Here’s the start of my neighborhood guides in NYC. My goal is to get tourists out to different areas of the city or if you already live here, become a tourist in your own backyard. I started with the Upper West Side which is where I spent the last couple months subletting. Enjoy!
Start at… Alice’s Tea Cup on West 73rd St. It’s an adorable Alice in Wonderland themed café with delicious baked goods (they’re known for their scones) as well as tea.
Get the Scones Benedict and a pot of tea (with a tea list the size of a wine bar menu, you’re sure to find something you’ll like even if you’re not a tea drinker). I’m a big fan of Alice’s Tea which is one of their signatures.
The go for a walk in Central Park… Enter on 72nd street and get lost. Every time I go to the park, I go a different route. Download the Central Park Conservancy app for maps, as well as audio tours narrated by celebrities. If you’d like to take a Guided Tour, check them out on the Central Park website. Tours range from free to $15.
Lunch… Exit the park at 80th St and eat at Shake Shack or Isabella’s, which are across from each other. Lines at other Shake Shack locations tend to be insane so if you really want the experience, go to this location. Unless it’s a Saturday, it’s pretty rare to see big lines here. Or head to Isabella’s for a sit down experience. The food is healthy and the cocktails are tasty.
Then head to the American Museum of Natural History. The dinosaurs are the most well-known but their other exhibits are interesting as well. Admission is posted at $22 but it is always suggested.
Snack… Levain Bakery for AMAZING cookies. I like to call them brookies because they are THICK. I love the Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip. All cookies are $4 each. Pro-tip: Go on a weekday to avoid lines. If you do hit a line, it moves pretty quick.
Dinner… If it’s Sunday, go to Calle Ocho for their free sangria. Order 1 entrée and you get as much sangria as you’d like. Otherwise check out RedFarm for their unique take on Chinese food. The Katz’s Pastrami Egg Rolls and Scallion Pancakes are amazing.
Evening… get yourself to the Met or anything at Lincoln Center. Even if you’re not a fan of opera, it’s an experience. And don’t be discouraged by ticket prices – they’re often on TodayTix and tickets start at just $25. If it’s the summer, see Shakespeare in the Park at the Delacorte (it’s FREE!).
For a nightcap… Dead Poet or Manhattan Cricket Club. At the Dead Poet, drinks are literary themed. Try their potent signature cocktail which tastes like grape soda and you’ll get to take the glass home. If you’re looking for something more upscale, head to Burke & Wills and ask the hostess to take you through the green leather door. You’ll find yourself in a speakeasy turn-of-the-century parlor with inventive cocktails.