Bali favourites

I put together this list about Bali four years ago now and always find myself emailing it to friends who are visiting the island so thought it was about time that I freshened it up and shared it with the world, cause sharing is caring right? 

I lived in Bali a few years ago now and recently went back for a ten day trip that was incredibly refreshing and had me falling in love with this beautiful island all over again. 

There’s so much to do, see, eat & places to laze by the poolside in Bali, so here’s my absolute favourites! This list isn’t hugely extensive but I can promise you that these places can be vouched for. 

There’s really something for everyone in Bali, for every type of traveller and these are just my favourite parts of this beautiful place.  Living in Bali, even though for a short time, taught me a lot and will always remain as a really special place to me. 

This list started out as a Bali favourites list but has more so turned into a list of places I like to eat but that's what I mostly do in Bali, anyway! 

Bali (130 of 136).jpg
Bali (69 of 136).jpg
Bali (29 of 136).jpg

 

Uluwatu & South Bali

 

The most southern area of Bali is home to some of the most beautiful beaches on the island, as well as some of the biggest resorts. Like the rest of Bali, there’s also countless amounts of boutique hotels and guesthouses located in the South if you’re looking for a quieter side of Bali, this is a pretty stunning area to relax. 

 

Suluban Beach

This is on of my favourite spots. A little walk down a cliffside and underneath a cave which is home to some local monkeys (be careful they don't throw things at you) will have you come out at this little hideaway beach. 

It's located right below Single Fin restaurant where you can head for live tunes and to watch the sunset. In my opinion, the best sunsets in Bali are from the South- anywhere around Nusa Dua will have you seeing the brightest swirly sunsets. If you sit upstairs at Single Fin and get to watch the sun go down, you'll see countless amounts of fishing boats coming back into the harbour with fresh seafood amongst the wispy skies. It’s pretty darn dreamy to say the least.

 

Single Fin

Pantai Suluban, Jl. Labuan Sait, Pecatu, Uluwatu, Kuta Selatan, Pecatu, Kuta Sel., Kabupaten Badung, Bali 80361, Indonesia

 

Pandawa Beach

Peacefully and privately located on Bali’s most southern tip, Pandawa is an escape from all the Bali bustle. There’s several luxury villas and beach hut cafes sprinkled along Pandawa’s white sandy beach and the water here is crystal clear. If you’re just spending the day, head down early and pull up residence at one of the cafes that offer day beds. There’s an entrance fee at this beach which is about 15,000 IDR (NZ$1.50) but it’s a small price to pay for this piece of paradise.

 

Bingin Beach

Another beautiful beach which isn’t as far as Uluwatu, Bingin is home to some great eats and stunning views. Try Kelly’s Warung, Mu and The Cashew Tree for some tasty eats. 

 

Kelly’s Warung

Pecatu, South Kuta, Badung Regency, Bali 80361, Indonesia

 

Mu

Jl. Pantai Bingin, Pecatu, Kuta Sel., Kabupaten Badung, Bali 

 

The Cashew Tree

Jl. Pantai Bingin No.9, Pecatu, Kuta Sel., Kabupaten Badung, Bali 80361, Indonesia

 

Bali (81 of 136).jpg
Bali (123 of 136).jpg
Bali (11 of 136).jpg
59618088-95B4-4E4F-99A8-7288ACDC6019 2.JPG

 

Seminyak

Seminyak is the most touristy area of Bali but has some really great places to eat and of course shop. If you’re looking to walk around, shop, eat & drink, Seminyak is the place. 

 

eats:

 

Motel Mexicola

For mezcal, tacos & a good dance.

Jalan Kayu Jati No. 9X, Petitenget, Kerobokan Kelod, Kuta Utara, Kabupaten Badung, Bali 80361, Indonesia

 

Mama San

For amazing curry.

Jl. Raya Kerobokan No.135, Kerobokan Kelod, Kuta Utara, Kabupaten Badung, Bali 80361, Indonesia

 

Revolver Coffee

My old local coffee spot, this one’s a must.

Jl. Kayu Aya Gang 51, Seminyak, Kuta, Seminyak, Kuta, Kabupaten Badung, Bali 80361, Indonesia

 

Barbacoa

For amazing food and drool-worthy interiors.

Jl. Petitenget No.14, Kerobokan Kelod, Kuta Utara, Kabupaten Badung, Bali 80361, Indonesia

 

Watercress Cafe

Best for breakfast! Try the poached eggs- honestly I still rave about these eggs to everyone I know, they’re that good.

Jalan Batu Belig No.21 A, Kerobokan Kelod, Kuta Utara, Kabupaten Badung, Bali 80361, Indonesia

 

Earth Cafe

For healthy vegan eats in a cosy setting.

Jl. Kayu Aya No.99, Seminyak, Kuta Utara, Kabupaten Badung, Bali 80361, Indonesia

 

Corner House

For breakfast and brunch that almost transports you all the way to New York City.

Jl. Kayu Aya No. 10 A, Kerobokan, Seminyak, Kerobokan Kelod, Kuta Utara, Kerobokan Kelod, Kuta Utara, Kabupaten Badung, Bali 80361, Indonesia

 

Ku De Ta

For a bougie dinner by the beach.

