Alright, here is my (very long) guide to the best city in the world. New York New York how I miss you.
My favorite areas are Lower East Side, East Village, Soho, Williamsburg and Bushwick. If going for a long weekend/a week I'd recommend to stay in downtown Manhattan. If you're staying for longer, or maybe even moving to NYC, I'd recommend looking around in Brooklyn. If I'd move back I'd want to live in Williamsburg, Bushwick or Greenpoint. It's chill to get out of the city and be around dogs and ice cream trucks.
340 W Broadway (Soho)
A Brazilian/French restaurant in Soho that serves great food and dangerous Caipirinhas. Try and get a table outside in the windows for the best people watching in town. Fun fact: this is the place where Hannah is supposed to interview Patti LuPone but gets stood up in GIRLS.
200 5th Avenue (Madison Square Park)
This is mainly a big Italian grocery store (it sounds way less classy than it is) selling everything you want to eat. I'm not kidding, walking around in there is unbearable for anyone liking cheese. Anyways, in the middle of the store there's a food hall where you can get the freshest burrata in town and a cold glass of rosé. Nice for lunch.
403 W 13th Street (Meatpacking)
Am-az-ing Asian fusion. I've been here twice and loved it just as much both times. The staff are (almost too) attentive and even helped me pick up my tampons that rolled over the floor when I dropped my bag. It's dark and trendy with fancy toilets.
22 Orchard Street (Lower East Side)
Great place for pizza slices. Get a soda or a beer and hangout in the back that makes you feel like you've ended up in a 70s movie.
Miss Lily's 7A
109 Avenue A (East Village)
Miss Lily's is a Caribbean bar/restaurant. They have fun cocktails and nice food, but I'd go here for the vibe more than anything. They usually play loud and bumpy reggeaton and the people working here are so freaking attractive you'll die.
172 Orchard Street (Lower East Side)
A Mexican restaurant that doesn't serve tacos. When we were here we shared octopus (which was delicious), bone marrow fajitas and sea urchin and threw it back with Micheladas. It's a chill place where they blast Backstreet Boys and the guests sing a long.
Jack's Wife Freda
224 Lafayette Street (Soho)
A great breakfast/brunch spot that's owned by a cool chick who hangs out at the bar in clogs and florals. She's friends with Leandra Medine aka. the Man Repeller and every time I go I wish I'd run into her since she's God.
191 Chrystie Street (Lower East Side)
This place is so. nice. I went here with my mom and I had some vegetarian schnitzel made from butternut squash. DELICIOUS. Also, order their artichoke dip as a starter. You will thank me later. It's located in the prettiest alley on Lower East which I'm sure you've seen on Pinterest.
14 1st Avenue (East Village)
One of my favorite places. It's a tiny French restaurant with a romantic feel, photos of celebrities on the walls and candles everywhere. The staff are so sweet and the lobster pasta is to die.
445 Troutman Street (Bushwick)
A great place to bring a date to eat some American food and sip on a cocktail. It's very cozy and dark and they have nice patio in the summer.
19 Kenmare Street (Nolita)
Great vegetarian brunch with a lot of different juices and weird healthy shots. They work though! I had a cold when I went here once and had their ginger-garlic-chili shot and it worked like magic. Not kidding. A hip spot where I always feel very uncool compared to the chill insta-celebrity crowd.
Russ and Daughters
127 Orchard Street (Lower East Side)
A Jewish restaurant that serves amazing brunch. Their fish is so fresh and the bloody mary's comes in many different variations. It's a bright and airy spot where you feel like you could sit and eat for hours.
447 Hudson Street (West Village)
Cutest backyard in the city. They have a daily menu so you can go back plenty of times. And you'll want to.
Lam Zhou Handpull Noodles
144 East Broadway (Chinatown)
BEST. DUMPLINGS. IN. THE. WORLD. Or at least of all the ones I've tried. It almost hurts telling you all about it, because this is my secret little gem. But, karma karma. You get 10 dumplings for 3 dollars and they melt in your mouth because they're so fresh and thin and nomnomnom. I went here almost once a week after we stumbled upon it on a rainy Saturday afternoon.
92 1st Avenue (East Village)
Don't go to this place for the food. It's just mediocre Indian food. BUT, the good thing about this place is that it's BYOB and the whole place is filled with christmas lights! You can't stand up straight because there are ornaments and colorful lights hanging from the ceiling. The staff is rude in general, but if you tell them it's your birthday they'll turn up the music, switch on the disco blinking lights and the whole restaurant starts dancing. Doesn't even matter if it's really your birthday, just lie.
They have three different locations. Midtown East and West and in Hell's Kitchen.
