You probably all know that New York is on top of my travel wish list, so when Helena from Brooklyn Blonde (one of my absolute favorite style blogs) agreed to share a mini New York guide with us, I was thrilled! I need to start saving those pennies and get over there ASAP! Anyone has a couch I could crash on? :D
When Gabby asked me to write up a mini guide to New York, the first thing I thought of was food! Yes, many people think of shopping when they think New York (which of course I'll get to) but I think it's equally known for their large variety of food. Whether you're on a budget or willing to spend some extra cash, here are some of my favorites of the moment:
Di Fara’s Pizza: Sure, you might have to venture out to Brooklyn for this pizza, but DiFara’s is arguably one of the best pizza places in New York. Wafer thin crusts, fresh basil, sweet sauce and a non-wood burning oven, makes this pizza stand above many others in the NY area.
Bleeker Street Pizza: If you’re not willing to venture out to Brooklyn, Bleeker Street Pizza is another favorite. Traditional, NYC pizza in the heart of the West Village.
Shake Shack: The burgers here are my favorite in New York and they’re the closest thing to having a West Coast burger. The (cheese) fries and milkshakes are also equally delicious! Come here during off hours (later in the afternoon) and you’ll avoid a long line.
Higher End (I suggest making reservations at all of the below)
Beauty & Essex: An absolutely beautiful restaurant/lounge, which creates for the perfect opportunity to get all dolled up for. The food is good, but my favorite part is the great people watching, the music and the complimentary champagne in the ladies bathroom.
Balthazar: A classic NYC landmark with an authentic Parisian Brasserie atmosphere, and although it’s usually packed with tourists, it’s equally packed with New York regulars. Easily one of my favorite places for brunch or for dinner.
Degustation: I'll only recommend this place to "foodies" or to those who are not afraid to try different things. If you're not a picky eater, this is easily in my top 3 favorites. The place is small, only seats 12 and you sit around an open kitchen and watch the chef prepare your food. I highly recommend the tasting menu if you go. This place is some what pricey, but worth every penny if food is your thing.
Cocktails and Other:
Verlaine: For a good happy hour spot with delicious $5 lychee martinis, this place is one of my favorites. I actually came here last week with a few girlfriends. We started off at Verlaine and then took a quick cab ride over to Beauty & Essex for a light dinner and great people watching.
Sweet Revenge: An adorable little cupcake shop that offers wine or beer beers pairings to go along with your cupcakes of choice.
The Standard: One of the most beautiful hotels and views of the city. Drinks are a bit pricey (typical NYC hotel prices) but you’re paying for the fabulous view and lounge area that the Standard provides.
Century 21: One of my personal favorites for getting some designer things for a fraction of the price. I rarely walk out of this store without buying something, but this store does get extremely crowded, so try to avoid it on the weekends (if you can) or after work.
LF Boutique: If you’re looking for something right on trend, LF is the best! Hard not to come into this store and not want half of the things in there. Also the only place where I can find certain shoes that are normally only available online.
Soho: The area in general is filled with almost every single store imaginable. Although Broadway is where all the major stores are (Top Shop, Bloomingdales, Sephora, Zara, H&M, Forever 21 and lots more) I prefer the side streets. Not as crowded and filled with charming little boutiques.
Beacons Closet (Vintage/Thrift): There are two locations in Brooklyn, but the one in Williamsburg is my favorite. I’ve scored vintage coats here, belts, shoes and basically never leave without finding something fabulous!
To narrow down specific spots is an impossible task. Bars & lounges on every corner, a slew of hotel bars, and an equal amount of clubs give a never ending list of places to go once the sun goes down. If you’re looking to get dolled up and for a fancy party, head to Meat Packing. Keep in mind that weekdays (Tues-Thurs) are sometimes better than weekends. Finding a low key atmosphere is even easier. East Village, Lower East Side and the Upper West Side have dozens and dozens of bars. Even most nice restaurants turn into a scene later at night.
Allow yourself to really get lost in the city. Go down to the West Village, or the Upper West Side (my two favorite areas) and explore. Go up and down streets, walk into a random cafe and have a glass of wine or a cup of coffee, go into little boutiques..etc. I've been living in NYC my entire life and I never get tired of just exploring. There is always something new to see and it's really my favorite way to get a feel of the neighborhoods, rather than hanging around Times Square or Midtown (which I'm not a fan of, at all). Hope this was helpful!
Thanks Girl! I'm looking forward to the day when I can visit your favorite places... hopefully really soon! ;)