Best Things To Do In NYC (Updated)

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“New York is always a good idea.”
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Hi everyone, happy Monday! I first published this post back in 2015, but seeing as I’ve been living in NYC for over 2 & a half years now, it was finally time to update it and add in some new favourite spots. One thing for sure is that you will NEVER be bored in this city and that is one of the main reasons I love living here. There will always be something to do, somewhere new to try, and always something to come back for. A lot of you who are either visiting or living here email me asking for recommendations and so it’s great to have this post to share with you as it has everything in one place. Here is my most up-to- date list of, in my opinion, the best things to do in NYC…

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SIGHT SEEING/ MUST-SEE’S

1. Chelsea Market
2. Top of the Rockerfeller Centre (My Favouirte view)
3. Manhattan Helicopter Ride
4. Central Park
5. The Highline
6. Visit the MET Museum & sit on the steps.
7. Stroll along Madison Avenue.
8. Explore the West Village.
9. Relax in Bryant Park.
10. Walk/Cycle over Brooklyn Bridge.
11. Row Boats in Central Park
12. Empire State Building
13. Grand Central
14. 9/11 Monument & Museum

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SHOPPING

1. Club Monaco
2. Reformation
3. Intermix
4. And Other Stories
5. Kate Spade Madisson Avenue
6. Opening Ceremony
7. Rebecca Minkoff
8. SAKS
9. Bergdorf Goodmans
10. Sephora
11. Century 21
12. Bloomingdales
13. Westfield World Trade Center

I’ve done a separate post all about my favourite vintage stores & my go-to homeware stores.

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BREAKFAST/BRUNCH

1. Two Hands
2.Penelope
3. Sarabeth’s
4. Blue Dog Cafe
5. Bubby’s
6. Cafe Cluny
7. The Butcher’s Daughter
8. Jack’s Wife Freda
9. The Egg Shop
10. Juliette (Williamsburg)
11. Pietro Nolita
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2. Balthazar

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LUNCH/DINNER

1. Fig & Olive (Meatpacking) – My No.1 Favourite!
2. Serafina
3. Dos Caminos
4. Boqueria
5. The Standard Grill
6. Bryant Park Grill
7. Sant Ambroeus
8. The Boathouse at Central Park
9. Delicatessen
10. Buvette
11. ABC Kitchen
12. Aria Wine Bar
13. By Chloe (Vegan)
14. Wild
15. Claudette
16. Freeman’s
17. L’Artusi
18. Spotted Pig
19. NOMO Soho
20. Pulp (To-Go Juices & Salads)
21. The VNYL ( Amazing!)
22. The Smith
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3. Vella Wine Bar
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4. Zucchero e Pomodori (Three words – Truffle Mashed Potatoe!)
25. Shake Shack (Fast food)
26. La Esquina

*Most of these places need a reservation, so get it all organized beforehand to avoid disappointment.

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DRINKS

1. Employees Only
2. The Penrose
3. The Standard Hotel Rooftop/Le Bain
4. 230 Fifth (My Favourite Rooftop!)
5. Gold Bar
6. Brass Monkey
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. The Jane
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. The VNYL
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. The Troy Liquor Bar
10. The Plaza Hotel (Treat!)
11. Banc Cafe
12. The Mark

Full list of the Best Cocktail Bars HERE.

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COFFEE

1. Bluestone Lane Cafe
2. Le Pain Quotidien
3. La Colombe
4. Macaron Cafe
5. Bakeshop by Woop’s
6. Cafe le Cerra
7. Joe Coffee
8. Dean & Deluca
9. Nespresso Boutique Madison Avenue
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0. Maison Kaiser
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1. Petite Shell
12. Toby’s Estate

SWEET TREATS

These category need a whole post of it’s own, haha! I’ve listed all my favourite spots HERE.

