Whether it is your first time or 20th time in NYC, here are a few suggestions from a (2 month) local. Coffee shops, brunch, food, dessert, touristy things, local things, and more!
Click on any of the links below to be redirected to their website to learn more!
New York Coffee Shops
– Caffé Bene: Waffles and coffee
– The Bean: Also sells Dough doughnuts, and protein shakes if you’re in the mood to be healthy.
– Dough Doughnuts: Try the Hibiscus doughnut. I promise you won’t be disappointed.
– Le Pain Quotidian: Avocado toast is on point (Prices between $10-$20)
– Agave: Bottomless brunch for 2 hours straight! (Before 4pm) And when they say “bottomless” they’re referring to your drinks. Not the food. (My bad)
– Breakfast Carts: Not kidding, their doughnuts and bagels are fantastic for $1.25
– Bouchon Bakery: Find one in the Columbus Circle Shops and Rockefeller Center! (Tip – after the taping of The Today Show, you can run in for a quick breakfast sandwich before running to work!) Also, macaroons from here are perfect and give you life.
Favorite Lunch/Dinner Spots:
– Chop’t: Make a salad any way you want, and watch them make it! Fave lunch spot no doubt.
– Max Brenner, Chocolate by the Bald Man: Everything here has chocolate, whether it’s cocoa sprinkled on your waffle fries or a chocolate margarita.
– Indikitch: If you’re feeling ethnic, indian food for the win.
– Rock Center Cafe: So neat! You look down into the restaurant that is basically positioned in a hole in the ground. During the winter, this is where the ice skating rink is located, so the restaurant seating is moved inside!
– Grimaldi’s: Michelle Obama likes it better than Chicago style pizza. Brick oven pizza right across the Brooklyn Bridge.
– Margherita: In Little Italy. Next door to a 100 year old bakery that’s also great.
– Artichoke Pizza: Near Chelsea Market and The High Line.
– Magnolia Bakery: Known for their banana pudding, but you can’t go wrong with any of their desserts.
– Juniors: New York Cheesecake which is absolutely the most delicious piece of deliciousness I’ve ever had in my life.
– Chikalicious: Churro ice cream cones
– Ice and Vice: Ice cream ice cream ice cream
– Big Gay Ice Cream: Popular, but honestly, it’s just normal ice cream
– Sugar and Plumm: Giant banana splits in an extra-large margarita glass, and every kind of sugary item you can think of.
– Cookie Dō: Edible cookie dough that is all the rage right now.
– Baked by Melissa: Mini sized cupcakes and macaroons
– Smorgasburg: In Williamsburg, Brooklyn and goes on every weekend in the summer! 100+ food trucks and a great view
– Farmers Market in Union Square every Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday – If you’re into that sort of thing.
– The Bagel Shop: Rainbow bagels with funfetti cream cheese – do I need to say anymore? In Brooklyn!
– Black Tap: Get a burger, half the milkshake. $15 for a milkshake. There are two of these restaurants in New York – go to the one on 14th street for a shorter wait time!
– Chelsea Flea Markets: Good food, artsy stuff.
– Dinner Dance Cruise: A fancy dinner is served and crazy dancing is appreciated while you take a cruise on the Hudson. Romantic, fun, and some of the best views!
– The High Line: A park built on top of an old railway. The views from here are amazing!
– Walk the Brooklyn Bridge
– Central Park: Getcha some green after being surrounded by concrete for so long.
– Go on a scavenger hunt to find the Love and Hope statues
– 9/11 Memorial: Breathtaking.
– What NOT to do: The Bronx Zoo – You pay to get in, and then you pay for every other exhibit you want to see while in the park. If you don’t pay to see any of the extra exhibits, you wind up looking at birds most of the day. Trust me when I say you can find better things to do.
– The Today Show: One of the greatest experiences! You have to get there extra early if there is a concert going on (a lot of people camp out the night before). But if it’s a normal weekday, you’re good to get there around 4:30 or 5am. Bring a sign (or make one there, they provide supplies) to up your chances of getting on TV.
– Hershey’s: I never got to go here, but I was able to take a picture to remind me to definitely try it next time I am in NYC (because I am a sugar addict – no shame).