The Best Spots in Downtown NYC

Floral Top | Moto Jacket (similar here and here)| Distressed Jeans | Black Booties | Handbag | Black Booties

Photos by: Allie Provost 

A couple weeks ago I was in NYC for a very short work trip– just over a day. I decided to stay in downtown NYC and picked a hotel in the Lower East Side neighborhood. In the many, many times I’ve visited NYC, I have never stayed downtown and took the opportunity to explore the area more. I spent most of my time in SoHo, one of the biggest shopping meccas in NYC, but also bounced around Nolita, West Village and LES. Keep reading for my top spots– including where to stay, where to eat, where to grab matcha, and of course, where to shop– all in downtown NYC>>

Floral Top | Moto Jacket (similar here and here)| Distressed Jeans | Black Booties | Handbag | Black Booties

STAY

During my most recent time in NYC, I stayed at the Ludlow Hotel, a stylish, contemporary boutique hotel located in LES just minutes from Bowery, Katz’s Deli, the Tenement Museum and other LES staples. I loved the fun decor, the garden patio and while my room was small (it is NYC after all), it served it’s purpose and my stay was wonderful. 

One of my fave hotels to visit is NoMo SoHo, a modern and super stylish hotel in the heart of SoHo. it includes this fab walkway (see above pics) right when you enter. I have yet to stay here but I have eaten in the gorgeous restaurant, NoMo Kitchen. 

Another fab hotel pick in the downtown NYC area is the SoHo Grand Hotel, also located in the stylish SoHo area just minutes away from shopping and a walk away from Chinatown, TriBeCa and other downtown locales. 

EAT

One of the coolest and yummiest restaurants I’ve eaten at in NYC is Beauty & Essex, which is located in LES and is actually hidden behind the facade of a pawn shop. The food is delicious (MUST try the chicken meatballs, grilled cheese and tomato soup dumplings and the doughnuts!) and the atmosphere & ambiance is just plain cool. 

After arriving to NYC after taking a redeye, I had stopped by Russ & Daughters Cafe for a quick breakfast. A NYC institution located in LES, the eatery was started by a Jewish immigrant in the early 1900’s and was actually the first business in the US to have “& Daughters” (as opposed to the more commonly seen “& Son/s”) in the name. Cool, right? The cafe serves up delicious potato latkes and is known for their smoked salmon, bagels, herring and more. 

Balthazar is another NYC institution and one that’s a must-try. Located in SoHo, this French American restaurant serves up a mean steak & frites, French onion soup and other Parisian-fare in its French brasserie atmosphere. 

If you’re on the hunt for Insta-worthy spots, you must visit Cha Cha Matcha, NYC’s it-spot for matcha. Located in Nolita, the shop is bright pink so you can’t miss it and inside is decorated with cha-cha decor and palm trees. It’s definitely worth a visit to snap a pic… and get some yummy (and pricey) matcha drinks while you’re at it Anything for the ‘gram right?

Another Insta-worthy pick is Milk & Cream Cereal Bar in Little Italy, which offers made-to-order cereal-infused ice cream. Sounds amazing, right? It is SO good! My pick was cinnamon cereal mixed with a cookie dough ice cream base, topped with Frosted Flakes… it was out of this world creamy and SO tasty! Definitely a #treatyourself moment. 

SHOP

On this last NYC trip, I made it a point to stop by Sézane, which offers a taste of Paris in NYC with their L’Appartement New York’  located in the Nolita neighborhood. This shop is super cute and insta-worthy– they even offer coffee and treats. 

While walking through SoHo, I just had to stop at Drew Barrymore’s popup boutique, Dear Drew, which was literally the cutest and more fun boutique I have ever been in! The shop and the pieces themselves have so much personality, very much like Drew herself. If you’re in the area, I highly recommend popping in and checking it out. 

I also had to stop by the Glossier showroom  located in the penthouse in a downtown building off Lafayette and Canal. The showroom has all beloved Glossier products for purchase, and testers to swatch and try out. It was crazy packed when I went, but cool to see some of the products in person that I’ve only seen online and have been wanting to try.

Another beauty must is the Bite Beauty Lab. I didn’t have time to go here this time around but it’s on my list for next time because I REALLY want to create my own lipstick shade. YES, you can make your own personalized lipstick here. It is pricey– $55 for just one shade– but I mean, how often do you get to make your own legit lipstick?? 

For the best shopping in downtown NYC, just walk down Broadway between Houston and Canal streets. You’ll find all your faves– H&M, Zara, Bloomingdale’s, and other afforadable picks. After more designer and luxury wear? Venture off Broadway to the side streets to find the best of the best. 

What are some of your favorite downtown NYC spots? Share with me! 

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25 thoughts on “The Best Spots in Downtown NYC

  1. Kuleigh

    I’ve heard so many good things about Russ & Daughters and Milk! We didn’t make it to either place during my first trip to the city but I’m making my sister go this summer!

    Reply
  2. Rachel

    Would you believe me if I told you I’ve never been to NYC?! It’s true! I am trying to plan a trip to NYC over the next few months and will definitely be checking out some of these spots.

    Reply
  3. the sophia diaries

    omg you’re making me so excited to be back at NYC, at least to take outfit photos xD i love the outfit you wore here!

    Reply
  4. Jamaria Johnson

    I’ve been to NYC so many times but surprisingly I’ve never been to any of these places! Definitely will add them to my list on our next visit! Xo

    Jam

    Reply
  5. Laura

    I love visiting NYC! I feel like I never have enough time to check out all the hot spots but I’m making a mental note of all the places you mentioned.

    xo, Laura

    Reply
  6. roxy

    As a NYC resident I can verify that these are all amazing tips! I would add that for anyone staying in Soho, the Dutch and A Hundred Acres are other eateries worthy of checking out!! Loving your moto so much. It’s always so fun to see what visitors recommend doing here.

    Reply
  7. Audrey - With Love

    Your outfit is so cute! I love cereal and that ice cream place sounds right up my alley. I don’t frequent NYC often (despite being 3.5 hours away) but I will definitely go the next time I’m there.

    Reply

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