5 Spots in NYC that Rock

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They don’t call Manhattan the Big Apple for nothing! For first-timers and locals alike, it’s easy to get overwhelmed in such a vibrant city packed with world-class hotels, shopping, restaurants, museums and night life.

Here are 5 top Go! Girl NYC hot spots that will keep you sleeping pretty, eating well and happily occupied throughout the day and well into the night.

1.) Pod Hotel

Both chic and cheap, the Pod Hotel is the place to stay in Midtown New York City.

Bringing together all of the best aspects of high-end budget lodging in a city that’s notorious for being very pricey, you can safely consider this gem to be downright backpacker couture.

With a room option for every budget, there’s everything from single, bunk, double and queen rooms with both shared and en suite bath options.

There’s 4-person rooms and even a studio apartment for those staying a bit longer.

The Pod Hotel’s shtick is efficiency, and their rooms are chock full of space saving solutions that add to the functionality of the space without detracting at all from the aesthetic of the room.

A rooftop garden, free in-room Wi-Fi, a fantastic location and in-room TVs and sound systems make the Pod Hotel a no-brainer . (230 East 51st Street between 2nd and 3rd Avenue, rooms start at $75/ night + tax)

2.) Momofuku Noodle Bar

This little slice of culinary heaven is located in the heart of Manhattan’s East Village.

Momofuku Noodle Bar is one place that’s well worth the wait.

David Chang’s pork buns are a showstopper. Sweet and delicate, the pork belly floats on a cloud of doughy goodness with a layer of scallions and cucumber underneath that leaves both a crunchy and soft impression on your palate.

Their ramen is delicious as well, with smoky flavors, fresh ingredients and a barely-cooked egg adding richness to the salty broth.

Tip: This is the perfect solo dining location. You’re sure to get seated quickly at the bar overlooking the chefs working wordlessly in perfect harmony. Not only will you feel a part of the action, you’ll be completely comfortable as part of the crowd in the hip space. (1st Avenue between E 11th and 12th Street)

3.) Bleecker Street

Greenwich Village has long been known as a creative haven full of boutique shopping, restaurants and prime real estate. However, if you’re short on time but want to get the full Village experience, look no further than Bleecker Street.

Designer Marc Jacobs has set up a dominant presence here, with Marc by Marc Jacobs stores for him, her, kids and accessories.

If that’s too pricey for your wallet, try the newest addition to his collection at Bookmarc (Bleecker and 11th) which offers an assortment of stylish tabletop books, notebooks, jewelry and other accessories at bargain prices.

Right across the street from Bookmarc is the infamous Magnolia Bakery.

Since you’re already there, stand in the ridiculously long lines to try a cupcake or their famed banana pudding to see if this trendy bakeshop lives up to the Sex and the City hype.

Further down Bleeker Street is Murray’s Cheese, New York’s oldest cheese shop (Bleeker and Cornelia). Stop in for a sample or sign up for one of their many classes to learn everything from what makes the best wine and cheese combos, to Cheese 101, to how to make your own.

4.) Stumptown Coffee Roasters

Previously found only in a handful of locations in Oregon and Washington, Stumptown Coffee Roasters came to the Big Apple in 2009 and has since become the latest “it” coffee of the city.

You’ll find Stumptown coffee in many NYC restaurants, but their storefront is located in the hipster Ace Hotel (20 W 29th Street between 5th and 6th Avenue.).

Foam Art

The super stylish baristas take their jobs very seriously, all while looking like they stepped out of the cast of Newsies.

Pageboy and bowler hats, suspenders, skinny pants and vests abound.

These baristas are well versed in the art of espresso and take care with every cup that they prepare. They are experts in their craft and are known for skillfully embedding a heart-shaped or leaf pattern into every frothy cup.

Tip: When you go, keep in mind that the Stumptown shop is cash only and the average cup is between $3-4 each. Also, be prepared to wait… there’s almost always a line.

5.) PDT (aka Please Don’t Tell)

There’s something exciting about a place that requires a little bit of work to get in… an air of exclusivity or just a feeling that you’ve experienced something special that most others have not.

In the case of Please Don’t Tell, a throwback to the vintage Prohibition-era speakeasy, to get in, you enter through a vintage telephone booth inside of Crif Dogs, a hot dog shop.

Pick up the phone, give your name (if you’re lucky enough to have a reservation) or beg for a spot on standby, and hope that the door opens and lets you in to the dimly lit lounge.

The contradiction of having such a stylish place within a hot dog shop is all part of the allure. Walking by, you would never know that it was there.

Inside the vibe is relaxed and sophisticated. Candlelit tables and low music adds a nice energy to the space. The artisanal cocktails are pricey, but they’re unique and definitely pack a punch.

Crif Dogs plays a part in the speakeasy’s menu as well, with special dogs for PDT patrons only.

While it perhaps is not so much a secret anymore, PDT is still a fun venture into the underground world of speakeasies.

There is no marketing, no address on their website, but word of mouth has turned this spot into a popular nighttime attraction in the heart of the East Village.

Tip: PDT accepts same day reservations only, so call the number (212) 614-0386 right at 3 pm to get a coveted spot. Although, if anyone asks, you didn’t hear it from me…

What do you love about NYC? Let us know!

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About Author

Christina, a TV Production extraordinaire by day and a travel blogger by night, is always planning her next adventure. She's traveled solo throughout Europe, the US, Patagonia and most recently spent a month backpacking throughout Australia and New Zealand. Her greatest solo travel achievement to date is finding a bus to take her from Punta Arenas, Chile (down at the end of the world) to Ushuaia, Argentina based purely on the strength of her hand signals. Get to know her more at her website www.packedsuitcase.com and follow her on Twitter @PackdSuitcase

4 Comments

  1. Great list! Another not so secret spot that’s cool to visit is Burger Joint in the Le Meridian hotel on 57th street. I’d been in NYC for 6 years before I discovered it…

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