3 Days in New York City - Travel Itinerary

Day 1

1. West Side in New York City | 12 p.m.

Starting the New York trip with a lunch at a Jean-Georges restaurant on the edge of the west side of Manhattan along the Hudson River. The restaurant was on the edge of West Village and housed in a stunning large airy space with floor-to-ceiling windows that allowed the sunlight to flood in. It was a very serene and modern décor, but at the same time, could feel a little corporate. The menu itself was fairly extensive with the standard New American fare, and we ordered their classic rice cracker crusted tuna and a light tomato salad for starters, along with a salmon and flat iron steak for the entrée. Everything was done well, but never really reached the heights of Jean Georges’ eponymous restaurant. Its aesthetics and comfortable environment, however, made the meal very relaxed and is a great place to enjoy some time away from the hectic life that is New York City.

2. Stroll Along Bleecker St. in West Village | 2 p.m.

After brunch, we walked a couple blocks over to Bleecker St. and then headed south cutting across West and Greenwich Village. There were a number of boutiques along the way withshops such as Intermix, Zadig & Voltaire, Sandro, and Paul Smith. For the foodies, there are also places like Magnolia’s Bakery, which had made an appearance on Sex and the City years ago, as well as Murray’s Cheese and Pasticceria Rocco, which is famous for its cannoli. Gelato places like Grom and Amorino are also nearby, although we were still pretty full so we didn’t get any. We swung a few blocks north to Washington Square Park just to take a couple photos, and it seemed like a great place to hang out on a lazy day.

3. Cobblestone Streets of Soho | 2 p.m.

Heading south from there, we walked through Soho, which is known for its cobblestone streets and designer boutiques. Along Broadway, we saw the more mainstream shops such as Bloomingdales, Zara, and Uniqlo. Along the side streets, there are the more high end luxury stores such as Celine, Balenciaga, Moncler, etc. You also have the less common stores such as Alexander Wang, Isabel Marant, and DSquared2. A number of streetwear stores are also there, including Bape, Palace, NikeLab, and Stadium Goods. On the east side of Broadway, you also have a number of stores with roots in New York including a large multi-level Kith, Opening Ceremony, Supreme, and Aime Leon Dore. In short, the shopping options are endless regardless of what style you wear and what budget you’re looking for.

4. Trying Dominique Ansel's Pastries | 5 p.m.

We spent all of the afternoon into the evening walking through Soho and browsing the various stores. In between, we made time to stop at Dominique Ansel, which had come to fame through its Cronut fad several years back (although there is still a line now everyday for them). With shops around the world, its fame has become more for unique and innovative pastries that play on local traditions. For example, the one recently opened in Hong Kong has desserts shaped like a pineapple bun and a lemon vita-tea packet. The NYC location didn’t have quite as creative options, but the cakes still all looked amazing along the glass counter. We ordered the matcha mousse cake and the DKA, which is their version of the kouign amann. Everything was light and tasty and it was a welcome retreat from a lot of walking.

4. David Chang's Momofuku Empire | 8 p.m.

We continued walking towards East Village and decided to go to another celebrity chef’s restaurant for dinner. This time, it was Momofuku Ssam, which is owned by David Chang and part of this ever expanding Momofuku chain. Ssam lies between the quick casual ramen bar and the 2-Michelin starred Ko. It has a very lively and happening atmosphere, but it was still supposed to serve elevated cuisine.

We ordered the signature pork buns which it serves in a lot of its locations and the bone marrow to start. For the entrée, we had the foie gras with rice and the hangar steak. The signature Bo Ssam with the pork shoulder and oysters wrapped in lettuce was only served in a large format for 6+ people, so we weren’t able to get that. The food was very solid, but honestly didn’t really leave me especially impressed. There was nothing very unique about the menu choices, preparation, or flavor profile, and left me thinking it was just standard fusion food. I would say that pork buns were quite tasty, with the pillowy bread wrapping the moist and fatty pork, so that was a saving grace. But overall, it didn’t quite live up to my expectations. The Momofuku Milk Bar is also a storefront counter that's right across the street with its famous crack pie (now called Milk Bar Pie). We wanted to go elsewhere for dessert, although it's a good option for cakes and pies.

5. East Village Dessert and Speakeasy | 10 p.m.

After dinner, we walked to explore the nightlife of NY and to check out the neighborhood. There were definitely a lot of bars and restaurants, especially around St.Marks Place such as Mamoun’s Falafels, McSorley’s – which