New York City Hidden Gems & Local Hotspots
NEW YORK CITY TRAVEL GUIDE
This New York City Travel Guide is a part of our “Uncommon Travel Guide” series highlighting curated hidden gems and local hotspots.
New York is not just a city, it’s a character in its own right. Its iconic scenery has played backdrop to some of our favorite shows and movies, drawing us into its vibrant energy that somehow never seems to run out. From the bustling streets of SoHo to quiet nooks in Central Park, NYC has something for everyone.
Our Uncommon Destination Guide digs deep into this iconic city, uncovering the best hidden gems throughout. We’ve curated truly unique experiences, local favorites, and the occasional local hotspot. Learn where the fashion set flocks on a Friday night, or uncover unique speakeasies serving up Instagram-worthy cocktails. Whether you want to shop thoughtfully curated boutiques, grab a quick bite, or indulge in Michelin-starred cuisine, this guide will help take your NYC experience to the next level.
Make sure to check back often, as we’re always hunting for new and exciting spots in this ever-changing city.
In This Guide
Discover NYC Hidden Gems
From uptown to downtown, below we’ve curated our favorite New York City boutique hotels boasting stunning decor, chic style, and unique amenities.
The Mark Hotel
LUXURY | Upper East Side
A celebrity hotspot, The Mark Hotel is a luxurious 5-star hotel located near Central Park. It boasts lavish suites, fine dining from Jean-Georges, and Frederic Fekkai’s salon.Book
LUXURY | Lower East Side
Housed in an iconic landmark, Nine Orchard boasts Neo-Renaissance details and impeccable design. Sip a cocktail in the Swan Room with an opulent old-world setting.Book
The Marlton Hotel
HIP | Greenwich Village
This quaint boutique hotel features a cozy lobby and Margaux Cafe complete with a bar and sunroom. It has a rich history of housing famous artistic figures, including Jack Kerouac.Book
The Bowery Hotel
LUXURY | Lower East Side
Located at the intersection of the Lower East Side and the East Village, The Bowery Hotel offers a dimly lit lobby bar oozing with atmosphere, cozy rooms, and a delicious Italian restaurant Gemma.Book
The Crosby Street Hotel
LUXURY | SoHo
This 5-star contemporary design hotel is located on a quiet cobbled street in the heart of SoHo. Unwind with a cocktail at The Crosby Bar or relax in the hotel’s serene courtyard or drawing room.Book
HIP | SoHo
11 Howard features Scandinavian design and stunning decor. Its thoughtfully curated rooms boast custom furnishings, and the Michelin-Starred restaurant Le Coucou truly delivers.Book
The Bacarrat Hotel
LUXURY | Upper East Side
This 5-star hotel features lavish rooms and soaring lounges, each accented with Baccarat crystal, luxe details, and a private art collection. Dining options are led by a Michelin-Starred Director.Book
The High Line Hotel
LUXURY | Chelsea
This hotel lives in a gothic red brick building built in 1895. Its rooms evoke a bygone era of graciously decorated interiors and it is conveniently located near The High Line.Book
The Dominick Hotel
LUXURY | SoHo
This hotel offers luxurious accommodations with floor-to-ceiling windows offering stunning views of SoHo and the Hudson River. It features a spa, rooftop pool, and multiple dining options.Book
The Freehand Hotel
HIP | Flatiron District
This affordable hotel was formerly the historic George Washington Hotel, a past haven for artists and writers. It offers unique accommodations and award-winning food and beverage.Book
The Ludlow Hotel
HIP | Lower East Side
Classic meets modern with this hotel offering spectacular views of the city’s skyscrapers and a prime location within walking distance to bustling bars, restaurants, and music venues.Book
The Parklane Hotel
LUXURY | Upper East Side
Bordering Central Park South, this hotel offers luxury rooms with spectacular park views and three dining options including the Darling Rooftop with interiors as stunning as the view.Book
Dining & Nightlife
From historic restaurants and bars to hidden speakeasies and one-of-a-kind experiences, read on for hidden gems and local hotspots you’ll love.
One if by Land, Two if by Sea
Deemed the most romantic restaurant in NYC, this beautiful fine-dining restaurant is located in a historic carriage house built in 1767. It is known for its classic menu, elegant decor, and the occasional haunting from its storied past.
West Village: 17 Barrow Street
Operating since 1762, and once visited by Washington and his troops, Fraunces Tavern is the oldest bar in NYC known for its colonial American atmosphere with wooden interiors, flickering candles, and antique furnishings.
Financial District: 54 Pearl Street
Frevo New York
Frevo is a contemporary French restaurant hidden behind an art gallery in Greenwich Village. It offers a Michelin-Star multi-course tasting menu and wine pairings at an intimate 16-seat chef’s counter for a truly unique setting.
Greenwich Village: 48 W 8th Street
Located behind an unmarked door in the old studio of Andy Warhol, this referral-only restaurant features Japanese-inspired dishes. Bohemian is perfect for a romantic date or an intimate gathering with friends.
