What To Do in New York City

New York is the holy grail of city breaks; the ultimate shopping expedition, romantic trip for two or girls weekend away. With incredible flights across the pond being enviably more affordable thanks to the likes of Norwegian airlines, check out this list to fill a short break to the city that never sleeps.

PLACES TO DRINK.

Bathtub Gin, Chelsea, is an amazing hidden speakeasy. You'll be forgiven if you walk back and forth along the block looking for the inconspicuous cafe entrance. Once behind the hidden door you'll be plunged into an ostentatious speakeasy. The cocktail menu is incredible and yes, there is an actual gold bathtub in there! www.bathtubginnyc.com
Apotheke, Chinatown, is a hospital-themed speakeasy. A great place to grab a cocktail before/after dim sum at Nom Wah Tea Parlour, the oldest restaurant in Chinatown.
www.apothekenyc.com // www.nomwah.com
Tao Downtown oozes New York social scene as per Sex and the City. It's the kind of place where you look around the dimly lit restaurant and wonder who's at the next table. Also the scene of Carrie Bradshaw's 'Last Supper' pre-wedding to Big. www.taodowntown.com
Dead Rabbit, near Wall Street, for an olde world cosy drinks spot. Watch out for the cobbled street in those heels. www.deadrabbitnyc.com
Mr Purple, Lower East Side, is on the top floor of Hotel Indigo and has incredible views of the city. Perfect spot for an outdoor drink watching the sunset. www.mrpurplenyc.com

BRUNCH SPOTS.

Nomo Kitchen, Soho, is the perfect spot for a girls get-together. Having first seen this place in the final scene of The Other Woman, I was on the hunt for the location of an incredible glasshouse ceiling, chandeliers and long bar clad in fairy lights. Oh, and a table of girlfriends sipping Champagne. www.nomosoho.com
Two Hands Cafe, Tribeca, is an Australian healthy cafe. You'll find lots of brunching yogis here. Highly recommend the Smashed Peas. www.twohandsnyc.com/tribeca
Locande Verde, Tribeca, is a Mediterranean restaurant with incredibly tasty rustic Italian takes on brunch. Do not forgo the Banana Monkey Bread. www.locandaverdenyc.com
Jack's Wife Freda, Chelsea & Greenwich Village, is the cutest spot with checkered table cloths. Prepare to queue but it'll be worth the queue time. Grab a Mint Lemonade whilst you wait on the sidewalk in the New York heat.  www.jackswifefreda.com
Tavern on the Green, Central Park, is perfect pre or post stroll, row or horse-drawn carriage ride. This restaurant has an incredible courtyard if the weather is in your favour and beautiful big windows if not! Given the stereotype of American meal sizes, the pastry basked is enough to feed a family of four!  /www.tavernonthegreen.com
Sarabeth's, various locations, is an upmarket American chain, the perfect family-friendly restaurant with an incredibly huge menu to fuel a big day of exploration. www.sarabethsrestaurants.com
The Brooklyn Diner, Times Square, I've been going to this place since my first ever visit to New York and it's the most amazing retro diner. Look for the name plaques around the room whilst you enjoy the unlimited coffee and best goddamn pancakes in New York! www.brooklyndiner.com
Clinton Street Bakery, Lower East Side, it'll be worth the wait when you taste the twice-voted best blueberry pancakes in New York City. I went here for my birthday breakfast and after popping our name down on the door, walked to nearby Alphabet City for work up an appetite. www.clintonstreetbaking.com

