We made a girl’s trip to New York in the summer, ate all the food and did all the things! Here’s a shortlist of all the things to eat, see, and do for a quick weekend getaway to NYC!

picture of three girls outside dumbo

We had been planning this Girl’s trip to New York for what seemed like months beforehand. And since all three of us are big foodies, we ended up doing a food tour of NYC more than anything else!

I’ve added a few places on our list that we didn’t get to (ran out of stomach space!) They were on my shortlist and came up more than times in my research than I can count on one hand. I hope that the next time we go back, we cross the few that we couldn’t sample this time!

refinery hotel and airport pic

Where to stay

This can be highly subjective; I suggest staying somewhere central to where most of your activities are. We left the hotel up to our interior designer friend because we knew she’d find a swanky place with character – perfect for a girl’s trip to New York.

If you’re interested, we stayed at the Refinery Hotel. It ended up being very central for us. Refinery isn’t too far from Times Square, but it’s far enough to where we didn’t hear the crowds. Overall a great hotel, and the morning coffee was so good!

street art in NYC

Where to Eat in New York

Breakfast and Pastries:

  • Tompkins Bagels – Get the French toast bagel here with strawberry cream cheese, it’s sooo good!
    • 165 Avenue A, New York, NY 10009
  • Russ & Daughters – This is your typical Jewish breakfast spot. They have housemate latkes, babka, bagels, and challah. No place to sit, so a grab and go place!
    • 179 E Houston St, New York, NY 10002
  • Dominque Ansel Bakery – The home of the cronut! They have a Monthly cronut flavor that I suggest you reserve online for pickup. We weren’t able to reserve them so we missed out; don’t make the same mistake we did!
    • 189 Spring St, New York, NY 10012
  • Clinton St. Baking Co & Restaurant – A sitdown brunchy place. Located in the Lower East Side. I recommend making reservations. We got lucky, getting there right before they opened and were able to get a table but we were the last ones without a reservation to be seated. It filled up really quick! They also have a go-to place next door for breads and pastries.
    • 4 Clinton St, New York, NY 10002
  • Supermoon Bakehouse – Croissants, donuts, and cruffins. Crowned NYC best bakery, so make sure to get there at least 30 minutes before it opens. The line was 1 ½ long when we went.
    • 120 Rivington St, New York, NY 10002
  • Doughnut Plant –  We didn’t make it here but I saw this on multiple lists and definitely planning on going on my next visit.
    • 379 Grand St, New York, NY 10002
  • Fabrique Bakery – Swedish bakery chain with the most delicious cardamom buns! I also got their sourdough bread to bring home and it was still fresh two days later; we absolutely loved it.
    • 348 W 14th St, New York, NY 10014
Clinton st. baking pancakes and smoked salmon scramble
Clinton St. Baking Co & Restaurant
Tompkins Bagels
Tompkins Bagels

Coffee Shops to Visit:

  • Laughing Man Coffee Company – Greenwich Village (coffee shop owned by Hugh Jackman.) Supports coffee farm communities.
    • 184 Duane St, New York, NY 10013
  • Devocion Colombian Coffee Shop that roasts the beans in store on display to view! Beautiful interior and the guava croissant at latte is to die for!
    • 69 Grand St, Brooklyn, NY 11249
  • The Chai Spot – Cute spot to just chill and grab chai with traditional Pakistani style seating. Heads up; if you plan on sitting indoors, they require reservations (aug 2021.) Outdoor seating is first come first serve.
    • 156 Mott St, New York, NY 10013
devocion coffee and pastries
cup of chai from the chai spot

Lunch and Dinner in NYC:

  • Joe’s Pizza – They have these all over the city! We went to the one in Time Square as it’s closest to where we stayed.
    • 35 Broadway, New York, NY 10018
  • Thai Villa – Amazing Pad Kra Prao and the Soft Shell Crab Mango Salad are both so delicious!
    • 5 E 19th St, New York, NY 10003
  • Il Cortile – The perfect little Italian restaurant! I suggest making a reservation ahead of time so you don’t end up on the waitlist. We sat outside for an early dinner and it was the perfect end to our first day!
    • 125 Mulberry St, New York, NY 10013
  • The Smith –  Best Mac and cheese! The portions are on the larger side so it’s perfect to split with someone.
    • 1150 Broadway, New York, NY 10001
  • Red Hook Lobster Pound – Lobster rolls on butter toasted buns made by Maine implants!
    • 284 Van Brunt St, Brooklyn, NY 11231
pizza slices on paper plate from Joe's Pizza
Joe’s Pizza
interior of Thai Villa
Thai Villa
food we ordered at Thai Villa
(top left: Soft Shell Crab Mango Salad, Tom Yum Koong Soup, Pad Kra Prao, Pad Thai)
Food we ordered at Il Cortile
Il Cortile
picture of us outside Red Hook Lobster Pound
Outside Red Hook Lobster

