Spending the upcoming holidays in the city that never sleeps? We asked Aimee’s NYC based best friend, @jaredcraft, to share his favorite restaurants and neighborhoods to celebrate the holidays in New York City.
My favorite place to celebrate the holidays in NYC. Great for dinner, but also for snacks in the library, or drinks in the bar. Large oak bar, warm colors, massive Christmas tree, beautiful music, warm fireplace, and incredible food. This is the place to go in the city for the holidays.
Great place to experience the holidays uptown, it’s as if the holidays threw up all over the lobby, restaurant, and bar.
A great Cobble Hill spot that has been in the neighborhood since the 1950s. Great art deco decor, great food, simple menu. Several bars on the block to check out, and two nearby movie theaters.
Well designed interior and well-designed food. Great for dinner and brunch. Local ingredients, perfect variety of food, Jean Georges quality. Connected to the best furniture store in NYC, ABC; so handle some holiday shopping after eating
Fantastic, warm, laid back Park Slope spot with no frills, just very good food. Beautiful neighborhood to walk around during the day. Great for brunch.
Classic Italian restaurant and bar that covers the ceiling and walls with Christmas lights and decor. A perfect place to get in the Christmas spirit.
Your new favorite sushi dive in New York City. Get there early or late, or expect to wait 30-120 minutes. This place has the best affordable sushi in the city. Also great neighborhood to go out in after.
A charming small french restaurant in the heart of the West Village. Get there early or make a reservation, as it fills up every night. No frills, just good warm food and decor. Difficult for groups, better for parties of 2.
Neighborhoods to explore
Dumbo, Brooklyn Heights, Cobble Hill
Everyone talks about Williamsburg when they speak about Brooklyn, but the other side of Brooklyn (the historic side) really brings the charm. One can start the day at the Manhattan Bridge and Ferris wheel, grab a slice of pizza at Grimaldi’s, make their way up through Brooklyn Heights and check out a local cafe or coffee shop, and then up to Cobble Hill to grab dinner at Long Island Restaurant and Bar. A great neighborhood filled with beautiful brownstones, charming cafes and local shops (oh, and fewer crowds).
Although this one makes every travel list, it’s for a reason. It’s beautiful, it’s charming, it’s convenient. It has great restaurants, great people watching. Stroll around the neighborhood, grab a coffee or tea at Grounded (90s coffee shop vibe) or THE ELK, then make your way over to Cafe Cluny for dinner. Grab a drink at White Horse Tavern to get in the holiday spirit. Great for shopping, as well. Explore West 4th or Bleecker Street.
Nolita / Lower East Side / Soho
Quintessential shopping neighborhoods in NY, although less charm than others. Nolita has all of your new brands like Everlane & Le Labo, where Soho offers up high-end and affordable large brands like Prada, H&M, Louis Vuitton and more. Grab a quick lunch at Mercer Kitchen, a treat at Dominique Ansel Bakery or a drink at Fanelli’s.
It’s not to be missed when visiting New York. Grab a drink or bite at The Peninsula or St. Regis where it’s holiday overload, a movie at Paris Theater and a stroll through Central Park. Feel free to ice skate, but don’t expect any room on the rink. Quickly stop by the Rockefeller Center Tree if you wish to see the NYC Christmas Tree; although skip it if you’re not okay dealing with crowds.
The Central Park of Brooklyn, designed by the same team behind Central Park. It’s like Central Park without the crowds or tourists; enjoy a nice walk through the park, ice skating, the Zoo, the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens, or a nice workout. Grab brunch or dinner at Rose Water while you’re in the neighborhood.
Greenpoint / McCarren Park
Want to do some boutique or luxury vintage shopping? Greenpoint is your place. The neighborhood has less classic places like other spots in Brooklyn, but it’s worth checking out the vintage furniture and clothing shops there. The park is filled with locals all day, everyday picnicking, running, playing tennis, soccer or whatever activity they’re in the mood for. Several spots for a night on the town in this neighborhood. Finish your drinks with a slice of pizza at Joe’s Pizza in Williamsburg.
For your home
1. Porter James – Great collection of custom and vintage furniture and home decor.
2. Adaptations – Owned by Porter James, like Porter James but more affordable.
3. ABC Home – Eight floors of home heaven from sofas to rugs to ornaments to stuffed animals, everything you dream of
1. 10 Feet Single by Stella Dallas – Frank Ocean called this place his favorite vintage store, enough said.
2. New York Vintage Inc – One-of-a-kind vintage designer finds from Versace, YSL, Chanel, Alaia
1. Opening Ceremony – Your favorite designers, from mainstay labels like Acne to new favorites like Jaquemues, this place always has everything on sale.
2. Barneys – Hit up the Chelsea and uptown location, where both stores are over 40% off and that % continues to rise. Stock up on items that never go on sale like skincare, fragrance & luggage.
The Shows to See
Save our NYC map HERE