City GuideTravel


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Evening view of Manhattan from a boat with choppy waters and gloomy skies

Whether you love or hate the Big Apple, it can’t be denied that New York is one of the most exciting places in the world. It has a contagious energy that never dies. The city is a hub for some of the world’s most amazing restaurants, incredible hotels, world-famous art and brilliant talent… not to mention the shopping as it’s one of the fashion capitals of the world.  You can find something to do around every corner, so narrowing the thousands of restaurants and hotels down to a condensed list was extremely difficult (so many favorites!).  It felt like picking a favorite child. Needless to say, this guide, like the city itself, is one that will be continuously updated and evolving. And there is more to NYC than just Manhattan, so expect guides to Brooklyn, Queens, and more coming soon!


Lower East Side | 335 Bowery, New York, NY 10003

This cozy boutique hotel is the equivalent of the Gucci fur mule… you will step one foot inside and never want to leave. The lobby is lavishly decorated with velvet settees, leather chairs and Persian rugs, all scattered around a large stone fireplace with a dark wood ceiling looming overhead.  In the morning, enjoy a cup of coffee in the lobby before you head out for the day.  Come five o’clock, the lobby turns into a popular evening cocktail lounge.  Tables are technically reserved for guests of the hotel, so be sure to let them know if you’re staying there and you’ll be escorted to a seat if available. The hotel rooms are charming and airy, with floor-to-ceiling factory windows letting in plenty of natural light and a teddy bear on every bed.   Complimentary bikes,  24-hour room service and C.O. Bigelow bath products are just a few of the luxe amenities this hotel provides its guests to truly make them feel they’re at their home away from home.

Soho | 79 Crosby St., New York, NY 10012

Located in Soho amongst some of the best shopping in the city (Chanel! Miu Miu! Prada!), the Crosby Street Hotel is the perfect place to stay when you come to NYC on a girls’ trip with your squad. The hotel is filled with interior designer Kit Kemp’s colorfully chic, individually designed rooms and common guest areas. Put down your shopping bags and have afternoon tea in the Crosby Bar, sip a cocktail on the hotel’s private terrace, or relax by the fireplace in the magenta-hued Drawing Room.

Lower East Side | 180 Ludlow St., New York, NY 10002

Recently opened in 2014 by the hoteliers of The Bowery, The Ludlow is the newest addition to the Lower East Side’s hip hotel scene.  Its designs are more contemporary but just as cozy, with guest room vibes that are more homey than a typical NYC hotel. If you have time for some in-room R&R, ask for a room with a windowed soaking tub.  Downstairs, there is a great lobby lounge featuring a fireplace and inviting furniture, and a garden area which is enclosed and heated in the winter.  The hotel’s restaurant, Dirty French, is an LES hotspot.

Greenwich Village | 5W 8th St., New York, NY 10011

The Marlton is a classically chic NYC boutique hotel, located just a few blocks from Washington Square Park in Greenwich Village. The rooms are gorgeously outfitted with herringbone hardwood floors, and beds adorned with signature teal velvet headboards and a luxurious fur blanket at the foot.  One look at the bathroom will make you want to redo your own in the same black and white tile, marble sinks and brass accents. The lobby area has everything you need with an espresso bar, cocktail lounge and a cozy sitting area arranged around a large fireplace. The hotel’s restaurant, Margaux, is a great spot to grab breakfast, lunch or dinner.


Soho | 9 Crosby St., New York, NY  10013

The Nomo is Soho’s swankiest hotel.  You’ll instantly be awed by the entrance, with a tunnel of greenery leading you to the door of the lobby where you will find communal lounge areas, a bar and the Nomo Kitchen restaurant which is decorated with some of the most beautiful chandeliers (you might recognize it from the end scene in the movie The Other Woman ).  The guest rooms are decked with blue carpet and ceilings with stark white walls and bedding, giving off a super cool vibe. It’s a fun, fashionable hotel and is in a great location, just steps away from incredible shopping, restaurants and more.

