Hey, hey! Remember last summer when I went to NYC with a girlfriend for a long weekend of food, shows, workouts, sightseeing and more food? Well, we had such an amazing time that I wanted to put together a post that could serve a resource for anyone trying to plan a similar trip.
Having this blog and Instagram as a resource helped us SO MUCH with trip planning. I received an overwhelming number of recommendations from readers and social media followers on things to do, where to eat, must-try sweets, how to sweat and much more. My friend and I had a shared Google document going for weeks as we tried to plan our itinerary for the trip. We are both total foodies and love to try new workouts and running routes so we wanted to create a hybrid fitness and foodie focused trip.
Well, I think it’s safe to say that we achieved our goal when we ended up at Big Gay Ice Cream in the West Village at 10 p.m. on our last night in NYC after walking 100K+ steps, eating countless cupcakes/donuts/cookies, enjoying several awesome meals out, tackling daily new and exciting workouts, seeing a Broadway show, visiting a museum, hitting up a few parks and much, much more.
Here are the daily recaps of our trip:
In this post I’m going to share with you all the things that we did in addition to what was recommended to us that we are eagerly awaiting to get to on our next trip!
- Buvette – we had brunch at this quaint French spot in the West Village. They have two locations…NYC and Paris. I felt like I could have been in Paris brunching. I had steamed eggs and smoked salmon on toast.
- Greenforce Juice – we stopped by this small but really cool juice bar in the Upper West Side for a mid-afternoon snack. We tried our first acai bowls and loved them!
- The Clocktower – we had a business lunch at The Clocktower, a high-end American restaurant located on Madison Avenue on Madison Park in the New York Edition Hotel. It features a club-like feel with framed vintage photos all over the walls, a pool table and dark wood accents. At lunch they offer both a regular and prix fixe menu options as well as cold seafood selections. I had a lovely beet salad and a spring vegetable toast dish that was wonderful. Everyone at the table enjoyed their food whether it was chicken, mac and cheese or gnocchi. The service was impeccable and we were all “surprised and delighted” when our server brought us the cutest box of treats after we refused a dessert order.
- Il Buco – located on Bond Street in NoHo, Il Buco is known for its inventive Italian-Spanish-Mediterranean cuisine. The restaurant has a rustic but romantic feel feel that’s meant to be reminiscent of a Tuscan farmhouse. We didn’t see it but Il Buco is rumored to have a 200-year old wine cellar that it’s quite famous for. We had a very good dinner at Il Buco (including the best kale caesar I’ve ever had) but the service majorly missed the mark. Our server was outwardly standoffish and rude. Il Buco has such a wonderful reputation that I’d like to think I’d give it another try in the future and I would recommend it to others.
- Rubirosa – we had grand plans of dinner in Chinatown on our final evening in the city but after a day of walking and running, some NYC pizza was calling our name. It’s located in NoLita and they’re known for their thin crust pizza. It’s dark, cozy and a great casual spot to enjoy unfussy but delicious Italian food.
- Levain Bakery – home of the best cookies in the world. Seriously. They are like nothing you’ve ever tried before. They’re so big and chewy and FYI hold up super well to travel. We both brought quite a few back to our friends and family. We went to the Upper West Side location. The bakery is a hole in the wall and has a wait out of the door but it’s worth the trip and the wait.
- Dough Donuts – we picked up a box of Dough Donuts after our first Barry’s Bootcamp experience and it was just the right treat after a tough workout! They have all sorts of fun flavors like hibiscus, dulce de leche, lemon ginger, passionfruit, cafe au lait and more.
- Molly’s Cupcakes – located on Bleeker Street in the West Village, Molly’s is known for their center-filled cupcakes. They also offer a “create your own” option where you pick your flavor, frosting and toppings and it’s made right in front of you. And there’s a sprinkle station for decorating your cupcakes AND a swing in the bakery. It’s the ultimate fun treat place!
- Momofuku Milk Bar – this was probably one of the most recommended places to go and it didn’t disappoint. We visited the East Village location where we waited in a line to get into the tiny storefront to order. We kept it simple and went with the cereal milk with cornflake crunch topping that they are so well-known for but we also heard amazing things about the crack pie.
- Big Gay Ice Cream – the last stop of our #donutscupcakesandicecream tour. We waited in yet another long line (happily). Big Gay Ice Cream isn’t your traditional flavors by the scoop ice cream shop. They do soft-serve variations like dipped cones, milk shakes, ice cream sandwiches, floats, etc. I had the American Globs with vanilla soft serve, pretzels, sea salt and chocolate.
- La Colombe – we basically could have said, “this trip brought to you by coffee and sugar.” When we weren’t eating sweets, we were downing iced coffees to keep us cool and to put some pep in our (many) steps. Our favorite coffee shop was La Colombe. They have several locations around the city. I encourage you to check out non-Starbucks coffee options. There are many!
- Barry’s Bootcamp – I wrote a full review of our experience at Barry’s Bootcamp in this post. Be sure to check it out. It was a fun and challenging workout that combined treadmill intervals with weight circuits.
- Y7 Yoga – we caught a Friday night class at Y7 Yoga and had to laugh to ourselves because our home studio in Charlotte is Y2 Yoga. The class we took was called “We Flow Hard.” I found the flow to be accessible to all-levels. Our teacher took us through short sequences of flow several times and then gave us time to explore the flow on our own with no instruction in order to play with variations and breath. I was a little confused because early in the class we did a lot of really rapid squats but after that it seemed more yoga-esque. The class was extra challenging because it was dark and candlelit. Big balance challenge! They have seven locations. We visited the SoHo location, which also had a cycle studio. You could hear the cycle class going on next door while you practiced so that was a bit distracting but I totally get that things are much closer quarters in NYC so we just went with it!
