New York Guide

My New York Page usually sucks because NYC changes so fast.

NYC is not what it once was.  There are dozen more bars and clubs then there ever were so now you have many empty bars on the weekdays and overcrowded ones on the Weekends.

New York Guide

NYC Tips
New York City has an amazing range of food.  From Albanian to Ukrainian, we have it all.  We have cuisines you may have never even heard of.  Here are some of our favorite restaurants and food purveyors:
Fairway Market Cafe-74th street and Broadway.  Features a $34 3 course prix fix.

Dinosaur Bar B Que700 West 125th Street  New York, NY 10027.  Theres a Park Slope location but its not nearly as good as the Harlem one. (212) 694-1777-I’ve eaten and lots of bbq joints and this is my favorite,  If you are two people get the sweetheart special, a full rack of ribs and 4 sides.  Don’t miss dessert.  Skip the brisket, but if you have pescatarian friends they can have bbq catfish or salmon here.  I recommend the peel and eat shrimp too.
Amy Ruth’s-113 W 116th St(between Lenox Ave & Adam C Powell Blvd)
New York, NY 10026 (212) 280-8779 I have to admit, I have not been to this soul food joint yet, but I plan to go to try their Honey Dipped Fried Chicken which is studded with Chili Flakes and made with Honey from their rooftop hives
Biricchino -260 W 29th Street, between 7th and 8th Avenues  – 212-695-6690, this italian restaurant has a retail outlet selling homemade sausage.  You can get a sausage sampler at the restaurant.
Pam Real Thai Food-Incredible Thai, Incredibly cheap.  Try the Pad Keo Mao or the Pad Prik King-404 West 49th St  at 9th Avenue. New York NY (212) 333-7500
Woorijip-12 W 32nd St, New York 10001 Between 5th Ave & Broadway -24/7-  This place is confusing, but there is a noodle bar and a hot food bar where you can get yummy korean food for cheap.
East Village
Black Iron Burger-540 E 5th St, New York, NY 10009 (212) 677-6067 Home of the  favorite burger of the east village burger club.
Crif Dogs -113 Saint Marks Place-standing room only-They do a take on the Rutts Hut Hot Dog from NJ and the Sonoran Dog from AZ, which is a bacon wrapped dog.  Contains a hidden bar called Please don’t tell.
Cucina Di Pesce -Italian, Seafood, 87 E 4th St,   New York Btwn 2nd & 3rd Ave.  In a land of 25 dollar entrees, CDP somehow manages to keep prices down.  Most dishes are great, including their steak.  Don’t go without getting the stuffed mushrooms, which are the best cheesy shrooms I have ever had.  Reasonable bottles of wine, awesome desserts.  All dishes come with a side of red sauce linguine or Garlic and Oil.  Get the garlic and oil for sure.   
Hot Kitchen-Best Chinese in the East Village.  Upper East Side Location too.  Amazing Lunch Special.  I recommend the twice cooked pork with pork belly or Dry Sauteed string beans.
Katz’ Deli

