New York is a city that surprises me every time I visit. You will always find so many things to see and do here. Even if the usual attractions like Statue of Liberty, Empire State Building, Ground Zero or times Square do not appeal to you, there are some great alternatives as well. In my answer I have suggested some and also kept in mind your love for food and wine!
Here are some offbeat things to see and do on your trip to New York City:
Food on Foot Tours is probably the best way to see New York. Take a close look at everything that is New York. Start at some of the most renowned landmarks and carry on to the largest buffets the city has known. The best part? They are completely customizable!
Tickets at US$35 per person.
To experience a culture one must experience their cuisine and since New York is the melting pot of the world, its vast array of cuisines is its shared culture. Food on Foot Tours takes visitors beyond the tourist attractions to the largest buffet in the world, New York City. You'll see the neighborhoods where New Yorkers live and eat. You'll share our passion for all things New York and you'll travel the way New Yorkers do, by subway and foot. We welcome groups and individuals for customized and scheduled tours. Customize your own group or business bonding tour anywhere in NYC or join us for any of our regularly scheduled tours:
(Source: Food On Foot Tours)
To go to New York and not witness a street performance is a cultural crime. You will have ample opportunities to get some great pictures as well.
Here is a snippet:
New York has enough street musicians to people-and entertain-a convention hall. Their fare is gratis-and sometimes worth even less. Yet a few rate an earing and eying-among them, the Wretched Refuse, a conglomerate of nine fine instrumentalists who specialize in asphalt bluegrass. Sugar Blue, a black harmonica player who plies his tunes in Greenwich Village, may be the best itinerant musician in New York. Around Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall, less prominent and more indigent fiddlers than those indoors make Brahms burst in midair, usually by tuning their violins up a tone to make the sound more brilliant.
The Nation: Offbeat New York - TIME (Source: TIME)
Head to Sir Walter Scott's statue at 72nd Street inside Central Park. Jeff Sherdian, perhaps the most iconic of all New York's street legends, performs here. Certainly one of the wittiest of his kind.
New York Times describes this as "The most exciting view in New York City". You should not miss it then should you? Roosevelt Island Tram is the only aerial commuting tram in the country.
From the hustle bustle of midtown Manhattan take this tram to calm and quiet of Roosevelt Island. There is no much to do there though. So it would be a good idea to get a round-trip ticket instead of an one way. However if you plan to spend some more time on the island, there is a red bus that takes you on a tour of the island for only 25 cents!
On your way you will reach the highest point at 250 feet above East River.
Where To Take the Tram:
Tramplaza is at 59th Street and Second Avenue in Manhattan.
$2.25 Each way, $4 round-trip
Every 15 minutes from 6.00 AM to 2.30 AM.
For tram information, call 832-4543, Ext. 1
For a food and wine lover like you here are some of my suggestions:
If you like seafood, chances are that Grand Central Oyster Bar place will impress you! Located in Grand Central Terminal, you can either sit down and have a grand dinner or just have sandwiches. They also have a great wine list. Though prices of main dishes can go upto $30, there are several other things on the menu which you can try if you are not willing to spend that much. They have a fresh menu everyday depending on the day's catch. Having a meal here would be a classic New York experience as you hear the trains rumbling by in the background.
Tip: Try the Fried Oysters.
Here is a review:
A New York classic. The Grand Central Oyster Bar should be a required destination for any tourist. It is as much Manhattan as a ride to the top of the Empire State Building or a Broadway play. The food was excellent and the surroundings unique.
Special Features: fit for foodies, good for groups, notable wine list, special occasion
Price: Upto $30 per entree. Sandwiches upto $10
Book your table here.
Phone: (212) 490-6650
Hours of Operation: Monday - Friday: 11:30am - 9:30pm
Saturday: 12:00pm - 9:30pm
Neighborhood: Midtown East
Cross Street: Vanderbilt and Lexington
The reason I recommend Pure Food and Wine is because of their extensive wine menu. They have a Vegan menu yet very innovative. You will not be disappointed that you did not get to have fish or meat. The prices are a bit high, but may be if you are in a mood to splurge you can try this place.
Here is a snippet about wine from their website:
Complement your pure food with our excellent selection of wines and cocktails. Our wines are biodynamic, organic, or simply sustainable (which usually means they're from vineyards that have always practiced organically but have not been certified). Our fresh cocktails are made using organic Momokawa sake from Oregon, mixed with organic fresh pressed juices, fresh herbs, and exotic flavors. We are also the only restaurant in New York City to have sake on tap (organic Momokawa
(Source: Pure Food and Wine - One Lucky Duck)
This is what a diner says:
My friend had a Groupon, so my dinner of shared appetizer, a glass of sake, and an entree came to $45 with tax and tip (about $10 less than it would have been without the coupon). That atmosphere is dim, romantic, and very red. The service was warm and professional. The food was inventive, beautiful, and tasty. The appetizer of nut cheeses with rosemary crackers was small for $16 (7 small pieces of 3 types of cheese, some greens, and about 6 hearty crackers) but tasty and fun -- I didn't realize how much I like nut cheese! I enjoyed my corn tamales and they were actually very filing -- there were two huge tamales stuffed with a corn mash and mushroom, garnished with a mole sauce, herbs, vegan sour cream and salted slices of avocado.
I'm glad I was finally able to try this restaurant -- I've been meaning to come here for a couple of years. I won't be a regular though -- the prices make it a special occasion kind of place.
Price Range: Upto $26 per entree, Wine per glass from $11 onwards
Pure Food and Wine
54 Irving Place
(between 17th & 18th St.)
New York, NY 10003