Jl. Kayu Aya No.9, Seminyak, Kuta, Kabupaten Badung, Bali, Indonesia

 

Potato Head Beach Club

Another beautiful but bougie dining spot by the water.

Jalan Petitenget No.51B, Kerobokan Kelod, Kuta Utara, Kerobokan Kelod, Kuta Utara, Kabupaten Badung, Bali 80361, Indonesia

 

The Straw Hut

A casual family owned restaurant where I’ve had some great boogies & nights out.

Jl. Sari Dewi No.17, Seminyak, Kuta, Kabupaten Badung, Bali, Indonesia

 

Nook

Dine with dreamy views of the rice paddies- great for both breakfast and dinner.

Jl. Umalas 1 Gang Nook No. 1, Kuta Utara, Kerobokan Kelod, Kuta Utara, Kabupaten Badung, Bali 80361, Indonesia

 

La Favela

A bar and eatery that’s always a good time.

Jalan Laksamana Oboroi No.177X, Seminyak, Kuta, Seminyak, Kuta, Kabupaten Badung, Bali 80561, Indonesia

 

Bali (136 of 136).jpg
Bali (22 of 136).jpg
 Nook Cafe

Nook Cafe

Bali (51 of 136).jpg
Bali (45 of 136).jpg

 

Spas I love:

 

Spring Spa

Originally from NZ, there’s a few Spring Spa’s around Bali now and they’re the perfect spot to spoil yourself. Their spaces are beautiful and all of their treatments are top notch.

Jl. Kayu Jati No.8, Seminyak, Kuta, Kabupaten Badung, Bali 80361, Indonesia

 

Bening Spa

I used to come here every second day when I was living in Bali (no exaggeration, though I’m good at that) for super cheap but amazing massages & spa treatments. 

Jalan Batu Belig No.108, Kerobokan Kelod, Kuta Utara, Kerobokan Kelod, Kuta Utara, Kabupaten Badung, Bali 80361, Indonesia

 

Bali (117 of 136).jpg
Bali (111 of 136).jpg
Bali (83 of 136).jpg
Bali (92 of 136).jpg

 

Canggu

 

Just north of Seminyak you’ll find Canggu which is an expat filled area with an overwhelming amount of cute cafes & restaurants. 

 

eats:

 

Betelnut Cafe

This cafe will always remain as one of my favourites- they serve up fresh & healthy food and their treehouse style restaurant overlooks Canggu & the surrounding rice paddies (and villas on villas).

80351, Jl. Pantai Batu Bolong No.60, Canggu, Kuta Utara, Kabupaten Badung, Bali 80351, Indonesia

 

Peleton Supershop

My favourite vegan restaurant in Bali. That’s a big call. Everything on this plant based menu is pretty delicious but the Vegan Grill Out bowl is a must-try.

Jl. Pantai Berawa No.46, Tibubeneng, Kuta Utara, Kabupaten Badung, Bali 80361, Indonesia

 

 Peleton Supershop

Peleton Supershop

Milu

Owned by the same guys who Nook in Seminyak, Milu is a beautifully designed space where you’re bound to want to take all of the decor home, which is perfect because there’s a store within the restaurant where they sell Balinese bags, home decor & accessories. With views of the rice paddies, Milu is stunning first thing in the morning but they also do an amazing dinner. It’s a pretty dreamy setting and feels a bit like a storybook at sundown.

Jl. Pantai Berawa No. 90 XO, Canggu, Kuta, Tibubeneng, Kuta Utara, Kabupaten Badung, Bali 80361, Indonesia

 

Bali (16 of 136).jpg
Bali (20 of 136).jpg
Bali (5 of 136).jpg
Bali (6 of 136).jpg

Old Man’s

Great for an evening sesh by the water.

Jl. Pantai Batu Bolong No.117X, Canggu, Kuta Utara, Kabupaten Badung, Bali 80351, Indonesia

 

The Lawn Canggu

The best place for sunset drinks.

Jl. Pura Dalem, Canggu, Kuta Utara, Canggu, Kuta Utara, Kabupaten Badung, Bali, Indonesia

 

Nalu Bowls

I never say no to a smoothie bowl.

Jl. Batu Mejan No.88, Canggu, Kuta Utara, Bandung, Bali 80316, Indonesia

 

Two Trees Eatery

A cheery &  spot for breakfast! 

99, Jl. Pantai Berawa, Canggu, Kuta Utara, Kabupaten Badung, Bali 80361, Indonesia

 

Shady Shack

Shady Shack's smoothie bowls & nut butters are amazing (as well as everything else on the menu).

Jl. Tanah Barak No.57, Canggu, Kuta Utara, Kabupaten Badung, Bali 80351, Indonesia

 

Bali (18 of 136).jpg
Bali (30 of 136).jpg
Bali (27 of 136).jpg
Bali (100 of 136).jpg

 

To do:

 

Yoga at Desa Seni

 If you're in town for a full moon, make sure to go to their full moon chant!

Jl. Subak Sari No.13, Canggu, Kuta Utara, Kabupaten Badung, Bali 80361, Indonesia

 

Sunset beach drinks

Park up at Echo Beach & find a beach front spot to grab a sundowner drink.

 

Dojo Canggu

One for the digital nomads. Dojo is a great co-working space not too far from the ocean and has wicked cafe, meeting rooms and pool incase you want to take a working break.

