In honor of my first trip back to New York in over a year, I wanted to send some New York love in to this corner of the internet. I lived in New York for four years and mostly loved it. I didn’t make a book blog until the very end of my time there, so I didn’t do too much exploring of the book scene, but … I did enough.
Disclaimer: this route has never been tested and would be way too much for me to do in one day, but I’m going to attempt to make a route for you sprinkled with some of my favorite places.
Stop 1: Book Culture on Columbus
We’re going to start in the Upper West Side, one of my favorite neighborhoods in New York. Spend a little time walking the streets, and dipping in to Central Park and you’ll soon see why. 🙂
Nearby Food: Back and better than ever after their 2017 fire – Jacob’s Pickles
Nearby Drink: George Keeley’s is a great beer bar. I love all the info the tv screens tell you about the freshness and flavor of the beer
Nearby Fun: The Museum of Natural History! And Central Park!
Nearby Subway Stop: B, C, 1
Stop 2: The Strand
Walk across Central Park via 86th street, say hi to the Reservoir for me, and then keep walking until you hit Lexington Ave. Hop on the 4/5 (or the 6 if you have some time) and ride the subway to Union Square. Welcome to The Strand – one of the most iconic bookstores around. Browse the $1 carts outside or head inside for more books and merch than you can imagine.
Nearby Food: I loved my sushi spot at Union Square called Sushi Chosi. Nothing fancy, but so delicious 🙂
Nearby Drink: Union Fare or Cibar for wine/cocktails, Headless Horseman for beer
Nearby Fun: I love shopping at Fish’s Eddy, which is right up Broadway. There are always farmers markets on in Union Square so keep an eye out for that! (if it’s there, you can’t miss it). And I’ve always wanted to play chess against one of the chess players in Union Square!
Nearby Subways: 4, 5, 6, N, Q, R, L (maybe..)
Stop 3: Three Lives and Co
This was my go to bookstore in New York since it was so close to where I lived. I love its cozy vibes and walking the streets of the West Village around it! From the Strand I’d probably walk. There aren’t any good subway routes to get you here!
Nearby Food: VAN LEWENS. Vegan (and non-vegan) ice cream. It is phenomenal
Nearby Drink: Just a few blocks away, in to the heart of the West Village is my favorite bar, Blind Tiger. Free cheese and bread on Wednesdays too! 🙂
Nearby Fun: My favorite card etc shop in New York is just a few blocks away! Definitely check out Pink Olive. Washinton Square Park is also nearby – take a stroll over there with your ice cream, especially in spring time and you’ll never want to leave New York.
Nearby Subway Stop: 1, 2, 3, A, C, E
Stops 4+5: McNalley Jacksons and Housingworks
Head back up to 14th street to catch the BDFM down to Broadway- Lafayette. You are now in the Lower East Side/SoHo. The interiors of these bookstores are pretty iconic – so make sure you’re ready to take in the decor with your book shopping!
Nearby Food: Rubirosa had amazing italian food! This is nearing NoLita so lots of good options here. Plus! McNalley Jackson’s has its very own cafe so you’ll never be hangry while book shopping.
Nearby Drink: Spring Lounge. Sister bar to Blind Tiger but a totally different vibe. I loved this bar too!
Nearby Fun: Just walking down Broadway in SoHo is so much fun. They have so many luxury stores so window shopping (or actual shopping) is so much fun here.
Nearby Subway Stop: B, D, F, M, R, W, 6
Stop 6: Books are Magic
And we saved the best for last! Books are Magic is one of the hottest bookstores in New York City. It was opened in 2017 by the author, Emma Straub and is now known for its amazing author events! It’s deep in to Brooklyn so you may as well just drive but once you get there it will be well worth the trek!
Nearby Food: I haven’t eaten in the area but I remember from my trip that I wanted to stop in SO many restaurants on the walk from the subway. This neighborhood is the cutest.
Nearby Drink: Other Half Brewing. I loved their hazy IPAs before they were cool 😉
Nearby Fun: This bookstore is all the fun you need. But its also not a bad walk down to Brooklyn Bridge Park with your new book!
Nearby Subway Stop: G. (…. good luck)
Congratulations! You made it! I hope you had a great day exploring NYC!