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The Ultimate Girl’s Guide to a Fitness and Foodie NYC Weekend

The Ultimate Girl's Guide to a Fitness and Foodie NYC Weekend. Over 100 recommendations for where to eat, sweet treats, workouts, sights to see and more!

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.

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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:

Day 1
Day 2
Day 3

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!

CAME/SAW/CONQUERED 

NYC Food Recommendations

The Food:

  1. 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.
  2. 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!
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

NYC Sweet Treats

The Sweets:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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!
  4. 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.
  5. 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 NYC

The Coffee:

  1. 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!

Running in Central Park

The Workouts:

  1. 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.
  2. 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!
  3. 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 View from 1 World Trade Center

The Sightseeing:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Central Park – we ran in the park but it’s a great place to come for a walk or just to enjoy being outside.
  5. 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 on Broadway

The Shows:

  1. 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!

NEXT TIME

Here is a compilation of the many wonderful recommendations I received from you guys!

The Food:

The Sweets:

The Workouts:

The Sightseeing:

The Shows:

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!

The Ultimate Girl's Guide to a Fitness and Foodie NYC Weekend. Over 100 recommendations for where to eat, sweet treats, workouts, sights to see and more!
{ 16 comments… add one }
  • 1
    meredith @ cookie chrunicles March 30, 2016, 5:18 am

    What a great guide! Even living here gets hard to try every great place there is! Bloomingdales is my favorite – isn’t it the greatest (the frozen yogurt is the best from there lol). I try to take my son to a lot of the cool (and tasty) places in the city so he realizes how lucky he is to live here – when I grew up, I don’t feel like I realized, because it’s home, if that makes sense. We want to go to the Black Tap place this weekend for the giant shakes!

  • 2
    Marina @ Snackie Bird March 30, 2016, 6:11 am

    Wow! This is a great guide! I love how unique NYC is. Like, anybody can find something amazing for yourself in this city. Fingers crossed that I will be there one day.

  • 3
    Brittany March 30, 2016, 6:43 am

    Thanks for this! The husband and I have been talking about doing a weekend NYC trip for years. We’re only a few hours away, but it seems so intimidating. I feel like we’d get there and have no idea where to start.

  • 4
    Hayley March 30, 2016, 9:40 am

    By Chloe is definitely one of the most popular foodie spots right now- its vegan and SO good! A couple other great plant based restaurants that just opened are Nix and OO+CO. Bluestone Lane is great for coffee and gluten free breakfast options. I could go on and on but a few more places I love- Tone House (hardest workout in NYC!) Mile High Run Club, Flex Studios (Barre, Pilates), Sky Ting Yoga, City Row, Exhale and The Fhitting Room

  • 5
    Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine March 30, 2016, 10:35 am

    Haha, wow! So much to do! I haven’t been to NYC in a few years, but I used to be in the city weekly when I was younger!

  • 6
    Kelly March 30, 2016, 11:34 am

    I’m going to NYC next month and I’m solo excited! I’m sending your post to my sister (it’s a sister trip) so we have some ideas for sweet eats and other food.

  • 7
    Anna March 30, 2016, 12:56 pm

    Living in NYC, here are my fitness recommendations:

    1. Physique 57: what made me fall in love with fitness in the city
    2. The Fhitting Room: 2 locations, HIIT work-out, one of my favorite classes in the city
    3. Brooklyn bodyburn and SLT: megaformer class, super difficult, personally like SLT>Brooklyn bodyburn
    4. Swerve with Jason Tran: best spin class in the city. Hands down.
    5. Any class with Kira Stokes at BFX studio: her 360 class will make you sore for about 5 days.
    6. 305 Fitness: best dance cardio class in the city.

    I’m sure there are more that I am missing but as I go back and forth to the city, these are the only places I feel are worth spending money on.

    Have taken classes at Mile high run club, soul cycle, lyons den power yoga, and yoga vida if anyone has questions!

  • 8
    tara March 30, 2016, 1:43 pm

    Sharing some gluten free spots i went to and liked in June 2015
    Blooms Cafe lexington/40th – best burger and fries ive had in years! and the cheesecake was absolutely wonderful
    Ceci – Italian near the theater area. very good small place.
    The little beet – all gf ! great for lunch
    Pie by the Pound – pizza in union square. very good GF pizza
    Tre Dici – not particularly GF but did accommodate me. we went here on our 10 year anniversary and really wanted to come back on our 15th and it was very good. better vibe is upstairs.
    Bistango – Kimberly hotel on 50th. stopped here for dessert and drinks. tried to go to the rooftop bar waited 1 hr then was told it was close for party. UGH. at least i got GF dessert!
    also love the park, WTC memorial/museum but it was intense, have seen a lot of broadway this last time saw hedwig and it was good, didnt do any museums this time but did go to met once and it was crazy and we had a terrible time trying to catch a cab back to our hotel and get our things to go to airport. it was crazy. would also reccomend in times square the marriott revolving restaurant (not GF). and if you are totally new to nyc taking the red hop on hop off. its a little cheesy but excellent way to get around and see a lot.

  • 9
    Alexa @ Eastcoastalex March 30, 2016, 4:41 pm

    Oooh I’m so happy you got to check out Dough! My personal favourite coffee shop in NYC is Stumptown (although they are Portland based).

    And I second Mile High Run Club.

  • 10
    Traci March 30, 2016, 9:23 pm

    I’d recommend Doughnut Plant for donuts! There are a few locations in the city. Last time I was there for work, I got a peanut butter donut filled with banana cream. #yes

  • 11
    Ashley @ Down Home Duo March 30, 2016, 9:24 pm

    This looks like a fabulous trip! Glad you had a great time and got to indulge in some awesome treats.

    I’m a coffee fanatic – is that La Colombe the same one from the show “Dangerous Grounds?” I’ve always wanted to go there and check out what they have. The owner goes through quite the process to hand select their beans!

  • 12
    Avia March 31, 2016, 12:38 am

    Caselulla – Life changing cheese and wine bar…and for workouts you have to go to Tonehouse, it is by far the hardest workout you will ever do!! and Kula yoga studio <3

  • 13
    Nicki March 31, 2016, 1:15 am

    You’re making me miss my former home SO MUCH!! I’ll be back to visit for July 4th weekend and I am literally planning on eating my way through my favorite places. (Another restaurant rec: Momofuku Ssam Bar – but make a reservation OR get there right when they open!) And of course, working out at the box that started it all for me: CrossFit NYC. (Glad it made your list!)

  • 14
    Mandy April 3, 2016, 8:06 pm

    laughing lotus is awesome for yoga!

  • 15
    Nicole April 4, 2016, 3:46 pm

    as a New Yorker, it looks like you did a great job!!

  • 16
    Jenna April 4, 2016, 5:27 pm

    Great guide! A newer and even easier alternative to discounted theatre tickets (besides TKTS) is Today Tix. It is a mobile app and allows you to purchase discounted Broadway and Off-Broadway tickets in advance (a few days in advance). And their concierge service means that there is always a Today Tix liaison waiting outside the theater with your tickets–no waiting in line! I use it every time I go to NYC.

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