Jalan Batu Mejan No. 88, Canggu, Kuta Utara, Canggu, Kuta Utara, Kabupaten Badung, Bali 80361, Indonesia

 

Bali (107 of 136).jpg
Bali (109 of 136).jpg

 

Ubud

 

EATS:

Home to more vegan cafes than you can count! I absolutely love coming up to Ubud because it’s such a peaceful spot to relax & eat all the healthy foods. 

 

Sayuri Healing Food Cafe

You must try the raw banoffee pie! But pretty much everything on this menu is guilt free, delicious and good for the soul. 

JL Sukma kesuma no 2 , Br Tebesaya - Ubud, Peliatan, Ubud, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali 80571, Indonesia

 

Clear Cafe

You can’t go wrong at Clear Cafe! Their menu is filled with healthy eats and it’s a chilled out spot where you can soak up all the Ubud vibes. 

Jl. Hanoman No.8, Ubud, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali 80571, Indonesia

 

Sari Organik

Located right within the rice paddies, Sari Organik is a set on an organic farm with the most magical of views providing a lush dining experience. It’s a short 800 meter walk fro the main road til you reach the cafe and is stunning at golden hour.

Jl. Subak Sok Wayah, Tjampuhan, Ubud, Gianyar, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali 80571, Indonesia

 

Bali Buda

A cosy spot to enjoy vegan & vegetarian dishes.

Jalan Jembawan No.1, Ubud, Gianyar, Ubud, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali 80571, Indonesia

 

74277C17-DF2B-4B65-B116-40609D79A665.JPG
D0D584F2-282C-45A0-A87B-D3421B0EC314.JPG
Bali (46 of 136).jpg
Bali (28 of 136).jpg

 

To do:

 

Tegallalang Rice Terrace

Try and go early morning or at golden hour! Find a little restaurant to sit & overlook these stunning rice paddies.

Jalan Tegallalang, Tegallalang, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali 80561, Indonesia

 

Sunrise trek to Mt. Batur

One of the most beautiful sunrises in Bali is from the summit of the Mount Batur standing at 1700 meters.  The active volcano is the most popular trek in Bali and if you’re feeling adventurous, this hike is well worth the 3am wake up call. 

Make sure to book with an authorised guide (don’t try going on your own!).

 

Sedona Spa

A super affordable spa located just outside of the centre of Ubud. Try the coffee scrub & massage!

Jl. Raya Sanggingan, Campuhan, Ubud, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali 80571, Indonesia

 

Ngungngung Waterfall

Located about an hour from Ubud but worth the drive!

Pelaga, Petang, Pelaga, Petang, Kabupaten Badung, Bali 80353, Indonesia

 

Tegenungan Waterfall

This waterfall’s a little closer to Ubud- about 30 minutes drive away and easily reached by scooter. 

Jl. Ir. Sutami, Kemenuh, Sukawati, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali 80581, Indonesia

 

Hubud

An indoor/outdoor workspace for entrepreneurs and creatives with it’s own raw foods café. This place is right up my alley. It doesn't get more digital nomad than this.

Jl. Monkey Forest No.88X, Ubud, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali 80571, Indonesia

 

Ubud Markets

The Ubud Traditional Art Markets are a great place to shop but they can get super hectic. If you’re looking to shop though, this is a great place to do it. There’s an abundance of beautiful & locally made goods here- from straw bags to clothing, jewellery & homewares. 

 

Bali (77 of 136).jpg
Bali (84 of 136).jpg

 

Other:

 

Nusa Lembongan Island

Three nights is the perfect amount of time to spend soaking up Nusa Lembongan. To get there- taxi down to Sanur and grab a ticket on the day for the boat trip over and once you're onboard go and sit up on the top deck for the ride over. Stay a few nights in a wooden beach front cabin and don't miss out on the snorkelling.

Close by there's also Nusa Cenigan and Nusa Penida which are all also worth the visit! 

Bali (54 of 136).jpg
A43CD34C-4785-40FB-ABF2-134DA7C343DE.JPG
Bali (96 of 136).jpg

Photos by Gabi Mulder and I x

My guide to Chiang Mai, Thailand

I’ve wanted to travel to Chiang Mai to see the elephants for such a long time. Years ago I had seen Elephant Nature Park in the media, a sanctuary for rescued elephants who have spent their lives working in the circus, ride and logging industries to live the rest of their days in freedom and ever since, Chiang Mai was officially at the top of the list. I was in Tokyo for a family trip earlier this month and thought it was just about time that I finally visited Thailand and made my way down to the Northern region to experience it for myself. 

Elephant Nature Park is located an hour further north of Chiang Mai, so I spent a few days in the city first, sampling all the Thai cuisine that I could and walking my way around the maze which is the Old City. 

I had been told that Chiang Mai was a beautiful town that was somewhat similar to Ubud in Bali and this was entirely true. It’s got that small town feel with a population of 130,000 and that South East Asian charm but it never really felt overly touristy or crowded.

There's no shortage of yoga studios, massage spots and raw healthy foods available around each corner that you turn so I felt really spoiled with choices. What I loved most though was the laid back vibe and the friendly locals who made me feel most welcome. I felt incredibly safe in Chiang Mai as a solo traveler. 