NoHo: 57 Great Jones Street
This sleek supper club and piano bar tucked away on Great Jones Street, is full of old-Hollywood glamor complete with craft cocktails, velvet seats, and opulent chandeliers. A nighttime hotspot, be sure to make a reservation.
NoHo: 9 Great Jones Street
Temple Bar is a clandestine cocktail lounge that has been restored and refurbished while maintaining its old Art-Deco feel. Enjoy craft cocktails and complimentary popcorn as you soak in the scene of NYC nightlife.
Nolita: 332 Lafayette Street
Verōnika is an upscale restaurant and bar hidden within Fotografiska New York. Bar Verōnika offers a curated menu of craft cocktails, fine wines, and small plates while the restaurant offers continental European classics with a modern twist.
Flatiron District: 281 Park Ave South
Regarding Oysters is a private speakeasy in Manhattan’s Midtown East where guests can shuck their own oysters and shake their own cocktails. It’s an intimate and unique experience perfect for a date night or special occasion.
Murray Hill: Must book for address
This exclusive restaurant is located in a stunning beaux-arts townhouse on 61st Street. Comprised of five floors, the space features multiple lounges and dining rooms offering exquisite South American and Mediterranean cuisine.
Upper East Side: 36 E 61st Street
4 Charles Prime Rib
4 Charles Prime Rib is an intimate supper club tucked away in the charming West Village. It offers plush leather seating, crystal chandeliers, and paintings lining its dark walls, making it a charming hideaway for steak and whiskey lovers.
West Village: 4 Charles Street
Mr. Jones Supper Club
Mr. Jones is a little Supper Club that only serves a shared table for 10 on the 1st and 3rd Saturday of the month. Featuring an Omakase-style menu of shared dishes, there’s no better way to mingle with New Yorkers. Email for reservations.
West Village: 22 Jones Street
Bad Roman is an Italian restaurant with an ambiance as decadent as the food. Lush greenery, vibrant accent colors, and a stunning bar make this restaurant an evening to remember.
Upper West Side: 10 Columbus Circle
Thai Diner is an all-day eatery located in Nolita that serves a variety of Thai cuisine, including Phat Thai and Thai tea babka. The restaurant is owned by the team behind Uncle Boons and Uncle Boons Sister.
SoHo: 186 Mott Street
Minetta Tavern in NYC is a charming steakhouse located in Greenwich Village. Known for its burger, it also offers some of the best steaks, chops, and overall feel-good vibes that New York City has to offer.
West Village: 113 MacDougal Street
Eisenberg’s Sandwich Shop
Eisenberg’s Sandwich Shop, located on lower Fifth Avenue, is a historic and charming lunch counter gracing New York since 1929. Less known than the famous Katz’s Deli, you must try their Rueben.
Flatiron District: 174 5th Avenue
If you plan to live it up in the city that never sleeps, L’Express is a classic French bistro open 24 hours. Introduce your 2 am escapades to mussels, steak, or escargot, you deserve it.
Gramercy: 249 Park Ave South
Little Sister Lounge
Inspired by the nightclubs of the ’90s, dance the night away under barrel-vaulted ceilings with locally crafted vintage chandeliers, before taking a cocktail break on jewel-toned velvet sofas. Dress to impress.
East Village: 112 E 11th Street
Located in the iconic Hotel Chelsea once a bohemian haven for writers like Bob Dylan and Allen Ginsberg, Lobby Bar serves craft cocktails and small plates in a relaxed yet lush setting.
Chelsea: 226 W 23rd St
Kikis is a hole-in-the-wall Greek restaurant known for its casual yet cool scene and even better food. Indulge in comforting staples like moussaka, lamb chops, and their amazing Greek salad.
Chinatown: 130 Division Street
At Popular NYC you’ll indulge in Peruvian fare crafted by Chef Diego Muñoz, who led the menu for Astrid y Gaston, the distinguished restaurant ranked number one on The World’s 50 Best Restaurants.
Lower East Side: 215 Chrystie Street
CheLi offers authentic and flavorful cuisine inspired by the culinary traditions of Shanghai and the surrounding Jiangnan region. You’ll enjoy unique dishes such as smoked fish, sea urchin, and Atlantic wine-soaked crab.
East Village: 19 St Mark’s Place
Davelle is a Japanese-style cafe serving Japanese comfort food. The cafe is known for its signature toasts such as honey and lemon and black sesame and cream cheese as well as its Japanese curry dishes.
Lower East Side: 102 Suffolk Street
This restaurant offers traditional Tuscan cuisine and imported Italian wines in a cozy atmosphere that will transport you to Tuscany. It’s known for its handmade pasta made fresh daily and unique wine presented in a milk bottle rack.
East Village: 647 E 11th Street
With decadent chandeliers, plush velvet, and a weekly lineup of DJs, The Palace is the perfect hotspot to dance the night away if you’re looking for a chic night out on the town.
Tribeca: 380 Canal Street
Rosecrans Cafe is a charming and cozy cafe that combines a coffee shop with a florist boutique, making it an Instagram-worthy spot. The cafe offers gluten-free pastries and cakes, and it also serves wine.
