Everyone knows the feeling of opening that text from a friend, family member, or acquaintance they haven’t spoken to in years: “Hey! I’m going to be in [insert your town or city] next week! Where should I go / what should I do???”
For some, receiving this kind of message is exciting—giving them an excuse to put on their metaphorical tour guide hat, scroll through the long list of places they have starred on Google or Apple Maps, and recommend a string of their favorite places. For others, it can be overwhelming, causing them to panic and momentarily forget their go-to spots, as if they’ve never left their apartment before.
If you’re the latter (or you’re tired of recommending the same places time and time again) and in New York City, don’t worry, we can help. We asked seven of our NYC staffers for their go-to itineraries for when they’re playing host to friends or family. Keep reading to see if any of their spots are already on your to-do list.
A Flushing Food Court You Shouldn’t Miss
“I love going to Flushing with out-of-town visitors, and I specifically like to bring them to the massive food court inside New World Mall,” Anabelle Doliner, one of our editors, says. “It’s got dozens of stalls, each one offering dishes from across China and Asia more broadly. It’s a great place to go with a group, especially if you get a bunch of different things to share.”
A Day of Drinking
During the afternoon, Paul Hagopian—another one of our editors—says he’d take his guest(s) on a bar crawl around Manhattan looking for the best Guinness. “If you do it even halfway right, you’ll end up at quality spots like Peter McManus or Swift Hibernian Lounge,” he says.
If they’d rather drink at night, he’d take them to Spuyten Duyvel on Metropolitan Avenue in Brooklyn before moving next door to St. Anselm. “It’s the best drink and dinner combination in the city,” he boasts. “Start your night with something off the Spuyten draught list, then finish the evening with steak and red wine at St. Anselm.”
Lastly, if they’d rather just have an easy, delicious dinner, he’s going straight for an East Village staple: John’s of 12th Street. “An old-school red sauce joint with a quality veal parm that you can actually grab a table at,” Paul says.
Where to Go For Wine
Casetta in Manhattan is the go-to spot for Jenna Durante, one of our media planners. “Casetta’s a very chill wine bar with small bites,” she says. “It’s great for friends or family! Good for a glass of wine before dinner or one more drink after.”
A Perfect Two-in-One Itinerary
Eric Do, a product manager here at Food52, takes guests to his favorite museum: The Whitney. “It has an affordable rooftop bar and cafe with views of the city to fuel up before or after spending time at the actual gallery,” Eric says. “It’s a good two-in-one itinerary item.”
The Best Way to See the Statue of Liberty
“Don’t sleep on Governors Island!” Maurine Hainsworth, a senior copywriter, says. “Ferries run daily from Lower Manhattan, and it’s a nice, quiet place to bike around with views of the Statue of Liberty.” For dinner, she recommends making your way to Benito One in Little Italy. “It’s crowd-pleasing food at an approachable price, in a lovely corner [of the popular neighborhood] that visitors often miss. Plan on grabbing gelato or cannoli nearby for dessert!”
A Must-Visit Market
Nicole Davis, our managing and community editor, uses playing host as an excuse to head to Industry City in Brooklyn. “It typically gets into the holiday spirit with a pop-up, outdoor ice rink. But I like to skip that madness and just visit the specialty markets like Japan Village and Sahadi’s, and browse the high-end furniture outlets,” she says. “But the tour of their breweries and distilleries looks like a fun, organized way to entertain out-of-town guests, too.”
The Cacio e Pepe You Won’t Want to Miss
If you’re looking for a place that’ll impress, Kelly Mittendorf, Food52’s talent manager, recommends Evelina in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn. “It’s so great to bring parents to and the cacio e pepe is delicious,” she says.
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Where do you bring guests when they visit your city? Let us know below!