New York…there are endless things to do, no matter what the things you want to do are. Here are some of the things that I’ve come to recommend over my time living here and visiting here prior to that. As per requests, I’m breaking New York up into Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Long Island, so here we go with the Big City!
Walks & Exploring
- Walk around Central Park – go on a run, have a snack, ride the carousel, take a boat ride, lots of options!
- Take the Staten Island Ferry to see the Statue of Liberty
- Walk the High Line Bridge (it’s the nicest in the Spring and Summer, especially when the flowers are in bloom) – it will lead you to Chelsea Market as well, depending where you decide to start and finish
- Go to Chelsea Market (with an empty stomach!)…if you pass the High Line Hotel, it’s worth seeing and getting something at their cafe
- Wander around Bryant Park (especially in Winter when they have their Christmas market and ice rink set up)
- Walk 5th Ave to see the shops (especially around Christmas)
- Great areas to wander for food and shops…Meat Packing District, West Village, SoHo, etc…pick an area and do it up!
- Hang out in Washington Square Park
- See the New York Public Library
- Go get a picture by The Vessel or book tickets to walk inside it!
- Visit the 911 Memorial…beautifully done. There is a museum there as well, but you’ll need a few hours and a lot of mental energy from the sounds of it. While you’re there, the Oculus building is worth seeing!
- Hudson River Park (The Chelsea Piers) – one of my favourite spots to walk in Manhattan…so calm
- Wander the Seaport District and visit Pier 17 (you can dine at Malibu Farm, or take in the rooftop!)
- If you’re trying to decide between the Empire State Building or Top of the Rock, I’d definitely choose Top of the Rock (and then you’re close to Rockefeller to see the ginormous tree in all it’s glory at Christmas time) – I suggest buying tickets ahead of time online to beat the line
- There are many morning shows or late night shows that you can be a part of the audience for – be warned that it is a lot of waiting, so if you have a short time in New York, this may not be up your alley. Some of the shows you can simply go on their websites and put in a request for tickets, but some shows it’s a lottery system for the year. If you try and stand in line without tickets, you’ll almost never get in, so I wouldn’t waste your time, personally-speaking
- Broadway – You gotta! You can get cheap day-of tickets at the TKTS Discount Booths (one is in Time Square). Some of my favourites on Broadway are Hamilton, Come From Away, Dear Evan Hansen, Wicked, The Lion King, The Book of Mormon, Moulin Rouge.
Harry Potter is a phenomenal play to see – make sure to get tickets to both parts!
Avenue Q is a hilarious “off-Broadway” show
- Upright Citizens Brigade – this hilarious improv theatre will leave you with a show that no one else will ever see the same way again. So many laughs!
- If you are a museum person, there’s the Museum of Natural History, the Met, and lots more that you can explore
- In the Winter, the Rockettes can sure get you in the Christmas spirit!
- If you’re coming for sports, you have every sport and multiple teams to pick from!
- Sleep No More is a crazy experience (you have to be into drama to like it) – it’s a make-your-own adventure silent theatre production where you wear a mask and walk around multiple floors of an old hotel throughout the show
- Go to the Comedy Cellar – you have to order tickets ahead of time to get in…even their Sunday brunch is great!
- If you want a night out on the town, check out LPR (Le Poisson Rouge)…they have a live 80s band on certain nights that is completely INSANE!
- If you want to have a fun adult bowling night, go to Frames Bowling Lounge NYC!
Now to the Food…
- Bibbles and Sip – coffee, tea, desserts
- Cha Cha Matcha – great matcha drinks and they make them look so beautiful
- Eat by Chloe – quick vegetarian/vegan
- Anywhere at the Chelsea Market (definitely at Los Tacos No. 1)
- Wafels and Dinges – there are not many places that I would tell you to eat on the street, but this is one of them! Plus, they have one at the Bryant Park Christmas Market too
- Urban Vegan Kitchen – for a sit down, and relatively quick, vegan lunch
- PS Kitchen – sit down vegan options, but pretty quick and right by a ton of Broadway shows
- Sweet Green – LOVE it here! Healthy, quick lunch…salads and bowls
- Pure Ktchn – another quick bowl place, that has vegan options and often gluten-free options
- Artichoke Basille’s Pizza – get the artichoke pizza, which is artichoke dip on pizza…it’s so rich, that you might want to share, but it’s an experience in itself
- Roast Kitchen – another great bowl place right by Penn Station, and super allergy-friendly
- Corner Bistro – a good build-your-own burger stop in Time Square
- Melt Shop – Grilled Cheese, Fried Chicken Sandwiches & Tater Tots
- Eataly – if you’re over at the Oculus, there are different options for everyone at this one stop
- Daniel – French cuisine…if you’re into Michelin Star restaurants, go here!
- TAO – fusion and sushi (one of my all-time favs!)
- Catch – seafood restaurant, up there with TAO
- Quality Italian – share the Chicken Parm!
- La Esquina – great Mexican
- JaJaJa – when Mexican food & Vegan food get married!
- Santina – good Mexican in the Chelsea area
- Beyond Sushi – plant-based sushi, for you vegans, or just those that don’t like raw fish, or all you pregnant ladies that aren’t eating raw sushi. Super delish, and there is a small one in the Chelsea Market, if you just wanted to test it out before having the sit down experience
- Briciola – great Italian, near Broadway, but a very small space!
- Patsy’s – hit up Patsy’s for a classic Italian meal…you can’t go wrong
- Jams – it’s fresh, local, sustainable…all the things I love! And super close to Central Park in the 1Hotel (good for breakfast, lunch, or dinner)
- Serra by Birreria – go here for the scenery alone – in the spring and summer, this rooftop is decked out with gorgeous flowers, and in the winter, the retractable roof keeps you warm in the winter wonderland they have set up. Great seasonal menu, and beautiful for a longer lunch too!
- R Lounge – in Times Square, is a cool view for a drink if you can get in
- Knickerbocker Hotel – another great view for a drink on the rooftop
- Fig & Olive – sit up at the bar and ask the bartender to make you their favourite drink
Hope you enjoy the Big Apple & sing some New York lyrics as you’re walking down the street!