These eclectic areas of Manhattan have quickly grown to become some of my favorites. The East Village is rich in artist history, having hosted the likes of Allen Ginsberg and Diane Arbus, as well as the infamous CBGB. Today you will find all kinds of people walking the streets of this bohemian neighborhood. I love the incredible street art, foodie scene and grunge meets modern vibe. NoLita (North of Little Italy) takes the feel of the East Village and adds a bit more refinement, while still maintaining a cozy character. In my opinion, no trip to New York is complete without walking these neighborhoods.
Photos by Bethany Young Photography
I'm sure it's clear by this point that I'm a huge Airbnb fan. I love feeling like a local while I'm traveling, and nothing does that better than Airbnb. For New York I recommend finding a place that has AC, wifi, and an elevator (unless you're on a low level). Have fun finding your perfect spot!
Want to be pampered like a celeb? Then this is the hotel for you. Enjoyed by Jaime King, Rihanna and the Olsen twins just to name a few, the Bowery Hotel offers class and comfort with a downtown vibe.
This chic and trendy boutique hotel offers warm design and incredible views in the wonderful NoLita neighborhood.
Both of these neighborhoods offer some incredible bookstores to check out. Whether you're looking for rare art books, the current best seller or a used copy of an anti-establishment novel, you'll find all of that and more among these shops:
This vintage store offers American clothing and accessories from 1930-1960. You'll find vintage denim, great graphic t's, leather accessories and more.
If you're looking for a cute card or fun home decor, then put this boutique on your list!
When Mumford and Sons write a song about it, you should probably check it out. Have a picnic in the field, watch a basketball game or sit on a bench and take in the atmosphere.
"Oh babe, meet me in Tompkins Square Park. I wanna hold you in the dark one last time. Just one last time."
This minimalist shop offers contemporary and vintage clothing, shoes, accessories and home decor.
You've probably seen their "Cute Shit" neon sign on Instagram, and this small shop really does offer up some cute finds!
This gallery-style space is one of my favorite shops in the East Village. They sell jewelry, ceramics and glass pieces from local and international artists.
Housed in a cute pink building, Good Records NYC offers vinyl from the 1950s to present, covering a wide variety of genres.
With a mostly mid-century vibe, Lost City Arts provides vintage furniture and decor for design lovers.
Here you will find avant-garde apparel with a mix of vintage decor pieces - definitely stop by!
Peruse upscale home-decor beyond the decoupage John Derian is most commonly known for.
I love looking at the jewelry (both new and vintage), as well as the fun home accessories in Love Adorned!
I love the feel of this little shop. It is filled with vintage apparel and accessories that make me want to sport a great denim jacket, leather boots and a 1970's tee.
This high-end antique and art gallery offers pieces from all over the world. You'll see everything from architectural elements to fine art, all housed in an old firehouse.
After you've browsed the Elizabeth Street Gallery, walk next door to find the quaintest spot in Manhattan. This garden is easily one of my favorite places in all of New York. What was once an empty lot has been turned into a sculpture garden filled with greenery and blooming flowers. Take a book and enjoy the day!
Westerlind supplies style-conscious outdoor gear and apparel with a minimalist vibe.
This New York-based brand creates fun and beautiful pieces to show off your style.
Grab a coffee from the counter, then browse the designer clothes and accessories!
If you're obsessed with office supplies, this is your store! Here you will find beautiful accessories that will make you want to get to work asap!
The Smith creates delicious American food that will leave you wanting more. Some of my personal favorites are the mac + cheese, fried green beans, BLT+E and the tagliatelle. Top it off with an Old Fashioned!
New York is synonymous with pizza, and Bruno does not disappoint! They even offer vegan and vegetarian options, as well as a few pasta dishes.
Milk has (no joke) my favorite cookie in the world. Get the blueberry & cream cookie, and thank me later.
You know when you want a plate of deliciously prepared veggies, but you don't want to be the person who only orders all the sides? Well fret no more! Westville provides fresh produce, as well as locally sourced meats, to offer you a delicious and fresh meal.
Another thing synonymous with New York is a bagel. Hit up this local favorite and then walk down the street for a picnic in Tompkins Square Park.
This cocktail den offers a raw bar, sandwiches and seasonal cocktails that will make you want to settle in and soak up the atmosphere.
Easily my favorite chai latte in New York. At Mud you can grab a coffee to go, take a seat and enjoy brunch all day, or drink a craft beer at the bar. I love sitting in the back garden enjoying the B.A.T. sandwich with home fries.
If burgers, oysters and cocktails are your thing, then hit up Black Market!
This lounge matches speakeasy vibes with delicious pre-prohibition cocktails.
Don't let the fact that this is now a chain fool you - it's hard to beat the burgers at Bareburger. They create delicious meals from natural, grass-fed, non-pesticide, non-GMO, cage-free and fair-trade ingredients.
Eating at Supper is like going to visit your Italian grandmother in her warm and cozy home. My personal favorite is the lemon spaghetti.
Want to have what she's having? (If you know this movie reference, then we can be friends.) Go to Katz's. This delicatessen is equal parts tasty, nostalgic and iconic. Some of my favorite New York memories were made here!
Since 1914 Russ & Daughters has been providing New York with the best in Jewish comfort food. Buy some fresh salmon, caviar, bagels, dried fruits or sweets to enjoy.
Hidden behind a pawn shop you will find Beauty & Essex serving up American food and classy cocktails. You know it's worth a visit with guests like Oprah, Zac Posen and Olivia Wilde.
This cash only, homestyle Italian restaurant offers outdoor seating and delicious comfort food.
For straightforward traditional Mexican dishes, look no further!
Bar Primi serves up yummy pastas, cocktails and Italian wines in a casual setting.
Get served delicious Mexican bites from a VW bus parked inside this garage-like space in NoLita.
I love enjoying brunch here on the weekend, and grilled corn any other time of the week.
Pink, pink, pink! This 50s-style restaurant offers up eco-friendly Italian dishes, and of course brunch on the weekend!
Probably my favorite tacos in New York (especially the Pollo Rostizado), and such a great spot to eat outside.
With an endless amount of options, this travel guide only scratches the surface, but I hope it helps you enjoy the East Village and NoLita neighborhoods of Manhattan. Here is a map of each featured location so you can make the most of your time. Enjoy!