17 places to visit in NYC 2018 discovered by bloggers

March 15, 2018

New York City has 24,000 restaurants, 8,000 food stalls, 10,000 bars, over 100 museums, and 1,700 parks. It’s got some of the best shopping, nightlife and theater in the world. We built Llama to help navigate this landscape of awesomeness and plan the best possible trip for you. Llama is a mobile app that curates the best local bloggers in a variety of categories to help you plan incredible trips. Here’s a list of some of our favorite places found by bloggers.

The best food that won’t break the bank in NYC


1) The absolute best soup dumplings can be found at Shanghai Cafe Deluxe in Chinatown.

dumpling Photograph: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt (Photo from Serious Eats)

According to Serious Eats and The Feisty Foodie , their dumplings reign supreme. However some NYC bloggers disagree, check out The Gothamists’s dumpling analysis.

2) Peak ramen euphoria can be achieved at Nakamura in the Lower East Side.

Torigara ramen. Torigara ramen. Photo: Melissa Hom (Photo from Grub Street)

According to Grub Street, Nakamura’s chef is considered a Ramen god in Japan and is revered by his Ramen contemporaries Dave Chang and Ivan Orkin in New York. Serious Eats and The Infatuation also have a lot to say about great Ramen in the city.

3) The best bagel in New York, and therefore the best bagel in the universe, can be found at Absolute Bagels on Broadway.

Bagel Photo: Melissa Hom (Photo from Grub Street)

According to The Gothamist and Grub Street, Absolute Bagels are the best bagels in Manhattan. If you’re willing to venture out a little farther, they both recommend Utopia Bagels in Flushing, Queens.

4) New York pizza is legendary, and the most legendary slice in the city can be found at Joe’s Pizza in Greenwich Village.

pizza Photo: Jody Wissner (Photo from Grub Street)

Tracy from Tracy’s New York Life has a lot to say about Joe’s. So do Adam Kuban from Serious Eats and Chris Crowley from Grub Street.

5) Poke bowls are HOT, metaphorically speaking. The best one in NYC is the Sichuan Chili Salmon Bowl at Chikarashi.

Chikarashi’s Sichuan-chile-spiced bowl. Chikarashi’s Sichuan-chile-spiced bowl. Photo: Melissa Hom (Photo from Grub Street)

Once again, Grub Street is on point with their suggestions here. For a few more hidden gems, check out Restaurant Girl and The Gothamist.

6) There’s loads of unique dessert spots in NYC, one of our favorite finds is the cronut from Dominque Ansel Bakery in SoHo.

cronut Photo courtesy of @natalie_beam on Instagram

The traveling foodie couple from 2 Food Trippers and the sweet tooths at Spoon University really love this place. Leslie from Food 52 has the inside scoop on skipping the long lines here.

Unique stuff to do in NYC, 2018


7) If you’ve never been to a bath house before, no sweat! Head to Brooklyn for the authentic Russian Mermaid Spa.

Mermaid Spa Photo from The Gothamist

According to The Gothamist, you can pay an elderly russian woman to lightly beat you with an olive branch in a steaming hot room here. If that doesn’t sound incredibly relaxing, FreshNYC knows about a few other cool places to visit in NYC.

8) Skip Central Park, check out New York’s most innovative public green space, The Highline.

the Highline Photo from Tracy’s New York

The High Line is a 1-mile long public garden built on a raised, previously abandoned freight line. Katie Lara shares why locals love it and Tracy’s New York has some great ideas for stuff to do in the area when you visit.

9) Get your giggles at The Comedy Cellar in Greenwich Village.

The Comedy Cellar Photo from Timout

Timeout and Hommily advocate a visit to The Comedy Cellar, where any given night you might catch performances from Sarah Silverman or Aziz Ansari.

10) I don’t give a frick whether you like art or not, The Frick Collection is very cool.

The Frick Collection Photo from Katie Lara

It’s a favorite of locals according to Katie Lara, and the building has some cool hidden secrets detailed by Walks of New York. For more under the radar museums in New York, check out this post by Curbed.

11) Close your eyes and breathe in the aromatic essence of the best tea room in New York, Té Company.

The Te Company Photo: Tirzah Brott/New York Magazine (Photo from Grub Street)

Grub Street details why Té Company is the best tea room in the city, bring a book or a friend and chill out for a couple hours.

Something different for a night out in NYC


12) For an off-the-beaten path brewery experience, look no further than Folksbier Brauerei in Brooklyn.

Folksbier Brewery Photo: Camilo Fuentealba (photo from Grub Street)

x We went with Grub Street’s choice on this one for it’s welcoming atmosphere and unique beers. For more excellent choices, we recommend Serious Eat’s list of best breweries in New York.

13) For stunning views, craft cocktails and delicious bites, check out the best rooftop bar in the city, Westlight.

Westlight Westlight at the William Vale hotel. Photo: Sophie Fabbri (Photo from Grub Street)

Grub Street ranks Westlight the #1 rooftop bar in the city for it’s incredible 360° views of the Manhattan skyline and Brooklyn. Thrillist and The Gothamist also recommend Westlight along with several other great finds in Manhattan.

14) New York is pricey by any standard, so check out the best happy hour the city has to offer at Boilermaker in the East Village.

Boilermaker Boilermaker. Photo: @matthattanyc (Photo from Grub Street)

$8 cocktails, $7 wine and $4 beers from 5-8 p.m. on weekdays. Grub Street details why the excellent drinks and reasonably priced food make this the hottest happy hour spot in NYC. After 8 p.m. there are $7 beer-and-shot specials till midnight, when the late-night pancake-and-mimosas menu begins.

15) Would you like a cocktail or burger with your movie madame? Head to Brooklyn for New York City's best dine-in movie theater, Nitehawk Cinema.

Movie Theater Photo: Liz Clayman (Photo from Grub Street)

Gourmet food and delicious cocktails delivered directly to your face while you enjoy a movie on the big screen, yes please. Grub Street has the scoop on the best dine-in theaters throughout the city.

Shop at these unique boutiques and thrift stores in NYC, 2018


16) Shop seven stories of cutting-edge labels at Dover Street Market in Murray Hill.

Dover Street Market Photo from Goop

Goop named this one of the hottest new spots in the city for a reason. This is the kind of store where you could easily spend 5 hours browsing. For more options check out the Ultimate guide to boutiques in NYC from Polkadot Passport.

17) The best thrift stores and flea markets are in Brooklyn, we recommend Urban Jungle in Bushwick.

Urban Jungle, Bushwick Photo: Tolly Wright (Photo from The Gothamist)

This one comes highly recommended by The Gothamist, scour the countless shelves for tons of unique finds. This guide from Free Williamsburg also has great options for shopping vintage in Brooklyn.



Get Llama to discover more unique travel ideas

Get the App

Available on the App Store