The Ultimate Planning Guide to New York City: A List of the BEST Places to Eat, Drink, See
I have divided my list by what type of activity (where to visit, what to do, where to take pictures, where to eat/drink and find the best food).
THE ULTIMATE PLANNING GUIDE TO New York City: A LIST OF THE BEST PLACES TO EAT, DRINK, SEE
One of my favorite parts about NYC is the FOOOOOD so I am dividing my list by categories + areas because there are just SOOOO many!
FUN FACT: If you ate out everyday in NYC for breakfast, lunch AND dinner (chain and fast food restaurants not included), it would take you 26 years to get through all the restaurants that exist in NYC.
Food by Neighborhood
(my favorite neighborhood in all of Manhattan)
212 E 10th St.
BEST Pho in NYC hands down and bowls are huge!
99 Flavor Taste
37 St. Marks Pl.
My fave place to go to for AYCE KBBQ—a little pricey, but all AYCE is pricey in NYC
11 St. Marks Pl.
Two words—CURRY UDON. Just get it, you’'ll thank me later
25 St. Marks Pl.
Amazing Japanese tapas place. You do not want to miss this place—just go, trust me. Beware of the one hour wait (it is well worth the wait)
New Wonjo Restaurant
23 W 32nd St
My favorite Korean restaurant in the city—best lunch specials (available only on weekdays)! So perfect place to go to after touring around Midtown as it is not too far of a walk from most Midtown attractions
15 W 28th St
The Original Hand Roll Bar—super cool experience, but can get a little pricey. Well worth the wait!
41 E 20th St
Russian food with a very cute dollhouse tea room interior
267 Elizabeth St.
Mexican food dispensed from a Volkswagen van parked inside, garage-like theme--cheap, affordable and incredibly aesthetically pleasing
5 E 19th St.
First of all, you should go here just to see the over the top interior because it is insane. But, if you’re actually hungry, the food here is of very high quality and is authentic made
647 9th Ave
An amazing mix of Vietnamese, Thai, and other Asian foods
658 9th Ave
Good, fairly cheap ramen
5 W 37th St
German food + beer hall with HUMONGOUS pretzels
Her Name is Han
17 E 31st St.
Really delicious Korean food and they have yummy cocktails as well! It is a little on the pricey side, so don’t head this way if you are looking for cheap eats
Nom Wah Tea Parlor
13 Doyers St
Ok, seriously Nom Wah hands down has the best shumai in NYC and I have tried many, many places. They also have incredible Shanghainese soup dumplings that gives Din Tai Fung a run for its money. MUST VISIT if you like dim sum (it is served all day).
Note: It is the oldest dim sum house in NYC (dating back to 1920) and probably the best, so expect an hour wait (it is literally worth every second)
20 Elizabeth St
The largest dim sum house in NYC—spanning at 20,000 sq. feet and has the capability to seat ~800 people. Read: Chaotic craziness, but a great experience!
Golden Unicorn Restaurant
18 E Broadway
More on the pricey side, but here is where you will find the infamous Dim sum with characters (order the egg custard, it comes as a piggy face)
19 Old Fulton St
HANDS DOWN the BEST pizza I have ever had in my life and I don’t even like pizza—get the #1 special)
Note: Expect an hour wait time (this is the most popular pizza place among locals and pizza lovers alike)
There are multiple locations all over the city, I just always go to the ones in BK
Best lobster and shrimp po’boys. It is kinda pricey but well worth it
Peaches Shrimp and Crab
285 Grand Ave
My personal favorite place to get Southern food
Pilar Cuban Eatery
397 Greene Ave
My favorite Cuban place in BK
Dim Sum Bar
167 Grand St
Enjoy dim sum among exposed brick walls! (A bit pricier than what you would find in Chinatown, but I mostly go here for the aesthetic of the place)
261 Nostrand Ave
Get this: Korean style brunch...does it get better?! Nope.
Other In Various Places
There are various locations throughout the city
My favorite place to get ramen in the city (East Village location), but thankfully there are many locations throughout the city!
199 Grand St
If you’re still in your Crazy Rich Asians obsession phase, then this will hit the spot. Traditional Malaysian food galore!
Il Corallo Trattoria
176 Prince St
My favorite place to go to for pasta—they have lunch specials!
550 3rd Ave
Infamous huge soup dumplings you see all over Facebook Insider Videos—cool, but kinda pricey
More Food and Drink BY Category
Because breakfast in NYC basically means a bagel and some schmear—here are some of the best places
The Bagel Store
349 Bedford Ave
Remember those Rainbow bagels you see all over Facebook and Instagram? Yep, this is where you will find them.
