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April 22, 2014
Travel Tips

Navigating New York with a Local State of Mind

When you visit New York City – the city that never sleeps – there’s a lot to take in! But how do you know what’s not to be missed with the time you have? Andaz Host Amanda Coletta of Andaz 5th Avenue shares  her advice for exploring the concrete jungle.


Want to try a New York staple dish? Stop by John’s of Bleeker St. to pick up a giant New York style pizza pie, otherwise head uptown to get a taste of Patsy’s in Harlem for the ultimate coal oven pizza, or Lombardi’s in Little Italy. The city is also home to the largest Jewish community, which explains why it’s known for having some of the best Jewish Delis. Katz’s Deli is by far Amanda’s favorite, and known for having some of the best pastrami.  If you really want to feel like a true New Yorker, hang out at one of the many local Irish pubs, where you will find great beer, great food, and some great conversation. Sláinte!

For appetizing ethnic food, Amanda recommends Land for unbeatable Thai, or Yakitori Totto for one-of-a-kind Japanese cuisine. For a lively and original New York style atmosphere, swing by the Meatball Shop on the Upper East Side, where you can taste one of the finest meatball sandwiches around, otherwise try DB Bistro Moderne, a favorite local restaurant that’s only three blocks from Andaz 5th Avenue. Ramen at Ippudo offers up some of the best comfort food in town, while Salvation Taco is a favorite spot for a unique twist on classical Mexican dishes. If you have enough room for desert Levain Bakery is a New Yorker’s favorite, as it has the biggest and best chocolate chip cookies in the city. Is your mouth watering yet?


One of Amanda’s favorite spots to go for a night out on the town is Beauty & Essex. Located on the Lower East Side, this swanky restaurant and lounge is known for having delicious entrees, fancy cocktails, and great dance music. Not to mention, the location is perfect to continue the party at the nearby clubs. More hot spots for a night out in the city include Lavo, Marquee, and PHD, featuring some of the most popular DJ’s, music artists, and rooftop parties. Plus, Amanda firmly recommends getting tickets for a show. Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre has some of the best improv and sketch comedy shows in the city, with unbeatable ticket prices.


  • Amanda suggests visiting The Museum of the Moving Image, which explores the history of film and television, or The Lower East Side Tenement museum with exhibits that have live actors who tell the stories of immigrant families of all different ethnicities who came to America.
  • Bryant Park in the summer is a great place for visitors to mingle among locals with outdoor activities like yoga in the park, Thai chi, ping pong, Broadway concerts and outdoor movies.
  • Take a stroll through The Highline, the city’s new elevated park built from former railroad tracks which is filled with unique art installations and amazing views of the city, or check out The Hester Street Fair where you can find flea markets on the weekends, as well as unique artisanal food vendors.
  •  Adventurous? Take a free kayak tour down the Hudson River, rent bikes for a day in Central Park, or make the hike across the Brooklyn Bridge.
  • Amanda also suggests hopping on the ferry to Governor’s Island, where you can see breathtaking views of the skyline and visit the Statue of Liberty, a New York icon.

You will always be surprised by what New York City has to offer. Thanks to expert Amanda, now you can navigate the city like a bona fide New York local. Don’t be shy, and stop in to say hello on your next visit!

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