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New York City travel tips? (VR & NVR)

My husband and I are taking a weeklong trip to NYC next month for vacation.  We've never been and would love to hear ANY advice you friendly east coast veggies may have for us, such as what to see, what to do, tips on getting around, the best pizza place (for the omni husband), veggie restaurants, type of clothing to bring for mid-November weather or any other tips you care to share.  We did get the 48-hour Gray Line tour bus pass mainly for sightseeing.  We also booked a 4-hour Sopranos tour (the Mr. is a big fan).  We'd also like to see a Broadway show but can't decide between Les Miserables, The Lion King or Phantom of the Opera (little help??)  We'll be staying downtown and doing lots of walking!
Thanks in advance.  We're soooooo excited!  :D

Welcome to NYC! (well almost).  :)

It's the greatest city on earth and very veg*n friendly!  As for the best pizza place (you're going to hear a lot of answers but...) for non-vegans, Lombardi's is handsdown the best (in Manhattan).  (Lombardi's is probably one of the reasons I'm still vegetarian and not completely vegan).  You will most likely have to wait in line for a while, but it is worth it.  They can probably make you something vegan there, but if not, you should be able to find something for yourself within a few blocks.  I'm not sure specifically what kinds of restaurants you want (100% vegan, 100% omni w/ vegan options, etc) So, here are some helpful websites for NY restaurants are:, 

There are tons more websites and quite a few books too.  Let me know if you want specific reviews of certain restaurants and I will be happy to provide you with them. A good rule of thumb, though, if you're ever in serious doubt about a place to eat, go to Burritoville. ;)  Gobo and the Candle Cafe are a good choice for omni's. Also, don't be afraid to head out to Brooklyn for some different options. 

As for what to wear, I definitely recommend layering.  You may want to have a heavier jacket and some sweaters just in case as even with all the bright fluorescent light, it does get a little cold (especially waiting for the bus or the subway at night or early in the morning). However, once it gets even a little cold, some places do blast the heat like crazy so it's a good idea to be able to shed layers. (Make sure to check the weather before you come in the event that we're having some unnatural heatwave or something).
You can bring an umbrella if you want, but usually once it starts raining (or if it's very likely that it will rain), street vendors will be selling umbrellas on the street corners (depending on where you are).  Jeans are an acceptable form of dress in most restaurants unless the dresscode is specifically enforced (see citysearch, etc for dresscode if in doubt)--However, I did see someone wearing jean shorts in the "nice" room at Gramercy Tavern once and aside from some dirty looks, no one seemed to care. ;)

As for Broadway shows, I definitely recommend Les Miserables.  I've seen it roughly 10 times now (the NYC original as well as the revival, as well as in London).  I wasn't a big fan of Phantom personally, but I know quite a few people who were obsessed with it.  Other people also love the Lion King. If you can't decide between those three, Wicked's pretty good. 

As for random travel tips, don't forget to buy a metrocard!  Oh and all taxis are YELLOW -- some have some nice flowers painted on the hood and the roof, but they're still ultimately yellow, do not get into a black (or any other colored one).

If there's anything else you need, just let me know, I'd be happy to help!
I'm excited for you, NY is so amazing.. :)


The only Broadway show I've seen is Stomp, and that I highly recommend, though I've seen Les Miserables off Broadway, and that is very good too.  I also second Wicked though only because of secondhand info and the reviews.


Hi there.  I'm not from NY but I've seen all three of those shows.  Les Mis is good, but long and sad and I think it's a bit slow.  Lion King has GREAT costumes and puppetry and sets.  It's amazing what they can do.  The best pick is Phantom.  The music is great and so moving.  That would be my choice.  


Don't take cabs; use the subway and get a pass (the more trips included the better; you'll probably use a lot of them). A subway map will help, but it's usually not a big deal if you get a little lost. The subway system is pretty intuitive once you've ridden around a little, and there are maps everywhere.

Definitely check out central park, the museum of natural history, the cloisters, and whatever else strikes your fancy. Chinatown is also really cool, as is little italy. Be prepared to walk, and have a great time!


