Published: December, 2017
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New York City, New York (Kid friendly)

There is nothing like walking down the streets of New York, taking in all the sights, smells and taste of this magical city!
— Cynthia Pillsbury
  • More about your oliver guide:
  • Trip type: Family, City
  • Activity level: moderate
  • Ideal length of trip: 4 DAYS WITH KIDS

to & from

  • Fly direct to Newark (favorite NYC airport) if you are staying downtown or on the West Side.
  • Fly direct to La Guardia or JFK if staying uptown to avoid traffic.

Where to Stay

  • The Marlton: We prefer staying downtown, on the west side… while the rooms are VERY small, The Marlton is a perfect location.
  • TABLET website is a great resource to find well-vetted NYC hotels.

Where to Eat and Drink

  • Santina: Great for lunch or dinner, it’s bright and cheery restaurant at the base of the southern end of the Highline in the Meatpacking District. The food is southern Italian with a Greek influence. Delicious and great for adults and kids alike.
  • The Polo Bar: Stuffy in the best kind of way. Go early or stay later for a drink upstairs. It’s a clubby scene with excellent food. I brought my kids, but wish I had not…
  • BG/Bergdorf’s Restaurant: Fun for a girls lunch (kids too). Bird’s Eye view of Central Park, try to sit on a booth by the window. Food is hit or miss, but setting is lovely and fun.
  • Café Cluny: Small, cozy West Village restaurant, great for lunch or dinner sans kids- cute ice cream stand in the summer.

What to Do

  • Whitney Museum: Take advantage of their docent tour, especially of the touring exhibits. Check out the permanent collection of portraits (if on display). If time, have lunch on the roof top deck- food is great and views are awe-inspiring.
  • Highline: Walk along the highline and take in the views and the incredibly well designed/preserved features of the Highline. Start at 14th and walk at least to 23rd. If weather is warm, get a delicious Mexican popsicle and take in the art vendors.
  • We always take in a Broadway show-- consider buying day of tickets to save on cast, and going to the Wednesday or Sunday Matinee if you have little ones.
  • 9/11 Museum: Make reservations online before your visit day (usually a few weeks in advance is best if going during holidays or summer) and leave kids under 12 at home. This is a powerful, emotional and incredible tribute to the lives lost on 9/11 and the people who risked their lives to save people. Bring Kleenex.
  • Intrepid Sea & Air Space Museum: Cool museum on an air craft carrier on the west side highway- very worthwhile if you have a ship or plane buff in the family.
  • 30 Hudson Yards is a new west side development that is home to the Edge, the highest (100 stories!) outdoor sky deck in the Western Hemisphere! Strengthen Lengthen Tone (SLT)- best exercise class in NY. Reserve your class in advance!

inside scoop

  • Buy tickets online for all museums.
  • Consider getting day of tickets for plays if you have the flexibility- can be cheaper and just as good seats.
  • Always make 1 reservation for the day so you have an anchor of what you are doing.
  • Don’t go uptown or downtown twice in a day… traffic is brutal if you are not taking subways.
  • It’s more $$ to get to Newark and uber cannot pick you up, but worth if you are staying on downtown and on the west side.

skip it

Battery Park Carousel: SKIP IT!

more...

See fashion editor and NYC native, Elizabeth Mendoza’s, Oliver Guide here.

See Ginny Rothschild’s NYC Oliver Guide here. (Long list of locals restaurants.)

See Courtney Gerlich’s NYC Oliver Guide here. (A great place to start!)

And our “friend” Jessica Seinfeld has a great list of restaurants on her site, here.

New York City, New York (Kid friendly) - Suggestions from the Oliver Community

  • Nichole Rowles Says

    If you have any interest in staying in the Upper West side, I recommend the Arthouse Hotel on W 77th at Broadway. A reasonably priced junior suite was quite spacious for New York hotels, and the room with a pull-out couch could be closed off from the bedroom. This was a great arrangement for traveling with kids. Lots of casual food options nearby and the subway (#1) is just 2 blocks away.

  • Nichole Rowles Says

    Chelsea Market offers a range of food vendors so everyone in the family can pick out what he or she likes to eat for lunch. Fun to know that Iron Chef and Chopped are filmed in the floors above the market.

