Miles Away Episode 22: Your Trip to New York City
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This week’s Miles Away is all about NYC. Samantha Rosen and Caitlin Riddell from TPG‘s social team and our reviews editor Nick Ellis, break down all of the neighborhoods, describe several of the most iconic, points-friendly hotels and provide a handful of restaurant recommendations — including where Paul McCartney gets his pizza.
NYC has much more to offer than a Broadway show in Times Square. In this episode you’ll learn which neighborhoods are right for you, for example, the East Village is one of Nick’s favorite spots.
“Everything is much more local, less touristy, less refined than some of the other neighborhoods, but it’s a blast. It’s a really authentic New York neighborhood.”
You’ll also learn tips on booking restaurant reservations — something Samantha describes as difficult as finding award availability, how to get around, and apps you can download to avoid ticket lines and more.
You can play this episode of Miles Away above, or listen and subscribe wherever you get your podcasts, including:
Featured Image by Darren Murph / The Points Guy
Zach Honig: Welcome back to Miles Away. This is your host, Zach Honig.
Zach Honig: Today, we are venturing into our backyard on Miles Away of Manhattan and New York City in general, with three of our resident New Yorkers.
Zach Honig: So first we have Nick Ellis, TGP’s Review’s Editor.
Zach Honig: Welcome Nick.
Nick Ellis: Thanks Zach, glad to be back.
Zach Honig: And Sam Rosen, who’s joining us I think for the fourth time?
Sam Rosen: Happy to be here.
Zach Honig: Welcome. Why don’t you introduce our next guest?
Sam Rosen: And this is my boss Caitlin Riddell.
Caitlin Riddell: Hello.
Zach Honig: So Caitlin, where are you joining us in New York City from?
Caitlin Riddell: I moved here from Charlotte, North Carolina, but I’m born and raised in Knoxville, Tennessee.
Zach Honig: How’s your experience in New York been so far?
Caitlin Riddell: I love it! So, I traveled here a ton for work, and I grew up coming here. My mom used to travel a lot for work and I would tag along with her and I fell in love with it there, but moved here three months ago, thought the shine would kind of wear off by now but still starry-eyed. Every time I leave the office I’m like, “Oh my gosh I can’t believe I work here, I live here.” Cool city. I love it, even though the subway smells like urine, it kind of grows on you after a while.
Zach Honig: It does, doesn’t it? What has your experience been in general in your New York City so far? Have you tried a whole bunch of restaurants? Are you going to a lot of museums or are you working in some touristy things?
Caitlin Riddell: All the touristy things, because I’m still like the ultimate tourist. Like I said the shine hasn’t worn off yet. So some of my favorite things — the Staten Island Ferry, that’s my go-to, especially if someone is like on a budget looking to do something cool, I think that’s such a fun experience. I’ve been hitting up a lot of Broadway shows, so TodayTix has an app where they do lottery tickets for certain shows, and you can get like specific Broadway shows for $39.
Zach Honig: Is it online? Or do you have to line up?
Caitlin Riddell: So it’s an app, yeah, and that’s the best part — you don’t have to line up anywhere. There are like the TKTS booth but you have to go and stand in line in Times Square. But the TodayTix app is great, so I just went and saw “Burn This” and got $39 tickets that were pretty decent seats. Top of the Rock is probably my favorite touristy spot.
Zach Honig: I love the Top of the Rock.
Caitlin Riddell: Yeah, it’s the best
Caitlin Riddell: Best views. I grew up going to Empire State Building with my mom. That was her favorite. But now that the Top of the Rock is there, I like that one better because you can actually see the Empire State Building from it.
Zach Honig: Right, exactly. A lot of people go up to the Empire State Building and are like, “Well, its kind of cool being up here but something’s missing.”
Caitlin Riddell: Where’d it go? Yeah, I love it. It’s my favorite. And you’re at Rockefeller Center and get the whole NBC feel.
Zach Honig: Have you gone to the top of the World Trade Center yet? One World Observatory?
Caitlin Riddell: I have not. No, that’s on the list.
Zach Honig: It’s a lot of fun. I would definitely go. Go at sunset. Maybe bring a book.