Meatpacking District | 848 Washington St., New York, NY 10014

Situated on top of New York’s hippest park, The Standard High Line is a modern, funky hotel in the Meatpacking District. It’s vibrant atmosphere and youthful vibe make it a perfect place to stay if you come to New York with a group of friends. The hotel itself has so much to offer–outside you’ll find the The Standard’s own biergarten along with an outdoor plaza which turns into a skating rink in the winter. Inside, The Standard Grill is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The Top of the Standard’s “Boom Boom Room” is a great place for cocktails (stunning views!) and you can dance your heart out late night at Le Bain on the hotel rooftop.

Midtown | 1414 6th Ave., New York, NY 10019

1 Hotels has changed the definition of “eco-friendly” in the hotel industry, and you will get that vibe as soon as you step foot in the door at their location on the edge of Central Park.  But don’t expect a skimp on luxury.  From the dozens of hanging plants in the lobby to the reclaimed wooden walls and ceilings in the guest rooms, elements of nature are lavishly infused into the design.  The theme continues in the hotel’s restaurant, Jams.  Award-winning celebrity chef Jonathan Waxman serves up (you guessed it) organic, farm-fresh ingredients in an atmosphere that mixes rustic with industrial. Don’t have time to dine in? There’s a farm-stand in the lobby where you can grab fresh produce and nuts for a snack on-the-go.

11 Howard Hotel, NYC.

Soho | 11 Howard St., New York, NY 10013

Want to check out SoHo’s hottest new hotel? Head to 11 Howard. The understated but elegant lobby that actually doesn’t look like a lobby at all somehow makes you feel very VIP. Its Scandinavian, minimalist-clad rooms are draped with that signature pink throw that you see all over Instagram. And during New York Fashion Week, the hotel is filled with the who’s who of fashion bloggers and show-goers (see here, here, here and here, for examples). Maybe it’s the hotel’s effortlessly cool vibe, maybe it’s the raved-about avocado toast on the room service menu, or maybe its because the hotel is home to The Blond (New York’s most sensually chic lounge) and Le Coucou, the most gorgeous French restaurant you’ve ever seen… or maybe it’s all of the above.


Flatiron District | 35 E 18th St., New York, NY 10003

Not only will you enjoy a delicious, “New American” farm-to-table meal at ABC Kitchen, but you’ll also come out with some serious interior decor inspo. This restaurant in the Flatiron District by Jean-Georges Vongerichten is connected to the ABC Carpet & Home department store, which is filled with gorgeous textiles, colorful vintage rugs, decor, jewelry and even a beauty department. The restaurant is stunningly designed with painted white brick and white and wooden tables decorated with wildflowers. Tables are hard to come by, so reserve yours well in advance. If you have no luck, its still a great place to stop by and have a cocktail. And, its also connected to its eccentric younger sister restaurant, ABC Cocina, where tables are easier to get.
[Open for lunch, dinner & weekend brunch.]

West Village117 Perry St., New York, NY 10014

A cozy and intimate little Italian spot in the West Village, Aria serves up a great wine list and delectable small plates and entrees.  You’ll immediately be charmed by the rustic Italian atmosphere.  It’s the perfect place to go for a date, dinner with a friend, or even pop in by yourself, grab a window seat and enjoy a “chichetti” (small plate) and an “ombre” (short glass of wine).
[Open for lunch, dinner & weekend brunch.]

West Village | 110 Waverly Pl., New York, NY 10011

This upscale Italian restaurant in Greenwich Village never disappoints.  Opened by culinary king Mario Batali and his restaurateur-slash-wine-connoisseur partner Joe Bastianich, Babbo has been serving delicious, creative Italian fare to loyal patrons for years. Some even say it’s Batali’s favorite of all his restaurants (he has approximately 25, so that’s saying something).  It’s a consistent, reliable spot so it makes a perfect place to have a business dinner, a date, or celebrate a special occasion.
[Open for lunch and dinner.]

West Village | 185 Bleeker St., New York, NY 10012

An adorable, quick-serve Greenwich Village spot, by Chloe. is turning New Yorkers into vegan lovers one Guac Burger at a time.  Chef Chloe Coscarelli and Creative Director Samantha Wasser, both in their 20s, co-own the space and are serving up delicious vegan, plant-based casual fare in their funky, playfully-designed flagship that often has lunchtime customers lined up out the door.  They’re also open for dinner, but they don’t take reservations and seating is limited, so it’s a perfect place to grab and go.
[Open for lunch, dinner & weekend brunch.]