  • Nichole Rowles Says

    Near the Highline is the Vessel, a sculpture comprised of staircases and landings at Hudson Yards. Recommend getting tickets in advance but shoot for a clear day. If there is thunder in the area, the exhibit closes due to concerns about copper attracting lightning.

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Published: February, 2018
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New York City, New York (Elizabeth Lamont Mendoza)

Our agenda is always to recreate the weekends we had when we lived in the Tribeca and Nolita pre-kids: lots of shopping; meeting friends for cocktails and dinner at our favorite restaurants (or new spots we’ve been wanting to try); long, lazy brunches; and sleeping in!
— Elizabeth Mendoza
  • More about your oliver guide:
  • Trip type: Adult, City
  • Activity level: easy
  • Ideal length of trip: LONG WEEKEND (3-4 NIGHTS)

to & from

Fly nonstop on Virgin America from SFO to either Newark or JFK, depending on what neighborhood we’re staying in.

Where to Stay

Where to Eat and Drink

  • Café Gitane - Quintessential Nolita, this buzzy French-Moroccan café is famous for its tagine couscous, avocado toast—and ultra-cool crowd (think supermodels and lots of tattoos).
  • Pasquale Jones - From the geniuses behind Charlie Bird, this teeny new wood-fired spot doesn’t have a phone number so your best bet is to swing by and leave your name and they’ll text you when your table is ready. (Go around the corner to Public for a cocktail while you wait.) The littleneck clam and diavola pizzas are home runs.
  • Café Habana - A tiny, hip Mexican-Cuban spot for spicy huevos and a frothy café con leche. Beloved by everyone from bike messengers to celebs, this spot is always bumping. Do not leave without ordering the Mexican street corn.
  • Frank - Always-packed East Village Italian with insanely addictive pizza and pasta. Its slow-simmered ragu is nothing short of legendary!
  • Tartine - Cozy BYOB French café in the West Village with amazing mussels. We had our first date here! If you forget to bring wine, there’s a great shop nearby (on the corner of 8th Avenue and Jane Street) called Manley’s Wine & Spirits.
  • Casa Mono - A tiny Mario Batali gem hidden just off Gramercy Park with killer tapas and sangria. It has an even tinier sister spot next door called Bar Jamon that’s great for a pre-dinner drink.
  • Balthazar - Keith McNally’s crown jewel, this French brasserie is always bustling. Go for brunch (the croque madame and fries are downright addictive) or a dirty martini at the bar.
  • Gramercy Tavern - The best spot for a late lunch or hot toddy at the bar when it’s cold or rainy outside. Gigantic, mesmerizing floral arrangements and a diverse crowd of old and young, uptown and down.
  • Bond St - Dim-lit, sexy and always-packed, this late-night spot draws a crowd for its creative sushi and dangerously delicious saketinis.
  • Lupa - Mario Batali's much-lauded homage to Rome. Go on a Sunday night for the bucatini all-amatriciana or the ricotta gnocchi and a nice bottle of red.
  • Locanda Verde - The gorgeous Italian taverna in The Greenwich Street Hotel. (I can almost guarantee a celebrity sighting.) If you go for brunch, you must order the lemon ricotta pancakes.
  • Jack’s Wife Freda – A rollicking brunch spot with homey Israeli/Med/South African food run by a husband and wife team who met working at Balthazar. The poached eggs with grilled tomatoes and halloumi are killer. (And they just might have the best fried onion-topped burger in the city, built along the lines of a perfect Shake Shack concoction.)

What to Do

SHOP, SHOP, SHOP!

NOLITA

  •  McNally Jackson (great independent bookstore with a cozy café); MOMA store (the best design-driven gifts); Gas Bijoux (the most delicate jewelry).

SOHO

  •  Kirna Zabete (cutting-edge high fashion in Soho); Dean & Deluca just browsing the gorgeous prepared foods and flowers is a treat).