Caitlin Riddell: I’m seeing Instagram stories of people taking the elevator up. They have like the history of New York and stuff. It’s like a whole experience.
Zach Honig: Yeah, they build the city around you starting in like 1600s. It’s the coolest thing.
Caitlin Riddell: Yeah, that’s awesome.
Zach Honig: If you do go to the top of the World Trade Center, definitely walk around throughout the 9/11 Memorial. I would recommend that.
Caitlin Riddell: Yeah, I’ve done the museum.
Zach Honig: Oh, you’ve done the museum?
Caitlin Riddell: Yeah.
Zach Honig: And then go through the Oculus, which is kind of a fun mall. I like to go there if I have jet leg. I go in because it’s empty and it’ll be like a fun little time-lapse video sometimes.
Caitlin Riddell: Oh, nice.
Zach Honig: And there’s an Eataly down there that’s not crowded.
Nick Ellis: Love that Eataly
Caitlin Riddell: Pro tip.
Zach Honig: Get your Aperol Spritz
Caitlin Riddell: Also, a pro tip I learned, if you do the 9/11 Museum, which I highly recommend — it’s an incredible experience — plan to go a comedy club afterwards. You need something lighthearted and fun to lift your spirits afterwards, because it definitely is emotional.
Zach Honig: And so Nick can you kind of walk us through some of the key neighborhoods? Where are your hangouts?
Nick Ellis: I can try. So if we’re starting at the office, we’re in Gramercy, which is named after the very exclusive park that we can see from our fire escape. So you have to have a key to get into the park. You have to have an apartment right on the park in order to get that. Or you can stay at the Gramercy Park Hotel and I get a key that way.
Caitlin Riddell: Pro tip.
Nick Ellis: Yes. Below Gramercy, where we’re moving on to the East Village, which is another place I hang out quite a bit. There are a lot of good restaurants, pretty reasonably priced. Good bars, karaoke spots.
Zach Honig: You’re getting away from the chains over there. It’s like a lot of mom and pop type —
Nick Ellis: Definitely. A lot of smaller shops. The restaurants are pretty small. Everything is much more local, less touristy, less refined than some of the other neighborhoods, but it’s a blast. It’s a really authentic New York neighborhood.
Zach Honig: Katz’s Deli is in that area too.
Nick Ellis: Yeah, Lower East Side, which we’re getting to right now.
Caitlin Riddell: “Don’t lose your ticket.”
Nick Ellis: Do not lose your ticket! Whatever you do.
Caitlin Riddell: Do not lose your ticket. Jake Dell will not be happy with you.
Zach Honig: Is that where Harry met Sally?
Nick Ellis: That is where Harry met Sally.
Caitlin Riddell: Well they met in a different place, but yes —
Zach Honig: There’s a sign over that table.
Nick Ellis: — if we’re being technical about things.
Zach Honig: “I’ll have what she’s having,” I think it says.
Caitlin Riddell: But really the food is so good. Also, when you go, don’t get an omelet. You wanna get the pastrami sandwich.
Zach Honig: I’ve never seen anyone eat an omelet there. Do people do that?
Caitlin Riddell: Yes!
Nick Ellis: People do in the morning.
Caitlin Riddell: Yes! It’s like it’s the tourist. Like my ancestors would not be happy with you having an omelet at Katz’s Deli. You gotta get the pastrami sandwich.
Nick Ellis: And try the meat. When you go up to the butcher’s counters you can try all the meats before they put it —
Caitlin Riddell: And a knish and a Diet Dr. Brown’s, don’t lose your ticket!
Zach Honig: What if I lose my ticket?
Caitlin Riddell: Then you live there forever.
Nick Ellis: You have to pay like $50.
Zach Honig: Oh OK all right.
Nick Ellis: And you can use credit cards there. Confirmed.
Zach Honig: Oh you can? OK. That might be a new thing.
Nick Ellis: Confirmed. Yup. You get to go to the back and pay back there, but you can definitely use credit cards.
Caitlin Riddell: Yeah, I think I’ve definitely used credit cards there.
Zach Honig: OK.
