Updated: May 8
The city that never sleeps definitely has it all – from some of the world’s best chefs to designers, bartenders to artists - there is so much to see, do and shop in this sensational city.
Where To Eat
Home to hordes of lip-smackingly good eateries from cool and quirky to the mysterious and Michelin starred, New York has something to satisfy even the fussiest eaters. From fast-casual fried chicken and dessert bars to refined steak restaurants and Japanese hotspots, all the five boroughs have something delicious to offer. Although sampling plenty of street food whilst exploring the city is a must, here are a few of our classic and contemporary favourites:
Zuma: With locations as close as Dubai and far-flung as Bangkok and Miami, Zuma’s globetrotting influences play out in both appearance and its delicious menu. The brainchild of German-born chef Rainer Becker, the 100-seat eatery is centred around the informal Japanese style of izakaya dining, complete with a sharing style of eating and sake. A place that pleases all types of audiences, the wide-ranging Japanese menu combines classic Zuma dishes with bold, intense flavours and an emphasis on simple presentation and quality ingredients. A highlight was definitely Chef Becker’s black cod, marinated in saikyo miso with wasabi citrus sauce.
NoMad: Voted one of NYCs best restaurants, NoMad's casually-elegant menu, conceptualised by Chef Daniel Humm and Restaurateur Will Guidara, has become known for its laidback vibe and fabulous food. Inspired by Chef Daniel’s time spent throughout Switzerland, California and New York City, the restaurant is rooted in the same traditions found at his three Michelin-starred restaurant, Eleven Madison Park. Made up of a series of rooms surrounding a glass-enclosed atrium, the service is confident yet friendly, the menu is refined and the drinks are innovative and well made. The seared scallops with razor clams, spring onion and snap peas is a winner.
Waverley Inn: Established in 1920, The Waverly Inn was redesigned and reopened by Vanity Fair Editor-in-Chief Graydon Carter in 2006. Tucked into the ground floors of two adjoining townhouses, the dining room is scattered with red booths, low lighting and a roaring fireplace (during the colder months), providing a cosy hangout and hideaway from the bright lights of the city. The menu features American classics alongside contemporary seasonal dishes using organic, local ingredients – the expensive yet addictive truffle mac n' cheese is possibly the best we tried during our visit.
Where to drink
A city full of many talents, New York is a place that really knows how to make, serve and sell a drink. Here is where to find your favourite tipple.
Bar SixtyFive by Rainbow Room: This may seem slightly touristy for a tipple but believe us when we say that the view over the skyline is worth it. Since opening one year after the end of Prohibition in 1934, the Rainbow Room has significantly inﬂuenced American cocktail culture. Located on the 65th floor of Rockefeller Centre, this classic and celebrated spot serves seriously good cocktails and food alongside incredible views. The silver lining? It’s definitely better and no more expensive than paying $40 to ride an elevator to the top of the Rock.
Employees Only: Employees Only was one of the city’s first (not-so-secret) super-popular NYC speakeasies and has become a favourite among industry insiders, thanks to their kitchen that stays open until 3:30am. Coming to market in 2004 thanks to five industry friends, the restaurant and bar serves flawlessly executed cocktails and delicious food. Come here to enjoy a beautiful space without pretence.
Smith & Mills: Smith and Mills, one of the smallest restaurants in the city, is a place where soft lights complement aging materials, from walls wrapped in moulded plaster to a bar and doors fabricated from centuries-old wood. A former horse stable redone by Parts & Labor, the drinks are of the “stirred, not shaken” variety and the food is all about sharing – the oysters matched the mix of beverages down to a tee.
Where to explore
The metropolis is a must-see for those who love culture, history, adventure and experiences. You can't go wrong with exploring the city my foot and by subway, stumbling upon hidden treasures and well-known tourist destinations along the way. If you're short on time, these three options will give you a well-rounded grasp of the city.
The Highline: NYC’s elevated park, The Highline near Greenwich Village includes an abundance of things to do, art shows and more. This area of the city has been a part of the island since 1934 and, in 2009, the 2-mile-long stroll was transformed into what is now considered one of the most unique parks in New York complete with wildflowers, greenery and outdoor art installations plus amazing views of the city’s skyline.
Sleep No More Theatre Experience: An award-winning theatrical experience that tells Shakespeare’s Scottish tragedy through a film noir lens, ‘Sleep No More’ is an experience in the city like no other. An interactive play that takes you through a 6-storey house, follow the actors (or your instincts) as you navigate through the 60s set up.
The Metropolitan Museum: The Metropolitan Museum of Art is one of the finest galleries in America (and by far the largest) with a collection of permanent exhibitions alongside numerous temporary ones. A current highlight includes Painted in Mexico, which focuses on the vitality and inventiveness of artists in eighteenth-century New Spain. Open 10am-5.30pm Mondays to Thursdays, 10am-9pm Fridays and Saturdays. Entry is free but donations are encouraged.