Some call it the best city in the world, and most New Yorkers are fiercely loyal to their home. New Yorkers — especially long-time residents — certainly have their share of favorite go-tos. But, what visitors? Where should you begin when there are hundreds of choices at their fingertips?

As it is with most cities, the only way to truly experience the best a city has to offer is to ask a local. So, we did just that! Now you don’t have to scour Yelp in the hopes of finding where to eat dinner tonight or go out for drinks. Even if you’re not a visitor and already calling NYC your home, it’s most likely there are a few spots on this list you’ve never heard of. Read on for our monster list of the best kept secrets that NYC has to offer!


New Yorkers are notoriously spoiled when it comes to cuisine. No matter what the craving may be, there are countless choices to choose from, and new hot spots opening every day. It’s no wonder that visitors feel completely overwhelmed deciding where to eat. No need to get frazzled over dinner plans — read on for our hand-picked favorites.


Got a sweet tooth? Hit up these amazing and renowned sweet shops for one of a kind treats.


It’s famous for being the city that never sleeps, and as a result, New York has endless nightlife hot spots to choose from. But, when visiting a city, isn’t it more fun to wander into a dive bar that’s off the beaten path? Well, when you think of a dive bar, these high-end picks may not come to mind, but many fit the newest trend in mixology: the secret bar.

  • The Garret — Truly personifying the speakeasy vibe, The Garret is hidden above the West Village Five Guys restaurant.
  • Apothke — This beautiful Chinatown bar takes its apothecary-inspired vibe to a fun place, serving cocktails in categories such as Stimulants.
  • The Blind Barber — Head to the back room for more than a haircut: sip a handcrafted, creative cocktail.
  • PDT — Short for Please Don’t Tell, this bar isn’t so secret anymore, but it’s still fun to enter via its hidden entrance behind a phone booth.


The next time you visit NYC, don’t waste too much of your time in Times Square. Once you visit MOMA and the Guggenheim, peruse the following off-the-beaten path sights to see.

  • Frank Lloyd Wright House — head to Staten Island to see this beautiful home. But, just make sure you look, but don’t touch.
  • Wave Hill's Manicured Garden — This beautiful garden in the Bronx is a little piece of peaceful heaven overlooking the Hudson River.
  • Orchard Beach & Boardwalk — Most out-of-towners won’t know about this manmade beach in the Brinx.
  • Coney Island — Although it’s no secret, Coney Island is often left off a NYC visitor’s list. But, this fun piece of American History shouldn’t be!


Sure, you already know that NYC is a fashion mecca. Fashion Week, anyone? But, for the more budget-conscious — and vintage enthusiasts — New York is thrift store heaven. But, you have to know where to go. Instead of spending your time in Saks and Bloomingdales, branch out to the thrift store gems across the city. You never know what you’ll find! For exhaustive lists, check out these articles by Time Out New York and Gothamist.

We hope we’ve given you some ideas to keep in mind the next time you visit the Big Apple. For even more great recommendations, be sure to ask your friends, family and colleagues who visit often to give you some more tips.