Where to Shop in NYC

Now I’ve made no secret of the fact I love a lil bit of shopping now and then, but it’s not usually something I prioritise for going on holiday. Apart from the obligatory tourist magnet, and the occasional thing I’ve forgotten – beach towel/hat/playing cards etc – I don’t tend to bring much back from holiday with me, unless you include about half a metric ton of sand from the beach in my handbag….

However, when going to New York, the city is eponymous with the grand shops of 5th avenue, department stores and designer outlets. As much as it would’ve been great to lose a few hours/days to going on a shopping spree, I had better plans to fill my time, so I only singled out a few shops to go to whilst there, and I’ve shared them for you below in this post.

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Chelsea Market

I’m so glad that on this trip I finally had the chance to visit Chelsea Market, and it really didn’t disappoint. It’s an inside market filled with coffee shops, places to eat and shops – from little boutiques to a big market hall called Artists and Fleas with stalls ranging from vintage garms to jewelry.

As we were there at Halloween the indoor decor was incredible, and exploring the inside felt like it was never ending, and it’s a great way to see some alternative shopping outlets. It’s also great if the weather isn’t great as it’s all indoors!

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Glossier 

As luck would have it, the week before my trip to New York Glossier started shipping to the UK – however they only have one (currently) flagship store and that’s in New York. Glossier is the much-hyped beauty brand created by Emily Naussbaum, editor of Into The Gloss – a website I tend to read everyday,  and it makes for great lunchtime procrastination – trust me. I’d seen from my favourite beauty bloggers that had been stateside that the Glossier products were the real deal and worth a try. Even though I’d watched umpteen videos and read several ‘best bits to buy’ posts, I wanted to go to the flagship myself and test it all out myself.

The Glossier showroom is in a penthouse suite, filled with little podiums to get trying out products. The staff are super helpful, and dressed in gorgeous light pink boiler suits – certainly the coolest uniforms I’ve ever seen. The shop assistant who helped me out was the kindest, and didn’t try to talk me into buying anything I didn’t want (the amount of times I’ve had shop assistants tell me what colour my eyebrows should be is ridiculous). I also had a few order requests from my friends back home, but the staff were totally accommodating, and packaged all my bits up in the infamous pink packaging, with added stickers and perfume samples as an added treat.

Just an FYI if you’re thinking of checking it out – I bought the Boy Brow in Brown, the Stretch Concealer in Medium and the Balm Dot Com in Mint – I love all of them so far, and they’re now part of my everyday makeup bag.

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Tourist Tat shops

It’s kind of a right of passage really if you’re a tourist, so if you’re after the classic I ❤ NYC merch then you can find abundance on all big avenues. Whilst we were there we popped into a Christmas shop, and I seriously regret not picking up a few baubles – it would’ve been such a great gift.

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Sephora

How is it 2017 and the UK still doesn’t have Sephora? I seriously don’t understand – it’s not fair. The US makeup superstore is a must if you’re ever visiting stateside, and luckily if you’re in New York I feel like they’re everywhere. Once again I came equipped with a list of items I wanted to try – mainly makeup items I couldn’t buy in the UK.

One thing I love about Sephora is their miniatures section, which means you can get mini versions of any favs you might have, and I love checking it out whenever I go.

This year I bought the IT Cosmetics CC Cream in Light, The eos dry shampoo (it’s genuinely invisible and doesn’t turn my hair grey!), The Brazilian Bum Bum Cream Shower Gel and some Sephora own brand eye masks. And – my favourite purchase – a miniature Replica perfume, which is a little roller ball version of my favourite perfume, but the large version is insanely expensive, so now I can wear the scent for fraction of the price – and I even bought one for my mum, 100 daughter brownie points to me…

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Diptyque

This was probably the most extravagant item I purchased in New York, but I thought what the hell – I was on holiday. I bought the New York edition of the large Diptyque candle. Yep, slightly OTT for a gift, but now I’m back and have had it burning I have to say it is pretty perfect.

CVS/Duane Reade

This might sound a bit odd to anyone reading from across the pond, as I guess these shops are the equivalent of shopping in a Boots or a Superdrug. But in America they just have all the best stuff in their convenience stores. Just look at the ridiculous array of face masks on offer?! I would go to these everyday for snacks (necessary), Lime-a-ritas (margaritas in a can) and also to peruse their beauty bits.

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And that’s a wrap. I promise I didn’t shop too much, but what other city can you justify losing a few hours to hitting the shops? I would also advise doing your research before you go to see what to buy, so you don’t waste any money or time if you’re shopping items you could easily find in the UK. I came equipped with the idea of what to buy and I’m glad I did as I don’t feel like I wasted any money on my purchases!

I hope you enjoyed the post above, if I’ve missed any obvious suggestions let me know in the comments! If you fancy following more updates of what I got up to in New York you can find me on Instagram at Grundy Travels!

