My friends are busy. We can’t ever vacation together. I decided to do something about this. I polled my friends to figure out what would work. What worked? NYC in early March.
7 of us are staying in a 3 bedroom apartment in Chinatown Manhattan. It will be a weekend of exploration, food touring, and horseplay. The rooms are $45pp/per night. Not bad for NYC. I want my friends to draw the most from NYC as possible. I’ve built a map of restaurants for us using Yelp and Reddit’s sentiment ratings (karma). I hope others can benefit from this project as well.
Creating the Map
I picked Yelp’s top cheap eats on the island of Manhattan using their site search functionality. I used my experience to filter through 30 pages of Yelp search listings. Yelp’s site uses a sorting system that isn’t descending-ratings based. There are some gems buried deep down the ranking list. I went deep.
This map has 35 Yelp listings and 27 local NYC redditor recommendations. Reddit locations include recommended menu items. I believe maps are better than lists or itineraries because they allow for more flexibility for breaks and weather changes.
- Friday early morning: Drive to NYC. Beat rush hour.
- Park in Staten Island (street or affordable municipal garage). Free ferry to Manhattan.
- Walk to Chinatown apartment to drop bags.
- Lunch in Le Bernandin Lounge (no reservations possible). $55 City Harvest lunch. 3-Michelin starred and #24 restaurant in the world. Jackets recommended.
- Wander city
- Rest/Hang out/Socialize
- Dinner at Yasaka for omakase Sushi (reservations made.) Top affordable omakase in Manhattan.
- Friday night on the town (Lower East Side or Meatpacking District)
- Saturday morning breakfast snacks from Kopitiam and Round K.
- Begin Saturday food tour 11am. Most restaurants then open for lunch.
- Get two lunch items from 7 of the best and accessible places on the map
- Saturday afternoon relax.
- Saturday evening dinner at either Minetta Tavern (best burger in NYC) or Amelie Cafe (best casual sit-down).
- Saturday night see how we’re feeling an adjust plans accordingly.
- Sunday morning Church
- Sunday afternoon Ramen tour: Ivan, Ippudo (make walk-in reservations early), and Minca
- Sunday early evening happy hour with friends currently living in NYC setup via Facebook event.
- Sunday evening depart NYC, return friends to respective states of residence.
Touring New York City for Food
New York City is constantly in flux. The best food places can open and close within a couple days. It’s important to have a plan of action in a city with limitless options fighting to win your attention. Many are mediocre fast food spots catering to speed and convenience over excellence. NYC has some of the greatest and most diverse food choices in the world. Be selective and reap the benefits of this world-class food destination.