Betches Guide to Manhattan
If you don’t walk the High Line, did you even go to Manhattan? It’s one of the most Instagrammable locations in NYC. When you stay at The Standard, you’ll be able to people watch right from your room. Just close your curtains if you don’t want to end up accidentally photobombing some tourist’s latest post. Also, be sure to have a stein and giant pretzel at the hotel’s Biergarten and make new friends at one of the bar’s ping-pong tables.
This hotel is literally called Dream and we have to say, it lives up to its name. There’s an actual beach in the hotel—which is unexpected given its location in downtown Manhattan—but with imported sand, chaise lounges and private cabanas, we’re definitely not complaining. As if the beach wasn’t crazy enough, there’s a glass-bottomed swimming pool that looks down into the lobby. Trippy, but we like it. Dream also has multiple restaurants and bars, a rooftop club, and a hair salon, so you seriously don’t have to leave if you don’t want to.
The Moxy’s young, fun vibe draws the exact kind of crowd you want to be
around. Plus, we can get behind any hotel that serves you a cocktail as soon as you check in.
This West Village hotspot is buzzing every night of the week. And if you’re not starting your night here, you should definitely end it here. If you’re looking to meet someone, we’ve heard plenty of success stories that started there, which is more than we can say about Tinder. The bar has a huge whiskey list, so if you know your rye from your bourbon, this is the place for you. Bonus points for shutting down that mansplainer who tells you to never order it on ice.
Dimly lit, with wood-paneled ceilings, velvet couches and a copper bar, this East Village cocktail lounge has a seductive vibe that’s ideal for a late-night (keep in mind, it opens at 11 pm). FYI entry is “at the doorman’s discretion,” which sounds unreliable if you’re banking on it for your night out. But we’d be lying if we said the exclusivity doesn’t make it even more appealing. Also, there are tons of nearby options, so a plan B is literally steps away.
Make Believe isn’t just something we like to play two months into an undefined relationship, it’s actually a tropical-themed rooftop bar in the Lower East Side, which is the WAY better kind of make believe. Where else can you drink matcha cocktails on hot pink couches while eating all the pork shumai you can before you feel like dying? The bar can fill up, so get there early or make a reservation.
Brand new to the city, Catch Steak is a spin-off of the original Catch concept made famous all over the world. Make a reservation in advance, because literally everyone wants to go here right now. The menu has a focus on beef (duh), and there are some pretty amazing seafood and veggie options, but if you’re hoping for a nice chicken dish, this is not the place for you. After dinner, head to CSL for cocktails—a lounge on the second floor complete with retractable rooftop.
La Esquina has three locations in Manhattan, but the Soho flagship is where you want to be. If you can find it. Just kidding, it’s 2019 and there are hardly any secrets you can’t dig up on the internet. Just ask our middle school LiveJournal. To reach the restaurant you’ll walk through an “Employees Only” door in the back of an unassuming taqueria. The atmosphere is unbeatable, dark and ambient, and the food and drinks won’t disappoint either.
If you like Italian food (obviously), this West Village eatery is a no-brainer. There are lots of good Italian places in NYC, but Don Angie has quickly become one of the best. You’ll want to ditch the Whole30 diet for the night and eat a whole order of the stuffed garlic flatbread. We also like the lasagna “for two” (their recommendation, not ours – so if you’re up to the solo challenge, we respect that).
If your mom told you you have to see a show while you’re in the city, Mean Girls is definitely the way to go. The show (which is written by Queen Tina Fey) is the perfect adaptation of your favorite movie ever, and you can get themed pink cocktails to drink during the show. It’s a win-win. There’s only one way to describe it, really–this show is like, totally fetch. And if you go on a Wednesday, don’t forget to wear pink, duh.
Who doesn’t like to laugh? Honestly, avoid that person at all costs. And if you love to laugh and you’re in NYC, there’s only one place to see stand-up. (Okay, that’s not objectively true, but if you’re only here for a short time, this is the comedy club to hit.) The Comedy Cellar has hosted some of the best stand-up comedians in the world, like Robin Williams, Chris Rock, Amy Schumer… and literally everyone good. Need we say more? Well, yes. Book your tickets far in advance, this place is in high demand for all of the reasons we just said.
Obviously, you’re not going to come to NYC and not do brunch, but not all brunch spots are created equal. If you want something especially memorable, skip the basic places and do a drag brunch instead. In our opinion, the Drag Brunch at Haswell Green’s is the best in the city, for both the food and the entertainment. You’ll get a bomb bottomless brunch ($45 will get you an entree and all you can drink) and a highly-entertaining show to match. Bring your dollar bills and prepare to be impressed.