Greenwich Village | 24 5th Ave., New York, NY 10011

With a tasteful French (Provençal to be exact) menu and a bright and airy atmosphere (white walls, wicker chairs, French windows), Claudette is a great choice for brunch, lunch or dinner. Start with the Claudette classic truffle hummus and don’t miss the cocktail menu. After your meal, take a walk through Washington Square Park which is just a few steps away.
[Open for lunch, dinner & weekend brunch.]

Flatiron District | 35 E 21st St., New York, NY 10010

Chef Enrique Olvera is an OG in his native Mexico City, where, until recently, he geographically confined his efforts.  But that’s not to say that his restaurants aren’t known worldwide. His Mexico City flagship, Pujol, has been named one of “The World’s 50 Best” restaurants. In the fall of 2014 he hit the Manhattan restaurant scene, opening his first stateside spot, Cosme, and it’s been a hit since its doors opened.   The menu is “Mexican inspired,” so don’t expect traditional Mexican dishes.  Instead, the Chef has curated creative and contemporary dishes for the adventurous palate, which makes it fun to order several small plates to share.  Finish the meal with the husk meringue with corn mousse, the Chef’s signature dessert.
[Open for lunch, dinner & weekend brunch.]

Flatiron District | 200 Fifth Ave., New York, NY 10010

If you’re not familiar with the empire that is Eataly, you’ll likely soon learn. What started as one location in Turin, Italy in 2007 has now become the largest Italian marketplace in the world, with 18 locations worldwide and counting.  Eataly opened its first NYC spot in the Flatiron District near Madison Square Park in 2010, and has enjoyed rave reviews ever since.  It’s easy to get  overwhelmed in the 50,000+ square foot space, with a market, five food and wine counters, a wine shop, three caffès and six restaurants (and a Nutella bar!!!) all under one roof. After wandering around, you’ll see what all the fuss is about.  Enjoy one of the sit-down restaurants, or grab a table at (our favorite) La Piazza, the standing enoteca in the middle of the store where you can enjoy a glass of wine and antipasti.
[Open for breakfast, lunch, dinner & weekend brunch.]

Upper East Side | 133 E 65th St., New York, NY 10065

Hidden on a quiet Upper East Side street, The East Pole is a rare gem in its area. It brings a cool downtown vibe to the UES and serves impressively delicious fare for brunch, lunch and dinner. The ambiance is elegant and polished enough for its zip code, but not stuffy. A beautiful, dimly lit bar area with low ceilings fills the front space. Past the bar is the main dining area which is much brighter with a skylight overhead and sleek, tufted leather banquette seating. Upstairs offers more dining space that’s just as chic, and you can also dine al fresco in the warmer months. The only thing that’s Upper East Side-ish about The East Pole is the price, but don’t let that deter you; it’s an experience worth the expense. Stop by after checking out the latest exhibit at the nearby Frick Collection, followed by a walk through Central Park.
[Open for lunch, dinner & weekend brunch.]

Lower East Side | End of Freemans Alley @ Rivington St.

A.K.A the most Instagrammed alleyway in NYC, and an incredibly cozy, hidden restaurant that’s a retreat from the city (even though it’s in the middle of the Lower East Side) where those who know about it (or who can actually find it) go to enjoy comfort food like its signature Hot Artichoke Dip or Chicken Breast Confit with sage bread pudding and mushroom gravy.  The menu is inspired by co-owner Taavo Somer’s childhood memory of the food he grew up eating in rural Pennsylvania.  Brunch, lunch and dinner are all delicious, especially when it involves their cocktail menu.  Basically, go eat here next time you’re in NYC. It’s located at the end of Freeman Alley on Chrystie Street off of Rivington Street in LES’s Bowery neighborhood.  In other words, Google Map it.
[Open for lunch, dinner & weekend brunch.]

Noho | 335 Bowery, New York, NY 10003

This rustic Italian trattoria is connected to The Bowery Hotel in the Lower East Side and holds a steady spot on the top of our recommendation list. In the warmer months, it’s the perfect place to grab a table outside and enjoy a pizza and a bottle of rosé.  In the winter, the interior is a particularly cozy spot to indulge in a pasta dish at a farm-style table surrounded by candelabras and wine bottles which line the walls.  Though the restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch, weekend brunch and dinner, our favorite time to go is in the evening.  The vibe is casual and laid back, and is a favorite of celebrities, locals and tourists alike.
[Open for breakfast, lunch, dinner & weekend brunch.]

