One breath of New York City air and you immediately understand why it is named the city of dreams and the capital of the world. The energy of New York is truly special, with each new corner discovered you feel the love for the sleepless city growing. Words are not enough to describe the energy of New York, you simply have to experience it and you’ll find our picks below.
Where to Stay
The Dream Downtown is one of the hippest hotels in the city with a built in night club and a pool that frequently hosts day time parties. The hotel is located in the center of the bustling Meatpacking district where you’ll find the coolest nightclubs and restaurant, and local hangouts.
If you’re looking for something slightly more sophisticated try the chic Sixty hotel, located in the heart of the trendy Soho district. The roof terrace, A60, boasts views of downtown Manhattan, making it an excellent spot for sundown drinks.
Located in the Nolita neighborhood, The Nolitan Hotel has an effortlessly stylish, hip feel. This small boutique hotel makes you immediately feel like a local. Walking distance to the coolest neighborhoods Soho, Lower East Side and Chinatown, the Nolitan also offers bikes and skateboards to rent if you are in the mood to take a trip further up or downtown.
Images from nolitanhotel.com and dreamhotels.com
Where to Eat
New York is one of the best foodie destinations in the world, naturally the choice of good restaurants is endless. We've compiled the best of the best - from Instagram worthy brunches to classic New York eateries.
Jacks Wife Freda is among the trendiest spots for breakfast in Manhattan, and we understand why.
This morning-to-evening café in Nolita is anything but traditional, with a menu boasting Middle Eastern flare (try the piri-piri-hot-sauce-marinated chicken kebabs or the matzo-ball soup). The breakfast is versatile and delicious. We especially love the boiled eggs with challah soldiers and the rose water waffles. Their mint lemonade is also a must try.
Images from jackswifefreda.com
Head to the Butchers Daughter just around the corner for a healthier, meat free breakfast that doesn’t compromise in taste. Try their toast with almond butter or their eggs with avocado, and make sure to also order one their fresh pressed juices.
If you are looking to brunch at a sophisticated New York classic, make sure to go to Balthazar. This French inspired brasserie located just off Broadway in Soho, is effortlessly chic and has the best Eggs Norwegian in town. Have a glass of champagne with your breakfast and enjoy your morning the way the locals do.
Café Cluny in the magical West Village is frequently visited by celebrities living nearby and the reason is clear. The Parisian chic meets New York hip interior and the equally stylish staff makes Café Cluny one of the nicest café's in town. Their delicious breakfast (try the French toast) and incredibly cozy atmosphere make for the perfect start to a day in New York City.
In Brooklyn, check out Five Leaves, the uber stylish hipster hangout and cocktail bar. Their brunch menu is wonderfully diverse, with everything from granola to burgers, but make sure to try their famous ricotta pancakes or Moroccan scramble. On a sunny day, Five Leaves is the perfect place for sitting outside, people watching with a cup of coffee and a big stack of pancakes on your plate.
Images from 5leavesny.com
Locanda Verde on Tribeca is Robert DeNiro’s Italian restaurant. It's style and Man Men-esque atmosphere (thanks to its stylish Tribeca clientel) will make you want to stay all afternoon. The food (make sure you try the burrata) is delicious, so are their cocktails. Locanda Verde is simply the perfect place for a classy lunch, with a friend or a special someone.
Famous for its avocado toast and celebrity clientele, Café Gitane is a perfect stop for lunch or late brunch if you are shopping in Soho. Thanks to their huge success, the Moroccan inspired cafe recently opened a second branch in the West Village, in case you happen to be in the neighborhood.
The Spotted Pig is a Michelin Starred British/Italian fusion restaurant in the West Village. Here you’ll find a diverse and creative menu with everything from revised classics such as burgers with Roquefort cheese and string fries, to club sandwiches with onion marmalade.
If you want to dine in a beautifully modern interior in the bustling Lower East Side, head to The Fat radish. The British inspired farm-to-table restaurant is anything but traditional. The interior is modern yet cozy and the food is deliciously veggie-centric but also really special and exciting. Try the grilled cheese pickles, and don't leave without trying the house made donuts with cinnamon.
Images from locandaverdenyc.com, thefatradishny.com
One of our all time New York favorites, ABC Kitchen serves local, organic fare (they even have an herb garden on their rooftop). The food by Michelin star Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten is delicious and paired with the stylish interior it makes for a perfect dining experience. Love the interior design and furniture? Head next door to ABC Carpet & Home, their interior design store, to stock up on inspiration (or take something home with you).
