Bar Primi: Bar Primi is an Italian restaurant in the East Village. They usually have a wait, but it’s very easy to get a reservation on OpenTable in advance, so it’s best to book beforehand. The décor is simple, contemporary, Italian style with lots of table spanning 2 floors. Start with some Frosé (Frozen Rosé), which tastes sweet and refreshing and is also very Instagram-friendly. If you can snag a table outside (before the temperature drops!) a cheers Boomerang of these pink drinks is the way to go! The dishes here are amazing and we really recommend all of them! The menu isn’t very large, which is helpful in making your selection, because everything is super delicious! Having personally lived in Italy for a brief period of time, I put Bar Primi on at the top of my list of quality pasta dishes in NYC! The sauces, textures, and presentations are all great. The last time I was there (repeat customer!) I really enjoyed the fig and ricotta toast, brussel sprouts, and their most popular dish: Fiore di Carciofi, which is a single (but filling!) noodle of thin pasta stuffed with an artichoke and cheese filling, swirled around in a beautiful, cheesy spiral. Bar Primi is a great go-to restaurant for date night or a night out with friends!
Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream: Van Leeuwen might be my all time favorite ice cream shop in New York. I go all the time, so I can’t believe I haven’t included it on a plan yet! I seriously frequent their East Village location (about an 8 minute walk from Bar Primi) no matter what time of the year it is. I didn’t even have vegan ice cream in my vocabulary before being introduced to their Vegan Peanut Butter Chip ice cream here, but once I tried it, I was changed forever. The consistency is almost like oatmeal cookie dough with dark chocolate chips and gooey peanut butter goodness mixed in. For those of you who aren’t into the whole vegan thing, they do have non – vegan flavors here as well, but some of the best options are vegan (which is awesome – no dairy!). Other go-to flavors include Earl Grey (for some weird reason, it tastes like Fruit Loops to me!) and Sorrel Blackberry Jam Crumble (one of their seasonal flavors). I also really like this location for the spacious seating and outdoor benches! There are so many restaurants in this area, so you can always find an opportunity to add a trip to Van Leeuwen’s to #yourweekendplan!
Juicy Spot Café: Juicy Spot Café, located in the Lower East Side, is a juice shop that serves up Thai ice cream rolls, acai bowls, and smoothies! If you're not in the mood for a sit down brunch and just want something healthy to start off your day, head on over and get their signature Island Acai bowl, blended with banana and coconut water and topped with banana, coconut flakes, pineapple, granola, and chia seeds! Having tried lots of acai bowls throughout Manhattan, these are top notch. Every ingredient here is fresh and tasty! Not only is it a solid brunch, but you may have seen this spot on your Instagram feed as well because their bowls photograph beautifully! They are known for adding fun flowers to the top of your bowl and also serve up their bowls in coconuts, which you know we can’t resist! Juicy Spot is a great spot for your stomach and your Instagram!
New Museum: My first time visiting this museum (about a 9 minute walk from Juicy Spot Café), I specifically came to see the Pixel Forest exhibit, curated by Pipilotti Rist. However, it’s a great place to visit even with their other rotating exhibits. I especially love how it’s still not completely invaded by tourists or large groups! You can tell that the artists put a lot of heart and soul into their exhibits, each with a great message behind it. Some people say it's small, but that’s just in comparison to other museums in New York City! For that reason, we love combining it with a visit to other fun places in the area, making this a great @yourweekendplans spot!
Cha Cha Matcha: Let’s Cha Cha our way over for a coffee break (about a 7-minute walk from New Museum)! Don’t be discouraged by the constant line that’s always out the door! Even though it’s always busy, they are super efficient and your order is usually ready at the counter within minutes! I’ve ordered everything from their Matcha Soft Serve, to their Matcha Lemonade, to their Iced Coconut Matcha. The cute palm trees and super pink decor makes Cha Cha Matcha a hit in my mind just envisioning all of the gorgeous Instagram pictures I could take. After receiving my treat of choice, I always proceed (of course!) to take a cute photo by the neon “Gracias Matcha” sign and the "I love you so Matcha" mottos on the wall. I really like the taste of Matcha, and here they use specialty Matcha recipes to showcase the flavor of authentic Japanese Matcha from Uji, Japan, making it extra special!
iPic Fulton Street: The *new* iPIC movie theater in South Street Seaport is a great activity for day or night! Especially when it starts to get colder out, this will be your go- to place! When you first walk in, the theater seriously looks like a museum, with very modern paintings and designs on the ceiling. If you want the ultimate iPic experience, make sure to book the “Premium Plus” seats in the back, which are more expensive, but have waiter service (waiters literally appear at your service with a push of a button!) and comfier, reclining “pods”! They provide you with pillows and a blanket as you sit back and relax into the most comfortable seats! We really can’t say enough great things about iPic. This movie viewing experience was so innovative! The table in front of you swivels for maximum comfort, the cup holders come out from the wall, and there’s even a shelf in your “pod” for your belongings and shoes! We just ordered some small apps, which were great and served from the restaurant upstairs. They also have sushi, drinks, and more on the menu; they even have unlimited popcorn! Each theater has assigned seating, so you do have to buy tickets ahead of time. However, it is the BEST way to see a movie, and definitely worth the big bucks! After this fabulous experience, I don’t think I can ever go to a regular movie theater again!
Oculus: The Oculus is one of the latest attractions to hit New York City. It feels like you're entering a futuristic space ship the minute you step inside. It’s essentially a giant mall with amazing architecture, shopping, eating, and people watching. Eataly Downtown is at the top, and was one of my favorite parts of visiting here! As you may know from the Flatiron location, Eataly is a huge Italian grocer with food stands, restaurants, and wine bars. We ate at the pizza and pasta restaurant and it was delicious (as expected), however, it was not a “quick meal”, as the food took a long time due to the crowds. It’s great to get lost afterwards checking out all of the imported olive oils, vinegars, and other delicacies! Make sure to complete your afternoon with a stop at the first Sugarfina store in New York. Does the name sound familiar? Sugarfina is a candy store that is home to the famous Champagne Gummy Bears, Rose All-Day Gummy Bears and Tequila Grapefruit Sours! The store also has an amazing flower wall in the back (*major INSTA opp*) and fun gifts, making it the perfect spot to spend your Sunday!