Noho | 47 Bond St., New York, NY 10012

Il Buco in Noho is hands down one of the best date night spots in NYC, with an intimate and romantic ambiance and a Mediterranean-focused menu that’s just as sexy.  Interestingly, it started out as an antique shop years ago when one day the owners began serving drinks and small plates to their customers.  Eventually, they shifted the focus solely to the restaurant, though many of the antique pieces remain, giving the space a unique, homey vibe.  In 2013, the owner, Donna Lennard, opened an offshoot, Il Buco Alimentari and Vineria, an Italian market and restaurant on Great Jones Street that has also enjoyed rave reviews, though, our hearts remain with the Il Buco OG.
[Open for lunch & dinner.]

Flatiron District | 1133 Broadway, New York, NY 10010

Mark Barak (same owner as The Hollyday favorite, Claudette), opened this light, airy and charming Italian caffè in the NoMad district in the fall of 2015.  Rather than heavy Italian dishes, the menu features whole wheat and other organic pastas made in house and lighter entrees complemented by colorful, locally sourced vegetables and ingredients. The space is beautifully designed with marble tabletops, seafoam green chairs, white walls and gold accents.  Breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner are served.  The front of the restaurant features a coffee bar which conveniently turns into a wine bar at night.  And they have aperol spritzers on tap, so there’s that.
[Open for breakfast, lunch, dinner & weekend brunch.]

East Village | 25 Cooper Sq. New York, NY 10003

This menu by André Balazs and John Fraser (who’s won a Michelin star) features fresh, California-inspired cuisine that is locally sourced from Balazs’ Hudson Valley farm. The restaurant, located in The Standard East Village hotel, is beautiful inside and out, with the option to dine in the open-kitchen dining room, in the area overlooking a private garden, or sit outside and dine al fresco in the warmer months.  With a classic atmosphere and consistently delicious food, this makes for the perfect spot for any occasion.
[Open for lunch, dinner & weekend brunch.]

West Village | 28 Cornelia St., New York, NY 10014

Palma is a magical little Italian restaurant tucked away on Cornelia Street in the West Village.  Be sure to make reservations in advance and request a table in the garden area for an enchanting experience sitting amongst ivy covered walls, bistro lights and flowers.  Old Italian family recipes makeup the menu, and the food is just as delicious as the atmosphere is charming.  The intimacy of the restaurant makes it an excellent spot to enjoy a dinner date or share a meal with friends.
[Open for lunch, dinner & weekend brunch.]

West Village | 18 Greenwich Ave., New York, NY 10011

This adorable enoteca & trattoria is a sister restaurant of Claudette and features a delectable Italian menu full of fresh ingredients that the restaurant grows on its own rooftop.  It’s named after the owner’s mother, and the menu is inspired by her Italian home cooking. (Drooling yet?)  The interior is spacious and charmingly decorated with wooden tables and cafe lights, making it a delightful spot to enjoy a delicious meal or even just stop in for a glass of wine.
[Open for breakfast, lunch, dinner & weekend brunch.]

Soho | 463 West Broadway, New York, NY 10012

This Jewish bakery in Soho is not your average bagel joint. For breakfast and lunch, they are serving up delicious classic dishes like salmon, bagels and caviar in a beautifully bright space complete with a deli counter, communal table and orbit light fixtures sandwiched between exposed brick walls. At night, dinner is served and the space transforms into a dark, romantic ambience lit almost entirely by candlelight. The brunch is amazing and the atmosphere come dinnertime is absolutely dreamy… you won’t be disappointed no matter what time you go. It has topped the best restaurant lists since it opened last year, so it’s living up to its hype. Mazel tov!
[Open for breakfast, lunch, dinner & weekend brunch.]

