As a former New Yorker, I’m always looking for the latest and greatest to eat and shop, whenever I visit the big apple. The city is constantly changing and moving so fast, at times I don’t even recognize it. Every time I visit, there’s something new happening. Many neighborhoods have been gentrified and most places I grew up loving have been replaced with hip cool establishments. It doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy the latest and greatest, but I do miss my “old” New York.
On a must-know basis, I round up some NEW places I discovered a on my latest visit.
RAKU – This modern udon noodle house has several locations and two are in NYC. We came with our family one Monday evening to the Soho location, a new dining evening for them. We went nuts on how delicious and fresh the dishes were. I ordered the gyunan, washugyu beef, tokyo negi hot udon along with gyoza and tako sumiso, octopus with scallion. Slurping out loud is encouraged!
MILK BAR – Christina Tosi, the owner/chef, continues to “shake up the dessert scene since 2008”. Milk Bar has been offering fun treats, in soft serve, birthday cakes, truffles, pies and cookies, (my favorite compost cookie). I always loved to pick up a dozen cookies to take home with me.
TORIKO – This chain restaurant from Japan, is famous for their yakitori (chicken skewers, especially the chicken oysters). They serve the highest quality ingredients and each dish is rich with flavor. Try the ramen noodles and chicken rice. To die for!!
PRINCE STREET PIZZA – Best freakin’ pizza in town and the lines are worth the wait. Don’t worry, it moves fast. Make sure to grab a few slices of spicy pepperoni square pizza and a stoop to enjoy .
HANJAN – Came here with some girlfriends for a night out and we loved the traditional Korean food with high quality ingredients. We kept yapping away, we forgot to take the photos. Make reservations for larger parties.
ODD FELLOWS – Famous for their unique and elevated ice cream flavors, like Black Pepper Fig and Buttermilk Honey Blueberry, they are now serving Peanut Butter and Jelly soft serve. YUM!
I’m a FOREVER downtown girl. So when it comes to shopping, Soho and Nolita is my favorite. It’s a good balance of high end designers, such as Balenciaga and Proenza Schouler, to commercial brands like Levi’s and Topshop. The streets are busy around the clock. Just stand on the corner of Broadway and Prince Street to see some of the best street-style.
OPENING CEREMONY – Still one of my favorite most edgy and off the grid boutiques. Their OG store on Howard Street carries their in-house label and the latest emerging designers. Two floors of the coolest pieces you can find in the city.
TOTOKAELO – Their new location resides on Crosby Street with a less cooler space. On the flip side it gives some breathing room to better display the cutting edge designers they work with, on clean white walls and minimal distraction. I love visiting this store in Seattle and love it even more in New York City. The merchandise selections are so different from coast to coast.
GLOSSIER – Can’t give enough credit to this Gen Z/Millennial beauty brand, until I came to checkout their flagship store. On a weekday it was buzzing with customers trying on their samples in all pink walls, fixture and even sales associates in their pink jumpsuits. This store is cute as hell!
BA&SH – Never knew the name stood for Babara & Sharon. Did you? The store located on Elizabeth Street, is one of my favorite boutiques to visit. Not only do they design clothes that women want to wear with effortless Parisian flair, they also host events twice a month to build community. One of the events is every Friday from 5pm-7pm, you can borrow a piece from their store for the weekend. Who does that?
HUDSON YARDS – On the west side of Midtown, a new redevelopment project that includes a giant complex with high end boutiques, art gallery, fine dining restaurants to casual affairs, and a hotel to top it all off.
THE VESSEL – Directly outside of Hudson Yards, is a new free standing landmark, with a spiral staircase of incredible views of the Hudson River and Manhattan. Some says it looks like a beehive, others a pine cone. Whatever it may represent, it took my breath away. I was literally a tourist in my hometown and had to visit the structure. Make sure you get free tickets for the visit, to avoid the lines.
NORDSTROM – Ever since their men’s store opened last year, the anticipating women and children’s store is set to open Fall 2019. It’ll be their first retail full line store in NYC. You and your family can enjoy the excellent customer service from this family-owned Seattle clothing retailer. The next time I visit, I get to shop it and see the products I designed in my hood. I literally can’t wait!
LOWER EAST SIDE (LES)
CW PENCIL ENTERPRISE – Stumbled upon this store when I was browsing in Lower East Side one afternoon. Opened four years ago, they have the most exquisite pencil collection. It’s a dream for the aspiring writer, artist enthusiast or pencil collector. Kinsley managed to pick up a set of pencils and a sketch pad as souvenirs.
DOVER STREET MARKET – Another cool store I must tell you about and you can’t leave NYC without a stop here. With stores all over the world, NYC is one of my favorite locations. It’s not just a clothing store. This place is an UNIQUE experience. From visual display to the latest designers, Supreme to Comme des Garçon, each floor is a whimsy wonderland. You can play in this store for hours. Don’t forget to stop the Rose Bakery, on the first floor for chocolate chip cookie and a cappuccino.
INDUSTRY CITY – Stumbled upon this newly redeveloped shopping and food complex, that was previously an abandoned warehouse and manufacturing facility from way back when. Today it resides local shops, coffee houses, clothing stores, an arcade, a children’s play area and the list goes on. Definitely make a visit when you’re down there. Here’s a few of many shops I was able to stumble upon.
JAPAN VILLAGE – Just like the name, it’s a village full of food stalls with some of the best noodle dishes, desserts and a supermarket built inside. A convenient one stop shop with endless food choices.
ARCADE by A CURRENT AFFAIR – If you love vintage, you probably know all about A Current Affair. This store curated with the most lavishing vintage pieces, is their next project. I fell in love with the store, when I found a quilted silk jacket and learned the story behind the piece.
TERESSA FOGOLIA – Found this millinery store by accident and went crazy, when I saw all the beautiful hats hanging on the walls. The mini workshop towards the back of the store reminded me of old ateliers, working on custom pieces in beaver felt and repurpose materials. I even met the designer, Teressa herself and gravitated her energy and vibe. Probably because she’s a “burner” (a person who attends Burnin Man) herself and so was I.
You can also checkout my last year’s New York City travel post for other places to eat and shop, that are still valid.
I miss the “old” New York City, when neighborhoods were full of immigrants speaking their native language and serving their best cuisines in town. Corner bodegas opened 24 hours to provide all your needs. The gritty streets of Lower East Side, when the streets were abandoned.
Sigh…. I was told change is good. But c’mon NYC, slow your flow. You’re moving too fast for me.