Styleabaad’s Guide to New York

After going back and forth to this city on a monthly basis during the last three years I have now really started to find my own little gems in the big apple, places I just love to come back to again and again. I love New York as it always has something new to offer, new restaurants and bars seem to pop up every week but at the same time I love to come back to a familiar spots, knowing exactly what to expect. These are simply the places that I have grown to love and adore over the last years and I hope that you’ll enjoy them as much as I do! I plan on updating this little guide from time to time, adding new headlines (like my favorite furniture/decoration shops and perhaps the best flea markets) but until now I can just tell you where I like to shop, eat and sleep. Enjoy! 

SHOP

SOHO
Soho is a great area if you’re looking for some great shopping and a mix of high street and designer boutiques. I can easily spend a day here shopping taking a lunch break or a coffee at Café Café and finishing with an early dinner at Antique Garage.

These are my favorite Soho shops:

Free People (99 Spring Street) It’s no secret that I love Free People and their bohemian style so of course this is always my first stop in Soho.
Mulberry (134 Spring Street) This is the brand-new 5000 sq ft large store that has the complete collection of both bags and apparel.
Anthropologie (375 West Broadway) Fantastic for decoration, bedding, accessories and clothes.
Agent Provocateur (133 Mercer Street) Underwear to die for. Enough said.
Kate Spade (454 Broome St # 1) Pretty pretty pretty! Everything is pretty in the 60’s retro inspired store which has candy colored handbags, dresses, coats and stationary and other small details.
Taschen Store (107 Greene Street) If you’re into coffee table books this store is like entering paradise on earth!
Opening Ceremony (35 Howard Street) If you love designer labels and unique design collaborations this is definitely the place to go, bring your VISA gold as well.
Barneys (116 Wooster Street) Barneys always have a great mix of designers and is always worth checking out. Visiting their shoes and handbag section is always like entering a candy store.

On Broadway between Prince St and Grand St you’ll find the big chains like Topshop, Uniqlo, Forever 21, Mango, H&M, Victoria’s Secretc etc.

Shopping in Soho

WEST VILLAGE
West Village is definitely the coziest area to go shopping in on Manhattan. I usually start at Bleecker Street with 8th Avenue and walk slowly down Bleecker St. until I reach 7th Av. By doing that walk (and checking out a few side streets) you’ll pass by these shops:

Marc by Marc Jacobs (382 Bleecker Street) Marc Jacobs is taking over West Village! Right now there are two women’s stores (apparel and accessories) one men’s, one kid’s and Bookmarc (the relatively newly opened bookstore across the street from the womens apparel store). Usually it’s very crowded in the weekends but it’s worth checking out!
Little Marc (298 W. 4th Street) The cutest kiddo clothes ever! I always buy gifts here for my baby friends.
Mulberry (387 Bleecker Street) Before the Soho store opened this was where I always came to drool over the new collections of the butter soft leather handbags from England. It’s a quite small store compared to the one in Soho but very charming.
Intermix (365 Bleecker St) High-end designers like Chloe, Missoni, DvF, Halston Heritage and Zac Posen plus some carefully selected accessories.
Satya Jewelry (330 Bleecker Street) I love this little unique jewelry store. They have some really beautiful pieces inspired by India.
Reiss (313 Bleecker Street) This UK brand is kind of glamorous and laid back at the same time. I love their accessories and shoes and they have some really great dresses.

Shopping at Marc by Marc Jacobs

VINTAGE
Vintage in Manhattan is expensive and I have not really been able to find stores that I have wanted to return to over and over again. Most of the vintage shopping I’ve done in NYC has been in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. So I really recommend spending a day there to make some great vintage finds.