MAX51 Ave B New York-unique italian food, with a very homey taste.  Their Lasagna is like no other I have tasted. ed-moved to Tribeca.
Mighty Quinns BBQ-103 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10003 (212) 677-3733 and other locations.  Good reasonable bbq. Splurge on a giant brontosaurus rib which feeds two.
Mikey’s 134 Ludlow St-counter only burger joint with awesome burgers that use corned beef instead of bacon, though you can get bacon.  CHEAP
Muzzarella Pizza – 221 Avenue A, New York, NY 10009-Get the White Pesto Foccacia slice or the Lasagna pizza.  Cheap subs that are okay but take a long time to prepare.
PYLOS-128 East 7th Street (between Avenue A and First Avenue) Telephone, 212 473.0220- Greek restaurant where many dishes are served in Casaroles.
Two Boots Pizza.. Its my favorite pizza, and an empire of video stores, theaters and both fast food and sit down restauants.  37 AVE A at 2nd Street and many others.  Its cajun style, with normal toppings as well as odd things like crawfish and andouille sausage.
The Mermaid Inn-96 2nd Avenue-Theres not too many seafood places in NYC and most of them aren’t cheap.  This one tops out at $25 dollars but most of the plates are cheaper than that.
Zaragoza mexican grocery-This place is scary and intimidating, but worth it.  On Avenue A between 13 and 14 street, you step into this hole in the wall, right to the counter.  Ask the counterperson what they have today and they will open up this mini steamtable and say “today we have lamb, goat, pork, chicken, etc”  Pick your meat, get two dollar tacos or a five dollar burrito, a mexican soda and eat there or walk down to Thompkins Square park.  You can also find many varieties of peppers for your own homemade fiesta.
the Meat Ball shop-84 Stanton St, Manhattan, NY 10002 and other locations-small, slightly too fancy but cheap place that makes 5 kinds of meat balls with your choice of five sauces.  Not too pricey on glasses of wine either.
Kikis-130 Division St, New York, NY 10002 Greek food
The SKINnY Bar & Lounge-174 Orchard St, New York, NY 10002 (212) 228-3668 has a patty melt called the fat cheese that once was my favorite burger in the East Village.
Zucco: Le French Diner, 188 Orchard St, just south of houston, New York, NY 10002-tiny cute cheap french food.
Shopsin’s General Store-Now in the Essex St Market,  120 Essex St, New York, NY 10002-Old Fashioned lunch counter with Funky Menu.  Cant take parties of more than 4.
West Village & Chelsea
Grand Sichuan-24th Street and 9th Avenue.  If you come here after 6:30, it will take forever, but this is the best Chinese in NYC.  Recommeded dishes, Wontons in Red Oil, Shrimp in Garlic Sauce, Dry Sauteed String Beans and Pork, Orange Beef, Soup Dumplings.  Caution, can be too spicy!
Spice8th avenue between 20th and 21st Street and other locations.  Very good chain restaurant.  They have these great,  crab and shrimp fritters.  Everything on the menu is decent and they have a cheap lunch special with an appetizer and entree for 8 bucks.
Mariebelle-Pricey Chocolate Shop with sexy cafe with regular and mexican hot chocolate.  Taking a date here will guarantee second base-484 Broome St
Ruby’s Cafe-Teeny Tine Australian Restaurant, cash-only with really good burgers- 219 Mulberry St , New York, NY 10012
Good Chinese Food is suprising tough to find in NYC.  Citysearch has a pretty good overview of chinese restaurants here.
For Dim Sum, Recommended are-
Ping’s –
22 Mott St New York NY (212) 602-9988 for dim sum on carts..or…..
Dim Sum Go Go –5 E Broadway New York NY (212) 732-0796 for dim sum served a la carte all day.  Always fresh. *note-reviews of late have been sketchy
NYCs only dessert restaurant-CHIKALICIOUS-203 East 10th Street, New York, NY Closed Monday – Tuesday Located between 2nd and 1st Avenues, close to the Astor Place subway station
Cheap Snacks, etc-
· MANDOO BAR, 2 W. 32nd St., 212-279-3075 -Korean Dumpling House where they serve you kimchee radish and pickled radish as part of the meal.
Mark Burger-Mini Sliders.  Mmmm. 33 St Marks Place
Interesting Stores-
Aji Ichiban-167 Hester Street, 37 Mott Street, 153A Centre Street, 188 Lafayette Street, 23 East Broadway, New York, -Japanese candy shop where you buy things by the pound.  Can get pricey, but its excellent.
Buonitalia-75 9th Avenue at 15th street, New York, NY  212-633-9090-italian specialty food shop in Chelsea rather than the normal Little Italy. in Chelsea market.
East Village Cheese-This cash only store at 10th Street and 3rd Avenue has the best prices on cheese and olives around!
Li-lac chocolates-120 Christopher Street bet Bleeker and Hudson-Chocolate shop from 1923

Minamota Kitchoan-608 5th avenue at 49th Street-sells Wagashi, japanese cakes that have bean paste, rice or potato flower.  Very amazing wrapping.
Myer’s of Keswick   634 Hudson Street   (between Horatio and Jane St.’s)    New York NY . 212 691 4194-Here is where you take your friend to make fun of products like spotted dick.
Schaller & Weber -1654 Second Avenue @ 86th Street, New York, (212) 879-3047-amazing chocolate and smoked meat

NYC Visitors Guide

Visiting NYC in the future? Well, here are some tips for you trip:

A small tour of Nicola Tesla Sights.