West Village: 7 Greenwich Avenue
Abraço Espresso in NYC is a small European-style coffee shop located in the East Village. They serve coffee, pastries, cocktails, beer, and wine. Their perfectly balanced espresso is considered to be one of the best in Manhattan.
East Village: 81 E 7th Street
A staple since 1885, Keens Steakhouse is famous for its collection of churchwarden pipes that now adorn the ceiling. A piece of history, these pipes were saved for Keen’s frequent visitors including Albert Einstein and Babe Ruth.
Midtown West: 72 W 36th St
Tin Building by Jean Georges
The Tin Building by Jean-Georges is a culinary destination with something for every palate. A truly epicurean journey, you’ll discover gourmet dining options alongside specialty shops in its unique marketplace.
Pier 17: 96 South Street
Keys and Heels
Hiding in the back of what looks like an unassuming shoe repair shop, Keys and Heels serves up moody vibes and curious cocktails. Exposed brick, fringe lamps, and bistro tables with dimly lit table lamps create the ultimate ambiance.
Upper East Side 1488 2nd Ave
While it’s hard to get a reservation, Via Carota is a beloved Italian staple run by renowned chefs Jody Williams and Rita Sodi. Inspired by a 17th-century villa, it offers seasonal Italian cuisine and craft cocktails.
West Village: 51 Grove Street
Double Chicken Please
Double Chicken Please offers inventive craft cocktails that deconstruct and rebuild iconic dishes into liquid forms such as the Japanese Cold Noodle, Cold Pizza, and Key Lime Pie. It also serves up inventive chicken sandwiches.
Lower East Side: 115 Allen Street
Voted one of the World’s 50 Best Bars, Mace is dedicated to incorporating unique spices handpicked from around the world into its cocktails and dishes. From herbaceous cocktails to delicious bites, you are in good hands.
Greenwich Village: 35 W 8th Street
If you’re looking for a brunch spot in New York City, Bubby’s serves comfort food using high-quality, locally-sourced ingredients. From their fluffy pancakes to their crispy fried chicken, every dish is made with care and attention to detail.
Tribeca: 120 Hudson Street
If you’re looking for a delicious Bloody Mary, look no further than Jeffrey’s Grocery serving up their Bloody Cesar which includes clamato, jalapeno, and Worcestershire complete with a shrimp and oyster garnish.
West Village: 172 Waverly Place
Lady Mendl’s Tea Room
Lady Mendl’s Tea Salon is a charming and whimsical tea salon located in a Georgian Brownstone in Gramercy Park. It offers an unconventionally chic atmosphere, museum-quality vintage furniture, and delicious tea and cocktails.
Gramercy: 56 Irving Place
Owned by Chef Andrew Carmellini, Lafayette offers a contemporary take on classic French brasserie cuisine equally as delicious for brunch as it is for dinner. From its raw bar to decadent desserts, you can’t go wrong here.
NoHo: 35 W 8th Street
Tacombi is a Mexican restaurant that serves authentic tacos a la carte, refreshing cocktails, and beers. The converted VW bus where they serve up tacos adds to the unique atmosphere of the restaurant.
Nolita: 267 Elizabeth Street
Known for its buttery and flavorful Japanese Wagyu, the menu features various cuts of high-quality A5 rank Wagyu beef with a Beef Marbling Score (BMS) above 10. This restaurant also offers delicious seafood and sushi.
East Village: 239 E 5th Street
Another gem open 24 hours, Coppelia is an authentic Cuban diner with a vibrant yet cozy atmosphere and reasonable prices. With standouts like their Ropa Vieja and Red Sangria, Coppelia is the perfect respite after a day of wandering.
Chelsea: 207 W 14th Street
Behind an unmarked door lies Little Branch, an underground speakeasy known for its rigorous mixology and good date-night vibes. It serves up some of the best craft cocktails with no-frills decor perfect for a low-key night.
West Village: 20 7th Avenue South
Jac’s on Bond
The latest hip downtown hangout, Jac’s on Bond serves inventive cocktails and delicious small bites in a sleek space with jazz-age undertones that add to its inviting yet chic vibe. For an unexpected delight try the Caprese martini.
NoHo: 26 Bond Street
An intentionally designed dive bar featuring wood paneling, leather banquette seats, and kitsch wall art, this place is truly a vibe complete with a disco ball and pool table. A cool late-night hangout, you never know who you’ll spot.
Lower East Side: 177 Chrystie Street
This cocktail bar has a healthy obsession with gin, serving seasonal signature cocktails, and boasting New York City’s largest gin selection. Its culinary roster includes a raw bar with fresh oysters arriving daily and French fare.
Chelsea: 38 W 26th Street
Smalls Jazz Club
A throwback to another era, Smalls Jazz Club is a renowned jazz venue with an international reputation that draws fans from all over the world. If you’re more into “the blues” check out Mezzrow just a stone’s throw away.
