If you follow me on Instagram, it's no secret that I am a big fan of Classic Harbor Line cruises, specifically the sunset cruise. I've taken numerous cruises aboard their 1920's style yachts. They are classic and comfortable with indoor table seating and large outdoor decks. They are very lightly narrated and generally play ambient jazz music while you take in the views of Manhattan, The Statue of Liberty, Governor's Island, and Brooklyn from the water. It's so special to see the sun go down as you pass the Statue of Liberty, and the city lights come on as you make your way back to the pier.
On my most recent visit I took the sunset sail aboard Schooner Adirondack. It was so special! With a substantially smaller group of people (less than 20) the word I kept using to describe the experience was "tranquil". It was so peaceful out on the water and under the sails. I thought it would be chilly and windy out in the elements, but on a 70 degree summer evening, it couldn't have been more perfect. The crew offered us refreshments (beer, wine, soft drinks) and handed out cozy blankets.
After the sail, we walked 6-minutes over to Empire Diner in Chelsea. I've walked by (and photographed) this iconic little gem for years, but after I had a travel client tell me "I wish I could eat every meal of my life at Empire Diner", I had to try it for myself. And, she was.not.wrong. The menu offerings resemble a bit of what you might see on a classic, old-school diner menu but also not. It's elevated and classy, and everything was top notch. I had a wedge salad that blew my mind, truffle fries and a delicious summer cocktail. My dining guests gave their meals 5 stars also.
The atmosphere and service were totally charming. Their outdoor seating options in summer months are plentiful. Check out their sidewalk dining car! So fun.
Empire Diner serves an "all day" menu that starts at breakfast and goes until 4 p.m, when they transition to their dinner menu that includes bar snacks, small plates, entrees and incredible desserts! They don't accept reservations for weekend brunch (walk-in only) but they do for dinner service all week long.
I highly recommend this perfect pairing of a Classic Harbor Line Cruise and dinner at Empire Diner.
If you're going to New York City for the first time, or for the first time in a long time, it is helpful to work with an NYC travel expert. I will help you navigate the logistics of timing, budget, and travel party dynamics while incorporating your unique needs and interests. Reach out! Let's plan your trip together.