NYC Restaurants

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NYC Restaurant Week is Back For The Summer

nyc tapas

Photo: omgfoodie.com

314 restaurants. 26 Days. 3 courses. $25-$38/meal.

That’s New York City Restaurant in a nutshell. 314 of NYC’s best restaurants will be offering up $38 prix fixe 3-course dinners ($25 for lunch) beginning July 21st and carrying halfway through the month of August. As a New Yorker, this is the perfect time to try out that restaurant you’ve always been thinking about but haven’t been to yet. As a tourist, this is the perfect way to avoid the popular chains and really dive into the local fare.

The 314 restaurants participating this year stretch across 28 neighborhoods in Manhattan, Queens and Brooklyn, and cover an equal number of cuisines from Asian Fusion to Spanish/Tapas. The best part of all- when you’re eating your restaurant week meal, you can win $250 just by tagging your photos with #NYCRestaurantWeek!

For the full list of participating restaurants and more information on the #NYCRestaurantWeek photo contest, visit nycgo.com

(UPDATE: Reservations are now open!)

nyc restaurant week

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Where to Watch the World Cup in NYC

Once every four years, Americans remember that they love soccer. This year, the United States Men’s National Soccer Team is heading to Brazil to try and bring home the crown, but for those of us in NYC, we’ll have to watch the matches on TV. And that leaves us with one question:

Where in NYC Should I Watch USA in the World Cup?

The Football Factory at Legends

football factory

photo: yelp

Located right across the street from the Empire State Building, Legends is home to one of the best soccer atmospheres in NYC. Head down the stairs to the basement for what is known as “The Football Factory” if you’re looking to get really into it with singing and chanting throughout the games.

Jack Dempsey’s

jack dempsey soccer

photo: yelp

Dempsey’s Pub on 33rd street is the official party spot for the American Outlaws, the USMNT’s rowdy cheering section. Surround yourself with the country’s most passionate fans at this bar, but make sure you study your song lyrics first.

Studio Square Beer Garden

studio square

photo: timeout

Head out to Astoria for a little outdoor atmosphere while cheering on The Yanks. Watch the game with delicious beer and a 160 foot screen with a thousand of your closest friends.

Nevada Smith’s

nevada smiths

photo: everigie.com

Over on the east side of Manhattan is Nevada Smith’s, “where football is religion” as they like to say. They have four floors of action and I can assure you, there will be four floors of USA Soccer when the games kick off.

The Madhatter Pub

madhatter pub

photo: facebook.com/madhatternyc

During the season, the Madhatter serves as the official Manchester City bar in NYC. They won the Premier League. By that logic, if we all go to watch the USMNT at the Madhatter, we should win the World Cup, right?

The Manchester Pub

manchester pub

photo: yelp

The Manchester Pub has confirmed that they will be showing every game for every team, live and with sound on, throughout the World Cup. Also, depending on which teams are playing, the pub will be serving drink specials based around the country’s exports.

The Blind Pig

blind pig nyc

photo: yelp

Another bar known for having a strong year round soccer presence, The Blind Pig serves as the home of NYC Arsenal Supporters. Come world cup time, this place will be packed with USMNT supporters.

So, which bar are you going to to watch Team USA go all the way? Tell us on twitter at @GrayLineNewYork! Do you support another nation? Check out NYC & Company’s list of bars for each country in this year’s World Cup.

Where to Watch March Madness in NYC

The best bars in NYC to watch College Basketball

Standings – East Village

photo via yelp

You love your college sports, but hate drinking the watered down beer at sports bars? Well Standings has that problem solved. Standings has one of the best beer selections in NYC, huge TV, sports memorabilia on all of the walls, and a guarantee of sound for the games. There really isn’t anything else needed from a March Madness bar.

Professor Thom’s – East Village

photo via yelp

17 massive TVs and two 10-foot projectors means you will have all of the action, even when four games are on at once. And if you get there early, you can grab one of the six booths with individual TVs so you can put on whatever game you want. This East Village/Gramercy drinking hole is a slam dunk March Madness destination.

