The best Catskills Airbnb rentals
New York is one of those cities that truly has it all, but sometimes even we – yep, even NYC’s biggest cheerleaders – need to take a breather from the endless bustle of city life. Fortunately, you don’t have to leave New York state to get a proper break from the city’s intense day-to-day. And the Catskills are better than anywhere to do just that: so pack your best knitwear, dig out those hiking boots and book a weekend away. Wondering where to book? Well, that’s where we come in. We’ve scoured Airbnb to find some of the Catskills’ most unique, stylish and memorable getaways, from group adventures to romantic hideaways. This article includes affiliate links. These links have no influence on our editorial content. For more information, click here.
The best spas in NYC
We know how it goes: one day you’re loving life in this fine city of ours, the next day you’ve had it with the hustle and need to get away from it all. If a weekend getaway isn’t in the cards, perhaps you can spare a few precious hours for a visit to one of the best spas in NYC. These spas dish out serious serenity in the form of massages, facials and other relaxing treatments so you can be refreshed and on the way to stress-free bliss. Spas are not just for melting away stress (though that’s certainly a welcome side effect) — these spas offer services that can soothe sore muscles, refresh tired skin or get you ready for a beach weekend or big night out. Others offer facilities where you can spend a full day unwinding (girls’ day, anyone?). Some offer or even specialize in couples massages for a romantic date option. NYC spas range from affordable to all-out luxurious. Treat yourself to a pampering at one of these spas — you deserve it.
The best cooking classes in NYC
New York City is a culinary wonderland, with some of the best restaurants in the world, amazing bakeries, delicious desserts, fabulous ice cream, and the skilled chefs that make them tick. Even better, takeout and delivery options bring the best of NYC delicacies right to your doorstep. So why would you want to take a cooking class? Because it’s fun! Plus, everyone should know how to cook for themselves, and we think a home-cooked meal is a great date idea to impress your sweetie. Whether you’re a newbie who’s clueless in the kitchen or a home cook looking to learn a new technique, check out these cooking classes in NYC. These kitchen classrooms offer a range of courses, from basic knife skills to pasta-making 101 to butchering. Tackle classic Italian fare, brush up on your pie-baking skills, learn how to properly sear a steak or dive into the details of sausage-making. You can even learn how to make iconic treats like cookies from Milk Bar or croissants from Mille-Feuille Bakery. You’ll be well-equipped to make a meal at home after taking one of these classes, and trust us — it feels good to know you can get by without takeout for one night (feel free to rely on grocery delivery for ingredients). If these NYC cooking classes pique your interest, check out these couples cooking classes in NYC next time date night rolls around. They’ll open up a whole new culinary world for you and your boo. RECOMMENDED: Full guide to classes in NYC
The best dance classes NYC has to offer
Do you gaze dreamily at the giant posters of ballerinas from New York City Ballet every time you pass Lincoln Center? Have you always wanted to channel your inner hip-hop dance star? New York’s best dance classes can help you achieve your dream, even if you’ve never donned a pair of ballet slippers in your life. From jazz and tap to modern dance and contemporary movement, there are many ways to get a leg up at the city's best dance studios. RECOMMENDED: Our guide to the best classes in NYC
The best restaurants near Lincoln Center
Whether you’re craving high-end Italian or just a killer burger, there’s something for everyone at restaurants near Lincoln Center. Plus, with many offering pre-theater prix fixe menus, you’ll be safely ensconced in your seat well before the opening curtain at the New York City Ballet. Read on to see our favorite restaurants near Lincoln Center, whether you’re coming from Lincoln Center Out of Doors or just a stroll through Central Park. RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best restaurants in NYC
The best Greek restaurants in NYC
Gone are the days when the best restaurants in Astoria were the only spots for quality Greek cuisine. Today, from midtown to the East Village, New Yorkers can find excellent Hellenic fare in almost every neighborhood of NYC. From expense-account seafood restaurants to some of the best diners in NYC, these are the best Greek restaurants our city has to offer. RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best restaurants in NYC