Nick Ellis: The Lower East Side is also home to a lot of kind of trendy, cool bars. That’s where the Public Hotel is, which has the rooftop with the famous view of the city, as well as Mr. Purple, another famous rooftop bar where a lot of young 20-year-olds hangout. Good summer spots. But yeah, other than that, a lot of good restaurants, also pretty small but really, really good. There’s a really good Spanish place down there called the Ten Bells. It’s awesome.
Zach Honig: Oh, I’ve heard of that. OK.
Nick Ellis: Yeah it’s really good.
Zach Honig: I actually go a little bit further down, so I spend a lot of time in Chinatown.
Nick Ellis: Yeah, love Chinatown.
Zach Honig: Yeah. I like H K Wonton Garden. H K for Hong Kong.
Nick Ellis: “99 Favor Taste”
Zach Honig: “99 Favor Taste” If you like hot pot and an experience, go on your birthday or go on someone else’s birthday. It’s actually free on your birthday.
Caitlin Riddell: Or pretend it’s someone else’s birthday.
Zach Honig: Oh no, they are very strict.
Caitlin Riddell: Oh, they check?
Zach Honig: Oh yeah, you have to have some kind of identification stating it’s your birthday. But anyway, it’s a lot of fun. Cool area. And then —
Nick Ellis: Well you can’t forget about Joe’s Shanghai.
Caitlin Riddell: I was just gonna say that.
Nick Ellis: Or Nom Wah Tea Parlor. Anyway, those are great.
Zach Honig: Two hot spots. And there’s Apothecary.
Caitlin Riddell: Apothecary.
Nick Ellis: Peachy’s and Pulqueria are there too. Really fun.
Caitlin Riddell: Oh that was good.
Nick Ellis: Yeah, really good. Doyers Street.
Zach Honig: Doyers Street! Yes, it’s a —
Nick Ellis: Really little tiny curvy street.
Caitlin Riddell: You don’t feel like you’re in New York when you’re there at all.
Sam Rosen: Is that by Stone Street?
Zach Honig: It’s not, but we’re gonna thank you for moving us along.
Caitlin Riddell: Keeping us on track.
Zach Honig: Stone Street is at the southern part of Manhattan and what many of us would call Lower Manhattan or the Financial District. But my favorite part in FiDi neighborhood is the seaport, which has really come a long way since Sandy. It’s a fun area. We’ve got a movie theater with what I call business-class seats.
Nick Ellis: Lie-flat seats?
Caitlin Riddell: They are lie-flat.
Zach Honig: Well they’re angle flat, but yeah, if you get the business-class seats, you get free popcorn. But there’s a lot of good restaurants around there. Actually, there’s some good Italian spots, there’s a few bars, and it’s just kind of a fun —
Nick Ellis: Dead Rabbit is in FiDi.
Zach Honig: Dead Rabbit yes! And actually the Dead Rabbit owners opened up this Cuban bar at the top of Pier A called Black Tail, which it used to be impossible to get reservations at and now it’s pretty much wide open. Just make reservation on Open Table.
Caitlin Riddell: Wide-open award availability.
Zach Honig: Wide-open award — yeah, there you go. You’re going have to pay a lot for everything you get there, but they’ve got some good bites, and it’s a fun spot, for sure.
Caitlin Riddell: I don’t know what’s more stressful sometimes. Finding a good dinner reservation or finding award availability? Like, you have to like be on top of your game.
Zach Honig: Yeah, I would say that they’re pretty similar experiences.
Nick Ellis: They’re pretty much the same.
Caitlin Riddell: Right? Or signing up for Soul Cycle classes at 12 o’clock noon on Monday.
Zach Honig: I would recommend Resy. If you’re new to New York or you’re visiting, download the Resy app.
Nick Ellis: Essential.
Zach Honig: Best spots are on Resy.
Caitlin Riddell: Do you know the “notify” pro tip?
Zach Honig: Yeah, hit the little bell and then if you get a notification that your spot has opened up, book it right away!
Caitlin Riddell: Swipe! Like don’t even think. Just swipe and go.
Nick Ellis: Book now, plan later. Isn’t that what we always said on deal alerts?
Zach Honig: Yeah, I’m like, “I have a reservation for 12 in 45 mins, just come to the thing.”
