What: The must-see, must-do, must-eat itinerary for New York City newbies.
Mode(s) of Transportation: feet, subway, taxi
Price Point: $$-$$$
- Start: Breakfast at Ess-A-Bagel [Midtown East]
- Subway (4/5) to: Visit the 9/11 Memorial [Financial District]
- Subway (4/5) to: Take a walk along the Brooklyn Bridge [Downtown/DUMBO]
- Walk to: Lunch at Grimaldi’s [DUMBO]
- Walk to: Walk back across the Brooklyn Bridge
- Subway (4/5) to: Explore Grand Central Station [Midtown East]
- Walk to: Explore Bryant Park and The New York Public Library [Midtown West]
- Walk to: Get cheesecake from Junior’s [Times Square]
- Walk to: Catch the sunset from Top of the Rock [Times Square/Theater District]
- Walk to: Dinner at Carmine’s [Theater District] or Yakitori Totto [Midtown West]
- Walk to: Drinks at Sake Bar Hagi (underground sake bar), Jimmy’s Corner (local dive), or W New York (hotel bar) [Theater District]
- Walk to: Late-night snack at 53rd & 6th Halal Cart [Times Square/Theater District]
Ess-A-Bagel: Considered by some to be the best bagel in the city! (Their bagels are as big as your face…) If you’re staying in the Gramercy/Stuyvesant Town area, you can check out their other location.
9/11 Memorial: Tickets are free, but you have to reserve them online first. (There’s a $2 service charge for reserving online or by phone.) You can also try to get same-day tickets, but those are distributed on a first-come, first-serve basis. (click here to reserve tickets)
Brooklyn Bridge: It’s not exactly a short walk, but you’ll be rewarded with breathtaking views of Manhattan and some delicious, New York-style pizza at the Brooklyn end.
Grimaldi’s: Widely regarded as one of the best places to get an authentic slice of New York-style pizza. Try it and let me know what you think!
Junior’s: Rocco DiSpirito’s favorite cheesecake? The original New York-style cheesecake from Junior’s. I like the original as well, but I’d have to say that my favorites are the marbled, the blueberry-topped original, and the pumpkin (shown below).
Top of the Rock: You’ll get a better view from here than from the top of the Empire State Building. Trust me. In fact, you can see the Empire State Building from here.
Carmine’s: If you’re in the mood for hearty, family-style Italian food, then Carmine’s is your place.