How We’re Planning For Our Trip To NYC



I don’t even know how to start this post.

I’m on a train back from London with a Starbucks spring cup and omg New York.

I mean, it’s not for about 7 weeks, but still, New York.

New York makes me feel like the princess from Enchanted. It makes me want to sing and skip and talk to animals and whirl around in circles whilst my dress basically exposes my pants.

It makes me feel excited in a way, which and please don’t go all YOU BE LIVING YOUR LIFE WRONG, GIRL on me when I say this, that I don’t often feel that much as an adult.

Things make me feel happy and I look forward to them, but things don’t make me feel like there’s something buzzing in my stomach and omg I might explode into a million pieces they way they did as a kid.

But New York does that, it gets me smirking to myself in bed whilst I’m scheduling tweets and thinking about what sexy toppings to have on my avocado on toast. Y’know?

But anyway, this isn’t a post about how much of a twenty-something cliché I am because zomg New York is the best and Sephora and cupcakes and Shake Shack <3<3<3

This is actually a post about how Chris and I are planning to tackle our week-long trip next month. Because we, internet gal pals, have gone hideously old school.

We’ve printed off an A3 map of Manhattan in black and white (I do want to see more of Brooklyn this time around – but maybe I’ll handle exploring that district a little differently…).

And then we’ve got those cute little coloured dot stickers and assigned each colour a category – one is brunch, one is dinner, one is bars and one is for sweet treats like cupcakes and ice cream and chocolate yumminess.

Lunch goes under brunch or dinner depending on whether it’s somewhere to grab a sandwich (brunch) or somewhere sexy af to go for a burger (dinner).

And then, every time somewhere is heavily recommended to us or we basically die and go to food porn heaven over on Instagram, we add a sticker to the map.

Then we number the sticker and create a key next to the map with the names of all the places.



This way, whenever we get lost from pounding the streets of New York and we’re like COR, could go for a bite to eat, we can whip out the map and see what’s close by – regardless of phone battery or 3G or WIFI.

I’m sure there are easier ways of handling all your recommendations, heck – I’m sure you can do this some smarty pants way on your iPhone, but actually, I like going old school with it. It’s one of those activities, like packing your suitcase, that prolongs the holiday excitement.

Admittedly, I have 7638468473 recommendations to still whack on my handsome map – although when it comes to places like diners, my new rule is that at least two people have to have recommended it because darn it, there’s just so many.

And the thing with somewhere like New York, is that there’s so many places that will give your belly a food orgasm, you don’t wanna waste a meal, so I’m hoping my map means I am constantly trying not to weep with happiness over I LOVE YOU MACARONI CHEESE (as well as y’know, trying not to com because so full, all the full).

So please, recommend away my little cherubs.

I’m looking for rooftop bars and sexy Mexican, Thai and Vietnamese food. Oh and bottomless brunches. And places you can actually get into at the weekend without booking or queuing for two hours.

Not asking for much, y’know?

Luv ya.


  • This is such fab idea. P and I do something similar but with Google Maps and it helped to us to locate and try so many fab places when we were in Berlin and Budapest.

    I’m hoping to get a trip to NY booked again, it’s been a couple of years since I last went. Looking forward to hearing about your trip.

  • Emily

    I have to recommend Bubby’s in Tribeca! I heard about it via katelavie who had an amazing looking french toast from there, we were too late for brunch but I had mac and cheese and it was incredible.

  • Lizzie

    You must try The Cecil in Harlem. We went for brunch and OMG the Mac and cheese is THE BEST I have ever, ever tasted. (I’ve had a LOT).

    Plus fried chicken and waffles. Oh my. I need it now.

    And Harlem is amazing for shopping!

  • Great idea! I love how you’ve done this – I can imagine it being 10 times more exciting doing it this way. I’m off to NY for the first time ever in October so please write lots of posts about your favourite places! Always up for recommendations
    Suitcase and Sandals Blog XX

  • Such a good idea!

  • I highly recommend the Ulmon New York app it basically does what you have done on the map. You can click and save things under categories like places I liked to eat, places I want to visit, shops etc etc, it saves the website addresses and it works like Google maps it puts a star on the map when you are walking around. I found it so useful and it meant I could book restaurants through the app.