Noho | 26 Bond St., New York, NY 10012

Located beneath street level, The Smile is a quaint, charming Noho cafe that is unassuming and easy to miss if you’re not looking for it. Inside, the atmosphere is rustic and inviting, making it a perfect spot to grab a coffee and some breakfast or enjoy a cozy, laid-back dinner. The breakfast menu is light and classic, and the lunch and dinner menus feature healthy, Mediterranean-focused dishes.
[Open for breakfast, lunch, dinner & weekend brunch.]

West Village | 314 W. 11th St., New York, NY 10014

This gastropub by British chef April Bloomfield and owner Ken Friedman has earned a Michelin star and become a Village favorite. It has a casual and inviting but lively atmosphere, and a killer burger. They don’t take reservations, so you’ll likely have to wait for a table during dinner hours. Put down your name with the host and enjoy a drink at the bar or walk around the neighborhood and they’ll call you when your table is ready. Or, go for lunch and you might get lucky and be seated right away.
[Open for lunch, dinner & weekend brunch.]


Nolita & West Village | 19 Kenmare St. New York, NY 10012 & 581 Hudson St., New York NY 10014

With one location in Nolita and another that just opened  in the West Village, this “vegetable slaughterhouse” is your green juice go-to.  With juices like “Hangover Cure” and “Immune Booster,” you’ll find a vegetable remedy for just about anything. They also have a light vegetarian menu with classics like avocado toast and kale salad. If you just want to grab a juice to-go, there’s a seperate to-go entrance that’s much quicker than the usually crowded cafe area.

UPPER EAST SIDE | 888 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10022

Coffee shops don’t get any chicer than Ralph’s! Located on the main floor of the Ralph Lauren flagship on Madison Avenue, Ralph’s makes the perfect pit stop for a caffeine fix while you’re shopping uptown or spending an afternoon in the park.  The space is classic and beautifully designed, true to the brand’s aesthetic.

Flatiron District | 160 5th Ave., New York, NY 10010

Toby’s Estate does their roasting in Brooklyn and has a few different shop locations in Manhattan, but the Espresso Bar in the Flatiron District is our favorite. This bright, all white location shares a space with an outpost of Strand Bookstore a flower shop, and is connected to Club Monaco’s Fifth Avenue flagship so you can walk around and browse while you sip your coffee.

TriBeCa | 71 N. Moore St., New York, NY 10013

This tiny but popular spot in TriBeCa is a great place to duck in for a pre- or post-dinner cocktail if you’re in the area. Several small tables face inward to encourage conversation, with cozy linen booths lining the walls making it a perfect spot for a date night. The bar has only a few seats, but that doesn’t stop people from filing in for a cocktail.

West Village | 228 West 4th St., New York, NY 10014

A cozy, intimate and unpretentious vibe makes this bar a quintessential West Village watering hole.  Grab a cocktail and enjoy it at the bar or at one of the communal tables over good conversation.  It draws a young crowd and gets crowded on weekend nights, but is a great place to go if you want to mix and mingle.

Midtown | 2 E. 55th St., New York, NY 10022

Located inside the St. Regis hotel near Fifth Avenue, the King Cole Bar has been an iconic fixture in Midtown Manhattan since the early 1900’s.  Many sources, including the hotel itself, claim that the bar was the first to introduce the Bloody Mary to the U.S. in 1934, originally called the “Red Snapper.”  The focal-point of the clubby, dark wooden room is a mural of Old King Cole by American painter Maxfield Parrish.  The tongue-in-cheek story behind the painting is that John Jacob Astor, a hotelier (who later died in the sinking of the Titanic) asked Mr. Parrish to paint a mural for his hotel featuring Old King Cole from the children’s rhyme… only with Mr. Astor’s own face on the King’s body.  Amused that Mr. Astor thought himself a king, Mr. Perrish did what we would all do: he painted the King mid-fart.

Midtown | 15 Vanderbilt Ave. Entrance (between 42nd and 43rd St.), New York, NY 10017

If you want to step back into 1920’s New York, go to Grand Central Station and have a cocktail in The Campbell Apartment.  Located in the restored office of a 1920’s railroad tycoon John W. Campbell, this classy lounge area is full of grandeur, with rich looking carpet, plush velvet seats and a dark mahogany bar that is lit up only by the giant paned window behind it.  You can read about the history of The Campbell Apartment hereIt’s often most crowded during evening rush hour, as commuters stop there on their way to or from the train, so the weekend is usually the best time to go.  But make sure you’re dressed the part… proper attire is required.


