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.
Great burger joint with several locations.
Awesome milkshakes, too.
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 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 gmail.com
I'd love to meet you for a drink or a slice of pizza. Or both.