The best way to travel like a local, is to ask a local. In this series of travel guides, we ask creatives and insiders from our global community to show us their city, their way

Knowing where to go in New York City can be tricky. Like most big cities, it's always best to ask an insider for intel on the coolest restaurants, bars, galleries and hotels, and we knew just who to ask—Gia Kuan. 

An arbiter of taste, and the go-to consultant for some of NYC's favourite fashion labels, Kuan is the Principal and Founder of the female-powered PR agency, Gia Kuan Consulting, where she takes a refreshing approach to working with brands such as Eaton Workshops, and fashion brands such as Telfar, Puppets and Puppets, Jordan Brand, Saint Sintra and Luar.

Read on to check out some of Kuan's favourite hotspots in New York City, from a bistro once frequented by Andy Warhol and Jean-Michel Basquiat to a hole-in-the-wall noodle shop in Chinatown, a Downtown dog-friendly hotel and more. 


A Manhattan bistro classic and an old haunt where the likes of Andy Warhol, Jean-Michel Basquiat and more used to hang out - but they still make a great steak frites and dirty gin martini. I come here so much that my friends and I have a rotating table of 4 booking every Sunday night


My partner, Anatoly's gallery in the heart of Chinatown, located in an old mall. Their roster of artists are always incredibly refreshing and dynamic, representing a new wave of energy for New York creatives. Every few months Whaam! also hosts book talks as a platform to discuss deeper subcultures within legacy and future generations in the city.

See also: Gallerist Johnson Chang Reflects on Decades in the Art Industry and His Hopes for the Future of Chinese Contemporary Art

Public Records

An amazingly well designed, music-driven restaurant located in Gowanus in Brooklyn. It's the only venue in New York and one of the few in the world that merge the intersection of design, music and food so well at the level of excellence that they do. Their vegan-menu is also one of the best offerings around town, coupled with one of the most advanced sound systems in their space.

Bowery Hotel 

A quintessential Downtown New York hotel with so much history. During the winter the front lounge is cozy and has dark carpets and a functioning fireplace, a great place to staycation or even just get a drink. The best thing is they are dog-friendly, so our puppy Truffle has become a regular there.

Bemelmans Bar at The Carlyle

Another classic but located on the heart of the Upper East Side, this is where I come for special occasions and that old New York experience. It's a small piano bar with intimate booths and their Ludwig Bemelmans' famed murals. Perfect date night venue –– if you can snatch a table.

See also: All That Jazz: The Star-Studded History Behind The Carlyle, a Rosewood Hotel

Central Park 

A New York landmark but I never get tired of it. Even though I live downtown we bring our dog to the park regularly and there's always a new discovery every time, given the vast side of the park that expands all the way from midtown through to East and West Harlem.

Brighton Beach boardwalk

Given my partner's Ukranian roots, his family lives in the Brighton Beach area of South Brooklyn ––  also known as "Little Odessa" due its tight-knit Russian and Eastern European communities, the boardwalk stretches along the south borders and leads you directly to Coney Island boardwalk. It's a very scenic walk route that we often do in the early evenings before walking to Coney Island and seeing fireworks or get an ice cream cone, or bumper cars.


An iconic discotheque located on Brighton Beach boardwalk. They host Vegas-style floor shows paired with Russian eats and has the glitziest vibes inside, but you can also walk outside and it takes you straight to the boardwalk and beach. I spent various birthdays and fun weekends there and always have the best time.

Tasty Hand-pulled Noodles 

A hole in the wall in Chinatown known for their, well, hand-pulled noodles –– brings me back and it's an easy cheap eat I always go to.

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