Beacon’s Closet (88 North 11th Street) This is a classic – this huge store has everything from designer vintage to last seasons Zara blouses so you need a big amount of time and patience. But if you do you’ll be rewarded – I’ve done some great finds here!
Artists & Fleas (70 North 7th St) In this indoors weekend market you’ll find both upcoming designers selling their stuff as well as some vintage vendors. I found the quality of the vintage to be high and you can find some really unique treasures here. You can really tell each piece was selected with love.
Amarcord (223 Bedford Avenue) This beautiful little vintage shop has a great selection of vintage clothes and accessories for both men and women.
Buffalo Exchange (504 Driggs Ave) This place is somewhat similar to Beacon’s Closet, just a little bit smaller. You need to be lucky and have patience to find good vintage but when you do it’s gonna be worth it.
Atlantis Attic (771 Metropolitan Ave) This is the only place that I’m recommending but still haven’t been to myself! But basically I’ve heard so much great things about this vintage store that I can’t wait to visit it. And when I do I’m expecting a vintage shopping experience of epic proportions!

Vintage at Artists & Fleas in Williamsburg

EAT

BRUNCH
Pastis (9 9th Avenue) This is a classic brunch spot in Meatpacking District. They serve up some great french bistro fare like moules frites and onion soup and you can always count on doing some fashion celebrity spotting here. Fancy but not overly pricey. The bellinis are a must!

Chelsea Market (75 9th Avenue) If you’re around Meatpacking District but don’t wanna do a formal sit down brunch you can sneak into the Chelsea Market for some freshly made sushi, sandwiches or other delicious take away food. There are some tables inside the market or you can bring your lunch up to the High Line Park and have your lunch outside if the weather allows.

Extra Virgin (259 W 4th St) Whenever I’m in West Village I either eat at Extra Virgin or at Tartine (a few blocks from there). The street itself must be one of the most beautiful in New York so I love to have lunch outside on the tiny terrace facing the street. The place is cozy with exposed brick walls and the brunch is classic and tasty – The Eggs Benedict and fried goat cheese salad are my favorites here. Bloody mary’s aren’t bad either.

Ella Café (177 Bedford Avenue) If you’re in Williamsburg for the day you need to try this place out for lunch. The food is organic and tasty and the service is great. Perfect place for sandwiches, omelets and salads but best of all is their freshly squeezed juices – try the orange/ginger/carrot – yum!

The Bellinis at Pastis are perfection!

CAFÈS
Café Café (470 Broome Street) If your caffeine levels are dropping and you’re in Soho, this is the place to go. The decoration might be…weird but the coffee (and toasted mozzarella paninis) is great.

Café Angelique (68 Bleecker Street) This might be my favorite café ever. First of all they have table service, which is nice when your feet are aching after all that walking and you just need a break, secondly they have the best cappuccinos and pastries ever. You need to try the tiramisu!

El Beit (158 Bedford Avenue, Williamsburg) Not far from Ella Café in Williamsburg is this little tiny place that serves up some great lattes and cookies. I always go here to fuel up before my 2-hour vintage raids at Beacon’s Closet!

The charming Café Angelique

DINNER
Antique Garage (41 Mercer Street) This is Soho’s little hidden gem – excellent Mediterranean cuisine in a cozy and romantic ambiance. The decoration is beyond perfect with its exposed brick walls covered with frames and mirrors, chandeliers and oriental carpets. Live jazz several times per week (check their website for schedule).

Supper (156 East 2nd Street) If you love authentic Italian cuisine this is the place to go. Supper in East Village has the best Italian food I’ve tried on Manhattan. The dishes are simple, just like in Italy, like Pasta al Limone. But the absolute must on the menu is the burrata mozzarella. We always call before to check if they have this on the menu (they only have it flown in fresh from Italy around three days per week) and unless they have it we don’t go! It’s a very romantic and cozy place but it is rather small so call before.

Jewel Bako (239 East 5th Street) This place is hard to notice from the street but when you enter you think you’ve stepped into a Japanese spaceship in birch wood. The decoration is minimalistic yet warm and the sushi is to die for! It is rather expensive so I’d save it for a special occasion but it is worth every penny – this is sushi like you’ve never tasted sushi before. A plus is that the waiter makes the wasabi fresh at your table – just divine!