Thanks for reading x

Where to Eat and Drink in NYC

Before going to New York this time around I was in equal measures excited and terrified for the amount of food I was planning to eat. The city has plenty of diners, restaurants, bars, food stalls and coffee shops, and I’ve found – as I also did with San Francisco – that the portions can be absolutely huge, and with my last trip to NYC I came back a few pounds heavier than I’d have liked to… 

Therefore, when it came to eating in New York this time round, we followed a routine similar to our time in Australia – which works for budgets and bellies alike – of sticking to only brunch and dinner every day, and then having a few snacks in between if needed. The great thing about this is it really saves your pennies instead of forking out for a  third meal, and gives you more excuses to fill up with snacks instead, and New York has plenty of those – as I listed in my post here.

Pre-New York we had scoured the internet for recommendations of where to eat and drink whilst we were there. We even started a spreadsheet and Google map layer with where we wanted to go, and despite all this we still stumbled across some unknown gems. So I’ve listed below the places we visited whilst in NYC and the ones I would recommend if you’re looking to try the best, but also save your pennies in the process.

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The Grey Dog

I had to start with Grey Dog, as this was my favourite spot of the entire trip. One of the reasons is because we stumbled across this in Soho whilst trying to escape the rain, and it was also really reasonably priced – compared to New York standards.

I had the full breakfast, complete with sausage, poached eggs and tater tots with A SIDE of French Toast with berries and maple syrup on top. That to me is two breakfasts – one main and a breakfast pudding, but it was served as one meal and at around $13 it was one of the most reasonably priced meals I had throughout the trip. To top it all off the service was really great and the staff were super friendly. The food tasted amazing, and my friend went for the same version but with waffles instead, and that looked just as good.

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Pizza Beach

Another place we found by chance whilst looking around Soho – it was actually on our last day and we were in need of a big meal to fill us up before we headed off to the airport for our overnight flight. Pizza Beach has gorgeous interiors, super friendly staff and delicious food. We shared a Taco Pizza with a side of Nachos, and we couldn’t even finish that between two – when technically that should’ve been a starter and main for one person. The cocktail list also looked amazing, but I stuck with a trusty glass of white wine.

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Egg Shop

I visited the Egg Shop on my last trip to New York, but somehow my food choices this time was so much better. I chose the Sausage & Egg option, which included ‘Housemade Maple Sausage, Scrambled eggs, Vermont White Cheddar, Harissa all inside a buttermilk biscuit’ (for English folk – this means inside a scone). This meal was amazing! I couldn’t even finish the scone it was so big, but the whole combination together was really good.

The area around Egg Shop is really nice for a an explore, and is right next to Little Italy. The staff were also super helpful and attentive, so it was nice just to sit there post-breakfast with a cup of tea and a chat.

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Bubby’s

This is another place I’d been too before, but had on the top of my list to return to again. The interiors of this place is just so cosy, and the servers are so friendly, it all makes it such a nice place to eat. They have a really big menu, but we chose to stop there for brunch and I had the Bubby’s breakfast with a side of biscuit. This is exactly the order I had when I visited NYC last time, but I have no regrets of ordering it again – I would definitely recommend this place if you’re visiting the city – the Tribeca spot is beautiful, and perfectly located for a stroll around the area.

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Bar Sixty Five – The Rainbow Room

Okay, so this place definitely doesn’t count as a ‘budget’ spot to eat, but I want to recommend it anyway, as it does make for a great alternative to doing ‘The Top of the Rock’ experience. Located on the sixty fifth floor, Bar Sixtyfive/The Rainbow room boasts a 360 view of the New York skyline that you would get if you went to the top, except with the added treat of a jazzy cocktail or a bite to eat instead.

Unfortunately for us on the day of our visit the visibility was 0, but I’ve been assured it looks better on a clearer day. They have a great looking range of cocktails there too, and my friend and I chose two ‘Big Apples’ – champagne cocktails with cinnamon sugar around the edge. Our experience here was a perfect way to spend our final night in New York – despite the poor view – and I’d definitely recommend booking in advance to avoid disappointment. If I’m entirely honest, I’d say try and stick to drinks as I’m not sure if I would recommend eating there, as the menu is very pricey. However, we chose a few appetizers and they certainly were big enough to feed the both of us, but I’d say this place is still perfect if just for a drink.

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Pier A

This is another spot we stumbled across on our last day, to have a little pit stop after doing the Statue of Liberty Tour, and wash down some really delicious chips with two glasses of prosecco. Pier A is a restaurant/bar right on the edge, giving you a great view of the River Hudson and I would recommend this place if you’re in the area, especially if it’s great weather, as the outside seating on the pier looks like it’d be a great place to stop for a bite or a drink.

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Mr Purple

I’ve written up a post all about the best rooftop views to take in whilst in New York, which will be coming soon, but I had to cheekily slip in Mr Purple to this post as well. This is mainly a recommendation for where to drink – but the bar snack menu did also look particularly good – but if the weather is as good as it was for us, it’s a perfect spot to grab a drink and head outside to take in the view.

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And there we have it – all my food and drink recommendations for New York. I would definitely pay any of these places a visit when coming back to New York – I just hope that’s somewhere in the future…

If there’s anywhere you think I’ve missed and would recommend to me, let me know in the comments. Otherwise, keep a look out on my Instagram for more travel snaps! x