Perfect ramen where you can easily add whatever you want into your base. I went to the Midtown West branch after I had been drinking free cocktails for a couple of hours so that might have added to the sensation that was built in my mouth. But safe sources tell me that it's just as delicious when sober.
The Saint Austere
613 Grand St (Brooklyn, Williamsburg)
A French bistro in Williamsburg that serves beautiful food to the beats of Wu-Tang. I went here with a bunch of people and we all had different dishes and everyone were ecstatic afterwards. The owner would go through the menu and explain every dish and recommend wines without being pushy, just helpful, which is rare. Very nice place.
109 Montrose Avenue (Brooklyn, Williamsburg)
Probably the best Bahn Mí's I've ever had. When I lived in Brooklyn for the last weeks I ordered from here every other day since it was right around the corner. The place is tiny, so I'd recommend take away. If you don't have a rooftop to escape to close by, go watch the kids play baseball in the park right across the street while enjoying your vietnamese sandwich.
Café de la Esquina
225 Wythe Avenue (Brooklyn, Williamsburg)
The Brooklyn branch of the popular La Esquina (114 Kenmare St) is a bit calmer and easier to get a table at. Wash down your superb tacos with their big selection of margaritas, all to the tunes of the latest hip-hop. Great place to start a night.
Campbell Cheese & Grocery
502 Lorimer Street (Brooklyn, Williamsburg)
I'd travel far only to have their breakfast sandwich after a night out. There's nothing better than sitting on their benches on a slow Sunday morning, sipping on an ice coffee and look at all the dogs passing with their hungover owners.
Greenpoint Fish & Lobster
114 Nassau Avenue (Brooklyn, Greenpoint)
Their lobster rolls <3 <3 <3 Their eggs benny with salmon <3 <3< 3 Their micheladas <3 <3 <3
85 Broadway (Brooklyn, Williamsburg)
We went here on my last night and I wish I would've gone earlier! I'll go back as soon as I'm in New York again. They serve American food in a new way with a menu that changes daily. Oh, and the restaurant is in an old railcar.
80 Spring Street (Soho)
A French restaurant that teleports you to Paris as you step in. It's loud, big and the food is amazing. Go if you want to celebrate something, have parents that are paying or if you're on a spending spree yourself. Also, that pavlova for dessert....
172 Waverly Place (West Village)
This place is right by my apartment and they have the best breakfast. Avocado sandwiches, oatmeal, granola. Omnomnom. Their dinners are also great.
1045 Flushing Avenue (Bushwick)
Great place to go after a couple of drinks when you're starving and all you need is a massive bowl of noodles.
18 Spring Street (Soho)
Great bar that has yummy cocktails and a nice selection of beers. I love the part of Spring Street between Lafayette and Bowery, so obviosuly I'm in love with their tables outside.
Welcome to the Johnson's
123 Rivington Street (Lower East Side)
My favorite dive bar. This place sells PBR's for 2 bucks and plays a mix of 90s pop and 70s rock. It's a great place to get drunk at, which I have. Plenty of times.
169 E Broadway (Chinatown)
Weird ass bar that looks like a beach bar in Thailand, serves oysters all night long and plays funk.
81 Greenwich Avenue (West Village)
This is more of a restaurant, but I thought the sangria was better than the food. They come in all different kinds and colors and I could easily sit there a whole evening trying them all.
506 Grand Street (Brooklyn)
A really nice bar in Williamsburg that became our go-to spot. It's usually not too crowded which is nice for a change. Play some shuffleboards, drink some locally brewed beer and hang out on their patio in the back.
1037 Flushing Avenue (Brooklyn)
A chill bar in Bushwick that serves cheap cocktails and has a nice back patio. They serve beer + shot for 5 dollars btw. Dope.
Boom Boom Room
848 Washington Street (Meatpacking)
Boom Boom Room is a bar at the top of the Standard Hotel in Meatpacking. Here the drinks don't go under 20 bucks and you feel like a movie star in the 70s. It's so pretty in there and the view is amazing. As I understand it, it's pretty hard to get in. We ended up here when we were supposed to go to Le Bain (the club that's one floor up) but it was closed and the bouncer showed us wrong. It was also a Thursday night at like nine, so that might have made it easier too. Worth a try.
94 Wythe Avenue (Williamsburg)
My favorite club! They mostly play hiphop and it's so much fun. It's pretty too! Go here if you want to dance.
74 Wythe Avenue (Williamsburg)
Great place for electronic music. In the summer they have a roof terrace that's basically the only place you want to hang out on a July night in New York.
155 S4th Street
Asian fusion food mixed with delicious cocktails. They always play good music and the vibe is chill.
Soho. Best area for shopping, no question. I'd get off Broadway and explore the streets between Canal Street and Houston on both sides of it. I could spend a whole day here strolling around watching people drinking ice coffee and trying on sunglasses.
