How To Spend The Holidays In New York City

Are you visiting New York this week? Or, if you’re a New Yorker, are you taking a staycation? Even though our City Guides Section will give you the best restaurants and bars to go to, we thought we’d give you activities in each area of what to do, see, eat, shop and drink. It’s the holidays after all, and we know you need a quick fix. Here’s what to do when you find yourselves in each of our favorite New York City areas…

MIDTOWN

DRINK: At Bar Centrale. It’s a hidden pre and post theater gem with amazing cocktails, and a crowd that includes actors relaxing before or after their shows. Like to people watch? This is the spot for you.

*Tip: They open at 5pm, so call then for a reservation. 

EAT: 

Lunch… Do Joe Allen pre or post matinee, order their cheeseburger and a red wine, it’s the perfect classic New York activity.

Dinner… The Lamb’s Clubs; the former Conde Nast watering hole is still a great spot for dinner and a martini.

SEE: A Broadway show, obviously. For a classic try Les Miserables or Phantom of the Opera, and for a newer show that’s supposed to be great, we’d recommend The Real Thing, You Can’t Take It With You or Hedwig and the Angry Inch. Or stop by the MOMA for great modern art.

SHOP: Bergdorf Goodman, Barneys, Saks Fifth Avenue and Bloomingdales are all a stone’s throw away from one another.

UWS

DRINK: It’s sometimes hard to find good spots to drink in this area, but we always love the bar at Boulud Sud for a great atmosphere and delicious cocktail (dinner is also a must try).

EAT:

Breakfast… Barney Greengrass, for some of the best smoked fish in town.

Lunch… P.J. Clarkes for a good burger and fun atmosphere.

Dinner… Lincoln, for amazing Italian while looking onto Lincoln Center. RedFarm is also delicious.

Dessert… Pick up a chocolate chip cookie at Levain Bakery. You won’t be disappointed.

SEE: Go to Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola in Columbus Circle for amazing jazz music and a stunning view of Central Park. Shows are at 7:30 and 9:30 at night, with full food and drink menus during the show.

SHOP: The Barneys on the Upper West Side is a great shopping go-to, and if you stroll up Columbus Avenue from 66th street, you’ll be able to stop into shops like Rag & Bone, Theory and Sandro (to name only a few).

UES

DRINK: At Bemelmans Bar at The Carlyle Hotel. It’s one of our favorites in New York City, and a true classic. You may just see Woody Allen or Billy Joel playing with the pianist (they’re regulars).

EAT:

Breakfast… Cafe Sabarsky in the Neue Gallerie. It’s a longer wait for lunch, and this Viennese cafe possibly has one of our favorite breakfasts in the city.

Lunch… Try Sant Ambroeus or Via Quadronno. Both are amazing for people watching, delicious food and killer cappuccinos and wine.

Dinner… The East Pole. It’s a fairly new spot from the same guys that brought you The Fat Radish on the Lower East Side. The food is amazing, and it’s definitely a way to experience downtown when you’re uptown.

Dessert… Lady M, for tea and decadent cakes. Try the Crepe Cake or Banana Cream.

SEE: Our favorite museums are on the Upper East Side, and they include (in no particular order) The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Neue Galerie and The Guggenheim.

SHOP: Start either at 90th or 60th street at Madison Avenue and just walk all the way up or down. You’re welcome.

WV

DRINK: It’s hard to narrow down our favorite places, so we’ve given you situations for each…

For great cocktails… Fedora

and a speakeasy vibe… Employees Only

For day drinking… The Standard Biergarten

EAT: The West Village is a foodie’s dream, so we’ve given you some categorized options…

The best bagel & lox… Jeffrey’s Grocery

A perfect burger… The Spotted Pig

The best steak frites… Cafe Cluny

The best tapas… Alta

The best roast chicken… Barbuto

Our favorite brunch…  Minetta Tavern (also a favorite for a martini and a burger at dinner)

To feel like you’re in Paris… Buvette

The best Mexican… Empellon

For an intimate dinner… The Little Owl

For the best food and experience all around… Charlie Bird and Jacks Wife Fredawhich just opened it’s second outpost here.

SHOP: Walk over to Chelsea Market in the Meatpacking district for a bevy of food and home decor. Jeffrey is the fashion mecca of the Meatpacking District. Notable streets to shop around the West Village are Christopher Street, Bleeker Street and West 4th Street.

SOHO

DRINK: At The Dutch. They’ve got great cocktails and wine, and great oysters to pair with it. The downstairs bar at La Esquina is always a fun nighttime scene, and you can get great tacos on the side. For something more casual try Brinkleys.

EAT:

For Breakfast… Jack’s Wife Freda. Get the Mediterranean Breakfast.

Lunch… Balthazar, for a classic french brasserie meal courtesy of restaurateur to the stars Keith McNally. And Café Gitane; the avocado toast is a must try.

Dinner… Our most recent favorite is Estela for amazing small plates and a great bar scene. We’ve always loved Mercer Kitchen from Jean-Georges Vongerichten for reliable food and a great atmosphere. Raoul’s is also a favorite for old school, classic French fare. For some of our favorite pasta in the city, Osteria Morini.

Dessert… Stop by Ladurée for the best desserts and macarons straight from Paris.

SHOP: As one of the shopping centers of New York, SoHo and Nolita are pretty self-explanatory. You just have to walk around and you’ll fall into tons of stores. Some of our favorite shops include Kirna Zabete, Creatures of Comfort, Isabel Marant, Alexander Wang, Opening CeremonyReformationTopshop and Zara. Just weave in and out of Greene, Mercer, Wooster and West Broadway and you won’t’ be lacking for apparel to pillage. Same goes for Elizabeth, Mott, and Mulberry in Nolita.

LES

DRINK: Go to Please Don’t Tell or Apotheke, both hidden speakeasies with amazing cocktails, hidden doors and great people watching.

EAT:

For brunch… The Fat Radish, where the drinks, food and aesthetic are perfect, and you’re sure to experience a ‘local’ crowd.

For lunch… Ivan Ramen, to warm up, and for some of the best ramen we’ve had.

For dinner… Freemans. Hidden down an alleyway, Freemans is known for it’s amazing rustic American food and killer cocktails.

SEE: The New Museum, a fun modern spot for cutting edge innovative exhibitions. If you like art that’s ‘out there’ you’ll love this.

SHOP: Maryam Nassir Zadeh is a must visit, and our very chic friend Giorgia Tordini recommends Narnia and Ellen for the best vintage in town. For strolling in and out of shops, Rivington Street is our personal favorite.