One if by Land, Two if by Sea (17 Barrow Street) This place is an odd favorite. I’ve only been once and had the tasting menu and judging from it the food was really amazing. The sea scallops and oysters were divine! The restaurant itself has two floors and is quite big yet with a very intimate atmosphere. The house is said to be haunted and it kind of like feels like you’re visiting someone’s home instead of a restaurant. I can’t wait to go back here!

The Standard Grill (848 Washington Street, at 13th Street) Having dinner at The Standard Grill is knowing you won’t be disappointed. The service is excellent and so is the food. The bistro is cozy but the terrace outdoors is even better. Friday nights bouillabaisse is amazing and don’t forget to try their coffee drink “esspressito” before you leave.

Dinner at One if by Land, Two if by Sea

SLEEP

Finding hotels in New York can be a nightmare. If you’re staying longer it might be worth checking options for renting an apartment. Otherwise I can recommend hotwire.com – a site that offers 4-star rooms to 2-star prices (the only catch is you don’t know which hotel it is until you’ve booked) We’ve booked through them a million times and are often quite lucky!

The Standard (848 Washington Street) Meatpacking District is a great location to stay in as you have relatively close to “everything”. I love The Standard because of their great location, neat and clean rooms and great service. I love the design as well and the fact that you can go downstairs to The Standard Grill with the newspaper in the morning to have breakfast.

The Soho House (29-35 9th Avenue) I wish I could stay here every time I visited New York! It is pricey for sure but the whole experience is just out of the ordinary. In the summer you can enjoy the rooftop swimming pool and lounge for hours with a cocktail at hand. Each one of the 24 rooms is uniquely decorated and very spacious for being New York. In the Cowshed SPA I had one of the best massages I’ve ever had. The place is located in the Meatpacking District and is an old warehouse building completely reworked to perfection.

The Soho House (image via sohohouseny.com)

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    [...] You can find Styleabaad’s Guide to New York by clicking the red banner in the right hand side bar –> or by clicking HERE. [...]

  • http://www.absolutelymrsk.blogspot.com Absolutely Mrs. K

    going to check out every little place. this is my guide to my next trip!!!!!!!!

  • http://www.ejutgivetmaterial.se Leila

    Love it! Perfekt! Sparas till resan overseas blir av =) Tack Elsa!

  • http://thealternativebride.blogspot.com/ Dawn {The Alternative Wife}

    Amazing compilation of fabulous places!!!  Even though I live here I’ll be sure to pass your guide around to people beacause I wholeheartedly agree with you :) xoxo

  • http://beancakes.wordpress.com/ kristina@beancakes ★

    elsa ~ this guide to NYC is truly magnificent!! thanks so much for doing this!!! i’m keeping it on file for when i can pay a visit!!! i can see why you’re always there and why you look so stunning all the time ;) ;)
    xx ~ kristina

  • http://abutterflybyday.com Butterflybyday

    great guide! one of my favorite stores in the west village is Rag and Bone on Christoper st and Dinner at Bar Pitti for great Italian also, if you want to bump into Vogues editors. I really love your selection of vintage stores. I will be hitting Willamsburg the next time i’m in the city. I really love your blog too! first time visitor and will definitely be coming back.

    XX
    abutterflybyday.com

  • Fab

    Great guide! Can’t wait to come back…

  • Dustjacket

    Oh Elsa you are fab! This is such a great tool for those of use who hopefully will be visiting NYC one day soon … :)
    Thank you xxx

  • http://www.styleabaad.com/ Styleabaad

    Thanks for stopping by, I’m glad you like my guide and my blog! I checked out your blog out as well and it’s just so nice! You’ve got some great style girl! xx

  • http://www.styleabaad.com/2011/10/01/new-york-photo-dairy/ New York photo dairy | Styleabaad

    [...] thought I’d finally share a few more photos from when my brother Jonas and I was in New York the other week. I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of this city – regardless of [...]