The energy of lower Manhattan may be unmatched by any city in the world, but for me there is something about the old world charm of upper Manhattan that feels so New York. Strolling through Central Park, coffee in hand, there are few places I’d rather be than enjoying the early summer breeze amidst the charm of old New York.
On my latest trip I decided to spend a good amount of time exploring what everything above midtown has to offer. From lunching at Barney’s to living your full Breakfast at Tiffany’s fantasy, here’s my guide for where to stay, what to eat, what to see, and where to shop in uptown Manhattan:
Where to Stay
Situated between Central Park and Madison Avenue, this classic landmark hotel is technically midtown, but is only a few blocks away from iconic department stores like Barney’s and Bergdorf’s, as well as the prime Upper East Side shops on Madison Avenue. There’s something about this part of the city that really makes you feel like you’re in the centre of the universe.
Four Seasons Hotel New York offers the largest standard guest rooms in New York. Central Park, The Plaza Hotel, Bergdorf Goodman, all iconic New York landmarks are just a five minute walk from this location. I love the history of this part of the city. Fun fact: this hotel is the only IM Pei-designed hotel in the western hemisphere. The limestone covering the hotel’s exterior and interior is the same used on the expansion of The Louvre in Paris.
Must-See: Definitely grab a drink at the Four Seasons Ty Bar, soaking up the classic Art Deco design, for a quintessential New York experience.
Where to Shop
My friend Philip B happened to be having an event one of the days I was in the city so I popped in to the beauty department for a visit (and to sample his latest products). If you haven’t heard of it already, I would highly recommend giving his Weightless Conditioning Water a try – it’s an ultra-light mist that smoothes, shines, and adds moisture without weighing hair down.
The world’s most iconic department store might be a little more hectic, but it’s a New York institution, and definitely should not be missed
Celine, Louis Vuitton, The Row… it’s easy to spend the entire day strolling Madison alone.
Where to Eat
One of my favourite restaurants, Caviar Russe has earned a Michelin star every year since 2016 (for good reason), and is an experience everyone should have when visiting New York.
Originally one of America’s largest caviar importers, the restaurant offers a one-of-a kind dining experience with knowledgeable staff and luxurious ambiance. The restaurant is intimate, and the servers typically only sit a few tables per evening, so you’re sure to have quiet relaxing meal. The food is Michelin-quality with unique flavours and pairings and beautiful plating and presentation. I recommend selecting a few different types of caviar to sample accompanied by champagne, and ordering the 5 course dinner. The chef selects the dishes but you can let the servers know which dishes you would prefer and they will typically accommodate. If it’s available, I highly recommend the frois gras and lamb.
Photo via: Quality Meats
Known for their modern interpretations of classic dishes, Quality Meats is a trustworthy choice in midtown located at 58th and 6th Avenue. Designed by AvroKO, the industrial decor draws on cues from traditional New York City butcher shops with an elegant finish, and the atmosphere alone is worth going for. The food here is exceptional; steak sauce is table made with the freshest ingredients, the cuts are excellent, and a meal could be had on the sides alone, like the Yorkshire creamed spinach and corn creme brûlée.
Photo via: Cafe Fiorello
Conveniently located across from the Lincoln Centre, you’ll find Cafe Fiorello is always full and for good reason! I am usually weary of restaurants located near tourist areas, but was pleasantly surprised by Cafe Fiorello. The decor is very 1970s New York Italian, and the kitchen serves a variety of Italian-style dishes with fresh and house-made ingredients. My favourite was the house-made burrata, and I would highly recommend the deconstructed lasagne and any of their desserts.
What to Do
If you’re visiting the city this summer, I would highly recommend checking out the Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination Exhibit at the MET. The collection is divine – no pun intended.
I hope I’ve given you a few ideas for exploring all that uptown has to offer! Have you visited any of these spots? Do you have a favourite neighbourhood in NYC? Where should I visit on my next trip? Let me know in the comments below!