10 things to know before going to New York

New York, its skyscrapers and lights. The city that never sleeps is certainly one of those destinations that we all dream of discovering one day. But before we pack our bags to cross the Atlantic, it’s better to be prepared. Here are 10 tips that a wise traveller should follow!

New York

1. Prepare your city-trip with an original guide

New York is full of good addresses and secret places. To make sure you don’t miss out on anything on the spot, make a detailed program with the help of expert travel guides.

2. Airline tickets are affordable

Good news for our portfolios! Airline ticket prices to New York have become more democratic in recent years. If you book in advance, you can get a round-trip ticket for 350€ p./p. To pack your bags, you need a valid passport and an ESTA visa that you can order on the Internet. Don’t forget to exchange your euros for dollars too!

3. Book a hotel in downtown Manhattan

Before planning your trip to New York, think about saving some money! Life is extremely expensive and, if you want to stay in Manhattan, you will need to count about 200€ per night at the hotel. If your budget doesn’t allow you to do this kind of crazy, choose an Airbnb in Brooklyn, Queens, Harlem or the Bronx instead.

However, if you want to live the experience to the end (we only live once), set up your quarters at the Knickerbocker. It is one of the most beautiful hotels in the city and its rooftop offers a breathtaking view of Times Square. The rooms are spacious, modern and luxurious and Charlie Palmer’s restaurant’s little dishes are to be enjoyed!

Any other favorites? West House Hotel, near Columbus Circle and Central Park. Like the Knickerbocker, it is located next to a subway station (it is possible to buy a card valid for 7 days for $39). We particularly enjoyed their breakfast buffet made up of scrambled eggs, French toast, donuts and other sweet treats. To be enjoyed on the roof of the establishment, of course!

4. Cookies from “Levain Bakery” are essential

Food lovers, after a walk in Central Park, join the Upper West Side to taste Levain Bakery’s cookies. Crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside. We assure you: Levain Bakery cookies are well deserving of the honorary title of “best cookies in the world”.

5. Americans are the kings of hearty brunch

If in New York you can’t resist the call of a Shake Shak (a famous fast-food chain), you should also try the hearty breakfasts and brunches offered all over the city. Here are our favorite addresses:

  • Citizens of Chelsea: the frame is hot and their waffles are amazing!
  • The Butcher’s Daughter: the trendy address par excellence! We eat veggie and vegan there. The dishes are original and healthy.
  • Jack’s Wife Freda: a must-see address in the SoHo district. It often takes patience to try to get a table. Fortunately, the dishes served there compensate for the wait!
  • Five Leaves: In Brooklyn, we love the Five Leaves map and its gorgeous setting.
  • City Kitchen: a stone’s throw from Times Square, we stop at the City Kitchen. This food market, which is part of The Row Hotel, brings together several restaurants in the city in one place. You can have a big burger at Whitmans’ booth, eat a lobster sandwich at Luke’s, taste the flavours of Asian cuisine at Azuki or Kuro Obi and finish with a donut at Dough.

Please note that in the United States, VAT is not included in the prices displayed on restaurant menus. So don’t be surprised to see your bill increase by a few dollars! It is also customary to give a “tip”.

6. Better to visit the Top of The Rock than the Empire State Building

Looking for a breathtaking view? Climb to the top of the Top of The Rock rather than the rooftops of the Empire State Building. Do you want to combine several activities? You can also get a City Pass on the Internet.

7. Tickets for Broadway shows are on sale on Times Square

Do you dream of attending a show on Broadway? Wait until you get there to buy your tickets. Unsold tickets are sold out every day on Times Square at unbeatable prices.

8. The city is full of rooftops

New York’s most beautiful hotels often feature rooftops that offer breathtaking views of the skyscrapers. To get a kick out of it, go have a drink! Here is our list of favorite addresses.

  • Brooklyn Bridge Hotel: incredible view of the Brooklyn Bridge. Take advantage of your stay in the neighbourhood to go for a walk in Dumbo.
  • The Nolitan: one of the most beautiful hotels in Nolita, located near the SoHo, Chinatown and Little Italy districts.
  • Arlo Soho

9. Buy your tickets for a basketball (or baseball) game

Do you dream of attending an NBA game? Whether you like sport or not, the show is guaranteed. Popcorn, hotdog, music, cheerleaders and “Kiss Cam” will be there, just like in our best TV shows!