The 10 best buffet restaurants in NYC
The best buffet restaurants have come a long way from floppy bacon and Jell-O cups. Whether you’re craving French bakery goods or all-you-can-eat sushi, New York’s best buffets can crank out massive quantities of food that are a far cry from steam-table leftovers. From all-you-can-eat steakhouses to refined Midtown brunches, these are New York’s top buffets. RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best restaurants in NYC
The best dance studios in NYC
Every New Yorker—man or woman, old or young—should visit dance studios in NYC at least once in their lives. After all, our city is home to an embarrassment of riches when it comes to studios and professionals who moonlight as teachers. Whether you’re prepping for your first dance at your wedding, looking to channel your inner Center Stage star, ready to attempt your first pole dancing classes or simply looking for a novel way to exercise, there’s a school in New York for every type of dancer, with offerings from adult dance classes to classes for beginners. Read on to see our favorite eight dance studios in NYC. RECOMMENDED: Find more great fitness classes in NYC
Christmas gifts for friends this holiday season
If you’re looking for Christmas gifts for friends this holiday season, we got you. These picks go above and beyond your average Starbucks gift card, with everything from funny Christmas gifts to the latest tech gifts to gifts for cooks and foodies. So what are you waiting for? Start shopping now for your besties—we found everything from splurges to steals that are actually great holiday gifts. They won’t want to return these. RECOMMENDED: The full holiday gift guide 2017
The stories behind the most interesting neighborhood names in NYC
How much do you really know about the most interesting neighborhood names in NYC? Midtown East may be self-explanatory, but what actually goes down in Hell’s Kitchen? New York’s neighborhoods have origins in everything from the Dutch to developers, resulting in a bit of wacky nomenclature. So the next time you’re out to find the best restaurants and bars in the Bronx or hunting for the best New York pizzas in Staten Island, impress your friends with these facts about some of New York’s most interestingly named hoods.
The best cheap health bowls in NYC
The city’s best salads are hardly the only good-for-you grub to come in a bowl—there are plenty of options for cheap health bowls in NYC. Whether you’re craving a SoCal-style smoothie or umami-rich bowls from vegan and vegetarian restaurants, we found the best options that all clock in at $10 or less. After all, not every day can be a day for burgers in NYC. Read on for the best cheap health bowls in NYC, with calorie-conscious offerings that satisfy sweet tooths and savory seekers alike. RECOMMENDED: Full guide to cheap eats in NYC
The best cheap sandwiches in NYC
Bargain sandwich hunters should never relegate themselves to only a bacon, egg and cheese sandwich from their local bodega. New Yorkers love any meal stuffed between two slices of bread and we have the variety to prove it. Whether you’re hankering for a melty grilled cheese or a gut-busting chicken parm from one of the city’s best Italian sandwich shops, we found them all at prices that still leave room for a bottle of suds from a beer store. These are the best cheap sandwiches in New York. RECOMMENDED: Full guide to cheap eats in NYC
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At this dreamy West Village spot, chef and owner Simone Falco worked with famed flourmill Antico Molino Caputo to create a proprietary gluten-free flour blend. Made with buckwheat, corn, rice and gluten-free wheat starches, the dough is virtually indistinguishable in taste from a traditional pastas and pies. Otherwise made in the traditional Neapolitan style, the pillowy pizza crust can be topped with creamy mozzarella di bufala, salty guanciale or rich basil pesto.
Trattoria Zero Otto Nove
Named after the area code for Salerno, Italy, this pizza joint is also helmed by beloved Bronx chef Roberto Paciullo. The perennially packed spot features over a dozen varieties of traditional Neapolitan-style, thin-crust pizzas, as well as pastas, salads and grilled meats. Pizza purists may opt for the traditional margherita, but don’t miss the rich La Cirilo: butternut squash puree, truffle cream, mushrooms and fresh mozzarella.
