It always seems to surprise people when I tell them how few times I’ve been to New York. I just got back from my fourth trip ever (alright, alright, it was my 3rd trip in under a year) but people always ask me for a list of what they “must see” or “must do.” I’m pretty notorious in my friends group for being completely obsessed with the city, even making excel sheets to keep track of all of the places I want to visit. I do have plenty more places to visit before I have a truly definitive list of what’s “the best of the best,” but, for now, these are just a few of my favorite things –
Food & Drink
1. Stumptown Coffee Roasters – Locations: 30 W 8th St and 18 W 29th St (Ace Hotel)
Stumptown is my favorite coffee ever. I tried it for the first time last year in Boston and was instantly converted. Though it isn’t as convenient as going to Starbucks, you can find Stumptown tons of places throughout the city (a lot of restaurants actually offer their cold brew on the menu). Trust me, it is definitely worth it.
2. Georgetown Cupcakes – Location: 111 Mercer St
Alright, again not exactly a “New York staple” but it is good. If you find yourself spending a little too long shopping in SoHo and need a quick pick-me-up, Georgetown is definitely the place to go. Their Peanut Butter Chocolate Cheesecake cupcake is my absolute favorite but pretty much everything is a win. I’m praying we end up with our very own Miami location soon.
3. The Met Roof Cafe and Martini Bar – Location: 1000 5th Ave
Definitely not the cheapest drinks you can find in the city, but certainly worth it, especially if you’re in the area. The views from the roof at The Met are unreal. Though it is slightly packed with tired museum goers, many are just snapping quick pictures so it’s pretty easy to find a nice area to sit and admire the skyline. It is a very touristy option but whatever! I say embrace the tourist life.
4. BAGELS. BAGELS. BAGELS.
I actually have three favorite bagel places throughout the city. For bagels and cream cheese, you can’t go wrong with Tompkins Square Bagels (165 Avenue A). They have so many flavors of cream cheese, you’ll have to come back a few times before you decide on a favorite. As for lox, I have two favorites: Russ & Daughters (179 E Houston St) and Murray’s Bagels (500 Avenue of the Americas). Russ & Daughters, I think, has the better fish itself, while Murray’s has the better bagels. In the end, both are great, just depends on your priorities!
1. Bookmarc – Location: 400 Bleecker St
I could spend hours in Bookmarc. Though the store is mostly coffee table style books (including a ton of film books!!), it also has cute (inexpensive!) Marc Jacobs trinkets. I always buy one of their Latin rings when I go in. Definitely check it out if you’re into adorable things you probably don’t need (story of my life).
2. Birchbox – Location: 433 W Broadway
One of my favorite places in the city! The Birchbox brick and mortar store brings one of my favorite things (my Birchbox) to life. You can buy tons of the items offered online and even use your actual Birchbox points in store. Best of all, they offer a “Build Your Own Box” service where you can pick your own samples for only $15. SO cute.
3. COS – Location: 129 Spring St
COS is everything I wish I was. The clothes scream my name! While their entire selection is available online, this is one of their only current locations in the states. I already foresee myself exclusively buying clothes here once I make the move to the city.
4. Story – Location: 144 10th Ave
Story is probably my favorite store ever and I’ve only been there once. The store’s concept is so cool: they come up with a theme and completely revamp the store to fit their new “story.” The theme changes every 4-6 weeks so there’s almost always something new to check out. From small gifts to clothes to actual necessities, Story has everything your heart could desire.
1. Grace Church – Location: 802 Broadway
My favorite building in the city. I love it because it is right near NYU (so its something I see a lot when I’m in the city) but it is just so….church-y and beautiful. I really don’t know much about the church and I’ve never been inside, I just love it and I freak out every single time I see it.
2. City Hall Subway Stop
Weirdly, I recently met a lot of New Yorkers who have never even heard of this! But it is, without a doubt, my absolute favorite thing in the city. To see it (to legally see it – don’t go breakin’ into places, it is dangerous and against the law!) take the 6 train downtown all the way to the Brooklyn Bridge. When you’ve reached the Brooklyn Bridge stop, don’t get off. The train will turn around and that’s your moment of opportunity! If you’re facing the front of the train, look out the window to the right and you’ll get a quick glimpse of what was once the City Hall stop. The stop has been closed for decades but it still exists in all its beautiful, beautiful splendor. It is truly magnificent – if you do one thing, do this.
3. Hudson River Park – Location: 353 West St
To be honest, I’ve only ever been to the park for their Riverflicks events. Get ya some Halal to go, a box of candy, a huge bottle of water and a blanket and head down to the park for maybe the cutest night ever. If I lived in the city, I would never miss the chance to watch a movie (and probably a good one! not just something random someone found!) and the sunset. Ah, what a life.
I definitely have a ton more to add to my list but, as I said, it is definitely ongoing. If you want any particular suggestions or have any suggestions for me, let me know! And, most importantly, if you do anything on this list, let me know! I’d love to hear what you think.