North America Travel · March 7, 2020

A New York Minute: My Ten Favourite Things To Do In The Big Apple


I was very close to making this blog post essentially another poetic love letter to New York. Another post attempting to paint pictures with words where I’d forgotten to capture something first hand.

Joe and I aren’t always the best when it comes to snapping as we explore somewhere (we’re very much talk and walkers, rather than artistic shooters). But despite that, I had a handful of photos from our two final days in the city that I wanted to share, so thought actually- rather than wax lyrical about somewhere you’ve heard me talk about time and time again- I’d pop together a round up of my favourite things to do in New York, for anyone that isn’t sure where to begin when it comes to following recommendations.

Whether you’re there for a week or a weekend, from recent trips and some of my first ever visits- I’ve tried to put together the things I really wouldn’t miss (and where you can find some further recommendations too), so in no particular order… do do do do do do do do do do (need I explain?) (it’s Frank Sinatra…)


  1. Go To A Diner This is something I actually hadn’t done until this year, but upon discovering a handful of great breakfast spots in the city, it was refreshing to go somewhere that felt a little more (for want of a better word), authentic, than some of the made-for-Insta cafes you can become swayed by online. I guess it’s a lot like recommending a greasy spoon in London so I won’t pretty it up too much- but if you’re after amazing pancakes and hot coffee- look no further. The brilliant team at ManRepeller also made a concise list of their favourites (from local perspectives), but I also love Soho Diner (does this…count?), Landmark Coffee and Neil’s Coffee Shop.
  1. Get A Bagel- I didn’t mean for these to be in a foodie order to start with, but clearly that’s how my mind works because there is little I love more than a New York bagel. Loaded with cream cheese, smoked salmon, capers, onion and dill- mmmm! Whether you do a swish Russ & Daughters, head to Murray’s, cross the river for Frankels, tick off Black Seed or get a Tompkins Square– there are plenty to choose from. New Yorkers absolutely have their favourites, but I promise these come tried and tested (and recommended too)!


  1. Get A Pizza Slice I am not about to tell you where I think you can get the best pizza slice in New York, because its a bit like getting into politics (although if you did ask Im partial to a classic Joes or Scarr’s), but without me divulging further bon appétit have kindly done the leg work so you dont waste any time on a poor slice. You are welcome!
  1. Have a sing-song in Greenwich Village And thats not even counting karaoke! After hearing about Maries Crisis Café (a bar where you basically sing songs from musicals when you have a drink) I was SOLD. Richard Ayoade going there just sealed the deal. Theres also the iconic Café Wha? Where a certain Bob Dylan and Jimi Hendrix used to play, where you can catch incredible house bands and musicians which is meant to be truly magical.

  1. Go Vintage Shopping in Williamsburg Although there are so many gems across the city (the Lower East Side is another favourite), Williamsburg boasts some amazing second hand and thrift shopping. Whether thats Beacon’s Closet, The Break, Seven Wonders Collective or Awoke Vintage– walk there via the Williamsburg Bridge (if youre not staying in Brooklyn already) and get ready to rummage.


  1. Appreciate the view! This is the city of a truly beautiful postcard moment. Head to the Top of the Rock (potentially over the Empire State), The Wythe for a drink, the roof at The Hoxton (check openings) or the view from Mr Purples rooftop to soak it all up. Even the taxi drive from JFK is magical (and with the right Spotify playlist has me in s e r i o u s music video mode).


  1. Tourist. Dot. Com- The classic spots are classics for a reason, and honestly, truly soaking up a city means ticking off some of the things that people know and love and exude its richness and history for a reason. I know in London I can be quick to ~avoid~ the tourist traps, but hey- they have to be done! With a bit of careful timing seeing the Statue of Liberty on the ferry, Ground Zero, Strawberry Fields at Central Park and Radio City are all truly special and important in their own right. Theres a little (lotta) magic in the touristy good stuff, I promise.


  1. Go to a show! Whether thats a gig catching your favourite band in town or a show amongst the bright lights of Broadway- both are such special ways of soaking up the city by night. Before we go we always check to see whats on that week- and whether thats at Rough Trade, Mercury Lounge or Le Poisson Rouge (or even SEEING SING STREET a.k.a MY FAVE FILM when it opens on Broadway in April)- its always worth checking.


  1. Wander around a museum, and then have lunch solo with a book- Did someone say culture vulture? On my last trip I did a bit of solo wandering- something I once would have chickened out of and sat in my hotel room instead. But- theres a real joy about independently wandering- and with a book (and maybe a bagel), you can hit up the Met, MoMa or simply watch the world go by and enjoy a sophisticated lunch solo. Russ & Daughters Café is dreamy for this- grab a seat at the bar, order a bagel and get page turnin.


  1. And finally, just soak it up. Download the songs- watch the films. Shamelessly absorb yourself in all things New York and the magic of the city. And, if the weather is really bad- watch a movie. The cinemas have BUTTER PUMPS. Its a purely magical city that lends itself to a lot of film watching beforehand, and a bit of Alicia Keys upon landing too. Just make sure to bring me back a warm Levain cookie



  • Reply
    March 7, 2020 at 12:41 pm

    Ok this post has really made me want to go back, I went to New York 5 years ago and it was one of the best city breaks, this is so helpful 🙂

  • Reply
    March 7, 2020 at 3:38 pm

    When I visited NY I didn’t get pizza, and it’s something I really want to do next time!
    Also bagels are definitely a YES!

    Julia x
    Last Post: The BEST Instagram Spots in Rome, Italy | Julia x

  • Reply
    March 7, 2020 at 9:27 pm

    Yes! These are definitely things you have to do while in NYC 🙂 X

  • Reply
    March 9, 2020 at 10:51 am

    Recently been to New York myself and I kinda wish I read this before my trip! I didn’t plan out my itinerary so I wasn’t able to do a lot, but saving this for next time… 🙂


  • Reply
    A Girl, A Style
    March 10, 2020 at 7:52 pm

    Such a perfect list! It has been too long since my last visit, and your dreamy photos have me longing to book a trans-Atlantic flight ASAP!

    Briony xx

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