1229 1st Ave
Probably my favorite bagel shop in the Upper East Side and you can tell many other people feel the same by the line that always snakes out the door. Try the bacon scallion, lox scallion or jalapeño schmear
Brooklyn Bagel and Company
Multiple locations throughout the city
This is my go to on Monday mornings and their bagels are very chewy! Try the Jalapeño asiago and bacon scallion
Multiple locations throughout the city
Yummy AND healthy. The plates of food you order here are so colorful (filled with veggies), this is actually one of my favorite brunch places
161 E Houston St
I’ll be honest and say I went here for the $20 bottomless mimosas deal—but the food here is very yummy and Mediterranean inspired! Just a tad pricey though.
The Butcher’s Daughter
Multiple locations in the city (I went to the one on 19 Kenmare St.)
The aesthetic of this place is what drew me here—incredibly pleasing to the eyes. This is a vegetarian brunch place, so it is a great option if you are looking for one! Their carrot ginger juice is to die for. SO yummy!
390 Broome St
Best for their Seafood Brunch options and cheap Happy Hour
While We Were Young
183 W 10th St
The cutest most, aesthetically pleasing brunch place with pink cocktails! Beware: It is pretty small and gets crowded quick
174 Elizabeth St
ALL PINK EVERYTHING!!! PINK HEAVEN. Do I even need to say anything else?
91 S 6th St
Best waffles, cocktails on tap, Lousiana-style plates and beignets!
1143 2nd Ave
My favorite coffee shop in terms of interior aesthetic
398 Broome St
My favorite coffee shop in terms of coffee—their Cozy Mint Coffee is heaven on earth
The Chipped Cup
401 Greenwich St
Whimsical, Swedish owned café with a large basement almost like a cave
Sweet Moment NYC
106 Mott St
Cutest latte art ever—must go!
Ramini Espresso Bar and Café
265 W 37th St
My favorite coffee shop right in Midtown! Mostly because they have macarons and a cute world map table
294 Grand Ave
The hidden gem of Clinton Hill—super rustic and vintage themed coffee shop
15 1st Ave Suite 1
My favorite bar to go to in the East Village—cheap drinks during happy hour starts 3-9PM $4 drinks or 50% off all alcoholic beverages
121 Saint Marks Pl
Day time happy hour that serves two-for-one drinks until 8PM—starts at noon
148 W 24th St.
Happy hour starts at noon, ends at 7PM—for $10 you get a Fisherman’s Brew and Four Roses Shot; ALSO, the bar has retro video games
265 E 78th St
Happy hour 4:00pm-6:30pm with $3 Sangria—best deal in the Upper East Side, hands down!
230 Fifth NYC
230 5th Ave
Probably the best public rooftop view of the Empire State—during the winter time they have igloos that you can sit and have your drinks in!
216 Duffield St
My favorite rooftop in Downtown BK as it has an incredible view—also a sushi restaurant!
180 Orchard St.
Hip and super poppin’ rooftop bar—drinks are a little cheaper than the other rooftops, but it is a little harder to get in
The Press Lounge
653 11th Ave
My favorite rooftop because it has the best view of Midtown that is super up close
542 W 27th St.
A world away from NYC—basically surrounded by a ton of greenery
63 W 38th St.
Super Pinterest-inspired wedding like vibes with twinkling lights, exposed brick and warm wood
Located in the heart of Chinatown—they have gummy bear popsicle infused cocktails (this is an indoor rooftop)
200 W 39th St., Fl. 30
An incredible rooftop with an even more incredible view—make reservations for the rooftop thoug
337 Lafayette St.
Literally my FAVORITE dessert place—plus it is in a Nike store! Get the Vapor Max—best flavor
42 Eldridge St
SO Aesthetically pleasing Ice cream + Cotton Candy Characters plus other drinks
85B Allen St
I like this place because they offer a lot of Asian-inspired flavors, but a little pricey
Morgenstern’s Finest Ice Cream
2 Rivington St
One of the best ice cream spots in NYC in terms of quality—popular item: Black Ice Cream (ask for Coconut Ash)
Vivi Bubble Tea LES
205 Allen St
Cotton Candy Boba and Macarons—they have multiple locations throughout NYC though! OH ALSO, MUST TRY THE GARLIC POPCORN CHICKEN!!
Black Tap Craft Burgers & Beer
529 Broome St.
Specialty over the top shakes
1580 Park Ave
Alcoholic Ice cream—it is SO good and I highly recommend that this is a must during your trip
Sweethaus Cupcake Café
135 Metropolitan Ave
Super cute Tiffany Blue exterior and yummy sweets inside
119 Baxter St.
Japanaese ice cream served in fish-shaped waffle cone
Cha Cha Matcha
373 Broome St.
Specializes in matcha everything— soft serve, hot & iced green tea and baked goods
315 5th Ave
Matcha + Taro swirl ice cream as well as a bunch of other yummy Korean baked goods
Chinatown Ice Cream Factory
65 Bayard St
Extensive flavor selection and has unique flavors!