West Village: 183 W 10th Street
The Darling Rooftop
The Darling Rooftop on the Upper East Side is a swanky and elegant rooftop bar located on the 47th floor of the Park Lane Hotel. It offers panoramic views of Central Park in a truly glamorous setting.
Upper East Side: 36 Central Park South
With three locations, Dante dates back to 1915 and is renowned for its Negroni offering up creative variations on its menu. Dante’s other craft cocktails are just as swoon-worthy paired with Italian bites.
Greenwich Village: Various locations
Zou Zou’s menu celebrates Eastern Mediterranean cuisine, bringing in influences from Lebanon, Israel, and Turkey, among others. The sprawling 75-seat space features an open kitchen and an upstairs cocktail lounge Chez Zou.
Lower East Side: 385 9th Avenue
Housed in a former bank, the Swan Room offers a glamorous, old-world setting with a vaulted ceiling, lush details, and pink Tennessee marble walls to enjoy a quintessential New York evening of craft cocktails and small plates.
Dimes Square: 54 Canal Street
From Lucie is known for its unique French mini cakes made with seasonal ingredients and floral decorations. The bakery was started by Lucie Franc de Ferriere, who was inspired by her upbringing in the French countryside.
East Village: 263 E 10th Street
Librae Bakery has gained notoriety for its imaginative pastries that utilize traditional Middle Eastern recipes with a modern touch. You’ve most likely stumbled upon their stunning pistachio rose croissant on Instagram.
NoHo: 35 Cooper Square
Ando pastries are a unique fusion of Chinese and French desserts including items like the Oolong Basque Burnt Cheesecake and the Black Sesame Roll Cake which sells out daily.
East Village: 214 E 10th Street
Popular NYC Dining & Bars
Now that you’ve uncovered the hidden gem restaurants and bars in New York City, don’t forget some of the most popular restaurants, New York institutions, and nightlife.
There are few things we love more than a thoughtfully-curated boutique. From whimsical bookstores to trendy fashion boutiques, read on for unique shopping, hidden gems, and local favorites.
With locations in Tuscon and NYC, Desert Vintage specializes in curating an eclectic mix of vintage pieces from the turn of the century through the 1970s. You’ll discover timeless yet on-trend clothing and accessories from around the world.
Lower East Side: 34 Orchard St
A true hidden gem, ALBERTINE is a stunning French-American bookstore. It offers the largest collection of French books in the US with over 14,000 classic and contemporary titles available in French and English.
Upper East Side: 972 5th Avenue
Oroboro Store is a women’s boutique that supports mindful creative expression and rare & emerging designers. They offer a curated collection of luxury and emerging designers, handcrafted ceramics, and unique clothing.
Nolita: 217 Mott Street
Café Forgot clothing boutique offers unique, art-inspired pieces. Founded by two friends who are passionate about fashion, the store has gained a cult following in the fashion world.
Lower East Side: 29 Ludlow Street
Coming Soon NYC
One of the chicest home decor stores in NYC, you’ll find contemporary and unique decor pieces from up-and-coming designers, vintage furniture, and creative gifts you might have stumbled upon in your Instagram feed.
Lower East Side: 53 Canal Street
Isalis Clothing Boutique offers over 70 independent brands including Paloma Wool, House of Sunny, Agolde, Selkie and more. Shop on-trend clothing, shoes, accessories, and swimwear from unique designers.
SoHo: 22 Prince Street
Located in a gorgeous landmark building in SoHo, The Webster is a six-floor luxury paradise featuring high-end designers and exclusive collaborations with brands such as Paco Rabanne. Stylist Joanna Czech also has a studio here.
SoHo: 29 Greene Street
Blue in Green
This menswear store specializes in high-end Japanese brands. They offer rare and unique pieces of clothing, including Japanese denim.
SoHo: 8 Greene Street
Assembly New York
Assembly New York has some of the chicest and on-trend pieces for men and women from luxury independent designers. It also features vintage collections, jewelry, accessories, shoes, and perfume.
Lower East Side: 170 Ludlow Street
Flying Solo is a fashion retail store that showcases exclusive and unique brands in clothing, fashion accessories, beauty, cosmetics, and more. Representing over 70 independent designers, this is a fashion must.
SoHo: 420 West Broadway
Dover Street Market
This artistic space is beautifully curated with up-and-coming and high-end designers. With each designer on display like a work of art, you’ll feel like you’re in a gallery complete with a cafe.
Lower East Side: 160 Lexington Ave
With three locations throughout NYC, INA is a designer consignment store that accepts only the finest designer clothing, shoes, accessories, and select vintage, all carefully curated for seamless shopping.
Various Locations: View Locations
What Goes Around Comes Around
If you love shopping designer brands more sustainably you’ll love this store. What Goes Around Comes Around is a luxury vintage store in NYC that specializes in pre-owned designer bags and accessories.
SoHo: 351 W Broadway
Maryam Nassir Zadeh
Born in Iran, Maryam Nassir Zadeh launched her own brand in 2013. It offers a range of clothing, accessories, jewelry, and shoes designed in unisex shapes and organic textures.
