Manhattan is often a visitor’s first destination in New York City, as a major financial and commerce hub, with various neighborhoods and world-famous landmarks. There are countless opportunities for sightseeing, dining, and shopping.
Manhattan’s Best Eateries
Dining in Manhattan can please any appetite, with NYC classics, fine dining, cuisines from cultures all over the world, or trendy dishes. FYI: Many locations may require advanced reservations that can be done via their website or booking services such as OpenTable or Resy.
The following recommendations are from media outlet, The Travel:
Bagels. Ess-a-Bagel, Murray’s Bagels, Black Seed Bagels, and Tompkins Square Bagels.
Pizza. Prince Street Pizza, Joe’s Pizza, Rubirosa, Lombardi’s, Pronto’s, and John’s of Bleecker Street.
Delis. While Katz’s Delicatessen is on many a visitor’s list, other good Manhattan delis include Sarge’s and 2nd Avenue Deli.
Longtime Establishments. Some of the oldest restaurants in NYC include Fraunces Tavern in Lower Manhattan, whose roots go back to the time of the American Revolutionary War; Delmonico’s, in the Financial District (with past customers including Mark Twain); Old Homestead, the longest continually-operating steakhouse in America; and PJ Clarke’s, which was founded in 1884. Also on this list, Keen’s Steakhouse.
Food Halls. Food halls are also a popular trend. Among them, Chelsea Market is the former location of the Nabisco Cookie Company. This one-time factory now holds various eateries and retail businesses. Other Manhattan food halls include Urban Hawker, Essex Street Market and the Market Line, The Hugh, Urbanspace at 570 Lex, Mott Street Eatery, and Tin Building by Jean-Georges.
Museums to Visit
- The Metropolitan Museum of Art is the cornerstone of the Upper East Side’s “Museum Mile,” which includes El Museo del Barrio, the Museum of the City of New York and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. Another noteworthy art museum is the Whitney Museum of American Art.
- For dinosaur-lovers, try the American Museum of Natural History on the Upper West Side. On the Lower East Side, the Tenement Museum tells the stories of the people who once lived here. The National Sept. 11 Memorial and Museum commemorates the attacks on that fateful day in 2001, along with the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center.
- The Museum of Broadway in Times Square educates visitors about the history of theater in NYC.
Try an Observation Deck
Presently, Manhattan has a number of year-round observation decks – each with a different take on the city skyline.
- The Empire State Buildinghas both its original 86th-floor observatory and 102nd-floor observatory. The building also has exhibition spaces highlighting different periods of its history since its opening in 1931.
- Top of the Rock has three levels of indoor and outdoor observation decks. Beginning in February 2023, the mezzanine level and the observation decks will be under construction, but the venue will remain open.
- Located between the 100th and 102nd floors of the One World Trade Center, One World Observatoryoffers views from an indoor climate-controlled space.
- Located at Hudson Yards, The Edgeis said to be the highest outdoor sky deck in the Western Hemisphere. It is suspended over 1,100 feet up with 7,500 square feet of outdoor space. Its glass floor has visitors looking 100 stories down, while angled glass walls lean over the city.
- SUMMIT One Vanderbilthas been described as a three-level multisensory art immersion. On the 91st floor, visitors encounter an exhibit called Air by Kenzo Digital Air, which is comprised of multiple rooms; one of which has floating balloon-like orbs. Then on the 92nd floor, there’s a glass-bottom ledge extending 1,100 feet over Madison Avenue. On the 93rd floor, there’s a Nordic-themed café and a glass-bottom exterior elevator.
Visit a Park
- Central Park remains one of Manhattan’s top attractions. It is home to a zoo, various statues and gardens, a castle, bridges, and meadows. You can wander the park on your own or enjoy a guided walk, led by park staff.
- Washington Square Park in Greenwich Village is smaller than most NYC parks, but it has the famous Washington Square Arch and is based near much of the neighborhood’s activity.
- Bryant Park, right behind the New York Public Library, holds events, like a market, ice skating and a movie night series in the summer.
- Riverside Park is on Manhattan’s Upper West Side and had a scene in the film, “You’ve Got Mail.”
Popular Manhattan Neighborhoods
Chinatown features tea shops, bakeries, grocery markets, and restaurants reflecting the diversity of Asian cuisines. Suggested spots include Nom Wah Tea Parlor, Hop Kee, Mott Street Eatery, and the Original Chinatown Ice Cream Factory.
The Lower East Side, once home to arriving immigrants, has become a trendy neighborhood known for hip restaurants and cool street art. Much of its history relating to Jewish families who came to reside in the Lower East Side is still prominent at Russ & Daughters and Yonah Schimmel’s Knishery. Other places to see include Economy Candy, Sugar Sweet Sunshine Bakery, Dirty Candy, and Essex Market.
Harlem is rich in Black history. Attend a performance at the Apollo Theater or visit the Schomberg Center for Research in Black Culture. Try soul food at Sylvia’s Restaurant, Melba’s, Amy Ruth’s, or, for vegans, Seasoned Vegan. Also: The Red Rooster Harlem features celebrity chef Marcus Samuelsson. Jazz clubs are also popular, including Bill’s Place and Minton’s Playhouse.
SoHo is a trendy shopping neighborhood, with incredible cast iron buildings and art galleries. Despite a gritty legacy, the East Village offers some exceptional spots – including McSorley’s Old Ale House, Death & Company, Nuyorican Poets Cafe, and Book Club Bar.
Little Italy offers travelers old-school Italian dining at Benito One, Umberto’s Clam House, and Lunella. After dinner, buy a cannoli from Ferrara or Caffe Palermo.
Source: The Travel