—by Andrew Brawley
New York is one of my all-time favorite cities…to VISIT. For about four days. Then it's time to bail. As a former (post-college) resident of Los Angeles, and having grown up with the inability to simultaneously touch opposite walls within any bedroom I was raised in, I have the ultimate fascination with New York City, a place so compact and efficient that one must marvel such complexity. Me? I need my space and quiet time, and prefer a lot of both. That’s why I live in the suburbs, much to the chagrin of my hipster east-side co-workers.
Seeing as almost everyone knows more than just one person in NYC, I decided that rather than have a single contributor, I’d change it up and ask for simpler input from multiple sources. Besides, the feedback from locals in recent entries has also really helped out with these travel guides, and that certainly makes my job a lot easier. Here we go!
Note: most of these places are in Manhattan, but some are out in Brooklyn. If this is your first time going to NYC, do yourself a favor and study a map of the five boroughs and the subway system.
Best fancy bar: Flatiron Lounge
Best dive bar: Saint Vitus
Best place for meat: Old Homestead Steakhouse
Best place for veggies/vegans: VP2 aka Vegetarian Paradise 2
Travel tip: Don't be afraid to take the train, it is normally the quickest and safest way around the city
Best fancy bar: 230 Fifth Ave (when it’s nice out) or Schillers
Best dive bar: Mona’s
Best place for meat: Meatball Shoppe
Best place for veggies/vegans: Mole or Sticky Rice (plus, it’s BYOB)
All tourists must: ride the Staten Island Ferry! (I may be partial…but it’s free, there’s cheap beer and you get a great view of Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty)
Travel tip: don’t go to midtown but DO go to Brooklyn!
Best fancy bar: Death + Company
Best dive bar: Cherry Tavern
Best place for meat: Peter Luger's
Best place for veggies/vegans: Vegetarian Palace 2
All tourists must: go to the MoMA to see Starry Night in person
Travel tip: Don't take the subway after midnight and don't take a taxi during rush hour.
Best fancy bar: Bar at the Soho Grand Hotel
Best dive bar: The Ear Inn in the South Village, or Great Lakes Bar in Park Slope, Brooklyn
Best place for meat: Peter Luger's
Best place for veggies/vegans: Portland, OR
All tourists must: take a stroll or horse-drawn carriage ride through Central Park
Travel tip: Manhattan is a huge grid and easy to get around...
- "Avenues" go North/South. "Streets" go East/West
- Even # streets are usually one-way, heading East
- Odd numbered streets are usually one-way, heading West.
- Address numbers get HIGHER, the farther away you get from 5th Ave.
Best fancy bar: The Oak Room
Best dive bar: The Library (Ave A & Houston)
Best place for meat: Dinosaur BBQ
Best place for veggies/vegans: I've heard good things about the Organic Grill but have never been.
All tourists must: walk across the Brooklyn Bridge
Travel tip: When exiting a Subway, just keep walking. Do not stop at the top of the stairs. If you discover you're walking in the wrong direction, you can always turn around at the corner. Above all, do not stop walking on a NYC sidewalk.
Best fancy bar: The new bar at ‘21’ Club
Best dive bar: Down the Hatch
Best place for meat: BLT Prime
Best place for veggies/vegans: I have no idea
All tourists must: visit The High Line Park
Travel tip: Don’t be afraid of the Subway…it’s the quickest and easiest way to get around the city.