InStyle's NYFW Guide to the City That Never Sleeps

While InStyle's editors hit the four stops of show season—New York, London, Milan, and Paris—for work, we always find time to enjoy what each city has to offer. In this four-part series, our team on the ground reveals the best places to stay, eat, shop, and relax in world's biggest fashion capitals. First stop: The Big Apple.

NYFW City Guide
Photo: Getty (2); Courtesy (4); Time Inc. Digital Studio


"The Carlyle is like fashion central—it's the hotel everyone stays at for the Costume Institute Met Gala. The Washington Square Park Hotel is where my parents stayed when I was at NYU and it's still a great value in a fantastic location. If you want some good celebrity sightings, go for the The Mercer Hotel in Soho. If you sit in the lobby 10 minutes, you'll see at least 10 famous people. And I'd stay at Le Parker Meridien for the burger joint alone!" —Eric Wilson, fashion news director

“I’ve always loved Lafayette House off the Bowery. It’s a beautiful townhouse that has been converted to a sort of neo-bed and breakfast, but without the cats and potpourri. Also, with fashion week centered downtown these days, you’re in a great position to get to shows and eat really well in-between. Meanwhile, The Greenwich Hotel is hotel catnip for celebrities, so it's worth a stay if you want to see an A-lister up close. There is a standing crowd of paparazzi in front at any hour of the day. I’m not sure if it’s the food at Locanda Verde or the spectacular suites upstairs—but whatever it is, it works for those who tend to wear sunglasses indoors” —Sam Broekema, accessories director

"One of my favorite neighborhoods to stay in is TriBeCa: It has incredible views of the water, tons of cute places to shop, and delicious places to eat and drink (Maman, Gotan, and Locanda Verde at The Greenwich Hotel are some of my faves)." —Elana Zajdman, accessories editor

"Seeing as I got ready for my wedding at The Plaza, I may be a little impartial to the overall experience—buuuut, I still think it has the market cornered on old New York glamour. Between the one-step-ahead of you service, unbelievably luxurious rooms, and killer Central Park views there’s something otherworldly magical about staying there, as if you stepped into one of those teen movies where the main character accidentally switches places with a princess from some obscure European country. If you’re looking for a less formal dining option than the hotel’s main restaurant has to offer, pop into the adjoining Todd English Food Hall, which has stands boasting specialty foods and drinks from the cities’ best restaurants and specialty grocers.” —Alison Syrett, fashion writer

“I don’t follow celebrity sightings in New York, but I once heard Sean Penn was partying at the Gansevoort. This intel is also probably 10 years old. I think the Gramercy Park Hotel is worth staying at for Maialino, its restaurant, alone. It’s one of my favorite Italian spots in the city. Also, I heard Barack Obama once dined there.”—Andrea Cheng, associate digital fashion editor


"Her Name Is Han is an incredible Korean BBQ place. If you want a cocktail, order the 'Great Good Grape'—it's my favorite!" —Alexis Parente, fashion assistant

"After a show, Pegu Club is very conveniently located for a quick drink—plus it has the best spicy cocktails. I like Cafe Grumpy for coffee because it discourages computer usage. [Editors' note: If you are in the city for NYFW and need to get work done, you'll want to stop somewhere else—the baristas here are very strict about people camping out with their laptops!] And if I need to grab food on the run, Pret A Manger is my go-to. It's fast, easy, and consistently good." —Eric Wilson, fashion news director

“As a total health food nut who has lived here for over 10 years, I have a pretty encyclopedic knowledge of every organic, locally sourced, and vegetarian-friendly joint this city has to offer. Some of my favorites: sit-down vegan restaurants Peacefood Cafe (order the chickpea fries!), Candle79, and Angelica Kitchen—all of which, even if you are happily carnivorous, prove infinitely more delicious, inventive, and satisfying than your standard veggie burger. For those looking for meat options as well, try Ellary’s Greens and (if you want something on the go) Hu Kitchen, a completely Paleo spot. Jack's Wife Freda, too, has amazingly good options for all types of dietary needs, and is a total hot spot for people in the fashion industry—if I don't run into someone I personally know there, I'll recognize some cool It girl I saw on a blog. Should you find yourself on the Upper West Side, stop by the 111th street outpost of the Pressed Juicery, where its cold pressed juices are available in soft serve form with plenty of all natural add-ins, like fresh fruit and nuts, to sprinkle on top.”—Alison Syrett, fashion writer

“The ‘We Know You Like It Hot’ cocktail—a spicy yet refreshing mix of tequila, chili, honey, and limeat Lucky Bee on Broome Street is just the thing to wake you up before a night of shows and parties! If it’s coffee you’re looking for, though, Ground Support and Intelligentsia in The Highlight Hotel both serve good, strong, counter culture coffee. I’m very picky about my brew, but these two haven’t let me down yet!” —Elana Zajdman, accessories editor

