Although NYC is a huge state, I am only going to focus on the 22 mile stretch of Manhattan in this travel guide. I’ve been to NYC 3 times so far and still haven’t even come close to seeing all there is to see in Manhattan! If you know me, you know that traveling with me isn’t going to involve the typical touristy sites… I go deep into where the locals recommend to go eat, visit and play. Below is a list of some of my fave spots that I have visited so far. Hope this helps as you plan your visit to NYC!
WHERE TO STAY
Source: Gotham Magazine
Kimberly Hotel, conveniently located in midtown Manhattan, New York style with a Refined touch (no wonder it is one of my favorites!). This hotel sets the standard for luxury boutique New York hotels. The views are amazing from the rooms and the rooftop bar is definitely a hidden gem that will make for some beautiful Instagram shots!
WHERE TO EAT
The Little Beet Table is a must visit! It just so happens that the entire menu is gluten free! Yes, that’s right… Gluten free French toast! And, it was delish! This swanky restaurant is located on Park Avenue South, and is a totally comfortable place to get away from the big city lights for a few minutes
Black Tap is loud, colorful, and classically New York. Even though the lines are long to get in here, once you get your hands on one of their milkshakes the size of your head… you will forget you had to wait at all. In addition to their famous shakes, they also serve award-winning New York style burgers and are a must-have for anyone coming to New York for the first time.
La Esquina claims a well-known corner in New York City. Although there is a delicious taco stand to get food at any time of the day, don’t let this fool you. Where you really want to go is into the taco stand and downstairs to their secret restaurant & lounge. Once you walk into the taco stand, there is a guy in a suit holding a clipboard. This guy and only this guy can open a secret door to downstairs where you walk through the kitchen and end up in a secret underground lounge! Here you can order delicious appetizers & margaritas by the pitcher while mingling with some very savvy NYC locals.
I know this is another Mexican recommendation, but it’s a must visit!!! The food was so fresh and delicious and the margaritas are to die for. Trust me, add this one to your list!
If you go on any foodie Instagram based in NYC, you will find a slice of Prince St. Pizza on there. It authentic Italian, New-York style pizza, and it’s delicious. If you are looking for a traditional New York pizzeria hotspot, this is one of them.
The perfect New York brunch spot, Tavern on the Green is iconic, gorgeous, and perfectly located along Central Park. This iconic restaurant was first opened in the 1800s and, after a brief hiatus, was restored and reopened in 2014.
If breakfast is more your thing, Sarabeths Central Park is the place to hit anytime before 11 a.m. With contemporary American food and beautiful views of Central Park, this place is a staple! Get here early on the weekends, the lines get super long!
WHERE TO DRINK
Bar SixtyFive at the Rainbow Room should be on anyone’s bucket list. This is one of the most refined, as well as elevated, experiences you can get in New York City. And for good reason; you can enjoy New York’s best handcrafted cocktails while overlooking endless cityscapes.
- LADUREE IN SOHO FOR TEA TIME
Looking for an upscale bakery with Parisian treats? This is the place to go. I recommend sitting on the patio, it’s so beautiful!
You make your own Ice cream!!! Is there anything else you need to know? nope. Just go. (Check out my Instagram recap video here)
Source: DO Instagram
You’ve heard the rumors but I’ve seen this delicious New York staple myself, and I have to say that it really does live up to the hype! We’re talking cookie dough confections that you just can’t find anywhere else. Yes, the lines are long but so worth it. Hint: They sell little jars of it at COOLMESS, so if you’re in a hurry, I would recommend getting it there.
Source: Levain Bakery Instagram
Levain Bakery began with a simple mission: make the best chocolate chip cookie on the planet (nbd) Now I haven’t been everyone on the planet, but I can tell you that their Insta-famous chocolate chip cookie creations are some of the best I’ve ever had… and almost everyone on Instagram agrees.
Source: Dominique Ansel Instagram
Ever heard of the Cronut craze? It all started with Dominique Ansel Bakery. The Cronut, along with other French pastries, is what this place is known for. But the line is long, so if you want to get your Cronut on, show up early!
- BARNEY NY STAIRCASE
If shopping is your thing, then you don’t want to miss Barney’s NY Staircase. The store, and the staircase, are amazing. Even if you Barney’s isn’t your style, you have to stop by just to see the staircase for yourself and take a pic of course!
- THE WAITRESS BROADWAY
The Waitress Broadway is one of my faves. They actaully bake fresh pies so the entire theatre smells like pie when you walk in! I was lucky enough to see it starring Sara Bareilles, who wrote all the songs for the play. If you are planning to stop by New York City in the near future, get your tickets to this show before you go because it does sell out!
Don’t forget to stop in some of the most famous stores on 5th ave. Henri Bendel’s flagship store is 3 stories and full of amazing goodies! We always like to stop here to get a new bag and have our initials put on it for our NYC memory! On my most recent trip, I got this new backpack and have been wearing it ever since!!
- GRAFFITI WALLS IN SOHO
To get a glimpse of New York City’s most Instagrammable imagery, head over to the Graffiti Walls in SOHO. The heart wall is my fave 🙂