Where to Stay in New York City|The Planet D: Adventure Travel Blog
Tenement Museum – Visit the museum and take one of their famed walking tours to learn about the immigrant history of the Lower East Side. Then get lost as you explore the old tenement buildings with some of the most beautiful fire escapes in the city.
St Marks Place – Have a drink or meal on this famous nightlife street in the East Village.
Trash & Vaudeville – The current home of punk rock in New York, this longtime shop sells clothing and keeps the punk rock history of the neighborhood alive.
New Museum – This modern museum resembles a stack of seven off-kilter metal boxes, and the exhibits are just as interesting.
Nightlife – Bar hop on the Lower East Side and in the East Village, where you will find every possible type of establishment, from crazy clubs to old dive bars.
Gallery hop on the Lower East Side – Due to its affordability, the LES is the new gallery capital of Manhattan.
Walk the Manhattan Bridge – My favorite photography walk in the entire city, the views are second to none and there are no tourists to share it with. Walk halfway and back or walk the entire stretch and spend the day in DUMBO viewing the Manhattan skyline.
Shop in Nolita – Nolita is filled with small, unique, high-end clothing stores.
Katz’s Delicatessen – The spot of the famous scene in When Harry Met Sally, whether you decide to eat here or not, it’s worth going inside to look at the atmosphere. The name of the game here is the pastrami on rye, but be wary because the sandwiches are huge and you will spend a week digesting them.
Russ & Daughters – This old Jewish delicatessen is my favorite place to eat in the city. Get a bialy (like a flatter bagel without a hole and with onion pounded into the middle), with cream cheese and lox. The original spot is a hole in the wall where you take the food to eat outside or walk with it, but they recently opened a sitdown cafe on the Lower East Side.
Mamouns – Located on St. Marks, this is the best falafel in the city. Great for a late-night meal after visiting a few of the many bars in the East Village.
Economy Candy – Open since 1937, this old shop is like a museum of candy, and you can just feel the neighborhood’s past here.
Veselka – One of the remaining restaurants that harkens back to the neighborhood’s Ukrainian past, Veselka is a no frills diner with incredible food. Try the pierogis (homemade dumplings), potato pancakes, or try a variety with their ‘giant meat plate,’ which is highly recommended. This is a great lunch spot.
John’s of 12th or Emilio’s Ballato – Forget little Italy, these are two of the best Italian restaurants in New York. Johns dates back to 1908 and nothing has changed except the addition of a vegan menu. This place was used as a speakeasy during the Prohibition era – people would eat downstairs and ask for ‘dessert upstairs.’ Momma John was the brewmaster and made her own hooch in the back.