new york tour guide – a giveaway.
by victoria comment


i adore it.

i’m headed for new york city in less than two weeks time, and i’d love to hear about your new york favorites. tell me the parks you love, the galleries you frequent, the sweet shops and cafes off the beaten path. i want to hear it all. and as an added incentive to play tour guide for me? please comment below, and whomever gives the best tip of the trip, i’ll send a few of my favorite books about san francisco. east coast for west coast! please just comment before i leave on may 13th, and i’ll report back when i return.

albie design; transit design; dhm stuff; claudia pearson; gwen’s sew vintage; dana tanamachi; and raceytay.

philipp klinger; remster_9; new york magazine; brooklyn tweed; wall street journal; planet ware; eu kicks; new york city food blog; zoot patrol.

101 responses to “new york tour guide – a giveaway.”

  1. Alice’s Tea Cup is the best place for afternoon tea, scones, and sandwiches. They have every type of tea you could imagine, and their scone selection changes daily! It’s also the most adorably decorated cafe. Hope you can check it out!

  2. My favorite place in the whole wide world:) I used to work in NYC, and I miss it terribly!

    My recommendation is Minamoto Kitchoan in Rockefeller…It’s a Japanese pastry shop that looks as sweet as the treats it sells:) The displays of wagashi are total eye candy, decorated with pastels & sprigs of cherry blossoms. If you’re like me (a sucker for all kinds o’ pretty AND delish desserts), you’ll love it! Even if you aren’t a fan of the little desserts, it is still work a peek at the beautiful decor:)

    Minamoto Kitchoan
    608 Fifth Avenue
    New York, NY 10020
    (212) 489-3747

  3. A hidden gem in the middle of the city: The Mount Vernon Hotel Museum & Garden at 61st and 1st ( It was constructed in 1799, and you can tour fully furnished period rooms. It’s like traveling back in time, a few blocks away from Bloomingdale’s!

    For food/drink/fun, Koreatown (mainly 32nd between 5th and Broadway) is worth a stroll!

    In terms of museums, I adore the Cooper-Hewitt (historic & contemporary design, 91st and 5th) and the Rubin Museum of Art (Himalayan art, located at 17th and 7th).

    Finally: if you go stroll through the garden at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine (112th & Amsterdam, near Columbia University), you will likely see at least one of the peacocks who live there! (One of the peacocks is albino!:

  4. Try the Caracas Arepa Bar!
    Manhattan: 93 1/2 E 7th St.
    Brooklin: 291 Grand st.
    (between Havemeyer st and Roebling st)

    Their Arepas are fabulous!

    I would love to know what are your SF favorite books! I lived in SF for 2 years and I miss it very much!

    Eloiza from Brazil

    I would love to get

  5. Grab a cookie or other treats at the Momofuku Milk Bar in the East Village, wander over to the Strand for a book and sit in Union Square for some people watching. You can’t go wrong with a visit to the MoMA and the food in the cafe there is very tasty.

    I’d take some SF recommendations as I am heading there (from NYC) on Thursday!

  6. Ooooh – I also forgot a Brooklyn favorite – Roebling Tea Room. Adorable. Amazing brunch. FULL of beautiful people – one of them being Bill Murray’s son, a chef there.

  7. I lived in NYC for 8 years, just relocated back to California. My tips:
    For Coffee: Jacks Stir Brewed 138 W 10th Street
    Pizza: The Bar at OTTO 1 5th Ave
    For Amazing Hand Sewn Dresses: (that are perfect for layering in SF) Jill Anderson 331 East 9th Street
    For Nature & Sight Seeing: Take a walk on the new HighLine (meat packing)

  8. yaay!! Can’t wait!! I’m sure it’s on your list already, but you have to check out the Anthropologie store in Rockefeller Center. They have a cute gallery space inside and always have great exhibition :) Not sure what’s happening right now, though…

    50 Rockefeller Center
    New York, NY 10020
    (212) 246-0386

  9. I am travelling to NY on may 13 th alsoooo !!!

    I am coming from Buenos Aires and will stay for a week in N Y !!!

    This post will help me to find cool places where to go !!!

    Have a nice trip !!!

  10. Just went in January. I haven’t seen it yet but I would definitely get Sibella Court’s brand new NYC Stylist book of her favorite places. I’m guessing they’d have it at Anthropologie.
    We saw Book of Mormon and How to Succeed in Business… Highly recommend both. After theater meal: Joe Allen.
    If it’s still playing here, see the movie Bill Cunningham New York before you go. Words can’t describe.
    To see how the other 1% live, have lunch at the restaurant at Bergdorf Goodman.

    I’m willing to bet that I have any SF book you have, so send the books to another worthy contestant.

    As always, love the blog.

  11. Cobble Hill/Boerum Hill/Fort Greene – breakfast on Saturday at Brooklyn Flea (outdoor flea market) in Fort Greene. Experience the NY food truck/food stand craze right now. Then walk down Atlantic ave to check out the vintage furniture stores, plant shops, boutiques.

    Williamsburg – Salties for a superb, gourmet sandwich. They did a spread on them on The Selby. Then, walk toward the water, visit the Future Perfect to check out new designers. From there, cna walk to Brooklyn Bowl for hip hop karaoke and bowling or Brooklyn Brewery around the corner.

  12. I visited my sister in Greenwich Village in March and my favorite place we went was Pomme Frites on 2nd Ave in the East Village. ( They serve Belgian fries and have about a billion different sauces. It is so good! You have to go!
    Also, in NoLita, Cafe Habana has really really good huevos rancheros at breakfast and brunch. The one in NoLita is on Prince Street. (
    Have fun!

