nyc itinerary: foodie trip

21A1E111-C30B-4F77-A639-2DFF2CC43AC0.JPG

I wholeheartedly believe that one could come to New York and spend the entire time eating and walking from one restaurant to the next. You can truly get any kind of food you want here from trendy, new restaurants as well as some of the very best in the world. If you're a foodie and want to explore the NYC food scene, here's your itinerary.

STAY

Le Parker Meridien 
Located uptown near the bottom of Central Park, this is not only a gorgeous, classic hotel but there are also some really great restaurants onsite. There's Norma's with its all-breakfast menu (heaven), Burger Joint which is an interesting little dive place hidden behind a curtain, a little coffee bar called Knave, and Indian Accent which offers modern, inventive Indian cuisine.

The Greenwich Hotel (Locanda Verde)
Owned by Robert DeNiro, this is a unique and gorgeous hotel in Tribeca. It feels much more exotic than other New York hotels, with a rich color palette and lots of beautiful texture in its decor. At The Greenwich, you'll find DeNiro's restaurant Locanda Verde. It's a gorgeous restaurant that serves beautiful, rustic Italian food like grandmother's ravioli and marsala semifreddo.

The Wythe Hotel (Reynard)
The Wythe is a really cool hotel in Williamsburg that always has a lot going on, from art installations to boutique pop-ups. They also have to great restaurants that draw crowds beyond the hotel's guests. The Ides is the rooftop bar which serves drinks and small plates, then there's the renowned Reynard. The menu is pretty rustic and wholesome, with things like roast chicked and whipped pumpkin, confit potatoes, and wood roasted squash. They serve breakfast, brunch, lunch, and dinner.

EAT

Le Coucou
A very chic, expensive French restaurant inside the 11 Howard hotel. 

Russ & Daughter's Cafe
The iconic spot for Jewish food like potato latkes, pastrami, matzo ball soup, and more.

Pizza
There are so many good pizza places but, in my opinion, your best options are Roberta's, Joe's, Motorino, and Artichoke (where you have to try the namesake slice). 

Ippudo
A ramen noodle brasserie that's the first U.S. outpost of the Japanese chain restaurant. 

Eleven Madison Park
One of the city's most iconic, three Michelin starred restaurants. This is definitely a splurge restaurant but a must for any serious foodie. 

Dovetail
For a slightly more affordable Michelin-starred restaurant, check out Dovetail on the Upper West Side. They have several fixed menus to choose from, including a vegetarian option. 

Kajitsu
This is a beautiful Japanese restaurant focusing on shojin cusine, which is Buddhist and therefore vegetarian.

Ice & Vice
This is a fun, experimental ice-cream place that kind of reminds me of Willy Wonka's Three Course Dinner Chewing Gum. There are flavors like Movie Night (buttered popcorn, malted chocolate, raisin caramel), Breakfast Club (brown butter banana, candied bacon waffles), and Burnt Out (toasted black rice, mandarin citrus jam).

Levain Bakery
The best cookie I've ever had. Get the chocolate chip walnut!

Martha's Country Bakery
This really is heaven for a dessert lover. You can get pretty much any dessert you want from strawberry shortcake and gelato to bread pudding and apple pie.

Brooklyn Farmacy
I like Brooklyn Farmacy for the classic New York diner meal: a grilled cheese or chicken salad sandwich with a chocolate egg cream. 

DO

- Spend a day exploring food halls like Eataly, Le District, Union Fare, Chelsea Market. These are a foodie's dream because you're able to sample a bunch of different things in one place. 

- Take a cooking class! There are so many fun options in the city at places like the International Culinary Center, Haven's Kitchen, Milk Bar, Bedford Cheese Shop, Eataly, and Ample Hills Creamery. For something unique, I recommend the Milk Bar baking class.

- Have a picnic with provisions from iconic places like Zabar's, Russ & Daughters, and Petrossian.

three breakfast spots + what to wear

One of my favorite things to do on the weekend or a weekday when I go into work late is to go out for breakfast. There's something so serene about it, even in New York where most breakfast spots are constantly bustling (that's the plus side of weekday breakfasts). Here are a couple of cute spots on my mind lately:

the butcher's daughter
This is your go-to spot for a clean, healthy meal that's also really good. While there's a big, delicious breakfast menu, my favorite thing to do is order a piece of buttered toast and a smoothie (like the mango lassi). 

loosie's cafe
I stumbled upon this place in Williamsburg by accident and guys, it's perfect if you need some cute Instagram photos. There are a ton of cute spots to take photos plus the breakfast is yummy. Think classics like eggs benedict and soul food options like fried chicken biscuits.

broken coconut
Another good healthy option, Broken Coconut is a fun, tropical spot that serves things like açai and pitaya bowls, chia and oat bowls, and egg scrambles. The decor is really cute, too, with a pink neon sign and fun wallpaper.