Zach Honig: Continuing the journey up, if you’re going up on the west side …
Nick Ellis: Now we’re going back up the west side. So we’ve rounded the bottom of Manhattan.
Zach Honig: Bottom Manhattan, great views of the Statue of Liberty.
Zach Honig: Going up, another very fun spot, a part of town where I spend a lot of time walking, is along the West Side Highway. Which doesn’t make it sound very appealing. Why don’t we say along the Hudson River?
Nick Ellis: A waterfront stroll up the West Side Highway.
Zach Honig: It’s really very pleasant, especially in the summer. You’ve got all those sailboats out there, City Vineyard, there’s Grand Banks, which is a fun little boat.
Nick Ellis: Oh I love Grand Banks. It’s a boat bar so —
Zach Honig: The boat doesn’t go anywhere. It’s fixed. So going up a little bit further north, you have the Frying Pan, which is a really cool stationary boat.
Nick Ellis: Yeah, it’s a thing here. We live in a weird place.
Caitlin Riddell: Go to Artichoke Pizza after the Frying Pan.
Zach Honig: Oh, and then walk on the High Line.
Caitlin Riddell: Yup, you’re welcome.
Nick Ellis: OK, we skipped a lot of neighborhoods but Tribeca is a really cool area. It’s a lot of old lofts and everything. It’s a lot of where celebrities live.
Zach Honig: If you wanna be near celebrities but not see them, go to Tribeca.
Caitlin Riddell: Exactly.
Nick Ellis: There’s a great Argentinian restaurant called Estancia 460 on Greenwich Street in Tribeca and they have a few tables outside and in the summer it’s really nice to sit there and just kind of people-watch. But then, yeah, the West Village is where I spend a lot of time.
Zach Honig: And that’s where the Comedy Cellar is, I think, in the West Village.
Nick Ellis: It is.
Zach Honig: And some other really, really cool apartments and streets.
Nick Ellis: Really nice apartments, and there a lot of amazing restaurants there. L’Artusi, one of my favorite spots. Cotenna, really reasonably priced pasta, like a kind of hole in the wall. Hole-in-the-wall kind of vibes.
Nick Ellis: Good bars. There’s a bar above the Five Guys there called The Garret, which is cool. Like, you walk into Five Guys, walk to the back, walk up the stairs and it’s a really cool bar.
Caitlin Riddell: See I would just stop at Five Guys.
Nick Ellis: I know it’s hard! but you could bring Five Guys up with you.
Caitlin Riddell: Mmm, that’s how to get me to go to a bar. Tell me that we’re getting french fries and burgers first.
Zach Honig: So continuing up, we skipped ahead a little bit up to the High Line. And if you follow the High Line to the end, you’re going to end up in this new neighborhood called Hudson Yards, which I personally do not care for especially.
Nick Ellis: I’ve heard that the José Andrés market actually is quite good. Yeah, it’s like a Spanish Eataly which I’m very onboard with.
Zach Honig: Sign me up. Saturday?
Caitlin Riddell: Sounds good. We’ll send a [inaudible 00:10:35].
Zach Honig: And then Times Square, which you can completely bypass by walking along on the river. No, I’m just kidding. If you’re a first-time tourist, you have to see Times Square. I would go in the evenings, maybe, just so you get all the lights. Get your picture.
Caitlin Riddell: If you do find yourself lost in Times Square and you need a spot to grab a quick drink, the Marriot Marquis there, they have a little bar on the eighth floor that you can just sit and overlook Times Square. They have chargers there right by the window and really clean bathrooms. Those are all rare finds in Times Square.
Nick Ellis: Oh that’s great. And also, the Times Square EDITION is really cool. It’s a really cool place. They have really cool outdoor spaces, lounges inside and stuff. And they have a club on the inside that’s from the same people of House of Yes.
Zach Honig: I would say, too, if you are stuck in that area, say you’re going to see a Broadway show, which will bring you to Times Square, I would venture over to maybe like Ninth Avenue, Eighth Avenue, Ninth Avenue, and you’re going to find much better local [inaudible 00:11:29].
Nick Ellis: That’s Hell’s Kitchen, basically, which has a lot of good restaurants.
Sam Rosen: If all else fails, there’s a Shake Shack on 44th and Eighth.
