The Uptown NYC Guide
November 30, 2023
Whether you’re visiting during the magical holiday season or going for a long weekend, there is no bad time to visit the city that never sleeps. We’ve zeroed in on one of its most classic neighborhoods, perhaps less scene-y but just as (if not more, arguably) special. With iconic sites like Central Park and The Met, plus a quieter, family-friendly feel, a trip Uptown is sure to be full of old-world charm, fairytale fashion, and memorable moments.
Where to Stay
Here, you’ll get access to gorgeous rooms, a delicious Jean Georges restaurant (get the shrimp salad), and walking distance to Museum Mile and Central Park. Plus, you’re just steps from amazing stores (think La Ligne and Carolina Herrera) and the delicious Sant Ambroeus.
This luxurious Upper East Side hotel has rooms so plush and inviting that you’ll never want to leave. If you don’t stay here, their restaurant and bar, Majorelle and Jacques, are equally as spectacular.
Since 1930, The Carlyle has opened its door and welcomed guests (including Princess Diana and JFK and Jackie Kennedy!) to a world of high-end service, decor and amenities. Besides being a destination for out-of-towners, the hotel’s bar, Bemelmans, is a favorite of locals as well (do not skip it!).
A quintessential and luxury NYC landmark, The Pierre is in the hub of midtown, right across from Central Park and some of the best shopping.
Where to Eat: Coffee/Grab & Go
If the adorable orange awning off Madison Ave doesn’t get you, the matcha and lattes will.
Yura on Madison
Don’t sleep on the chocolate chip scones, cinnamon puffs, or pinwheel sandwiches if you go for lunch!
An Upper East Side staple, Butterfield has everything. Hazelnut iced coffee, delicious salads, sandwiches, and addiction-worthy frozen yogurt…the list goes on and on.
While the iced lattes, mini sandwiches, and gelato are on the pricier side, they’re all worth it. Bonus: they also serve the best cup of hot chocolate.
Where to Eat: Lunch
Don't sleep on the cider and doughnuts at this family-run spot that's been operating since 1886.
An Upper East Side institution, this cash-only dive offers a nostalgic and cozy pub setting, signature checkered tablecloths, and most importantly, burgers and cottage fries that always hit the spot.
A classic diner full of a menu you’d expect, come here for a classic comfort meal. Plus, they always give you extra when you order a milkshake!
Go-to order: the Pollanca salad and an iced tea!
On the pricier side, but so good. Feels very European, and you might just spot a celebrity.
This traditional, cozy, and classic brasserie serves French fare in a dark-wood setting. Get the tuna tartare!
Where to Eat: Dinner
An elegant setting and an always delicious menu, Carravaggio is the perfect special occasion dinner. We equally love Sistina, its sister restaurant!
This mod-feeling Italian restaurant is full of cool black-and-white decor and a friendly vibe. Get any pasta, the salmon, or the gluten-free chicken milanese!!
A nautical-feeling neighborhood spot in Carnegie Hill, this casual restaurant has a friendly vibe and countless menu options.
A cozy and colorful, art-heavy, old-school, this friendly neighborhood spot has delicious yet comforting Italian food and great service. The only downside? It’s not always easy to get in!
This cozy and classic brasserie will catch your eye with its charming red awning and red leather booths, and keep you coming back with its classic and comforting dishes and beverages.
This bustling Mediterranean restaurant brings a gorgeous setting and delicious food. Definitely order the Avra chips to start!
A bit of a scene, but it’s a local’s go-to for old school Italian and a cozy vibe. It’s always full of regulars and spaghetti & meatball Wednesdays is a favorite.
This easy and cozy (yet delicious!) neighborhood French spot is not one to miss.
Located in The Lowell, Majorelle is such a treat. Be sure to go early so you can get a drink! The bartender has been there forever. He came from NYC’s classic La Grenouille, and makes the best drinks.
Jojo serves a seasonal French-inspired menu that’s always delicious and healthy. Plus it’s set in the coolest, clean and modern townhouse setting.
Parisian-style, classic French brasserie popular among locals. It’s great for brunch and dinner alike!
Where to Shop
The Corner Bookstore
The most charming bookstore on a cornerstone of Carnegie Hill, here you’ll find your next best read.
Brimming with baby and children’s clothing, bedding, books, accessories, and female sleepwear, this is the sweetest place to shop for expecting mothers and their little ones!
Full of everything from jewelry, toys, and unique designer clothing, this Upper East Side boutique brings a sense of discovery to your shopping experience. It’s a great place for gifts!
Curated by Kate Rhenstein Brodsky, KRB offers both vintage and modern home decor, and unique gifts!
Where to Sip: Bars
A legendary New York bar, this old-school space is covered in Madeline author Ludwig Bemelmans's whimsical illustrations. Along with your delicious martinis and bar snacks you’ll be surrounded by a lively crowd and a skilled pianist.
The Monkey Bar
In the heartbeat of midtown, this timeless and iconic spot is full of retro and swanky (yes, monkey) murals. The bar itself is fairly tight quarters, so if you can get a table for dinner, definitely linger!
Melody's Piano Bar
Stop at this tucked-away spot pre or post-dinner for a jazzy and buzzy feel, tropical wallpaper, and great drinks.
This classic dive bar is a local favorite and the perfect afternoon, late-night (or really anytime) spot. Take a seat at the red-checkered-tablecloth tables for music, watching games, and enjoying classic tavern food and drinks.
Have Afternoon Tea
We love Alice’s Tea Cup, The Carlyle, The Plaza, Bergdorf Goodman, The American Girl Store if you have young daughters.
Window Shopping & Central Park Wandering
Go window shopping on Madison and 5th Avenue (and step inside!) at Bergdorf Goodman and Saks Fifth Avenue. See the iconic Christmas tree and skating rink at Rockefeller Center, then stroll through Central Park for everything from horse and carriage rides to drinks at Tavern on the Green.
See a Holiday Show
The New York City Ballet puts on a beautiful production of The Nutcracker every year, plus Lincoln Center and the Upper West Side are gorgeous! The Radio City Rockettes are always a treat so see, and possibly the only time you’ll see real camels on stage in NYC!
At any time of year, you can’t go wrong with any of the museums uptown, from The Met and Cooper Hewitt to The Frick Collection and The Guggenheim.
The Uptown NYC look: classic but current, always luxe, and effortlessly refined.