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The Do List
Photograph: Time Out / Tom Hislop

The 40 best things to do in NYC for locals and tourists

Experience the absolute best things to do in NYC with this epic guide to essential eats, drinks, culture, parks and more

By Shaye Weaver, Collier Sutter and Will Gleason
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February 2021: Looking for the best things to do in NYC? Things are a bit precarious right now, but our beautiful city is pulling through with style. Our iconic museums, big attractions, and favorite restaurants are back (with new rules, of course), but the city's cultural life remains half in and half out. As always in 2021, make sure to double check with venues to see if programming is still on before you head out. We will be updating this list more often than we did prior to lockdown to reflect New York City as it continues to reopen.

From its art museums (The Met and MoMA) to its attractions (The Bronx Zoo and Dyker Heights Holiday Lights), New York City is the best city in the world. Its dining and drinking scenes, which are undergoing major changes, are still unbeatable and boast killer bars (Dante) and restaurants (Lilia). Every day, we're discovering something new and wonderful about our city, whether it's one of the best cozy spots, some incredible views, must-see art, or hidden-gem stores. Take this winter to do some incredibly fun things in NYC.

Consider below your NYC Bible. 

Done something on this list and loved it? Share it with the hashtag #TimeOutDoList.

You can also find out more about how Time Out selects the very best things to do all over the world, or take a look at our list of the 50 best things to do in the world right now.

50 best things to do in NYC

NYBG orchids
Photograph: Courtesy NYBG

1. Marvel at flowers at the NYBG's Spotlight on Orchids

Things to do New York Botanical Garden, The Bronx

What is it? A limited Spotlight on Orchids across select galleries of the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory.

Why go? The New York Botanical Garden is forgoing its Orchid Show this year but is doing  You'll get to discover unusual orchids and artful floral creations by Botanical Garden horticulturists that combine expressive orchids with rocks, tree trunks, vines, and other found materials.

Don't miss: Intimate displays of orchids in brilliant white and striking colors set against the foliage of aroids, ferns, and bromeliads will be planted as they might be found in nature and blending gracefully with their surroundings, NYBG says.

elsewhere sound space
Photographs: Courtesy Elsewhere | Paperboy Prince, Peter Smith, Princess Nokia and Starchild & The New Romantic

2. Take in some culture via Elsewhere Sound Space

Music Music venues Online,

What is it? A new monthly series on Twitch by Elsewhere, hosted by trans comedian and actor Peter Smith.

Why go? Catch musical guests and live performances from New York City’s underground music and arts scene each month. 

Don't miss: Comedic skits, psychedelic musical performances, candid artist interviews and holistic wellness treatments.

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meditation
Photograph: Courtesy Rubin Museum of Art

3. Zen out at the Rubin Museum's mindfulness meditation

Things to do Classes and workshops Online,

What is it? A 45-minute weekly program inspired by different works of art across the museum's collection that includes an opening talk, a 20-minute sitting session and a closing discussion.

Why go? Calm your mind and connect yourself to the world around you. It's a healthy practice that can help you feel more grounded and connected that doesn't require a lot of time or energy.

Don't miss: The program is pay-what-you-wish.

lucky risograph
Photograph: Courtesy Lucky Risograph/Wei Yun Chen

4. Get creative at an '80s-style risograph workshop

What is it? A class on the speedy way to screen print layers of paint-like ink in order to create vibrant designs for posters, comics and illustrations.

Why go? It's a bit more complex but produces a really cool result you can call your own.

Don't miss: NYC has several incredible riso studios to visit offering private sessions including Lucky Risograph and Secret Riso Club.

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Photograph: Courtesy Atla

5. Treat yourself to a delicious dinner at Atla

Restaurants Mexican Noho

What is it? An all-day café by Daniela Soto-Innes and Enrique Olvera (of Cosme)

Why go? It's one of our top spots to get food and drinks. The spot is all about the nuances of Mexican and Central American cuisine through high-end dishes. 

Don't miss: Dishes like its bright sea-bass aguachile; its al pastor is perfectly sweet and tangy, cauliflower demonstrating that humble vegetables can be elegant; and the mole negro.

