When you travel, do you gravitate towards the tourist attractions or the more local scenes? If you’re interested in the community hotspots with a mix of must-do’s, this article is for you!

My brother has lived in New York City for about 6 years, so I have had the pleasure of visiting him and my sister-in-law quite a bit. I have seen the Statue of Liberty, Times Square, and Central Park many times, and while I am still enamored by those attractions, I thoroughly enjoy strolling through the streets that my brother does in his leisure time. If you want to spice up your next trip to the Big Apple, keep reading!

For the Foodies

Thai Diner

186 Mott St, New York, NY 10012

On the weekends, this restaurant typically has a line of customers waiting to be seated before they even open their doors! This is always a good sign. Do yourself a favor – arrive at 10am for breakfast and order exactly this: Thai Diner Egg Sandwich, George’s Egg Sandwich (they’re different), and the Thai Tea Babka French Toast. My goodness, I am dreaming of my next visit back now. I’m afraid words will never do Thai Diner justice. 

Ruby’s Cafe – Soho

219 Mulberry St, New York, NY 10012

Ruby’s is an Australian inspired cafe with incredible dishes, coffee, and cocktails perfect for a night on the town. And guess what? They have brunch, too!

What we ordered: Kale Salad, Spicy Vodka Pasta, Chicken Shnitzel

And if you sit here long enough, you might just spot Adam Sandler walk by, like we did!

La Compagnie des Vins Surnaturels

249 Centre St, New York, NY 10013

Visit Compagnie for a glass or two of incredible French wine and the BEST cheesecake (you will ever have). They do have small plates as well, but we went after our dinner at Ruby’s and it was the perfect nightcap. *chef’s kiss*

Industry Kitchen

198 Grand St, New York, NY 10013

This industrial-chic restaurant is delicious and situated right on the East River serving beautiful views from open to close. Be sure to stop in here as you’re waiting for the next ferry or after your visit to the  market at Tin Building by Jean-Georges.

The Little Owl

90 Bedford St, New York, NY 10014

This address might be one that you recognize. 90 Bedford Drive is the exterior featured in all episodes of the infamous TV show “Friends”. The building is located in Greenwich Village and serves as apartments above as well as a lovely Mediterranean Restaurant below known as The Little Owl. If you visit, order the beignets and thank me later!


49 Canal St, New York, NY 10002

Step into a California-inspired space located right in Dimes Square. You’ll come for the food and stay for the eccentric vibes. I really enjoyed the minimalist feel and small plates here, particularly the spicy carrots and potato wedges! 


130 Division St, New York, NY 10002

Kiki’s is a dark, romantic, and trendy Greek restaurant that will always leave you wanting more. You can dine here regularly and expect consistency in the flavors and food.  The fare is extremely affordable, which comes as a surprise to most guests when acknowledging the ambiance, menu, and quality. Expect to wait for a table here, and please don’t pass it up for this reason. The Gilled Octopus, Lamb Chops and Horiatiki Salad are worth it!

Fresh Kills

161 Grand St, Brooklyn, NY 11249

This cocktail bar was one of my favorites, and not just because of the drinks! When you walk in and sit down, you will not receive a menu. The concept here is a little different. You tell the employees what you normally drink or would like to try and they carefully curate a concoction suitable for your liking. Don’t be shy here. Try something new or get your usual with a twist!

To-Do List

Sunny’s Florist

102 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10003

Decorate your hotel, airbnb or bless someone’s day with a custom bouquet made at Sunny’s Florist, a little corner floral shop in Ukrainian Village. This walk-up is open from 1:30pm to 8pm, 7 days a week! 

Tompkins Square Park

E 10th St, New York, NY 10009

If you’re looking to take a break from walking or just need somewhere to sit and hang, I will always recommend Tompkins Square Park in East Village. Sure, you could head north and relax at Central Park too, but the eclectic feel and serenity of East Village is second to none. Grab a bottle of wine and a few snacks from a local shop and people-watch or play a game of chess! If you take me up on this, don’t forget a wine key!

West 4th Street Courts

272 6th Ave, New York, NY 10012

Spectate a game of basketball at the iconic NYC street ball venue, the Cage, located in the heart of the Village. No matter what time you stroll by 4th Street, you’re sure to see a pick-up game taking place!

Are you looking to travel soon? Visit https://mvptravel.com/travel-agency-locations/ to find a travel advisor near you! They look forward to hearing from you!

Amazon Recommendations

Wine Key for Wine at the Park

Solar Power Bank

For more travel essentials and recommendations, read our Amazon Travel Must-Have’s List