Industry Kitchen: Industry Kitchen is located right along the East River next to the South Street Seaport. It’s a beautiful new restaurant with both indoor and outdoor seating and unobstructed views of the Brooklyn Skyline. They serve modern American cuisine with a great variety on their seasonal menu such as salads, wood oven grilled pizzas, and lots of classic appetizers. When the YWP team visited this spot, we couldn’t love the vibe more with the vintage industrial setting, bright yellow umbrellas, and wooden outdoor tables. There is also a lounge type area outside that’s great to explore their extensive drink list alongside the gorgeous views of the water. I would recommend making a reservation on OpenTable if you want to sit outside, but even if you end up sitting inside, the floor to ceiling windows let you take in the views from any seat. We thoroughly enjoyed everything we ordered. My favorite was the Smoked Salmon Pizza (since we went for brunch) that was basically a bagel pizza! It was covered in crème fraiche, lox, red onion, fresh dill, and crispy capers! The french onion soup (which may be seasonal) was TO DIE FOR and probably one of the best we’ve ever had! It was the perfect size for at least 2 people to share and had a cheese-pull for days! Recently added to their menu are 2 new pizzas that are getting some real buzz in the food industry! First, the Pop Candy Land Pizza, which includes rainbow crust, cream cheese frosting, pop rocks, and cotton candy. Although every video on Facebook makes it look like a great photo opportunity, I’m not sure I could eat that! If you go here and insist on keeping up with the unicorn trend, please let us know how it is! Second is the 24K Pizza topped with foie gras, caviar, truffle, and (REAL!) 24K gold leaves priced at $2,000! The day @yourweekendplans goes public; I know where our first meal will be! In the meantime, if you have any interest in pre-ordering this pricey pizza (required 48 hours in advance of your reservation) PLEASE INVITE US! The regular reasonably priced menu items are just as good, if not better, so this is a great place to spend your sunny Summer Friday. Your eyes, stomachs, and Instagram followers will be very pleased!
East River Bikeway: Renting bikes in the city is very common for both tourists and local New Yorkers alike; however, sometimes it’s nice to be a tourist in your own city and enjoy the warm summer weather! About a 10 minute walk from Industry Kitchen are multiple bike rental stores (located in Battery Park) where you can rent a bike and ride along the 3-mile stretch from Battery Park to the Lower East Side. Here you get to cruise under the elevated stretch of the FDR Drive. The path also takes cyclists beneath the Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Williamsburg bridges with impressive views. This path is called The East River Greenway (also called the East River Esplanade) and is approximately 10 miles if you complete the whole trail along the East River. This is a great way to burn off your delicious lunch at Industry Kitchen. Even if you don’t want to bike, strolling along this path is just as satisfying!
Catch Rooftop: Catch Rooftop, located atop the building at 21 Ninth Avenue, is a popular downtown destination for visiting and local New Yorkers. Usually I'm a bit apprehensive about high-end touristy places, but Catch is definitely an exception. I was pleasantly surprised by my entire experience here, mostly because of their famous waffle tower! The waffles are sandwiched around layers of ice cream and finished with chocolate syrup, creating a beautiful leaning tower of perfection. The waffles aren’t super sweet to offset the sweetness of the ice cream and mounds of syrup that escort it. I loved their food presentation and it was the perfect spot for a summer meal and Instagram opportunity. Just to note, there are other great brunch items available to order such as their traditional avocado toast, lobster rolls, and eggs, in case your sweet tooth isn’t ready at 11AM on a Saturday morning. If you’re not a brunch person, Catch is also a great dinner spot. Their lobster mac and cheese and tartare trio are amazing!
Gansevoort Market: Gansevoort Market (about a 2 minute walk from Catch Rooftop) is a great place to check out while you’re in the Meatpacking District. Gansevoort Market (which recently changed their location last year) has reopened on W. 14th Street. It’s definitely the same concept as the nearby Chelsea Market, with food stands, little shops, and big long tables to sit at. Some of the highlights are Big Gay Ice Cream, Mission Ceviche, and Gotham Poke. I happen to think this spot is a lot better than Chelsea Market because it’s never too crowded. If you just want to meet someone for a quick drink, bite, or dessert, you can usually find a table quickly and never really wait on long lines! I love the vibes all around and there is so much variety in such a small venue; there is definitely something for everyone here! I also appreciate the ability to quickly hop from one trendy food vendor to the next, since it’s all in 1 compact space. If it’s nice out, remember that you’re only a 5-minute walk from the highline and can walk off your splurges all the way to the west side of 34th Street!
Hotel Henri: Hotel Henri, located in Chelsea, has just debuted another trendy, swanky, new cocktail bar called Sir Henri. It’s a top-floor speakeasy with fun and innovative cocktails for you to try! Gil Bouhana, the man behind the popular bar Milk & Honey, is behind their new menu with some awesome options! The headlining drink, and the one we ordered, is the “All In the Honey” with lime, dill aquavit, tequila, fresh dill, and sparkling wine served in giant honeydew. As you may be able to tell from my previous plans, I am all about drinks and food being served inside fruits. It gets me every time! There isn’t an outdoor area but Sir Henri offers great views of Lower Manhattan!
Galeria Melissa Soho: Melissa footwear, a popular Brazilian shoe brand, has opened the doors to their new boutique in Soho! They previously had a store on Greene Street but now opened a flagship store on 500 Broadway. Their new space is much larger and features an experiential concept, which includes a live green wall, Greek columns that display their shoes, and digital art exhibits! The art exhibits rotate, so I wanted to be sure you knew about their current installation. This one is called “The Future of Her”, which leads you into the store through a giant, colorful, LED tunnel. Talk about making your Instagram followers jealous, because this place gives you major photo inspiration while you’re shopping! The staff was very friendly and told me they will be having a lot of store events throughout the year, so I’m always keeping this on my list of places to visit! They definitely have the right idea in getting customers inside because I’m still eyeing a pair of their black patent bow beach slides that I may just have to go back for!
Mah-Ze-Dahr Bakery: Mah-Ze-Dahr Bakery (about a 20 minute walk from Galeria Melissa) is a small bakery nestled in the heart of the West Village. The coffee, pastries, and atmosphere are all super cute, but the real reason to visit is for their soft serve! All of the yummy cakes and other goodies are in the front but all of the action is actually in the back at their new toppings bar! Choose from a selection of gourmet toppings such as candied hazelnuts and homemade brownies to top your dark chocolate or vanilla swirls. I got brownies and meringues on top of the dark chocolate in their homemade waffle cone! It tasted rich and much better than your average Carvel twist. Look out for the neon ice cream cone on their side door and treat yourself while it’s still warm out!