As for what to wear, here's a cute brunch outfit idea: colorful wrap sweater (either wrapping in the front or the back like this one), cropped kick-flare trousers, a pair of classic espadrilles, and chic, edgy sunglasses like this pair from Celine.

nyc itinerary: shopping trip

E162D1C2-B662-495E-A1AC-880AA626B43C.JPG

It's a fact that you could make a trip to New York and literally spend the entire time shopping. A lot of people spend a huge amount of their trips shopping as it is, but you could also make it a theme based on the kind of shopping you want to do and the vibe you're looking for. This itinerary has ideas for both a classic, Gossip Girl shopping trip vibe and a trendy, It-Girl vibe.

STAY

11 Howard
This is the new place to stay during Fashion Week and, thus, the perfect spot for your shopping trip. It is conveniently located right across the street from the Glossier showroom, just a couple blocks from prime SoHo shopping, and it has two really stylish dining options: Le Coucou and The Blond. This is a super trendy, aesthetically pleasing hotel that will look really good on Instagram. 

Lotte New York Palace
If you want your shopping trip to be more of a Gossip Girl experience, stay at the Lotte New York Palace. This is, of course, where Serena and Chuck lived during the first season of the show. It has a very classic vibe and is located in midtown near the high-end shopping locations like Saks and so on.

The Standard High Line
If you're more of the downtown type, check out The Standard High Line in the Meatpacking District. Staying here will put you close to the 'cool girl' stores like The Kooples, In Support Of, All Saints, and more. It's also close to DVF headquarters, so you might see Diane. This area is really the quintessential 'fashion' neighborhood, if you ask me.

EAT

Fred's at Barney's
Going for lunch at Fred's always makes me feel super glamorous, especially the Madison Avenue location. It's located on an upper floor of Barney's with a great view of the city and a vibe that makes it feel like you'd see a Real Housewife or someone like that. Its menu has all of the classic, country club style dishes you'd think of but my favorite is the chicken noodle soup with bread and ginger ale.

Jack's Wife Freda
If there's one spot I think of when I think of the fashion crowd, it is definitely Jack's Wife Freda. You've probably seen it on everyone's Instagram, but for good reason. It's simple and cute with a really good Mediterranean menu. 

Old Rose
I consider Old Rose to be the new While We Were Young, so go check it out before it gets too crowded. It's a very Instagram aesthetic, pink and white Italian restaurant with beautiful checkerboard floors. Order a cocktail and then take photos in the restaurant but also inside The Jane Hotel, which is very Wes Anderson.

DO

Shopping in SoHo and Nolita
Here, you'll find a blend of fashion staples and smaller, independent stores. It could be considered the city's main shopping district. You'll find H&M, Zara, Aritzia, and Adidas but also Kith, Acne, Zimmermann, Dior, and Isabel Marant. Also check out McNally Jackson, Housing Works, and all the other little independent shops you find. Bleecker Street between Lafayette and Bowery has some cute little places and there's also a Laundress store nearby.

Boutique shopping on Bedford Avenue in Williamsburg
For more charming, independent boutiques, try Bedford Avenue in Williamsburg. This is my 'neck of the woods' so to speak and I always find a ton of cute places. Try Catbird, the Mini Mall, Awoke Vintage, The Stone Flower, Pinkyotto, and Amarcord Vintage (this place has the most beautiful, high-end vintage clothes and accessories I've ever seen---think Gucci and Hermes). If you go up to Driggs Avenue, there are more cute shops like Monk Vintage and Concrete + Water. 

Classic shopping uptown
For the most classic shopping, head uptown to Madison Avenue, Lexington Avenue, and 5th Avenue (basically starting at East 57th Street). You'll find old-school brands like Hermes, Cartier, and Chanel as well as newer brands like Mansur Gavriel and Stuart Weitzman. Of course, spend time in the big department stores like Bergdorf's, Barney's, Henri Bendel, and Bloomingdale's for the most magical shopping experience. 

4 free things to do in nyc

4EAB1274-21FC-43BD-BDEE-4AB21A006332.JPG
4933AE1A-C8BA-48D6-845F-54B46E5EAE4C.JPG
BFFE8C27-65B8-497F-9194-D354500A3639.JPG

When I think of New York, the last thing I think of is affordable. Let's be honest, living here or even just visiting can be pretty expensive. People say it costs $25 just to leave the house in Manhattan and, in all actuality, that's not far from the truth. But thankfully, there are things you can do for free and they're pretty spectacular. 