Zach Honig: Sam, why don’t you walk us through above Times Square areas.
Nick Ellis: Uptown.
Sam Rosen: OK, uptown, uptown girls. So depending on which way you go, you’re either on Upper West Side or Upper East Side, it’s kind of self-evident which one you are in, depending where you go.
Zach Honig: It’s split by the park, right? Central Park.
Sam Rosen: It’s split by the park. Definitely, yup. Central Park. Central Park is absolutely huge. I feel like a lot of people don’t realize how big it is. But it’s like half of Manhattan and you can easily get lost. I like it there. It’s not my favorite park. I feel like people flock to it, but, if it’s your first time here, or you’re new to the city, definitely go.
Nick Ellis: Yeah, there’s something to be said, too, for having a picnic when the weather’s nice, in Sheep’s Meadow.
Caitlin Riddell: One of my favorite views of the city is at the top of the Met in Central Park. There’s a rooftop bar at the Met. Incredible view.
Nick Ellis: I have that view on my Instagram.
Zach Honig: So the neighborhoods are both really family-friendly neighborhoods, I guess. Upper West, Upper East, very different vibes.
Sam Rosen: Very different vibes, I like Upper East as opposed to Upper West. My grandparents actually had an apartment when I was growing up, so we used to come in all the time and just stop around and eat.
Nick Ellis: Second Avenue on the Upper East Side is great. Tons of restaurants and bars. I lived up there for a while.
Zach Honig: Now the subway goes up there too, which is great.
Nick Ellis: The Second Avenue subway is great, yes!
Zach Honig: And then going a little bit further up, we’ve got Harlem as well.
Sam Rosen: Yes, definitely have really good soul food.
Nick Ellis: Really good
Zach Honig: It’s great, I’ve gone there a few times. And Sylvia’s is kind of fun too.
Zach Honig: How do you get around New York? I walk everywhere, which people think is crazy. I’m like afraid to tell people that, but do you walk a lot?
Sam Rosen: If I can walk somewhere, I’m going to walk. Otherwise, I’ll take Uber Pool because I’m usually with, like, a group of people and then we split it so it’s not that, you know —
Caitlin Riddell: Or Citi Bike when the weather’s nice.
Zach Honig: Yeah, Citi Bike is great. You just have to carry your own helmet with you. It’s good exercise, it’s really easy to get around, you’re going to beat people in cars, like if you’re racing someone and they’re taking an Uber.
Sam Rosen: Just watch out for people opening doors. The Uber app, like, warns you of that now.
Caitlin Riddell: Really? Oh my god yeah, because they just come out of nowhere sometimes.
Zach Honig: Well, that’s what we think about the doors to the Ubers.
Sam Rosen: That too.
Zach Honig: But the subway I mean is generally a convenient, fast, cheap option.
Nick Ellis: Not always fast.
Zach Honig: Sometimes, especially if you’re going long distances and it’s peak time.
Nick Ellis: You can get anywhere you need to go with a subway, pretty much.
Zach Honig: And it’s really easy with Google Maps and Apple Maps. Fully integrated. You put in your origin, your destination, it says you can take this train or this train or this train, and it’s coming at this time and sometimes it does come when it says it’s coming.
Nick Ellis: It’s usually pretty accurate because Google will map the delays too, so it’ll tell you it’s four minutes delayed or whatever. You just have to pay attention to the exact letter because so many different trains run in the same line, especially in Manhattan, that you have to make sure you’re getting on the right number or letter, depending on where you want to go.
Zach Honig: Yeah, definitely. One thing I recommend if you are walking around the city is just look up, don’t just look straight out, look up at the buildings because architecture is really, really cool. I feel like I notice something new every single day and I walk the exact same path. No two buildings are identical here. Even some of the newer buildings, there are some ugly new buildings I have to say, like that giant tower. Ugh, that one by Central Park.
Nick Ellis: I kind of like that one
Zach Honig: It’s an eyesore.
Nick Ellis: I kind of like it. I don’t mind it.
Sam Rosen: I don’t understand how it hasn’t just blown over yet.
Nick Ellis: The way it was engineered — those spaces in the middle for the wind to pass through. Yeah, that’s why.
