Welcome to the Upper West Side, where Hollywood movies influenced our view of New York living!
In addition to its blockbuster background, the Upper West Side has a conglomerate of must’s to offer. Besides glam and expensive coffee, here’s a mini-guide to an area that I know and adore.
American Museum of Natural History – Your “Night at the Museum.”
200 Central Park West, New York, NY 10024
Ever wonder where the Night at the Museum was based off of? Well, here’s the American Museum of Natural History. This museum will seriously blow your mind through a wide range of scientific research and exhibits that truly educate its visitors. Walking in, the first component you will notice is a huge whale from above that is nothing short of an astonishment. AMNH exhibits human culture, the natural world and the universe, including: prehistoric fossils, human origins, mammals, outer space, biodiversity and much more! Tips: This can be an all-day activity, so wear sneakers!
Central Park – Arguably the most famous park in the world
Main entrance is in front of Columbus Circle New York, NY
Central Park is known for being the most visited and as the backdrop of major movies and TV shows that we know and love. It’s 832 acres covers restaurants, bars, live entertainment, pop up shows and even Shakespeare plays! Central Park requires your walking shoes, if not we recommend taking the bicycle drives instead of the horse carriages if you wish to see the entire park within a few hours. Walking is the best way to experience this magical place, so get lost in the moment!
Lincoln Center – Where the music takes you
Lincoln Center Plaza, New York, NY 10023
Want to catch an opera, a ballet, plays or even films? The Lincoln Center has it all in store for you. It showcases all things performing arts and welcomes 5 million visitors every year. Initiated by John D Rockefeller III during 1950’s, the Lincoln Center might have been named as a tribute to President Abraham Lincoln or after the surrounding neighborhood of Lincoln Square. Tip: they also have free events!
Jacob’s Pickles – Pickle flights & southern food
509 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY 10024
Southern food in New York? Yes, please! Jacob’s Pickles is a beloved restaurant, integrating southern cuisine with a New York vibe. This bar/grill eatery will always satisfy your cravings especially with its generous portions, even Vegan options. Great food, fantastic drinks and delightful atmosphere. Tip: if you love pickles, I recommend you get the 4 types of pickles flight!
Five Napkin Burger – Not your average burger joint
2315 Broadway, New York, NY 10024
Who doesn’t love a good burger? But who doesn’t love a burger that will melt in your mouth? That’s right, Five Napkin Burger will exceed your standards of what a burger defined by! I don’t just mean beef burgers, but veggie burgers, ahi tuna burgers, impossible burgers and buffalo chicken burgers! Five Napkins really takes care of all of its customers’ needs and eating habits. Hands down one for the greatest burger joints in the Upper West Side. But do not worry, it has plenty of other options besides burgers!
Blossom on Columbus – Flavorful Vegan restaurant
507 Columbus Ave, New York, NY, 10024
For our Vegan friends, here is the must dine-in restaurant in the Upper West. Hands down one of the most flavorful Vegan places that actually makes you love being a Vegan even more! It is truly hard to come across exquisite Vegan restaurants, so head over to Blossom on Columbus. Even if you are non-Vegan, try this place out, because the food is outstanding and so is the atmosphere!
Empire Rooftop – Iconic red sign & outstanding views
44 W 63rd St., New York, NY 10023
Have you seen that iconic red sign on a tall building in many movies and shows? That’s the Empire Hotel and right behind the red sign is the Empire Rooftop Lounge. This rooftop sits on a corner and I must say, it has one of the prettiest views of the city. Rooftops are everything in NYC, hence this is one is definitely worth checking out. Empire Rooftop is the kind of place to simply have a drink, chat and lounge. Fun fact: If you watched Gossip Girl there’s a drink named after Chuck Bass here!
The Dead Poet – Remembering famous poets through drinks
450 Amsterdam Ave 2, New York, NY 10024
If you love hipster Pubs and literature, you will get a kick out of this bar! The drinks at The Dead Poet are actually named after iconic poets from the past, the drinks actually resemble them! The bar also has a secret specialty drink named after the pub. The Dead Poet aims to remember and celebrate influential artists, in drink form. The walls are filled with quotes written by them. Tip: They pour the best Guinness in town!
Prohibition – Glass bottles as lights
503 Columbus Ave, New York, NY 10024
Not only has this bar outlived most bars in New York but it has glass bottles as lights and live music! Prohibition is a great spot to grab some drinks and yummy bar food. This is definitely a cool casual hangout place to check out, with an emphasis on retro-prohibition theme. Tip: a lot of young musicians have started their careers here.
Empire Hotel – Boutique hotel from Gossip Girl
44 West 63rd Street, New York, NY 10023
The Iconic Empire is a boutique-style hotel that may be familiar to many, especially if you watched Gossip Girl. Fans will recognize that this is the property owned by Chuck Bass and where he lived. Empire Hotel is conveniently situated between two landmarks of the Upper West Side: Central Park and the Lincoln Center. As we mentioned above, it has beautiful views of the city from the rooftop. The earth tone rooms are modern, look forward to a rooftop pool open during the summer season!
1 Hotel Central Park – Eco-friendly hotel
1414 6th Ave, New York, NY 10019
Here’s our green hotel pick for the Upper West Side, it’s not only just a short walk from Central Park but inspired by nature. 1 Hotel Central Park is an eco-friendly option, it includes: recycled hangers, fitness floor made from recycled materials, lobby and restaurant ceilings constructed from reclaimed NY oak…and more. A stylish and sustainable place to rest and relax.
Grand Bazaar NYC – Flea market
100 West 77th St., New York, NY 10024
If you are in town on a Sunday, head over to the Grand Bazaar flea market which occurs once a week. You can find a plethora of vintage clothing, dishware, jewelries, limited edition items and eclectic items! Every Sunday features different vendors, and profits go to four local schools in the area to help aspiring creators come to light. Come take a look, you never know what you will discover!
Magpie – Eco-friendly products
488 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY 10024
Looking for gifts to bring back home? Check out this small eco-friendly boutique store. Magpie is an independent store, aka: a true gem in the area. Even in New York, you do not come across these very often since their curated products are constructed from recycled, sustainable materials or handcrafted by fair trade cooperatives from around the world. You can discover candles, accessories, blankets, jewelry, bath goods, kitchen goods and more. Definitely a local and ethical boutique you’d want to check out!
Icon Style – High-end antique store
104 W 70th Street, New York, NY 10023
An antique jewelry, vintage clothing and home décor store, Icon Style is on the more expensive side, but again it sells antiques inspired by the mid-nineteenth century. Within the ambiance of restored antique apothecary cases and library ladders, you’ll also explore items inspired by fashion developed over time.
Westsider Rare & Used Books Inc. – More than just books
2246 Broadway, New York, NY 10024
A bookstore that has been around for over 35 years and almost went out of business! Luckily for a lot of New Yorkers, book lovers helped to save this establishment. Westsider Rare & Used Books Inc. is not only home to folks who love good reads but also those who discover themselves through the many books purchased here. This is a unique treasure adored by locals in the neighborhood. Stop by and see what you can find!
Zabars – Gourmet food market
2245 Broadway, New York, NY 10024
One of the most famous gourmet food markets in New York City, if not in the world, Zabars has also been featured in many films and TV shows, including: You’ve Got Mail, Sex and the City, Friends…just to name a few. Conceived by Ukrainian immigrants Louis Zabar and Lillian Zabar, the shop gained notoriety as the first retailer to sell drip coffee machines in the 1960’s. If you stop by there, don’t forget to walk out with Zabars’ signature items: bagels, olives, smoked fish and a variety of delicious cheeses.