“If I Could” by Sarah Zapata BRIC Latinx Abstract
Photograph: “If I Could” by Sarah Zapata

6. Check out BRIC's Latinx Abstract exhibition

Art BRIC House, Fort Greene

What is it? BRIC is presenting "Latinx Abstract," a groundbreaking exhibition that asserts the enduring legacy of abstraction among Latinx artists.

Why go? It's a cross-generational survey of ten artists—Candida Alvarez, Karlos Carcamo, Maria Chavez, Alejandro Guzman, Glendalys Medina, Freddy Rodriguez, Fanny Sanín, Mary Valverde, Vargas-Suarez Universal, and Sarah Zapata. The artists' work "challenges the established history of abstract art in the United States, which largely excludes the contributions of Latinx artists, individuals of Latin American descent based in the United States." 

Don't miss: The show will be on both virtually and in-person at BRIC House (647 Fulton St). In-person viewing at BRIC will be available during reduced hours, Wed-Sat 11am-6pm, and at reduced capacity. Visitors are encouraged to reserve a space 48 hours in advance by contacting BRIC. In-person viewing availability is subject to change.

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CityWell
Photograph: Courtesy CityWell Brooklyn/Christina Freeman

7. Indulge in a backyard sauna at cityWell Brooklyn

What is it? A “boutique bathhouse” located in Gowanus,

Why go? You can enjoy the full gamut of classic spa options including massage therapy, hydrotherapy options and body treatments. 

Don't miss: The backyard saunas where you can schvitz to your heart’s content. Try the “Backyard Bliss for One” package with a 45 minute shower/soak/sauna, a white clay mask, a 45-minute cabin massage and your choice of a glass of bubbly, beer or coconut water.

8. Get crafty at Brooklyn Craft Company

Shopping Arts, crafts & hobbies Greenpoint

What is it? A DIY mecca with workshops on all kinds of crafting skills, from knitting to macrame.

Why go? They'll put your hands to work and your mind at ease. 

Don't miss: There's an online store where you can purchase the necessary supplies you'll need.

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New York Responds: The First Six Months
Photograph: Courtesy Museum of the City of New York

9. Reflect on the last year at New York Responds: The First Six Months

Museums History Museum of the City of New York, East Harlem

What is it? The Museum of the City of New York is extending its outdoor photography installation that it opened this summer, reflecting the changes and challenges of life in New York City from March through August 2020, until April 11.

Why go? It's an intimate and widespread look at how New Yorkers have made it through the past year through photographs, objects, videos, and works of art.

Don't miss: Creative handmade masks and social distance markers; photographs of mutual aid efforts, including food donation, community fridges, and volunteers; a pan used in the 7 o’clock clapping for health care workers; photographs of activism for Black Lives Matter, including healthcare workers taking a knee; an innovative ventilator devised by medical personnel at The Mount Sinai Health System; and photographs of essential workers, including food delivery and public transportation.

Not Another Second exhibit
Photograph: Courtesy Not Another Second

10. See moving portraiture at Not Another Second

Art Online,

What is it? An exhibit that offers a candid glimpse into the lives of 12 LGBTQ elders through a series of compelling portraits that intersect personal experiences of living during a time when being themselves was a crime.

Why go? "Not Another Second" was shot by noted German photographer Karsten Thormaehlen also celebrates their personal journeys on deciding to live openly, as well as finding love and companionship. Each moving portrait is accompanied by the number of years lost living in the closet and not as their true, authentic self.

Don't miss: Socially distanced viewings of the Not Another Second exhibit at The Watermark at Brooklyn Heights will take place every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday from January 19th through March 2021. A reservation must be made to view the Brooklyn exhibition of Not Another Second. To book and reserve your timed ticket, visit www.notanothersecond.com.