The Ainsworth – Chelsea

photo via ainsworthnyc.com

The Ainsworth has a seemingly endless string of TVs, which is obviously the most important part of finding the ideal March Madness bar. It’s also an Alabama bar, and since they didn’t make the cut of 68 teams this year, you don’t have to worry about a team taking it over and ruining the experience for everyone else.

Saloon – Upper East Side

photo via faceboo / saloonnyc

So you don’t care about the quality of the beer or the company you keep, you’re just looking for a great bar to get as much boos as you can for the cheapest price? Well, on March Madness Friday, Saloon is opening up a $20 open bar for any 2 hours throughout the day, and an extra $10 for each additional hour. If you and your frat bros are looking to down some brew and watch some hoops, the open bar starts at noon at Saloon.

Boomer Esiason’s Stadium Grill – Midtown West

photo via yelp

Stadium Grill has stadium style seating in a bar. That probably doesn’t work all too well for your regular night out on the town, but for a major sporting event like March Madness or the Super Bowl, Stadium is one of the top spots in NYC. You’re going to have the Times Square crowd mixed in here, but if that doesn’t bother you, this might be your best choice this weekend.

 

Where are you going to get your March Madness fill the next three weeks? Tweet us your suggestions at @GrayLineNewYork!

The Best Delis in NYC

Katz’s Deli

flickr / TheGirlsNY

flickr / TheGirlsNY

It’s where Harry met Sally and Sally got a little excited eating that pastrami sandwich. That being said, Katz’s Deli will sometimes make you feel that way. It may be a little touristy because of all of its fame, but it hold up.

Carnegie Deli 

via carnegieseli.com

via carnegieseli.com

The only Deli with a larger crowd than Katz’s is probably the Carnegie Deli, and it’s because of the location. Right on 7th Avenue in Midtown, Carnegie Deli is, again, maybe a little touristy, but it holds up.

2nd Avenue Deli 

via thereelsd.com

via thereelsd.com

The 2nd Avenue Deli has moved to 3rd avenue at 33rd, but it hasn’t lost its touch. It’s another great spot and this one doesn’t have the tourism pull of Katz’s and Carnegie.

Fine & Schapiro 

via mns.com

via mns.com

If you’re uptown, you may want to stop in Fine & Shapiro on 72nd between Columbus and Amsterdam. For my money, it’s the best Kosher delicatessen you’ll find north of 59th street.

But hey, this list is all arbitrary. Who am I to tell you what the best Delis are in NYC? There are what, a couple hundred deli’s spread across this town? I haven’t been to them all so you tell me, what’s your favorite deli? Let us know on twitter at @GrayLineNewYork!

Where to Watch the NFC & AFC Championship in NYC

Alright Football fans, the road to MetLife Stadium has come down to four. This Sunday is championship weekend in the NFL and we soon will have our Super Bowl matchup set.

So who are you rooting for? Don’t have a dog in the fight? Head to one of these team specific NFL Championship watch parties this weekend and you’ll be sure to find one. This Sunday these are the official NYC watch parties for each of the remaining teams.

Where to watch the NFC Championship if you are a 49ers fan:

Finnerty’s

49ers meme

via nyc 49ers leigon of fans

Where to watch the NFC Championship if you are a Seahawks fan:

Carlow East

via facebook / carlow east

Where to watch the AFC Championship if you are a Patriots fan:

Traffic Hell’s Kitchen

via facebook / trafficnyc

Where to watch the AFC Championship if you are a Broncos fan:

Mustang Henry’s

via facebook / mustang henry’s

Where will you be watching the games on Sunday? Tell us on twitter at @GrayLineNewYork

5 Best Breakfast Spots in NYC

They say it’s the most important meal of the day, and who are we to disagree. We love breakfast in NYC just as much as the next guy. But when searching for restaurants in New York that serve a delicious breakfast, what do you consider? Is it the waffles or pancakes that sway your decision? How about the price and quality of service? Well, we broke it all down and have come to our list of the 5 best breakfast spots in New York City.