gallery hopping in chelsea
Looking at art is one of my favorite things to do and, in the city, you can see an abundance of incredible art for no cost. If you head over to West 24th Street past 10th Avenue, there alone you'll find gallery upon gallery. All around Chelsea, there are endless free galleries containing world renowned work from artists. Some notable spots to check out are the Gagosian, David Zwirner, Matthew Marks, Luhring Augustine, Paula Cooper, Sean Kelly, and Petzel. 

spend the day taking photos
If you are at all interested in photography, New York is the place to be. I love spending a whole day going around to different neighborhoods with the sole intention of taking photos. All you need for the day is your camera or even just your iPhone. Take the time to get really creative in staging your photos and putting together a pretty Instagram story. You'll spend nothing and come out of the day with a ton of Instagram content. 

take a walk
Yes, it's true that you can take a walk anywhere but walks in New York have so much more potential. Exploring by foot gives you all sorts of great opportunities for discovery! You'll be able to browse all sorts of stores and hidden places no matter which neighborhood you choose. I once walked 80 blocks one day in the summer just for the fun of it! If you want a more 'green' walk, try the High Line, anywhere in Central Park, Prospect Park, Brooklyn Botanic Gardens, or the Brooklyn waterfront in DUMBO. 

try a free beauty treatment
Typically, a facial in the city will run you at least $100 but you can actually pop into several different stores for free mini-treatments. Ask the skincare team at Sephora for a mini-facial. At Rituals, they'll give you a hand treatment and meditation moment. Other places to hit include Fresh and Kiehl's. 

introducing nyc itineraries // first trip to new york

I'm really excited about this new series I'm doing! There are so many different kinds of travelers and different kinds of trips, especially to New York. You could be here on a girls weekend or with the intention of trying a bunch of new food, or you could be here to take photos or to take in all of the culture. So, I'm putting together a bunch of different itineraries to help you out. 

So, getting into the 'First Trip to New York' itinerary! When putting this together, my goal was to pick the things you have to do if you were coming to the city for the first time. So yes, it's a little bit basic but I think most first trips tend to cover the classic sites anyway! 

STAY

1 Hotel Central Park
This is a great hotel pick for so many reasons. It's located in a classic part of town (near The Plaza and Bergdorf's) and overlooks the park, but it's not your typical, boring midtown hotel. Inspired by nature, the design of the hotel is very zen and super unique even for New York. Plus, the prices are surprisingly good!

The NoMad Hotel
If you're looking for a very centrally located option, I recommend The NoMad. It's a couple of blocks from Madison Square Park, so you're pretty much an equal distance from anything you'd want to do. This is another really cool hotel that will give you the metropolitan vibes you're probably looking for. 

The Ritz-Carlton Battery Park
On the other end of the island, The Ritz Battery Park is a classic option that's close to One World Trade Center, gorgeous Battery Park, and the Financial District, which may not sound exciting but it's a great area. You'll be in Tribeca, where everything is very clean which makes for a decent transition into the city. 

EAT

Sarabeth's
You can't miss the classic brunch spot! I recommend the Upper East Side location but there are a couple of others if you're not in that area. You could go for dinner, but brunch really is the move. I recommend the lemon ricotta pancakes and the classic mimosa.

Joe's Pizza
In my opinion, Joe's has the best classic pizza in the city. The sauce is sweet and it's just so good. If you want a New York staple, get pizza at one of these locations: Carmine Street, East 14th Street, Bedford Avenue, or 1435 Broadway.

Veselka
My personal go-to restaurant in the city is Veselka. I bring every out-of-town guest here and they all end up falling in love. It's super low-key, open 24 hours, and they have the best pierogi ever. Order the large plate and make sure they give you applesauce on the side.

DO

Central Park
No first trip is complete without a wander in Central Park. There are a ton of route options, which can be overwhelming, so here's what I suggest: 1) Enter at Grand Army Plaza, walk up past Gapstow Bridge, 2) Enter at East 90th Street, walk down along the reservoir, behind the Met, 3) Walk through The Ramble, down over Bow Bridge, to Bethesda Terrace. 

The Met
Like Central Park, The Met is enormous and you likely won't cover all of it in one trip. Choosing what to see really depends on your own personal taste, but here are some of my must-sees: 1) The Temple of Dendur, 2) European Sculpture and Decorative Arts (featuring complete reproductions of period rooms like Louis XVI's grand salon), 3) Greek and Roman Art, and 4) The Costume Institute. I would choose one or two of those, plus another non-Western art collection like Asian Art or Arts of Africa. 

Rush Broadway Tickets
Instead of shelling out a ton of money for Broadway tickets in advance, do it the local way and go to the ticket booth the morning of to rush cheap tickets to a show. Yes, you'll have less control over the situation, but it's so much cheaper and more adventurous. 

BRING

A structured tote bag to carry all the necessities. Cute, comfortable walking shoes. A reusable water bottle to stay hydrated throughout the day for free. A portable phone charger because the city has a way of draining your battery.