Zach Honig: I like the shorter buildings for the most part. I do like One World Trade Center. Every neighborhood has kind of like a different feel to it.
Sam Rosen: Like you feel it when you’re walking through it too. You know the East Village feels very different than, like, the Upper East Side.
Zach Honig: Especially Lower Manhattan.
Nick Ellis: Yeah, the Art Deco, the Chrysler Building, is incredible. I think it’s my favorite building in the city.
Zach Honig: Well, we need to take a quick break and then when we come back, we’re going to talk about flight and hotel options for your trip to New York City.
Zach Honig: We are back from the break and I always get asked by my, you know, friends and friends of friends that are coming to New York: “Where should I stay?” and I can give some recommendations when it comes to neighborhoods. But Nick, as our resident reviews editor, knows the city quite a bit better than most, I would say when it comes to hotels.
Nick Ellis: I’m aware of the hotel scene a little bit, yeah so if want to have like a really classic New York stay, you’re staying uptown. There are a bunch of really good options — kind of the old, the old guard of New York hotels. On the Upper East Side there is the Luxury Collection property called the Chatwal, which is a really beautiful hotel, but it is a Category 8, so you have to be prepared to pay up, whether in points or cash. And there is also the Carlyle, which is a Rosewood hotel so not a points hotel, but if you have FHR with your Amex Platinum card …
Zach Honig: Yeah, and I don’t know what the $100 goes towards there, but if it is food and beverage credit —
Nick Ellis: You can use that at Bemelmans bar, a very famous bar in New York City
Zach Honig: But the restaurant is very good too, I’ve been to the restaurant there a few times.
Nick Ellis: Yeah, that’s a really cool spot. And then kind of more towards Central Park, there’s the Ritz-Carlton in Central Park, which was just renovated. A really nice property and if you can get an upgrade to a view, it’s unparalleled. And, next to that, is the JW Marriott Essex House, which is an iconic tower, has Essex House written in red neon.
Zach Honig: Yeah, you can very clearly see it from Central Park too, right? From Sheep’s Meadow.
Nick Ellis: Yeah, totally. Then we have the London, which is a Hilton property in the same area kind of Central Park South, and that is actually going to become an Conrad, later this year I think. But it’s an all-suite hotel, I think.
Zach Honig: I don’t have to be worried if I’m going to get an upgrade or not.
Nick Ellis: Right, yes, no worries there. And of course, before we move any farther south, you have to talk about the Plaza which is the most iconic hotel in New York probably. Yeah, go there and eat and have the tea, the high tea or whatever it is.
Zach Honig: “Home Alone 2” just like running through me right now.
Nick Ellis: Yeah. Oh! Before we go any farther south, the Park Hyatt, also on Central Park. That is a gorgeous hotel.
Zach Honig: They’ve got a really cool pool, right?
Nick Ellis: Really nice pool, yeah. You’re not going to have great Central Park views because it is on the lower part of the building, but the hotel itself is gorgeous and of really great value of Hyatt points as rooms are over a thousand bucks a night all the time. Kind of moving further down, the Hyatt Herald Square — well, not the best area of town, I would say, but it has a really cool rooftop with great views of the Empire State Building, and again it’s really easy to use Hyatt points so that’s a great option.
Zach Honig: The new Moxy in Times Square also has really nice Empire State Building views, and it’s somewhat reasonably priced.
Nick Ellis: Yeah, you can sometimes find rooms there for like 99 bucks a night, which is incredible. Oh yeah, Magic Hour a very like —
Sam Rosen: A carousel, you can spin around.
Nick Ellis: Yeah, it’s like an adult playground, I think.
Sam Rosen: It’s not totally kid-friendly.
Nick Ellis: And there’s a new Moxy in Chelsea too, which below has these really cool looking restaurants that are kind of open to the whole street. Indoor/outdoor, so for the summer probably a really good spot.
Zach Honig: And then, if we get a little bit further down, I mean you mentioned the Gramercy Park Hotel, which is in our backyard.
Nick Ellis: Yeah that’s right. We can see it from our fire escape, our favorite place in the office. Yeah, that’s a great spot. I think it was designed by Ian Schrager. It was one of his hotels from back in the day. But its also a Marriott property.