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Bank of America Winter Village
Photograph: Angelito Jusay

11. Visit the The Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park

Things to do Markets and fairs
What is it? Bryant Park's annual winter celebration with local vendors for shopping, an ice rink with free skating and vats of hot chocolate.
Why go? Not only is there free ice-skating on Bryant Park's 17,000-square-foot outdoor rink (you may bring your own skates or rent them), Urbanspace—the brand that’s responsible for Union Square’s and Columbus Circle’s holiday markets as well as Mad. Sq. Eats—is bringing about 60 holiday shops, including a bunch of new kiosks and eateries for your shopping and eating pleasure. There is also a different rinkside pop-up restaurant this year called The Lodge Deck that'll have festive cocktails and delicious food.
Don't miss: Iceless curling with bubble reservations. Read more here for what not to miss.
Paulie Gee's Slice Shop
Photograph: Andrew Tess

12. Grab a slice at Paulie Gee’s Slice Shop

Restaurants Pizza Greenpoint

What is it? The new king of the New York slice. 

Why go? With its charred-wood–fired pies, Paulie Gee’s quickly became a cult favorite in Greenpoint. So when they unveiled a spin-off slice shop a few blocks away in 2018, it naturally got the neighborhood’s attention. The decor mimics the old-school New York dollar-slice shop, from the ’70s faux-wood Formica tables and letter-board menu to the red plastic trays and the paper plates on which each slice is served, but the ’za is the real deal.

Don’t miss: Opt for the classic cheese slice, just as as lovely as the pepperoni number or the Hellboy,which takes the pepperoni slice and douses it with sweet-and-spicy Mike’s Hot Honey. Discover all of our favorite places for pizza in NYC

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13. Order some bagel and lox at Russ & Daughters

Shopping Specialist food and drink Lower East Side

What is it? Russ & Daughters has been serving lox, herring and other specialty foods on the Lower East Side since 1914.

Why go? "Russ & Daughters is already is our go-to spot for Jewish apps shelling out the best lox in town, so while you’re there why not stock up on sweets?" asks Time Out's Jake Cohen. He reccomends their black & whites, which are a stunning iteration of the classic, yet simple cookies, all baked out of their location at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. 

Don’t miss: The Super Heeb, a mix of horseradish cream cheese, wasabi-flavored roe and sublime whitefish salad that forms a holy trinity with an unholy name.

LeFrak Center at Lakeside in Prospect Park
Photograph: Kate Hess

14. Go Ice skating at Lakeside at Prospect Park

Attractions Parks and gardens Prospect Park

What is it? Prospect Park's LeFrak Center at Lakeside opens its rinks for ice skating each winter.

Why go? Ice skating at LeFrak is a fun neighborhood outdoor activity that everyone can do to enjoy the cold but beautiful winter weather. It's affordable, too, at just $7.50 to $11 per person. Lakeside also usually has curling, broomball, youth and adult hockey, and figure skating.

Don't miss: Getting hot chocolate after your skate!

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Gilberto Rivera Marking Time: Art in the Age of Mass Incarceration
Photograph: Courtesy MoMA PS1/Matthew Septimus

15. Go see "Marking Time: Art in the Age of Mass Incarceration"

Art MoMA PS1, Long Island City

What is it? An exhibit of art by the incarcerated and formerly incarcerated at MoMA P.S. 1.

Why go? The exhibit takes an important look at the life of people in prisons and those no longer behind bars through their art that deals with issues of state repression, erasure, and imprisonment, as well as the COVID-19 crisis in U.S. prisons. The exhibition is a powerful exploration of the social and cultural impact of mass incarceration.

Don't miss: Installations including Rorschach-like portraits of black Americans who were killed in police-involved shootings, a mural made of 39 prison-issued sheets at 40 feet long and 15 feet tall and more. 

Fern Botanica
Photograph: Fern Botanica

16. Take some floral design classes from Fern Botanica

Shopping Astoria

What is it? Fern Botanica is offering a "Crown Queen" floral crown class or "Floral Basics and Beyond" that you can book through its website.

Why go? It is a local, woman-owned shop and florist with a mind for sustainability and eco-friendly products. Plus, you get to create a masterpiece with some incredibly beautiful flowers and plants!

Don't miss: Taking a small, socially-distanced class with friends and family you feel comfortable with.

