There is an infinite number of things to do, see and eat in New York City, here are our top picks.
West Village (my hood!)
- Red Farm - One of my favorites. We are there almost every other weekend for brunch. They serve beautiful, high-end contemporary Chinese food, including some dim sum. They do not take reservations, so we get there just before they open for brunch at 11am on the weekends to be sure of a table. They do have a wait list you can put your name on. Favorites: Soup dumplings, shishito poppers, spicy crispy beef, steak, snow pea shoots, any rice or noodle dish. Cocktails are great too. They have a second location in the Upper West Side.
- Spotted Pig - Cool bar and restaurant with delicious food and a great atmosphere. They do not take reservations and often have a line out the door. We opt for weekend brunch, so we get there just before they open at 11am. Favorites: Burger and fries (the burger and fries are equally amazing), dutch baby, ricotta pancakes. If they have a morning bun special, get it.... amazing!
- Takashi - a very special tiny little Japanese BBQ joint. The food is amazing, the service is great and it is just an all round special experience. Be sure to get the Bakudan rice-bomb with your meat, they are so good! I like the seaweed version so I ask for all seaweed and no pickled sesame leaf, which they are happy to do. Otherwise, you get mix. The homemade softserve is also amazing.
- Barbuto - Amazing simple Italian food. Famous for their roast chicken, though I usually opt for pasta or risotto.
- Cafe Cluny - Super cute little West Village cafe with good food though mediocre service.
- Little Owl - Another sweet little spot. Make a reservation ahead of time, otherwise it will be almost impossible to get in without a long wait. I love going there for brunch. The pancakes are amazing and the sausage is the best I have every had.
- The Clam - Tasty clam inspired menu, though they also have non-clam options such as an amazing burger. We used to frequent The Clam after our daughter's Sunday soccer lessons.
- In Chelsea Market
- Cull and Pistol - Amazing fresh seafood prepared in both traditional and new ways. Best to book ahead.
- Los Tacos - Simple, delicious Mexican small dishes. Strickly take out so you'll need to find a spot to eat, if there is no where in Chelsea Market, you can always try the Highline.
- Bar Suzette - The best crepes I have found in NYC, and I have tried a few! I'm a traditionalist when it comes to crepes and always go with just butter and sugar or lemon, butter and sugar. Perfection. They offer many other options, including savory ones. If you are a crepe fan you must go here.
- Tipsy Parson - The menu here is delightful and the space is cute.
- The Standard Grill @ The Standard Hotel, Highline - Dinner is pretty good, brunch is very good. Note, even though they are open earlier, the brunch menu is only available after 11am on weekends. Be sure to get an order of donuts for the table, they are made to order and served still hot with a wonderfully pillowy bite.
- Terroir High Line - Only open in the summer, this is a fun pitstop while exploring the High Line. they offer small bites, salads and sandwiches along with a large selection of beer and wine. I recommend the risotto balls - yum!
- Del Posto - Special occasion place with a heft price tag but worth it if you feel like splurging. The food is truly amazing and the service refined yet more relaxed than other ultra-high-end establishments. Think French Laundry or Eleven Madison Park but with cozy Italian food.
- Ippudo - The best ramen ever. If you like ramen you have to stop here. The noodles and broth are like a loving hug. My favorite is ramen the Akamaru Modern. If you want some more protein with it, get the Shigureni topping (pulled pork Chashu). For appetizers, the chicken wings are delicious as is the Japanese cucumber dish (Yamitsuki Kyuri). They have a second location in mid-town but this one is my favorite. They do not take reservations and there is usually a line before they open. We often head over a few minutes before they open to be sure we get a table.
- ABC Kitchen - ABC Home is a well-know home furnishings store. It's restauarant, ABc Kitchen, is a treat. The setting is beautful and the food is light and delicious. The desserts, not so light, but also stand out.
- MariVanna - Amazing Russian restaurant with great food and ambiance. The decor is super kitschy in the best way. They have many infused vodkas, some are tasty, some not so much but fun to experiment. Favorite dishes: Veal Pelmeni (Russian dumplings - my absolute favorite!), Tapaka chicken, Olivier Salad with chicken and the Vinegret Salad. Desserts: Medovik (Honey cake), Blinis with condiments, Onegin, Napoleon. If you like tea order some with your dessert, it comes in special cups and with jam to sweeten as they do in Russia.
- Ootoya - An really wonderful Japanese restaurant serving unique and delicious food. I am actually obessed with their grilled fish entrees - so simple but done to perfection. Take a look at their menu and your mouth is sure to water - Menu. They have a few locations in Manhattan so look up the one most convenient to you.
A FEW THINGS TO DO
- Broadway Shows:
- Amazing shows: Matilda, Wicked, Book of Mormon, Lion King, Avenue Q
- Note on Avenue Q: It is very entertaining, a little more affordable and low key. I think you can get good seats for around $100. It is very funny but not for the faint of hear or easily offended. Near here, is a restaurant called VYNL, which is cool and has great unique food - I’d recommend for a pre-show meal.
- Museums: The new Whiney Museum is really great from the exhibits to the building itself and the great views it offers. I’d highly recommend checking it out, especially if you like contemporary are.
- Winter: Ice Skating at the Standard Highline - if you want to skate, it is a tiny rink. The real draw is the fun experience and the fact that they serve drinks and food out there too. Fries are great, as are their Moscow Mules.
- Walk: Walk down the Hudson River from the West Village. Walk all the way over to the river, it is a nice walk if the weather is good.
- Touristy but worth it: The new World Trade observatory is actually really cool. There is a bar up there too where you can grab a drink and/or snack. If you have not done it and are up to it, the reflecting pools at the 9/11 Memorial are amazing, the museum is also amazing but very sad, I cried when we went through.