I think I'm just about over the post-holiday blues enough to jot down a little 'must do' list for New York City. I'm not gonna lie - it's breaking my heart every time I think about it (especially the food - my God, THE FOOD) but far be it from me to deny others (*cough cough* JAYE *cough*) who are visiting that beautiful island the joy of the full experience. Let's get into it.

We put up sticks for the first few nights at the Westin Grand Central, on 3rd and 42nd, which was absolutely beautiful. *The comfiest* beds you will ever sleep in, hands down. Nice and peaceful here.

If you want to be more in the thick of things (you know you do), we later stayed at the Hyatt Times Square and oh. Sweet. Lord. I cannot recommend this place highly enough. From the design of the place, to the view from the room (50th floor, thank you!), to the rooftop bar to the staff (say hi to Chester, he's amazing)... Everything was perfect. I absolutely loved my stay and would go back in a heartbeat.

Shake Shack. Anywhere you see it. It's ALWAYS good. Try the caramel shake. My poison of choice was ALWAYS a Shack Burger with their crimpy fries (they're kind of zig-zag shaped, so I call them crimpy) and a caramel shake. So freaking good. My mouth is watering as I type.
EJ's Luncheonette on 3rd and 73rd on the UES - absolutely amazing diner-style food. J had the grilled cheese and it was one of the best I'd ever tasted in my life. I had a turkey club and BA-BOW. God I wish I could just go back and eat all this all over again. Dayum.

The only place that needs to be considered for breakfast is the Brooklyn Diner. We went to the one on West 43rd and 7th - very cute place, feels big and spacious even though it gets pretty crowded. Portion sizes are BIG and the food is stunning. Have the pancakes, thank me later.

Any pizza slice you can find. Chances are it will be better than processed Dominos or Pizza Hut crap. I always went for a Traditionale - plain cheese, tomato sauce, no fussing. Best way to merit a slice if you ask me! Remember - New Yorkers fold their slice in half and eat while they walk! No time for sitting around.

We liked picking up bagels and the occasional tasty treat from Pax deli which was right next to the Westin when we stayed there. So inexpensive, really good, and the staff were great. Used to love going in here for a morning bagel! J would have the everything bagel, and I'd get cinnamon raisin with butter. NOMS.

OK ladies, start your engines. The Sephora at Times Square is a good'un. Equally as impressive? The Sephora on 42nd, between Madison and 6th I believe. Really pretty, spacious layout, and less busy generally than the TS branch.

Visiting the Empire State? There's a great Walgreens at the base of it which has a comprehensive theBalm counter on its upper level. You're welcome. Don't make the same mistake I did and assume you'd be going back... Sobs.

CVS and Duane Reade were my happiest places in New York. Their to-go drinks fridges... I could stand there mesmerized for hours. And their make up selections? Don't even get me started. Find your nearest and be prepared to revisit it... A lot.

My favourite place to shop hands-down was walking down Broadway from the Flatiron building heading Downtown... I oogled the shop windows of Restoration Hardware and Madewell and then cried about not being able to afford anything. So many beautiful boutiques. I loved Union Square as well, and there was a beautiful market we visited there that made my heart so happy. Really liked the vibe of this area of town. 

There's also a great bookstore called Strand Books right near Union Square, this place was a trove and my dad went absolutely crazy for their $1 and $2 book stands on the street. Incred.

In all honesty? Skip the Empire State and proceed directly to Top of the Rock which is cheaper, more efficient, much more modern and gives you a better view of the city. I've visited twice, done the Empire State twice and while it's one of those 'must do' things people tell you about, I appreciated the view at Top of the Rock so much more. This is another one it hurts to think about - take me back!! Right now!!

Don't miss The Highline. Please. You'll regret it and I'll regret it for you. It's so beautiful, such a nice walk and the vibe around this area is awesome. Join it at West 14th in the Meatpacking District/Chelsea. Feel like a cool kid instantly. If you're visiting in summer, skip your meal plans and eat from the vendors at the park. Everything looks awesome.

Take a stroll from Canal St through Chinatown and Little Italy - it's so fun and quirky around here, and it's a little away from the touristy areas, so it feels like you get a better overview of *actual* New York. Also the street art here? AMAZING. The stuff of Instagram DREAMS.

Make sure to walk through Greenwich Village. It's such a cool neighbourhood and you'll discover so many little places you never knew you loved. The best advice I can give you, actually, is to get around as much as you can on foot. You see/hear/experience so much more doing this than in cabs/on trains.

The Met, The Met, The Met. Every time. That Egyptian wing could take me a whole damn day. It very nearly did this time. 

And... Make sure you do something totally out of your usual 'sightseeing' zone. My boyf really wanted to catch a Yankees game and it ended up being one of the best nights of the holiday. Despite them losing. Pretty bad. It gave us a great holiday story and a ton of memories. We even got 'first timer' certificates!

So there you have it, a little whistle-stop of my favourite things about the City. I'm sure this list could have gone on forever, but I thought I'd reel it in a little! I hope you guys all get to visit NYC if you haven't yet, it really is the most amazing place. 

Tell me some of your favourite places to visit in the City! Do you like the Guilty Guide? Shall I do some more cities?


  1. Oh my sweet Lord, I need to comment on every.single.thing here. God, you've just made me miss New York so much!

    OK LETS GET STARTED. Thanks for giving me a craving for food I CANNOT GET HERE. Shake Shack, you absolutely own my soul. Come to Australia. God, I can almost taste it. Weep.
    I remember my first time to New York, we found some pizza place in Little Italy that was one of the many 'best pizzas in NY' places, but it actually had a queue which I thought was a good sign. And their signature slice was Spinach and Artichoke, which I got, and my friend got the usual cheese. AND THEY WERE AMAZING. Why does no one in Australia or England do giant slices of pizza??
    Did you get a chance to check out that place I recommended you on Twitter?

    Gahh, Duane Reade. SO GOOD. I mean, I literally spent an hour at least in there, and I wasn't in just the makeup section. So amazing.
    There were markets at Union Square when I was there too! But they were food markets, not sure if it was the same one. But the whole area is amazing.

    I concur, Top of the Rock? So much better. I went up the top of the Empire State last trip, turned around, and the whole of Central Park was blocked by the Rockafella Centre. I was like whyyyy. I guess when you go Top Of The Rock, and you look out at the south Manhattan view, it's block by Empire State, but everryyone knows the Central Park view is better ;)

    And gah, just....everything else! Amazing! We stumbled upon a street party in Greenwich Village with a band and everything and I was like...okay, I could live here. And everywhere had fairy lights on the windows and at dusk it all looked so beautiful I could weep...

    Ending this now before I get too weepy.
    So glad you had an AWESOME time!


  2. I miss NYC :( The tips make me think you got well acquainted!

    Sophie x


    1. My heart still hurts Soph! Will never get over it... And never well aquainted enough ;)

      T xx

  3. I love NYC! I wish I could live there.
    My favourite food place was Carmines, huge portions of just about anything. TKTS booth for discounted broadway shows (if you can brave the queue), Top Of The Rock for sure, and a classic open top bus tour for the day of your flight home - it's a good way to kill time. xx
    Tash | Ballet, Dance & Fitness


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