Do not miss:
121 Spring Street
Best COS store I've ever been to. Awesome basics and leisure wear.
121 Green Street
Glasses and sunglasses. They have a big selection of trendy specs and sunnies. Most of them being under 100 bucks.
American Apparel Factory Outlet
285 Lafayette Street
The normal American Apparel selection, but with at least 30% off. The bad thing is that the sizes are mostly for newborn babies (my theory is that American Apparel's employees are all Benjamin Buttons and think we're all shrinking with age) so you better be lucky. But when you are, ahhhh the glory. Circle skirts for 25 bucks, anyone?
274 Lafayette Street
Okay, so I don't shop here. I probably would've a few years back when I was very into five panels. But now I just go and hang out to look at cute skater boys. The best thing is that whenever there is a new release of something they line up outside. It's like window shopping but better.
21 Mercer Street
You all probably know by now that I'm more of an Adidas girl when it comes to my kicks, but for more spacey crazy sneaks, go here. They don't carry the main collection, just the collaborations and the design collections. They coooooool.
1 Prince Street
Not that buying a bike would be on top of your list when being in NYC for a long weekend, but IF, this is the place. Every time I walk past here I drool over their simple instagram-friendly collection of bikes.
23 Howard Street
This is my favorite store. Their dresses are the perfect mix of cute and sexy and it's all done without killing the environment. Unfortunately the prices are higher than H&M so I only own one dress from here so far. But if I could I'd buy the whole collection. Big ups to the nice staff who helped me get out of a bodysuit I got trapped in due to too much sweat.
Midtown. I personally prefer all the chain's branches in Midtown to the ones in Soho (you've got them all on Broadway). Most of the flagships are up here and there's nothing you won't find. I'd walk 5th Ave from 42nd Street towards the park and go into H&M, Zara, Uniqlo, Urban Outfitters, Topshop and Victoria's Secret (for their 3 panties for 27$ deal). If you want to drool over fancy shit (or laugh about the prices) go to Bendel's and Bergdorf's. It's kinda fun. Or depressing.
The Whitney Museum.
99 Gansevoort Street (Meatpacking)
Contemporary American art in a beautiful building with an even more beautiful view from it's three terraces.
Take the train from Grand Central up the Hudson for an hour and a half and you'll end up in the small town of Beacon. Here you'll find the best museum I've ever been to. It's so fucking pretty you'll die. And the train ride is beautiful!
Other museums worth checking out (depending on the ongoing exhibitions of course)
American Museum of Natural History
The Guggenheim (but mostly just for it's architecture)
The High Line
Entry in the corner of Gansevoort and Washington Street (Meatpacking)
Old train tracks that has been turned into a park/promenade. Get out at Chelsea Market for a lobster roll lunch.
I went to a baseball game to see the Yankees vs Red Sox and it was fun for about 30 minutes. It's more about the beer and the junk food than the game, which honestly was very slow? Just a bunch of fat dudes throwing ball. Didn't get it.
But then I went to a basketball game a couple of weeks later to see the Brooklyn Nets and that was way more fun! Even though I feel like sports in the US are more about entertainment for the audience than it is a game for the players. But I'd recommend to go. It's an experience. I'm not sure, but I think we paid around 40 bucks a pop for the Net's tickets and around the same for the Yankees.
Take a break from the noise and lay down in the park for a while.
Central Park: From 59th Street to 110th Street (Uptown)
Washington Square Park: Between University Place and Macdougal Street (Greenwich Village)
McCarren Park: Between Bedford Avenue and Driggs Avenue, kind of (Williasmburg/Greenpoint)
Main Street Park: Between Brooklyn Bridge and Manhattan Bridge (DUMBO)
Walk across Brooklyn Bridge! It IS worth it. The view is so pretty and it's just one of those you should do it while you're there things. Williamsburg Bridge is also nice, especially if you want to hang out in Williamsburg after.
How to get around
I actually really like the subway system in NYC. People give it a lot of shit, but I've never experienced any issues. Sure it's kinda dirty and smelly, but whatever. It's probably the best way to get around since a cab could take forever in the city traffic. A one week subway pass is 31 bucks. WORTH IT!
When it comes to cabs I'd recommend using Uber. It's cheaper than the yellow cabs and it's just so easy and convenient.
But I'd mostly recommend good old walking. I told myself not to buy a subway card when I moved there. It went a week and then I got one... BUT just because I started dating a guy who lived in Brooklyn and I went over there every day. But honestly, it's so nice to walk around in the city and if you're there on vacation with a lot of time on your hands - walk. You'll get a feel of the different areas and how different they are and there's nothing like it.
HAVE FUN! <3