Zach Honig: Even if you’re not staying there, if you’re in the neighborhood, have a drink. Walk into the lobby. They have a really cool bar.
Nick Ellis: And they have that amazing Le Labo scent, which is designed for the hotel. In the lobby and in the rooms and you can actually buy it. It’s amazing.
Zach Honig: Yeah, and they got a good Italian restaurant that’s like right there too, Maialino.
Nick Ellis: Also right on Madison Square Park is the New York EDITION, which is a really nice hotel. It has a great bar to hang out at and have drinks after work. But again, a really nice place to stay and use your Marriott points. As we go further downtown, we have probably the best or one of the best hotels downtown is The Beekman.
Zach Honig: Probably like my all-time favorite New York hotel. Just to go in … just to go in … just as a local, go in. Like the bar is so cool.
Nick Ellis: The bar is awesome; the atrium is amazing.
Zach Honig: And if you’re going into the bar, you’re technically not supposed to, but you can take the elevator up to the top of the atrium and just get a shot down.
Nick Ellis: Yep, I did that exact thing, also on my Instagram. But yeah, also downtown —
Zach Honig: There an Aloft down there too?
Nick Ellis: Yeah, and there’s an Andaz on Wall Street, which is actually nice. When I lived on Wall Street, my parents would always stay at the Andaz because it was like right next to where I lived and it’s actually a really nice hotel, quiet.
Zach Honig: There is the Millennium Hilton, which is overlooking the World Trade Center.
Nick Ellis: Yeah, which has an amazing location. A little tired but it’s a really good location. OK, very tired.
Zach Honig: It’s exhausted.
Zach Honig: All right. Then there is another Conrad over in Battery Park City.
Nick Ellis: Yeah, which is a really cool hotel and there’s a movie theater in there. It’s across from like, Brookfield Place, which has a lot of amazing restaurants, super high-end shopping, really good base to explore the city from there. Because you are also close to a lot of subways and all that kind of stuff.
Zach Honig: I know we could talk about New York for hours and hours and hours, but we are almost out of time, but I wanted to give Sam a chance to touch on a few of her favorite restaurants because Sam is our resident foodie here, and really, like, knows restaurants.
Sam Rosen: I just like food, and I came with a list and I can talk about this for, like, five hours.
Zach Honig: Yes, why don’t we narrow it down to maybe your top 20?
Sam Rosen: OK my top 20. Well, I pretty much have 20 on my list. The pressure’s on. It just depends on, like, what you want, though. There’s just so many, and there’s so many different kinds of cuisine and food and for what occasion. Like, do you want to have food after work one night or do you want to go celebrate for someone’s birthday?
Zach Honig: Let’s say I’m coming to New York for the first time and I want a New York dinner.
Sam Rosen: You want a New York dinner. OK, if you want the budget end, Joe’s Pizza, hands down. It is the best slice. There’s one on 14th and Third and there’s one in the West Village, as well.
Zach Honig: And there’s one on Fulton in the Financial District.
Sam Rosen: Oh yes. I walked by it the other day going to IPIC.
Zach Honig: Yeah I’ve been there like five time times already this week.
Sam Rosen: So good. It is just the perfect quintessential New York slice. My other favorite is Prince Street Pizza, which is just like heaven on a paper plate, actually. Interestingly enough, one of the chefs from Prince Street Pizza just opened a shop called Made in New York Pizza on the Upper West Side, so there’s a little bit of pizza drama, but they have those pepperoni cups, and it’s so good. And then if you want something on the more expensive end, like you really want to, you know, have a good meal, Carbone, hands down one of the best meals of my life. Rubirosa is also, like, amazing. These are two places where you gotta be like on top of your reservations, especially for Carbone. Like, it is really hard to get one. So Carbone is in Greenwich Village, and then Rubirosa is more in, like, the NoHo area on Mulberry Street.