This was my first time in Thailand and I spent the entire first day walking around in awe (and dripping with sweat) wondering why it had taken me so long to get here. Chiang Mai is charming and works at a slow pace- not to mention its super cheap to travel here. 

Within the Old City is an abundance of everything I was hoping to see and do, so here’s my list of favourite spots:

 

0EDB4C43-0013-40B6-A409-ED89B2B0E23A.JPG
592DC487-9603-44B1-A2DA-FD2E1103E0D9.JPG

 

Coffee

 

Like any city I visit, my first thought is to seek out all the best cafes & cheap eats. Does anyone else get overwhelmed when there are more cafes on your list than coffees you should be drinking in a day? My list for Chiang Mai was never ending and I didn’t even make it to some of the hip areas like Ninniman Road because I just knew I didn’t have enough time. There were so many places I wanted to try in the Old City, so here’s my list! 

 

Cool Muang Coffee

Just at the edge of the old city, this spot was super hipster and served up a really good cold brew. Great to work from if you’re living that digital nomad life.

81 Mun Mueang Road, Sripoom, Mueang, Chang Wat Chiang Mai 50200, Thailand

 

322E87F5-DF35-4633-8B6B-EC6B0BACEC15.JPG
596179A5-5FC5-407B-BAC3-84A234160D07.JPG

 

Graph Cafe

Serving up really quirky coffee blends like rosewater & cold brew- this is the spot to try coffee art.

Si Phum, Mueang Chiang Mai District, Chiang Mai 50200, Thailand

 

A287539C-28F9-494C-BAAC-29B0E16CB13A.JPG
AED74FF8-BCB6-48B4-8C47-319F0496B7C6.JPG
F4D7F56C-81A3-4B0D-B725-D8A95767F20B.JPG
807592FA-19CC-4985-969B-CF9928541B75.JPG
43455D9A-77B1-4E83-BBA8-4407E332045A.JPG
A83F4002-7340-4674-BE3B-AFBF2E4F2F1E.JPG

 

Eat

 

Kanjana

This spot right here is the reason there’s not many other places on this list. I ate at Kanjana more times than I could count. A small local spot down a lush little alleyway, everything on the menu at Kanjana is truly delicious. Try the pineapple curry with brown rice, the green curry, the pad see ew and the green papaya salad. Cash only! 

7/1 Rachadamnoen Rd Soi 5, ตำบล พระสิงห์ Amphoe Mueang Chiang Mai, Chang Wat Chiang Mai 50200, Thailand

 

15495556-588B-44A4-9F34-F0DCEB7C0912.JPG

 

Farm Story House

Located right next door to Kanjana is Farm Story House. You have to try their mango sticky rice. The best one I had in Chiang Mai.

7 Rachadamnone Road Soi 5, Tambon Si Phum, Amphoe Mueang Chiang Mai, Chang Wat Chiang Mai 50200, Thailand

 

2713F9D3-B730-4983-AA5B-5D5C1D2E481A.JPG
E1DF87E2-1FDB-46FF-A06A-E07AFD7C41E4.JPG

 

Pink House Garden

A vegan & gluten free restaurant with a relaxed outdoor setting just outside of the old city walls.

Hai Ya, Mueang Chiang Mai District, Chiang Mai 50100, Thailand

 

Khao Soi Arak

This local dish was originated in Chiang Mai and is a noodle soup that combines two different noodles- a flat wheat noodle and a crispy friend noodle. The sauce is a spicy coconut curry and it’s traditionally served with check, lime, chilli paste, shallots and cabbage. You’ve just gotta try it. This place serves up only this dish and I couldn’t recommend it more.

Arak 7 Alley, Tambon Si Phum, Amphoe Mueang Chiang Mai, Chang Wat Chiang Mai 50200, Thailand

 

Amrita Garden

Cosy Vegan & Gluten free cafe 

2/1 Samlan Road Soi 5, T prasing, Amphoe Mueang, Chiang Mai 50200, Thailand

 

306C221F-1865-4C12-816C-2D101AC8B211.JPG

 

Free Bird Cafe

Another great spot for healthy vegan eats!

Manee Nopparat Rd, Tambon Si Phum, Amphoe Mueang Chiang Mai, Chang Wat Chiang Mai 50300, Thailand

 

Bodhi Tree Cafe

A cosy vegan spot with yoga classes, too- I told you there was no shortage! 

11 Rachadamnoen Rd Soi 5, Tambon Si Phum, Amphoe Mueang Chiang Mai, Chang Wat Chiang Mai 50200, Thailand

 

Cat Shack Cafe

An amazing little healthy cafe tucked down an alleyway, Cat House has home made kombucha and affordable, healthy plates. There’s also a little coffee hut located right next to it so it’s the perfect spot to laze around for a couple of hours away from the streets.

6/2 Ratvithi Rd Lane 1, Tambon Si Phum, Amphoe Mueang Chiang Mai, Chang Wat Chiang Mai 50200, Thailand

 

FDEC751E-26EC-437E-88E6-4503EDD02858.JPG
38FB777A-AA76-490F-B317-6BC76402725C.JPG

 

SPAS

 

Green Bamboo Massage

For super cheap & casual massage treatments

Moon Muang Road, 1Lane 1, Chiang Mai, Amphoe Mueang Chiang Mai, Chang Wat Chiang Mai 50200, Thailand

 

Chinola Massage

Another great cheap massage spot. I had reflexology here and it was bliss. 

