Being a Boston girl I am inherently loyal to my city, but I get itchy to wander and New York is so close! For awhile I hated it, thought it was dirty, unfriendly and impersonal, huge, and so not Boston, but then I visited with friends who actually live there and fell in love. Sorry Boston!!
We had the best time, a full weekend of outfits and eating and exploring! Absolutely fell in love with the neighborhoods of Soho, Nolita, Greenwich, and especially the West Village, vs. the tourist-y Midtown I’d previously experienced. And eating. Did I say that? Yeah, eating. I took the train in for an easy and old-timey, smooth ride.
Especially if you’ve already been and crushed some of the more tourist-y spots, read on for some must-sees and eats, and outfits of course!
Where to Eat: Jack’s Wife Freda, by Chloe., Milk Bar, Two Hands, Ladurée
Jack’s Wife Freda – I have been to both Jack’s Wife Freda locations, West Village and Nolita. Equally amazing. Mediterranean brunch heaven! I bought the Harney and Sons green tea when I got home- still the best I’ve ever had and becoming much more prevalent. It is probably my #1, not only for being the cutest, most-Instagrammable place ever, but for having food I still dream about. The bread to start the meal is a very telling indication of the meal to come, and while they did not serve bread, they warm their pita. Come on! Secret: salmon is not on menu, but available and delicious.
by Chloe. – They just opened a location in Boston at the Seaport and I almost had a heart attack of happiness, immediately showing up on opening day- post to come soon. by Chloe. creates this inimitable healthy food where you know it’s clean, yet somehow it has complex layers of flavor and you cannot wait to eat each & every bite. Healthy food has to be boring? Chloe scoffs at your small-mindedness. People love their flavorful salads like the deceivingly hearty Spicy Thai and Quinoa Taco, but I had the unreal Sweet Potato Fries with their beet ketchup and chipotle aioli and Classic Burger- tempeh, lentil, chia, walnut patty with all the toppings on a potato bun. All best eaten fresh, and be certain to try the desserts: I had the Chocolate Chip, but the revelation was the chewy, spicy Ginger Molasses.
Milk Bar – You MUST pop into Milk Bar (yes, Christina Tosi’s sweets shop if you watch MasterChef), the sister of Momofuku restaurants with multiple locations. They are famous for their cereal soft serve ice cream and compost cookies, but what I still shiver thinking about: B’DAY TRUFFLES. These little balls of wonder have unbelievably tasty birthday cake batter inside with the texture of cookie dough, coated with a dusting of birthday cake crumbs for a combination of flavor textures that equals giddy happiness. I may or may not have ordered them delivered to me via Goldbely…
Two Hands – Owned by Australian imports, the incredibly cool vibe and interior, with quotes and clouds galore, made me flash back to my study abroad days. While the toast was seriously hard to cut through and bite, the smoothie bowl and other eats were great. The line is usually crazy, but we luckily went during off-hours in the midst of exploring Soho and Nolita.
Ladurée – I love love love macarons, and didn’t realize how difficult great ones are to find after being spoiled at Tart Sweets near school. Boston Bonbon is an incredible local choice, although a bit tricky to find. Back to NY- Ladurée is quite the experience, stop in to pretend you’re in Paris for a sec. They also have a restaurant in back- stay for the food if you can! The employees are all French, and guide you through the macarons. I loved the rose flavor. To me, many of their flavors had a slight artificial taste, but the textures and vibe were excellent.
What to Do: Central Park, 5th Ave., Soho & Nolita, West Village & Greenwich Village, Sunset 30 Rock
We started our am on a rock overlooking Central Park having amazing avo toast- with an egg on top, natch- from a little local favorite called Little Collins.
Walking down 5th Ave is worth it, and you gotta stop in Zara babes- that’s where I found my soft as a cloud blanket scarf! Saved my life when the temps dropped after the sun tucked in for the night. We had dinner and drinks at a hole in the wall Mexican haunt, and met up with friends to walk around Rockefeller, Radio City, and Times Square. And of course get late-night eats at Shake Shack. Duh.
Put aside plenty of time to walk around gorgeous Soho. We walked around and found a vintage pop-up shop, and then explored Nolita and Little Italy. The High Line is also fun to hop on for a different perspective. The beautiful architecture and fashion & culture vibes are just truly inspiring. Walking around West and Greenwich Villages, though, really got me feeling like I was in a dream. The neighborhoods full of brownstones, color, and greenery seemed like they’re out of story books and movies, and made me envision my future ‘hood goals.
Ms. Audrey in Nolita, which you can easily find by following the smell of Italian food.
For a worth-it tourist experience, hit 30 Rock at sunset. Don’t do the Empire State- I know I know, but 30 Rock has the best view. Buy your tickets the day before since they often sell out, and go to the very highest floor to drink it all in between rapid photo-taking.
What to Wear
My Asos black knit midi dress with a slit and Old Navy Chelsea boots made such a comfortable combo for the massive amount of walking required in NYC. The pedometer said we walked over 20k steps in a day! My new eggplant Nars lipstick was a fun contrast with my cropped light hair, and some fun Free People gold rings added the edge.
While my mom calls this soft, Zara knit shag jacket my “bathmat” jacket (fabulous Free People here), I am obsessed. I feel like I’m headed to Woodstock or Coachella wearing it, which I pronounced by pairing it with a little Zara black ribbed knit (similar here and here) and maroon faux leather skinnies (cheap version here). Lots of the Free People gold rings and earrings added the finishing touch. Nailed it.
For the day exploring Greenwich and West Villages, and Soho etc. (it’s all a blur of walking!), I felt like “me” in this outfit. I’d made my own leather wrap choker with leather from Michaels for a cheap, different option, which I wore with my custom white leather Converse and leather jacket from Marshalls (similar here). Balanced out all the leather with my broken in slim boyfriend jeans (BDG at Urban Outfitters fits me and shows off the booty like no other) and a Zara shorter, textured white top (cute here), which showed off a peek of my fresh Calvins, the softest, comfiest tightie whities I’ve ever owned. Lol.
Hope you enjoyed my NY Guide! What are your favorite places to go (and eat)? Please share & I’ll add them to my list for next time! Probably time to plan my next adventure… Thank you!