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tea room
Photograph: Kimberly Howard-Thomassen

17. Have a cuppa at Brooklyn High Low

Restaurants Prospect Heights

What is it? A hidden tea salon by vintage shop 1 of a Find.

Why go? The locale is meant to be a respite, where you can catch a break from the energetic buzz of New York’s metropolis. Diners can choose from over 20 teas, from lavender earl grey blends to green tea jasmine. In the kitchen, head chef Carlos Jimenez gets creative with his ever-changing menu, but guests can always find traditional scones and an assortment of finger sandwiches.

Don't miss: Antiques and artifacts from Brooklyn's long history strewn about the salon.

Lilia
Photograph: Cayla Zahoran

18. Treat yourself to world-class Italian at Lilia

Restaurants Italian Williamsburg

What is it? Beloved pasta-focused eatery from Missy Robbins.
 
Why go? Robbins revamps a former auto-body shop as a 70-seat dining room decorated with handmade tiles, natural-wood tables and iron-casement windows. You can enjoy their outdoor dining now. Robbins oversees rustic plates like cacio e pepe frittelle, spaghetti with anchovies and a wood-fired leg of lamb with Roman spices. A small adjacent take-out café serves pastries and paninis.


Don’t miss: The ricotta gnocchi, delicate cheese dumplings covered in a thatch of vibrant, verdant broccoli-basil pesto studded with nutty pistachios, or the bow-shaped rigatoni, rendered sweet from crushed San Marzano tomatoes and spicy from a prodigious zap of chilies and black pepper.

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Ugly Baby
Photograph: Time Out/Ali Garber

19. Order some insanely spicy food from Ugly Baby

Restaurants Thai Carroll Gardens

What is it? A Thai restaurant that will keep you coming back for more self-inflicted pain.

Why go? It may not be scientifically proven, but spicy food is addictive—especially at Ugly Baby. The servers at this tucked-away spot in Carroll Gardens will warn you over and over to be careful. But you’ll go against their advice and end up begging for more of the cooling cucumbers to ward off the heat.

Don’t miss: The “stay-away spicy Udon Thani’s duck salad” or the khao soi. 

fan fan doughnuts
Photograph: Time Out / Collier Sutter

20. Snack on some sweet treats at Fan-Fan Doughnuts

Restaurants Bedford-Stuyvesant

What is it? Doughnut fans surely know about Fany Gerson’s cult-favorite treats at Dough Doughnuts. Now she’s gone out on her own with Fan-Fan Doughnuts and the menu looks as good as ever. Be prepared for long lines outside— it’s worth the wait.

Why go?  From Mexican cinnamon to the glazed braided doughnuts, fans area already lined up for our city’s favorite morning dessert, and the menu is consistently changing with new sugary surprises.

Don't miss: Get your hands on a Mensch fan-fan, filled with praline cream and topped with choc-choc glaze and toasted hazelnuts, before they sell out.

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The Origami Holiday Tree at the American Museum of Natural History
Photograph: Courtesy American Museum of Natural History

21. Visit the American Museum of Natural History

4 out of 5 stars
Museums Science and technology Upper West Side

What is it? Whether you’re interested in the world below our feet, or the cultures of faraway lands or the stars light-years beyond our reach, the American Museum of Natural History is bound to teach you a few things you never knew.

Why go? With new safety protocols, you can spend a whole day just looking at the taxidermied animals that hail from across the world and the ocean, study the human species and the evolutionary origins of humans and our near (now extinct) cousins, spend the day like a geologist, and be filled with child-like awe in the presence of the Tyrannosaurus Rex, Wooly Mammoth and the Apatosaurus in the fourth floor’s world-renowned fossil collection.

Don't miss: The first new planetarium show in seven years, "World's Beyond Earth."

Union Square Greenmarket, New York City
Photograph: Time Out/Ali Garber

22. Pick up produce at Union Square Greenmarket

Attractions Parks and gardens Union Square

What is it? An outdoor, year-round market seasonal fruits and vegetables, farmstead cheeses, artisanal breads, fresh-cut flowers, wine and more.