179 Ratchamanka Rd, Tambon Phra Sing, Amphoe Mueang Chiang Mai, Chang Wat Chiang Mai 50200, Thailand

 

Fah Lanna Spa

This one’s a little more of a treat as it’s a bit more pricey than the other two I recommended but is a gorgeous setting where you’re sure to feel pampered. 

Wiang Kaew Rd, Tambon Si Phum, Amphoe Mueang Chiang Mai, Chang Wat Chiang Mai 50200, Thailand

 

7981A095-9DFB-462A-9201-00990126278B.JPG
D096C050-8B76-46D5-B1F2-C0FFF10AA127.JPG

 

Stay

 

There’s plenty of guest houses, hotels and villas for all types of travellers in Chiang Mai. I stayed at two different guest houses here which were both really lovely, super affordable and just what I needed for this trip. Had I stayed any longer than 4 nights, I would recommend booking a place with a pool as the days are long and humid. 

 

Mango Tree Apartments

Three different Mango Tree rooms/apartments available on AirBnb- here, here and here. Located right in the Old City & a beautifully decorated space to come back to at the end of a long day.

Tambon Si Phum, Chang Wat Chiang Mai, Thailand.

 

Thapae Happy House

A simple & cheap guesthouse located in the Old City for $40 a night.

Si Phum, Mueang Chiang Mai District, Chiang Mai 50300, Thailand

 

 

See & Do

 

Wat Chedi Luang

This stunning temple is located right in the centre of the Old City and is an impressive structure  built sometime between 1385 and 1402. Wat Chedi Luang is a Buddhist Temple believed to protect the city and is definitely worth a visit. It’s beautiful at sundown, too.

 

E5EFF957-AAF4-44F3-AB64-B3115569681C.JPG

 

Temples

There are temples located around every corner that you turn in the Old City and I'd recommend spending a quiet morning just walking the streets and alleyways spotting them out. Best done with a fresh mango juice in hand.

 

A11114D3-5211-49F0-A9A8-964C754BC281.JPG

 

Weekend Night Markets
Also referred to as the Walking Street, the weekend night markets in Chiang Mai shut the streets down so you’re able to freely wander the stores and street food carts. The atmosphere is related but it gets pretty crowded so I’d recommend going just before sunset before all the crowds come out. 

Rachadamnoen Rd, Tambon Si Phum, Amphoe Mueang Chiang Mai, Chang Wat Chiang Mai 50200, Thailand

 

6B46AB90-6798-49B3-B610-F32FD1DB4379.JPG
07902D05-BD00-4401-98E2-157D1F65B6E0.JPG
B13FC43C-24F6-410A-8DA5-1CFA1FA6BCE3.JPG
EBA96221-28EC-4207-9651-3345213F7DD5.JPG

 

Elephant Nature Park

Initially my main reason for wanting to visit Chiang Mai, Elephant Nature Park was co-founded by Sangduen "Lek" Chailert and is located 60km north of the city. An elephant rescue and rehabilitation centre where you can volunteer and visit to help the elephants that have spent their lives working in the logging, circus & riding trades. 

 

FF8E25D8-13CB-465E-9208-50E8DD031435.JPG
D5F25662-96CF-40D3-B309-BE0877291F18.JPG

 

I did the overnight trip here and was blown away by the work that they do here to help elephants that are mentally and physically damaged by their past. A cause that I’m super passionate about, visiting here showed me first hand the severe impact that humans have had on these beautiful creatures. We spent the two days feeding the elephants, making rice treats for them, watching them bathe in the river and observing them enjoy their freedom. 

 

385BB7FB-C206-42F6-83E1-B77DBEE0EC9D.JPG

 

Elephant riding is still very much happening and when I flew from Tokyo to Chiang Mai last week, there was a huge billboard by Mastercard at Narita Airport of people riding an elephant and it really took me surprise. How many creatives did that go through, which agency did that work and how did not one person on that campaign think that it wasn’t right? Elephant riding is still very much around, all over the world and I truly think if only we were all educated about how they’re treated, there’s no way you’d still want to jump on their backs. 

 

I highly suggest watching the film “Love and Bananas” to see just what goes on behind the scenes and what the team at Elephant Nature Park are doing to recuse and protect these creatures. Filmed at the Park with actor/director Ashley Bell and a team of elephant rescuers led by world renowned Asian elephant conservationist and TIME Magazine's Hero of Asia, Lek Chailert, co-founder of Elephant Nature Park, they embark on a daring mission 480 miles across Thailand to rescue Noi Na, a 70-year old partially blind trekking elephant and bring her to freedom.

209/2 Sridom Chai Road, Chiang Mai 50100, Thailand

www.elephantnaturepark.org

8F910BB3-9581-4DC4-997A-818CCCA854BA.JPG
BA694872-F1A2-46AA-AB4E-DEDD7FDC4260.JPG

My neighbourhood guide to NYC

When I visited New York back in 2012 for the first time, the city energised me and inspired me in ways that I hadn’t really felt before and was the reason I wanted to come back and stay a little longer. I’ve lived in New York for the past 12 months and feel like I haven’t even yet scratched the surface of the city. 

