Travel Blog

  1. My favourite Manhattan hangouts

    posted by Guest blogger - Matt Kepnes | 0 Comments


    In his latest guest post, Matt Kepnes of Nomadicmatt.com tell us his favourite hangouts in Manhattan, New York City. To keep up to date with Matt make sure to follow him on Twitter, like his page on Facebook and check out the posts on his blog.

    New York City is a city of 10 million people and 100 million things to do. You can never be bored here. I’ve been living here on and off since 2010 (more, lately, now that I am no longer completely nomadic). Every time I walk down the street, I get drawn into the orbit of some new place to eat or drink. After having explored a lot of the city (but not all of it – nobody can do that), Hostelworld asked me to share some of my favourite spots and I was more than happy to do so:

    Yuba, 150 E 9th St (between 3rd & 4th Aves), East Village
    Located in the East Village, this sushi restaurant is my favourite in the city. The fish is some of the freshest I’ve encountered – they’ve a wide selection (including some not-often-found items), the cuts are thick and the Toro melts like butter. Throw in a large sake menu and you have all you need. Make sure you get the ‘Naruto roll’.

    Death and Co,, 433 East 6th St (between A & 1st Aves), Lower East Side
    This prohibition-style cocktail bar serves the best drinks in the city. Among décor out of something like The Addams Family, serious mixologists serve from a changing menu of fancy cocktails for those who like good drinks. Watch out for the martinis, though. They taste like water and after a couple, you’ll be sufficiently sauced.

    Gaslight, 9th Ave and 14th St, Meatpacking District
    Located in the Meatpacking District, this bar stays open until 4am and is a lively place to go after other places shut their doors at 2am. It’s one of the more affordable bars in an area normally known for very expensive drinks, and when everything begins to close, this place keeps the party going.

    The Ginger Man, 11 East 36th St (between Madison & 5th Aves), Midtown Manhattan
    This famous beer and whiskey bar is a wonderful place to find draft beer and aged whiskey and is popular with those in search of after-work drinks. They have 30-year-old scotches and over 70 beers on tap from countries all over the world. They also boast an especially good Belgian beer selection.

    Awash, 338 East 6th St (between 1st & 2nd Aves), East Village
    If you’ve never tried Ethiopian cuisine before, I highly recommend this affordable and quiet place as it’s one of the best in the city. Meals are served on traditional bread and you eat it with your hands. It’s a good place to meet friends or take a date as it’s down the street from the aforementioned Death and Co., where you can head for drinks after.

    Formerly Crows, 85 Washington Place (between Washington Square West & 6th Ave), West Village
    Located in the West Village, this dive bar features a pool table, super-cheap drinks, and a bar built for socialising. It’s near NYU so it also sees a lot of college students. In an area of known for expensive bars, it’s is a nice respite. And did I mention the drinks are cheap?

    Decibel, 2240 East 9th St (between 2nd and 3rd Aves), Japantown
    Located in Japantown right near Yuba, this sake bar is located in the basement (it gets pretty warm down there) and is filled nightly with locals and Japanese businessmen. First opened in 1993, it’s widely regarded as New York’s original sake bar.

    Prosperity Dumplings, 46 Elbridge St (between Canal and Hester Sts), Chinatown
    This Chinatown favourite serves amazing dumplings at a great price. Five dumplings for $1? You can’t go wrong with prices like that. And if you want more for later, you can buy 50 frozen dumplings for $8! Can’t beat that deal!

    John’s of Bleecker St, 278 Bleecker St (between 6th and 7th Aves), West Village
    Pizza in New York is an institution, and locals take their pizza seriously. Everyone always knows ‘the best place in the city’. However, John’s seems to be on everyone’s favourites list. The good thing is that the thin-style pizza comes in portions big enough for three. The bad thing is that you can expect to wait during dinner for a table…but service here is quick.

    5 Napkin Burger, various locations in Manhattan
    Looking for a huge, sloppy, delicious burger and fries in Union Square, Hell’s Kitchen or the Upper West Side? Try this place. The burgers are thick and juicy, though the name is misleading, as you'll need more than five napkins for their burgers. They come in a buckle-busting portion, too. Beyond the burger, try the fried pickle and pastrami appetizer. Delicious.

    Chelsea Market, 75 9th Ave (between 15th and 16th Streets), Chelsea
    Chelsea Market is a collection of restaurants and stores. It’s extremely popular with locals who pick up meals and head to the nearby High Line park to relax. You’ll find good Thai food, Italian, a spice store, a cheese shop and much more. The Lobster Place has delicious seafood and I really enjoy their clam chowder. If you want a meal with local and organic food, try The Green Table.

    Shake Shack, various locations in Manhattan
    With locations in Madison Square Park (the original one), the Upper East/West Sides, Battery Park City and the Theatre District close to Times Square, here you’ll find all the things you’d expect to find at an all-American diner – burgers, hot dogs, fries, sundaes, shakes and more. Expect long lines during lunch time, particularly at Madison Square Park and Theatre District branches. Guests have been known to wait up to an hour for a chance to eat here, but it’s worth it.

    Hill Country BBQ, 30 West 26th Street (between Broadway & 6th Ave), Flatiron District
    This is Texas BBQ at its finest. Located on West 26th, Hill Country is a great place to get messy with some ribs. The menu draws its inspiration from the grand old meat-markets-turned-barbecue-joints of Central Texas. With their distinctive dry-rub style, Hill Country's brisket, sausage, ribs and other meats are smoked low and slow.

    New York City is filled with too many world-class restaurants and bars to count. One of the best parts about living in the city is that wherever I go, I am always coming across new places to try in new neighborhoods worth exploring. New York City is a microcosm of the world and if people eat it or drink it, you can find it here.

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