In no particular order…

Tom’s Restaurant Prospect Heights, Brooklyn

via Robert chin

This Brooklyn based diner will have you dying for seconds, but you’ll be too stuffed to even think about it. Tom’s has an old school feel but a menu for even the most diverse of breakfast connoisseurs. Found in Prospect Heights, it’s perfect because once you can walk off those delicious waffle calories in Prospect Park.

Clinton St. Baking Company LES, Manhattan

The Clinton St. Baking company is regularly voted as one of the city’s top breakfast places, and you should believe the hype. Head down to the Lower East Side where heaven will dance in your mouth. Just be prepared for a line, especially on weekends.

Five Leaves Greenpoint, Brooklyn

via yelp

We’re going back to Brooklyn for our third breakfast spot, this time in Greenpoint. Five Leaves breakfast menu is simple, but done right. We recommend the Ricotta Pancakes. Thank us later.

Balthazar SoHo, Manhattan

The Balthazar breakfast and pastry menu may be a bit more pricy than some of our other options, but if you’re looking for a high quality breakfast experience, this is the place to go. Homemade doughnuts, Croissant’s to die for and our recommendation, a Full English Breakfast, are all on the menu here.

Amy Ruth’s Harlem, Manhattan

via amyruths.com

Amy Ruth’s in Harlem has perhaps the most unusual breakfast selection in NYC. Try “The Rev. Al Sharpton” (chicken and waffles) or “The Lloyd Williams” (waffles with boneless rib-eye steak), just two of 14 unique waffle selection on their breakfast menus.

110 Things to Know if You’re Visiting NYC This Winter

800px-Central_Park_winter_NYC1It may not be winter yet, but it’s officially the holiday season. A few month back we brought you 108 things to know if you were visiting NYC this fall, and you loved it. So its only appropriate we outdo ourselves once again this winter. Some things still hold true, like staying out of empty subway cars, but all in all it’s updated to reflect the next few months. So brace yourselves because after this list you’ll definitely be ready to visit NYC.

Sports

  1. Head over to MSG for the Big East Tournament from March 12 – 16
  2. Catch the A10 Tournament at the Barclays Center from March 12 – 16
  3. The Super Bowl will be held at MetLife Stadium on February 2
  4. Super Bowl Boulevard will be held on Broadway between 34th and 44th Streets and will be free to the public from January 29-February 1
  5. Yankee Stadium will play home to a pair of outdoor hockey games with the Rangers, Devils, and Islanders

Arts

  1. The Intrepid is a museum on an aircraft carrier, which is awesome
  2. Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre has some amazing shows with cheap prices, too.
  3. Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum is known for its unique building and is also a landmark of NYC
  4. If you love spoken word you will have a good time at any poetry cafes in Manhattan
  5. Harlem has some historic libraries, great dance schools, and art too.
  6. Many Museums, including the American Museum of Natural History and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, have a suggested donation to enter, but you don’t have to pay anything at all. If you can afford to, you should pay the requested amount so that these museums will continue to be some of the best in the world.
  7. Visit Radio City Music Hall this winter to see the famous Radio City Christmas Spectacular
  8. MoMa also has five new exhibitions planned for this winter such as Ileana Sonnabend: Ambassador for the New on December 21
  9. The Guggenheim has two new exhibitions launching this winter, including CARRIE MAE WEEMS: THREE DECADES OF PHOTOGRAPHY AND VIDEO on January 24
  10. Brooklyn Museum will have one new exhibition for the winter called Witness: Art and Civil Rights in the Sixties on March 7
  11. The Metropolitan Museum of Art has four new exhibitions launching this winter, including Ink Art: Past as Present in Contemporary Chinaon on December 11
  12. The Met is also now open seven days a week
  13. There are like, a bazillion museums in NYC, not just the couple we named. You should check out as many as you can while in the city.
  14. Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts has a lineup of amazing concerts, plays, and films throughout the winter
  15. Visit Queens to see the Louis Armstrong House Museum which feature rare at home recordings of the jazz legend
  16. It’s A Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play will be making its debut December 6th at the Clarence Brown Theater
  17. The Whitney Museum of Natural Art will be adding 2 new exhibitions this winter including Edward Steichen in the 1920s and 1930s: A Recent Acquisition
  18. Check out the Chinatown’s Lunar New Year Parade festival celebration on February 2
  19. Westminster Kennel Club 138 Annual Dog Show premiers on February 10
  20. Head over to the Javits Convention Center to see the New York Progressive International Motorcycle Show on December 16
  21. Join in the celebration of winter sports in the Winter Jam NYC being held in the heart of central park on January 25
  22. The New York Jewish Film Festival is January 8 – 23
  23. The Armory Show and Armory Arts week will be held on March 5 – 10
  24. Head to the Joyce Theater shows like Focus Dance
  25. The Theater at St. Clement’s will be showing the classic A Christmas Carol on January 4

