avocado. Mike had a strawberry banana protein shake. Our drinks basically look like they are on a date. HA. I loved Joe & the Juice. They have a ton of allergy friendly options. You can tell it’s something they really focus on.

Friday we had something really special planned. We had a private tour of the New York Stock Exchange. Mike has a few close friends that work at the Exchange and they put together the most thoughtful and amazing tour followed by lunch at the Members Only restaurant. The NYSE is extremely secure and very well guarded. I am completely humbled and thankful.

The NYSE was very close to our hotel. It was, of course, freezing so we decided to stop at Gregory’s Coffee for a little caffeine. I was completely impressed by their menu and their friendly staff. They had some really unique coffee drinks and an exuberant amount of dairy-free milk options. Their food menu contained paleo protein balls, chia seed pudding, avocado toast and a few other allergy-friendly, paleo, vegan and vegetarian breakfast foods & treats. I ordered an oat milk latte. I highly recommend Gregory’s Coffee.

Traveling makes me nervous, but I felt pretty confident that NYC would have options and they really came through for me. They even have HIBALL ENERGY drinks at delis and pharmacies there. NC needs to step up their game!!! 🙂

My one complaint about traveling is that the airport really struggles with offering allergy-friendly foods at restaurants. I usually have to eat gluten-free chips, bars or the occasional fruit option. Cross-contamination is such a risk at airports, I sometimes would rather just starve.

JetBlue offers some great allergy-friendly snacks while on the plane. They have Terra Sweet potato and blue potato chips. Be on the lookout for those!!!

What are some of your favorite restaurants and coffee shops when traveling to NYC? Are they allergy-friendly? Why are they your favorite?

For more information about any of these restaurants, please visit their websites listed below:



All of my comments are based on my personal experience and may not necessarily reflect the intent of the restaurants or every detail in regards to the menu or ingredients. 


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