Not just for hardcore fans of Sex and the City. Amongst its other delicacies, their huge, creamy cupcakes are the popular choice - these are so popular that the bakery has put a limit to how many one customer can buy!
401 Bleeker Street (10th and Bleeker)
Step off Fifth Avenue into the Frick and you enter a completely different world. A fascinating house stuffed with the most beautiful paintings collected by industrialist Henry Frick in the early 20th Century - Vermeer, Goya, Holbein, Piero della Francesca. If you are touring the art galleries of NYC this is a must - and much easier on the feet than the Met or Moma.
A branch of the London members' only club and sister hotel to Babington House, this is a very expensive downtown option which is not for those who like formal service, trouser presses and in-room IT support. Having said that the rooms, even the small ones, are fantastic in terms of size for New York and the rooftop pool terrace is a brilliant place to sit and watch the Hudson go by.
A sculpture garden on the roof of the museum, missed by the vast majority of visitors. Go not for the art but the view: a gorgeous panorama of Central Park and the sumptuous buildings that surround it, from just above the tree line.
1000 Fifth Ave at 82nd Street. Take the elevator at the back of the Museum. (Best ask a guard.) Open Spring, summer, and early fall.
In a sea of Irish and chain bars, it was refreshing to find this local pub/restuarant that brewed its own beer locally (in Brooklyn). There are three of these places in New York, one of them being in Union square. They have delightful beers tastin like orange, cinnamon, red fruit. They let you taste it before you buy it and i was told that they change the ingredients every month or so. They also do food and the portions were generous and the food delicious. The place has a lot of locals there especially people going there after work or pre-theatre. I enjoyed it immensely and thoroughly recommend it. The closest I have found in London has been the Bunker in Covent Garden and the Freedom bar off Carnaby street.
Free literary readings Sundays through Thursdays where some surprisingly famous names turning up for nothing but the drinks and atmosphere to read fiction, poetry or whatever takes their fancy. If that's not enough it is one of the coolest places on the planet and mixes a superb Martini any evening of the week. Honestly you'll be fine - go on risk the walk up the murky flight of stairs direct from the East Village Street.
85 E 4th St NYC; www.kgbbar.com/
Tucked down Spring Street, this little brasserie is a great place to rest your weary feet after a hard day's shopping in Soho. It's pricey and you may have to wrestle for a table or a space at the bar but the Bloody Mary's are worth it!
80 Spring Street, NY 10012 212 965-1785 www.newyorkmetro.com/frame/set.htm?site=http://balthazarny.com
Locally brewed and funky-looking, Brooklyn Beer is a tasty alternative to big brand American beer and is made to several different specifications. The perfect end to a sweaty day in the Big Apple.
Most corner shops and bars.
If you crave a night less ordinary in lower Manhattan, the Mehanata Bulgarian Cultural Club on Canal St and Broadway offers a wonderfully twisted and laidback alternative to Soho’s über-fashionable bars and clubs (you can smoke here for starters). The music is a seething hotchpotch of deep Balkan house and stomping folk beats while the bar serves up a strong Bulgarian punch and shows experimental eastern European cinema and Saturday night TV comedy straight from Sofia.
416 Broadway and Canal Street, www.mehanata.com
Authentic viennese cafe on the ground floor of the Neue Galerie, a recently opened gallery to German and Austrian art. Situated in a charming townhouse.
On 88th and Museum mile. About 2 blocks north of the Metropolitan museum. The actual galleries hours are odd - but the cafe is open most days
A good and most importantly, free view over Central Park is notoriously difficult to come accross, unless you live in an apartment overlooking it. However, on a recent trip, I was delighted to find that the excellent Metropolitan Museum of Art has just such a novelty. Notwithstanding the cornucopia of exhibits to look at there is also a staggering view accross the park towards midtown. Especially good if there's a lightning storm approaching - you can take shelter behind one of the dodgy pieces of 'Modern Art' that are sure to get struck before you do. And they serve Mojitos up there too...
1000 Fifth Avenue at 82nd Street. Take 4, 5, or 6 train to 86th Street and walk three blocks west to Fifth Avenue
Market Cafe is a small, unassuming place that's a tad like an institutional canteen but serves gourmet food at great prices. You can easily walk out of this unlikely placed restaurant - that sits just east of the more salubrious areas - spending less than $20 on a first and main course. Try the scallops, which were enormous and delectable on a bed of pureed potatoes and rocket with a burnt butter sauce. They're a steal at around $8.
Market Cafe, 496 Ninth Ave between between 37th and 38th. 212-564- 7350 nearest station 34st-Penn station
The queues (in America they call them 'lines') for the Empire State are very long on a clear day. However, tickets are valid any day so if you pass by on a cloudy day when there are little or no queues pop in to buy tickets for use later in your trip. This should save about 20-30 minutes queue time when you want to go up on a clear day.
Empire state building - 5th Avenue at 34th
Bryant Park is a small but very popular park with tourists and New Yorkers. It is situated on 42nd St and behind the Central Library on 5th Av. In the daytime it is a fantastic spot for eating your lunch on a beautiful sunny day and in the evening there is a chance to enjoy a balmy New York evening with a glass of wine Sex and the City style. You can also enjoy an evening cinema classic on certain days throughout the summer. As a regular to New York I love to pass on my little find to others because if you want to take 5 minutes out from the city's fast pace or simply have lunch and people watch then visit Bryant Park.
42nd St and 5th Av behind the Central Library
A perfect place for Sunday morning brunch, tucked away in the East Village. You have to get there (preferably armed with your copy of Sunday's NY Times) before it opens at 10am, as it's small and gets incredibly busy - and rightly so. The menu is a collection of brunch classics with a twist ... and, because you're on holiday, there are nine different bloody mary's to choose from. I had something that involved spicy chick peas and a poached egg. I think it was probably the best breakfast I've ever had, but the combination of jet-lag, a bloody mary and managing to bag a table right in the window put me in such a state of euphoria that a Little Chef fry up would have tasted wonderful.
54 E 1st St, New York 10003 Btwn 1st & 2nd Ave; Tel: 212-677-6221
A quite brilliant sushi place, in SoHo/NoHo/Little Italy. It's down in a basement - with great atmosphere, excellent sushi and an extensive sake list (see it here blueribbonrestaurants.com/sushimanhattan_sakelist.asp). Don't expect to leave sober. There's no bookings. Which is both a blessing and a curse.
If it's a Friday or Saturday night, you need to get there early to avoid a lengthy wait. However, when we last went, they were happy to take your mobile number and call you when a table's free ... so you can go for a drink nearby.
19 Sullivan St, Between Prince and Spring; tel: 212 274 0404; blueribbonrestaurants.com/
The sign outside boasted the best pancakes in America, and even I have to admit they were right. Nestled underneath the overpass opposite Grand Central Station, the cafe is a rare find. We spent our last morning in New York here, the staff were incredibly charming and accommodating, and the breakfast was incredible.
90 East 42nd Street New York; 212 286 9600
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