If you know me or have followed my blog for awhile, you know that New York City is one of my favorite places to visit. I just went on my 5th visit to the city and every time I go I am blown away by the culture, food, and never ending things the city has to offer. While I’m sure this will certainly not be my last visit, I thought I’d start a list of some of my favorite restaurants and tips for traveling in NYC for a weekend. This is definitely not an “Ultimate Best of NYC” type of list, but these are some of my personal experiences and favorites from the Big Apple. I will continue to update this post after each visit and hope to be a great resource for your next trip!
Planning Your NYC Trip
If you’re planning a trip to this gorgeous city. there are a few main things to keep in mind. What time of year you’re going, what neighborhood you will be staying, and your budget. While each area of the city have their own fantastic qualities, you can’t see it all in a weekend. In fact I don’t recommend trying. Pick your place to stay and the rest will fall into place. Whether you’re planning on taking the subway around town its still a great idea to have a central base of where all you want to go because it can take about 30 minutes or longer to get from uptown to downtown. Since you know I am a total foodie, here are some of my favorite places based on neighborhoods in the city.
NYC Restaurants, Rooftops & Bars
*Notates my favorite spots in that area.
*Refinery Rooftop (Bar-Rooftop) $$ Midtown- Killer views of the Empire State Building and some awesome plates to share.
R Lounge at the Renaissance (Bar) $$ Times Square- Sweeping views from just above Time’s Square. This is a hidden gem and an awesome vantage point above the crowds. Go through the lobby to the elevator and up to the R Bar and enjoy a gorgeous uncrowded view of Times Square.
*Coppolas (Dinner- Italian) $ UWS- The cutest little Italian spot with amazing fresh bread, seafood, and a killer Caesar salad.
The Smith (Breakfast) $$ Midtown East- A fancy take on traditional breakfast/brunchy foods and the coolest eclectic vibe.
99 Cent Fresh (Pizza) $ Midtown East – Best $1 slice I ever did see, or taste…and they’re open super late if you’re staying in the area. You can get a whole pie for $8!!! The one on 473 Lexington Ave.
Chelsea/ Meatpacking/ Flatiron
Gallow Green (Rooftop) $$$ Chelsea- Cool garden vibes with crafty cocktails, not the best rooftop for soaking in views, but if you’re trying to escape the concrete jungle, this outdoor space makes you feel a little more one with nature.
*Old Rose (Dinner- Tapas) $$ West Village- Obsessed with this cute gem in the base of The Jane Hotel. We tried small plates here and the octopus and the burrata blew me away.
Brass Monkey (Bar) $ Meatpacking- Been here twice, don’t remember much of either… but I know we had a great time! 🙂
230 Fifth Rooftop (Rooftop) $$ Flatiron- Huge rooftop with sweeping city views and a great view of the Empire State Building plus happy hour till 7pm! In the winter they are famous for their rooftop igloos. We went here one night on my bachelorette party.
Dos Caminos (Brunch) $ Chelsea with Patio- Bottomless margaritas at brunch?! Yep, I’ll be there!
Le Bain (Rooftop) $$$ The High Line- fancy an afternoon with your closest friends on a swanky rooftop? Le Bain boasts stunning views of lower Manhattan including the One World Trade Center and the Hudson River.
Artichoke Bastille (Pizza by the slice) $ Chelsea- Just SO good. There’s a few locations in the city, if you see one, get a slice.
ABC Kitchen (Small Plates) $$$ Flatiron- One of the first places I ever ate at in Manhattan and still leaves its mark. Try a few small plates for lunch and soak in the coolest atmosphere. Stay awhile and walk through the ABCHome store that’s attached.
* The Vine (Dinner- Shared Plates) $$ Flatiron- The perfect spot for a night out to share plates and drinks by the carafe. Whatever you do, get the sliders and fries, you’ll thank me later!
*Fleur Room (Inside Rooftop Bar) $$$ Chelsea- Located on the top floor of the Moxy Chelsea, you will find the perfect sunset views one way and breathtaking Empire State Building views the other. When the sun goes down, this place turns into a lively nightclub full of NYC socialites.
PHD (Indoor/Outdoor Rooftop) $$$ Chelsea- The perfect place to dance the night away with insane skyline views. Located on the top floor of the Dream Midtown Hotel.
*CloudM at the Citizen Hotel (Rooftop Bar) $$ LES – A stunning new rooftop in the East Village with gorgeous views of upper, lower Manhattan and the two bridges. With modern decor and reasonable drinks, find a cozy spot on a couch outside or watching bartenders shake up some craft cocktails at the bar. Don’t forget to check out the pink bathroom while you’re there too!
El Camion (Brunch) $ East Village- Blood orange margaritas, tiny corner restaurant, delicious greasy food. Free drink with food purchase. Amen.
*Sweet Chick (Dinner or Brunch- Southern) $ LES – Probably the best Mac & Cheese I’ve ever had. Plus some great southern fare with reasonable prices for NYC. Love this place!
*Seamores (Brunch/Lunch) $$ Nolita- A boasting favorite in the heart of Nolita with a chic nautical vibe and delicious food. The fish tacos, avocado toast, and lobster Benedict are amazing, plus they have great daily drink specials.
Maman (Breakfast) $ Tribeca & SoHo- If you’re looking for a place to grab a light bite or sit and sip lattes, Maman is a fabulous choice. From sweet breads to quiche and salads, I adore this place.
*The Butcher’s Daughter (Breakfast) $ Nolita with Patio- The perfect spot for avocado toast, juices, coffees, and people watching.
Aunt Jakes (Dinner or Brunch- Italian) $ Little Italy- Obsessed with their homemade pasta and pick your own combinations.
Gelso & Grand (Lunch or Dinner- Italian) $$ Little Italy with Patio – Cute spot on the main drag of Little Italy to people watch and enjoy the food. The food is good, but you’re paying for the location.
Cecconi’s ($$$) Dumbo- Amazing views of the Manhattan Bridge and the NYC skyline. Fantastic food and drinks for a special occasion or a gorgeous day to dine outside.
House of Yes (Night Club) East Williamsburg- We went here for my bachelorette party and it was the ULTIMATE girls night out. Absolutely insane and so much fun!
Where I Want to Eat Next
I am constantly making lists in my phone when I see a place I want to try for my next trip for any destination. Here’s where I want to go next time I’m in NYC:
Bar SixtyFive, Gran Electrica, Blue Note Jazz Club, Tortilla Flats, Puglia, Westlight Rooftop, Sel Rrose, Birdland Jazz Club, Epistrophy, Two Hands, Tartine, Maison Pickle, Cafe Habana, Carroll Place, Grey Lady.
I’d love to hear your recommendations in the comments below as well!
I hope you found some good insight on planning your trip to NYC. I can’t wait to go back and find more fantastic eats to add to this list. To keep this post for future reference, make sure you save it to your Pinterest! Thanks so much for reading!
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