Jessica Colley


  • New York, New York, USA

Jessica Colley is a correspondent who lives in New York City and covers the city for Forbes Travel Guide. As a freelance travel and food writer, Colley works from the desk (and sometimes fire escape) of her TriBeCa apartment in Lower Manhattan. She adores New York for its bubbling pizza pies, storied cobbled streets, and picnics on the bank of the Hudson River. Her work has appeared in New York magazine, Bon Appetit, and Fodor’s, among other publications. She shares details from her travels along with New York tips on Twitter @jessicacolley.

  • On July 2, 2014
  • On October 14, 2013
    Jessica Colley answered the question: Jessica Colley

    What is the scene like at Costata?

    Costata is an elegant downtown restaurant with attentive service. If you’re seeking an intimate dinner, you might prefer the peaceful dining room downstairs, while upstairs has more buzz. Well-dressed bartenders shake martinis at an L-shaped bar where couples and groups of business associates wait for tables over a drink or enjoy a light dinner. Stylish diners take their time savoring a meal at intimate tables that aren’t too close together. Be sure to explore all sections of the menu, including the raw crudo menu, the exceptional pastas (available as a side dish or appetizer) and the dry-aged meats. The cocktail list and wine list are thoughtful additions to the menu.
  • On October 14, 2013
    Jessica Colley answered the question: Jessica Colley

    What is the dress code at Costata?

    Style matters in New York City’s Soho, and Costata is no exception. This elegant restaurant with its white tablecloths draws many after-work business dinners, filling the dining room with tailored suits and chic black dresses. The dress code loosens up a little at the weekends, when business attire is traded for stylish eveningwear. Costata sets the stage for an evening out where your best jewelry and high heels will be appropriate. Jackets are not required, but those arriving in jeans might feel out of place. Diners can enjoy a cocktail and one of Michael White’s fabulous pastas at the bar, or settle in for an evening of dining including the signature 44-ounce “costata,” or rib-eye, for two.
  • On October 14, 2013
    Jessica Colley answered the question: Jessica Colley

    Where is Costata located?

    Costata is located on Spring Street in the chic downtown Manhattan neighborhood of Soho. This section of west Soho is a leafy, residential area, a few blocks away from the bustling shopping heart of the neighborhood. Expect a peaceful vibe here, where many restaurants spill out onto the sidewalks with outdoor tables. Costata is spread out over two floors, including the ground floor and a second-floor dining room and bar (plus a third-floor space for private dining and events). This new restaurant is somewhat of a homecoming for chef Michael White, who first gained attention from critics in 2002 cooking at Fiamma, a former restaurant in the same space.
  • On August 5, 2013
    Kim Atkinson is now following Jessica Colley
  • On July 29, 2013
    Jessica Colley answered the question: Jessica Colley

    What are the best sports bars in New York City?

    New York City is full of great sports bars, but the real fans seek out specific spots for their allegiances. If you want to watch European soccer, American football, or rugby, you will likely go to three different venues. Here are a few favorites.

    Berry Park. With a theater-sized projection screen and a fabulous rooftop space, Berry Park in Brooklyn has become known for its devotion to international soccer and list of varied beers on tap. They also show some American football games on the projection screen.

    Studio Square. Located in Long Island City, Studio Square also has a big beer garden with a huge projection wall. This so-called “super screen” creates a great environment to catch an American football game.

    Nevada Smiths. A good Manhattan option (especially for catching European soccer and rugby games) Nevada Smiths attracts a largely ex-pat crowd looking to cheer on their teams and discuss the game with other serious fans.
  • On July 29, 2013
    Jessica Colley answered the question: Jessica Colley

    Where are the best places to hear live music in New York City?

    New York is a live music lover’s haven, with as many venues as genres of music. While there are many places with crowds and big stages, the best places in the eyes of this New Yorker are the intimate ones, where you can feel the energy of the stage up close. 

    City Winery. If you’re more into a glass of wine in a refined space than a noisy concert venue, check out City Winery. This warm space has a wide variety of music performances from well known bands to local acts playing everything from jazz to acoustic sets.

    Joe’s Pub at the Public Theater. This concert venue is also a watering hole where you will be comfortably seated at a table during the performance. Expect flickering candles and acts ranging from cabaret to bluegrass to more established acts.