Lower East Side: 123 Norfolk Street
A mainstay for 30 years, Designer Revival offers a meticulously curated collection of designer fashion, handbags, and accessories. It’s truly one of fashion’s best-kept secrets.
Upper East: E 81st Street
Soapology Store in NYC offers all-natural soap, bath, and body products made from 100% natural ingredients. Their handcrafted artisan soap bars are palm oil-free and they contribute towards homeless charities.
West Village: 67 8th Avenue
Aedes Perfumery in NYC has been a destination for fine fragrances and candles since 1995. It offers its own signature scents as well as a range of brands including Santa Maria Novella, Byredo, Frederic Malle, Serge Lutens, and Cire Trudon.
SoHo: 16 A Orchard Street
Porto Rico Importing Co
Porto Rico Importing Co. has been roasting coffee daily since 1907, offering a wide variety of premium coffee beans with bold, rich, and flavorful blends from around the world that are truly unique.
West Village: 67 8th Avenue
The oldest independent bookstore in NYC, Argosy Books is a treasure trove of rare and antique books. This cozy bookstore occupies an entire six-story building with beautiful wood-paneled rooms lined with built-in bookcases.
Upper East Side: 116 E 59th Street
Olde Good Things
If you love antiques, browse the unique treasures at Olde Good Things with various locations throughout the city. They have a vast inventory of original and restored antique items including chandeliers, furniture, art, and more.
New York: Various Locations
Popular NYC Shopping
Now that you’ve uncovered the hidden gems, don’t forget some of the most popular shopping destinations in New York City. These tried and true stores and neighborhoods are popular for a reason.
Activities & Culture
While iconic New York landmarks like Radio City Music Hall or the Empire State Building will always have a place in our hearts, it’s the unexpected hidden gems that showcase the true beauty of New York. From hidden gems in the New York Harbor and the beautiful Cloisters Museum located in Fort Tryon Park to the beauty of the historic stone street and the city hall subway station in downtown Manhattan, discover a special New York moment.
The Morgan Library
Once the private collection of financier Pierpont Morgan, The Morgan Library houses books and art. The building itself is a work of art, with grand marble staircases and ornate ceilings that transport visitors to another era.
Murray Hill: 225 Madison Ave
Hidden Tropical Rainforest
New York’s Hidden Tropical Forest is a surprising oasis located in a Midtown Manhattan office building. It is a miniature rainforest that can be visited by the public all year round.
Midtown East: 420 E 43rd Street
The Basilica of Old St. Patrick’s Cathedral in NYC offers a unique tour of its historic catacombs, which have served as the final resting place for the faithful departed for over 200 years.
Nolita: 263 Mulberry Street
The Little Red Lighthouse
The Little Red Lighthouse is a small lighthouse located in Fort Washington Park along the Hudson River. It was built in 1880 and moved to its current location in 1921. Inside, look out onto the Hudson below the George Washington Bridge.
Fort Washington Park: Hudson River
ARTECHOUSE in NYC is an innovative art destination located beneath Chelsea Market. It offers immersive art experiences that push the limits of creative innovation at the intersection of art and science.
Chelsea: 439 W 15th Street
Stone Street is a short historic street in the Financial District. It offers old-world charm with cobblestone streets, lively bars, and restaurants serving delicious food.
Financial District: Stone Street & Pearl Street
Metropolitan Roof Garden
This hidden gem rooftop garden located on top of The Met offers stunning views of Central Park. This secret garden is the perfect haven for magical sunsets on Friday and Saturday evenings in the summer and early fall.
Address: 1000 5th Avenue
Magic Jewelry Aura Photography
Magic Jewelry in NYC offers aura photography, a way to capture the energy you radiate through an array of colors. Get your aura photographed and receive a reading that explains the colors visible in your portrait.
Chinatown: 238 Canal Street
West Chelsea Building
A short walk from the High Line and Chelsea Piers in the heart of Chelsea’s Art District, West Chelsea Building is home to art galleries featuring the works of over 100 independent artists. Stop in and discover your new favorite artist.
Chelsea: 526 W 26th Street
If you’re seeking innovative art, music, and performances, The Shed NYC is a cultural center located in Hudson Yards. It commissions, produces and presents a wide range of art and ideas across all forms of creativity.
Address: 545 W 30th Street
This hidden gem museum is dedicated to early twentieth-century German and Austrian art and design. The collection features paintings, furniture, sculpture, and you can view Gustav Klimt’s Woman in Gold portrait permanently on display.
Upper East Side: 1048 5th Avenue
Fotografiska Museum is a truly unique experience with world-class photography, eclectic programming, curated retail, and elevated dining.
Flatiron District: 281 Park Ave South
Sofar Sounds offers intimate live music performances in unique and secret spaces throughout the city. Local artists and local New Yorkers come together to create an unforgettable experience.
Various Locations: Revealed when booked
Rockwood Music Hall
Rockwood Music Hall has three intimate stages that host emerging and established music artists since 2005. Check out their schedule to see if you can snag a show while you’re in town.
