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New York City Tourism: Best of New York City
A city that never sleeps, never stops moving
Luxe hotels. Gritty dive bars. Broadway magic. Side-street snack baskets. Whether you’re a first-time traveller or a long-time resident, NYC is a city that loves to surprise. The unrivaled mix of iconic arts spaces, endless shopping experiences, architectural marvels, and proudly distinct neighbourhoods — along with the city’s accessible 24/7 transport — means there’s always more to explore in the five boroughs.
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Essential New York City
Places to see, ways to wander, and signature experiences that define New York City.
A mix of the charming, iconic, and modern.
Quintessential New York City restaurants, bars, and beyond.
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My top date spots collected over a lifetime in NYC — a mix of special places to share with someone you love or just, like a lot.
Raja H, New York City, NY
- Devocion95Regarded by some as having the most expensive coffee in the city, but I think of it more as a $8 place to sit. Worth it: there's a gorgeous skylight pouring in abundant sunshine, a living green wall, and rich leather sofas to fall into. Curl up with a book while studying the people of the new Williamsburg around you.
- Tomi Jazz53You can be forgiven for walking past Tomi, an underground, Japanese-vibe jazz bar. There's a spirit of timelessness in this basement bar. Reserve a table and unwind over a few bottles of plum wine (umeshu). Let the music take you to a simpler world, even if just for a few hours.
- Brooklyn Academy of Music212BAM somehow keeps the vibe of a neighborhood theater while putting on high-value productions in a gorgeous building. To plan a fun night out, I'll skim their calendar for any talks, dance performances, or plays that are scheduled. Bonus points if you eat at Bedouin Tent nearby before your show.
- St. Mazie25St. Mazie has all the trappings of a romantic bar, but none of the clichéd stuffiness. It's dark, intimate, and bursts with energy on live music nights. Swing dancing from your neighbors may break out at any moment, adding another layer of entertainment. Reserve a table in advance and get cozy.
- Yemen Cafe and Restaurant100Come for the amazing Yemeni food, stay for the casual, unpretentious vibe made possible by the friendly locals. While you and your partner chat away, sharing large plates of lamb haneeth and chicken zorbian, servers will laying down endless, warm flatbreads. That tea everyone's drinking, it's free (and self-serve).
- Gantry Plaza State Park466There's no better place to enjoy the lights of the city than from the water. This new park feels like it sits in the middle of the river, with the glass towers of Midtown shooting into the sky above. Although far and out of the way, it's worth a cab ride over just before dark to watch the Empire State Building do its light show. Take the ferry home afterward.
- Buvette Gastrotheque928It's hard to find a restaurant with as much charm-per-square foot as Buvette. I fell in love with the white marble bar when aimlessly wandering the West Village. Expect small plates and tight seating, and remember you're here for the vibe. (If you're like me, you'll probably get a slice at Joe's Pizza afterward w/ your sweetheart if you're still hungry).
- Conservatory Garden384The Conservatory Gardens don't feel like the rest of Central Park. If you're already this far north, wander through the massive wrought-iron gate (from in Paris, 1894) and walk through the three gardens: Italian, English-style, and French. See if you can guess them correctly and note what makes each unique.
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