As you might know, I’ve spent my past two Summers in New York City (a total of 7 months) so I’m really excited to finally share this NYC Travel Guide with you. Not everyone might like the places I have suggested, but this is a look into “My New York”. My favourite shopping areas, vintage shops, flea markets, cute cafes, cupcake shops, rooftop bars, restaurants and of course, the must-see sights in the city. If you haven’t been to New York already, hopefully this guide might inspire you to make the trip!
Well a New York guide here on Retro Flame would be nothing without a look into my favourite shops around the city. It’s my favourite place in the whole entire world for vintage, thrift & market shopping and Soho, as a shopping area, is very hard to beat!
Soho -This is where you will find all your high-street stores (Zara, Topshop, Forever21) plus the go-to makeup stores such as Sephora and Mac. I’ve spent hours & hours there just wandering around, discovering new stores and most fun of all -people-watching. You will never go to Soho and NOT see a 7ft stunning fashion model. It’s by far my favourite part of the city.
5th Avenue -If you’re feeling rich, this is where you can have some fun. You’ll be spoilt for choice with designer stores such as Prada, Louis Vuitton, Gucci, etc. You’ll also find an underground Apple store and stores such as Abercrombie, Hollister and a very impressive Zara.
Brooklyn (Williamsburg) -This is where any vintage lovers NEED to go. Some of my favourite vintage stores ever are here, which I’ll list further on.
China Town -A trip to New York wouldn’t be complete without a visit to China Town. Even if you don’t end up buying anything, it’s an experience in itself.
Beacon’s Closet, 88 N 11th Street in Williamsburg: This is the store in which I have found some of my absolute favourite pieces in my wardrobe. They also have a smaller store in Manhattan, but I’d definitely recommend making the trip to their Brooklyn one -it’s bigger and a lot easier to root around in.
No Relation Vintage, 204 1st Avenue in Manhattan: Every single time I’ve visited this store, I’ve bought something. It has insanely inexpensive vintage pieces and has something for everyone.
Starstruck Vintage, 47 Greenwich Avenue: This store is quite compact but has amazing shoes, denim and usually an impressive selction of hats. I also love the area it’s located in.
Angel Street Thrift, 118 17th Street: The last time I visited this store, I made friends with an elderly woman who I shopped with for about an hour! It’s a great little thrift store which usually has very good jewellery.
Cure Thrift Shop, 111 12th street: I found Marc by Marc Jacobs Heels in here for $15 two Summers ago. Need I say more?
Hell’s Kitchen Market -The BEST market I’ve visited to date. The vintage jumpsuit I recently wore to Cork Fashion Week is a piece I picked up here. Along with the blue high-neck dress I featured in this blog post here. You could find absolutely anything there -from jewellery to belts to dresses to furniture. It is a genuine flea market with genuine gems.
Brooklyn Flea Market -This market takes place in Fort Green in Brooklyn on Saturday’s and in Williamsburg on Sundays. Being totally honest, it’s not the cheapest flea market you’ll ever find but it’s a really fun one to go to. There’s also delicious food and I’ve lots of beautiful vintage rings (my favourite) from visits there. It’s also very ‘Cool-Kid’ so it’s a fun place to sit back and watch the world go by for a little while on a Sunday afternoon.
Hester Street Fair– This is probably the one I’ve seen the least, but each time I visited it I definitely did not leave disappointed. One particular purchase from here was the polka dot dress I wore during London Fashion Week. It’s also the market where I discovered Coast To Coast Vintage -a vintage store I fell immediately in love with.
After shopping, of course, my second favourite thing to do in New York is…eat! I don’t think it would be an exageration to say that I’ve spent more of my time in New York eating frozen-yoghurt & pizza than doing anything else!
Nespresso Boutique on the Upper East Side -I am obsessed with this brand of coffee, so this was always going to be a favourite for me.
Haven’s Kitchen – Very homely and does the perfect soup!
Think cafe -Good wifi & even better coffee.
Le Bain -The BEST place to go on a night out in the city. Great views, really cool crowd and there is a… swimming pool in the middle of the club!!
The Press Lounge -The most amazing view in the city!
230 Fifth -This is where I celebrated my 21st birthday (the night before I worked at Whitney Port’s NYFW Show), so I think I’ll always have a love for this one.
The Gansevoort -We paid $20 dollars for a cocktail, by the view definitely made up for it.
Frozen Yogurt -My favourite thing in the WHOLE WORLD. I genuinely am obsessed. You’ll find frozen yogurt places all over the city, but in my books, the best ones are 16 Handles, Tutti Frutti and FlavaBoom.
Godiva -Best chocolate covered strawberries (as in the picture above) in town!
Little Cupcake Shop, Mott Street -Cute Decor and even cuter cupcakes.
Room Service -The best thai you’ll find in NYC!
Cafeteria -This stays open 24/7 and literally has everything.
Sweet Chick -Known for it’s chicken & waffles (yes, eaten together). Very relaxed spot in Williamsburg.
Le Pescadeux -My friend, Mikhailia, introduced me to this little gem. It’s the Perfect getaway in Soho for brunch on a Sunday afternoon.
Lastly, a trip to New York wouldn’t be complete without some obligatory sight-seeing. It’s a bloggers dream to live in New York. Just by walking outside your door, you have the perfect backdrop for any type of photo. It’s a city where you’ll never be bored and where there really is something for everyone.
[All photos were taken by me.]
Here are my Top 10 sight-seeing recommendations:
1. Take a stroll along the The High Line
2. Eat until you’re ready to burst in The Chelsea Market
3. Relax on the grass area of Battery Park
4. Chill out on the MET Steps (a must for any Gossip Girl Fans)
5. Watch the craziness go by in Grand Central Station
6. Take a trip on a paddling boat in Central Park
7. Walk across Brooklyn Bridge and pay a visit to Dumbo
8. Relax on a bench in Madisson Square Park
9. Get the best view of the city at Top of the Rock
10. Wander around the West Village and just take every single second in!
“We didn’t realise we were making memories, we just knew we were having fun.”
I really hope you’ve enjoyed this NYC Travel Guide and have found it useful! I more than likely have forgotten some places but I’m sure you’ll have enough here to keep you going. If you do get a chance to visit some of the places I’ve just suggested -I’d love to know what you think! Feel free to tag me on Instagram or Twitter -I’d only be delighted. I really don’t think that there will be anywhere in the world that I will love more than New York so I’m just counting down the minutes until I’m back there again.