Lower East Side: 196 Allen Street
The Ravine Central Park
The Ravine is a popular landscape in Central Park’s North Woods, featuring a natural waterfall and pond. It spans 40 acres and offers a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of Manhattan. Enter on west side around 102nd st.
Central Park: W102nd street entrance
The Cloisters Museum
Tucked away in Fort Tryon Park, The Cloisters Museum is a beautiful haven dedicated to the art and architecture of the Middle Ages. It opened in 1938 and overlooks the Hudson River.
Fort Tryon Park: 99 Margaret Corbin Drive
Apothéke Academy Cocktail Class
With classes, every other Saturday, Apothéke Academy in Chinatown will teach you the art of mixology. We recommend their prohibition-era class where you will create 4 classic cocktails with seasoned mixologists.
Chinatown: 9 Doyers Street
Founded by Chef Simon Herfray, Atelier Sucré’s studio kitchen offers workshops on everything from how to make the iconic New York bagel to French pastries. They welcome students of all experience levels.
East Village: 104 E 7th Street
Compagnie des Vins Surnaturels Wine Class
Focusing on unique wines from around the world, this wine bar offers 1-hour wine boot camp classes that include 4 tasting-size portions of wine, and one food pairing led by sommelier instructors Penny Nichols and Vitalii Dascaliuc.
SoHo: 249 Centre Street
Grand Central Whispering Gallery
The Grand Central Whispering Gallery is located near the Oyster Bar restaurant on the lower level of the Terminal. It features low ceramic arches that create an acoustical phenomenon allowing whispers to be heard across the gallery.
Grand Central: Archway near Oyster Bar
If you want to go beyond Off-Broadway productions, The Joyce Theater in NYC is a premier dance performance venue featuring unique performances from top dance companies from Martha Graham to Trisha Brown.
Chelsea: 175 8th Avenue
Little Island Park
Little Island Park is located on Pier 55 in the Hudson River, offering a unique urban oasis nestled among more than 350 species of flowers, trees, and shrubs along with dazzling views of NYC and the Hudson River.
Pier 55: W 13th Street
Located at the lower tip of Manhattan in Battery Park, the SeaGlass Carousel is an homage to the first New York Aquarium that was located there from 1896 to 1941.
Battery Park City: Water Street & State Street
Roosevelt Island Tram
The Roosevelt Island Tram is an aerial tramway in New York City that spans the East River and connects Roosevelt Island to the Upper East Side. It offers spectacular views for skyline photos.
Upper East Side: E 60th Street & 2nd Avenue
Glass Waterfall Tunnel
The Glass Waterfall Tunnel in NYC is a short clear tunnel that runs beneath a waterfall at the McGraw Hill Park. It’s a little-known spot in Midtown Manhattan, perfect for photos and a welcome respite from the city’s hustle and bustle.
Midtown West: 142 W 49th Street
City Hall Station
The City Hall subway station in NYC is a unique and beautiful abandoned station from 1904, featuring stunning architecture and a chandelier. It is only accessible through guided tours by the New York Transit Museum.
Tribeca: Civic Center
Popular NYC Attractions
Now that you’ve uncovered the hidden gem attractions, don’t forget some of the most popular attractions in New York City.
The Hot List
If you are limited in time or need to narrow down your itinerary, below are some of the top experiences that should make the cut.
New York City | Various locations
Resident brings chefs from the world’s top restaurants to host intimate dinners in unique, luxury spaces throughout the city. Taking over penthouses, mansions, and chic lofts, each dinner features a custom designed tasting menu by your head chef working hand-in-hand with a seasoned sommelier to ensure the perfect wine pairing. Between each course your chef will share the details and inspiration behind each plate, while your sommelier walks you through the unique profile of each wine.
One of the most unique things about Resident is how up close and personal you are with the chef. Learning unique details about each dish before you indulge makes the food taste that much better. When booking your dinner, take note of your chef’s background before dining. This will help make the experience more special.
Sleep No More
Chelsea | 530 W 27th Street
This award-winning show tells Shakespeare’s tragedy, Macbeth, through a film noir lens offering an immersive theatrical experience unlike any other. As you enter the McKittrick Hotel, you’ll be transported to another world where there are no boundaries between the performers and the audience. You’ll wander 5 floors of the hotel solo, exploring different rooms and encountering various characters as the story unfolds. The show lasts up to three hours, and there are multiple arrival times for each evening.
You will be separated from your group upon entering the show. Don’t try to find your party and embrace wandering solo. Each of you will have a unique experience that you can discuss after the show. Overall, the dark and dreamlike atmosphere of Sleep No More is truly captivating, with stunning visuals that will stay with you long after the show is over. Sleep No More is simply a must if you are visiting New York City.