Why go? You’ll find yourself shopping elbow-to-elbow with top chefs for all manner of regionally grown culinary pleasures.

Don't miss: Cooking demonstrations, beer & spirits pop-ups and book signings. 

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23. Stroll into Eddie's Sweet Shop

Restaurants Ice cream parlors Forest Hills

What is it? If you want a real trip down memory lane, this old-school soda fountain and diner will tap right into the New York nostalgia you're craving.

Why go? This Forest Hills gem has been in business for more than 100 years and still that attracts all generations to come in for a homemade scoop. "Aside from the famous sundaes, the chocolate egg cream is one of the most famous in the whole dang city—and that’s saying a lot," says associate Food & Drink editor Alyson Penn.  

Don’t miss: The sundaes are still served in the same metal tins for the perfect retro touch. 

Bethesda Terrace Central Park
Photograph: Shutterstock

24. Explore Central Park like a pro

Attractions Parks and gardens Central Park

What is it? The world's most famous green space. 

Why go? "Many visitors fight through the crowded streets to enter Central Park around 59th Street—where there’s not much to see—and by the time they reach the best bits, they are too winded to enjoy them," says Time Out's Rocky Rakovic. Instead, he suggests taking the subway to 72nd Street and Central Park West, then head east to hit up Strawberry Fields, the Sheep Meadow, Cherry Hill, Bow Bridge, the Bethesda Fountain, the Naumburg Bandshell, the Loeb Boathouse, the Hans Christian Andersen Monument, the Conservatory Water’s model boats and the Alice in Wonderland statue, all in a “New York hour.”

Don’t miss: Head to the shore of the Lake at 72nd Street and rent a rowboat or take a gondola tour. 

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Empire State Building
Photograph: Shutterstock

25. Conquer the Empire State Building

Attractions Monuments and memorials Midtown West

What is it? A world-famous landmark that towers above Manhattan.  

Why go? The main deck on the 86th floor is the highest open-air observatory offers stunning 360-degree views of the Hudson and East Rivers, the Brooklyn Bridge, the Statue of Liberty and more. If you want to get higher, head to the 102nd floor's indoor observation deck for a full view of Central Park. And for some background, duck down to the "Dare to Dream" exhibit on the 80th floor, which honors the 3,400 people who built the 1,454-foot skyscraper and features original photographs, architectural sketches and construction notes. 

Don’t miss: Want to admire the ESB from a distance with a strong drink in hand? "For about $20, you can grab a drink, tip the bartender and take in amazing views from Rockefeller Plaza’s Bar SixtyFive at the Rainbow Room," notes Time Out's Rocky Rakovic. 

For All Things Good food
Photograph: Courtesy For All Things Good

26. Enjoy delicious tortillas at For All Things Good

Restaurants Bedford-Stuyvesant

What is it? A recently-opened cafe and molino in Bed-Stuy that brings a taste of Oaxaca to NYC.

Why go? The appealing menu of homemade tortilla-based Mexican dishes, including mushroom tlayuditas, hibiscus and chipotle salsa tetelas, and squash blossom quesadillas. Don’t skip the drinks either—oat milk horchata and hibiscus agua fresca hit the sweet spot.

Don't miss: Buying a fresh batch of tortillas to take home for later.

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27. Throw back a pint at McSorley’s Old Ale House

Bars Beer bars East Village

What is it? NYC’s oldest continuously operated saloon.

Why go? "Not only do we love a bar with character, but if you make the trip, you’ll be able to join the ranks of past patrons like Abe Lincoln and John Lennon," says Jake Cohen. In traditional Irish-pub fashion, McSorley’s floor has been thoroughly scattered with sawdust to take care of the spills and other messes that often accompany large quantities of cheap beer. Established in 1854, it has became an institution by remaining steadfastly authentic. 

Don't miss: McSorley’s Dark Ale and McSorley’s Light Ale. Both beverages have a lot more character than PBR, though at these prices, it won’t be long before you stop noticing. 

