A few people have asked me where I enjoy going in New York City, so it seems like a good idea to write them all down publicly. I’m also building up a list of other places I should visit on my next trip (in May), so please add any suggestions in the comments please. There are many, many more that I haven’t included here so I could go on, but the longer the list of recommendations, the less useful it becomes.
The Burger Joint — http://www.parkermeridien.com/eat4.php
Creep into the corporate Parker Meridien restaurant and make a bee-line for the neon burger sign. This place looks like it has been lifted from somewhere many miles from the mid-town location it’s in, graffiti and atmosphere included. Astonishing burgers.
Saturdays NYC — http://www.saturdaysnyc.com/
Gear for the discerning surfing gentleman. A wonderful shop on Crosby and Grand, even if you just want to grab a coffee and sit in their back yard on a sunny day.
Kiosk — http://kioskkiosk.com/
Don’t be put off by the entrance looking like the route to a crack den: this store is full of lovely unusual objects.
9th Street Espresso — http://www.ninthstreetespresso.com/ (for example, in Chelsea Market)
I keep returning to this coffee shop again and again. It feels special, especially amongst the hustle and bustle of Chelsea Market.
The Standard Hotel and Bar — http://www.standardhotels.com/new-york-city/
I don’t stay at hotels much when I’m in New York, but when I have this is easily the best, with magnificent views of the High Line below. Make a trip to the Standard Bar: go early to avoid the ponces, and make sure you pay a visit to the toilets. You’ll understand why.
The Standard Grill is also pretty special.
Death & Company — http://deathandcompany.com/
Possibly my favourite bar of the “faux prohibition” genre that seems to have spread like a weed. Solid drinks, nice atmosphere and friendly staff. No reservations: just turn up, get your name on the list and wander off to kill time in any of the other local bars.
Monofuku — http://www.momofuku.com/new-york-city/
Momofuku Ko and Momofuku Noodle Bar are very different, and I’ve only been to the latter, and dying to try the former. Pork buns in the Noodle Bar are astonishing.
The Clover Club — http://www.cloverclubny.com/
A dimly lit jazz bar on Smith Street in Brooklyn. Feels way more friendly and authentic than many bars of the same type in Manhattan.
Plenty to see and do, and seems to be sprouting new places every time I visit.
Freemans — http://freemansrestaurant.com/
Everything on the menu is delicious (especially the artichoke dip appetizer), and the atmosphere is fun. It’s like dining in your eccentric grandfather’s hunting lodge. You should also check out Peels nearby, which is part of the Freemans group, and serves probably the best burger I have had in the city.
Please Don’t Tell — http://pdtnyc.com/
This was a fun place to visit, until last time I saw a giant queue lead out from it, meaning many hours of waiting. I don’t think waiting is worth it, but if you get a reservation it’s a fun place to check out.
Sleep No More — http://sleepnomorenyc.com/
The now infamous Punchdrunk production of Macbeth (kind of) will be on for much longer, and it’s well worth checking out if you can get tickets. Make sure you hang around afterwards to enjoy the jazz in the “hotel” bar. I wrote about the show in an earlier post.
Pastis — http://www.pastisny.com/
Ignore the mainly pretentious guests and enjoy the food at this faux French bistro. The mac and cheese is particularly brilliant.
The promenade commands the best views of Manhattan, and the community feels cozy and interesting.
MoMA Design Shop in SoHo — http://momastore.org/
I’m recommending this rather than MoMA itself because a) everyone knows MoMA, and b) MoMA itself is horribly, horribly busy all of the time making a visit there stressful and detracts from the point of a visit. The store in SoHo is rarely busy, yet sell a superb range of design items and books.
The Metropolitan Museum — http://www.metmuseum.org/
Another obvious choice but ignore the crowds, and make sure you go on a highlights guided tour to discover parts of the ginormous collection you would have missed anyway. My favourite parts are the historic American interiors and the Japanese garden.
The Strand — http://www.strandbooks.com/
Miles of books, new and second hand.
High Line — http://www.thehighline.org/
Especially with the new phase two extension, this is the greatest attraction in Manhattan, in my opinion.
Eataly — http://eatalyny.com/
An incredible concept: a ginormous Italian grocery store, with different restaurants and bars peppered throughout. Lovely food and atmosphere.
Milk & Honey — http://www.mlkhny.com/newyork/
A little tricky to get in since you either have to be a member, or be referred by another barman, but worth a try.
Brooklyn Museum — http://www.brooklynmuseum.org/
You can probably tell I hate busy museums and galleries, but this is a wonderful escape from the rest of them. Interesting collections in a great building. It’s also worth checking out the Botanical Gardens next door.
MoMA PS1 — http://momaps1.org/
Over in Queens, a stunning contemporary art museum housed in a old public school.
La Colombe — http://lacolombe.com/pages/cafes
I’ve been to all the cafes and they are amazing.
The Naguchi Museum and Sculpture Park — http://www.noguchi.org/
An out-of-the-way museum in Long Island City, but well worth the trip if you have the time to spend. A wonderful collection of Naguchi’s work, housed in a contemporary concrete building, with a small garden.
Katz — http://katzsdelicatessen.com/
This place should be a tourist hell-hole but thankfully isn’t. The most wonderful pastrami sandwiches I’ve ever had. I wouldn’t even bother trying to find anywhere better.
Ace Hotel/Stumptown Coffee/No. 7 Sub/No. 8a/The Breslin — http://www.acehotel.com/newyork/
A visit to the Ace is like a one-stop-shop for sleeping, eating, shopping, and drinking, with the opening of a few new eateries and shops since I last visited. The hotel itself is superb, and the coffee from Stumptown even better. The sandwiches from No. 7 are incredible, and the things that 8a stock are interesting. The Breslin is a must for brunch: you should try their famous, very rare, lamb burger.
Bluebird — http://www.bluebirdcoffeeshop.com/
A tiny, very charming coffee shop serving delicious coffee and pastries.
Schiller’s — http://www.schillersny.com/
I’ve only been here once to eat and once for drinks. I don’t actually recall the food from the former visit (!) but everyone loves it so I assume it must be great. A very quintessential L.E.S. place, with decent wifi if you want to hang out there during the day.
Ground Support — http://www.groundsupportcafe.com/
There are surprisingly few premium coffee places in SoHo it seems, so if you get bored of Le Colombe, Ground Support is a good spot to check out.
Nom Wah Tea Parlor — http://nomwah.com/
It’s not a place you’d normally go into unprompted but the place services fabulous dim sum, at insanely low prices.
There are plenty of dive bars that I love too - the Botanica, Punch and Judy, Arrow Bar, Max Fish, Barramundi, etc. (all around SoHo/L.E.S.).
So that’s it for now. I’ll continually update this post as and when I find new places to check out.