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The Locals' Favorite Places in New York

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AFAR Ambassador, Charissa Fay, knows New York City. A local for over twenty years, she describes the city as, "A place of extremes—an overload of diversity, energy, color, sights, sounds, smells, ideas, hopes and dreams." Here are some of her recommendations to feel alive and inspired in New York City.
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2245 Broadway, New York, NY 10024, USA
Every New Yorker knows Zabar's, an Upper West Side institution. The specialty food market was founded in the 1930s by Louis and Lillian Zabar; today's store is nearly a block long and serves 35,000 customers weekly. Bagels, lox, smoked fish,...
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347 3rd Ave, New York, NY 10010, USA
The Bee's Knees Baking Company has, in a stroke of why-didn't-I-think-of-this genius, created a "cake cup". Designed to be both portable and decadent, it's basically homemade cake and frosting served in a petite cup. It allows you to savor each...
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Baxter St, New York, NY 10013, USA
Flee the crowds in central Chinatown for an authentic and inexpensive Vietnamese or Thai meal on Baxter Street, which is lined with several eateries. Here on this quiet side street, no-frill restaurants are filled with locals enjoying flavorful...
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1000 5th Ave, New York, NY 10028, USA
The Metropolitan Museum of Art—or, commonly, the Met—is one of the world's great museums, alongside the Louvre, the British Museum, and a handful of others. It would be easy to devote an entire week's visit to the museum alone, and...
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56 Beaver St, New York, NY 10004, USA
Delmonico's, which sits on a distinctive triangle-shaped corner near Wall Street, opened in 1837 as the first fine dining restaurant in the U.S. It was the first establishment to have a printed menu, separate tables, and tablecloths, and it was...
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1 Margaret Corbin Dr, New York, NY 10040, USA
New Leaf Restaurant & Bar is an upscale eatery located in NYC's Fort Tryon Park. Perched on one of the highest points in Manhattan, the 67-acre park features pristine views over the Hudson River. New Leaf is a wonderful dining option if you are...
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99 Margaret Corbin Dr, New York, NY 10040, USA
The Cloisters, a museum devoted to medieval art and architecture, is a delightful respite from the hustle and bustle of NYC. This tranquil treasure is definitely worth a half day (or more) trip on your next visit. A branch of the Metropolitan...
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271 Bleecker St, New York, NY 10014, USA
I have eaten a lot of pizza in my time, but Kesté is different. It's been been firing up serious, foodie-level delicious pizza on Bleecker Street since 2009. Owner Roberto Caporuscio was born and raised outside Naples, Italy, where he...
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210 10th Ave, New York, NY 10011, USA
For much of its history, the western edges of Manhattan neighborhoods like the West Village and Chelsea consisted of small manufacturing buildings and warehouses that served the piers on the Hudson River. Over time, those factories were replaced...
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476 5th Ave, New York, NY 10018, USA
The main branch of the New York Public Library is one of the country’s grandest Beaux Arts buildings, a temple to learning on Fifth Avenue between 40th and 42nd streets. At the end of the 19th century, John Bigelow, who oversaw the Tilden...
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57 Stone St, New York, NY 10004, USA
Vintry is a small, cozy bar and restaurant in lower Manhattan. It provides a welcome counterpoint to the larger gathering spaces in the Wall Street area - it has the vibe of a discreet speak-easy. Vintry specializes in artisan producers of whisky...
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377 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY 10024, USA
If you need a sugar fix after hours in Central Park or the Museum of Natural History with the kids, try Sugar & Plumm, a sweets store and bistro on the Upper West Side. Outside, the store beckons with its sweet colors and whimsical decor. Inside,...
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31 Greenpoint Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11222, USA
It is really hard to walk past a cute bakery like Ovenly without going in. Pretty decor plus shelves and glass jars filled with homemade treats just catch my curiosity everytime. Plus, there is something very comforting about biting into a scone...
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103 Orchard St, New York, NY 10002, USA
These days, wandering the Lower East Side (the area between the Bowery and the East River, with Houston Street marking its northern border and Canal Street its southern one), it can feel impossible to recall that this neighborhood was once among...
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1071 5th Ave, New York, NY 10128, USA
If you are looking for a dressy spot for brunch with your parents while museum hopping uptown, consider The Wright at the Guggenheim Museum. Named after architect Frank Lloyd Wright, who designed the iconic swooping curves of the Guggenheim, The...
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2, 54 Pearl St, New York, NY 10004, USA
Want to eat where a historic event of the American Revolution took place? Try Fraunces Tavern in downtown New York City. After defeating the British, it was here that George Washington gathered his officers for a farewell speech before heading...
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2 E 55th St, New York, NY 10022, USA
The King Cole Bar is about as legendary as any bar in New York. Located in the St. Regis Hotel at Fifth Avenue and 55th Street, it has been the place to go for a cocktail since it opened in 1932—Salvador Dalí, John Lennon, and Marilyn...