TRIBECA

  • Edon Manor (accessory-lover alert: top designer shoes and handbags in a breathtakingly-designed space); Nili Lotan (white-washed walls and rare books set off this collection of stylized women’s basics); Ten Thousand Things (sophisticated, one-of-a-kind jewelry that will make you swoon; we must’ve put it in every issue when I was an editor at Lucky).

inside scoop

  • We are members of Soho House, but most people are surprised to learn that you do not have to be a member to stay in one of their chic rooms or to book in to their cozy Cowshed Spa. The room rates are slightly higher for non-members, but not outlandish. Hotel guests have full access to the sixth floor bar and lounge, restaurant (brunch is amazing!), screening room, and the sceney rooftop pool. You can even invite friends to hang out with you there—just make a restaurant reservation and your guests can join you!

skip it

Because I’m a native New Yorker, we skip most of the more touristy activities, like the Statue of Liberty, Times Square and Rockefeller Center. Our agenda is always to recreate the weekends we had when we lived in the West Village, Tribeca and Nolita pre-kids: lots of shopping; meeting friends for cocktails and dinner at our favorite restaurants (or new spots we’ve been wanting to try); long, lazy brunches; and sleeping in!

more...

See Cynthia Pillsbury’s NYC Oliver Guide here. (Great for kids!)

See Ginny Rothschild’s NYC Oliver Guide here. (Long list of locals restaurants.)

See Courtney Gerlich’s NYC Oliver Guide here. (A great place to start!)

And our “friend” Jessica Seinfeld has a great list of restaurants on her site, here.

New York City, New York (Elizabeth Lamont Mendoza) - Suggestions from the Oliver Community

  • Sabrina Eliasoph Says

    Augustine – this Keith McNally (of Balthazar & Pastis fame) brasserie sits in the uber cool, historically restored The Beekman Hotel. You’ll feel like you’ve stepped into an old brasserie in Montparnasse instead of Tribeca. It really is delicious & magnifique! Start with a drink in The Beekman Hotel’s incredible lounge.

    Primos- this new Tribeca Italian art deco cocktail lounge sits inside The Frederick Hotel. The jewel tones, plushy velvets, incredible redwood finishes, and deco details just set the stage for a perfect martini.

  • Courtney Leary Says

    The Marlton– Loved this gem of a hotel bordering the West Village for it’s location, comfortable beds, decor, morning coffee bar and cozy evening bar. Be warned, rooms are VERY small.
    Cafe Cluny– Within walking distance of The Marlton, a great buzzy neighborhood restaurant with yummy casual French fare.
    Raoul’s– Another French-ish restaurant, a bit darker and swankier than Cafe Cluny, great food and drinks and atmosphere in Soho.
    Would skip Locande Verde next time, maybe we hit it on a bad night but service was horrible and unfortunately food did not make up for it.

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Published: December, 2017
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New York City, New York (Ginny Rothschild)

This is a list for downtowners....I lived at 12th and 6th and these are the places I go back on each of my visits.
— Ginny Rothschild
  • More about your oliver guide:
  • Trip type: Adult, City
  • Activity level: easy
  • Ideal length of trip: NYC IS GREAT FOR ANY LENGTH OF STAY - BUT I AM ALL ABOUT 3 NIGHTS IF POSSIBLE.

to & from

  • I prefer flying into JFK or Newark because you can take a train or subway into the city. Most of the time this will be a faster and a lot less of a headache than dealing with the traffic in a cab or uber.
  • Once in the city I walk or take the subway.

Where to Stay

  • My new favorite is Hotel Eventi- it is a Kimpton property and centrally located to walk or subway most places. They have excellent coffee and a free daily happy hour. The restaurants/bars within the hotel are great as well.
  • I am a huge fan of Hotel Tonight for NYC trips. Use the app and you can book a hotel 6 days before your trip. I have always found great deals at awesome hotels. (Soho Grande, Dream Hotel, The Standard)

Where to Eat and Drink

This is a list for downtowners….I lived at 12th and 6th and these are the places I go back on each of my visits. This is hard to narrow down, but I tried to list my true favorites. I am not a picky eater- I just like good food. You will notice it is Italian/Oyster/Burger heavy. Enjoy.

