New York City is a place where you can visit a million times over and still find new and exciting things to do each time. I’ve been visiting the big apple since I was a kid and am glad to have checked off most touristy sights, though I still have never been to the Top of The Rock! These days, I plan my visits around meals and restaurant reservations. Guaranteed, you won’t go hungry with my most recent 4-Day New York City itinerary for foodies!
Day 1 in NYC
Start off with boozy brunch at Calle Ocho, Excelsior Hotel on the Upper West Side (45 W 81st St). They serve a mean Nuevo Latino brunch with bottomless red and white sangrias.
Head to Coney Island in Brooklyn on the F train. Read about visiting Coney Island here. Spend the afternoon exploring the beach, boardwalk, and amusement park. Don’t forget to try Nathan’s Famous hot dog. Head back to Manhattan in the late afternoon for a poké bowl or sushi burrito snack at Pokéworks (63 W 37th St).
Night & Late Night
Like other power cities in the world, New Yorkers eat dinner late. We had Nobu at 9 PM and the restaurant was bustling. Nobu has now moved from its old Hudson St location into its new swanky downtown digs at 195 Broadway. We ordered the classics including Black Cod with Miso, Squid “Pasta,” and assorted Sashimi and Sushi. I can’t wait til Nobu opens in Toronto.
For a night cap, head to Please Don’t Tell, better known as PDT (113 St. Marks Place). All the fun is in finding this place. Walk into the Crif Dogs restaurant, find an old phone booth, and step into it. Pick up the phone and wait for an answer. Once approved, one side of the phone booth opens into a bar! The wait is usually insane, so it’s better to make reservations.
Day 2 in NYC
Have brunch at the oh-so-pretty Nomo Soho Kitchen (9 Crosby St). This space has so much natural light flooding into it. The lemon ricotta pancakes with mixed berries and whipped ricotta is to die for – who said you couldn’t have dessert for breakfast?!
Walk around SoHo for some of the best retail therapy in NYC. Anywhere in between W Houston St to the north, Canal S to the south, Lafayette to the east, and 6th Ave to the west is where you want to be. There are always new shops popping up, but my favorites include Uniqlo, Bloomingdales, Madewell, Necessary Clothing, Birchbox, A.P.C., & Other Stories, and Marc Jacobs to name a few.
No trip to NYC is complete without a visit to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Spend a few hours soaking in the art collections. Next, make a pit stop at the nearby Ladurée (864 Madison Ave) for a macaron snack. At this point, we headed back to the Fifty NYC Hotel where we stayed for the 5 PM complimentary wine hour.
Night & Late Night
Explore the Grand Central Station area close to midtown. Have a light dinner at Momosan Ramen (342 Lexington Ave), a ramen joint by Masaharu Morimoto. They don’t take reservations, but we went early enough to get a table. Then, check out the nearby Pod39 Rooftop Bar (145 E 39th St) or hit up Apotheke Cocktail Bar (9 Doyers St) that has a hidden entrance in Chinatown.
Day 3 in NYC
Head to the popular French bistro, Buvette (42 Grove St) in the West Village for breakfast. Walk around and explore the New York Public Library to burn off breakfast to make room for lunch!
Have lunch at Le Bernardin; a 3-Michelin starred seafood restaurant. Read about Le Bernardin here. Try the 3-course prix fixe for $87 or opt for more food with the 6-course Tasting Menu or the 7-course Chef’s Menu.
After this scrumptious lunch, we made our way over to Eataly (200 5th Ave) to look at even more food. Next, we explored Chelsea Market, because who doesn’t love food?!
From Chelsea Market, it’s easy to access the High Line for sights of the Hudson River and to make your way south to the Meatpacking District. Have a cocktail at Le Bain at The Standard (848 Washington St) with its infamous hot tub and be surrounded by the City’s gorgeous millennials.
In the same area, check out Top of the Standard at The Standard where John Legend famously made a surprise performance of All of Me on the baby grand piano.
Night & Late Night
Grab a late dinner at Beauty & Essex (146 Essex St). To enter, step into a nondescript pawn shop; the gorgeous restaurant & lounge with an ultra luxe decor is hidden behind the pawn shop’s big door. End off your night at the Refinery Rooftop at the Refinery Hotel (63 West 38th St).
Day 4 in NYC
Feast on a healthy Mediterranean breakfast at Jack’s Wife Freda (224 Lafayette St). Dominique Ansel Bakery (189 Spring St) is nearby if you’re craving a cronut. Check out The National September 11 Memorial & Museum, a poignant tribute to those who lost their lives in the attack whose names are etched into the surrounding bronze wall.
The Oculus WTC is across from the memorial site, and its architecture designed by Santiago Calatrava is stunning. I also stopped by Trader Joes (142 E 14th St at 3rd Ave) and Whole Foods (E 14th St) to stock up on some RXBAR protein bars that are unavailable in Canada.
After a full morning, have an easy lunch at Shake Shack (154 East 86th St). Another satisfying burger spot is Burger Joint at Le Parker Meridien (119 W 56th St) that is tucked behind a giant, velvet curtain in the swanky hotel.
Enjoy a leisurely afternoon in Central Park, checking out Strawberry Fields, the Alice in Wonderland sculpture, and rowing a boat! Rent boats from the Loeb Boathouse from 10 AM to sundown. You have to put a $20 cash deposit to rent the boats at $15 per hour, cash only.
We didn’t have time to check out Grand Banks at Pier 25 this time, but it’s a hip and happening oyster bar aboard a wooden schooner.
Round off your trip with dinner at Mario Batali’s New York staple, Babbo. Alternatively, check out the light and airy Italian seafood restaurant, Santina, under the High Line run by the Carbone Group.
More Food in Brooklyn
If you happen to be in the City over a weekend, be sure to also check out Smorgasburg, a weekly open-air food market with over 100 vendors in Brooklyn. Smorgasburg is open April to October in Williamsburg on Saturdays and in Prospect Park on Sundays.
Where to Stay
Fifty NYC an Affinia Hotel (155 East 50th St.) is a great place to stay in NYC. The price is very reasonable, and its midtown location is super convenient. The daily wine hour takes place in the hotel’s Club Room from 5-6 PM with complimentary wine and snacks. The concierge helped us search for show tickets, but alas, it was impossible to get Hamilton tickets.
How to Get Around
The best formula for getting around in Manhattan is to walk, subway, taxi, Uber, and Lyft. Use my Uber referral code: debbiec383 & Lyft referral code: DEB64117 and we’ll both get a free ride!
What’s your favorite food joint in the Big Apple?