10. Attend a gospel mass in Harlem

No matter what your religious beliefs, attending a gospel mass in Harlem is an essential part of a trip to New York City. It’s like a Beyoncé concert! We dance and sing to the glory of God. Atmosphere guaranteed! Masses are given on Sundays only. Check the schedules on the Internet before you venture to Harlem, tip: the Bethel Gospel Assembly is worth a visit!

To do too:

  • Walk around Bryant Park, Highline, Washington Square Park, Madison Square Park, Central Park (by bike or on foot).
  • Take a picture of the “Freeman Alley” in SoHo, filled with graffiti, then shop in vintage shops.
  • Contemplate the pink front of the Pietro Nolita restaurant (next to The Butcher’s Daughter).
  • Check out the facade of Carrie Bradshaw’s apartment (Sex & The City) at 66 Perry Street. Then the one from Friends’ apartment at 90 Bedford Street.
  • Take a yellow taxi.
  • Buy fresh fruit from Union Square’s Farmer Market.
  • Think of yourself as Blake Lively, in Gossip Girl, at Grand Central Station.
  • Take a look at the New York Public Library.
  • Take a trip to the Financial District, stop on Wall Street, then take the ferry from Battery Park to see the Statue of Liberty.
  • Shopping on Fifth Avenue.
  • Admire the Flat Iron.
  • Lose yourself in the neighbourhoods of Chelsea, Tribeca and Greenwich Village.
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Where to eat healthy and cheap food in New York

Good morning, everyone.

Is it possible to eat healthy and affordable food in New York City? The answer is clearly yes! Did you know that you can eat every night in a different restaurant for 53 years without ever coming back twice in the same place? That means telling you if you have a choice. You will find all the cuisines in the world at all prices.

To eat without ruining yourself and healthy if possible, you should orient yourself towards the delis or Delicatessen, from the German delikat, delicate, and essen, eat. Small as a local business or giant as a hypermarket, they are both grocery stores, caterers, supermarkets and fast food outlets that offer fresh dishes to take away or eat on the spot. No frying, no fat. You will find vegetables, raw vegetables, fruit, lobster, meat, eggs, salads, cheese, sandwiches, ready meals. Everything is usually sold by weight at prices that will make you smile again, and there are no extra tips. You can choose a watermelon wedge, a salad, a fresh sandwich or prepare your own vegetable or meat tray in the buffets at your disposal, while meeting people shopping with their shopping carts filled with cans and diapers. You can often eat on the spot or take your meal with you to enjoy it in a park or simply in your hotel room.

Among the most famous delis, you have Katz’s Delicatessen and its famous Katz’s Pastrami Hot Sandwich. It is in this establishment that the famous scene of the film “When Harry meets Sally” was shot, for connoisseurs. The sandwiches are excellent and so huge that only one feeds two people.

3 addresses for healthy and cheap food:

  1. Whole Foods Market is the place to be. It is the largest organic supermarket in New York and even in the United States where you will certainly find your food tastes without breaking the bank. You have about ten of them in Manhattan, including a huge one in Columbus Circle, which is for me a place to visit in New York even without buying food there because the place is so beautiful and unique.
  2. Bread & Butter another must-see restaurant. Open 24 hours a day, you can eat when you want, what you want, to take away or on site. From breakfast to lunch to dinner, you have a huge choice of products at very fair prices. You will certainly find your happiness in one of the 4 Bread & Butter in Manhattan and 1 on Roosevelt Island.
  3. Pret A Manger is also an excellent place to eat healthy and cheap. It’s not really a deli but rather a new fast food chain from England, where you can eat on the spot or take away. You may have already met some in London, Paris or Nice. There are about 20 of them spread over Manhattan. You will find sandwiches, soups, pasta, salads, fruits, yoghurts, cakes and drinks. There is no frying, it’s fresh, excellent at very fair prices and always without tips! I found, among other things, an excellent lobster sandwich at a low price! Every evening, all unsold items are offered to the poorest. So every morning you have fresh products of the day on the shelf. I recommend this brand without hesitation.

There are many other brands that compete in the choice of dishes to seduce your taste buds. I am thinking in particular of the Crown Gourmet Deli not far from Time Square, or the dozen of Fresh&Co . You will inevitably come across one of these delis when you walk the streets of New York. Feel free to come in and make your own opinion, you will quickly adopt them.

Whether for breakfast, lunch or dinner, the delis will provide you with everything you need to eat healthy without breaking your budget during your stay in New York. Personally, I have an average of $30 a day per person of food while allowing myself some good classic restaurants. If you are afraid to eat too much fat, too many hamburgers, or too many pizzas, you now have the ideal solution to eat well and leave out the junk food.

Good discovery and good appetite to all!

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