Photo: Deviant Art
Planning a trip to the Big Apple anytime soon? Already living in here, but just need a recommendation to try something new or unique? Look no further! I have complied a list of my favorite places to shop, dine, and explore in this jungle of a place we like to call New York City.
This is an ever-changing list. I will periodically update new favorites as I become better acquainted with this city and expand my horizons!
Let’s eat our hearts out:
BCD Tofu House (Koreatown, Manhattan)- John and I are pretty much regulars at this twenty-four hour establishment. Try their Seafood Tofu Soup with a side of Galbi (Korean short rib). Deeeelicious!
Congee Village (Lower East Side)- This place is my little secret for a cold weather or sick day treat. Their congee (Chinese porridge) is the most delicious thing I have ever tasted. The best part? It is all under ten bucks! Make a dash for their crab congee or the pork and preserved duck egg congee (sounds weird? I totally get it. But still, try it. You will NOT be sorry!)
Ippudo (East Village, Manhattan)- Usually I am not one to join in on the hype, but after trying the ramen and pork buns here, I definitely now understand why the line is usually out the door! Try to get to Ippudo right when they open for lunch/dinner so you can skip the long wait.
Ken & Cook (Nolita, Manhattan)- Great happy hour menu, solid traditional Italian food. What more could you ask for? 🙂
Num Pang (Multiple locations, Manhattan)- John is addicted to Num Pang and made me promise to include it on this list. Here is his plug: full-flavored Cambodian sandwich shop. Their five spice pork belly sandwich is highly recommended.
Sakagura (Midtown East, Manhattan)- One sentence for you all: underground, chic Japanese joint that serves the most delightful buckwheat soba noodles. Done and done.
Sarabeth’s (Multiple locations, Manhattan)- I am usually not a big brunch eater, but this place totally made me reevaluate that statement. I absolutely LOVE the food options here. Make sure to try what I consider perfection on a plate: toasted coconut waffle.
SEA (Williamsburg, Brooklyn)- Best Thai food I have had in the city (and the portions are huge!). Definitely try their Basil Fried Rice. Life-changing!
Silver Rice (Crown Heights, Brooklyn)- This local joint is right by my house. Their spicy salmon rice cup with flaxseed rice (it usually sells out by 8PM!) is not only healthy but absolutely divine.
Spicy and Tasty (Flushing, Queens)- I would be doing you a disservice if I did not mention my favorite restaurant of all time. No exaggeration here! It is definitely a trek to get to Flushing, but it will be well worth your time!
Sweetgreen (Multiple locations, Manhattan)- My life changed forever when my coworker initially took me to this salad joint. I usually steer clear of salads (I like my vegetables cooked, thank you very much!) but this place totally knocked my socks off! Make sure to try one of their signature salads with the miso sesame ginger dressing!
The Bao (East Village, Manhattan)- Get there before 5PM for their daily lunch special (weekends included!) Such a great deal for great portions of authentic Chinese food.
Let’s shop until we drop!
Chelsea Market- While Chelsea Market is well known for its eclectic food vendors and restaurants, few people know that it is a great place to do some jewelry shopping. Many independent vendors are stationed here so if you have some free time, come and check it out!
Fifth Avenue- This street is definitely no secret. You will probably be able to find any store you would ever desire here.
SoHo- My favorite area to shop is actually in SoHo. Since NYC lacks your traditional “suburban mall” experience, this is the next best thing. I like the fact that the stores are all close together and you are able to stay in a few block radius to get food, clothes, beauty products, etc.
Let’s go on an adventure!
Brooklyn Heights Promenade- Home of smorgasburg (a weekly food truck hotspot!). During the summer in the great outdoors, movies are projected in the park along the waterfront with the view of downtown Manhattan skyline. It is one of the most beautiful places to go on a romantic date with your significant other.
Central Park- Missing a visit here will be like missing out on the quintessential New York experience. Need I say more?
Eataly- Premium Italian market place with multiple restaurants and vendors inside; ranging from high-end coffee, gelato, and the finest Italian cured meats and cheeses. I absolutely love spending a lazy afternoon in here, browsing and sampling deliciousness!
Madison Square Park- Located near many great restaurants in lower Manhattan, it is the perfect place to unwind, relax, and people watch. During spring and summer, Madison Square Eats (located across the street from the park) will be out. This is the perfect opportunity to try a lot of different food vendors at once and then bring your prized food options back into the park to have a picnic!
Prospect Park- Often described as Brooklyn’s answer to Central Park, it is the perfect place to go on a morning jog, walk your little animal friends, and chill. During the summer, the Prospect Park Bandshell will be active once again. Grab your friends, food to grill, and rock out!