New York City

The city has been (and will forever be) one of my favorite places in the world. For me, New York was one of the first places I traveled to and felt “small”. You know that feeling where you realize there is a lot more to the world than just you? I need that. A lot. Lucky for me, the City is now home to three of my besties (which means plenty of reasons to visit!)

To Eat & Drink

Manhattan

Sofia Pizza Shoppe | Midtown East – Real talk. My bestie/former roomie Kitty/Catty/Catherine found this gem of a place. Their spinach dip & vodka pizzas are absolutely amazing.

Ess-a-Bagel | Midtown – It isn’t a trip to New York without a good bagel, and this is one of the best spots for them.

Piccolo Angolo | West Village –  My only food requirement for any NYC trip is quality Italian food. This gem was introduced to me by a group of friends last time I was in town, and I hope it will now be a trip tradition! It’s my #1 recommendation for anyone coming to City for the first time to get a true New York Italian experience and avoid the tourist traps. Heads up – it’s cash only.

Sarabeth’s | Tribeca –  In my mind, this is the quintessential brunch spot in The City, especially for first time visitors.

Grey Dog | Multiple Locations – Looking to grab a quick bite for breakfast? Head to this NYC classic on over to Grey Dog for a quick and quality breakfast.

Bouqeria | Multiple Locations – If you’re anything like me, brunch on vacation is a priority. I am not messing around when I say Boqueria is not for the inexperienced bruncher (LOL). For me, it was my favorite meal in NYC. The only way to do it is with a group where everyone participates in the famous Boozy Brunch Feast: $39 per person will get you a 3 course feast of tapas and bottomless mimosas or sangria perfectly portioned out by the restaurant. Lemme tell you – it is worth every penny!

ABC Kitchen | Gramercy – One of the spots that I still haven’t made it to (next time!), but I have heard amazing things!

Boucherie | West Village – Hands down my FAVORITE brunch I have been to in the city. I think we ordered one of everything off the menu, and all of it was damn good. Not to mention it was the cutest little place ever!

Frying Pan | Chelsea – Open seasonally (May – October), this American restaurant & bar is on a boat (yes, I mean that literally). Not a place to go if you’re looking for a nice meal, but definitely a great experience.

by CHLOE | Soho – Don’t be alarmed by this vegan joint, because their food is DANK.

Brooklyn

Roberta’s | Bushwick –  Rumor has it that even Beyonce & Jay-Z eat here when they’re in the city. And well, if it’s good enough for ‘Yonce, it’s sure as heck good enough for me. Any of their pizza’s will melt in your mouth, but do not miss the Crispy Sunchoke (with fresh tumeric, pear, and yuzu) and Cheese Plate to start out. Prepare for a long wait, but walk around the corner for a drink at Pine Box Rock Shop in the meantime.

Post Office Bar | Williamsburg – If you’re a whiskey kind of gal (or guy), or just want a post-dinner drink, be sure to stop by the charming Post Office bar. I promise that it is adorable and affordable! This is also a great stop on a nighttime walk to East River Park. This hidden gem overlooks all of Manhattan and is pure bliss. In my opinion, it is the most peaceful part of The City and will now forever be my favorite view of it.

Bar Velo | Williamsburg – Cute little vegan spot with live jazz music at night!

Egg | Williamsburg – For all you breakfast people, this is a non-negotiable if you’re staying in Brooklyn. I still have no idea how they make their fried clumps of hashbrown goodness (I realize that sounds disgusting but it is AMAZING). Try to get there on the early side to avoid a wait on the weekend.

The Blue Room @ The Wythe Hotel | Williamsburg – While I’ve hit all the spots of my day in Brooklyn, there are a few other places not to miss if you have time. On the roof of the Wythe Hotel lies the Ides Bar. I went here for the first time in 2014 and couldn’t get over the dreamy view on a sunny day (as you will see, I am a total sucker for rooftops and great views).

Coffee, Coffee, Coffee

Birch Coffee | Multiple Locations –  Great place to pick up quality coffee on the run.

Ground Central | Midtown – Any coffee shop that places rap music at 9AM is a friend of mine. They also make a mean latte and have plenty of seating for a sit-down coffee date!

Ralph’s Coffee | Midtown – I believe Ralph’s has closed…but I’m keeping this on here in hopes it will reopen in the Ralph Lauren on Fifth Ave. one day!

Roman & Williams Guild | West Village – Y’all. This place is a FREAKIN’ DREAM. Nestled in the most stunning home decor store, this .

Sweet Treats

Levain Bakery | Upper West Side – It’s on my list to finally make the trek our there for their famous chocolate chip cookies!

Mast Chocolate | Williamsburg – I don’t even like chocolate, but Mast’s Goat Milk chocolate is one of my favorite things in the world.

Magnolia Bakery | Multiple Locations – Once upon a time, I made an effort to try every red velvet cupcake in the City (they were my favorite dessert in college, okay?!). This got my vote for the BEST red velvet in town. I love the cupcake with cream cheese icing & their whoopie pie!

Black Tap | Midtown – Home to the famous ‘Instagram milkshakes’, this place is worth stopping in to share one of their crazy concoctions.

To-Do

The hardest part about New York is there are SO many things to see & do. If you’ve never been before The Met, The Empire State Building, Times Square, & The Statue of Liberty are probably on your list. But there are so many better things to do than what the double deck bus tours have to offer.

The MoMA: It is always a tough decision between the Guggenheim and the Met, but the MoMA blew those out of the water when I visited. Check out some of my favorite pieces below.

Central Park: Stunning any time of year. I could walk around for hours (and do every time I’m there). For the first time this year, I got to experience the wonderland that is Central Park in the snow. Doesn’t this look like a dream?!

Top of the Rock: Better view, fewer crowds, and a shorter wait than the Empire State building (plus, it’s in 30 Rock).

East River Park: It’s a trek to get there, but it is truly my favorite spot in the City. At night you can watch all of Manhattan light up with the Williamsburg Bridge in view.

Flatiron Building: I think this is honestly the most ‘gramable spot in the City, if you’re into that kind of thing.

Chelsea Market: I love a good market (hence, you will see every market in the world in all of my Europe posts), but this one is a fun place to grab a drink, snack, or do some shopping.

Monologue Rehearsal: While it pretty difficult to get into a talk show like The Tonight Shot with Jimmy Fallon or Late Night with Seth Meyers, a little known fact is that most of these hosts do a rehearsal in the afternoon before that you can grab tickets to the morning of at the studio.

Broadway: Even if you don’t love musicals, experiencing at least one show here is a must! Consider this your big splurge of the trip (unless you plan on buying something on Fifth Avenue).

The High Line: One of my favorite walks through the city, this is 1.5 miles elevated park on the West Side allows you to see the charming streets of New York and enjoy it’s stunning landscaping (yes, I’m a sucker for plants).

The Brooklyn Bridge:  It took me about 5 trips before I got there, but it’s definitely worth the trek to get to walk over one of the most iconic bridges in the world.

New York Public Library: One of the few tourist attractions in the City that is free. My favorites include the Map Room (duh) and the Reading Room, but all of the library is beautiful.