- Run in Central Park – my friend and I both love to run so we couldn’t resist a Central Park run. We did a 5-mile loop around the park and loved every moment of it. Perfect way to start a Sunday.
- The Metropolitan Museum of Art – we spent the afternoon in the European paintings wing and only scratched the tiniest surface of all that The Met has to offer. Note: we went on a Sunday afternoon and it was insanely, insanely crowded.
- 1 World Trade Center – a friend took us to Self Magazine’s office where we got a 360-degree view of the city including the 9/11 Memorial below. 1 World Trade Center is an incredible building.
- Washington Square Park – we hung out in the park for a while after our pizza dinner. It was absolutely bustling with activity at 9 p.m. on a Sunday night with street performers, couples, families, tourists and more. Really cool.
- Central Park – we ran in the park but it’s a great place to come for a walk or just to enjoy being outside.
- Bloomingdales – we didn’t do much shopping but we did spend a couple hours in Bloomingdales on 59th Street. It was the first Bloomingdales location and opened in 1872. It’s like a big shopping mall all in one huge store.
- Kinky Boots – we were so on the fence about seeing a show. Tickets were crazy expensive online but at the last minute we decided to brave Times Square to visit the TKTS booth to attempt to get tickets to see something. TKTS offers discount same-day Broadway tickets up to 50% off. It’s a not-for-profit service that benefits the theatre development fund. We lucked out and got a great deal on tickets to see the musical Kinky Boots. We both really enjoyed the show!
Here is a compilation of the many wonderful recommendations I received from you guys!
- Aria Wine Bar for dinner in West Village
- Shake Shack for burgers
- Aqua Grill for seafood
- Eataly (recommended by many!)
- Hu Kitchen (recommended by SO many!)
- Balthazar for brunch
- Almanac for seasonal fare
- Ippudo for ramen
- Sarabeth’s for brunch
- The Meatball Shop in West Village (good for non-meat eaters too!)
- Barbuto in Hell’s Kitchen
- Jack’s Wife Freda for brunch
- Cafe Gitane for avocado toast
- Crosby Bar at Crosby Street Hotel
- ABC Kitchen a Jean George Vongerichten restaurant in Union Square
- Quality Meats for steak
- El Centro for Mexican
- Da Nico’s in Little Italy
- Blossom for vegetarian-friendly food
- The Smith for brunch
- Cafe Cluny in the Meatpacking District
- Spring Street Natural in SoHo
- Delicatessen in SoHo for international comfort food
- Sun in Bloom in Tribeca for gluten-free, raw, vegan food
- Dig Inn (multiple locations) for farm-fresh, top-notch, healthy lunches for under $10
- Uma Tamakeria for a sushi burrito (ummm, yes)
- McKittrick Hotel for rooftop brunch
- Elios for Italian on the Upper East Side
- Clautdette for Provencal cuisine in Greenwich Village
- Graffiti in the East Village
- Motorino in the East Village for Brussels Sprouts Pizza
- Lil Frankies in the East Village for Meatball Pizza
- Candle Cafe on the Upper East Side for farm-to-table vegan cuisine
- Taim Falafel in SoHo for falafel and smoothies
- Butcher’s Daughter for juice bar and cafe
- Clinton Street Baking Company for brunch
- The Little Owl in West Village
- Pure Food and Wine for raw organic cuisine
- L’Artusi in West Village for Italian-inspired cuisine
- Piora for new American, veggie-centric
- The Eddy in East Village for seasonal American
- Pala Pizza for brick oven (with great GF options)
- Grand Banks Oyster Bar for an oyster bar in a boat on the Hudson
- Bahn Mi Saigon for Bahn Mi sandwiches
- Dominique Ansel in SoHo(invented the cronut)
- Jaques Torres for chocolate and chocolate chip cookies
- Laduree for macaroons
- Donut Planet
- Peanut Butter & Co.
- Magnolia Bakery (not just the cupcakes, word on the street is the banana pudding is where it’s at)
- Serendipity 3 for frozen hot chocolate
- Dylan’s Candy Bar
- Ess-A-Bagel for bagels (not a sweet but close enough)
- Blackseed for bagels
- Two Little Red Hens on the Upper East Side for scones and cupcakes
- Bibble and Sip in Hell’s Kitchen for matcha latte, hot cocoa and pastries
- Rice to Riches for rice pudding
- Juice Press for juices, smoothies, acai bowls
- Maman for a french-inspired coffee shop
- Brooklyn Body Burn
- The Class
- Soul Cycle
- Physique 57
- Lyons Den Power Yoga
- Run along the West Side Highway
- Prana Yoga
- Mile High Run Club
- Jivamukti Yoga
- Yoga Vida
- Daybreaker for an early morning dance party
- CrossFit Solace
- NY Loves Yoga
- Strala Yoga
- CrossFit NYC
- The High Line
- Amercian Museum of Natural History
- Brooklyn Bridge
- Chelsea Market
- Whitney Museum
- Top of the Rock
Okay, so who’s ready for a New York City trip now? Take me back!
Have something to add to the Ultimate Girl’s Guide to a Fitness and Foodie NYC weekend? Leave a comment below. My hope is that this post can be an ongoing resource for all of us!