New York City…the Big Apple. The city that never sleeps….
This is where dreams come true and the hustle here is non-stop. You can explore the many Burroughs: each area is unique, and the multiculturalism is inspiring. In New York City you’ll find world-class eats, world-class attractions, and world-class entertainment. There is so much to see and do; it would be difficult to get the full experience in just a few days, but if you’re pressed for time, here are some ideas.
Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Birch – this coffee chain has 6 locations around NYC. Their philosophy is they care for people first, and then coffee is a close second. You can try everything from clean light roasts to chocolatey dark ones. They also make an excellent cold brew for the iced coffee fanatics. So, pull up a chair, grab a book from their lending library (at the Flatiron location), and enjoy!
Russ & Daughters – this small charming retro diner has been around since 1914 and was once featured by Anthony Bourdain. They are best known for their bagels: probably the best you’ll ever have! A popular one is the Gaspe Nova smoked salmon; top that with one of their many varieties of lox and order a side of their famous latkes. It’s always busy but that’s ok…they’ll take your number and text you when it’s your turn. There are no tables inside; just a few benches outside. So take your bagel and explore the neighbourhood from one of their 4 locations.
Clinton St. Baking Company – considered to be New York’s #1 breakfast spot, they serve American classics with the highest quality ingredients. Their pancakes are to die for (try the blueberry ones). Top them with their homemade honey butter syrup. Show up early and be prepared to wait, as this place is very popular.
Rubirosa – you can’t come to New York and not have pizza! Rubirosa is a family-run, Italian-American neighbourhood pizzeria. They also serve handmade pasta with a variety of sauces. The atmosphere is cozy and comfortable. For something different, try the pizza with vodka sauce and mozzarella, or the tie dye pizza with vodka, tomato and pesto sauces!
Uncle Boons – this place is not your average Thai restaurant. It’s dimly lit and decorated with Thai paintings and art on the walls. There is a long wait, so be prepared! The staff is incredibly nice and affable with helping you choose from their menu. This is exotic authentic Thai cuisine, with standouts like chicken skin skewers, pig’s ears, green mango salad, crab fried rice, frog’s legs, coconut sundaes, and slushy beer. Seriously…you have to check out this place!
Peter Luger Steakhouse – established in 1887, this restaurant has evolved from a small café and billiards room and is now the top steakhouse in NYC. They are trained to select the highest quality of meat; USDA prime meat only. There are drying facilities at each location, allowing the meat to be perfectly aged. And they are melt-in-your-mouth delicious. The atmosphere is still reminiscent of the classic German bierhaus it once was. Bring cash with you and be prepared to spend a lot of it.
PH-D Rooftop Lounge – you can witness some pretty cool views of Times Square, and enjoy DJ’s that play all kinds of music. Drinks are pricey, but they are strong. It can get really crowded so come early to avoid the pricey cover charge and then sneak out before the craziness ensues…unless that’s your thing of course!
Marquee – located in Manhattan, this massive hip dance club has multiple levels, great sound, fantastic DJ’s and a cool light show with aerial performers. This club is busy, so the best way to guarantee a great night is to get hold of one of the promoters for VIP treatment.
Paul’s Cocktail Lounge – located in the Roxy Hotel in Tribeca, it is an intimate space that serves craft cocktails on silver trays. Paul is the brother of Chloe Sevigny; the staff wears her Latin Palm Beach inspired uniforms. The décor here is so unique – patterned mirrors and marble, colourful furniture, chandeliers, tropical art, and hand painted wallpaper. And as you can imagine, the cocktails are also a work of art. It can be tough to get in depending on the night, so make a good impression with the bouncers!
the blond – a super stylish place with low lighting and gold accents, sit back and relax on one of the soft velvet couches. the blond has a rotating cocktail list based on seasonal flavours, and if you need a small bite to eat, the bar menu is crafted by LeCouCou, an award-winning French restaurant. Cocktail hour is until 10 pm, and then the nightlife begins and goes until late.
Top of the Rock Observatory – instead of going up to the top of the Empire State Building, try the Top of the Rock instead. Ascend 70 floors in the famous Rockefeller building and experience 360 views of New York City from the indoor and outdoor viewing decks. You can also buy a pass that includes a tour of this iconic building complex.
Sightsee via River Cruise – there are many companies that provide cruises along the Hudson and East Rivers. You can do a casual one, or take in a fancy one that includes dinner. The cruise will take you past all of the major landmarks in NYC. Popular companies include Circle Line or Bateaux.
Museum Hopping – New York City has some of the best museums in the entire world. If you are a fan of art, The Met or Guggenheim will give you art from all over the world from all periods in time. The American Museum of Natural History – the largest natural history museum in the world – houses plants, animals, fossils, human remains, rocks, cultural artifacts, and more! The most powerful museum to see is the 9/11 Memorial & Museum. Commemorating the Sept 11, 2001 attacks, it is located where the World Trade Centre was and the Twin Towers touched the sky. There are twin reflecting pools where the towers stood with the largest manmade waterfalls in the USA, and the names of every person who perished are inscribed in the bronze panels along the pools. The museum features artifacts and displays that tells the story of that awful day in history.
Broadway – whether it be a musical or a play, there is something to satisfy the tastes of everyone if you want to catch a show in the iconic theatre district. It’s best to buy tickets in advance, and a lot of the shows are headlined by famous Broadway and Film/TV stars.
New York is fast-paced, and exhausting yet exhilarating all at once. But your visit to the Big Apple will truly be unforgettable. As Frank said, If you can make it here, you can make it anywhere!