Music

  1. Greenwich Village is known for having great live music
  2. Madison Square Garden begins this winter with some big time headliners, including Billy Joel and Justin Timberlake
  3. Barclays Center, The Garden’s Brooklyn counterpart, hosts some of the biggest names in Music this winter, including Pink, John Mayer, Beyoncé and Pitbull
  4. The Beacan Theater will have a wide variety of holiday shows and act like Cyndi Lauper & Friends: Home for the Holidays,
  5. New York Guitar Festival is January 10-29 at Brookfield Place Winter Garden, SubCulture, Merkin Concert Hall
  6. NYC Winter Jazzfest is January 7 – 11
  7. GlobalFest is January 12 at Webster Hall
  8. Z100’s Jingle Ball 2013 is December 13 at MSG

The Holidays

  1. The Holiday Season is bigger in NYC than in other places. We really get into it.
  2. The Tree Lighting remains lit every day from 5:30 a.m. until 11:30 p.m., except Christmas and New Year’s Eve which have special hours. The Tree will remain lit until January 7, 2014
  3. Come see the world’s largest Hanukkah Menorah at Grand Army Plaza
  4. Time Square is the place to be on New Year’s Eve to watch their famous ball drop
  5. Celebrate the holidays at the world famous Apollo Theater for their Holidays at the Apollo shows running all through December
  6. Don’t Miss American Ballet Theater’s The Nutcracker premiering on December 13
  7. Rockefeller Center has one of the world’s most famous ice rinks, right beneath the tree
  8. Kick off your New Years by participating in the New York Road Runners Midnight Run at 72nd Street Transverse near Cherry Hill
  9. Celebrate Valentine’s Day in New York with a nice romantic Carriage Ride in Central Park
  10. Celebrate the St. Patrick’s Day Parade on Fifth Avenue

Food

  1. Four star restaurants have long waiting lists. Make your reservations now.
  2. There are about 42 million fast food restaurants in NYC, but you shouldn’t go to any of them. At any given moment you will be within a 5 minute walk of low priced, better tasting burgers/chicken/tacos.
  3. Our dollar slices probably taste better than what you’re used to, but if you want really good pizza, the extra money is worth it.
  4. Don’t be afraid to try the pretzels at the hot dog stands
  5. Food trucks are awesome, try them!

