One of the things I love about New York is the fact that you never run out of new places to go or streets to explore. I decided to put together a list of some of my favorite places that I had the chance to visit this time around (I always try to find new places each time I visit somewhere unless I find something I love SO MUCH that I have to keep going every time!), so that anyone else who might be planning a trip to NYC now or in the future could take advantage of some fun suggestions. Also, I’m sorry for the quality of some of these photos – I didn’t have Daniel with me this trip to take a bunch of professional looking photos, and honestly sometimes you just don’t feel like lugging a heavy camera around with you anyway. After all, the best camera is the one that you have with you, right?
FEED – DUMBO
Feed is a darling little coffeeshop and store right on the waterfront in Dumbo, Brooklyn. What I love about this place is not only their yummy snacks and beautiful aesthetic, but that everything available for purchase goes towards providing meals for people in need. I don’t know about you, but I always feel like I can justify the cost of things far easier knowing that part of that money is going towards something good. They even have a tally of how many meals they’ve provided to people so far, and they’re almost at 100 million meals, which is insane (in such a good way)!
I personally really love their cultivate kindness tote, and they also make a super classic leather tote (that looks really similar to the Madewell tote, except it provides almost 200 meals to people in need!) – all of which you can find on their website, linked above.
Leif – Williamsburg
Y’all, Leif. Was. Goals. This tiny little home decor and gift shop in Williamsburg, Brooklyn is like the culmination of all of my design dreams coming true. A little bit Scandinavian, a little bit boho, and mostly sourced from local craftsmen and designers. This is one of my favorite kinds of shops to find whenever I travel, because everything is so wildly personal – and what better place to find a travel souvenir that represents where you’ve been than somewhere that sells things made by that very city’s local creative community?
Chisholm Gallery – Chelsea
Chisholm Gallery was a random stumble upon that my sister and I found leaving Chelsea Market one day (which if you’ve never been to New York, that should be a definite go-to place on your list!). Being a graphic designer, I really love getting to see vintage posters and pieces that show how far design has come, from being all manual to being mostly digital. I personally am a sucker for these older pieces – I feel like they showcase so much talent, and are overall representative of a simpler time. Besides, having some vintage artwork in your home can add so much character and interest. That being said, if you’re ever in the market for some artwork, ads, typography pieces, illustrations, etc from another era…Chisholm is a great place to start.
Kinship Coffee – Astoria
Kinship is a coffee co-op with a couple locations in Astoria. Astoria is where I was actually staying since that’s where my friends live (which is fun for me, since it’s the Greek district anddd my maiden name is Papadopoulos 😉 ), so I was happy to stumble across this place when I was headed to the subway one day. They keep it pretty minimalist and cool, there’s free wifi, and their coffee is legit. What more can you ask for out of a coffee shop? I had a maple cold brew, which I’m kind of still thinking about. #givememore
Root and Bone – East Village
Root and Bone describes themselves as “honest Southern food,” which I’m all about – because COMFORT. They’re apparently known for their fried chicken, which they brine in freaking sweet tea (there is literally nothing more Southern than that), but Daniel and I are currently trying to cut out meat, so I tried to be good and got a salad instead. However, I did snag a few bites of my friend’s waffle benedict, and it was bomb. If you’re all about some cozy comfort food, I would definitely recommend it (it’s tiny though, so maybe don’t go with your whole hungover squad for brunch 😉 ).
Devoción – Williamsburg
When I was initially planning my trip to New York, I was drawn to Devoción mostly because of the photos of their freakin’ succulent / plant wall! Honestly that was my main reason for wanting to come here (although coffee shops are truly my favorite things to seek out in any city – I usually get a cappuccino and a croissant in all of them!). Either way, this place more than delivered on aesthetic and taste. I had a guava and cheese croissant that blew my mind and took me back to my FL days with Cuban guava pastries. Must go.
