New York, New York, so good it doesn’t really need an introduction. If you’re new to town, trying to find the best places to eat, sleep or work can be at best overwhelming, at worst leave you spinning in anxious circles round Times Square. Luckily we got you covered with tips from the Solgaard team, who have been known to haunt the speakeasies and hotel lobbies below.
We don’t have to tell you the food scene in New York is off the charts. From neighborhood joints serving home cooked food from every country on earth, to the fanciest restaurants out there. Here’s some gems you shouldn’t miss:
Authentic Asian cuisine with a plant-based twist, the menu is inspired by chef David Lee’s travels through Asia. This location is the first U.S outpost of its sister restaurant based in Toronto.
This place is three levels of fun: an outdoor bar, open decks with views of the water. Head there for a bucket of crab legs and a killer sunset.
Closed Mondays. Ride a bike down to Red Hook or take the Ikea water taxi, which leaves from Pier 11 in the financial district and drops you off two blocks from the restaurant.
Drawing inspiration from many places, try the standout item at one of their multiple locations: the spice-rubbed, pit-smoked, char-grilled barbecue chicken wings.
“I don’t care about the food. I’m in it for the lights and the drinks and that’s it.” - Millennial waiting in a 90-minute line. Do it for the 'gram.
CLASSIC BUT TRENDY
This is a classic NYC establishment. It's the 2nd oldest pub in the city with good food, chill vibes, and turns into a bit of a party.
Great Mexican food in the West Village, can't go wrong.
Honestly overhyped and overpriced but still a pretty solid choice... that's the catch 22.
DON'T GO HERE...
Don't go, you're not that basic.
Let’s get the cliché out the way first, we all know New York doesn’t sleep. So where should you go to take advantage of the night or sip on an afternoon cocktail?
Next time you're in the West Village, check out Garret West speakeasy. You have to walk through a Five Guys burger joint, but if you bang a left at the register and walk up the stairs - it's a gem of a place for an afternoon cocktail. It’s best to go there earlier in the day as any time after 4pm can get pretty crazy.
Sunny’s has been in the same family since the 1890s and is the dive bar many others have copied. Friendly but not too friendly, creaky and comfortable with a huge range of beers, it’s easy to spend whole afternoons here.
A classic you’ll find on a lot of lists and for a good reason. It's the oldest bar in America with sawdust on the floor and only 2 choices of beer: light or dark.
A proper New York cocktail experience, The Campbell was once the ornate Grand Central office of a railway millionaire. It's been transformed into a beautiful cocktail bar and restaurant with over 3,000 types of whiskey to choose from.
There are five boroughs in New York and if it’s your first time you’re probably going to want to stay in Manhattan. If you’re staying for longer, on a tighter budget or want a more local feel try Brooklyn, Harlem or Queens.
Midtown: ideal for first timers that want to be in the action
Upper East Side: nice for millionaires
Chelsea and Greenwich Village: for the New York you see in the movies
Soho and Lower East Side: beautiful architecture and fashion but not cheap
Williamsburg: very popular hipster neighborhood- you decide if that’s a good thing.
Greenpoint: yoga studios, bars, parks and a melting pot of people. Good for a young crowd that appreciate some chill time.
Traditional heart of African American culture, well connected to Manhattan. Come for the soul food, jazz, theaters and churches.
If you’re happy being a little further from Manhattan Queens is quietly cool. The biggest borough, it’s more affordable and has the best food from all over the world. There’s even a good beach you can surf at Rockaway Beach.
Want to work but need to save some $$? Use hotel lobbies instead of paying for day passes at fancy coworking spaces or overpriced coffees in noisy cafés. Lobbies are usually quiet and comfortable with reliable WiFi. Just pick one near you and try a couple to see which one works for you.
We can specifically recommend:
- Arlo Hotel is one of the better ones in NoMad, and the Ace Hotel
- Joe & The Juice has many locations, good wifi, but is a bit noisy.
- Starbucks is lame, but it works in a pinch and they're everywhere
"Save some $$ on stupid things to blow it on drinks" - Adrian Solgaard, CEO of Solgaard
- The subway is almost always faster than taking taxis - if your route is direct-ish
- If you decide to take a taxi anyway: take the yellow taxis instead of Ubers - they're cheaper now (as of Fall 2021)
- If you're feeling adventurous, take Citi-Bikes. They are rentable and drop offs/pickups are everywhere. Every ride is free with the annual membership ($200) or if you buy a weeklong pass you pay approximately $25 for unlimited 45-minute rides.
Long Story Short
For a city with more than 18,000 restaurants there is always going to be something more to discover and that's the joy of New York. Like Alicia Keys’ awkward lyric, it’s the concrete jungle where dreams are made of, it never goes to sleep and it’s all out there waiting for you to discover. We hope we’ve helped a little!