Stuffed Ice Cream
139 1st Ave
Donut stuffed ice cream + you can get an ice cream bouquet! They also have very unique flavors
Note: There are so many dessert places all over NYC, so by now way is this list exhaustive of all your options. These were just the must visit ones but pretty much every corner has one and is worth it to stop by.
Because NYC is notorious for being extremely overpriced, here are some of my go to cheap eats when I’m not trying to spend an arm and a leg to fill my stomach
Xi’an Famous Foods
Has multiple locations throughout the city
Cheap freshly made Chinese noodles—get the spicy lamb noodles they are so good
180 Bleecker St.
Cheap Vietnamese Food in the city
116 Stanton St.
Cheap Mediterranean food, plus the interior AND exterior is a replica of Santorini!
Various locations all throughout the city
My personal favorite place to get boba as it actually originated in Asia—pretty affordable
Various locations throughout the city
My GO TO taco spot—super cheap and seriously the tacos are amazing
Dim Sum Go Go
5 E Broadway
Cheap dim sum place open late since most places close by 9pm
Go to FiDi and get the $1 falafels off the street carts—cheap AND soooo good!
12 W 32nd St.
This is my GO TO place for cheap, authentic and yummy Korean food. They have a buffet of food that you can pay by pound or they have precooked dishes in heated containers that you can pick up. I always spend less than $10 when I eat here!
220 E 42nd St (there are multiple locations throughout the city though—this is just what I went to)
My go to for cheap Shanghainese soup dumplings! ~$5.25 for their Blue Crab and Pork soup dumpling
IG Worthy Spots
Right by DUMBO, you will see it when you see DUMBO! Walk in the opposite direction towards the highway
In Financial District—just google “Stone St” on Google Maps
Streets are cobblestone and packed with bars, restaurants and twinkling lights
Crosby St./NOMO SoHO
In SoHo—9 Crosby St.
This is a popular street where most NYC fashion bloggers take their pics
Again this list is in way exhaustive—I have an upcoming post dedicated to just Instagram worthy spots!
Places to See
This was not really the focus of this post as there is an incredible amount of things to do and places to see in NYC—differing from person to person. These are just some of the classic MUST See’s
Best time to go? 1 am lol the least amount of tourists you will ever capture Times Sq with. That or right at 5:30 am
45 Rockefeller Plaza
Personally think the view from Top of the Rock is way better than the Empire State
Notable Things to See
Note: They take it down on Saturday 1/7
Top of the Rock (has a better view than Empire State and cheaper!)
Cost: 28-34$ depending on what time you visit
Note: I suggest buying the ticket online! ALSO, suggest visiting at the earliest available time (8:00 am)
Saks on 5th Ave
This is right across the St. from Rockefeller Center Xmas tree, across the St. will also be Tiffany’s from Breakfast at Tiffany’s
Go early in the morning if you want a pic without a lot of people—to get my best shots I go at 6:30 am
One World Trade
285 Fulton St
Notable Things to See
Oculus + the Murals outside
Brooklyn Heights Promenade
Pierrepont Pl, Brooklyn
The most breathtaking view of Manhattan Skyline—literally my favorite place to watch the sunset on the Manhattan Skyline
The High Line
Runs from Gasevoort StàW 30th St in between 10th and 11th Ave BUT main part is on W 23rd St in between 10th and 11th Ave
Old rail line with a really nice city/river view
Central Park is HUGE. I live by it and have gone countless times, but I still feel like I have not seen it to its full extent. You easily spend hours getting lost here.
Betheseda Terrace (Gossip Girl Location)
Strawberry Fields (John Lennon)
Central Park Zoo
Naumburg Bandshell (Outdoor classical concert venue)
Old St. Patrick’s Cathedral
45 Prince St, New York, NY 10012
Beautiful Gothic influenced church! Near Café Habana
Flat Iron Building
175 5th Ave
Eataly is literally right across the street—stop by!
Pop Quiz: Do you remember what DUMBO stands for? This area is infamously known as the home of The Humphrey loft. Among other things, that is! This is one of my favorite areas to just walk around and explore in because of its beautiful streets and red brick buildings. Head to the Brooklyn Bridge Pier while you’re at it!
Note: Notice that unlike my other Ultimate Planning Guide blog posts, this blog post does not say “complete” as no list could ever be exhaustive of the amount of options that exist in NYC. These are just some of my favorite spots—which is continually evolving, so you can probably expect a new list every few months or so!
Hope you enjoyed this list!
Til’ Next Time,