    Arturo’s. This is technically an old school pizza joint on Houston Street, but one part of what makes it so special is the live jazz performed nightly until late. One minute your waiter will be taking your order, the next he will be donning a fedora and belting out a jazz classic. A true New York experience.
  • On July 29, 2013
    Jessica Colley answered the question: Jessica Colley

    What are the best places to buy shoes in New York City?

    Shoe shopping is a serious pleasure in New York. Whether you like ‘em high and chic, flat and stylish, or something in between—there’s a shoe store for you. One decision to make in advance is whether you want to pay for the shoe or the experience. New York is full of places to find incredible deals on designer shoes, if you’re willing to skip the royal treatment. There are also some boutiques with great quality and affordable prices.

    Loehmann’s. This designer discount store offers 30-65% off retail prices of a variety of brands, from Michael Kors to Cole Haan. If you’re looking for a classic pair of boots for example, you can score something similar in Loehmann’s that you just saw in a boutique window in SoHo.

    Matt Bernson. On a particularly pretty block in Tribeca, Matt Bernson is a small boutique with a range of beautifully made shoes. The sandals, flats, and heels are reasonably priced for their quality. Enjoy the full service and try on as many pairs as you wish.

    Bloomingdale’s Soho. The downtown Bloomingdale’s has a trendier, edgier side than its uptown counterpart. The shoe department here is always full of delights, even more so at the beginning of one of their end-of-season or holiday sales when you might be able to snag two designer pairs for the price of one.
  • On July 24, 2013
    Jessica Colley answered the question: Jessica Colley

    What are the best bakeries in New York City?

    You will walk so much during your trip, you can eat the city's most decadent baked goods guilt-free. Here are some of the best bakeries in New York.

    Francois Payard Bakery  This renowned pastry chef has three outposts of his addictive bakery (Upper West Side, Soho, and Battery Park City) where almond croissants and lemon tarts are devoured by locals.

    Pain D’Avignon  This artisanal bakery has a tiny outpost in the Essex Market, located on the Lower East Side. Gather picnic supplies or indulge in pastries; everything here is bakery perfection.

    Sullivan Street Bakery  One of the bakeries responsible for launching a revolution in New York bread baking, Sullivan Street Bakery is an ideal spot for breakfast, lunch, or a sweet snack. Try the bomboloni, an Italian donut filled with cream or seasonal jam.
  • On July 24, 2013
    Jessica Colley answered the question: Jessica Colley

    What are the best romantic restaurants in New York City?

    These romantic restaurants in New York City can add a spark to any relationship.

    Peasant  On a gorgeous block in Nolita, Peasant is a candlelit Italian restaurant with food so good you will want to reach across the table and share. Don’t miss the pastas, and be sure to try anything cooked over the fire.

    Babbo  This classic restaurant located near Washington Square Park has some of the best service in the city. Settle in for a leisurely night and try one of the renowned tasting menus (the pasta tasting menu is particularly decadent).

    Forgione  Located in Tribeca, Forgione is an intimate restaurant with exposed brick walls, candlelit tables, and a buzzing bar. You can grab a table for two for a full romantic meal or snag a seat at the bar for a romantic date of drinks and dessert.
  • On July 24, 2013
    Jessica Colley answered the question: Jessica Colley

    What are the best kid-friendly restaurants in New York City?

    Many restaurants in New York City are not kid friendly—the tables are too close together, the ambiance too refined and romantic. It pays to know where to bring the little ones. Here are five favorites.

    Otto This casual Mario Batali spot is big and bustling enough to be appropriate for kids, with quality food that will appeal to the adults. It is especially a good match early in the evening.

    Shake Shack  With locations throughout the city, Shake Shack is sure to keep the kids happy. Some locations (Battery Park City, Madison Square Park) also have outdoor space where the kids can run around.

    Arturo’s  A classic pizza joint on Houston Street, Arturo’s has three packed rooms that can accommodate families. Parents will love the live jazz and exquisite pizza. During the warm season, tables are available outdoors too.

    Joe’s Shanghai  Kids love Chinese food, and this bustling spot is a fun place for families. Big tables fill the space. Parents can tuck into some of the city’s best soup dumplings while kids can order their favorites.