Thanks for all the great info everyone!!  Killer (uh... cute name? :)) thanks for getting so in-depth.  Sounds like you really love your city!  Thanks for the restaurant info.  As for types of restaurants, when we travel/explore we tend to eat at very non-veggie meaty places and very vegetarian/vegan places and everywhere in between so that neither of us are missing out on the experience, so basically we're very open to suggestions.  And waiting in line for good food is no problem for us!  It's part of the fun.  I have the Candle Cafe cookbook and would love to try to make it there!

You've been sooo helpful.  Feel free to post anything else that comes to mind.  I'm sure I'll have questions for you!


i did go to wholefoods (not sure if you have them in your neck of the woods, but they don't have them upstate at all :() and ate a lot of vegan chow (yum yum) from there. it's a quick meal if one is around and you don't feel like resteranting.

LOL I'm soooo spoiled, baypuppy!  I have a couple of Whole Foods stores within a few miles from my house and they're building another one practically right next door to my work.  And I think you mentioned not having a Trader Joe's nearby?  I have 3 within a few miles of my house, along with one next to my work.  I feel so guilty when I read how WF/TJ-deprived you are!  Like I should "give you" one of mine or something.  :'(  Hopefully something cool comes along soon to your neck of the woods.


i love the angelica home kitchen in the east village, i go there when ever im in NYC.  also i love strand books - if you guys like books shops you should check it out, theyre on broadway.  i usually walk or take the subway when im there cos there is so much to see on every corner    love it love it love it


I would second Phantom of the Opera.  I've never seen it in NYC but in London and the travelling show that came in my area.  I love it!  I agree that the music is beautiful.  I can't wait to go back to the UK next year because we plan on seeing it again.  It would be on the top of my things to do in NYC if I ever get a chance to go there. 


Even though we only live about an hour or two (via train) from NYC, I have only been 4 times.  Once to sight see, once to go to see Beauty & the Beast and twice for work.  I highly recommend the Candle Cafe.  Their food was amazing plus the joy of having the option to eat anything on the menu is staggering.  The chocolate ice 'cream' was absolutely amazing!

I would recommend plotting out what you want to do now.  Where you want to go, that sort of thing.  Review the subway maps online.  Print out what you can so you are familiar with it. 

Wear comfortable shoes and layer appropriately for the weather.  Most of all, have fun!


I have a restaurant Recommendation!!!

In Manhattan. Moby (the music artist) owns a tea+food cafe.

Its called Teany!
its soooo goood!!!

Here is the website

100% VEGAN!!!


I just came back from NYC Monday.

I HIGHLY recommend going to both Angelica's Kitchen and Blossom. Soooo delicious!  :D


If you aren't locked into a hotel rent an apartment. You can get short term rentals for cheaper and it's comfy. They come with all the conveniences of home and if you need to cook you can. Great for breakfast when your feeling lazy and want to sleep in a little, but your hungry. I've used A Hospitality Company many times. I believe the web site is under the same name.
Have a picnic in Central Park.
Get a map of the city+/subway and study it before hand.(Manhattan Block By Block: a street atlas)
Go to street festivals and parades if available.
Get a Metrocard. You can buy them from automated machines inside the stations.
Expand your options beyond Broadway. The NYC Ballet etc. are good options.
Don't limit yourself to the city...explore the boroughs.
Take public transit from the airports...way cheaper than a taxi.
Def dress in layers for Nov. and don't forget a light and small umbrella.


how fun!  if you do anything while on this trip you have to go to "Quintessence"  Its the most delicious flavourful raw vegan food!  I went with my brother last night who is visiting, he's an omni, and he said that if he had to live off raw vegan food for the rest of his life, he wouldnt be missing anything  :)  here is the link, sooooo yummy!!


Definitely get a metro card (it works on the bus and the subway).  I saw Phantom of the Opera on Broadway a couple of years ago and I love it!!!!  Have fun.


Thanks for ALL the wonderful advice.  We'll definitely take your suggestions.  (Feel free to keep them coming!)  :)

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