Without sounding awfully cliche, everyone here has a story of getting to New York and a reason for being here and that's what makes this hub of nearly 9 million so enthralling, so full of culture and life. It’s a city where there’s just something for everyone, and that’s the just the sort of place that I want to be a part of. 

Here’s the thing about sitting down to create a guide to New York- this city is what you make of it and can be catered so specifically to you and what you enjoy. It can be the bar that goes all night, the palette of the globe, it can be the sleepy mornings in the park and the chaos of 42nd street. My New York is filled with bookstores and caffeinated afternoons, jazzy nights and musty vintage stores. 

You might not find some of these places that I’m about to show you on the top 20 lists, but that’s kind of why I love them. 

A46AE14C-9C4B-4A35-B38D-9E08D72DB1F9.JPG
 

 

These are the areas I’ve explored most in New York and I’ve included my favourites in each. There are a few areas like the Upper East Side and some areas of Brooklyn that I haven’t seen as much of, hence why they're not included below!

 

UPPER WEST SIDE

 

My first apartment in New York was on the Upper West Side, on 99th and Amsterdam. I love this area because it’s got everything you need but still feels like ‘coming home’ after busy days downtown.

 

 

Central Park

I spent almost every weekend and weeknight at Central Park eating dinner by the pond and watching the runaround Theatre shows in the Summer. I’ve filled countless journals here, run an ungodly amount of times around the Reservoir to only Billy Joel at this Park and had some of the best long chats from 100th street all the way down to 59th here.  

My favourite spots are the Turtle Pond, The Boathouse (if it’s early enough and the crowds haven't arrived yet), The Great Lawn and The Pool. 

Winter here terrifies me because I always manage to slip over too many times, but is worth it for the snow-covered trees and ice skating. 

 

Natural History Museum

I’ve always loved the Natural History Museum and have been a countless amount of times in the past year. You can donate a chosen amount if you wish and spend a full day or more wandering the halls. 

 

 

EAT

Jacobs Pickles

For real Southern type comfort food, Jacobs pickles is a must. Think buttermilk fried chicken, biscuits and half a dozen type of different pickles to chose from.

509 Amsterdam Ave New York, NY 10024

 

Jin Ramen

A cosy Japanese spot with rice bowls, ramen, pork buns, beer and sake. Pretty much everything here is bomb and 

462 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY 10024

 

Peacefood Cafe

A homey spot for raw, vegan, gluten-free comfort food. Don’t pass on dessert. 

460 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY 10024

Blossom

My favourite vegan restaurant in the city with pavement seating for the ultimate Summer people watching session. Try the buffalo tempeh, it’s unreal.

507 Columbus Ave, New York, NY 10024

 

The Mermaid Inn

All American seafood known for their Lobster rolls. I love this place for a group dinner in a cosy setting. 

570 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY 10024

 

Spring Natural Kitchen

I love this place because it makes everyone happy and serves up hearty, healthy dishes.

474 Columbus Ave, New York, NY 10024

Locations

 

 

BOOKS & STORES

 

Book Culture on Columbus

My absolute favourite book-store in the city, I could pretty much spend hours in here looking at their selection. 

450 Columbus Ave, New York, NY 10024

 

Westside Rare & Used Books

An amazing find which feels a bit like Hogwarts

2246 Broadway, New York, NY 10024

 

Magpie

A petite gift store on the Upper West Side. If you’re looking for gifts or even unique things to bring home from New York, this is the place. They carry a range of locally made gifts, stationery, home decor and accessories. 

488 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY 10024

 

BREW

 

Irving Farm Coffee Roasters

Great for a morning coffee & scrambled egg biscuit sandwich.

224 W 79th St, New York, NY 10024

 

Birch Coffee

A simple spot near the 96th st station for a takeaway coffee to bring with you for a walk in the park.

50 Columbus Ave, New York, NY 10025

 

Birdbath Bakery

Where coffee meets pastry heaven

518 Columbus Ave, New York, NY 10024

 

 

 

799544F8-E52A-4A1A-9493-40281381543F.JPG

 

HARLEM & THE HEIGHTS

My second apartment in New York was up here in Harlem and I love exploring this area. There's a bunch of new spots that have opened up but plenty of Harlem classics that still remain.

 

JAZZ

 

Bills Place Harlem

A no-frills jazz bar with shows on Friday and Saturdays, home of Jazz player Bill Saxton. Bill’s place serves up nothing but Jazz and is a Harlem gem. Get your tickets online to reserve a spot as the parlour is small and cosy. Tickets are $20 for an hour and a half show, with an early evening session at 8 and a late session at 10. BYO Alcohol.

148 W 133rd St, New York, NY 10030

 

BREW

 

Manhattanville

My friendly and spacious coffee spot which is always a great place to get some work done.

142 Edgecombe Ave, New York, NY 10030

 

The Chipped Cup

The Chipped Cup has always reminded me of Central Perk from Friends. It’s an underground coffee spot that's intimate in the Winter, but boasts the perfect outdoor backyard for the Summer and is the most ideal place to enjoy a cuppa coffee and a pastry. 

3610 Broadway, New York, NY 10031

 

Filtered
Another little coffee store with street front bar seating and a cosy location to get some work done. 