    2637 Broadway, New York, NY 10025
    Phone: 212-665-9541

    Society of Illustrators
    128 East 63rd Street
    New York, NY 10065
    (212) 838-2560

    TUESDAY 24 MAY 2011 6:30–9:00PM

    Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum
    2 East 91st Street
    New York, NY 10128-0606
    (212) 849-8300

    St Bartholomew’s Church (architecture for me!)
    325 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10022-6912
    (212) 378-0200 ‎

    Milk Bar
    620 Vanderbilt Ave
    Brooklyn, NY 11238

    The other Milk Bars – Mid Town and East Village

    Blaue Gans
    139 Duane Street, New York City 10013
    Located in the heart of Tribeca on Duane Street between Church and West Broadway.

    walking and photographing in Harlem
    collecting matchbooks and business cards from every restaurant – whether i eat there or not
    photographing typography in every part of the city, and unexpected places
    photographing weathered copper rooftops and architecture

  14. A few more musts from Brooklyn! Buttermilk Channel in Carroll Gardens for brunch (Pecan Pie French Toast anyone?)and dinner at Mimi’s Hummus on Cortelyou Road in Ditmas Park, amazing food, tiny hole-in-the-wall place (but the best decor for a hole-in-the-wall place you’ll ever see!). Dessert must: Punchim / Chocolate coconut home-style balls, amazing. Follow that up with a drink in the back patio/garden of Sycamore, a flower shop by day and a bar by night, just across the street from Mimi’s.

    As an added twist: I live in Brooklyn but am spending the summer in San Francisco! Enjoy NYC!

  15. Williamsburg is a great Brooklyn neighborhood to stroll in and out of design shops, cafes, clothing stores and enjoy the best ice cream from a truck parked on the street.
    The Brooklyn Botanic Gardens are beautiful this time of year and just steps from the Brooklyn Museum and Prospect Park.
    Smith Street and Court St in Cobble Hill are filled with fun bookstores, cafes and bakeries and Atlantic Avenue rules for antiques. A little further off the beaten track is Red Hook or the promenade in Brooklyn Heights can’t be beat for the view!

  16. I travel to NY on occasion to photograph weddings. In fact, I’ll be there in 3 weeks! I have to say my favorite place so far is It’s the most darling restaurant I’ve ever eaten in, and besides the incredible decor and atmosphere, all the food is DELICIOUS!

  17. Franny’s on Flatbush in Brooklyn is absolutely wonderful Italian. I also definitely recommend a stroll through the Brooklyn Flea in Fort Greene on Saturday for sure. Sahadi’s on Atlantic in Brooklyn Heights is an amazing Middle Eastern grocer with great bulk, lunch items, etc. Enjoy!!

  18. Get some goodies from Momofuku Milk Bar – the Compost Cookie, the Crack Pie, and the Cake Truffles are all amazing!

    I also vote for a nice walk along the Highline – a beautiful spot for walking and lounging.

    You can finish up at Chelsea Market for some really good food.

    If you’re in Brooklyn, check out the Farm on Adderley – a lovely spot for a leisurely brunch.

    The Brooklyn Botanical Garden will probably be in full bloom!

    Enjoy your trip – New York is amazing!!

  19. I was just there and was thrilled to get the chance to photograph Central Park in the fog. So magical!

    Magnolia Bakery (of Sex and the City fame) in Greenwich Village is definitely worth a visit for the cupcakes and the retro charm.

    Brooklyn Diner in midtown has a great brunch. The hickory bacon and challah toast are delicious.

    Enjoy your trip!

  20. Bryant park is beautiful all year round! There’s cute bistro sets to sit on and people watch, often times there’s chic little vendors, even the trees look cool lol. A great place to take a break from all the sight seeing & best of all something free!

    Have a great time in the big apple! :)

  21. I am an SF native who has been in NYC many years now, so let me try to give you a perfect day in my city:

    Start your day at Chelsea Market, getting a ham and cheese biscuit (pressed in the panini maker) at Amy’s Bread and a coffee from Ninth Street Espresso (rivals Blue Bottle, but not quite). Head up to the Highline, a new park on old train tracks, to have your breakfast alfresco. After breakfast, walk north up 9th Avenue and hit Maison 140 (@19th) and Nest (@21st) for great home decor finds. Head East and hit Lillian August and the ABC store near Union Square for more eye candy. Now that you’re shopped out, hop on the 4 or 5 express from Union Square up to 86th Street, and catch the amazing Alexander McQueen exhibit at the Met. Afterwards, walk down Madison to window shop, or really shop if you’re lucky. Have lunch at Via Quadronno (@73rd)– you’ll feel like you’ve gone all the way to Europe. Try to get one of the tables in the front window for great people-watching. After lunch, head a block west to walk off your lunch in Central Park, and enjoy the spring blooms! You must be tired by now, so rest up before heading to sunset cocktails at the Boom Boom Room at the Standard Hotel. Don’t miss a trip to the bathroom, or you’ll regret it. Then jet over to The Lion in the West Village for the best burgers and celeb enounters around. Top off your evening with a nightcap at Little Branch over on 7th Ave…

  22. we used your san francisco list extensively on our recent trip and now san francisco is my new favourite place. my previously favourite place is nyc and i’ve been often. last trip we went to the brooklyn botanical gardens and then over to fairway market in red hook. a fantastic deli market. you can build your own sandwich and then take it outside to the picnic tables where you can eat your lunch and look out at the statue of liberty.

  23. go to the meatball shop and get a custom ice cream sandwich
    84 stanton street

    and then head up to Central Park and rent a rowboat. You rent them on the path between Bethesda Fountain and the Boat House. Take a spin around the lake and admire the flowers, trees, skyline and people watch

  24. If you’re obsessed with Mexican food like me, you have to go to Barrio Chino. It’s seriously delish and they have fun flavored margaritas.
    If you’re wanting a good dinner restaurant, head to the Stanton Social, they have amazing french onion dumplings. And a cute bar setting upstairs.
    For vintage shopping, head to Past Present Future, just a 1/2 block away from the Stanton Social. Also stop by Tokyo 7, they have great designer pieces for great prices. I found my sister a DVF dress for $80 and she found an Armani tweed blazer for $40, it was insane.
    Hope you have a blast!


  25. I just read all the comments above me so I won’t repeat anything….and I can’t argue much with other NYC’ers recs. Here are some to add:

    – Joe’s for coffee. My local one is on Columbus just below 85th St, but I’m certain there are others in the city.

