I’ve been missing New York City lately and since I can’t make a trip over there anytime soon, I wanted to get a few of my favorite stops down here in case anyone else is lucky enough to be headed over. When I first moved to Brooklyn, I spent my first few months getting settled, looking for a job, and best part of all, walking the city. This won’t be first time you hear this, but NYC has some of the best restaurants in the world. And I love food. It just works.
These are some of the places I try to stop by every time I visit the city.
271 Bleecker St
I really cannot have a list of places to go and things to do in NYC without mentioning a pizza place. One of my very good friends introduced me to this hole in the wall pizzeria and I am so thankful. Every time I have sat down to eat in Kesté, I have been served by someone Italian (which just adds to the atmosphere of the place) and I always leave feeling full and oh so satisfied. The pizza is made in a wood-burning oven in the back corner of the rectangular space. You will probably end up waiting in a line and sitting very close to those next to you, but trust me when I say, it is so worth it. The trick is to check their hours online, and make sure you are in line when the doors open. I don’t know how many times I have been prepared, been standing at the door first, and when the doors finally opened, there was a line of 10-20 people behind me (there is not a lot of seating). If you are lucky enough to live in the area, and don’t mind gaining a few extra pounds, they do deliver (or if you are visiting, have the pizza delivered to your hotel and go have a picnic in one of the many city parks). I dream of this pizza, so if you go, feel free to send me some.
864 Madison Ave or 398 W Broadway
Ladurée opened AFTER I moved out of Brooklyn (how rude) but I have definitely stopped off at these locations each time I have visited the city. I fell in love with Ladurée when I was living in Paris, but not to worry, you’ll get the same yumminess at every location. There are two very different locations in NYC. The Madison location is a small storefront where you walk in, order from the counter, and walk out. It is really close to Central Park, and definitely walking distance from the Met if you want to walk over, enjoy your macarons, and people watch from the steps. The Soho location is bigger with a beautiful seating area to enjoy items off their menu. You can definitely walk into that location, order, and walk out as well. But if you have the time to be seated, order some decadent pastries, hot chocolate (to die for!), and enjoy what will be a truly delicious and possibly instagrammed treat. Want to send someone a yummy and incredible gift? The macarons from here are the best and (in my opinion) you’ll be voted the best gift giver.
The Met(ropolitan Museum of Art)
1000 5th Ave
The Met is one of my favorite museums in the world and I found myself visiting on my own whenever I had a free day in the city. I tend to spend the most time walking through the Egyptian, Medieval, Armor, and Roman collections, but I really believe there is something for everyone to see. You can purchase tickets in packages almost everywhere in the city, however, if you go to the ticket counter in the museum, there is no set ticket price (so if you are really broke, you could technically get in free). There have been some days when I could only afford $5 and some days when I could afford $20, so give what you can. Pay attention to special exhibits when you plan your trip. Try to grab a pretzel and sit on the steps before you leave.
162 8th Ave & 60 University Place
Amorino has the best gelato outside of Italy (I don’t say that lightly). This was one of my favorite dessert stops in Paris and I am so happy they opened in NYC. There really are quite a few wonderful gelato spots in the city, but I carry a torch for Amorino (sentimental reasons). They have so many incredible flavours, as well as dairy free options including: Walnut-Fig, Stracciatella, Tiramisu, Dulce de Leche, Lime Basil, Hazelnut, and so many more (flavours may vary depending on time of year). I often get my order in a cup, but if you love a cone, they usually create a flower atop the cone for you and each petal can be a different flavour if you wish. Another Instagram worthy food stop.
Corner of 14th Street & Union Square West
Union Square was a spot I came to at least once a week. Union Square is a major Subway stop and is a central location surrounded by the Flatiron District, Chelsea, Greenwich Village, and Gramercy Park. Whether you need to grab groceries, a book, a quick lunch, gelato (Amorino is a few blocks away), or want to check out the street vendors, this is a perfect place to ride the subway to (or walk to) before venturing outwards. Depending on the day, you can also walk through the fantastic Farmer’s Market in the square.
Between 5th & 6th Ave and 40th & 42nd St
I love to grab coffee at a Starbucks (you can’t miss them) and walk around Bryant Park. It is a fantastic place to have a seat and read, do some extra work that might only include a laptop or tablet, meet up with a friend, or rest and enjoy the shade while watching the speedy city move around you. My favorite time of year is when kiosks fill the park for the Winter Village, at which time, a hot cup of coffee or any other holiday beverage from Starbucks really warms you (body and spirit).
Winter Village at Bryant Park
Between 5th & 6th Ave and 40th & 42nd St
Before the Holidays begin, the Winter Village opens (this year, it will open October 29th). Whether you want to shop or not, it is a wonderful experience to just walk through the kiosks. With electricity running through them, you can usually walk into each kiosk to check out the art, jewelry, bath products, local foods, apparel, and so much more from the hundreds of vendors. This is a great area to get some Holiday shopping done with some special finds you won’t see elsewhere. You can also spend time at the skating rink that stays open until March.
The New York Public Library
5th Ave & 42nd St
The library sits right next to Bryant Park, so you don’t have to walk very far to check it out. It is a beautiful historic building and the second largest library in the United States. I am in awe every time I walk into the library that holds over 53 million books and have walked around it multiple times just taking in how lovely it is. Feel free to take a little walk through, check out some books, and be sure to stop into the Main Rose Reading Room.
800 7th Ave
This restaurant is one that my parents would stop to have dinner at every time they stayed in the city for work (which usually was once a month). It has yummy, uncomplicated, feel good, Irish Pub fare. It has become a regular stop for us every time we visit as it is pretty close to Times Square, and a few blocks from the bar we stop off at for after dinner drinks. For years, I have ordered the Irish Beef Stew or the Lobster Ravioli every single time I have eaten here, but rest assured, everything tastes good (I taste the different meals around the table). After filling up on the great food, we usually walk a few blocks to the Michelangelo Hotel.
The Michelangelo Hotel Bar
152 West 51st St
When you walk into this hotel, right off the lobby is a small bar area. If you can get a seat at the bar itself, I suggest you do so as a cast of characters usually drop in (VP’s of major fashion houses, pornographers, NYC Chief of Police…). My favorite person at this bar is one of the bartender’s, who also happens to be my mum’s cousin, Bernie: incredibly funny, sarcastic, and makes the best version of any drink you order. The space usually fills up when the musicals empty out at night, and while there are plenty of bars around the city, I can’t imagine going to any other.