EATING IN THE BIG APPLE.
Julianas or Grimaldis, DUMBO, Brooklyn. If you have time to try both places, it's tasty pizza from two ex-best friends who ran a successful pizzeria for years and then, after a massive falling out now run rival pizza restaurants right next door to each other! Both have long queues at peak time. The liquor license and ambiance of Julianas wins in one respect but I personally preferred the casual vibe and delicious pizza from Grimaldis. I recommend burning off some of the calories afterwards by walking across the Brooklyn Bridge back to Manhattan - stunning! www.julianaspizza.com // www.grimaldis-pizza.com
Chelsea Market, Chelsea, is an absolute must on your to-do list whilst in New York and this has the roof over a huge array of eateries of sushi, lobster, Mexican. Stroll around the arcades and follow where your nose takes fancy to, especially if it's the Doughnuttery. www.chelseamarket.com
Smorgasburg, Brooklyn & Williamsburg, is a seasonal outdoor food market where the crowds draw in from afar between April and October. Be prepared to be overwhelmed by the incredible choice and - friendly tip - the longest queues tend to lead to taste bud heaven! www.smorgasburg.com
Levain Bakery, Upper West Side, you smell the cookies baking before you see the blue awning and it will sure get your mouth-watering in the queue. The best double chocolate cookies that $4 can buy! www.levainbakery.com
Alice's Teacup, Upper West Side, is a quirky, whimsical tea house which makes for the perfect pit stop from exploring nearby Central Park. www.alicesteacup.com
Katz Delicatessen, Lower East Side, is home to the famous When Harry Met Sally scene which, frankly, you can re-live yourself once you take a bite of their pastrami sandwich. Big enough to share between two... make of that what you will. www.katzsdelicatessen.com
Do, Greenwich Village, pronounced 'Dough'... as in cookie dough. This place is worthy of its own Twitter feed informing fans of the queue status! Considering itself "gourmet edible, bakeable, customisable cookie", its a truly fancy New York take on licking the spoon! www.cookiedonyc.com

THINGS TO DO.

Skyscrapers...One World Trade Center has a very slick, theatrical experience which as the newest kid on the block you'd expect it to have! This may be the best views to grab a seat at the bar and take in the far-reaching views of New Jersey, Brooklyn, Long Island and Queens. The Empire State Building is the classic, and most romantic, experience thanks to Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan. The art-deco interior is appearing a little worn these days but its the Empire State so the magic of it still makes this hot on your list! The Rockefeller is best at sunset for the more photography view of the Empire State, Times Square glowing far down below and 360 twinkling lights.
Grand Central Station... Standing on the central concourse in rush-hour is a sight to behold. There are some seriously awesome photograph opportunities here. Take an onward journey to Connecticut, New Jersey or anywhere from the other fifty tracks.
Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island... book up in advance to join the 'official' tour and I recommend getting 9am ferry slot to enjoy people-less pictures as you arrive at the statue. For a cheaper option, grab a pretzel and hop on the free Staten Island Ferry for passing views. There's not much on Staten Island itself but fabulous views of Manhattan and Liberty Island before completing the loop.
Central Park...a piece of green to escape from the concrete jungle and you can choose to explore it by foot, by bike or horse-drawn carriage. If you're there in winter, take to the ice and there in the summer, take to the lakes.
Chelsea High Line...a perfect walking route above the beeping horns that used to be an old trainline. I recommend walking the direction from North to South as there's so much more to do once you end in Chelsea, e.g. Chelsea Food Market, The Whitney Museum and the shops of Meatpacking.
The 9/11 Museum, Financial District, allow at least half a day. As to be expected, it's incredibly moving but touchingly delivered.
Bleeker Street, West Village, is the central hub leading to Carrie Bradshaw's stoop (66 Perry Street), the Friends building (90 Bedford Street), and Magnolia Bakery for a cupcake!
Dylan's Candy Bar, Upper East Side, is the largest candy store in the world (apparently) and can sort any sweet cravings in between floors at nearby Bloomingdales.
Madison Square Gardens, Midtown, is the location to grab a bucket of popcorn, beer and take in the entertainment of the Knicks (Basketball), New York Rangers (Ice Hockey) or gig.
I hope this gives you food for thought in planning a trip to the Big Apple! The reality is, this is little more than a bite size offering to give you a taste of what New York has to offer.

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