Do, Eat, Drink: Manhattan

Do, Eat, Drink: Manhattan

 I’m not a “New Yorker” by any means, but I’ve lived in the city long enough to host quite a few visitors, plan several days of fun and start to find my favorite local haunts. Here are my favorite things to do, eat and drink in Manhattan: I’ll update it whenever I find something new and noteworthy! 

Yoga in Bryant Park in New York City


// DO

Get lost in Central Park

The best place to forget you’re in New York City. 1.317 square miles of trees, ponds and the closest thing to fresh air that you’ll find.

Downward dog in Bryant Park

During the summer months, Bryant Park hosts an outdoor yoga class twice a week. It’s free, it’s a fantastic workout and it’s such a brilliant, energetic community. Reserve a mat online or bring your own.

New York Public Library

One of my favorite buildings in the city. I like to read on the steps in the sunshine in the summer, and steal inside to warm up and check out the rotating exhibits in the winter. It also has a wonderful little gift shop for the book lovers in your life.

Sunset from the Empire State Building

While I’m sure the Empire State Building is worth a visit at any time of day for sweeping views of New York and beyond, I think it’s the best place in the city to catch an epic sunset.

Cruise around the island

One of my most highly-recommended “touristy” things to do: take the Circle Line cruise around Manhattan to see the skyscrapers from a completely different perspective.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art

It’s completely huge and overwhelming, but the Met is one of the best places to while away an afternoon. When the weather is bad, stick to the art; when the sun comes out, head to the roof for happy hour on the weekends.

The Museum of Modern Art

I’m a member at MoMA, so I always like popping for a new exhibition or just to wander around the permanent collection. Added bonus is the fantastic cafe and the sunny courtyard. My best tip: get there early, especially on the weekends!

The Frick Collection

Easily one of the most beautiful spaces in New York City. A former private residence that now houses one of the world’s best private art collections, the Frick Collection perfect to steal into after a walk in Central Park.

The High Line

This former historic freight railroad line has been converted into a public, elevated green space: the High Line is without a doubt the best place to stroll in city.

// EAT

Christine Amorose at Aria, West Village, New York City

Aria Wine Bar

The cutest sidewalk with fairy lights, and  the truffle mac and cheese is to die for. Aria Wine Bar is the perfect Saturday night date spot, whether you’re with your beau or a group of girlfriends.

Caracas Arepa Bar

Where I take out-of-towners, where I catch up with girlfriends and where I grab takeout after a long day. While the arepas are definitely the reason to go to Caracas, I’m also a huge fan of the homemade chips and guacamole with a cold beer.

Nom Wah Dumpling Parlor

It’s a mix of traditional dim sum meets old-school diner, but somehow, it works. I first discovered Nom Wah Dumpling Parlor on the Ahoy Chinatown and Little Italy food tour.

Chelsea Markets

Grab a beer in a mason jar from The Filling Station and a green curry chicken pie from Tuck Shop after wandering through Anthropologie and the bevy of food shops. Enjoy on the High Line or in the chairs scattered in the sunny streets of the Meatpacking District.

Picnic in Central Park

Stop by the Whole Foods at Columbus Circle to pick up some cold beers, crusty bread, gourmet cheese and berries and then set up shop at Sheeps Meadow with the rest of the sun seekers.

Extra Virgin

Another adorable spot in the West Village: brunch on Extra Virgin‘s sunny sidewalk is a must on a nice day.

Christine Amorose & Renee Eggers at the Met Rooftop Bar, New York City


Housing Works Bookstore Cafe

While it looks like just another hip secondhand bookstore in SoHo, Housing Works is actually a nonprofit dedicated to serving individuals with AIDS that’s staffed (almost) completely with volunteers. So when you’re drinking your PBR or latte: you’re actually doing a good deed! Bonus: if you come on a Tuesday night, I’ll serve you a beer or make your coffee–I volunteer here once a week.

Ground Support

The coffee is delicious, but the floor-length front window and sidewalk bench at Ground Support make for perfect people watching–no matter what the weather.

The Met Rooftop

It’s only open on weekends in the summer and drinks are expensive (as expected), but the Met Rooftop Garden Cafe is a lovely place to kick off the weekend.

Fat Cat

One of my favorite date night spots: this basement bar in the West Village has live jazz, ping pong, pool, chess, checkers and Scrabble!

What are your favorite things to do, eat and drink in Manhattan?

  • My neighborhood favorite was Heidi’s House on the Side of the Road. It doesn’t look like much but the wine list and menu are fab, the decor is adorable, and there’s always a great crowd. http://www.heidishouse.net/

  • Amanda @ Adventure Year

    This is a great list! I’ve been to NYC a bunch of times, but I always feel like there’s so much I’m missing. I’ll definitely have to look into your suggestions about where to eat. I always feel like it’s hard to find a place recommended by a New Yorker that isn’t recommended by everybody else too. Maybe I just need to find more friends in New York. 😉

    Also, I wish I could volunteer at Housing Works! Looks incredible.

  • camorose

    Adding it to the list! Thank you 🙂

  • camorose

    Hooray! That’s exactly what this list is meant to do 🙂

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  • Irina Surenkova

    This is amazing! I’ve been a silent reader of your blog from quite a while, but now I must thank you! I will be visiting NY on a solo trip in just a few weeks, so your post comes in at a perfect time! So many great suggestions, I will be rearranging my plans to make some time to visit places you’ve suggested. Yoga in the park sounds amazing! I attended local yoga in the part events and I know what great energy it has.

    I might as well introduce myself – I’m Irina, live in Bay Area, I was born and raised in Russia, but I’m in love with California and consider it my second home. I’m also a passionate world traveler, so I’ve picked up many tips from your blog and look forward to many more!

  • Would love to get to the top of the empire state building for the sunset!

  • Megan C. Stroup

    LOVE LOVE LOVE the redesign! So sleek and chic. Also, I am always intrigued by your Housing Works photos on Instagram, and now I’m even more intrigued. I had no idea it was volunteer-run. That is definitely on my list next time I’m in NYC!

  • camorose

    Hi Irina! This comment totally made my day–that’s exactly what I’m hoping this series will help with 🙂 Yoga in the park is awesome, check the website because if your schedule is flexible they have classes Tuesday during the day and Thursday evenings. Thank you so much for reading and enjoy the beautiful Bay Area late summer–it’s my favorite time of year there!

  • camorose

    The best time of day!

  • camorose

    Yay! Thank you for all the sweet words! And yes, Housing Works is totally volunteer-run and it’s amazing–you have to check it out 🙂

  • Heather

    I used to live on the UWS and could walk to Central Park. I spent so much time there, from running around the reservoir to talking long walks with my then boyfriend (now husband) and enjoying picnics and free performances in the summer. My favorite restaurant was a little hole-in-the wall called Cafe A, a Caribbean-fusion place decked out with subway maps (it was named after the A line). I worked in Union Square and used to watch the dogs run in the park at lunchtime – that never failed to bring a smile to my face! After work, my gfs and I would go to the Strand or out for drinks or to a movie. Gosh I miss that city!

  • camorose

    Oh! I haven’t heard about Cafe A–will check it out!

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  • Plain cheese pizza, plain thick0cut salmon sashimi, dry vodka martini with a twist and an extra squeeze, 100% yes to the boat tour, American Museum of Natural history, 100% yes to the Frick and you should check out the Cooper-Hewitt, and the best park – The Cloisters!

  • camorose

    Yes! Love the Cloisters! I still haven’t been to the Cooper-Hewitt, so I’ll add that to the list.

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