The Strand Bookstore
Photograph: Nadia Chaudhury

28. Pick up a tome at Strand Book Store

Shopping Bookstores East Village

What is it? Founded in 1927, Strand is perhaps the most beloved indie bookseller in NYC.  

Why go? With more than 2.5 million new, used and rare tomes—or as the sign outside says, 18 MILES OF BOOKS—Strand absolutely crams its shelves, with many new titles sold well below list price. Bibliophiles can spend hours checking the staff picks, classic novels, poetry, novels and nonfiction. We suggest walking up to the third floor, where early editions and rare signed copies are available for purchase.

Don’t miss: “Perusing the $1 shelves,” says Rachel of Washington Heights.  

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TAL Bagels
Photograph: Laura Gallant

29. Have a classic NYC bagel at Tal Bagels

Restaurants Upper West Side

What is it? An iconic Upper West Side bagel counter. 

Why go? Is there a more distinctly New York (or at least NYC- beloved) dish than the bagel? Maybe. During morning hours? Absolutely not. The fact is that we do this weekend wakeup must—or afternoon stomach-padder, depending on how last night went—better than anyone. And although Tal Bagels provides by no means the most calming bagel experience in New York—for that, head to High Street on Hudson or Sadelle's—OG New Yorkers know that they're best eaten hunched over on park bench or at a bagelry counter top anyway. And we can't think of a better spot than this.  

Don't miss: The everything bagel toasted with scallion cream cheese. Still hungry? Discover all of the best bagels in NYC

Infamous Fotografiska
Photograph: Courtesy Andres Serrano and Galerie Nathalie Obadia Paris & Brussels

30. See the thought-provoking "Infamous" at Fotografiska

Art Photography Fotografiska, Gramercy

What is it? A solo exhibition by renowned artist Andres Serrano on view at Fotografiska that depicts the history of racism in the U.S. through 30 photographs of racist memorabilia.

Why go? Serrano hopes to confront the country’s racist history and have Americans consider racism's influence on culture and society today.

Don't miss: Programming that the museum will continue these conversations through, including with the National Coalition Against Censorship.

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Photograph: Time Out/Ali Garber

31. Walk around and take in impressive street art

Music Coney Island

What is it? New York is the city where street art was born, and it’s still the best place to see it in the world. 

Why go? Catching art on the street is a far more visceral experience that seeing it on a museum wall. For proof, check out the Bowery Graffiti Wall on the corner of Houston and Bowery to see what world-class street artist is currently on display (past artists have included Banksy, JR and Shepard Fairey) or  peep the rotating lineup of artists at Coney Island Art Walls.

Don’t miss: If you’re looking for an arty outing after dark, head down to the Lower East Side for the 100 Gates Project, which displays impressive works on the grates that cover businesses at night. 

Courtesy Natalie Black

32. Have dinner at the always romantic Crown Shy

Restaurants American Financial District

What is it? Inside the highly sought-after Art Deco residential building, 70 Pine Street, resides the first collaboration between James Kent, longtime chef de cuisine at Michelin-starred Eleven Madison Park and executive chef at NoMad, alongside Jeff Katz, managing partner of Del Posto. This year, they've managed to replicate their interior fine dining feel with a gorgeous outdoor dining set-up that's a must-try.

Why go? Here, elevated meals are crafted by New York’s fine dining elite. You can ball out like a banker without breaking your piggy bank.

Don’t miss: “Pastry chef Renata Ameni’s satsuma orange ice cream is served with a hat of toasted marshmallow and crumbles of honeycomb, tasted like a creamsicle and comes with a big enough scoop for sharing," says Time Out's Emma Orlow. 

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Photograph: Jake Cohen

33. Snag some doughnuts from Peter Pan Bakery

Restaurants Bakeries Greenpoint

What is it? An old-school bakery famous for their doughnuts.

Why go? “Start Sunday with a Bavarian cream from Peter Pan; it’s a total hangover cure,” says Ana of Greenpoint. Peter Pan isn’t a gourmet doughnut shop by any stretch, and in this neck of the woods, thank God for that. Its freshly made fried sweets and legit 1950s environs, complete with an S-shaped counter, means it’s busy daily with regulars. But trust us: The lines are worth it.