1616 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY 10031

 

Levain Bakery

The world's greatest chocolate chip cookie.

2167 Frederick Douglass Blvd.
New York, NY 10026

Locations

 

EAT

 

Ramen ROKC

I’ve got a thing for cosy ramen bars but ROKC is truly a gem in the city. Get there early and don’t pass up on a cocktail. Their unique creations like Truffle with vodka, truffle honey, muscat, grapefruit and parmigiana reggiano, or the Grapefruit cocktail- a concoction of mezcal, elderflower, grapefruit, lime and palo santo wood. 

Go between 5pm and 7pm for $1.50 Happy Hour oysters. 

3452 Broadway, New York, NY 10031

 

OSO

An innovative Mexican restaurant in Hamilton Heights, with great cocktails, tacos and interiors. 

1618 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY 10031

 

Syliva's

A Harlem institue, Syliva's has been serving up home-cooked soul food for over 55 years. This icon remains a culinary must-visit for foodies. 

328 Malcolm X Blvd, New York, NY 10027

 

MIDTOWN

 

La Esquina Midtown

My favourite Mexican spot in the city and the perfect place to grab a bite before a show.

 200 W 55th St, New York, NY 10019

Locations

 

BEA Bar

Intimate, brick-walled eatery & bar with handcrafted cocktails, eclectic small plates & a courtyard.

403 W 43rd St, New York, NY 10036

 

Refinery Rooftop

Great food, dramatic views, away from the craze of Midtown.

63 W 38th St, New York, NY 10018

 

 

 

CHELSEA

 

 

Trestle on Tenth

Quaint brick wall and wood-heavy hideaway for hearty Swiss-American cuisine. Go for a late night drink at the bar.

242 10th Ave, New York, NY 10001

 

Gallow Green

Home to Sleep No More, the McKittrick Hotel is full of quirk and luscious spaces. In the Summer, the roof-top Garden is a getaway from the bustle and has a great weekend Brunch menu and in Winter, the space has been redecorated as a Lodge, with comfort food and drinks to match. Make no mistake though, this isn’t actually a hotel. 

401 W 25th St, New York, NY 10001

 

Citizens of Chelsea

An Aussie owned cafe that always delivers an amazing latte. The duck benny doesn’t disappoint. 

401 W 25th St, New York, NY 10001

 

Thai Villa

Traditional Thai in a trendy setting.

5 E 19th St, New York, NY 10003

 

Caferia

Upscale & exceptional American comfort food. Open 24 hours but not tacky like it sounds.

1802, 119 7th Ave S, New York, NY 10011

 

TO DO 

 

The Whitney Museum

My favourite art museum in the city.

 

The High Line

The High Line is a 1.45-mile-long elevated linear park, greenway and rail trail created on a former New York Central Railroad spur on the west side of Manhattan. The High Line gets jam packed with tourists, especially in the Summer so my best recommendation is to get up super early and grab a takeaway coffee from Citizens of Chelsea nearby to stroll enjoy the High Line bright and early & without the crowds.

 

 
1786FDE7-8E85-4B6C-AE75-DAE0E5BF70E8.JPG

 

WEST VILLAGE

 

EAT

 

The Spotted Pig

The best gastropub in the city (in my humble opinion)

314 W 11th St, New York, NY 10014

 

Tacombi

With 5 locations, Tacombi is a great spot for downtown Mexican and margaritas in a rustic, warehouse setting. 

Locations

 

Westville

I love Westville for their sides which are always bomb. Whether for breakfast, lunch or dinner, Westville is a reliable go-to with tonnes of healthy options. 

210 W 10th St, New York, NY 10014

Locations

 

Dante

A Legendary circa-1915 cafe that's a New York landmark. Come for the drinks.

79-81 Macdougal St, New York, NY 10012

 

BREW

 

Grounded Organic Coffee & Tea House

I had the best sweet potato soup I’ve ever had here recently. This unique coffee spot is tucked away in the heart of the West Village and is filled with plants and eclectic seating and has an extensive drinks menu. It can get busy though, so try and go early if you’re looking for a laid-back vibe.

1919, 28 Jane St, New York, NY 10014

 

Toby's Estate

An Aussie coffee joint that makes home feel a little closer.

44 Charles St, New York, NY 10014

 

ad hoc collective | coffee + shoppe  

A small basement coffee bar and store.

13 Christopher St, New York, NY 10014

 

The Uncommons

A cafe where you can spend hours playing from their selection of hundreds of boardgames & card games.

230 Thompson St, New York, NY 10012

ny4.jpg

 

BOOKS & STORES 

 

 

Three Lives & Company

A snug little bookstore that's been around since 1968.

154 W 10th St, New York, NY 10014

 

Bookmarc

An eclectic selection of coffee table & art books.

400 Bleecker St, New York, NY 10014

 

 
soho3.jpg

 

SOHO, TRIBECA & THE LOWER EAST SIDE

 

EAT

 

Hampton Chutney Co

I always find myself starving in Soho after a day of shopping and Hampton Chutney Co is my go-to for filling Indian dosas that are served with your choice of homemade chutney. 

143 Grand St, New York, NY 10013

 

Banter

This Aussie owned cafe has a great breaky menu and brew as well as $8 Happy Hour cocktails from 4pm - 7pm. When I’m missing my side of the world, Banters menu and casual space has me feeling like I'm in Melbourne. 

