NYC is one of my favorite places in the world. Between the high energy, non-stop hustle and bustle, and never ending food and shopping options this city has me mesmerized every time. It also holds a special place in my heart because it was one of the first trips my husband took me on when we first started dating and where we ended up getting engaged. We go every December no matter what and try to make extra trips there when we can. This is “our” city.
I decided to create a round up of all of our tried and true places around the city from hotels to restaurants and everything in between. I hope you one day get to make it to some of these awesome places to try them out for yourself and love them just as much as we do!
Where to Eat
199 Bowery, New York, NY 10002
A go-to dinner spot that never disappoints. Menu will change every so often and includes anything from a unique take on chicken and waffles to a classic filet. Make sure to take a picture in front of the famous purple upside rabbit when you walk in the door. After dinner head underground to the nightclub.
366 W 52nd St, New York, NY 10019
Two different locations, but we prefer this one! Ramen bowls here are to die for and are the most perfect thing ever on a freezing cold NYC day. Heads up, this place is TINY. They literally cook the food 2 feet away from you in the smallest kitchen you will ever see. Most likely will have to wait before getting a seat but it is so worth it. Highly recommend the miso paitan ramen bowl.
75 Ninth Avenue (between 15th & 16th St.) New York, NY 10011
Chelsea’s has everything you could ever want. It is basically a mix between local restaurants downsized into food halls, various merchants, and pop-up shops. Top 3 places you cannot leave without trying- doughnuttery, Very Fresh Noodles, and Los Tacos No.1. These restaurants will having you running back for seconds guaranteed.
55 Bond Street, New York, NY 10012
If you are in the mood for some extremely delicious food that is a little out of the ordinary then Fish Cheeks is your place. This Thai seafood restaurant is fresh, vibrant, and meant for sharing with family and friends. I suggest making reservations before hand because they are always poppin’! Try the coconut crab curry and grilled branzino.
200 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10010
Every time you walk into Little Eataly it feels like you are smack dap in the middle of Italy itself. Take your pick between restaurants, cafes, markets with fresh seafood and vegetables, and shops selling a little of everything. Take a seat and grab a bowl of fresh pasta from La Pizza & La Pasta and on your way out stop by the cafe for a coffee.
4 Clinton Street, New York, NY 10002
One of our favorite breakfast spots in NYC! Every time we have visited there has been a line out the door so be ready to wait..but so worth it! They make the most amazing pancakes. Also open for lunch and dinner however, we have only tried their breakfast menu. If you happen to pop in for lunch/dinner be sure to leave a comment below and let me know what you think!
9 East 1st Street, New York, NY 1003
If I had to recommend a single dinner spot, it would be Bowery hands down. Little pricy so get ready to splurge but the portions are huge! Last time we were there the couple next to us ordered the bread pudding for dessert and they literally brought them out a cake size worth of bread pudding. It was ridiculous. We have some great memories in this restaurant and highly suggest making it one of your dinner spots next time you are in NYC.
30 West 24th Street, New York, NY 10010
Delicious, simple Mexican food that will have you coming back again and again. Their Al pastor taco with roasted pineapple is to die for. They have a couple different locations so be sure to find a Tacombi in the area of the city you are staying in.
Where to Stay
570 10th Avenue, New York, NY 10036
I could go on and on about this hotel all day so I will keep it sweet and simple. This is our go-to hotel and are obsessed with it. Centrally located and probably the most stylish, modern hotel you will ever stay in but also very cozy. Yotel is surprisingly very well priced and has everything you need including a restaurant, gym, bar, and small cafe. I suggest staying in a top floor corner suite with views of the Manhattan skyline.
27 Grand Street, New York, NY 10013
A block from some of the best shopping and directly across the street from the cutest coffee shop. This hotel also has an awesome indoor/outdoor rooftop bar that you must check out. Rooms are spacious and clean. Try planning ahead and finding a room on Hotels Tonight for the best deals.
355 West 16th Street, New York, NY 10011
Everyone knows of the Dream hotel. It’s the place to be and offers just about everything you can think of. Head up top to the PH-D rooftop lounge/nightclub or downstairs to the restaurant Bodega Negra. Dream is steps away from Chelsea market, which in and of itself is a reason to stay here!
What to do
Whatever you are looking for, Chinatown has it. Whether it is great food, shopping or just exploring for the day you will find it here. If you are in the mood to bargain, the street vendors sell everything you can think of including knock offs.
180 Greenwich Street, New York, NY 10007
This museum is a must see when you are in NYC. I learned so much from the exhibits and left with a whole new appreciation for the city. A lot of the objects within the museum were actually taken from the wreckage in as is condition and are incredible to see.
You can’t go to NYC without visiting Central Park. This is where my husband proposed so every time we are back in the city we stop and take a picture in the exact spot. Go for a stroll through the park, eat, take pictures, and just take it all in!
Even though Bryant Park is a year around place to explore, nothing compares to Bryant Park during the holidays. Tons of little pop up shops are set up throughout the small park along with an ice skating rink and Christmas tree. If you happen to stop by any other time during the year you can take part in a ton of free activities or grab a bite to eat. Fun fact- they are known for their “world class restrooms” and are seriously the cleanest public restrooms you will ever find.
Walking across the Brooklyn Bridge is a great free activity and is something you have to do at least once. The views are amazing and you will get some insta worthy pictures out of the whole experience I promise!
The Highline is built on an old historic rail line and basically a long park made up of gardens, vendors, art, and food. I personally think it is one of the most relaxing places in the city and is a perfect place to go day or night. After dinner go to the Highline and walk off your food while taking in all the cool views of the city lights.
If you are looking for something different to do while visiting the city, look into getting tickets to the Kelly and Ryan show! We have been twice and enjoyed every second of it. May I add that we went during the filming of their Christmas Special episode and Ryan personally handed me a holiday mug. My trip was made. Before your trip go onto kellyandryan.com and join the waitlist for tickets. The tickets are free and the show is so fun to see in real life.
Unless you have incredible self control I would stay clear of 5th avenue. This is a shopping lovers paradise and has every high end store you can imagine. Even if you aren’t planning on shopping that day just walking down the street to people watch and looking at all the pristine store front displays is also a good time.
There you have it! I would love to hear your recommendations on places to explore and eat while in NYC so be sure to leave a comment or reach out on social media! xoxo
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