One of the best things you can do for sightseeing is taking the Staten Island Ferry that leaves from Battery Park. It gives you a great view of the harbor, Statue of Liberty and much of lower Manhattan. And best of all, ITS FREE!!!! Even if you live here, its a great place to take a date, and you get to set foot in a borough that many Manhattanites have never ever been to!

Better than museums because they are free!  Galleries abound in NYC.  All are free and most are open Tuesday to Saturday, 11 am to 6 pm.  Chelsea art galleries has a great list of current shows, and you can map your own tour.  Or look for my free guided tours on the NYC events page.  Many times during a month there are opening parties for shows at these galleries.  The Douglas Kelly list and art cards have many of these openings.   Most are 6 pm to 8 pm and are free and open to the public and have free beer or wine. Gallery guide lists openings too, but you have to look up the addresses of the galleries yourself, and they sometimes have inaccurate information.

Live Music: My favorite thing about NYC is the live music. We have tons of it and much of it is free.

Check out the websites or for music listings. for art openings.

During summer months The Central Park Summerstage, Prospect Park Bandshell and Battery Park all host concerts that are fantastic and feature some very amazing acts. Also during the summer,  don’t miss the MERMAID PARADE in Coney Island. It is a must see experience.  They also have lots of fun summer events on that page.

Other great FREE and cheap music venues are  Ottos Shrunken Head and Pianos.   Also check with Ticketweb for listings to Mercury Lounge and Bowery Ballroom listings for some great and resonable shows in amazing venues and Oh My Rockness.

For a very good night of Barhopping, check out Beauty Bar (231 E. 14 St. between 2nd and 3rd avenues) is a bar in a former beauty salon. 

In another direction not far from Beauty Bar is Ottos Shrunken Head, home to Hipster Travels own Copycat night, a night of cover songs, which happens every 2nd and sometimes 4th Wednesday.  DJ Xerox spins the cover songs from 9 pm on, with live bands whose sets must be at least half cover songs.  Lots of different events here, including a Tuesday Goth Party and legendary monthly die hard rockabilly parties, plus some indie rock too.  Best of all, virtually every event is free, with the bucket passed for tips for the bands.  Vintage Photo booth too.

For Scenester parties check the website of Shaw Promotions.
Or for more casual scenester and rock and roll hangouts head to  Niagara- 112 Avenue A at 7th Street, Lit Lounge- 93 2nd Avenue at 5th Street, Black and White -86 E 10th Street Between 3rd and 4th Avenue (too tiny to dance)and on occasion, Sway, all the way across town at 305 Spring St, especially for their Sunday night Morrisey night.

Decent Music Venues:
Bowery Ballroom-Delancy and Bowery.
Mercury Lounge (217 Houston St.@ Essex, 212-260-4700)
The Knitting Factory (74 Leonard St. between Broadway & Church, 212-219-3055). 
Pianos– Ludlow Street and Houston


Gee, Mr. Hipster Travel guy, now we have all the venues, but who should we SEE since we don’t know anything about these local acts.
Well, since you asked, consider yourself in good hands when you see any of the following: 
Madam Robot and the Lust BrigadeThe Dead Betties,Des RoarThe Vesties , The Bitter PoetPalomar, the Faux french sounds of Les Sans Culottes and tons more.  I recommend you pick up the Village Voice and Time Out NY and scour the listings when you get here, or check out who snobbily only list cool indie rock bands, which is indeed the way it should be done.  And Garage Punk NYC, which only list cool balls out punk rock, garage and Psychobilly stuff.   The voice is free, TONY is a few bucks, but it will save you time and show you the lastest restaurants and even recommend sights and street fairs.

Record Stores
Other Music-15 East Fourth Street between Broadway and Layfayette.

