Southern Review: Loopy Doopy Rooftop Bar


Location: 102 North End Ave, New York, NY 10282

Specialty: Popsicles and Prosecco

Magnolia Rating:  4 out of 5

Loopy Doopy Rooftop Bar has quickly become one of my favorite spots for a drink in the city. Now that we’re approaching summer I couldn’t resist covering this fun place.

A rooftop bar located on top of the Conrad Hotel, Loopy Doopy is known for its craft cocktails.

The south is known for whimsical cocktails, but this NYC bar does not disappoint. The drink options are both fresh and inventive.

Don’t play games when looking at the drink menu. Go straight for the popsicles in Prosecco. This place is any wine lovers dream, plus there is a view of the Hudson River that can’t be beat. Although, you pay for the novelty and the atmosphere – drinks are about $20 each but completely worth it for the experience.

I’ve always gone during happy hour and though it’s often crowded, it’s not impossible to find a seat.

Make sure to take a photo as well. This is not a time to be shy. About a dozen other people will be raising their glasses to take the perfect Insta-worth pick at sunset.

Southern Review: Chick-Fil-A Meets NYC

Address: 1000 Ave of the Americas, New York, NY 10018

On my latest quest to find a little bit of the south in the city I ventured to Chick-Fil-A. A recent addition to NYC, the fast food restaurant is conveniently located in the middle of the city.

To be honest, I’ve been avoiding the place since its opening in 2015. Mainly for two reasons – the lines have been reported to be out the door, and the idea of having an authentic southern staple in the city was unbelievable. But alas, I decided to venture out on a Friday afternoon, hoping to avoid the weekend crowds.

The verdict – It was everything I wanted and more. The line was quick, thanks to the surplus of employees who rush to take your order on iPads upon arrival. My two friends and I were easily able to find a table. And, last but not least, the food tasted just as good as it does at home in North Carolina. Without even looking at the menu I ordered the chicken sandwich, waffle fries, and signature lemonade. Read more

Southern Review: Smorgasburg and Artists & Fleas

IMG_4217This past weekend I was able to find a little bit of North Carolina in the City. Not only did I have a friend from home in town, but I was able to find a few NYC attractions that brought forth memories of the Carolinas. Where did I find all of this? In Brooklyn, of course! More specifically, Williamsburg.

Over the past two years, Brooklyn has become one of my favorite places in the New York area. I spent a summer  living in Brooklyn Heights and fell in love with the quaint quietness of it all. The streets are actually lined with trees and the buildings often don’t reach higher than several floors in height, and for a brief moment you are able to forget that you live in one of the largest metropolitan cities in the world.

I’ll spare you the rest of my Brooklyn love story, you get the picture, and get to my point – Williamsburg is home to two of my favorite gems in the city. Smorgasburg and Artists & Fleas.

Smorgasburg is a weekly food festival featuring some of the best local vendors in the area. This is the type of place where you can find a vendor devoted solely to gourmet grilled cheese, or the recent food trend/crowd favorite, ramen burgers (yes, it’s exactly what it sounds like – a burger squished between two buns made out of ramen noodles). Read more

Spring Break in the City – Somewhere in Soho

Two Hands Cafe in Soho.

IMG_4061My spring break week was ended with a beautiful day in Soho. When living in NYC it’s easy to become consumed in your own neighborhood. You have your classes, work, grocery store, and favorite coffeeshops all within walking distance. There are weeks when I look up and realize I’ve gone days without leaving the Upper West Side. Without even knowing it, your world can quickly shrink to a one mile radius when living in the city. Below are some of my favorite spots in the Soho.

  1. Two Hands Cafe – The tiny cafe is a bright oasis in the midst of a crowded city. Technically in Chinatown, the cafe is an odd find considering its Aussie vibe. Go for the avocado toast and the coffee accompanied by a tam tam cookie (it’s never too early for chocolate). I recommend the Outback Cap pictured to the right. IMG_4055
  2. McNally Jackson Books – The bookstore is right in the middle of Soho and offers every book imaginable. The store also offers an in-house Self Publishing Department. An “Espresso Book Machine” sits in the middle of the store.
  3. Housing Works Bookstore Cafe – My favorite bookstore in Soho, Housing Works Bookstore Cafe is unique. The store/cafe is a nonprofit and all proceeds go directly to the Housing Works organization. All the books and records are resale and the store boasts a wide range of titles both new and old. Go for the beautiful library-like atmosphere and the rich literary history. IMG_4057
  4. Maman – Maman is possibly the most Instagram-worthy coffeeshop I’ve stepped foot in NYC. The cups are decorated in an array of light blue patterns and the decor is what I would call country chic.
  5. Sel Rrose – After a recommendation from North of the Park, I joined several of my graduate school classmates at the classic bar located on Delancey Street. I could not think of a better place for a Friday happy hour. The old-school decor, marble bar, and bartender sporting handcrafted leather suspenders completed the experience. The bar is known for its $1 oysters and array of uncommon cocktails.


Southern Review: Jacob’s Pickles


Location: 509 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY 10024

Cuisine: Southern Comfort

Magnolia Rating:  4.5 out of 5

“Beer. Biscuits. Pickles.” Jacob’s Pickles prides itself on a sort of Southern simplicity. Although, the restaurant is anything but simple. You tell me the last time you ate chicken and pancakes sprinkled with bacon and homemade maple syrup… all at the same time. Never? Yeah, I thought so.

After a number of over the top reviews from friends who live in the area, I decided it was time to try the popular brunch spot for myself. With a Southern friend in tow, I headed to the restaurant around 9:30 on a chilly Sunday morning. We were hoping to beat the foretold crowd but were greeted by a line that overflowed out the door.

Though daunting, the line moves fast and the host puts customers on a list to be texted when their table is ready; a convenience that afforded us to pop across the street to chat over coffee until our table was ready.

In about 30 minutes we were seated and innapropriately gawking at out table neighbors’ food. We started the meal with the Hot Sour Cukes and both ordered the Chicken & Pancakes, although it was a close call with the numerous Southern Biscuit Sandwiches.

Foodie or not, expect to be defeated. The portion sizes are huge and you will likely need a break and a nap halfway through your first pancake.

Simply put, the food was Insta worthy. Check out Lena’s plate below and then head on over to Jacob’s Pickles.

Jacobs Pickles
Chicken & Pancakes with a side of pickles.