// places to eat //
(food first, always)
Butchers Daughter: Do I love Butchers Daughter because it was my first real celebrity sighting and I sat next to a scruffy, sweatshirt wearing Jake Gyllenhall for two hours? Or do i love it because its got the best avocado mash toast of all time? Both. Butchers daughter has amazingly bomb salads, juices and just good filling healthy stuff. Definitely a good brunch spot for betches, but I also drag Justin from time to time. LOL.
Meatball Shop: Whenever I tell someone I love meatball shop they're like, wait...what? Which tells me I’m predictable and lame because meatball shop is the coolest place ever. Firstly, they play like 2Pac and Nas, and the food comes so fast. Importantly, it’s also cheap and filling. Veggie Meatballs and the 'kitchen sink' salad is the way to go.
Per Se - V expensive FYI. Holidays only, a place that you go with your parents because they will pay for you. But, the food is so amazing, and beautifully prepared. Its fun to dress up and enjoy a more formal meal.
attaboy - Speakeasy where the cocktails rule. It’s an experience for sure and good for just a drink or two during the week for a catch-up chat with your crew.
Red Farm - There are two locations, and both serve amazing asian fusion deliciousness. Such a good spot with a dude, they can find stuff and it’s not too expensive or stuffy.
Freemans - Brunch spot. I’ve had huge groups for brunch here which makes me so happy. It satisfies most of your group and has good cocktails and breakfast fare. There is such a bustling, positive vibe here, and the space is big so you don't feel super claustrophobic.
Robertas - One of the best pizzas in NYC. Wear your stretchy pants, enjoy and thank me later.
Jacks Wife Frieda: JWF is really popular with people in NYC because it's so good. It’s hard to get a table, but so worth it. I love the area, the vibe, the menu and the food is some of the best in the cit-ay.
Mud: Mud is a cute spot in the East Village with a good hippie feel and amazing options for both lunch or brunch. It’s not expensive either which could be the best part.
Juice Press: ALL. DAY. I can pay $11 for a Juice Press juice all freaking day. I'm a huge fan of the mean green smoothie (for it's protein content) and love every single one of the cold pressed juices. One of the best things about Juice Press is that they don't use HPP on any of their products. Which means that these juices are super fresh, and have a ultra high nutrient level. (HPP extends the shelf life of juices, allowing them to last a lot longer than any fresh juice possibly could. Companies like Evolution, Liquiteria, and Blue Print all use HPP. It's not TERRIBLE, just not ideal).
The Smith: The Smith is the place you go when you really don’t want to think too hard, just want something tasty and consistent. It's always there for you. There’s a few in the city and I always recommend it when my family is in town or when I’m with clients from work because it’s not too pricey and everyone can leave happy.
ABC Kitchen: An RSVP is necessary, but worth it at this globally inspired, seasonally focused gem in Union Square. The decor is gorgeous, bright and refreshing, obviously from their sister store for home furnishings ABC Home. I love the cleanliness and appreciate that every time you go its a different menu.
// things to do //
WALK: Walk everywhere, and take public transportation to people watch. Whenever I leave NYC I forget how much I appreciate the opportunity to walk around the gorgeous city and admire all the different pockets of places. It's such a nice part of the lifestyle here, and it truly helps you to get an understanding of all the different places in the city.
Explore the boroughs: If you have time make a point to go outside of the city and see places like Williamsburg, Brooklyn Heights and DUMBO (to name a few). Williamsburg is super hot right now, and I love DUMBO because it's got gorgeous views on the water. Each place has numerous things to offer, and sometimes feel 'lighter' than a day in the city.
MoMa Ps1: I love MoMa Ps1 mainly for the warm-up (not the art...is that bad?) At the Ps1 warm-up, you can go see exhibits, explore the outdoor area and just hang, while listening to up and coming (or established) DJs play outside in the courtyard. Living close by we go at least once a month to just hang and enjoy. I posted one of the Cashmere Cat warm-ups on my weekly jams too!
SoulCycle: hehe is this annoying? I just think it's an experience and it's sort of an NYC staple at this point. You can experience the intensity of the people, and some of the best workout instructors in the world, honestly. I like Union Square, Noho and FiDi locations, but all are nice so you can't go wrong.
Bike in Central Park: This is sooooooo fun. I don't know why riding a bike sometimes is literally just the funnest thing of all time. You're like a kid again. You can either go a great distance or a short one in the park and see so much of the park this way. I'd suggest to renting a citi bike, it's fairly cheap and easy.
Up and Down: If you want a club night, go to Up and Down. This is my spot when like, once every three months I want to go to a club. LOL.
Bagatelle Brunch: This is actually wild AF. Bagatelle brunch is a very party-ish atmosphere and definitely an experience. Most people get sat for brunch around noon, and then it gets progressively crazier through the day. As you enjoy your cocktails and food, the lights get darker, the music gets louder, until it's super dark and basically a club at 3 PM on a Sunday. You'll most likely get bottles of champagne, so it's going to be pricey but worth it.
Tea & Symphony: High tea is like random and really fun. It's like playing dress up and stuff. I've been twice to meet someone during the day to mix it up, and I would suggest going when you're feeling like doing something different. They offer a variety of interesting teas, and it's famous in the city because it's been around so long.
Comedy Cellar: Comedy shows are underrated, for real. It's like you just pay $20 for someone to make you laugh for two hours and you don't need to do anything at all. Comedy cellar I think is the best, just reserve your tickets early.
Soho/Nolita shopping: The prettiest, and best places I think in the city. More on the high end, but there's lots to buy. I love this to walk around and explore. You can go by stores like Spring and Mercer and explore all around that area for lots of retail therapy.
Brooklyn Botanical Gardens: So gorgeous and such a good way to spend the day if you're looking for a way to get out of the city.
Walk the High Line: Walking the High Line is such a nice day activity in the summer. A railroad back in the 1930's, now a gorgeous preserved park and art space. I'd recommend doing this after brunch! It's located on the west side of the city.
Chelsea Market: This place is really quirky, unique and fun. It's good on the weekend to walk around, and see tons and tons of restaurant and various food/wine options. Chelsea Market is good in both the winter and the summer, the winter for it being less crowded and the summer for the additional vendor options.
Smorgasburg/Brooklyn Flea: So many delicious things to eat, lots of good interesting local vendors all displaying their best at both Smorgasburg and the Brooklyn Flea. Smorgasburg is the summer series, in Williamsburg and at Brooklyn Bridge's Pier 5, while the Brooklyn Flea is indoors in Crown Heights.
// places to stay //
Gansevoort Meatpacking: One of the best in meatpacking, and so good for a weekend if you're going out to Catch, or any of the other spots downtown. It's very celeb studded and has gorgeous rooms and views. I've stayed here a few times in the winter with friends and Justin for a getaway, very glam.
The Wythe Hotel: The best in Williamsburg, it's location is so good, above a good restaurant and with a tight rooftop. I've spent a weekend here to get away and do Williamsburg right.
Mondarin Soho: Is f'ing gorgeous. The spa is to die for if you're celebrating your engagement or want to spend a good amount of money. They have a huge sauna, rooftop view and champagne service for anyone getting any spa treatments. The best.
Ink48: Ink is a reasonable option price-wise for places to stay, it's a Kimpton hotel which are my personal favorites and the location is nice. The rooms are so fabulously decorated, and service is impeccable.