    – Museum of Art and Design (MAD) at Columbus Circle (where Columbus, Broadway and w 69th Sts intersect.) Definitely worth checking out what exhibitions they have when you’re coming AND make sure to check out which of the in-residence artists will be having open studios on the days you go there (top floor)

    – Only “touristy” thing I ever recommend is Ellis Island. If the weather is nice, the boat ride through the NY Harbor is pleasant (bring your own sandwich/ snacks to avoid getting ripped off) and the museum is pretty amazing, especially if you have a vivid imagination and think about all the people who streamed through that space looking for new lives in the U.S. Good for some perspective on immigration issues, if you ask me. (Boat to Ellis Island leaves from southern tip of Battery Park)Also, the architecture makes for good photographic subject too.

    – for taking quintessential NY photos, visit the Lower Eastside (of Manhattan) and Central Park.

    – Someone mentioned Magnolia Bakery above – they have more than one location now, but only in NYC and they are appreciated for more than just cupcakes.

    – In SF you have no lack of Asian food so I’m not going to recommend my favorites, though if you want to know, just email me. So for higher-end foodie food, I recommend WD-50 (Lower Eastside) and/ or Kefi (Greek but unlike any you’ve had before – Upper Westside).

    For moderately-priced (for NYC) food, Shake Shack is famous as someone pointed out above. If the weather is cooperative, I recommend the one in Madison Park. If you need/ want indoor dining the one near the Museum of Natural History has plenty of that – but not on a weekend! Otherwise I’d have my moderately priced meals at some of the Brooklyn eateries recommended above.

    – If you go to the Met, pick two or three exhibits or galleries and spend your time there. The “entrance price” is only a recommendation so you shouldn’t feel obligated to pay the full amount unless you can genuinely afford it. If you do go, definitely visit the sculpture rooftop garden – it has the very BEST views of Central Park (also rotating sculpture exhibits). The American Wing was redone a while back and is nice. Sometimes it’s good to see the old for inspiration for the new, you know?

    – Unless you’re really eager to see a particular show, I wouldn’t go to the Guggenheim. Walk by for the architecture. Instead, spend your Upper Eastside museum time at the Whitney which has a terrific collection even if it is limited to art in America; their permanent collection is excellent regardless of what the special exhibit it.

    Others recommended the Cooper-Hewitt and my thought on that is to double-check what’s on display there before deciding to go, as the permanent collection isn’t super exciting. For design, I find the MoMA’s permanent collection and things at the MAD (see above) to be more compelling.

    – My number one piece of advice though is to bring your most comfortable walking shoes/ sandals and just walk, walk, walk. Walk across the Brooklyn Bridge once at least and get ice cream at the small ice cream place beneath it (all homemade). Walking is the way to best experience NYC – though be forewarned, like most cities, there are areas that would be rather dull to walk through depending on the time of day/ day of the week. Just make your choices carefully about transport and definitely take the time to stroll.

    Have SO much fun!

  26. There’s this really great Swedish candy shop in the Rockefeller complex… I think this is it: Everything is decorated and all the sweets are fantastic – I loved the candied oranges dipped in chocolate. Yummm.
    Also, if you love museums, the MET is the best – plan on at least a day to wander the halls and soak in some knowledge and appreciation for history.
    And it might just be me, but I LOVE fire escapes. They can just be so pretty and perfectly urban. Therefore, taking a fire escape viewing walk is a necessity.

  27. Victoria,
    You absolutely MUST visit Vintage Thrift, one of my favorite thrift boutiques in New York. Located at 286 Third Avenue (between 22 & 23rd St.) The shop benefits the United Jewish Council of the East Side. Please check their website for store hours. (I know they are open in the evening, too.)

  28. i trust and wish you will have a great time in nyc and safe travels there and home.

    as for suggestions of “can’t miss” places there, first, i would like to say thanks for all those great ideas listed above as i hope to get back to nyc soon! i would agree with so many of them (not familiar with all of them, especially some outside of manhattan) – and that list will keep you busy enough – so i will add only two:

    the farmers market in union square. it’s on broadway near 14th street and is held just about every other day. yummy food and people/pet-watching … lots of inspiration!

    “ellen’s stardust diner” in times square/midtown. they serve diner-style food, nothing fancy, but good and pretty fast. the decor last time i went was very 50s/mid-century. those are charming enough reasons to go and the location is great, but what my sister, our mother and i enjoyed the most was all the singing (and sometimes standing on banquettes) by the wait-staff! they have been consistently awesome each time we went there. we were told that many of the staff had been or were signed up to be in shows on broadway. we couldn’t get in to see any shows, so this was the next-best-thing that didn’t feel like the next-best-thing. just lots of casual fun and great music. here’s a link: (but somehow i can’t get it to be “live”). they are located at 1650 broadway, at 51st street (212.956.5151)

    have a great time!

  29. Grab a creme brulee donut from The Doughnut Plant, 379 Grand Street, ( and walk over to the Hua Mei Bird Garden in Sara Delano Roosevelt Park (Chrystie and Delancey Street)— an early morning gathering of beloved song birds and their owners. It’s an enchanting experience!

    Also nearby: Lower East Side Tenement Museum, 108 Orchard Street.

    Il Laboratorio del Gelato, 95 Orchard Street. Yummy gelato flavors.

    Economy Candy, 108 Rivington St, great source for sweet treats.

    if you’re still in the city at the end of the month,
    I recommend a visit to Governor’s Island. It opens on May 27 for the summer season.

  30. When I was living in Brooklyn, I’d find any excuse I could to take the subway to Manhattan to eat arepas at Caracas. Cheap, delicious, and as far as I can tell, without a peer in SF. Now they’ve got a location in Williamsburg, too: The NYC location has the added bonus of being a stone’s throw from all kinds of LES goodness, including Il Labortorio di Gelato, Katz’s Deli, and various swanky fashionista destinations, like Freeman’s Sporting Goods (menswear, but still worth popping in, if only to marvel at all the rich dandies getting old-fashioned shaves, surrounded by relics of Americana you’d find at your flea market, except here they’re scattered amongst beautiful suits and cost lots more money.)