What kind of trip to NYC would it be if you didn’t treat yourself to a little shopping? There are thousands of stores and boutiques scattered all over the city, but below are some of the best and most heavily concentrated areas where you could easily spend an entire day… and your entire paycheck.

Soho is always buzzing and is literally packed with great shops and restaurants on every. single. corner. Check out the casual, airy dresses at Reformation, the gorgeous silk, lace and floral designs at Zimmerman, and edgier styles at Acne Studios (love their shoes).  If you’re in for a big purchase, step into Chanel or Miu Miu.  After shopping, treat yourself to tea and dessert at Laudurée. Who cares if its cliché…. their macarons are just so good.

Madison Avenue
Madison runs parallel to 5th, and is also home to many high end shops and designer flagships.  Step into Ralph Lauren’s flagship and wander upstairs to the coffee shop, find a new perfume at Bond No. 9 or Jo Malone, and shop for eccentric home decor at Jonathan Adler.

5th Avenue
On Fifth Avenue you’ll find many of the city’s high end stores such as Louis Vuitton, Valentino and Gucci, as well as iconic department stores like Bergdorf Goodman, Henri Bendel and Saks Fifth Avenue.

Meatpacking District
The Meatpacking District is a fun area to spend a morning or afternoon.  After taking a walk on the High Line, hit the cobblestone streets and browse shops such as Intermix, Diane Von Furstenberg, Joie and Jeffrey.  Afterwards, explore the Whitney Museum or grab a bite at the Standard Cafe.  It’s a fun neighborhood and is just as lively as it was when Samantha Jones moved there in SATC.


Bucket-List-Worthy Destinations in the City


NYC is home to some of the world’s best art museums.  The MET and the MoMA are must-sees if you’ve never been.  The Whitney was moved from the Upper East Side to the Meatpacking District in 2015, and houses American art from the 20th and 21st centuries, including works of Georgia O’Keefe.  The Frick Collection is located uptown in Henry Clay Frick’s former Fifth Avenue residence, and is one of the last mansions still remaining from the Gilded Age.  The interior itself is so stunning, it’s easy to see why Carolina Herrera has chosen it as the backdrop for two of her fashion shows. Other great museums to visit are the Guggenheim  (designed by Frank Lloyd Wright), and the New Museum, dedicated to contemporary art.


Whether you’re dying to score tickets to the hottest show of the moment, or you’d be happy with seeing an old classic, catching a Broadway show is always a fun thing to do while in the city. Place your order well ahead of time for a hot ticket, or go to TKTS in Times Square or at the South Street Seaport for half-price tickets to same-day shows.


Activities to Round Out Your List


There are so many great areas of the park to explore.  During warmer months, have a picnic at Sheep Meadow, go for a run around the Reservoir, or take a stroll to the iconic Bow Bridge and the Loeb Boathouse. In the winter, go ice skating at Wollman Rink. The park is arguably its most beautiful when it’s covered in snow.


The High Line is an elevated 1.45 mile-long park that is built on a former rail line running along the West Side of Manhattan.  It’s the perfect stretch of park to go for a jog, get some fresh air or take in part of the city from a different perspective. There are plenty of access points, beginning at Gansevoort and Washington Street in the Meatpacking District, all the way up to 34th Street.


Navigating the Neighborhoods


Manhattan alone seems like an enormous concrete jungle, because it is.  But when you think of it by its neighborhoods, it’s much easier to navigate your way.  Save your iPhone battery and use our map illustration of the neighborhoods of Manhattan to put things into perspective.


UBER NYC might be your preferred method of choice to get you where you need to go in the city, but hopping in a cab is sometimes more convenient because they’re everywhere. When hailing a cab, it’s helpful to know the following: if the numbers on top of the cab are lit up, the cab is available.  If none of the lights on top are lit, the cab is occupied. If the numbers and the “off duty” lights are on: the cab is off duty.


Too far to walk, but close enough to bike? Hop on a Citi Bike at one of the stations which are scattered all over the city.  Swipe your credit card to get a pass, and when you reach your destination, return your bike to any nearby stand.

New York Map Illustration by Sinclair Tucker