Nomad | 25 W 28th Street
From visionary Chef José Andrés, Nubeluz is a stunning rooftop bar perched 500 feet above New York City. It’s located on the 50th floor of the Ritz-Carlton in Nomad serving up creative cocktails, light bites, and unparalleled panoramic views of the NY skyline. The space was designed by world-renowned interior designer Martin Brudnizki featuring rich textiles and chic accents that bring a modern sophistication to the space.
Make a reservation for sunset so you can truly enjoy the spectacular view. For a “wow factor” order The Floral Cloud or Foggy Hill cocktails that are fittingly served with an aromatic “cloud.” Not only will the floating smoke create an Instagram-worthy moment, but the aroma adds to the tasting experience.
The Office of Mr. Moto
East Village | 120A St Marks Place
The Office of Mr. Moto in the East Village is a unique and exclusive dining experience that masters the art of Japanese gastronomy. Upon entering the discreet entryway, guests are welcomed into Mr. Moto’s private collection of art and artifacts sprinkled throughout the bi-level space. The 21-course sushi Omakase menu is seasonally curated featuring fish from Japan’s Toyosu Fish Market flown in daily. This intimate speakeasy-style restaurant requires guests to decode an email before their visit to get the entrance code, adding to its fun and exclusivity.
We highly recommend the sake pairing as each sake is carefully selected to pace you through the sushi, and don’t forget to peruse the Japanese art and artifacts to fully soak in the experience. Finally, complete your evening with a cocktail from The Library lounge downstairs and enjoy tunes from the self-playing vintage piano.
Chelsea | 40 W 25th Street
Showplace NYC is a one-stop shop for all your luxury, art, design, and vintage needs. Located in Chelsea, Showplace spans four floors and 40,000 square feet of space. With a wide selection of antiques from all eras up to the 70’s, you can find something special for yourself or a loved one. In addition to its retail offerings, Showplace also holds bi-weekly auctions featuring items from private estates and collections.
Showplace is a treasure trove for gorgeous furniture, vintage clothing, and one-of-a-kind art. With so much to see here, carve out a couple of hours so you can take your time wandering the galleries. Be sure to check out the gallery curated by interior designer Nate Berkus, and you’ll find stunning vintage designer clothing in the Marlene Wetherell gallery including designers from Chanel to Yves Saint Laurent and Dior.
CLASSIC NEW YORK
Upper East Side | 35 E 76th Street
Bemelmans Bar has been a famous gathering place for socialites, world leaders, and celebrities since 1947. It is located in The Carlyle and named after Ludwig Bemelmans, the creator of the classic Madeline children’s books. The bar features whimsical murals by Bemelmans himself which attracted the attention of the New York elite when he began completing his masterpiece murals. This classic institution serves up craft cocktails with nightly piano performances starting at 5:30 pm. With its old-world charm, unchanged since the 1940s, experience the glamor of a bygone era in New York’s rich history.
A martini lover’s paradise, this bar is known for making a proper martini and its white-glove service. If you want a classic martini crafted to perfection, this is the place to find it. Visit on a weekday between 3-4 pm to avoid a wait.
NEW YORK CUISINE
SoHo | 275 Mulberry Street
From the group behind the iconic Carbone, acclaimed chef Rich Torrisi brings Italian fare with a New York twist to downtown Manhattan with Torrisi Restaurant and Bar. Located on the rear ground floor of The Puck building, Torrisi is a sprawling and inviting space boasting a grand 35-seat bar area and an open kitchen accented by exposed brick and warm lighting. Yet, while the ambiance is amazing, the food is the real star of the show. The dishes have a strong New York focus with options like linguini in a pink Manhattan clam sauce, cucumbers new yorkese, and duck alla Mulberry.
The pasta here is truly exceptional but if you are a fan of duck, the Duck Alla Mulberry is not to be missed. The almond cheesecake is also a must. It can be hard to get a reservation here, but they accept walk-ins at the bar. Visit right when it opens to ensure you snag a seat.
Tansy’s Polite Society
Neighborhood | 12 Name of Street
Tansy’s Polite Society is a premiere artist salon that offers a glittering night of burlesque and craft cocktails. Hosted in an intimate brownstone by burlesque performer Tansy every Thursday, the show is an adventure in artistry and intimacy, featuring acts such as Aryn Shelander’s contortion foot-archery act, tap dancers, musicians, ballet dancers, and the best of burlesque.
if you appreciate the art of burlesque and unique performances, Tansy’s Polite Society makes for a one-of-a-kind evening in NYC. Be sure to reach out in advance for tickets through Reservations@PoliteSocietySalon.com.
The Dead Rabbit
NEW YORK STAPLE
Financial District | 30 Water Street
Located in a 19th-century townhouse, The Dead Rabbit is the most awarded pub in the world offering The Taproom on the main floor which is a traditional Irish Pub where craic reigns supreme and The Parlor on the second floor which is an intimate cocktail lounge. If you’ve seen Gangs of New York, then you are familiar with the history of The Dead Rabbit gang which is the inspiration behind the bar’s memorable name.
