A Local's Guide to the Best Food, Drink and Fun in NYC

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Advisor - Alex Raup
Curated By

Alex Raup

  • New York

  • New York City

  • City Travel

  • Food & Wine

  • Outdoors

  • Nightlife

  • Entertainment

golden hour on city street
Curator’s statement

New York City is a one-in-a-million kind of place. It’s a dreamscape for anyone who appreciates fine food, libations and entertainment. Every culture and cuisine you can think of is represented here–and the spectacular variety of world-class cuisine and hospitality makes it unlikely any institution here will disappoint you. You could live in this city your entire life and never check every worthwhile thing off the list–but this guide is a good starting point!

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Where to stay in NYC

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Things to do in NYC

City skyline behind a bridge.

The High Line: Explore an elevated park built on a historic railway line, offering stunning urban greenery, art installations, and panoramic city views.

Chelsea Market: Indulge in a food lover's paradise within this historic market, offering diverse culinary delights and unique artisanal shops.

Roosevelt Island Tramway: Soar over the East River in a tram for a unique perspective of the cityscape and to explore Roosevelt Island's calm ambiance.

The Strand: Lose yourself in the stacks of this iconic bookstore, a literary haven offering miles of books, rare finds and a cozy atmosphere in the heart of Manhattan.

Williamsburg, Brooklyn: Experience the creative and hipster vibes of this neighborhood, filled with trendy boutiques, street art and a thriving music and arts scene.

And of course… Broadway: Immerse yourself in world-class theater as you watch captivating performances in the heart of the Theater District, showcasing the finest talent and productions in the world.

Places to eat & drink in NYC

A plate of pasta

Patsy’s Italian Restaurant (Midtown West): a classic Italian restaurant known for its delicious pizzas and traditional pasta dishes.

i Sodi (West Village): a cozy Italian eatery offering a curated selection of authentic Tuscan dishes in an intimate setting.

Dirt Candy (Lower East Side): a vegetarian restaurant that elevates plant-based cuisine with inventive dishes and creative flavors; features an always-changing seasonal tasting menu.

Blue Ribbon Sushi (SoHo): a sushi-focused restaurant offering a variety of fresh and expertly crafted sushi and sashimi options. Best sushi in NYC!

La Sirène (SoHo): a charming and unassuming French restaurant serving classic dishes with a modern twist amid its cozy ambiance.

Pastis (Meatpacking District): a popular brunch hotspot offering a variety of French-inspired dishes, from croissants to quiche.

Frankies 457 Spuntino (Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn): a cozy Italian-American gem in Brooklyn, famous for its house-made pasta and rustic atmosphere. The eggplant is to die for!


Apotheke Chinatown (Chinatown): a speakeasy-style cocktail bar that combines mixology and ambiance, offering creative and meticulously crafted drinks in a vintage apothecary-themed setting.

Raines Law Room (Flatiron District): an upscale cocktail lounge with a cozy, prohibition-era atmosphere, known for its classic cocktails and intimate seating arrangements.

Dear Irving (Gramercy): a time-traveling cocktail lounge that takes you through different historical eras with its decor and drink menu, offering a unique experience with each visit.

Need to Know

As a life-long New Englander and ex-NYC resident, I'm your guy for intel on The Big Apple!

For more travel tips, check out Fora Advisor Jenny Kager’s guide, Fall in Love with New York City: The Perfect 7-Day Itinerary.

Advisor - Alex Raup

Travel Advisor

Alex Raup

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This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to New York City (NYC).