Images from www.abchome.com/eat/abc-kitchen/
Little Owl is a tiny restaurant in the West Village, famous for their meatball sliders and cozy atmosphere, it is the perfect spot for a casual dinner or a date. Located on the famous 90 Bedford Street (also known as the location of the "Friends" building), this small 40 seat restaurant is the quintessential West Village restaurant. Make sure to reserve early enough as the seats get booked out quickly.
Head uptown to Red Rooster in Harlem for some all American comfort food. On the menu you’ll find anything from chicken wings to authentic Harlem chowder (so the locals say) and you’ll be greeted with a great feeling of community which you may not find in mid-town Manhattan. A great experience when visiting New York. For more casual comfort food try Bubby's Pie Company in Tribeca, or The Burger Joint, located in a hidden part of the Parker Meridien Hotel.
If you are ready to splurge, you’ll find some of the best restaurants in the world in New York such as Le Bernadin, Eleven Madison Park, and Blue Hill. But for a true special experience head to Chef’s Table at Brooklyn Fare. This three star restaurant (the only one in Brooklyn) only hosts up to 18 guests at a time and serves a 15-plus course tasting menu which changes daily based on the products in season and their fresh availability. Highly recommended.
Want somehting small on the go? Try the hand rolled bagels from Black Seed Bagels and stop by Maman to grab a coffee in one of their famous blue cups (or a lovely brunch). Have a crazy ice cream creation at Emack and Bolios, or a vegan, gluten free (but still delicious) one at Erin McKenna’s Bakery.
Images from Liz Clayman for Zagat.com, mamannyc.com
Where to Drink
New York is full of great speakeasy bars like Apotheke, The Garrett and The Blind Barber, a barber by day and bar by night. For spectacular rooftop hangs, Le Bain at the Standard and Gramercy Park are stylish options. On 230 Fifth, on the top of a midtown sky scraper, you’ll find this massive terrace with views of the Empire State Building. Perfect place for drinks with a group of friends.
A standout spot for drinks in Manhattan is without doubt Grand Banks. This oyster bar located on a historic shooter on Manhattans waterfront boasts spectacular sunset views and attracts a hip crowd ready for oysters and rosé.
In Brooklyn the must-go spots are The Ides at the Wythe Hotel, Upper Elm at King & Grove Williamsburg and the hip Night of Joy. Don’t leave Brooklyn without having a glass of Absinthe at Maison Premiere.
Images (top left to bottom right) from maisonpremiere.com, grandbanks.com, sixtyhotels.com, gramercyparkhotel.com
What to See and Do
Start your discovery of the city by taking the "Village Sampler” walking tour with Max from CityRover Walks. This informative but entertaining tour samples the best of lower Manhattan in only 3.5 hours. The tour covers the West Village, Meatpacking district, The Highline Park and ends in Washington Square Park. An absolute must if it is your first time in New York.
Weather you are an art lover or not you will most certainly enjoy MoMa and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Make sure to check out the beautiful views of Central Park from the terrace of the Met. While you are uptown, Central Park is absolutely beautiful and a must see. Stop by the Boat House for a coffee and enjoy the live piano music.
Head to Brooklyn to hang at the Brooklyn Bridge Park and check out the spectacular views of Manhattan. Later continue to Williamsburg for shopping and hipster spotting.
If you are feeling adventurous, a helicopter tour (with HeliNY) is the best possible way to enjoy Manhattan from the sky.
Not ready to jump on a helicopter? Most people chose the Empire State Building as their choice of sky scraper to see the views, but make sure you go all the way up to Top of the Rock instead. The views are absolutely spectacular, especially during sunset hours. Make sure to go, we promise that you will not regret it!
Where to Shop
Broadway in Soho is the best street for shopping in Manhattan. Order an Uber or take the metro to Prince St Station and take the Broadway exit. You’ll find the big American classics like Anthropology, Madewell, J.Crew as well as Sephora, the biggest cosmetics store, all in one street. Pass by Paper Source for rows of stationary before you make your way to the parallel Crosby Street. On Crosby Street discover smaller boutiques such as Surfs NYC and Totokaelo.
Make your way back to the other side of Broadway to Mercer Street and Greene Street where you’ll find the trendiest upscale brands such as Acne and Chloe but also hip boutiques like APT by the line.
Images from www.totokaelo.com
Images from www.saturdaysnyc.com
New York has so much to offer and though it is impossible to discover everything during a short stay, we hope this guide will help you through the jungle of options. What do you think? Did we miss anything? Go ahead and comment below for any tips or recommendations.