My NYC guide

I was recently asked to write up a things-to-do & eat list in New York City for a friend of a friend. Thought I’d put this up to share with people who aren’t familiar with the city.

Getting round
The subway is the best way of getting around in NYC, IMO. The subway runs 24/7 (when there’s no issues with “incident” or “sick passengers”)
As of June 2015, it costs $2.75 per trip and $31 for a 7-day unlimited pass. Get the pass if will be taking multiple trips and want to avoid the hassle of constantly refilling your card.
You might want to get a pass that gives you access for multiple attractions:

Things to do

– The Metropolitan Museum of Art Must visit. It says $25 for adults but it’s actually pay as you wish. I’d pay maybe $10 a person. I have shamelessly paid $20 for 3 people before.

– Guggenheim Museum
– Walk around Central Park
– Columbus Circle (South West corner of Central Park. Go to the Time Warner Center for shopping and get snacks at Bouchon Bakery
– Shopping :can start from the south east corner of Central Park, go to the Apple store.
Then start walking south on 5th Ave, there are a lot of high-end retailers such as Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Tiffany’s (this is THE store from the movie Breakfast at Tiffanys). High end department stores include Bergorf Goodman, Henry Bendels, Saks Fifth Avenue, Barney’s New York.
Stop by Rockefeller Center on 47th/50th Street between 5th and 6th avenue for pictures. Got up to the “Top of the Rock” on top of the Rockefeller Center for a view of the city. In B1 of the building there’s Blue Bottle Coffee which is a popular coffee place from San Francisco.
Keep walking south on 5th will pass by Bryant Park and the New York Public Library on 42nd St.
– Empire State Building (Can go up to the roof also but personally I like the Rockefeller Center better)
Time Square/ Broadway. Go to the TKTS booth in Time Sq for discount Broadway show tickets on the day of. Recommended shows: Wicked, Phantom of the Opera, Jersey Boys, Mary Poppins…
– Statue of Liberty (walk around Battery Park before taking the boat to Liberty Island)
– Financial District – Wall Street, the New York Stock Exchange, the bull, Trinity Church
– New World Trade Center building. It’s not completed yet but might be good for some pics at night cuz the building is lit.
– The Brooklyn Bridge. Can walk on the bridge for a view of downtown Manhattan.
– China Town on Canal Street for cheap eats.


Where to eat

West Village
– Keste Pizza for Neapolitan style pizza
– Fish for cheap oysters and $20 lobster dinner
– Pearl Oyster Bar for lobster roll
– Lombardi’s Pizza – NY style pizza, be prepared for the long wait
– Cafe Habana – great mojitos. Get the cuban sandwich and shrimp tacos.
– Balthazar Restaurant – steak fritz
– Blue Ribbon – get the bone marrow, foie gras terrine, lamb entree
East Village
Japaneses food area for college kids
Take the NR train to 8th St NYU or 6 Train to Astor Place, walk East along St Marks Place or E 9th Street. Lots of restaurants there.
Steaks – NY Steaks are exceptionally good. Worth a try.
– Peter Luger – probably the most well-known steakhouse in the area but is located in Brooklyn. Waiters are snobby but food is good.
– Five Napkins Burger – order the original burger.
– Shake Shack – Sit in Madison Square Park. Great view of the Flatiron Building. Go for a walk in Eataly afterwords. –
Got money to spend?
– Le Barnadin for seafood tasting menus
– Babbo – Mario Betali’s pasta restaurant. Get the pasta or traditional tasting menu with wine paring.
– Blue Hill – “farm to table” food
– Per Se – probably won’t be able to get reservations for the dining room but can go for the $65 dessert tasting menu which needs no reservation
Several links to lists of places to eat:
When in doubt, just yelp. Look for places with 4 stars and above.
Do not give people money on the streets or in the subway. Do not look people in the eye. Walk fast, don’t block traffic by reading maps in the middle of the streets. Always J Walk whenever possible. Wear comfortable shoes. Have fun and take lots of pictures.


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One thought on “My NYC guide

  • Dani Vernon

    Hi! I am contacting you from AFAR Travel Magazine based in San Francisco. We’re currently working on a small feature of Taipei, and are including Shao Shao Ke restaurant. I found one of your images from an older review on your website, and we’d love to include it in print. I would love to speak with you about the usage of the image and if it would be possible. I appreciate all of your help with this, and look forward to speaking with you. Please email me at with any questions or concerns. Thanks!