Don’t miss: Pair your doughnut with one of the bakery’s tasty egg creams.

Brooklyn Heights
Photograph: Shutterstock

34. Take in Brooklyn Heights and the Promenade

Attractions Parks and gardens Brooklyn Heights

What is it? A ridiculously photogentic neighborhood teeming with tree-lined streets and Brooklyn brownstones. 

Why go? “Walk the fruit streets of Brooklyn Heights," suggests Dana in Crown Heights. Those streets (Cranberry, Orange and Pineapple) do indeed, as she puts it, "have that Brooklyn-from-the-movies feel.” And there's a nifty backstory: In the mid-1800s, prominent Brooklyn Heights resident Lady Middagh saw the “pretentious” street names in her ’hood—those named after Brooklyn’s wealthy families—and decided to take matters into her own hands by changing the street signs by cover of darkness to Cranberry, Orange and Pineapple. 

Don’t miss: Head to the water and hit the Brooklyn Promenade, a one-third-mile stretch of pavement along the East River overlooking an unforgettable span of NYC’s skyline. 

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White Bear
Photograph: Ali Garber

35. Order dumplings from White Bear

Restaurants Chinese Flushing

What is it? A closet-size mecca for dumpling aficionados.

Why go? We recommend the the No. 6: a dozen pork wontons, doused in roasted chili oil and topped with a smattering of diced pickled vegetables, which arrives on a Styrofoam plate. Despite more than 30 items on the menu, it’s the dish everyone seems to order. 

Don't miss: Still hungry? Plan a food crawl and eat your way through Flushing

Sarge's
Photograph: Jake Ratner

36. Get dinner from Sarge’s Delicatessen & Diner

Restaurants Delis Murray Hill

What is it? An old-school, 24-hour Jewish delicatessen that's now open for indoor dining, pickup and delivery orders.

Why go? NYPD Sergeant Abe “Sarge” Katz opened the restaurant in 1964, and the building still has the burgundy vinyl booths, Tiffany’s lamps and a wall of celebrity photos to prove it. Sarge’s offers all the classic deli sandwiches—corned beef, pastrami, reuben—plus the Monster. Billed as the city’s largest sandwich, it is indeed a towering stack of corned beef, pastrami, roast beef, turkey, salami, tomato, lettuce, coleslaw and Russian dressing on rye.

Don’t miss: The bacon egg and cheese sandwich. "The contrasting textures of gooey cheese and eggs with crispy bacon makes for a breakfast to behold whether you’re eating it at 8am or 11pm," says Time Out's Jake Cohen. 

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https://www.flickr.com/photos/catherinecronin/16801266398/
Courtesy CC/Flickr/catherinecronin

37. Peruse the shelves at Three Lives & Company

Shopping Bookstores West Village

What is it? Support your local bookstore! This cozy bookstore is straight out of a bygone era with shelves packed with a skillfully chosen range of titles. Due to building work, the've temporarily relocated to 238 West 10th St.

Why go? “Three Lives & Company is kind of amazing to me," says actor Charles Busch. "I don’t know how they manage to be here when large chains are closing. It’s a place where you really can feel comfortable browsing and picking up a book, and they always have interesting stuff you won’t find at Barnes & Noble. You’ll find some rare biography that was printed in England that’s usually not found in this country.” Focusing on literature (primarily fiction and narrative nonfiction), Three Lives also has a dedicated NYC section and an especially large travel shelf.

Don’t miss: The incredibly knowledgeable and well-read staff will not only help you pick out your next beach read, they’ll also fulfill custom orders.

More great things to do across the globe

Uluru’s ‘Field of Light’
Photograph: Mark Pickthall, courtesy Field of Light, Uluru, Bruce Munro 2016

The 40 best things to do in the world right now

Things to do

Going out and doing things satisfies our need to explore, to learn and to grow (and then to brag about it on social media). Our hope is that the DO List becomes not just your bucket list, but your inspiration to experience and appreciate the corners of magic in the world.

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