Maison Premiere – Williamsburg
Okay, thiiiiis might have been the best meal I had the whole time I was in New York (although I did have a bomb ass rainbow bagel that came pretty close. #basic). Again, Daniel and I are trying to cut meat – but I cut myself some slack since this was seafood and I was on vacation. So, Maison Premiere. It’s this little hole in the wall seafood and oyster bar in Williamsburg – super unassuming from the outside (in fact the sign just says Bar Oyster – it doesn’t even have the actual name on the outside). However, their patio out back is DARLING. Truly, my iPhone pics definitely don’t do it justice – if you ever decide to come here when it’s warm, definitely sit out back on the patio…it’s like a lush little unexpected tropical escape!
Now, the food. The first time I tried oysters wasn’t until last year in Seattle, and I HATED them. Turns out it was because they were West Coast oysters which are a lot less briney and a lot more bland. My sister and I ended up splitting an oyster platter, which were almost all East Coast oysters, and they were amazing. We also got lobster rolls, roasted vegetables, and pleeenty of drinks. Maison Premiere basically has the Michelin star equivalent for their cocktails, so I would 10/10 recommend getting one. The bartender made me a custom rum cocktail with Tamarind in it, and I happily sucked down two of those and had a good buzz for the rest of the night. 😉 I’ll definitely be returning here next time I’m in the city! It’s pretty pricey, but definitely worth it.
Trademark Taste + Grind – Midtown Manhattan
Trademark Taste + Grind is actually a cool little restaurant (taste) and coffee bar (grind – as in grinding coffee beans) located inside the Hotel Le Soleil in Midtown Manhattan. It’s got kind of a charming old school vibe, and while I didn’t get to try their coffee bar, I got a really delicious flatbread from their restaurant. I wish I could have gone back during the day so I could have gotten some better pictures (they keep everything SO dark at night! #mood), so maybe next time I’ll try to make it for lunch.
by CHLOE. – Williamsburg (there are several locations though!)
by Chloe was one of the places on my list that I definitely wanted to try because they’re known for their full vegan menu, and I had to go for the vegan mac and cheese. Daniel and I have been watching a lot of food docs (hence the decision to try to cut meat), and I’d like to think I could eventually become a vegan…but not if it means I have to cut mac and cheese. Fortunately, the vegan version was actually pretty good! They even had faux bacon crumble made out of like crispy mushrooms….it sounds wild but they were GOOD – and I’m not big on food substitutes like that. I think that if we lived in NYC being vegan would be a lot more sustainable option because there would still be so many restaurant choices. Oh! And I also had cinnamon lemonade here – which again, sounds wild, but it was seriously delicious. I would go back to any of the by Chloe locations anytime!
Museum of the Moving Image – Astoria
One of the days while I was visiting was super rainy and cold (which sucked, because it technically wasn’t even Fall yet!). It was just one of those days where you want to stay inside and do nothing. Fortunately my friend Kat lives within walking distance of the Museum of the Moving Image, so we decided to go check out the Jim Henson exhibit (he created all the puppetry for things like Sesame Street, Labyrinth, The Dark Crystal, etc). This place was totally interesting, and one of the most unique museums I’ve ever been to. It’s a great place to spend a rainy afternoon, and what I like about it is that it isn’t overwhelming – it’s actually doable in a couple hours (as opposed to somewhere like the MoMA, which is huge). There was a lot of fun and interactive exhibits where you could redub classic movie scenes with your own voice, or change the sound effects and whatnot! A fun way to kill an afternoon for sure.
Last but not least, the Brooklyn waterfront. Not only is this where you can get your mandatory “I came to New York” photo of the Empire State Building between the Manhattan Bridge, but it’s just a really beautiful area. There are shops and cafes along the water, a HUGE West Elm (dead…I want to live there), a carousel, etc. Plus, there’s a cool rooftop park where you can get photos of a huge portion of the NYC city skyline (which I’ll be posting about soon enough!). I come to this area every time I’m in New York, because it’s so beautiful and peaceful. I absolutely adore this area of Brooklyn – I can’t get enough of it!
I hope that some of these suggestions were helpful, and that you get to experience them for yourself at some point! Do you have a favorite spot in the city? Tell me about it below!