The Instagram Travel Guide to ... New York
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE
Because in a city of 8 million people, you need a trusty guide — and we’ve got three of the best.
By Duncan Forgan
This is the fifth article in a multipart travel series. OZY tasks the rising stars of Instagram to share their favorite little-known spots to eat, drink, shop and sight-see.
How do we love thee, New York? Let us count the ways. We could start with the city’s famously insatiable energy, a culinary palate that caters to a dizzying array of tastes and streets packed with architectural and retail eye candy. But even then, we’d barely be scratching the surface. Fortunately, the city that never sleeps also has a restless crew of sharp-eyed Instagrammers who unearth treasures around the clock in the seemingly inexhaustible trove that is the Big Apple.
Diana Arizpe’s passion for food has seen her evolve from self-taught home cook to sought-after private chef. Despite being busy in the kitchen, she always carves out time to explore New York City’s dining scene for her hugely popular Instagram feed.
Where to eat: Atoboy is a recent favorite of mine run by chef Junghyun Park and his wife, Ellia, both of whom used to work at Jungsik (an acclaimed Korean-fusion venue with branches in New York City and Seoul). Tucked away in Murray Hill, it offers a delicious and affordable contemporary Korean tasting menu. The modern, no-frills space is in total contrast to the food and service, which are thoughtful, attentive and well-executed. Add to that a great wine list, and I guarantee you’ll be back again and often.
Where to drink: Mr Fong’s in Chinatown is a great spot to hit after a late dinner. It’s open until 4 a.m., the cocktails are amazing (shout-out to owner Aisa Shelley), and you’d swear the room is buzzing with energy. Expect to make a new best friend or two and wake up the next day with zero regrets. Maybe. And don’t skip the bar snacks. You’ll thank me later.
Where to shop: Aside from having beautiful clothes and jewelry, Jill Lindsey in Fort Greene, Brooklyn, is chock-full of stylish home decor that’ll make your home a haven. The store also offers a range of life-enhancing classes and events, from meditation, massage and acupuncture to Pilates, crystal healing and tarot reading. You name it, it’s there. Just go.
Where to visit: Maison 10 in NoMad is well worth checking out, even if you’re not into shopping. It features 10 different items across 10 different categories for 10 weeks at a time. And while you’re checking out the featured artists and designers, keep in mind they donate 10 percent of each sale to a rotating list of (you guessed it) 10 charities.
A Brooklyn-based photographer for cookbooks, commercials and print media, Evan Sung certainly knows how to eat his way around New York City. In addition to his food-focused work, Evan captures portraits of local luminaries and street scenes of the city he calls home.
Where to eat: It’s hard to argue this place is under the radar, but even harder to argue that Olmsted isn’t doing everything right. Chef Greg Baxtrom’s dishes are creative, seasonal and affordable. I’ve lived in Prospect Heights for 11 years and am thrilled to see a place this ambitious and sophisticated land in the hood and be welcomed so enthusiastically.
View this post on Instagram
Another great recognition of an amazing, hard working team at our neighborhood fave @olmstednyc – fantastic 8.8 review up this week at @infatuation_nyc! Gives me an excuse to post this photo of a dish I always loved – the Thai Beet Salad. If I have any complaint about the restaurant, it's that the menu is so responsive to seasons that fast favorites are gone before you know it. Always loved this dish tho… #eeeeeats #beeeeets
Where to drink: I love the wine list at Rebelle and, more than that, am happy to be guided by the expert team of sommeliers led by Patrick Cappiello. They make discovering new wines an adventure, and I always leave smarter and more than satisfied. And if the cocktails whet your appetite, stick around for dinner — start with a dish of their smoked olives.
Where to shop: The dazzling, jewel-like confections at Stick With Me Sweets make a perfect gift. Chef Susanna Yoon, formerly of Per Se, is turning out exquisitely crafted bonbons, caramels, truffles and more. Her eye for design and color is amazing, to say nothing of how delectable her sweets are.
Where to visit: When I need some time to reflect or refuel, I head to the new Whitney Museum. It’s worth the price of admission just to linger on the terrace of the Renzo Piano–designed building, take in the views of the Hudson, the High Line and downtown Manhattan. And the art’s not too shabby.
She may have started her mouthwatering Instagram feed as a student at New York University, but Laura Jung doesn’t scrimp on the finer things in life. Making it her mission to try out new dining venues and cultural experiences, she knows as much about the city’s well-kept secrets as she does about its star names.
Where to eat: I don’t often go overboard about food (OK, sometimes), but the mushroom ragu pasta at L’Artusi in the West Village is truly life-changing. And while you won’t find the restaurant on anyone’s list of cheap eats, it doesn’t feel stuffy or uptight, and the space itself is divine.
Where to drink: The Eddy is a cozy, intimate sanctuary in the East Village that manages to keep the “bros” out. The venue is better known for its food, but I love its commitment to applying a “local and seasonal” philosophy to the cocktail list, which is constantly changing according to which ingredients are available and have caught the mixologist’s fancy.
Where to shop: Ludlow Street on the Lower East Side is unpretentious but cool with lots of independent boutiques and unique vintage finds. It is also home to my favorite gelato spot, Il Laboratorio del Gelato. Through a glass window, you can see the “factory” where unusual gelato flavors like toasted sesame and honey lavender are made.
Where to visit: Hit up Chelsea on a weekday and go gallery hopping. There is so much talent here and it’s a nice blend of emerging artists and veterans of the contemporary art scene. Even better, Chelsea Market is home to Very Fresh Noodles, which turns out hand-pulled noodle soups and bowls and is without question my favorite noodle joint in NYC.
- Duncan Forgan, OZY Author Contact Duncan Forgan