    Frankly, the Union Square Farmer’s Market– for all its marvelous and welcome bounty–pales in comparison to SF’s offerings. The Brooklyn Flea is more clothing-focused than Allemany and Alameda, where you’re more likely to find lovely things for your home. That said, I’ve found some of my favorite clothes at the Brooklyn Flea, and it’s a lovely spot. Especially in the spring, when you can soak in the sun by the waterfront and get treats from all the highfalutin & tasty food vendors. But you might want to save room for ice cream and chocolate chip cookies from heaven at Jacques Torres, a few blocks away.

    Have fun!

  31. Treat yourself to some old school elegance while in NYC. Stop in at Bergdorf Goodman’s – go to the 7th Floor, have lunch or tea at BG Restaurant. Then wonder around the 7th floor for some amazing home decor goodies. You will feel extra girly as you ride the escalator back down to 5th Ave.

  32. I love Inwood Hill Park. It’s beautiful and peaceful and it is a nice bit of the rustic in such a compact city. It is all the way uptown, so there there are beautiful views of the Hudson, and it contains the largest piece of forested land in Manhattan. Take the A train all the way to the end of the line and you’ll see it.

  33. – Cooper Hewitt then you can decided to go into Central Park around the reservoir or you can head towards the East River and Carl Schurz Park (If you head this way stop by Glaser’s Bake Shop – 1st Ave
    between 87th St & 88th St – It is a beautiful old shop. Like going back in time.)
    – Campbell Apartment in Grand Central (It is really fun to go into a little speakeasy style place like this in a place as touristy as Grand Central.)
    – Roof of the Met for views or DUMBO/Brooklyn Bridge Park for another icon view

  34. oh goodness me i love nyc!
    of course a wlak thorugh central park and across the brooklyn bridge are a must, stoping on the dumbo side for a cone of brooklyn ice cream. yum. then hit soho for the MUST SEE impossible project. yes yes.

    have fun!

  35. We found this excellent little Thai place the summer before last: it’s on 8th Ave just south of W31st St (near Madison Square Garden). It looks like a total dive, but the food is delicious! The sign above the door just says ‘Pad Thai;’ I don’t know if it has a proper name. We ate there twice in a week-long stay. If you like Thai food, definitely check it out!

  36. You’ll LOVE NYC. I haven’t been as much as I would like to. It really is a fabulous city, I can’t wait to go back. My younger sis used to work in NYC and loved it.

    Some fab places to check out – and some of her recommendations as well!
    Kalustyan’s – Indian/Middle Eastern grocery store and restaurant. Hole in the wall place stuffed floor to ceiling with every kind of curry, tea, chutney, and spice that you can imagine! Has a deli counter upstairs where you can order amazing Middle Eastern food. 123 Lexington Ave, between 28th and 29th St.

    I know others said this one already– Magnolia Bakery, 401 Bleecker St Near Union Square: 18 W. 18th St between 5th and 6th Ave

    Other favorites near Union Square:
    Idlewild Bookstore:‎ – 12 W 19th btw 5th and 6th Street. A fun spot to find some interesting titles that you might not find in a normal bookstore.

    The Strand Bookstore- Broadway between 12th and 13th: “Perhaps the most famous bookstore in NYC” — Full of used books of all kinds.

    Union Square Greenmarket: In Union Square, Mon, Wed, Fri and Sat from 8 am to 6 pm – All sorts of goods grown or baked by local farmers and artisans. Cheese, ostrich eggs, focaccia bread, apple cider donuts, fresh basil, you name it!

    Shake Shack If it’s nice weather outside be prepared to stand in line for a while. Outdoor gourmet hot dog and burger place at the edge of Madison Square Park. An institution in NYC, with multiple locations. Great place to get a bite and people watch.

  37. As a student studying Interior Design at Parsons, I tend to frequent various small cafe’s and galleries. There is a new show up in the building I intern in of the artist Rimi Yang at Stricoff Fine Art (210 11th Avenue & 25th Street). Check it out!

    There are a couple cafe’s called ThinkCoffee. Wonderful little places with great espresso and black coffee.

    There is a restaurant a couple blocks from me in the east village, Three of Cups, that is wonderfully decorated and great for a dinner.

    If you want great music and cheap drinks but not feel like you’re at a dive bar hit up CakeShop on Ludlow. Afterwards get one of the best crepes ever at Creperie NYC a little farther down on Ludlow.


  38. My personal favorite is the Peter Pan Bakery in Greenpoint. This is true old-school, not a hipsters masquerading as a funky 50s bakery. This is the real deal. The best doughnuts and pasteries ever! Served to go, or take a seat at one of the horseshoe counters and dunk your powdered sugar cake doughnut in a cup o joe. You won’t regret it — the experience or the calories! 727 Manhattan Avenue, Greenpoint, Brooklyn.

  39. Vintage millinery flowers!
    Appliques and ornaments!
    Buttons and beads!
    Metallic thread, trim, letters!
    Dresden and paper scrap.
    So many ways to be charmed.
    Get thee to Tinsel Trading.
    1 West 37th, Manhattan.

  40. Take the A Train up to Fort Tryon Park. Wander through the Heather Garden, spend a few moments contemplating the Hudson River, and take a tour of the Cloisters. Have lunch at New Leaf Cafe or, if you aren’t feeling that posh, make your way to Malecon Restaurant (4141 Broadway, between 175th St & 176th St) and wolf down a half chicken, yellow rice, and fried plantains.

  41. You absolutely have to do a “public” scavenger hunt via I heard about them several years ago via Daily Candy and my mom and I did a Brooklyn Heights scavenger hunt and just had fun answering riddles, walking around the neighborhood. They have a TON of hunts – you’ll have a blast. Enjoy!

  42. First: Get a ticket to see Sleep No More, an amazing interactive theatre experience in an abandoned theatre. There’s not another show like it, you won’t be disappointed.