  • B

    Bloody good idea! I may give this a go for a trip to Amsterdam next month

  • Lisa

    I love this. We’re getting married in NYC this year so shall be keeping an eye on your posts. Enjoy lovely! Lisa x

  • Emily

    Bar 54 in the Hyatt by Times Square! It’s the highest roof top bar in New York and you get a view of Times Square! I went for the first time last week with my mum and we went to tick tock diner after reading your blog we loved the French toast so thank you!

  • A trip based on food spots? Can I come?! Seriously, I loves it. I remember Kate from Kate La Vie (gh0stparties 4 eva) made some genius guides for New York so I’d take a look there if you haven’t already. I am YET to visit NYC so no recommendations from me other than HAVE A FAB TIME!!

    She’s So Lucy

  • This is the most amazing idea! I’ve never been to New York sadly, but I definitely will at some point in my life! Have a lovely time, and enjoy your food comas! x

    Jodie //

  • THIS IS SO ORGANISED omg and you get to use those cute little dot stickers and make the map all pretty.

    I aspire to be like this.

    I also aspire to go to New York but I mean, STICKERS.

  • Seems like great planning. I can recommend to put a sticker on the restaurant/food market Eataly (next to the Flatiron building). They sell the best salted caramel ice cream!

  • This is the best organisation ever and I applaud you . EJ’s Diner is a place we visited years ago, fond American diner memories from that place (huge waffles, also a milkshake menu)

    Lauren x
    Britton Loves | Lifestyle Beauty Wellbeing

  • Wish I’d thought to do that when I went a few years ago. I went on my own and was bloody terrified to go out in the evenings! I’d love to go back and be more adventurous! x

  • Iz

    Eeee!! Just came back from NYC and the best time, and had all of the foods.. 🙂 would recommend Ess-a-Bagel in Midtown East, BEST. BAGELS. EVER. (peaut butter and jelly, hello) Go before 9.15 or after 9.45 for breakfast as does get pretty busy. Burger Heaven is good, Dos Caminos does such good Mexican and has so much seating downstairs too. Enjoyyyy

  • Oh my gosh I do this too!! And I thought I was the only person out there that was this freakishly geeky about planning a holiday… I am DYING of New York jealousy though. Eat 10 portions of fries for me!

  • After getting to the end of this post I CANNOT go to New York and not prepare like this. Seriously there is nothing that irks me more than being hungry but not in the vicinity of restaurants you know about and ‘wasting’ a meal eating somewhere not amazing. New York is too delicious to commit such a sin xxxx

  • Wendy

    You MUST go to Fat Witch for brownies – It’s in Chelsea Market and OMG… can’t stop thinking about them.

    They also do these really travel-friendly ready-made packs you can take home with you as gifts (for yourself, obv… so you can recreate the magic in your own home…)

    ENJOY! x

  • Desperate to finally get me to New York this year when I graduate, the BF isn’t getting my not at all subtle hints at all…

  • This is a really good idea! I just booked a trip to Vegas and LA in September so tempted to do the same thing. Ahh you’re going to have such an amazing time in NYC, soo jealous! x

  • You have to go to The Burger Joint inside Le Parker Meridien Hotel. It’s hidden behind a curtain, and looks like a right dive, but they are the best burgers ever.

  • This is honestly genius. Such a good idea!

    Rachel |

  • This looks like a genius way of travel planning! I’ve never even thought of doing something like this. I just bumble along like ‘oh I’m sure I’ll remeber what that places is called’ and do I remeber? NOPE. Great post 🙂 xx

  • You have to and I really stress HAVE to go to Levain bakery for a cookie or 2 or 10 million. When we went, it was -25 outside and people were queuing out of the door to get their hands on them. It’s the first place I’d go back to if I was going to NYC again <3

    Have an amazing trip 🙂

    • Claire

      Yes!!! The chocolate smell that surrounds the bakery is heavenly!

