Monday, February 27, 2012

new york city in a list

Some of you have asked what we like to do here in our big city in preparation for your own trips to the Big Apple.
Here's a list for you of places to eat and things to do in NYC. Drumroll, please...

The Rigo's List of Fave NYC Eats and Sights
if you've never been to nyc before or if you're only going to be here a short time

Walk the Brooklyn Bridge + Eat at Grimaldi's

Make sure you have cash on you and prepare to stand in line for some original NY pizza.
But know this... it's so worth it.


A hotspot destination made popular by movies like One Fine Day and Serendipity, but also very worth it.
Call ahead to make reservations for a meal... they have quite a wait list.
All the hype you've heard is legit: get the frozen hot chocolate and you won't regret it.
Also, the Summer Bries sammy is my fave.

Roosevelt Island Tram
After your meal at Serendipity, walk less than a block for a ride on the Roosevelt Island Tram for some amazing views of the east side. It costs only one ride on a metro card.
Probably one of the least expensive things to do in all the city. Day or night, the views are incredible.

Dylan's Candy Bar

If you didn't make the reservation list in time at Serendipity, don't fret.
Show up at the restaurant about 30 minutes before they open and put your name on the list as soon as the doors open.
Then, treat yourself to a stroll through Dylan's Candy Bar located just down the street from Serendipity.
Owned by Ralph Lauren's daughter, Dylan Lauren, this place is a treat for young and old alike.
Bloomies and Zara and H&M are also really close if you prefer to shop while you wait.

Cheesecake from Junior's
Junior's is a restaurant native to Brooklyn.
There are several locations now in Manhattan including Times Square and in the lower level of Grand Central.
Treat yourself to a piece of Junior's original NY cheesecake.
It's creamy and perfect and you'll be sad if you miss it.

The Hurricane Club

If you want to dress up for a fancy night on the town, might I suggest The Hurricane Club?
With modern glam decor, you'll feel very SJP in the city at this swanky bar & restaurant.
The menu is unique and amazing. While you and the girls sip your cocktails, the men can take an excursion downstairs for a shoe shine and a cigar.

Shake Shack
Great burger joint with several locations.
Awesome milkshakes, too.

Southern Hospitality
The claim-to-fame of this BBQ pit and pub is it's owner... the one and only J. Timberlake.
Perhaps you've heard of him?
I'm quite partial to the name, giving a subtle nod to my endearing Southern roots, but also to the best margaritas in the city as well as their bbq chicken nachos. Call me and I'll join you.

Molly's Irish Pub

Another place I love for the name alone.
And the food delivers strongly, too. The bleu cheese burger will make you slap somebody.
Other great features? Wood-burning fireplace that you'll appreciate on chilly nights and a charming waitstaff with authentic Irish accents.

All-in-one market + bistro + wine bar in the Flatiron District.
Some of the best Italian meats and cheeses and breads you'll find this side of Sicily itself.
Typically crowded, but worth it.

Grand Central + The Campbell Apartment

The main terminal at Grand Central is handsdown one of my favorite architectural landmarks in all NYC.
It's dreamy and nostalgic and well... grand.
Take time for a swanky little happy hour at The Campbell Apartment located in Grand Central.
It feels like you're stepping back in time a bit with it's tagline Cocktails from Another Era. Love it.

Top of the Rock
Top of the Rock provides excellent 360 degree views of NYC.
Rivaling the views from the Empire State Building, some selling points for Top of the Rock are:
you can actually see the Empire State Building, the cost is less and the lines not as long.
You can also purchase a Dawn/Dusk pass allowing you entrance twice in one day for views during both daylight and nighttime.

Staten Island Ferry +  Lady Liberty

Take a ride aboard the Staten Island Ferry for free! and enjoy excellent views of Lady Liberty.
Also, once you get off the Ferry, take a right for a walk along the boardwalk to the 9/11 Memorial on Staten Island.
Then, board the ferry for your ride back to Manhattan for more breathtaking views of the city.

South Street Seaport

Enjoy the beautiful shops and restaurants and vendors at the quaint cobblestone market that is South Street Seaport. You'll get some sweet views of Brooklyn and the East River, too.

The High Line + Chelsea Market

The High Line is a public park that was built on an old railroad on the West side of Manhattan.
It's a great place to take a stroll above the fast paced NY life.
Then treat yourself to a tour of Chelsea Market, home to the Food Network and other awesome joints like Jacques Torres chocolate and Eleni's and Fat Witch Bakery.

Central Park
Central Park is quentessential New York City to me.
Take a picnic or even just a stroll through quite possibly the most famous American park.
Eat a hotdog from a vendor or take it up a notch at The Boathouse.
ps... There's a swanky part of The Boathouse and then a snacky less expensive part.
The latter has some of the best lemonade in all the city... perfect for a refreshing afternoon treat.

Times Square at night
If you've never been to Times Square, you should go at least once. 
I don't know of another place as bright and big and in your face.
And don't forget there's a Junior's close by.

Some other places you shouldn't miss: The Met + MOMA + Museum of Natural History.

A few city-savvy tips:

Hopstop is a great tool to help you navigate.

When taking a cab, make sure you give directions to the cabbie with cross streets.
For example, Junior's in Times Square is located on 1515 Broadway, between 44th Street and 45th Street.
Instead of saying 1515 Broadway, say, Broadway between 44th and 45th.
You'll be more likey to land at your desired location.