Transportation

  1. The subway costs just $2.50 per ride, and can get just about anywhere in the city.
  2. Save your metro card because it’s a $1 additional fee for a new one
  3. If you’re staying for a week, you should buy a 7-Day Unlimited Pass which is good for unlimited subway and local bus rides for $30.
  4. The subway runs 24 hours a day and 7 days a week
  5. When waiting for the train, stand behind the yellow platform edge strip.
  6. Don’t try to hold the door on the subway. People will hate you.
  7. Don’t block the doorway on the subway. People will hate you.
  8. Let people off the train before getting on.
  9. If all of the subway cars are crowded except for one, which is empty, get on the crowded car.
  10. You read that right, don’t get on the empty car. There’s a reason it’s empty.
  11. Be aware of your surroundings
  12. Trains usually run local or express, so if you are unsure you may want to ask a person or choose a local train
  13. Make sure you know exactly where you’re going before you swipe your card, you can’t get a refund using the subway.
  14. It can become very crowded on the trains. You will be surprised of the capacity.
  15. Taxis tend to go out of service around the afternoon rush. Plan accordingly.
  16. When catching a taxi you should get one in the direction you are going, it will save time and money
  17. The Staten Island Ferry is free

Shopping

  1. 5th Avenue has top of the line products, and prices to match
  2. SoHo has less expensive clothing stores and trendy boutiques
  3. Chinatown has incredibly cheap prices, and products to match
  4. Union Square is one of the most popular places to shop.
  5. Greenwich Village is filled with designer labels.
  6. Herald Square has almost every chain store
  7. Macy’s on 34th Street is the world’s largest department store and a registered NYC landmark.

Parks

  1. Central Park is the largest park in Manhattan, but the 5th largest in NYC.
  2. Brooklyn Bridge Park has an incredible view of the Manhattan Skyline.
  3. Riverbank State Park is a great park too including a gym, and kids facilities
  4. The High Line is an old elevated railway converted into a park
  5. Battery Park has a beautiful waterfront, and is where you pick up the ferry to the Statue of Liberty
  6. All of NYC’s parks are free to enter
  7. Bryant Park has a reading room, ping pong, games, carousel, free ice skating and chess.
  8. Central Park has a pair of ice rinks, one at 59th, the other at 106th.
  9. Here’s a list of parks with free Wi-Fi
  10. Washington Square Park has never a dull moment with constant entertainment to enjoy like break dancers and artists.

Pro-Tips

  1. Even numbered streets run east
  2. 5th Avenue is considered the center of the city. Any address like E. 42nd street is east of 5th, and address like W. 42nd street is west of 5th
  3. 6th Avenue also goes by Avenue of the Americas because of the statues on Central Park South where it meets 6th
  4. The numbers on the lights in Central Park refer to the closest cross street
  5. When hailing a taxi…
  6. Download a city/subway map to your phone. One less awkward thing to carry, and you don’t have the “tourist” look every time you need directions
  7. It’s safe to get lost on the street in Manhattan, it’s fun in any neighborhood and you get a chance to explore parts that a tour guide wouldn’t typically show you.
  8. If you happen to see a person having trouble standing because of age or an infant, the subway etiquette is to give up your seat.
  9. Be prepared to do the most walking you ever done in your life. Wear comfortable shoes.

Miscellaneous Tips and Facts worth knowing

  1. Don’t forget to take pictures of things. NYC is a beautiful city and worth sharing with your friends back home.
  2. When you take these pictures, if you abruptly stop walking in the middle of the sidewalk, people like you a little less. Don’t do that.
  3. Try not to text while walking.
  4. Think of walking like driving: If you’re going to walk slowly, stay to the right. If you want to walk fast you can “pass” on the left. The same rule applies for standing on escalators.
  5. Always carry some cash. You won’t need it everywhere, but you will need it more than where you’re from (probably)
  6. Tipping for quality service is a nice thing to do, and being nice is totally awesome
  7. Remember New York City can be very expensive, so spend wisely so you can be able to see a lot of what New York has to offer
  8. New York City is divided into five boroughs-Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, The Bronx, and Staten Island
  9. Streets run east/west, avenues run north/south (in Manhattan)
  10. SoHo is south of Houston (pronounced HOUSE-ton) Street
  11. TriBeCa is the Triangle Below Canal Street
  12. If you ever need help with something, just ask someone. Contrary to popular belief, New Yorkers tend to be very nice
  13. Don’t worry about the cat in the bodega, it’s there for your benefit
  14. Be prepared to see anything on the streets on NYC.