taza’s new york city guide: union square to midtown

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hello! for the next part of my nyc guide of a few recommendations around the city (see my guide to the upper west side HERE) i’d love to share a few of our favorite spots from union square to midtown.  a few are highlighted in the video we made below with jenner brown, but several more are listed below.  of course, this is just a sliver of what to do in the city, but hopefully it will be of some help as you plan your next visit to the big apple! and don’t forget to leave any of your favorites in this specific neighborhood in the comments below for others to check out.


video by jenner brown. music in video is wooden floors by david swensen.

some things to do between union square and midtown:

union square farmers market
east 17th street at union square park 212-788-7476

strand bookstore
828 broadway 212-473-1452

flat iron building (one of my favorites in the city to see from a few blocks up!)
175 fifth avenue

cinema village (great little spot for documentaries, independent and foreign films)
22 east 12th street 212-924-3363

fishs eddy
889 broadway at 19th street 212-420-9020

abc carpet and home (worth checking out every floor! such a great place to get lost in.)
888 & 881 broadway 212-473-3000

ace hotel (photobooth, too!) + sumptown coffee
20 west 29th street 212-679-2222

empire state building (it’s the one pretty big touristy thing i highly recommend!)
350 5th avenue 212-736-3100

new york public library (the reading room is spectacular!)
5th avenue at 42nd street 917-275-6975

bryant park (they show movies on the lawn on certain summer nights and be sure to check out the carrousel on the south side!)
at 42nd street and 6th 212-768-4242

11 west 53rd street 212-708-9400

some things to eat between union square and midtown:

city bakery (my favorite chocolate chip cookie in the city. also, amazing pretzel croissants and hot chocolate.)
3 west 18th street 212-366-1414

friend of a farmer
17 irving place 212-477-2188

gotham bar and grill (a bit of a fancier and pricier spot, we’ve only been during restaurant week, but it’s one of our favorites.)
12 east 12th street 212-620-4020

200 fifth avenue 212-229-2560

the original shake shack at madison square park
madison avenue (btwn 23rd and 24th street) 212-889-6600

max brenner (a fun chocolate spot to grab something sweet)
841 broadway 646-467-8803

1164 broadway (btwn 27th and 28th street) 646-449-8884

burger joint (the best little one room burger joint behind a curtain in the le parker meridien hotel)
119 west 56th street 212-708-7414

norma’s (get a reservation! and try the crunchy french toast!)
119 west 57th street 212-708-7460

*josh’s midtown lunch recommendations below if you’re needing a quick stop for food. these are his top two go-to lunch places from all his time working in midtown:

little italy pizzeria on 43rd (he says you have to get the original grandma’s pizza! i’ve had it and it is pretty good)
1 east 43rd street 212-687-3660

park italian gourmet
60 west 45th street 212-382-0580

there you have it! a few recommendations from union square to midtown! now i need a city bakery cookie….

  1. Alexandria


  2. Katherine

    Such a great video! Have never been to NY but hope to make it there someday soon!

  3. I think it says a lot about a place when you can live there for 15 years, and still get excited about lists like this. Thanks for adding to my own personal to-do list in nyc!

  4. Court

    I’m itching for a trip to New York City now!Especially to go get lost in ABC Carpet and Home…it looks like a dream!

  5. so many great picks per usual! I’m a huge fan of city bakery – they’re food is great for lunch. Definitely need to try out that burger joint and sweet green. Also, MOMA is one of my favorite museums – I can’t decide if I like that better or the Met.

  6. Anna S.

    Naomi! I like this video so much!
    Especially when you are dancing and smiling:)
    What a GREAT smile ;)

    It is a very big dream for me to go once to New York.

  7. I am loving these guides!
    I have been to NYC a few times but these have given me inspiration for our upcoming trip!

  8. 2 things.

    1. That hot cocoa looks AMAZING.
    2. Sort of hilarious that you immediately picked up the yellow jar, you weren’t kidding when you said it was/is your favorite color!

    Also you are adorable!




  9. I love how you both looked so excited on top of the Empire State Building! Actually just loved the whole video. It made me even more excited for NYC this summer. Can’t wait to eat at Burger Joint again and try out Shake Shack which we missed last time. Thanks for the tips! Also – my boyfriend and I definitely need to find a photo booth for some pictures.

  10. Allison

    These videos make me so happy! Thanks for sharing, I’m boook marking these for my trip to NY-I’m staying hopeful!

    Allison over at Allison’s Eye

  11. I really, really, really need to visit New York. I love your video because you recommend lots of nice places to eat or grab a cup of coffee. I’m a foodie so… ;)

  12. Loved it, cant wait for next one. Big hugs from Sweden!

  13. andrea

    this was such a wonderful video. I thought the video was so sweet in that before your husband arrived you were much more reserved, and when he was in the shots you could just tell you were so much happier! I love seeing two people so much in love!

  14. looks like you spent lots of time eating! hehe…amazing! can’t wait to go to NY!

  15. Sarah

    My favorite place to eat around there (in the Gramercy Park area) is Lamarca on 22nd and 3rd. It’s this little hole in the wall that has the best pasta I’ve ever eaten. I dream about it!