    Second: Check on the upcoming dates for NY underground supper clubs like Whisk & Ladle, Studiofeast, Sunday Suppers, A Razor A Shiny Knife… it would be a uniquely NY evening. (Here’s a list of more supper clubs

    Third: Spend a day in Red Hook. Breakfast at Baked, then walk around the main street (don’t miss Erie Basin) and over to the water for a great view of the Statue of Liberty. While away the afternoon with cocktails at Botanica. Then head over to Fort Defiance or The Good Fork for dinner. Then walk down the street to the Hope and Anchor for karaoke (on Fridays and Saturdays) – best day.

    Fourth: Get active! Try NY Trapeze School on Pier 40 or maybe rent a bike to ride up to The Cloisters for an A-mazing view of the Hudson.

    Fifth: Finally, go to Shanghai Mermaid (on May 14.) But first you’ll need to shop vintage, costume stores for the perfect 20’s inspired outfit. SM parties are like being transported back in time. It’s the absolute most fun thing to do!

    Have a great trip!!!

  43. OMG, this couldn’t have come in better time. I’m also heading to NYC in the 19th and here are a few things I am thinking about doing:
    – Highline Park, Alexander McQueen Exhibition at Met, Williamsburg, Mast Brothers Choc and Saipua in Brooklyn.

    Last year I’ve been to The Cloister and it was mesmerizing. So worth the trip to Washington Heights. Plus, the Period Rooms at Met are great for those interested in early period decor.

    Have fun!

  44. I’ve never been there but how about Dylan’s Candy Bar. Their candy looks really great and i like their boxes.

  45. My in-laws are from the Bronx and Manhattan. Whenever we go to visit mid town, we go EARLY and park for free around the perimeter of Central Park. If we don’t get a spot there, at least we are still early enough for the cheaper price in the parking lots. If you have a car, just plan on scratches and dents by the time you leave the city. Watch out for potholes and crazy taxi drivers. Have fun!

  46. if they are still there, the Russian Baths E 10th st. And other than walking everywhere and discovering it, which is best of course. I second the Whitney and also a trip on the staten island ferry! I loved going for a classic cocktail at the Oak Rooms. very old school.

  47. I’ve lived in the NYC area my whole life. Personally, I could spend a whole day wandering around Central Park. I never get sick of it. It’s so romantic! Start at the Museum of Natural History then stop in the Boathouse cafe for a glass of wine and afternoon snack. Be sure to see the Bethesda fountain, the carousel and the Alice in Wonderland statue. The Central Park Zoo is also great- small enough that you get to see everything and don’t get lost and the clock there is a classic.
    Other favorite NYC bars and restaurants:
    Boat Basin Cafe at 79th Street on the Hudson River (great views)
    The Campbell Apartment in Grand Central Terminal (a classy secret little place to get a drink en route)
    The Cupping Room (favorite for brunch)
    French Roast (great food and great bar- also nice for late night coffee)
    Things to Do:
    Brooklyn Botanical Gardens (great this time of yr)
    Japan Society- great show up now! Bye Bye Kitty
    Lion Brand Yarn Studio
    Brooklyn Flea
    PS 1
    Studio Museum
    Angelika Film Center
    The Strand bookstore
    If you happen to come to Jersey City (that’s where I live now) my suggestions would be to see the Loews theater- it’s a beautiful building and they screen old films there now. For food- Marco and Pepe for brunch, Honshu for sushi- BEST in town and great prices. They also just opened up a Barcade- craft beer and vintage arcade games. And last but not least, the Creative Grove Marketplace at the Grove St PATH every friday 2-8pm. I’ll be there!
    Have fun on your trip!

  48. Hi!!
    I hope it’s not to late! i would like to help you to discover more places in NY!

    I love ♥ BABYCAKES ♥ bakery on Broome Street.
    Go to ♥ CATBIRD ♥ ( You can find sweet vintage jewerly there.
    I’m from France and my wish in Ny was to eat the best burger of the city…and my favorite burger was in ♥ DUMONT BURGER ♥

    My best memory from New York is from CONEY ISLAND…the moon light and the incandescent colors! Pls see some pictures on my blog, you will not go to Coney Island for nothing.

    Have fun!

  49. I love that someone already recommended Peter Pan Bakery! The best donuts you’eve ever had. Forget Doughnut Plant – totaly overhyped and hipster infested. Doughnut Plant hasn’t changed in 30 years, from the pink jumper uniforms the waitresses wear to the s-shaped Formica countertop. The doughnuts are ridiculouly delicious. These are Tina Fey’s favorite doughnuts! Is there any better recomendation??

    Also: Le Veau D’or across the street from Bloomies. This is the Frenchest place you will ever go, including any place in France. Its another place that hasn’t changed in 30 years. The owner will carve your roast chicken tableside and the waiters in dusty tuxes will serve you Peach Melba for dessert. No one I know shares my love for this sort of classic New York institutions, but if you do, I’d love to meet you for lunch!

  50. If chinatown is in the mix you HAVE TO go to Joe’s Shanghai and order soup dumplings I would put it on “the best thing I have ever ate” list. Absolutely amazing, I put the address below.

    9 Pell Street
    New York, New York 10013

    Also the MET is the best place on earth if you don’t make the trip you are crazy!

  51. I’m a Manhattan dweller – love the recommendations thus far and apologize for any inadvertent redundancy:

    Cafe Grumpy 224 West 20th St in Chelsea
    Joe’s on 13th Street btw 5th Ave & University Place

    best blintzes/ukrainian borscht/kielbasa
    Veselka’s in the East Village

    Best Ramen – so sorry, but not David Chang’s Momofuku whose pork broth is too salty as my Jaopanese in-laws say (though there is plenty else that is delicious) but Ippudo NY on 4th Ave between 9th & 10th St

    Great people watching while eating fresh oysters – Jefferson Restaurant on the Corner of 10th St (121 10th st) with huge windows and a very mellow vibe – part neighborhood hangout, grocery and bar.

    Best Blow-Out Meal – try Jean Georges in Trump Plaza off CPW at lunch at the “bar” – there is often a prix fixe and the food is truly stupendous

    Also, just visiting the Chelsea Market in a wonderfully rehabbed industrial building, right by the Meatpacking District, is interesting.


