I visited NYC last weekend after finding a great promotion on Amtrak between Montreal and New York. For only US$90, I couldn’t pass on the opportunity of trying the train ride and see if it was worth it for future trips. Overall, the train wasn’t horrible but for the time it takes (10.5-11 hours), driving or flying is still a better option time wise.
A few things to know if you’re thinking about trying it yourself:
- The wifi was just awful and shouldn’t be advertised at all. Don’t plan on working online while you’re on it or you’ll be forced to hotspot on your phone like I did.
- The food the café offers is junk food. Whether it’s the vegan burger or the deli sandwich, everything is heated in the microwave including its plastic wrap. Definitely bring food with you along with a few water bottles.
- Don’t spend the whole ride in your seat! The café is open for about 85% of the ride so go get a booth and enjoy the view. It’s warmer than in the other trains and has much more lights. We played lots of games, watched movies and ate our own food in there.
One thing we really appreciated on our arrival was how Penn Station is so well located. We booked a room in Chelsea and only had to walk a few blocks down to check in. We also found a Chipotle <3 and a Whole Foods just a block away from our hotel!
Here’s a few good addresses I got to revisit or discover during my trip:
Le Pain Quotidien // Lovely chain for breakfast. Go for the bread basket and indulge in their jams and version of Nutella!
MOMA // A must if you’re into museums but get ready for a visit of 2 hours minimum. Don’t bring any type of computer or you will have to drag it along with you. Check out the museum store on the other side of the street. They sell a lot of fun stuff including the brand MUJI.
Bar Sardine // Lovely little restaurant that serves solid cocktails. They’re not very generous with the food (ie: a burger doesn’t come with anything else) but it’s still delicious.
Magnolia Bakery // The perfect cupcake stop! They close at midnight on Fridays and Saturdays so plan a stop for dessert.
Ferrara Café // Not your cheapest café but it served the best americano! We also had 2 mini cannolis including one covered in chocolate. Fun stop when around Chinatown.
ONIEAL’S // My favorite stop in Soho; what a great and cozy restaurant! We shared an app of fried calamari and I had a Hanger Steak with a glass of red wine. A simple but perfectly delivered meal by a great staff. We would have stayed for drinks on the bar side if we didn’t have to go to Trader’s Joe!
Juliette // I never miss a stop at Juliette either for brunch in the winter or for a cold drink and delicious evening meal in the summer.
Berlyn65 // I found this little shop back in April 2014 and regretted not buying anything. Berlyn65 specializes in Turkish towels that can easily be used as a throw or scarf. The towels are beautiful and start at $30.
Botica & Co. // We made a stop at this juice bar for a snack and to check out the elixirs they had. The staff was great and I loved their on tap fresh juice!
Mast Brothers // Visited the Mast Brothers factory in Brooklyn and got a pack of 5 chocolate bars for about $35 which is the cheapest you will ever find.
Sweethaus Cupcake Cafe // This cupcake café really doesn’t kid around with their toppings. I had a pistachio cupcake and loved the cream!
The Post Office // Loved this bar which had great music, staff and prices. Definitely worth the walk from Bedford.