Kim Kardashian and Kanye West go shopping at Jeffrey's in NYC. April 5, 2012. Credit: Jackson Lee/Splash News Online

Can love stem from friendship? That's what Kim Kardashian and Kanye West are hoping to find out.

The longtime pals stepped out as a couple in New York City Wednesday, and things continued to heat up Thursday when they were spotted shopping at Jeffrey's together. That same day, the reality star, 31, and the rapper, 34, had a one-on-one lunch date at Serafina on the Upper East Side.

Kardashian, who is in town for a guest hosting gig on Friday's TODAY, is "hanging out with Kanye a lot" during her stay, an insider tells Us Weekly. She and West have "been friends for years," the insider adds.

After her painful 2011 split from her NBA player husband Kris Humphries, 27, Kardashian is ready to take things to the next level with West. "Kim is ready to give it a try now," the source explains.

Their Wednesday date included a screening of The Hunger Games, followed by a trip to the theater to see Sleep No More -- an interactive show loosely based on Shakespeare's Hamlet. Attendees wear masks for anonymity, and the new couple stayed as "close and intimate as they could," an eyewitness tells Us.

Though she's downplayed romance rumors before, Kardashian has always been close with West; in February, she flew to Paris, France to sit front row at his fashion show.

Tell Us: Are you surprised to see Kim Kardashian and Kanye West taking their friendship to the next level?