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PAMPER

1. Paintbox Nails
2. Dry Bar Hair Salon
3. Bumble & Bumble Hair Salon
4. Caudalie Vinothérapie Spa
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. Bliss Spa

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HOTELS

1. The Standard
2. The Gansevoort
3. 1 Hotel Central Park
4. The Ludlow
5. NOMO Soho
6. The Mark
7. Dream Downtown
8. The EDITION
9. The Ace Hotel
10. The Wythe Hotel (Brooklyn)

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It’s a list of places which will always be growing but for now these are definitely my go-to spots and best recommendations. Hope you’ll find this helpful & feel free to share it with anyone who you think will love it too. Oh and I’m always finding new places to try, so follow along on Instagram (@retroflame) and snapchat (retroflame1) for more tips!

Have a great week,
Erika x


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  1. Hannah

    12 November

    Thank you so much for this, I am going to NYC next year and will definitely refer to this post! xx

  2. Mairead

    12 November

    Fantastic timing, I’m heading to NY at the beginning of December. Many thanks for sharing!

  3. Prudence

    12 November

    Ahhh… the sweet treats look so pretty and delicious at the same time! Love all your minimalist looks too!

    Prudence
    http://www.prudencepetitestyle.com

  4. Shane

    16 November

    I have to say, I was never really impressed with the Empire State building but I would agree with your recommendation on Top of the Rock – absolutely a must see!

  5. Emily

    19 November

    Really helpful post, I’ve been to New York a few times and always visited the same attractions! I will definitely be trying out some of the restaurants and sights mentioned in my next visit. Thanks!

  6. […] Don’t forget to follow along on the @worldclass Instagram account to see more photos throughout the week and if you need some more general NYC recommendations, I’cve done a full city guide HERE. […]

  7. Solweig

    10 April

    I’m a new follower, not sure if you know theses places but here are some of my favorites :

    Coffee or juice to go
    Chalait (for matcha tea)
    Liquiteria and Juice press (for cold pressed juices)
    Stumptown Coffee Roaster at the Ace hotel
    The blue bottle
    Ninth Street Espresso
    Oslo Coffee (in the UES)
    Toby’s Estate Coffee at Club Monaco,
    The Elk in the village (you can also sit)
    Kaffe 1668 in Tribeca (you can also sit)

    Brunch
    Little Collins for breakfast
    Vin et fleurs
    Rosemary’s
    Gemma at the bowery hotel
    Café Maman
    Joseph Leonard

    DRINKS
    The Jimmy rooftop at the James hotel (go before sunset) (it’s my favorite)
    Gallow Green at the McKittrick hotel
    La piscine (rooftop) at hotel Americano
    Nomad hotel for drinks at the bar (they have different rooms)
    Bar Sardine
    The Press lounge rooftop (for a chill night)
    The roof and the Refinery rooftop for afterwork drink
    Grand banks (a sailing boat during Summer)
    The Jane hotel in the west village (better during fall winter)

    DINNER
    Saxon + parole with friends or a date (the back room is nicer and quieter)
    Fedora
    Bobo
    Jeffrey’s Grocery
    Bolonat

    DryBar for a blowout and an amazing/chillaxing experience with a friend

  8. Sophie

    23 January

    This makes me want to go to NYC.

  9. Ally

    23 January

    Thanks for this Erika! I love New York and have been lucky enough to visit a fair few times but not been to so many of these places..obviously I’m missing out :) so excited for my next trip so I can work my way down your lists xx

  10. Linda Boylan

    23 January

    Reading your post makes me want to go to New York again. We done all the touristy things but I’d love to try some or all of these restaurants and bars. Hopefully soon 😀

  11. Liv

    23 January

    Agree with all your picks!! There is always so much to do in NYC!

    Liv

    http://www.livforstyle.net

  12. Aoife

    24 January

    Love this!! Thanks for this. Could you possibly do a post for things to do in NY at Christmas time? Just booked to go this December (11 months and counting) and looking for some lovely Christmassy things to do! Thanks x

  13. Abigail

    24 January

    Thanks for recommending all these things to do! I’ve never been to Chelsea Market before.

    Abigail Alice 💕

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