Here’s Brittany and Mary’s Ultimate Girls’ Getaway Weekend Guide to NYC. You could say it’s “Mary tested, Brittany approved.” Chock full of local flavor and favorites from Mary in Manhattan, this guide will help you avoid the crowds and experience NYC like a New Yorker. For anyone who has already seen the tourist attractions of NYC, this is the perfect guide to help you get to know the city better!
Saturday in NYC: “West Side, Best Side”
(Having a chic day in the Theater District, Upper West Side, Central Park and West Village)
9:00 a.m. Grab a breakfast biscuit sandwich and coffee from Mary’s favorite spot, Donna Bell’s Bake Shop and bring it with you to wait in line for student rush Broadway show tickets (be sure to check out Mary’s Broadway guide for the best ways to get them for cheap!). Note that depending on the show the line will vary. For Jersey Boys you only need to queue up at 9:45 because it’s such a long running show.
10:15 a.m. – When you have your tickets, walk up Broadway to Columbus Circle to the cute lil’ holiday market. Afterwards, make your way up Central Park West to Osteria Cotta for Brunch.
12:00 p.m. – Time for brunch at Osteria Cotta, a lovely Italian eatery on the Upper West Side. Its cozy tuscan decor and dimly lit space is perfect for a cold day, and perfect for a girls’ brunch. Mary and Brittany meet up here for a breakfast calzone and mimosas!
2:00 p.m. – Have you ever seen the castle in Central Park? It’s called Belvedere Castle; enter the park at 81st street and walk straight in, past Delacorte Theater (known for Shakespeare in the Park), and you’ll see it on the horizon. Feel free to climb up and feel like a New York City Princess.
3:30 p.m. – Time for a snack. Try THE BEST COOKIE IN THE WORLD. It’s called Levain Bakery, and it’s on 74th street between Columbus & Amsterdam. Cookies are $4, but I’m warning you…they are massive.
5:30 p.m. – Grab dinner at an awesome gastropub in Hell’s Kitchen (right near the theater) called Bea. The servers there are attuned to the needs of theater-goers, and they’ll get your artisanal burger and craft beer on the table in minutes. (I would recommend the kale ceasar here!)
7:00 p.m. – Walk over to the theater, and enjoy the show! I saw Jersey Boys and I can’t recommmend it highly enough!
10:00 p.m. – If you’re up for it, catch the 1 train and head to the West Village for some fancy cocktails.
Up&Up – a little speakeasy with really chill vibes
Upholstery Store – a lesser known cocktail shop
Swine – A good place to go if you want some extra bites too
Art Bar – A loungey bar with big comfy couches-relatively cheap
Remember…West Village has awesome $1 pizza spots. Don’t knock it.
Sunday in NYC: East Side Explorations
(Learn about New York City’s history and food roots on the East Side)
10:00 a.m. – Meet at Jing Fong for dim sum breakfast. There will be a wait, so eat a snack beforehand. Then, when you sit down, be ready for complete chaos. Servers come around in carts and try to put different dishes on your plate, but since you pay by the plate you have to be sure it’s something you want to try. Saying “no thanks!” really loudly usually works… Try anything that looks good – it’s so fun and cheap!
11:30 a.m. – See the tiniest museum in NYC. It’s called Mmuseumm, and it’s in a veryyyy tiny alleyway. It’s open 12-6 but viewable through the windows at all times!
12:00 p.m. – Continue on a walk through Little Italy, Chinatown and SoHo to Pearl River Mart. Peruse some boutiques and get in the shopping spirit! SoHo is originally where the artists of NYC lived. See those cast iron buildings? Those are not only official NYC landmarks, but on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places. Continue shopping or cafe hopping as you choose!
2:00 p.m. – Mural scouting. Take a walk to the Bowery Mural and snap a hipster pic…then Instagram it.
3:00 p.m. – Heard of the High Line? Well in a few years, they’re going to introduce the Lowline, the world’s first underground park and garden! It’s not complete yet, but you can get a sneak peak at the Lowline lab.
5:00 p.m. – Head to the Tenement Museum for a lesson in the Lower East Side’s immigrant story. This is my fave museum because you get to go INSIDE a real tenement and see how our early relatives used to live. They offer a bunch of great tours, but I really enjoyed the Sweatshop Workers tour!
6:00 p.m. – See the Lower East Side today for the restaurant and bar mecca that it has become. Catch a seat for dinner at Boulton & Watt for bacon mac & cheese and a beer, or make it a fancy occasion and grab some bites at acclaimed Beauty & Essex (its exterior looks like a pawn shop…one of those “secret restaurants.”) Souvlaki GR is also a fun place that transports you to the greek islands with its white and blue exterior.
The night is yours! What do you want to do? Hoards of trendsetters go to bars on Rivington to see and be seen. The scene itself can be anything you want it to be!
For dancing: La Cava or Los Feliz (salsa music IN CAVES. Literally, in a cave. But all the dancing usually happens later at night.)
Big loud bar: Fat Baby
Super Chill: Back Room speakeasy