    Yes to Central Park (but please no horse drawn carriage rides, the conditions those poor animals live in are abysmal and there are active efforts to make those rides illegal or at least far more regulated than today) so walk up to the Harlem Meer Gardens at 108th Street – just exquisite, especially now. If you’re feeling whimsical, or travlling with a child, take a ride on the restored merry-go-round – it is beautifully preserved.

    Also try to see the newly restored Azalea Gardens at the Bronx Botanical Gardens (the orchid show may be on as well if you’re lucky) and the wonderful Brooklyn Botanical Gardens – cherry blossoms may be gone but it is still lovely there, with a tiny Japanese garden and path – very different from the tea house at Golden Gate Park. The Brooklyn Museum is there too and worth a visit.

    In addition to the Highline, try walking down the Hudson Park River walkway to Tribeca and to Battery Park City park and the piers there.


    Three Lives Bookstore in the West Village – just down the block from Jack’s coffee – absolutely beautiful.

    McNally Jackson Books in Soho, 52 Prince Street, great selection, especially of design/art books.

    The NY Public Library on 42nd Street and 5th Avenue – everyone should experience that magnificent reading room and wonderful building, all free and a great reminder of why we invest in public institutions and spaces. Bryant Park in the back is lovely too.


    Karen Karch Jewels on Mulberry Street – she creates beautiful rings, earrings, etc.

    Ted Muehling, the grand daddy of organic design form, his jewelry is extraordinary:

    Less stratospherically expensive, with lots of independent artisans represented as well as her own work, Lori McClean on Grove Street.

    But most of all, as others have said, just walk – there is truly no other place in the world as diverse and interesting as NYC: Flushing, Queens literally has the largest number of different nationalities in one geographic location anywhere – and amazing food too, check it out!

    Now a favor, please: I’m going to San Francisco, one of my favorite cities in the world, the first week in June. I have your Design*Sponge recommendations, but can you please give me the titles of those books on San Francisco that you recommend? Many thanks! Enjoy NYC!

  52. I’ve not been to NYC since the late ’80’s, but I’m certain that my ‘favorite spot’ has only become more interesting since then: Fifth Avenue at night! My friends and I spent hours walking along 5th Ave. at night, taking in the menagerie of people, the smells, sights, textures, store windows… I have it all catalogued in my memory bank – WOW! Have a ball.


  53. ACK – had to edit my earlier comment. Said DP when I should have said PP!

    I love that someone already recommended Peter Pan Bakery! The best donuts you’eve ever had. Forget Doughnut Plant – totaly overhyped and hipster infested. Peter Pan hasn’t changed in 30 years, from the pink jumper uniforms the waitresses wear to the s-shaped Formica countertop. The doughnuts are ridiculouly delicious. These are Tina Fey’s favorite donuts! Is there any better recomendation??

    Also: Le Veau D’or across the street from Bloomies. This is the Frenchest place you will ever go, including any place in France. Its another place that hasn’t changed in 30 years. The owner will carve your roast chicken tableside and the waiters in dusty tuxes will serve you Peach Melba for dessert. No one I know shares my love for this sort of classic New York institutions, but if you do, I’d love to meet you for lunch!

  54. Love NYC! Went for a week last summer, and am counting the days till we can get back there.

    We found this amazing Scottish gastropub (no, that is NOT an oxymoron, in this case, anyways!) in the West Village: Highlands ( Great atmosphere, amazing food, huge and unique beer and liquor selection…. We went back a second night, we loved it so much!

  55. Mud cafe on east 9th street is so great particularly on a sunny day and you can sit at the window. They got me hooked on chai lattes and haven’t found anything as good since! There’s lots of nice trinket shops on the street too.

    I love visiting the Neue Gallerie near Central Park. It’s a small gallery in a beautiful building. They have a selection of Klimt’s there!

    Oh and go to the Met to see Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty…what I would do to be there right now!

    Have a great trip!

  56. As a recent transplant from NYC to SF – I thank you for being my tour guide to my new city.

    Here’s my faves for dining from my home of 18 years, NYC:

    The Breslin

    Stumptown (Blue Bottle’s rival)
    adjacent to the Breslin



    The Lion

    And the best cupcake doesn’t get all the hype and controversy that Magnolia/Crumb/etc get, and therefore you know it’s damn good, and that is Two Little Red Hens. Have a jam filled cupcake for me!

  57. You must visit “Podunk” on East 5th street between Bowery and 2nd ave in the East Village for tea and cupcakes. The owner is Elsbeth she bakes it all in the back and sometimes rings you up with her oven mitts on!

    Another favorite is a Frenchy bar in the lower part of the Lower East Side, below Delancey, called 10 Bells. Lovely little neighborhood and a great place for a glass of Rose on a warm night.
    On Broome between Orchard and Ludlow.

    Momofuku on First ave between 10th and 11th is a must-visit for the pork buns… pair them with a Hitachino White Ale.

  58. you’ll have a great time & you’ve already gotten so many great recommendations! i suggest going to dumbo in brooklyn (right across the manhattan and brooklyn bridges) & eating at rice – vegetarian meatballs are THE BEST! i also suggest walking the williamsburg bridge (the true grit of the city! & the graffiti is the best!)

  59. I grew up in NYC and just moved out to SF about a month ago.

    go to ABC home. it’s on Broadway right up from Union Square. You will want to move in there and make it home. I promise. It’s 6 floors of heaven for anyone that loves interior design.

    Cafe Habana for the most amazing corn ever. There is always a line but grab a marg at the bar and wait. It’s well worth it. There are also TONS of cute shops on Elizabeth on saturday there is a young artists market in the church.

    For Ramen and Pork Buns go to Ippudo NYC. After having both on many occasions, Momofuko seems over rated.

    Spitzers is great for a beer and a burger on a nice day.

    i could go on for ages…

    I miss my home!!!

  60. I know there a million things to do in the city but i highly recommend going to the outdoor sculpture park, Storm King – it’s about a 45 min. drive from manhattan. It’s amazing!