Sam Rosen: So, great story about Rubirosa really quick is my friends and I were there a few years ago. It was, like, the dead of February, we’re trying to track down our Uber because obviously it’s like negative degrees or something, and this huge black car, which we thought was ours because we ordered, like, an XL, stops in front of the restaurant. This woman gets out and then this guy gets out and I’m like I know this guy. Like, who is he? Like, can’t picture who it is. I’m thinking, like, is he friends with my grandpa? Like, he was older and then my friend says, “Hi,” and the second she said “Hi” I’m, like … can I curse on here? Holy shit, that’s Paul McCartney. So we like struck up a conversation with Paul McCartney, apparently Paul McCartney.
Zach Honig: What’s his favorite dish?
Sam Rosen: The Tie Dye Pizza. Paul McCartney apparently goes to Rubirosa all the time, so that’s when you know. Some of my other favorites are Emily, which is in the West Village, Lilia and Missy, which are Missy Robbins restaurants. They’re both in Williamsburg. New York reservations as I said before are, like, a whole different ballgame. Like, Lilia you have to be on Resy a month in advance at midnight or you will not get the reservation. Missy is a little bit more laid back. It’s the newer of the two and reservations are a little bit easier to come by. You still have to be pretty on top of your game and plan ahead. Like, neither of them are places that, like, you can book a day or two in advance and hope for the best. Then again, put notify thing on Resy. JG Melon also unreal. I ate so much the last time I was there because it’s just so good and they don’t take reservations.
Zach Honig: And you need to get the burger right?
Sam Rosen: Oh yeah, that’s the whole thing
Zach Honig: So I went with some friends and didn’t know that and I got steak which was nice, but it was also, like, everyone got burgers and was, like, what, why did you do that?
Sam Rosen: I don’t remember if this was on the menu or not, but their grilled cheese was unreal. We also got bacon grilled cheese which was doubly unreal. Do that and don’t forget the cottage fries.
Zach Honig: All these places are, like, sound incredible, but it’s all kind of heavier food. Are there, like, any sushi spots that you love or —
Sam Rosen: Oh yeah. So I like Momoya, which is definitely more of, like, a locals place. It’s not something that you’ll see on, like, the touristy sites. Also Sugarfish, even though it is from LA but the original one in New York at least is two blocks away from our office and they just opened another one in SoHo, so good. KazuNori is the same food group. They have hand rolls and the sushi’s, like, super-fresh quality. One more, I would say Sadelle’s.
Zach Honig: Oh the bagel place.
Sam Rosen: But it’s not just a bagel place. Like, it’s a bagel restaurant. It’s not like Ess-a Bagel which in my opinion is completely and totally overrated. It’s a bagel destination, it is the spot. Don’t waste your time at Ess-a Bagel. Don’t wait in line for half an hour, their bagels are good but their spreads are mediocre at best.
Nick Ellis: Clinton Street Baking Co. is also amazing.
Sam Rosen: I don’t want to wait in line for three hours. I get hangry. I have a few faults and getting hangry is one of them.
Zach Honig: One of the ways you can pass the time waiting to get into your fantastic brunch in New York City is to poke her on Instagram. How did you know where I was going with this? Sam, where can we find you on social media?
Sam Rosen: You find me @samantha_rosen or sometimes I make guest appearances on Zach’s Instagram.
Zach Honig: Sometimes and sometimes @thepointsguy.
Sam Rosen: @thepointsguy. I do help run it so I do try to, you know, sneak myself in.
Zach Honig: And Caitlin how about you?
Caitlin Riddell: I’m @caitriddler on Instagram.
Zach Honig: And Nick, are you on Instagram even?
Nick Ellis: It’s unclear.
Zach Honig: All right. When Nick, when he went to Mexico City, though he was posting the most incredible food and I was eating frozen Trader Joe’s meals, which are delicious too, but where can we find your stuff?
Nick Ellis: @nellis_ellis
Zach Honig: Thank you, guys, for coming on.
Sam Rosen: Thanks, Zach!
Zach Honig: Safe travels.
Nick Ellis: See ya!
Zach Honig: That’s it for this episode for Miles Away. Thanks again to Nick Ellis, Sam Rosen and Caitlin Riddell! Again, I’m your host Zach Honig. This episode was produced by Margaret Kelley and Caroline Schagrin with editing by Ryan Gabos. Our music is by Alex Schiff. If you’ve been enjoying Miles Away so far, please subscribe, rate, and review on Apple Podcast, Spotify or wherever you choose to listen.
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