“The issue with NYFW is that the better-known spots are guaranteed to be mobbed by fashion people. I find myself frequenting under-the-radar locations to ensure a more discreet catch up. Trestle on Tenth is great for this—super charming and has a lovely garden if it isn’t raining.” —Sam Broekema, accessories director

“I’ve been loyal to Joe’s Coffee ever since I moved to the city. Lucky for me, they have several locations in Manhattan. I go there for my mandatory cup of daily coffee and the cozy vibe! For lunch, I’ll go to Cafe Clover if I have time for a more leisurely meal. The spot is so airy and inviting, especially in the summer when they keep the windows open. You can always expect a meal that’s satisfies (currently loving the Watermelon Gazpacho!) and people watching is alway entertaining. On busier days, however, a to-go salad at Sweetgreen is my default—it definitely feels more special than your average “take-out” meal. With salad combos that I haven’t been able to find anywhere else, it actually make me excited to eat my veggies. A perfect choice for fashion week when you're on the go, but still want a healthy option!”—Ann Jacoby, fashion assistant

Blue Bottle has the best coffee. It’s expensive, but so worth it. Also, Jessica Alba goes to The Frog’s Crown café for coconut lattes, which I also highly recommend.” —Andrea Cheng, associate digital fashion editor


“‘Carefully curated’ may be an overused term when it comes to describing boutiques, but in the case of Maryam Nassir Zadeh it rings 150 percent true. You’ll find a selection of unique pieces from arty-girl labels, such as Apiece Apart and Priscavera, along with the most stellar jewelry lineup ever (Sophie Buhai, Quarry, Robin Mollicone). Also not to be missed: The store’s namesake clothing and shoe line, which is pretty much perpetually sold out elsewhere due to its cult status. For beauty, I love Birchbox because it stocks all my favorite hair products—R + Co, Sachajuan, and Oribe—all in one spot. And they offer a ton of travel sizes, so you can try things without that much commitment.” —Stephanie Trong, fashion features editor

"I always gravitate more towards a really cool pair of sneakers over pretty heels, so I love the cool streetwear offerings at Kith in NoHo. If I'm looking to invest in something a little more luxe, I'll stop by The Apartment by The Line. It's laid out like an actual apartment filled with beautiful things—the grown up version of a toy store!"—Alexis Parente, fashion assistant

"If you're looking to buy something special for yourself, I'd go to Opening Ceremony in SoHo. With a broad selection of pieces from both big name and emerging designers and an edit of indie books and magazines, it has something for every style sensibility. As for souvenirs, I would say New York City–themed holiday decorations really feel unique to the city. In season, you can get those at Story in Chelsea." —Eric Wilson, fashion news director

Tictail Market on Orchard Street [on the Lower East Side] is a really fun lifestyle shop with harder-to-find indie designers, like Luz Ortiz and Jennie-Ellen. It gets new things in every week, so don’t hesitate to stop in more than once!” —Elana Zajdman, accessories editor

Dover Street Market’s N.Y.C. outpost, in my opinion, has the most beautiful and eclectic collection of garments in the city. Whether you are twirling to get your photo taken or endeavoring to look chic at a last minute dinner, it has something that fits the bill.” —Sam Broekema, accessories director

“I love this rubber stamp shop in the East Village. It’s this tiny shop lined with shelves overflowing with rubber stamps. It’ll make you want to buy everything and stamp everything!” —Andrea Cheng, associate digital fashion editor


"Of all the Fifth Avenue museums, I feel like The Frick Collection is a less frequented stop, but the most beautiful—you won't regret your visit. Another tourist spot that's totally worth it? The High Line, if for the people watching alone. Instagram-wise, you'll get some great shots walking across the Brooklyn Bridge." —Eric Wilson, fashion news director

“Should you find yourself with chipped nails in New York City, consider it good luck. Now you’ve got an excuse to stop by one of TenOverTen’s airy, loft-like studios—where you can get a fresh coat of non-toxic polish while lounging in an arm chair, sipping tea and browsing one of the many iPads on hand—or have the manicure geniuses at Paintbox (every technicians has experience working on high fashion editorials and backstage at shows) give you the coolest gel design ever.” —Alison Syrett, fashion writer

“Definitely make time to stop by The Met Breuer [the Metropolitan Museum of Art's outpost dedicated to contemporary art] in the old Whitney Museum space. If you’re there before Nov. 27, be sure to check out Diane Arbus: In the Beginning.’ It’s one of my favorite exhibits to date!”—Elana Zajdman, accessories editor

“Try to make time to stop by the Neue Galerie! Besides being one of the most stunning spaces in the city, its in-house restaurant, Café Sabarsky, is completely delicious. Plus, the only real way to do the portrait of Adele Bloch Bauer [by Gustav Klimt] justice is to see it in person.” —Sam Broekema, accessories director

“I’ll never get sick of visiting the Met. The Greek and Roman Art sections are my favorites for being so airy, bright, and serene. I really do feel like I’m being transported to Ancient Greece! Close second: The mummy exhibit, because it’s so fun.” —Andrea Cheng, associate digital fashion editor

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