  16. jacob phelps

    loving these videos, taza!

  17. Jordan

    What a helpful and fun post! I am still fairly new to the city and I am always trying to find exciting places to spend my weekends, mainly now that the weather is getting warmer. I will have to check out several of these spots this weekend!


  18. Bea

    I love your guides!!!
    I’m writing down everything!!

  19. Anna Z

    What a great video! I can’t wait to go back to NYC. I’ll definitely have to watch this video before my next trip. :-)

  20. Teresa


  21. R

    Great video! When I happen to be in NYC one day, then MoMa will be the first place to visit!

    Take care!

  22. Tammy

    What a fabulous video! I loved it!

    I’m so tempted now to hop on a train and explore the city :) Thank you for such an awesome video series.


  23. Meryl

    Awesome post. Thank you! Especially loved the mother’s day post as well. Very well put and heart felt. :)

  24. Erin

    All your cups of coffee, cocoa, and tea looked amazing in this video! Cue cravings.

  25. bridget

    LOVE these.

  26. Mariska

    Great video and great places! I have been to NYC exactly one year ago for the first time.. With a little blog-research and little wandering I got to see great places :)


  27. Jenn

    Thank you for this! I will be visiting NYC in june and now i want to visit everything! you look so bundled up in the video… how is nyc in the summer?

  28. rach

    I appreciate the kidless video and how this selection was much more versified!

  29. Elaine

    I’m absolutely obsessed with these vids. I have an aching to go back to NY and I was there just last month. Love the cobalt blue coat btw.

  30. sam-c

    wait, what was that place in the video at :39-:40 in between fish eddy and ABC carpet? it was like a weird flash of something that you decided not to include.

    • TAZA

      Haha! That’s part of the Parker Meriden hotel where we went to the burger joint in the vjdeo! I think Jenner placed it there as filler. :)

  31. I love these & the videos are great! I’m definitely gonna keep these bookmarked for when I go to NY one day!

  32. Megan

    I got married in Manhattan and stayed at the Ace. My pre-wedding coffee came from that Stumptown and we walked through Moma later that afternoon. Such good memories! You are lucky to be able to visit Midtown whenever you please. I hope to be able to bring my husband and baby to NYC next year to celebrate our 5th wedding anniversary and revisit all of those fun sights.

  33. Kristen

    Do you think you could give us a guide like this for DC?! :)

  34. tw

    Naomi! you HAVE to include Doughnut Plant on 23rd and 8th!!!!! it’s a life changer. I would walk there a couple times a week after work from 5th and 19th. so worth the trek. please try it!!!! xoxo

  35. gosh your outfits always look great! <3

  36. Lydia

    Yes! This is perfect timing! I’m coming to NY in October! Thanks so much Taza!! :)

  37. Tenzin

    Love your videos, inspires wanderlust.
    I love the songs too, in both of your NYC guides, but I can’t seem to find them on the net, I’d love to buy them. Do you where I could find them?

    T from Oz

  38. Anna

    oh, i love these guides!! i’ve been in NY 4 times now and i’m looking forward to my next trip so i can include some of your recommendations! great guide, thank you!

  39. Taylor

    I love these little videos! And I definitely can’t wait to check some of these places out when I visit NY!


  40. Such a cute video and I love all the places you mentioned. Also the ABC Kitchen near to the ABC Carpet has such good food. And I love to have drinks in the lobby of the Ace hotel or have dinner at the Nomad Hotel before. X

  41. Freya

    Oh my word, that hot chocolate!

  42. Julia

    great! i love this city

  43. Sally D

    This is killing me. My husband and I are currently trying to decide whether or not to stay in NY or move closer to family and this just made the thought of leaving painful. Such an amazing city, and still so much left to discover.

  44. Preety B.

    Wow, you two are adorable and the city is stunning. Also, Naomi, love your coat! Where is it from?

  45. Chelsey

    love this new video series!!!! keep ’em coming :)

  46. griselda

    OMG! I am so thankful that you are doing these posts just before my first trip to the big apple. I love your blog and I am really really excited to visit. thanks again for all of the great places to check out.


  47. Danielle Huver

    Thank you so much for this, I’m visiting New York this summer and this is exactly what I needed! Love your blog!

  48. Shannon

    ohhhh this is so charming. I don’t think I could handle living in ny for some reason. it’s like sensory overload for me and I always get a little turned around there. but this makes me want to get back there, like now!

    is there any chance you could have the links open in separate tabs…? not a big deal if you can’t.

    love your blog. so authentic. and admire you quite a bit.

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  53. susanna

    Thank you so much for your nyc guides! I really do hope to visit ALL this amazing places one day. :)

  54. Amberli

    yay! i’ll be in NYC next week and i love getting the inside scoop from locals. thanks for sharing!

  55. Vanessa

    Great video! I’ve been to New York City a few times but usually end up doing tourist things with friends and family due to time limits. I’d love to go to Fishs Eddy some day though! I just love their things!

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  58. Nikki

    I was in NYC last week and referenced this post! Thank you! So great!