On an escalator? Stand right, walk left.

Need to check your phone or map? Stand with your back against the nearest building. It'll allow you to get out of the hustle and bustle on the sidewalk and the pedestrian traffic will thank you.

Lastly, give me a shout if you are coming to nyc!
molly.rigoloso at
I'd love to meet you for a drink or a slice of pizza. Or both.

The End.


  1. loving this list! i would love to try serendipity!

    i was just in brooklyn this weekend for a friend's 30th, but we didn't make it to any of these. also, what's your fav brunch spot? we always hit harefield road, juliette, and once in a while egg. but i know there are tons more brunch spots we should be trying. (i'm a brunch junkie)

    1. Oooh, a brunch junkie?! A lady after my own heart.

      I've eaten at egg and I thoroughly loved it. Some of my go-to spots in Manhattan are Sara Beth's, Isabella's and Kitchenette.

    2. i'm partial to the Cupping Room in SoHo. I've loved it since I was a kid and it hasn't lost its magic.

    3. oooh thanks! i will def be checking these out next time i come back! :)

  2. Molly this makes me want to pack my bag and go to NYC now!!! Thanks for all of the info!

  3. there were so many things i loved about this post (especially the ones we've shared together). hurricane club, molly's pub, top of the rock, walking the brooklyn bridge. i need to get me to staten island, too, and eat some wicked good italian food.

  4. SIGH.

    I LOVED this post.

    First, because I am proud of so many things I have done (and Eataly with YOU!) but also, because I still have so many things to see and do!!

    Remember how I was maybe going to come this weekend but now I can't? SAD SIGH.

    Soon, though, Molly. Soon.

    and @colleen I will be in touch with you too pretty lady next time I am planning a visit. and we will meet! and we will hug! and we will be filled with glee!!

    1. that would be just awesome for all three of us! we will definitely be filled with glee. and maybe a little red wine.

    2. Anna + Colleen together?! Why have I not thought of this sooner? A million times yes.

  5. Awesome list. My faves would be the pizza place, the burgers, and central park.

    Seeing all these pictures in one place reminds me what an incredible city NY is. Love it.

  6. I'm pinning this like the Pinterest/NYC junkie I am. This is seriously wonderful, TW and I want to visit asap & this is perfect

  7. Can I please shout from the rooftops how much I love you for the fact that your tour of NYC includes all of those amazing restaurants? Because that's exactly how my tours of Portland go. Food = highlight of anything worthwhile in life.

    Kindred spirits, I tell you.

    And also, bleu cheese burger? Shutup. I die.

    I need to come to NY immediately if not sooner.

  8. Out of all the blogs I read from people who live in NYC, this is, hands down, the best review/suggestion list I have ever read. (And this is coming from a girl who grew up 20 min outside the city!)

    1. Woah. Thanks, Melanie! Pretty much made my day.

  9. Great list! I can't wait to come one day. Your picture of Lady Liberty was lovely indeed.

  10. thank you, thank you. i've been waiting for this. and just in time to get me super duper excited about our trip. have had grimaldis in scottsdale. any other to die for pizza joints? i must say i really am looking forward to trying that bleu cheese burger & also the roosevelt island tram. nyc here we come!

    1. I'm so excited your trip is coming up! Yes- other authentic pizza places- John's Pizzeria on Bleeker and Patsy's. I can send you links if you like. And coffee with you? Yes, please! ;)

  11. I want to print this list and carry it in my pocket for NYC inspiration. If all goes well, we can rendezvous on the Brooklyn Bridge (like Miranda and Steve, only I won't cheat on you first) in May.

  12. i'm liking this list. i've been to the city lots of times BUT HAVE NEVER WALKED ACROSS THE BROOKLYN BRIDGE. what is wrong with me? also, shake shack-i want that so bad.

    i would add the williamsburg section of brooklyn--beacons closet. thrifting at its finest (the blogger in me had to mention it. vintage!).

    1. and agreed on top of the rock vs. empire all the way.

    2. I think I may have to dedicate a whole post to Brooklyn/Williamsburg. You're a mind reader ;)

  13. Bookmarking this post for future use- thank you!

  14. Molly this is too cute and SO perfect for first timing (second, third?) it to NYC. Seriously, it would make life so much easier if we could have this for all cities! Goodness, I could even use one for Denver and I LIVE here!

    1. Thank you, Maggy! I want to do this for all the places we've lived. Let me know if you do one for Denver!

  15. I need to book some tickets. Like yesterday.

    Such beautiful photos Molly. The Central Park one is just so so beautiful. I can't get over it.

    1. Yesss to tickets. And thank you for your kind critique of my pics. You know I love your eye.

  16. Wow! This just makes me want to get to New York so much more! Epic adventures ahead!

    1. New York and epic definitely belong in the same sentence. :)

  17. Great post, wonderful pics and ideas. Stephanie Campbell Baker sent me your blog because my wife and I are coming up for our anniversary the last week of March. Can't wait to try all the fun stuff. We have the New York passes already so I'm sure we will get to do a lot of the things in New York and I'm sure we won't sleep much either haha!! Marty Moore


good communication is as stimulating as black coffee,

and just as hard to sleep after.

anne morrow lindbergh