    Brooklyn Diner  With two Manhattan locations, Brooklyn Diner is a great match for families whether it’s time for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. They offer a great execution of diner classics.
  • On July 24, 2013
    Jessica Colley answered the question: Jessica Colley

    What are the best souvenirs to buy in New York City?

    The best souvenirs are the ones you will pick up and enjoy time and time again. Skip all the stores filled with generic souvenirs and check out these local favorites instead.

    Kitchen Arts and Letters. For visitors interested in food, the best place for souvenirs is Kitchen Arts and Letters. This is much more than a cookbook store. Here you will find out of print cookbooks, contemporary food memoirs, and everything in between.

    Smorgasburg. If you would rather eat your food than read about it, head to Smorgasburg, a Brooklyn flea market. There are many things to eat as you browse, but for souvenirs your focus should remain on locally produced goodies like coffee from the Brooklyn Roasting Company or preserved lemon syrup from Morris Kitchen.
  • On July 19, 2013
    Jessica Colley answered the question: Jessica Colley

    What are the best hotels on Fifth Avenue?

    Many hotels share a beloved Fifth Avenue address, but not all are created equal.

    A luxurious classic with an incredibly rich history, the St. Regis is without a doubt one of the best hotels on Fifth Ave. It is close to shopping, is home to the lovely King Cole Bar, and offers 24-hour butler service. Check out the special themed suites.

    A modern pick is the Setai, a Fifth Avenue property with personal espresso machines in the rooms and a Michael White restaurant, Ai Fiori, that serves up divine pasta.

    For movie lovers, a stay in the Plaza will bring back memories from films like Scent of a Woman, Sleepless in Seattle, and Almost Famous. The location on the edge of Central Park is ideal for visitors that want to explore the cycle, picnic, or leaf-peep.
  • On July 19, 2013
    Jessica Colley answered the question: Jessica Colley

    What are some things to know before visiting New York City?

    When looking for flights, compare flights and times. Between JFK, LaGuardia, and Newark airports prices can vary wildly. You might find a great deal you didn’t expect to find.

    Most hotels do not include breakfast in the nightly rate. If you want to immerse yourself in the neighborhood, read up on breakfast options in the neighborhood or check with your hotel concierge for suggestions with personality.

    New Yorkers are kind, but don’t get in our way. Almost all New Yorkers are happy to share directions, help out with the subway, and even recommend restaurants or bars in our neighborhood. Just don’t clog up the sidewalk taking photos and stopping short to look at your map.

    Restaurants book up in advance. If you have your eye on certain restaurants (and want to eat at a normal time) be sure to make your reservations in advance. Policies vary for each restaurant, but many open reservations one month in advance.

    Taxis aren’t always the fastest transportation. While you get to see a lot of New York from a taxi, they also can get stuck in traffic and barely move. Download a subway app on your phone and purchase a MetroCard to utilize the quick and efficient subway system (it operates 24-hours a day).

    Utilize your weekdays. Tourist attractions are busiest on weekends, so plan accordingly. Utilize your weekdays (and specifically, mornings) to visit museums and attractions at their least crowded. On the weekends, join locals at farmers markets or picnics in parks.
  • On July 19, 2013
    Jessica Colley answered the question: Jessica Colley

    What’s new in New York City?

    Something is always new in New York City. But recently, a couple new additions have been taking the city by storm.  

    Barbecue. Until recently, New York didn’t have a quality barbeque scene to compete with other cities. Now there are several places changing this reputation, bringing a barbecue craze to the five boroughs. Check out the John Brown Smokehouse in Long Island City or Mighty Quinn’s in the East Village.

    Citibike. New Yorkers patiently waited for a bike share program and as of Memorial Day 2013, the wait is over. These bikes have completely changed transportation in New York City, with hundreds of stands and bike lanes improving all the time. When renting, remember to think of yourself as a car and move in the same direction as traffic. Don’t cycle the wrong way down a one-way street; you must stop at red lights.

    The Cronut. The Dominique Ansel Bakery in SoHo opened to great acclaim in 2011, but burst back into the spotlight recently with the invention of the Cronut, a new pastry that is a cross between a croissant and a donut. The pastry sells out every morning, but if you’re an early bird, join the queue for New York’s most-talked-about-pastry and coffee. Around the corner on Thompon Street there is a picnic area to sit down and enjoy your breakfast.