An Insider’s Guide to NYC

When planning our adventures we ask anyone and everyone what they love most about a destination and they usually tell us a lot! So when our friend and trusted foodie, Anahita (who also came on our Paris trip in 2014) told us about her NYC favourites, we asked her to write them down so we can share them with our like-minded travellers. Enjoy!

DrunkShakespeare

Hey Everyone, my name is Anahita and welcome to my little version of a NYC tour. I hope to give you some insights into one of my favourite cities.
First off, go see Drunk Shakespeare – five professional actors perform in a hidden library setting, and one drinks a little too much. I can’t say enough great things about this show. It’s a tad pricey if you’re on a budget, but if you’re planning on a show, I’d include this on the list of options. Get your tickets at the TKTS booth in Times Square.

tkts booth in Time Square

This is a great one-stop shop to vet the latest deals for last minute shows of all kinds, ranging from Hamilton to The Berenstain Bears Live: Family Matters.  They usually have decent discounts on same-day tickets to shows all over the city. If you’re not sure what you’d like to see, there are tons of their team around the TKTS booth with recommendations for shows based on what you have in mind (musical, comedy, something different etc.).

highline

Take a visit to the High Line! Even if you don’t consider yourself a true art-lover, this livable art installation spanning the historic freight rail line over the streets of Manhattan’s West Side needs to be experienced. There’s a lot of railway stuff for a bit and then it gets a little greener, followed by constant searches for interesting graffiti art on the buildings lining the streets, and some interesting sculptures along the way. The park is 1.45 miles long and I’d recommend starting at the 34th St entrance and working your way to the Meatpacking district. There’s a great breakfast spot right across from the stairs off the High Line called the Sugar Factory that serves massive goblets of colourful drinks.

chelseamarket

Chelsea Market is a must visit with fantastic foods and trinkets worth trying. It’s great for wandering around and grabbing bite-sized treats along the way (like samplings of lime-infused olive oils and flavoured vinegars).

empirecake

As a lover of all things sweet, I can’t resist a good classic cupcake shop like Empire Cake. It’s a nondescript little spot a few blocks over from Chelsea Market that has some of the most wonderful cupcakes and cookies. Besides being a favourite of Chef Bobby Flay‘s, Empire’s staff are known to be some of the sweetest around too.


Now that you’ve eaten yourself silly, time to walk it all off! If you’re in Manhattan, the base of the Brooklyn Bridge is right by City Hall with about four subway stations away. The best views are when you turn around from Brooklyn and look back at the picturesque Manhattan skyline. When you get to the other end, and find yourself in Brooklyn look for one of the oldest pizzerias under the Brooklyn Bridge, Grimaldi’s. Go hungry and eat there!

GrimaldisPizza
Williamsburg ferry
Williamsburg is known for all things hip, including underrated restaurants, rooftops bars and artisan shops. It’s also a good walk from here to the Financial district. Walk past Wall Street, the Charging Bull and World Trade Centre Memorial fountains, or take the ferry 2 stops into North Williamsburg. It’s great for wandering and stumbling across quaint finds like the cutest little ice cream shop called Odd Fellows that does interesting flavours of ice cream and boozy popsicles.

oddfellowsicecream
If it’s too soon to re-indulge, bide your time with a beer stop at the Radegast Hall and Biergarten for a while.



Alternatively, check Fette Sau for a guaranteed BBQ overload.

levain

Next stop – cookie heaven. To call what they make at Levain just any old cookie would be an understatement. Just one of these “cookies” could feed you through to your next meal … of which I shamelessly bought three and didn’t share. The line outside goes on forever, but when I was there it was sufficiently entertaining people watching. Once you’re inside, there’s no time to waffle – know what you want before you get in there! It’s what the line up is giving you time to do – so, for the love of cookies, it must be done!

A great way to great some fresh air after those cookies is to stroll through Central Park. There are several museums in the neighbourhood with rotating exhibits worth checking out.

MetMuseum
I love the Met – it’s one of my all-time favourite museums, and even better if you tag along with a tour group or get the audio guide on your phone with the free wifi.

Another classic spot is the Guggenheim. Pro tip: start from the top down if you’re tired – that uphill climb on the spiral is harder than it looks.

There are also some cool stuff to check out in Brooklyn too.

NewYorkPublicLibrary
Sure your New York must-visit list probably includes landmarks like the Empire State Building, the New York Public Library (it’s almost a museum in there!), Rockefeller Center, Radio City Music Hall, Statue of Liberty, but the suggestions above will give you a well rounded view of the city’s culinary delights. Happy travels and thanks Anahita for writing this post for us!

Check out some more of our favourite spots on our tours in Paris and Tuscany by clicking here! For booking information contact our designated travel agent Clara Power at 416.996.6849 or cpower@tpi.ca.