  • Gemma

    This is AMAZING, we are heading to NYC in August ( my fourth time ) and we still have so much to see and do , this will really help. Hope you have a fab time x

  • Matilda

    oh em gee this is such a good idea – totally doing it next time I go! One of my fave foodie places is Dean and Deluca. It’s a super fancy deli/mini supermarket (kinda like wholefoods but more upmarket) and has good food if you’re looking for a quick bite and yummy samples from the chocolate counter! Hope you have a great time!

  • Claire

    Milk Bar. CRACK PIE!!

    I’ve been dreaming of this since our last trip in December and it will be one of the first things I make a beeline for on my next trip!

    Enjoy x

  • This is such a good idea, the map looks so cute and I love the idea of going old school! It was really interesting for me to read this for two reasons: 1-because I’ve been to New York before when I was younger so was interested to see how you are preparing, and 2-I am going to Spain for summer and then China to study for a year abroad and I have so much to organise I was hoping to get some tips from you, but this has been really useful to read and I’m definitely going to get paper maps to add stickers too!

  • I’m heading back to NY for the whole summer and I CANNOT WAIT. Here are my fave spots:

    -Eataly is amazing for food and gelato and it’s in a cool location (there’s a shakeshack across the street too haha). If you or Chris are into craft beer, they have a rooftop bar separate from the restaurant called La Birreria that does some seriously good beers with a great view. It’s right by the flatiron building on 5th ave.

    -Cantina Rooftop – Mexican food, amazing cocktails AND it’s a rooftop bar (I know. Contain yourself). You’ll need to make reservations, but I HIGHLY recommend it.

    -The McKittrick Hotel has a really great rooftop bar but I’m not sure if it will be open yet – should be open by the first or second week of May. It is so absurdly hipster and the drinks are so delish.

    Have fun!!
    Laura |

  • Also, Smorgasburg in Brooklyn. The outdoor one. Wear stretchy pants.

  • Lucy

    I recently posted about 5 free things to do in New York that I think are amazing. So jealous that you are going, it’s the one place that I travel to that feels like it could be home. I hope you have an amazing time 🙂 I HIGHLY recommend a small cafe called two hands – it does delicious healthy brunch and is very cool 🙂
    Lucy xoxo

  • What a great way to plan. There’s SO much to see/do in NYC, so having everything mapped out will really help. Add in a stop at Baked by Melissa for the most delicious mini cupcakes if you haven’t been 🙂

  • This is a fantastic way of planning a holiday!! I love how you’ve gone old school and also, that the focal point of the planning is the most important part of any trip, the food!

    You’ve also given me massive NYC blues. I’ve only been once but feel like it’s the most magical place to ever exist, I love how there’s something going on around every corner you turn! Sounds cliche but it does feel like the city is alive. Arghhh I wanna go back!

    We went about 18 months ago now and in my opinion that’s too long a gap to have not returned! We’ve also developed an obsession with the place and have decorated two of our rooms with NY photo’s and keepsakes we collected on our trip!!

    Hope you have an amazing time.

    Kirsty xo.

  • Helen

    Very cool way to map your plans! I can highly recommend Chelsea Market for all sorts of food and shopping. They have some lovely bars for a cocktail or two as well.

    Also, go for an early lunch to Momofuku. I headed there early (12pm) and managed to get a seat at the bar. It was worth the early visit for the delicious Pork Buns…

  • This is such an amazing idea! I wish I had done this when I went to New York because I was just so overwhelmed by everything.

  • This is such a cute idea – it’ll make for a much better souvenir too than a starred Googlemap. I booked flights to NYC this week and am already making a list of places to go…

  • Literally the most fabulous idea. I always feel so overwhelmed when traveling to new cities (and even still a bit here, just a year after moving to L.A.) because there are just SO many places! And I’m such a foodie, I just always want to pick the best burger/ice cream/taco/coffee place and it’s so hard to hit them all! And it’s so easy to get lost on social media with all the recommendations that are given, that this is probably a better way to visualize it! Great post! Enjoy NYC!

  • This is a supercute way to plan as it means you’re not worrying about getting to X or Y by a certain time yet you still get to try somewhere yummy that’s been recommended to you! x

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