Activities to do in New York

  • Chelsea Market – lots of food options (food hall) with a cool local flea market with jewelry/soaps/art! Lots to eat here, so make sure you come hungry!
    • 75 9th Ave, New York, NY 10011
  • The High Line – Elevated greenway located right by the Chelsea Market (so you can pair these activities together.) There isn’t much shade, so I suggest going before noon or after 4 pm in the summertime because it gets HOT! 
    • TIP: Reserve a time online if you go during covid on a weekend. No reservations needed for weekdays!
  • Top of the Rock – Observatory on top of Rockefeller Center, really nice views of the city, recommend if you’ve never done this before. There is a ticket for this.
    • 30 Rockefeller Plaza, New York, NY 10112
  • Flatiron Building: Iconic, triangular 22-story, 285 ft tall. Landmark building.
    • 175 5th Ave, New York, NY 10010
    • TIP: If you plan to go here, try Thai Villa for dinner, it’s really close by and super yummy!
  • Brooklyn Bridge – best views of the city. The whole walk will take you about 45 minutes if you stop and take pictures along the way. Avoid crowds by going early! Stick to your side when walking and keep your eyes peeled for bicycles – there are a TON!
    • Brooklyn Bridge, New York, NY 10038
  • Visit Dumbo – the most photographed/famous street in NYC.
    • 39-21 Washington St, Brooklyn, NY 11201
  • Museums – 
    • Museum of Modern Art (Free on Friday from 4-8pm)
      • 11 W 53rd St, New York, NY 10019
    • Metropolitan Museum of Art- Closed on Tuesday and Wednesday. Open 10am-5pm on other days. 
      • 1000 5th Ave, New York, NY 10028
  • Central Park – Start at Plaza Hotel on 59th St.
    • Check out the Bethesda Fountain and the Belvedere Castle (both pictured.)
    • TIP: There are a few different picnic delivery services that deliver a premade basket for 2-4 people to a prearranged Central Park location or for pick up. This is something that would be a memorable experience for a girl’s trip to New York or with a significant other! Check out PerfectPicnicNYC if you’re interested.
  • The Mysterious Bookshop – This might not be everyones cup of tea, but this is the place to be if you’re someone who enjoys mystery or thriller books. It’s the cutest little bookshop, one worth getting lost in!
    • 58 Warren St New York, New York 
  • Friends Apartment – This is the location for the corner street of the friends apartment. Fun to check out if you happen to be in the area.
    • 90 Bedford St, New York, NY 10014
  • Seinfeld Tom’s Restaurant –  If you’re a Seinfeld fan! Hubby and I went 9 years ago on our last trip so I didn’t go this time. Note: the inside of the restaurant doesn’t look the same, it’s more for a photo opp of the outside.
    • 2880 Broadway, New York ,NY, 10025
Picture from the Highline
The Highline
the flatiron building around 5pm
The Flatiron Building
cloudy day at the Brooklyn Bridge
central park views of Belvedere castle, Plaza Hotel, and Bethesda Fountain
Central Park
visiting the Mysterious Bookshop
The Mysterious Bookshop

Tips for Riding the NYC Subway

  • Chances are you’ll be doing a lot of hopping on and off the subway. I suggest buying the 7-day Unlimited Metrocard. If you ride the subway a total of 12 times or more, the card pays for itself! If you prefer to do single ride tickets, some subway stations now accept Apple Pay right where you’d swipe your metrocard, so you don’t have to stop by the card kiosk.
  • Google Maps will be your best friend. I found Google Maps to be highly reliable and we only ended up getting lost once (our own fault!) Citymapper is another app that helps people navigate.
  • Understanding Uptown, Midtown, and Downtown.
    • Uptown is north of 59th St.
    • Midtown is between 59th St. and 14th St.
    • Downtown is anything south of 14th St.
us with masks in an uber

And that’s all I’ve got! It was a quick trip, but we still managed to fit in a bunch of things (and so so much food!)

Feel free to leave any suggestions for things to do or where to eat that you recommend! I’m sure we’re going to be making another girl’s trip to New York in the future, so I’d love to hear more suggestions for next time!