Just when my birthday celebrations had wrapped up, I quickly went into trip preparation mode, as I geared up for a visit to New York City. Funny enough, I’m here right now!
My blogger and Instagram friend, Kelly (who I have yet to meet IRL) had sent me an email prior to my leaving with some great suggestions on where to go while I’m here! I couldn’t keep her tips to myself, and she kindly let me share them with you!
I’ve already taken some of Kelly’s tips to heart, and I can’t wait to share them with you, and with Kelly – that is, when we finally get to meet each other in person! Thanks for sharing your knowledge about NYC, Kelly!
FOOD (Most important, right?)
Bagels, pizza, and egg creams – Aside from fine dining, stopping in a deli, diner, or authentic Italian restaurant is a must-do in New York!
Chinatown – I haven’t explored many of the restaurants in Chinatown, but would recommend any place that serves noodles and dumplings for cheap. Excellent Dumpling House (excellentdumplinghouse.com) has delicious (and pretty) lobster and shrimp dumplings, as well as great bbq pork buns.
Japanese – A lot of Japanese restaurants serve really fresh seafood and are actually run by Japanese people (unlike Vancouver). I liked Sasabune Express (yelp.ca/biz/sasabune-express-new-york) in Midtown.
Momofuku Milk Bar (milkbarstore.com) – I did not visit, but my friends bought some delicious cookies and cake truffles. I didn’t get to sample anything else, but have heard many good things.
Momofuku (momofuku.com/new-york/noodle-bar) – Forget the ramen – there’s way better for cheaper in Vancouver – but do try their pork buns and shoju slushies!
The Original Soupman (originalsoupman.com) – This is the man the Seinfeld character is based on, so it’s a must try! Two words: lobster bisque. If you’re lucky, you may get some extra bread, fruit, or chocolate with your order.
Alice’s Tea Cup (alicesteacup.com) – I have only visited Alice’s Tea Cup Chapter II; they have wonderful scones, teas, and sandwiches, plus a cute atmosphere. Should you fancy some alcohol, try a delicious mar-TEA-ni!
Nobu (noburestaurants.com/new-york) – I went to the original Hudson Street location and my only tip is: you must do omakase (chef’s choice multi-course meal; starting at $100 USD). The pacing of the meal is excellent, the food is amazing, and you will never feel too full to eat another bite (even at 8 courses).
OBAO (obaony.com) – I visited the Midtown location of these modern Thai/Vietnamese fusion cuisine restaurants, and loved the atmosphere. Make sure to order a Thai iced tea and the crispy pork belly appetizer!
Candle 79 (candle79.com) – This will be the most amazing organic vegan food you will ever experience. Save room for dessert, because there must be some magic involved in making those cannolis!
The Metropolitan Museum of Art – Don’t try to see everything in one day or you’ll wear yourself out. Choose one or two wings as your must-see stops and just make sure you stop by again on your next (two or three) visit(s)!
MoMA – You don’t have to be an art or design connoisseur to appreciate this space, and the MoMA gift shops are full of innovatively designed items. If you do go exploring inside, stop for a yummy bite in the café on the second floor.
Empire State Building – I love going at night and seeing the city all lit up, but make sure to dress warmly! If you purchase a CityPass, you can now visit twice in one day, so no need to choose!
American Museum of Natural History – What’s better than dinosaurs? Maybe outer space, but it’s a close match. There are a lot of great things to see at the AMNH, and again, you’ll need to pace yourself.
The Frick Collection – The Frick houses an amazing art collection that spans centuries. This stunning mansion is worth a visit for its sheer architectural beauty. Have a seat on one of the stone benches in the private garden; it’ll be impossible not to feel tranquil.
All you really need to know is that there’s NO TAX on clothing purchases under $110 (insert jaw drop).
Uniqlo – NYC is the only North American city with Uniqlo stores, so you have to go to the flagship location on 5th Avenue (near the MoMA). It has multiple floors (unisex and kids) and everything is great quality for cheap! Stock up on HEATTECH and AIRism products!
NBC Experience – Pick up some merch from your favourite NBC show!
• I haven’t gone to any Broadway shows, but was told Book of Mormon is possibly the funniest thing ever.
• A metro pass is a good investment. You can buy one at most subway stations.
• Sensible walking shoes is a must, but consider insoles, a nightly foot soak and painkillers as well. Getting enough sleep is important!
• Do as much as you can to experience the city like a local!
Of course there are must-sees that I haven’t included (what is there to say that hasn’t been said already?) and many other art and design museums I love. Going by guidebooks and others’ suggestions is a great starting point, but make sure you cater your trip to your own interests, first and foremost!