Whenever I prepare for a trip, I always search the entire Internet for the best hotspots to dine, lunch, brunch, breakfast, go out or just grab a coffee. I flip through hundreds of travel blogs, Instagram posts, or TikToks and save these spots as stars in my Google Maps. As you can imagine, a year of living in New York means that my Google Maps has become quite a starry night. In this blog, I share with you my favorite New York hotspots!

Even though I would love to go to a different restaurant every day, on a minimum wage and unimaginably high rent it is not doable to eat out regularly and go to the coolest spots in town. To indicate which hotspots I have visited and loved, I add a star to them. The others are still on my list!

Manhattan – New York Hotspots

Since I have divided this blog by New York Neighborhood, I will start with my favorite neighborhoods in Manhattan.

West Village

  • Bobo – Nice place for wine and oysters if that’s your thing. ⭐
  • Arthur’s Tavern – A unique and old Jazz bar. ⭐
  • Olio e Più – Italian restaurant that makes you feel like you’re in Europe for a moment. ⭐
  • Rosemary’s – Another Italian on the other side of the street.
  • Magnolia Bakery – for the popular banana pudding. ⭐
  • The Little Owl – The well-known Friends house where you can also just go for a coffee.


  • Chelsea Market – Indoor food market you cannot miss. The Taco place is incredibly popular. ⭐
  • Pepe Giallo – A cute and cozy little Italian restaurant. ⭐
  • Trailer Park Lounge – Great 50s-themed bar with lots of unique decorations. ⭐
  • Le Bain – Nightclub with stunning views of the city. ⭐


  • La Duree – Indoor garden where, especially in spring, you can sit and try the famous croissants.
  • Sweet Rehab – The cutest dessert place!
  • Pera Soho – I love how this looks, but unfortunately haven’t tried it yet.
  • Fanelli Cafe – Atmospheric spot in the middle of SoHo where you can go for a quick American bite. ⭐
  • Sant Ambroeus – Stylish place for Italian food or coffee.⭐
  • Jack Wife’s Freda – Popular spot for brunch, located in more places in New York.
  • La Mercerie – A lot of people recommend this French restaurant.
  • Grey Dog – Not very special but good food! ⭐


  • Tiny’s & the Bar Upstairs – Very small, old and pink building where you can have great brunch.⭐
  • Maman – Cute decorated and brightly colored French place for a cozy coffee.⭐
  • Paul’s Cocktail Lounge – Pink lounge with good music and (expensive) drinks.⭐

Lower East Side

  • Dudley’s – Atmospheric little restaurant with delicious food.⭐
  • Lorely Beergarden – Seasonally themed restaurant serving German cuisine.⭐
  • The Backroom – Unique and stylish bar.
  • Last Light – Tucked away rooftop bar with nice views of the city.⭐
  • Food tour – You can also do a tour of the nicest spots in the Lower East Side.

East Village

  • MONO + MONO – This is the place to go when you come to East Village! Super cozy and unique hidden hotspot.⭐
  • Joyface – Disco bar where we have already tried three times to get in.
  • Beetle House – Tim Burton-inspired bar.
  • Bookclub – Bookstore where you can also have drinks.

Financial District

  • Fraunces Tavern – A historical building with a rich history (Washington announced here he no longer wanted to be president). ⭐
  • The Cauldron – A magically themed bar and restaurant where you can make your own magic potions.
  • The Dead Rabbit – Incredibly cozy and also historic premises where you can have nice drinks. ⭐


Just stay away.

Brooklyn – New York Hotspots

Then another list of my favorite hotspots in my favorite borough, Brooklyn. Although there are many more fun, atmospheric, creative and unique hotspots here, you probably won’t be here much when you’re only in New York for a short time. Still, I lovingly share my recommendations:


  • Westlight – On this rooftop, you have a beautiful view of Manhattan, one of my favorite viewpoints. ⭐
  • Gran Torino – Unique and creative place, which is huge fun, especially in summer. ⭐
  • OTB – Atmospheric bar with nice bites close to the Williamsburg bridge. ⭐
  • The Butcher’s Daughter – The perfect place for brunch! ⭐
  • The West – Wonderful place for locals for a coffee or to work on your laptop. ⭐
  • Ciao Ciao Disco – Disco bar with an amazing disco floor. ⭐
  • Radegast Hall & Biergarten – Cozy and spacious restaurant which turns into a fun bar in the evening. ⭐


  • Roberta’s – A creative, uniquely improvised, and popular among locals for pizza. ⭐
  • Ange Noir Café – Café and lunch spot filled with unique objects with a somewhat dark theme. ⭐
  • Bake shop – Delicious pastries for takeout, I loved the rocky road here. ⭐


  • The Rookery Bar – Uniquely transformed industrial spot with delicious brunch. ⭐
  • A-un Brooklyn – Small Japanese restaurant with a 5-star rating.⭐
  • Now – Come here during the day for coffee, in the evening for a drink and a fun event they organize such as comedy or singer-songwriter nights. ⭐
  • Mominette Bistro – A small and cozy French bistro. ⭐
  • House of YES – Fantastic, diverse, inclusive, popular and extravagant nightclub not to be missed. ⭐
  • Bushwick Bakery – Too cute bakery a little further down the road in Bushwick. ⭐
  • Carmelo’s – Transformed theater to a bar. ⭐


  • Peter Pan donuts – For the best donuts in New York. ⭐
  • Milk & Roses – Incredibly cute and hidden brunch spot with a cute garden. ⭐
  • McCarren Parkhouse – cottage in the middle of the park where you can go for everything. ⭐
  • Spritzenhaus33 – Cozy big bar where you can play Uno. ⭐
  • Ponyboy – Restaurant which turns into a dance bar at night. ⭐


  • Time Out Market – Foodmarket with fantastic views of Manhattan. ⭐
  • The River Café – If you want to propose to someone or you just have a lot of money, absolutely great.
  • Dawn’s Til Dusk – For a coffee as you stroll through Dumbo.
  • Juliana’s – Hugely popular, with always a long line outside, for pizza.
  • % Arabica – The place you might know the “coffee in Dumbo photo” from.

That’s a wrap for my favorites! I will definitely keep adding to this blog in the months I still live here. Be sure to let me know which spots are your favorites when you visit New York!

What places have you visited in New York that you absolutely loved?

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