Americans really know how to do breakfast, and if you choose one of the more substantial dishes (theyre all pretty substantial, to be honest) you wont need to eat again till the evening. The amazing Pastis in the meatpacking district is a great place for a week day breakfast or brunch, serving classics such as eggs Benedict, pancakes, and, amazingly, a full English breakfast.
Paradou, again in the meatpacking district, is the perfect choice for relaxed weekend brunch, with Champagne cocktails coming as part of the deal. Prepare to be fed well, with dishes such as the best burger in town and Duck Reuben an enormous duck sandwich served with baked potato.
If you want a real American diner experience, the Hudson Diner on Hudson Street has a million different breakfast varieties and a warm, traditional American vibe.
OK, we said we werent going to do the big tourist sites, but really, you cant miss the Empire State Building. Not only does it have the best view of New York, its also an art deco masterpiece from the citys golden era. Pretend youre Fay Wray as you cling to the viewing deck at the very top. Be warned, though, that the queues can be immense, so give yourself plenty of time. You can skip some of those queues if you buy your tickets online (available through various outlets).
You will probably want to go to a couple of museums. Wed recommend the Museum of Modern Art, otherwise known as MoMA, which is roughly New Yorks equivalent of Londons Tate Modern. MoMA houses a huge range of modern artefacts, from architecture and design to media and performance art. Special exhibitions will cost more, so check online to see whats on.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art is a more imposing affair, and something akin to the National Gallery in London or the British Museum. The collection contains Egyptian, Greek and Roman art, mediaeval art, costume and modern American art. Again, you can buy tickets for special exhibitions online.
Take a stroll
If its a beautiful New York day (and it may well be, even in winter) then take a walk around some of New Yorks most beautiful districts. To see the city at its iconic best walk across Brooklyn Bridge and take in the entire skyline. If you want an inner city, Breakfast at Tiffanys type experience then wander around the East and West Village, perhaps stopping at the famous Magnolia Bakery for cup cakes.
Of course youll want to visit Central Park. Be careful though, it is enormous and will take a while to get across. If you want to pretend youre a real New Yorker you can take a run around the reservoir, or take a boat out on the lake.
Are you on a budget or prepared to splurge? If youre on a budget try bargain hunting around Chinatown, and while youre there, help yourself to some authentic dim sum. If youre after something more stylish then head for Fifth Avenue for the full designer experience, or SoHo for a mix of designer outlets and inexpensive, independent boutiques.
New York, like any big city, has a huge range of top quality restaurants and youll probably have a great dining experience in any district. A few restaurants that stand out are Buddakan, which featured in the first Sex and the City movie and which serves up delicious and delicate Asian fusion food. Another is Gotham Grill, serving classic American and international dishes.
Matt Walls is the Senior Director of Marketing at Hotels.com.
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