  • Murray's Bagel's- my favorite bagels in town. They have 2 locations and also deliver in case you feel like sleeping in.
  • Superiority Burger- you will think you are eating In and Out, but it is all vegetarian. Incredible. Only about 4 seats, so more of a take out place.
  • Luke's Lobster- best lobster rolls in town....and best deal for a lobster roll. They now have at least 5-10 locations throughout the city. Make it a priority to get to one. Everything in the shop is from Maine. They also have clam chowder and Maine microbrews.
  • The Dutch- Good for brunch and great for dinner. Save room for pie!
  • Smith & Mill's- Very small restaurant/bar, very small menu, all made on a small hot plate. This is a local's hangout and I can't believe I'm sharing this broadly. You may miss it. Place looks like a total hole in a wall.
  • Warren 77- favorite non sports bar sports bar. Excellent food and best place to watch any sport. They take reservations if you want to reserve a table for a game.
  • Mermaid Oyster Inn for $1 Oyster Happy Hour, Drinks specials, and the Calamari/Feta/Mushroom Salad - Skip their fish tacos
  • Red Farm- dumplings!
  • ABC Kitchen- excellent and inside ABC Carpet and Home. Need reservations. Order a lot and share. Save time to wander throughout ABC Carpet and Home. Also worth wandering through Union Square market if the farmer's market is going on or during the holiday market season.
  • Il Buco- another cozy, yummy, phenomenal Italian restaurant....their sister restaurant is Il Buco Alimentari & Vineria
  • L'Artusi- Italian, more of a scene, but not overkill. They do a great brunch as well

What to Do

  • Go Ice Skating-- best option to avoid the tourists is the rink at between 106th and 108th in Central Park. Take the subway and it won't feel that far away. Grab brunch of dinner afterward at Red Rooster. (Make reservations) If you are not that adventurous- go to Bryant Park and then hit up Keen's (old school steakhouse) for dinner afterward.
  • Chelsea Market - Go hungry...Wander, eat, shop, and repeat.
  • The Highline- Before or after you go to Chelsea Market walk The Highline. Start at 12th and go all the way up to the mid 30's.
  • If you are in need of real exercise walk, run or bike along The Hudson- great path and good people watching...or subway up to Central Park. NYC has such good green space and running/biking paths. True NYCer's take full advantage.
  • Shop- take advantage of all the stores that exist in NYC and nowhere else. Shop big, shop small. Love wondering Soho, West Village, Flatiron.

inside scoop

If you want to see a show and have not bought tickets ahead of time go to the Half Price Ticket Booth in South Street Seaport. Go when it opens. Line will be SO much shorter than Time Square. Plus you avoid Time Square until you actually go to the theater.

skip it

Do your best to avoid Times Square.

What to Pack

more...

See fashion editor and NYC native, Elizabeth Mendoza’s, Oliver Guide here.

See Cynthia Pillsbury’s NYC Oliver Guide here. (Great for kids!)

See Courtney Gerlich’s NYC Oliver Guide here. (A great place to start!)

And our “friend” Jessica Seinfeld has a great list of restaurants on her site, here.

To add a suggestion login or join

Published: December, 2017
Book this trip

New York City, New York (Courtney Gerlich)

Hands down our favorite hotel is the Crosby Street Hotel in Soho - We love the location right in the heart of Soho which is bustling with great restaurants, bars and boutiques right outside your doorstep.
— Courtney Gerlich
  • More about your oliver guide:
  • Trip type: Adult, City
  • Activity level: easy
  • Ideal length of trip: 4 DAYS IS GREAT

to & from

We fly non-stop on Alaska from Seattle to Newark and arrange for a car to pick us up outside baggage claim. There are tons of car companies to choose from so do a quick Google search and just pick one that suites you.

Where to Stay

  • Hands down our favorite hotel is the Crosby Street Hotel in Soho - We love the location right in the heart of Soho which is bustling with great restaurants, bars and boutiques right outside your doorstep. The rooms have really high ceilings and floor to ceiling windows giving you the feeling of lots of space which isn't always the norm in New York. Each room also has a unique style of decor which makes each stay fun and new.
  • We've also stayed at The New York EDITION located in the Flatiron District. It's the complete opposite in style and feel but very cool and modern - minimalism at it's finest. Not to mention their signature scent is to die for. The location is convenient to a lot which is a big plus.

