How to Authentically Experience New York

NYC Edition: Eat This, Not That

The City That Never Sleeps draws international crowds from all corners of the earth. Everyone wants to come see the bright lights and the sites that they’ve seen in countless movies. They want to experience the place where dreams come true, if only for a little while.

For people who have never been to New York City before, it can seem like a daunting task to figure out what neighborhoods and restaurants to eat in. Our local experts put together a quick guide for you to avoid the tourist traps on your next vacation to the Big Apple.

Times Square vs. Lower East Side

While both of these neighborhoods have a rich history, Times Square has turned into an overcrowded area with chain restaurants and tourists photographing cheesey displays. The Lower East Side, which at one point was a popular town for European immigrants, is full of trendy, hole-in-the-wall bars and restaurants. Top eatery picks in LES:

  1. Tijuana Picnic

  2. Cheese grille

  3. Birds & Bubbles

  4. Wildair

  5. Balvanera



Little Italy vs. NoLita

Mulberry street is where all the tourists flock to for the experience of “authentic” Italian food. What they don’t know before they get there is that all they are going to experience is a series of restaurants in a row on the same street, that are identical. If you go a little farther North East of the neighborhood, you’ll find NoLita. There you’ll discover not only quality Italian spots, but other excellent and innovative eateries as well. Top restaurant picks in NoLita:

  1. Rubirosa

  2. Cafe Gitane

  3. Balzem

  4. Bread

  5. Parm



Financial District vs. TriBeCa

There may be Stone Street and Trinity Church in FiDi, but this is not the area you’ll want to stop in for lunch. Head North towards the trendier, sister neighborhood to experience lesser known but excellent restaurants. It’s a nice change from crowded streets with a quiet vibe and high class touches. Top eatery picks in TriBeca:

  1. Belle Reve

  2. Marc Forgione

  3. Locanda Verde

  4. China Blue

  5. Two Hands Restaurant & Bar