The Kitchen and PS 122 Have unique performance events.
Le Scandal is an old fashioned Burlesque/Cabaret Show, currently at the THE CUTTING ROOM-19 West 24th Street (between the 6th Avenue and Broadway) Every Saturday, 11.30 p.m  This show is expensive.
The Slipper room has lots of inexpensive Burlesque and Rififi has free and cheap comedy and burlesque shows

Art Stuff-
The only possible Michelangelo statue outside of Europe lies in a building lobby at 972 Fifth Avenue at 79th Street.  212-439-1400.  If you cant find it, ask where the cupid is.
Also on Bleeker in front of the NYU Dorms is a Picasso Sculpture in front of Silver Towers, 110 Bleecker St. Between La Guardia and Mercer.

(both closed for the summer)
New York Earth Room by Walter De Maria is located at 141 Wooster Street between Houston and Prince Streets.
Dream House by Lamont Young-Sound and Light Environment-Extended Exhibition at MELA Foundation, 275 Church Street, 3rd Floor between Franklin & White Streets in Tribeca

You can eat cheaply on your trip.  Its pretty easy.
Falafel-Mamouns Falafel has $2.50 falafel and $4.50 delicious lamb schwarma sandwiches.  Two locations. 22 St. Marks Place, New York, NY 10003 and in the West Village, 119 Macdougal St.
Greys Papaya has really cheap and tasty hot dogs.  $1.25 each.  72nd Street, Upper West Side and other locations
Sea and Spice Thai restaurants.  Both the Sea and Spice brand restaurants have great cheap thai food.  You can’t beat their lunch deal, where til 4 pm you can get an appetizer AND entree for around $7.
Shake Shack-Legendary burger joint also selling chicago style hot dogs in madison square park.  Lines can be outrageous, but worth the wait.  Go when its raining for faster service.  In the park at 23 Street and Broadway but go to one of the other locations for much shorter waits.

Dinosaur Bar-B-Que, A genuine Honky Tonk Rib Joint, 646 W 131st St at the West Side Highway.  Worth a trip on the 1 train to 125th street, then you walk towards the highway.  They have a “sweetheart deal” where you get a full rack of ribs and four sides for about 24 bucks.  Best bbq in town for sure.

The Brooklyn Scene
Williamsburg gets lots of props for having a great scene and lots of great stuff, but I still prefer Manhattan.  However here are some spots said to be cool.  You can also check out 
Free Williamsburg.  Their info may not be the most up to date though.  Theres lots of art galleries scattered about which you can see listed at the Williamsburg Gallery association site.  They have monthly events where all the galleries stay open late on Fridays on the second Friday of the month.


More Art, that you can actually afford.
Steve Keene, a low budget artist has opened a studio in Brooklyn

ENID’S -560 Manhattan Ave., Brooklyn, (718) 349-3859 -Greenpoint. Cheap beer, and hot Southern cooking.

Knitting Factory-huge music venue, formerly located in manhattan

Public Assembly-Big Williamsburg music venue.

PETE’S CANDY STORE-709 Lorimer St., Brooklyn, NY,(718) 302-3770 – Housed in a former soda fountain and in a lonely section of town.

VERA CRUZ -195 Bedford Ave., Brooklyn, NY, 11211; (718) 599-7914
The Mexican restaurant contains a rear garden.

The Abbey-536 Driggs Ave. (between N. 7th & N. 8th),  pool table, a pinball machine, in the back.  Friendly divey bar and a good place to hit before heading over to Northsix.

Barcade-388 Union Ave, Brooklyn, NY – 718-302-6464 – tons of classic arcade games like Moon Patrol, Centipede, Frogger, and Donkey Kong,and Zaxxon.

Brooklyn Brewery-79 N. 11th St., (between Wythe & Berry)  718-486-7422.  A brewery, not a bar, but you can visit Friday night for their happy hour. Or, you  can come on Saturday afternoon and get loaded for free during their mini-tour of the brewery.

Daddy’s-437 Graham Avenue,  718-609-6388  L train to Graham Ave.  All the juices are fresh squeezed in the drinks.  Owned by the band the Rogers Sisters

Trash-256 Grand St. at Roebling, Brooklyn, NY -Formerly known as Club Luxx,  now known as Trash, a dive bar with a pool table,  and car seats, along with an automatic french fry maker and a movie theater hot dog machine.

Union Pool- 484 Union Ave., at Meeker (under the BQE) (718) 609-0484
[L to Lorimer Ave] an old pool supply shop.  True outdoor patio.  Sleek feel.