  61. Oh my… I gained 10 lbs. just reading all the eating suggestions. I stumbled upon a cute eatery last time I was there:
    Peanut Butter& Co. in the Village

  62. Shopping on broadway in SoHo. Hip street vendors and stores with amazing finds that you wont see anywhere else. Make sure to hit up a store called Lush for amazing organic and great smelling products.
    Saturday farmers market at Union Square lots of booths and tents and it’s beautiful there.

    Definitely hit up the met and the moma.
    Go to the village and walk the streets while bar hopping at night!!!

    Definitely go to Central Park Highline park (on old elevated train tracks) & Bryant Park!

    I would try to see the play called, “Anything Goes.” It was phenominal.

    Eat food EVERYWHERE! No matter where you go you’ll find amazing treats.
    Steer very clear of chains- Friday’s etc. They are over priced, packed and just plain silly to eat food you can get anywhere.

    Tea at Alice’s Tea Cup.
    DO do some of the touristy stuff-
    FAO Schwartz, Statue of Liberty, Empire State Building. etc

  63. Some of my favorite places are also the most touristy, but that is because they are the best!

    Ellis Island- Very interesting, especially if you have ancestors who might have traveled through their halls. (go early!)

    The Frick- This Beautiful museum was the home the 19th century collector Henry Frick (its free from 11-1 on Sundays)

    The Met- I have spent so many hours here! It is always pay what you wish, my favorite time to go is Friday and Saturday night when they are open till 9.

    LES Tenement Museum- This is another interesting historical stop to make. They only do tours, so you have to book in advance.

    some places to eat:
    Fiore-homemade pasta and brick oven pizza, in Williamsburg

    Umi No Ie- (86 E 3rd st, LES) This place is defiantly a hole in the wall, but oh so amazing. It is run by two women who make Japanese home style cooking. Go for the tasting menu and they’ll bring out 7 dishes!

    Tasty Hand Pulled Noodle- Chinatown (1 Doyers St) Tiny restaurant, with noodles made to order, everything is made with beef broth, but right around the corner is the equally amazing, Buddha Bodai at 5 Mott st. Its totally vegan and I might add, probably the cleanest restaurant in Chinatown and Kosher to boot!

    Hampton Chutney- Soho can be super expensive, but, this place makes delicious and reasonably priced Dosas (crispy Indian Pancakes stuffed with spiced potatoes,veggies, ect)

    Even if you don’t do anything you plan, and just wander around, you’ll have a great time!

  64. If you love burgers and fries, you MUST eat at Burger Joint — a hidden treasure that I dream about when not in NYC. Little place tucked in the Parker Meridien hotel, roughly 7th ave and 57th street. Take subway to Columbus Circle and walk a few short blocks. It’s behind the lobby, but the hotel staff will point it out if you get lost. Absolutely the best burgers and fries – and I’m not even a big burger eater. I will walk on hot coals to eat at this Joint. ;)

  65. I lived in New York for one year, and these are my personal recommendations. Sorry if these were already covered. If you like any of these and need more details, please email me – I can provide further suggestions, links, etc.

    For museums, definitely the MET (will take you an entire day and even then you won’t have seen everything) and/or the MoMA.

    Definitely check out:
    – Brooklyn Botanic Garden (and if you have time you can check out the adjacent Brooklyn Museum).
    – Brooklyn Bridge Flea Market, get some ice cream from Jacques Torres Chocolate, and walk around the area, beautiful views of Manhattan, walk over the Brooklyn Bridge.
    – High Line Park
    – Central Park, and if you have more time then also head up to the Conservatory Garden (East Harlem).
    – Bryant Park and New York Public Library.

    For good views:
    – I’d skip the Empire State Building observatory and instead do the three-level observation deck at Top of the Rock at 30 Rockefeller Plaza Go a bit before sunset time, that way you’ll get
    360 unobstructed views of the city during day, at sunset, and at night. Incredibly beautiful (make sure it’s a clear day).
    – A great way to see the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island is to go on a boat ride with Clipper City. Yes, it’s a bit pricey but if you have the budget for this, the views are astounding. I did this once on a sunset ride and it was the best experience.

    Chelsea was where I lived, here’s some must go to places:
    – Chelsea Market – grab a sandwich at Amy’s (or the most fantastic pad thai from Chelsea Thai Wholesale) to go, and absolutely head over to the
    High Line Park.
    – Head to W. 17th Street – there you’ll find Housing Works and Angle Thrift Shop. Also in this area is a small “antique alley” next door to a tiny antique jewelry shop. At the end of this street on the weekends (corner of 17th and 7th avenue) in a small parking are is the Chelsea antique and collectible flea market. Sometimes there’s absolutely nothing, and sometimes you’ll score – it really depends on your taste and the day.
    – Also in this same area is the Rubin Museum showcasing art of Himalayas, Tibet, and more. Best time to go is on Fridays from 6 – 10 pm when they offer free admission (grab a cocktail in the museum’s ground level first). It’s a small museum and won’t take too long to view the art.
    – Also on W 17th – Food: Basta Pasta (Japanese take on Italian food, bit pricey but delicious) and Petite Abeille offers good Belgium style food and cute decor.
    – Walk up a bit further and check out the legendary Chelsea Hotel.
    – If you don’t mind walking a bit further, on Saturdays and Sundays until 5-ish is The Garage Flea Market (West 25th St between 6th and 7th aves). Pretty large with wide range of vintage goods like jewelry, art.

    East Village – great neighborhood to just walk around for tons of shops, drinks, snacks, dining – can spend a whole day there just wandering. One of my favs is brunch at Caracas Arepa Bar. I love their Arepitas Dulces (bite-size sweet arepas made with anise and white cheese served with guava sauce). But go early or you’ll be waiting forever for a table. Another is ChikaLicious Dessert Bar (203 E. 10th Street, near 2nd Ave) – run by a husband and wife team, only sells desserts, presentation is very Japanese style, offers three-course prix-fix menu. The Fromage Blanc and Japanese style cheesecakes are heavenly. Right across the street is their second venture Dessert Club, ChikaLicious more casual and more affordable – sells light and airy cupcakes.
    Another Japanese food joint that’s good is Village Yokocho (yakitori-style) and inside Village Yokocho upstairs is a tucked away (but somewhat pricey) dreamy bar called Angel’s Share (the door is unmarked).