Casa Della Mozzarella
The best mozzarella in New York is a hotly-contested title, but few would argue with this Little Italy institution’s claim on the crown. Just ask anyone who waits in the snaking line for one of the sandwiches piled high with the namesake cheese. The best order lets the mozzarella shine: Try a simple prosciutto and muzz, served with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar on crusty hero bread.
With a menu philosophy of cooking the way that Nonna used to, it’s little wonder that the comfort food dishes at this Little Italy spot are both rib-sticking and dreamy. The menu is voluminous, but the fresh pastas shine especially bright, including the lasagna di casa made with three kinds of cheese (ricotta, mozzarella and Romano) and plum tomato sauce.
Pine Tree Café
Located inside the Garden’s awe-inspiring collection of rare and unusual pine trees, this fast-casual option is a far cry from the usual combo of soggy sandwich and lukewarm soup you might find at similar establishments. The food here is also created by the STARR team and features fresh Neapolitan pizzas, sandwiches made on artisanal breads and seasonal salads. There’s also plentiful seasonal patio seating for fresh-pine-scent hunters
Hudson Garden Grill at the New York Botanical Garden
In one of the most impressive locations of any restaurant in New York, this restaurant from the STARR group (Upland, Morimoto) is surrounded by the lush 40-acre Ross Conifer Arboretum at the Garden. The emphasis, unsurprisingly, is on farm-fresh recipes, with many ingredients coming from nearby Hudson Valley. Carbo load for your garden stroll with the monkey bread, which is served with honey butter and fleur du sel.
Trattoria Tra di Noi
The name of this Little Italy restaurant translates to “between us,” and you’ll certainly want to keep its saucy specialties to yourself after a raucous meal here. Chef Marco Coletta, who has over 50 years of experience behind his apron, wields a deft hand with even traditionally heavy dishes like fettuccine alla Alfredo. Don’t miss the ethereal cheesecake if it’s one of the daily specials.
Pars Grill House & Bar
With the most substantial Persian menu in all of New York, this Chelsea joint likely has a dish for any plebe or veteran of Middle Eastern food. While all the requisite stews, grilled meats and tangy dips are on offer, don’t miss the desserts section, which features goodies like Persian-style ice cream and the enigmatic falludeh shirazi, a mix of frozen sugar syrup and rosewater served over rice noodles.
Taste of Persia
As Middle Eastern food cognoscenti know, the best Persian food is indeed found in the front corner of Pizza Paradise on 18th Street. The Taste of Persia operation is small but mighty: A few rice pots and chafing dishes are all chef Saeed Pourkay needs to create his ethereal version of ash reshteh. The stew, luxuriously thick and bean-studded, will make you forget about pepperoni pies altogether.
Long known as the Persian kosher restaurant on Long Island, a Manhattan outpost now satisfies the cravings of anyone looking for authentically prepared meats and soups. Don’t miss the fesenjoun, a heady chicken and nut stew flavored with many Mediterranean spices or any of the dozens of grilled specialties, like the chicken breast in a tangy lemon-saffron vinaigrette.
The cuisine at this Chelsea spot is a fusion of many different Middle Eastern cuisines, but the authentic Persian flavors shine brightly here. Try the Koobideh Kicker, a wrap made with minced beef kebab, hot sauce, yogurt sauce and sumac-spiced red onion. And don’t forget to grab a side of mast-o khiar, a thick yogurt with diced cucumber and mint.
There may be more famous BBQ spots in Harlem, but none is more unique than the Japanese-Hawaiian fusion cuisine at Makana. While the menu has everything from sushi to saimin noodles, try the Makana plate for a true taste of island grub. Hawaii’s most famous lunch special, the burger-and-egg-topped Loco Moco, is on offer, as are BBQ favorites like kalua pig and kalbi short ribs.