 

Sweet Chick

Rustic-chic eatery serving up Chicken and Waffles with vegan chicken options too.

178 Ludlow St, New York, NY 10002

 

Morgensterns

A quirky ice-cream parlour with flavours like burnt sage, banana curry, black coconut ash and sherbet froyo as well as all the classics. 

2 Rivington Street NY NY 10002

 

Petee's Pie Company

You can't go wrong with a piece of homemade pie and a cup of joe here.

61 Delancey St, New York, NY 10002

 

Nom Wah

Vintage dim sum parlour dating back to 1920.

13 Doyers St, New York, NY 10013

 

Ramen Lab

A tiny ramen restaurant with 10 bar seats

70 Kenmare St, New York, NY 10012

 

Mission Chinese

New York outpost of the San Francisco eatery serving fiery, innovative takes on Sichuan cuisine.

171 E Broadway, New York, NY 10002

 

Spring Natural

Organic food where there's something for everyone. A great open space that's perfect for a long lunch.

98 Kenmare St, New York, NY 10012

 

BOOKS & STORES

 

Tictail Market

Tictail has to be one of the most well-curated boutiques in New York. Bringing together independent artists, makers and brands and selling everything from home decor to fashion and gifts, Tictail is a global marketplace.

90 Orchard St, New York, NY 10002

 

Green Fingers Market

Where all your succulent dreams come true.

5 Rivington St, New York, NY 10002

 

Mulberry Iconic Magazines

An extensive magazine selection on offer.

188 Mulberry St, New York, NY 10012

 

BREW

 

Maman

I always find myself here on a rainy day at their Soho store with a hot cookie and coffee in hand.

Four locations but my favourite is:

211 W Broadway, New York, NY 10013

Locations

 

Happy Bones

A simple little Kiwi owned coffee shop in the big apple.

394 Broome St, New York, NY 10013

 

Saturdays NYC

Surf & lifestyle shop meets coffee bar. Best in Summer so you can sit in the outdoor garden. 

31 Crosby St, New York, NY 10013

 

Cafe Integral

A cute lil coffee shop with homemade nut mylks.

149 Elizabeth St, New York, NY 10012

 

Erin McKenna's Bakery NYC

My favourite little bakery in the city creating dairy-free, egg-free, soy-free, gluten-free & agave-sweetened cakes & cookies.

248 Broome St, New York, NY 10002

 

MUSEUMS

 

The Tenement Museum

An 1863 preserved tenement building brings Lower East Side immigrant stories to life with guided tours.

103 Orchard Street, New York, NY 10002

 

D12B1A39-50F6-41A3-87B4-B9361588C590.JPG

 

WILLIAMSBURG & SURROUNDS

 

EAT & drink

 

Butler Bakeshop

Located right underneath the Williamsburg Bridge.

95 South 5th Street, Brooklyn, NY 11249

 

Maison Premiere

Cocktail & oyster bar.

298 Bedford Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11249

 

Videology Bar

This low key saloon has a movie screening room and stocked bar so you can sit and enjoy a flick with beer and pub grub in hand.

308 Bedford Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11211

 

Barcade

Is there actually anything better than a bar where you can play classic video games? 

388 Union Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11211

 

Syndicated Theatre

Syndicated is a movie theatre, bar and restaurant located in Bushwick. They screen new flicks as well as classics 

40 Bogart St, Brooklyn, NY 11206

 

Smorgasborg

A huge foodie market with vintage stalls too.

Every Saturday and Sunday.

10am -5pm in Industry City at 241 37th st in Brooklyn

 

Black Brick Coffee

A low key, Williamsburg coffee hangout.

Address: 300 Bedford Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11211

 

 

Sundays in Brooklyn

Come for the brunch.

348 Wythe Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11249

 

Champs Diner

Champs is an all vegan diner serving up all the diner classics. Try the Tempeh Buffalo bites.

197 Meserole St, Brooklyn, NY 11206

 

Milk & Roses

Italian food in a library setting

1110 Manhattan Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11222

 

Cafe Mogador

During the day, this family-owned Moroccan restaurant is the perfect place to sit with a coffee, and on weekends and evening hosts a busy brunch and dinner crowd. You must try the hummus and the halloumi eggs.

There are two locations, on in Brooklyn and one in Manhattan but my favourite is the Williamsburg one. 

133 Wythe Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11249

 

Pies and Thighs

The name says it all. Make sure to leave room for dessert because the banana cream pie is everything. 

166 S 4th St, Brooklyn, NY 11211

 

Little Choc Apothecary

Homey little cafe for sweet & savory vegan crêpes!

141 Havemeyer St, Brooklyn, NY 11211

 

 

 

 

NY2.jpg

BOOKS & STORES

Stella Dallas Vintage

Stella Dallas is my favourite vintage stop. With a home store located right next to the clothing store, there’s endless racks to explore in this perfectly curated Vintage collection. 

166 S 4th St, Brooklyn, NY 11211

 

Other Times Vintage

48 Bogart St, Brooklyn, NY 11206
133 Wythe Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11249

 

Red Pearl

A whimisical gift boutique

200 Bedford Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11249

 

Quimbys books

A quaint and eclectic little bookstore

536 Metropolitan Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11211