    Lower East Side: Food – Russ & Daughters, Zucco: Le French Diner.

    Union Square Farmer’s Market is also bustling and fun. Across the street is Republic (37 union square) that sells delicious Vietnamese sandwiches, noodles, rice dishes, bbq pork rice vermicelli

    Other Food:
    – Tea & Sympathy (108 Greenwich Avenue) – do the tea service there, or do lunch – you can even buy beer two doors down at Salt & Battery and take it to Tea & Sympathcy. Next door is also the store selling teas, tea pots, english treats.
    – Taim Falafel & Smoothie Bar (222 Waverly Place at 7th Ave) – the best falafel ever! Affordable too. Try the falafel platter.
    – For burgers: JG Melon (upper east side), Shake Shack, or The Burger Joint at the Le Parker Meridian Hotel.
    – Only if you have ample time, which I’m sure you won’t: best pizza at DiFara in Midwood Brooklyn.
    – The best gigantic, thick chocolate chip cookies at Levain Bakery (167 W 74th St). Wait til they take it right out of the oven.
    – brunch at Barney Greengrass.
    – Zabar’s (Broadway and 80th) – great places to buy treats to take home with you.
    – Bouchon Bakery inside Time Warner Center. It’s not a cute place to sit down or anything, but the treats are delicious. I love the TKO which is
    an oversized oreo cookie for grown ups with white chocolate ganache filling and a chocolate sable dough that doesn’t crumble. After Bouchon, you can walk to Lincoln Center area and then head over to Central park.

    Other things:
    – Strand Bookstore
    – Jazz at Village Vanguard.
    – Flushing, Queens – to see the biggest Chinatown you’ll ever see in your life in the U.S. they also have fantastic Korean food there (far better than Koreatown in Manhattan). Really cheap, authentic good food here, but can be challenging to navigate since there’s hardly any English signs or English-speaking people there.
    – The Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine in morningside heights area (amsterdam avenue between W 110th and 113th). If you like architecture, take their vertical tour – about an hour – Saturdays (I think from noon to 2). Then take a stroll down to Tom’s Restaurant if you’re a Seinfeld fan.
    – The Cloisters – located on an isolated area on a hill in the northernmost point of manhattan and overlooks Hudson. It’s a branch of the MET
    devoted to art and architecture of medieval Europe. I saw everything at The Cloisters at a very comfortable pace in two hours. The best way to visit The Cloisters is to go on Friday or Saturday when the Met is open til 9 PM so you can have ample time to do both since admission to The Cloisters gets you free admission to the Met.

    Hope this helps! Jenn

    Some of the recommendations in further detail can be found here:

  66. girl, you gotta bring yourself on over to brooklyn and visit pies n thighs! i’m a southern girl myself and this is the best fried chicken this side of the mason dixon line. wonderful sides and the best sweet tea you’ll ever taste!

    while you’re at it, walk on down bedford ave and hit up catbird and shoe market, as well as mini market for dresses. if it’s a sunday, the brooklyn flea is an interesting market to walk around to eat and buy pretty things.

    if you’re in manhattan might i suggest:

    lula’s sweet apothecary (for the best vegan ice cream in the world)

    fabulous fanny’s (really cool vintage and new glasses, so many different styles!)

    veselka (insanely delicious ukrainian soul food)

    sugar sweet sunshine (forget magnolia and their $4.50 cupcakes, SSS is $1.50 for the most incredibly moist cupcake!)

    and if you’re in the meatpacking/chelsea area, come to the chelsea market and eat at the green table. i’m a chef there and we focus on local, sustainable ingredients.

    have a wonderful time in new york!

  67. I forgot to add these to my last comment (I apologize for the somewhat lengthy post). I suggest these places that I would like to have gone to had I not moved away:

    Hester Street Fair (Lower East Side) w/handmade goods and food sounds like fun, reopening for the season May 7th:

    Annie’s Blue Ribbon General Store in Brooklyn

    Other suggestions:
    Mast Brothers Chocolate:

    Stogo Ice Cream:

    And I second what commenter Stephanie said. The Green Table is very good and so is Veselka. If you decide to go to Veselka, there’s a lot of shops and cafes in the surrounding streets, and not far from my previous East Village recommendations.

  68. ok…so if you make it to just ONE restaurant during your trip, you must must must go to the DUMONT:
    432 Union Avenue
    Brooklyn, NY 11211-3420
    (718) 486-7717
    ask to eat on the patio (the front room is darling too!)
    and enjoy it for the both of us!

  69. I’m excited to read your thoughts on NYC!!
    You should definitly check out Williamsburg. It is the up and coming area thats changed drastically over the last 10 years. There are tons of little boutiques and cafes. Take the L train to Bedford Av. (Its the 1st stop in Brooklyn on that train, 5 min from Union Square in Manhattan). Once you step out you will notice the more laid back people, tons of bikes, many europeans, and the really cute and inviting atmosphere.

    Another place I have to mention (interior design wise) is the best vintage interior shop in New York. Its called Olde Good Things, (124 W. 24th St.), a hole in the wall, not on a particularily exciting street at all, but has AWESOME pieces.

  70. Definitely go to the Doughnut Plant. So insanely delicious. Also, try to see Anything Goes, it’s a super fun show.

  71. In an assuming building, on an unassuming street in Tribeca, you will have the best hand built, mixology inspired cocktail of your life. This chef’s table only restaurant offers bar service to a select few after 7 pm. Just tell the barkeep if you’re a salty, sweet, tangy, juicy, summer, winter, or sour person and let the games begin. I am a Jalapeno, English Cucumber, Margarita.

    Compose, NYC
    77 Worth Street
    New York City

    Perhaps then head to ultra dive bar/ gay bar / broadway showtunes bar, Marie’s Crisis in the West Village for terrible beers but amazing live piano playing?

  72. I may be a little late for your trip, but next time I would highly recommend checking out City Maps to plan anything you want to do in NYC. It is an overall view of the city and every single business. It lets you find out everything from drink specials down the street to a yoga class schedule in the village. It’s superb!

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