Where to Eat and Drink

  • Momofuku Noodle Bar - We have lunch here every time we're in town. The shrimp buns are my go to - 2 to an order and I don't share
  • Katz's Delicatessen - This NYC deli opened in 1888 and serves mouth watering sandwiches that you almost have to unlock your jaw to get your mouth around. Go with the pastrami and get ready for a serious dose of deliciousness.
  • Chop't - A great lunch option when you're on the go and don't want to do a big sit-down meal. Not to mention you can make it light and save those calories for happy hour and dinner later.
  • Russ & Daughters - Classic NYC bagels, lox and cream cheese
  • Eataly - Mario Batali's amazing Italian food emporium. Walk around, get a coffee, shop the imported goods, enjoy!
  • Boqueria - Delicious Spanish tapas that are perfect for a pre-dinner bite (especially when you have a late dinner ahead of you). Order the Padron peppers and garlic shrimp (get a side of bread to sop up what's left in the pan)
  • Raoul's - Such a great locals spot
  • Cosme - Supposedly President Obama's favorite spot in NYC, it's no wonder why. Everything about this place is "cool" from the decor to the insane food. The brown butter lobster and duck carnitas will leave you wanting to go back.
  • Le Bernardin - With 3 Michelin stars and being ranked 24 on the World's 50 Best Restaurants list, you can order anything on the menu and expect to be blown away. Set your alarm 2 months in advance to call and get reservations.
  • Milos Fish is flown in twice daily and set up like a Mediterranean market where you get to "shop" for your dinner. The stuffed calamari and grilled sea bream are delicious. Don't skip the loukoumades for dessert!
  • Estela - Multiple chefs recommended this place to us and for good reason. Highlights include the beef tartare with crispy sunchokes, the Burrata with salsa verde and charred bread, the fried black rice with squid and romesco and the panna cotta with vinegar and honey.
  • Carbone - So nondescript from the outside and incredible on the inside. You walk in feeling like you just got into a secret club. Don't miss the artichoke hearts for a starter and the angel hair AOP is light and packed with flavor.
  • Navy - If I lived in NYC I would be a regular here. The staff is so welcoming and amazing and the food is cozy and satisfying. The crudo, crispy sweet potatoes and pork & beans are standouts.

What to Do

  • Museums - So many to choose from - classics like The Met and the Guggenheim or the new Whitney building in the Meatpacking District.
  • Walk the High Line - A 1.45 mile walk/park situated above the streets on an old elevated rail line spanning from the Meatpacking District north to West 34th Street.
  • 9/11 Memorial & Museum - Breathtaking and so thoughtfully designed. Bound to make an impact on you no matter what.
  • Broadway - Hamilton is well worth the price tag and hype
  • The Chelsea Market - Great for an afternoon snack or full on meal. There are lots of shops and stalls to peruse. The shrimp rolls at The Lobster Place are quite tasty.
  • Shopping, shopping, shopping! - Soho for smaller, unique boutiques and Midtown for your bigger department stores (don't miss the window displays if you're there during the holidays)
  • Rockefeller Center - What's more iconic than the ice skating rink and Christmas tree during the holidays?!
  • Times Square at night - The lights, the crowds, the energy...NYC at it's best! Take a stroll through after dinner to burn off some calories.
  • Holiday drinks (eggnog) at Rolfs - It's like Christmas threw up in there...amazing!

inside scoop

Avoid the crowds and long lines and go to Empire State building at night. The views are just as spectacular and you’ll have the place to yourself.

skip it

Bike peddler taxis…talk about scam of the century! We made the mistake of getting in one after seeing Hamilton and after just 10 minutes and not getting a straight answer from our driver we finally put two and two together and realized he was charging $6 a MINUTE!!!

What to Pack

more...

See fashion editor and NYC native, Elizabeth Mendoza’s, Oliver Guide here.

See Ginny Rothschild’s NYC Oliver Guide here. (Long list of locals restaurants.)

See Cynthia Pillsbury’s NYC Oliver Guide here. (Great for kids!)

And our “friend” Jessica Seinfeld has a great list of restaurants on her site, here.

To add a suggestion login or join