Fashion, food, sights and coffee: These are the criteria that I look for whenever I travel. After all, who doesn’t love an area that’s not only new and exciting, but possesses a killer shopping and culinary scene as well? Listed below are six cities that I have visited and consider to meet the aforementioned criteria. Us fashionista’s love our clothes, our coffee and our food (and of course updating our Instagram with pictures of them all), so next time you’ve got vacation time awaiting, consider the following.
1. Tokyo, Japan
The fashion scene in Tokyo is quite an intriguing mix. You’ve got heaps of designer boutiques such as Louis Vuitton and Dior on Omotesando Street, while Takeshita Street is a pedestrian-only area that houses an array of unique storefronts catering to various popular subcultures. Whether it’s shoes, accessories, trinkets or even some delicious crepes, you can find them all on Takeshita Street. Shibuya 109 is my favorite shopping center in the city. Located right in the heart of bustling Shibuya, this is an eight (yes, EIGHT) story shopping center that is full of trendy stores. With that many options at your leisure, it’s hard to not buy everything you see. Tokyo (and really Japan in general) is also a mecca of fantastic food. Whether it’s sushi, ramen, sukiyaki or tonkatsu, you can always be sure that a good meal can be found just around the corner.
2. Paris, France
I’m sure we can all agree that those interested in fashion should visit the fashion capital of the world. And yes, the coveted title definitely lives up to the hype. Aside from the countless fashion houses based here and the abundance of designer boutiques, it was the street style of everyday Parisians that I found myself admiring. Living in Paris must have a heavy influence on one’s fashion sense, because I observed a great deal of effortless, chic street style among people who were simply walking around and going about their day. It was quite inspiring, to say the least.
Take a stroll down Champs-Élysées for a countless array of shops – ranging from H&M to, of course, Louis Vuitton. Stop by Ladurée to pick up some delicious macarons. Bakeries in Paris are truly one of a kind. Wherever you are in the city, make sure to stop by whatever local bakeries are nearby. I would also recommend making a picnic lunch for yourself one afternoon with ingredients from a nearby market. I made a picnic for myself when visiting the Luxembourg Gardens, and although it was just a freshly baked baguette sandwich with some meat and cheese inside, it was probably one of the tastiest (and cheapest) meals I had while I was there! In a city as luxurious and glamorous as Paris, it’s refreshing to know that even the simplest of items make just as good of an impression.
3. London, England
London is a fascinating city with a plethora of historical landmarks and equally wonderful shopping destinations. Two of my favorite spots are Bond Street and Oxford Street. Bond Street is perfect for high-end luxury such as Alexander McQueen and Chanel, while Oxford Street houses more affordable, stylish retailers such as Zara, River Island and of course Topshop! While you’re there, I would also recommend checking out a theater play. I saw both Wicked and The Woman in Black while in the city and they were both incredible! For a sweet yet simple dessert, make sure to treat yourself to a delicious 99 flake (a soft serve ice cream cone with a Flake chocolate bar inserted in it). One of my favorite kinds of restaurants to visit in England are carveries, and if you happen to visit one on the weekend, absolutely do not leave without trying a Sunday roast. You’ll thank me later.
4. San Diego, California
San Diego epitomizes laidback, southern California fashion like no other. Filled with trendy boutiques and an array of delicious craft coffee shops, it’s the perfect town for every fashion, latte and ocean lover. For shopping, check out the breezy, bohemian pieces at Mimi & Red, a gorgeous boutique located in both North Park and La Jolla. For coffee, The Swell Cafe has drinks as lovely as their sun-soaked outdoor patio, while Dark Horse Coffee Roasters made me the best iced vanilla latte I’ve probably ever had. And if you go to Subterranean Coffee Boutique, make sure to get their rose chai! San Diego also does amazing breakfasts. For a hearty and delicious breakfast with a gorgeous beach side location, check out Kono’s Cafe. If you’re more in the mood for breakfast burritos, Dos Brasas is often referred to as having the best breakfast burritos in the city. And yes guys, there is a great amount of truth to this.
5. New York City, New York
Yup, another no-brainer destination for fashionista’s. For me, Fifth Avenue was one of the best spots to visit for shopping. Saks Fifth Avenue is one of my favorite department stores, so I had a bit of a fan girl moment when I stepped inside the original Saks itself. Stopping by the flagship Tiffany & Co. store that’s also located here (where Audrey Hepburn filmed the opening scene of Breakfast at Tiffany’s) was exciting as well. For a sweet treat, check out Momofuku Milk Bar and try out their Cereal Milk Soft Serve (yes, it’s ice cream that is meant to replicate the milk in a bowl of cereal). Like with London, definitely check out a Broadway show while you’re in the city, and like with Paris, make sure to stop by the Ladurée here as well. I’m still waiting on the day that Los Angeles finally opens one…
6. Los Angeles, California
Alright, so I live here. But trust me guys, when it comes to fashion, food and coffee, LA masters it all. Two of my favorite areas to shop in town are Abbot Kinney and Melrose, as both areas possess their own unique and stylish atmospheres. Located right by Venice Beach, Abbot Kinney is lined with a variety of cool, artistic and independent storefronts, while Melrose houses an array of trendy shops and eateries. Some of my personal favorite spots on Melrose include Nasty Gal, Reformation and Blu Jam Cafe. Oh, and both spots have insanely delicious coffee shops (Intelligentsia for Abbot Kinney, Alfred for Melrose). As a Santa Cruz native, I definitely have to highlight our very own Verve Coffee Roasters. With locations in downtown LA and Melrose, and even more opening up throughout the city, Verve is definitely a perfect spot for your next coffee break. Santa Monica is another great place to treat yourself. Downtown and the 3rd Street Promenade are right by the pier and chock full of various retailers and department stores. Main Street is also fantastic, with stores such as Planet Blue and Free People and a wide variety of cafes and restaurants. For the best breakfast burrito and cold brew coffee you’ll probably find in town, give Dogtown Coffee a visit. Looking to splurge? Hit up Rodeo Drive for all of the luxury designer goods you can imagine, and treat yourself to a delicious cupcake from Sprinkles while you’re at it.