If you are a big fan of traditional Irish pubs then you will enjoy the Taproom’s beer selection and Irish-themed cocktails. We recommend the Irish Coffee Martini and the Banker’s Punch. If you are looking for a more intimate and refined experience, head upstairs to The Parlor and you’ll find a wider assortment of unique cocktails. In fact, the cocktails are so good The Dead Rabbit released a cocktail book so people could recreate the dreamy cocktails at home.
CLASSIC NEW YORK
Theatre District | 228 W 52nd Street
Known for its classic steakhouses, unless you are a vegetarian, you can’t visit NY without indulging in a proper steak. While 4 Charles Prime Rib and Keen’s are two of our favorite steakhouses, Gallagher’s has long been heralded as the best steak in the city since it opened its doors as a speakeasy in 1927. The experience begins before you even set foot inside with the iconic glass-encased meat locker positioned at the entrance. This is where they dry age the meat to drool-worthy perfection. Gallagher’s is also known for its charcoal grill, mastering the art of grilling its steaks over hickory coals for over 90 years.
The porterhouse for two, rib steak, and the clams casino are the main attraction at Gallagher’s, but you really can’t go wrong with any dish. The cocktails are equally as impressive with heavy pours. Finish off your meal with the New York cheesecake that rivals the best in the city.
West Village | 103 Greenwich Avenue
Loved by locals, another New York Italian staple makes the hot list. From husband and wife duo Scott Tacinelli and Angie Rito, Don Angie is a Michelin-starred modern Italian-American restaurant serving up delectable fare and creative craft cocktails. The menu features a range of classic Italian dishes from pasta and lasagna, to more rustic offerings like chicken scarpariello and veal “da pepi.” The intimate dining room is chic yet cozy with accent mirrors, metallic detailing, and a checkerboard floor. Don Angie masters the art of creating a sleek and glamorous atmosphere while still exuding a sense of home.
Start your meal with Nonna’s Little Nip, a delightful aperitif made with grapefruit, Campari, and prosecco. Order the pinwheel lasagna, the stuffed garlic flatbread, and the chrysanthemum salad for the table. You won’t regret it. The black cocoa tiramisu is also a must.
Our Favorite “No-Frills” Finds for You to Explore
Sometimes the “no frills” experiences make a lasting impression on our travels. From grabbing a quick breakfast to hole-in-the-wall dive bars and late-night eats, here are some of our favorite “no-frills” recommendations.
Oyster Happy Hour
If you’re seeking an awesome oyster happy hour you can enjoy $1 oysters and a happy hour menu every day from 5-7 at Bar Belly or half a dozen oysters and a beer for $12 from 5-7 at local favorite Upstate.
Quick Morning Bite
For a quick morning bite enjoy a delicious breakfast burrito from Downtown Bakery or breakfast staples from La Bonbonniere, an unpretentious diner that serves some pretty delicious chocolate chip challah french toast. For a classic New York bagel, check out Ess-A-Bagel for a quick bite that doesn’t disappoint.
For quick yet delicious tacos visit Los Tacos No. 1, Taco Shop, or Los Mariscos if you have a hankering for seafood tacos.
For a hole-in-the-wall dive bar try Milano’s Bar, Johnny’s Bar, Sophie’s Bar, Spring Lounge, 169 Bar (gets rowdy at night), Home Sweet Home (you can dance to Motown on Friday nights), Forgtmenot (has great food) and WXOU Radio Bar.
If you’re a whiskey lover stop by On The Rocks, an intimate bar serving over 150 whiskeys, or if you prefer pairing your spirits with a good cigar stop by Hudson Bar and Books, one of the oldest cigar bars in the city. For intimate cocktails visit The Bar Upstairs in Tiny’s (located in a pink townhouse you cannot miss) or The Garrett West located in the back of Five Guys in the West Village.
For affordable cocktails stop into Botanica with $11 cocktails, Mr. Fong’s with cocktails for $10-$13, or Holiday Cocktail Lounge serving short cocktails for $7 and cocktails for $13-$14.
If you prefer an intimate cocktail with a side of dancing, check out The Lounge Downstairs at Macao Trading Co or enjoy dancing downstairs at Kind Regards, Wiggle Room, or Discolo (downstairs at Al Coro). For good measure, Lullaby, Dingaling, and Joyface are all intimate bars where you can dance the night away.
For the best perogies visit Veselka (open 24 hours), enjoy delicious falafel from Mamoun’s, grab a late-night hotdog at Crif Dogs, or enjoy some of the best Sichuan Chinese food at Han Dynasty. You can’t go wrong with a slice from Joe’s Pizza or if you’re a seafood lover, get the clam pie from Lombardi’s, you won’t regret it. For a “no-frills” brunch with delicious food and 3-for-1 brunch cocktails, check out Supper. Last but not least, if you’re searching for a solid, no-frills burger check out the latest location for The Gotham Burger Pop-Up for a delicious smash burger. If you prefer a bistro-style burger, while it doesn’t quite fall into the “no-frills” category, Raoul’s serves a pretty amazing “Au Poivre” burger that’s off-the-menu, only available at the bar, and has limited availability with only 12 burgers available each night.