Moon New York City Walks

See the City Like a Local


By Moon Travel Guides

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Experience the city that never sleeps like a local: on foot! Whether you’re strolling along tree-lined streets in the Village or hustling down Fifth Avenue, discover the best of the Big Apple with Moon New York City Walks.
  • Walk through the city’s coolest neighborhoods, including Soho, the West Village, the Lower East Side, Williamsburg, and more, with color-coded stops and turn-by-turn directions
  • Find your scene with top ten lists for restaurants, arts and culture, and coffee
  • Get to know the real New York on six customizable walks: Stroll past icons like the Flatiron Building, the Empire State Building, and Rockefeller Center, or learn more about the history of jazz and the Harlem Renaissance. Take in jaw-dropping views along the High Line, shop the trendiest brands in the Meatpacking District, and explore world-famous galleries and museums. Cross the Williamsburg Bridge, hit a flea market, and discover coffee shops tucked among the Brooklyn warehouses. Sample authentic Chinese noodles and dim sum, comforting soul food, and old-school deli standbys, or admire the city skyline from one of New York’s many rooftop bars
  • Explore on the go with foldout maps of each walking route and a removable full-city map, all in a handy guide that fits in your pocket
  • Discover public transportation options like bike rentals, subway, taxis, buses, and ferries
With creative routes, public transit options, and a full-city map, you can explore New York at your own pace, without missing a beat.

Check out our guides to more of the world’s best cities, so you can hit the ground running! Also available: Moon Barcelona Walks, Moon Berlin Walks, Moon Tokyo Walks, Moon Amsterdam Walks, Moon Paris Walks, Moon Rome Walks, and Moon London Walks.



Step off the plane and head toward the newest, hippest café in town. Find out where to get the best fish in the city or where there is locally brewed beer on tap. Local authors share with you only genuine highlights of the city they love. This way, you can skip the busy shopping streets and just stroll through the city at your own pace, taking in a local attraction on your way to the latest and greatest concept stores. Savor every second and make your city trip a truly feel-good experience.


The Big Apple may be known for its skyscrapers, yellow taxicabs, and famous places such as Times Square, the Guggenheim, the 9/11 Memorial, and Central Park, but it’s the many diverse neighborhoods—each with its own distinct character and vibe—that make New York such an inspiring city. From exotic Chinatown and trendy SoHo to the nocturnal West Village and creative Williamsburg, NYC has a place that’s perfect for everyone. Want to know the best spots to go in each part of the city? We’ll show you.


Moon New York City Walks lets you discover the city by foot and at your own pace, so you can relax and experience the local lifestyle without having to do a lot of preparation beforehand. Our walks take you past our favorite restaurants, cafés, museums, galleries, shops, and other notable attractions—places in our city we ourselves like to go to and that we really enjoy. So who knows, you might even run into us.

None of the places mentioned here have paid to appear in either the text or the photos, and all text has been written by an independent editorial staff.


The six walks in this book allow you to discover the funnest neighborhoods in the city by foot and at your own pace. The routes will take you past museums and notable attractions, but more importantly they’ll show you where to go for good food, drinks, shopping, entertainment, and an overall good time. Check out the map at the front of this book to see which areas of the city the walks will take you through.

Each route is clearly indicated on a detailed map at the beginning of the relevant chapter. The map also specifies where each place mentioned is located. The color of the number lets you know what type of venue it is (see the key at the bottom of this page). A description of each place is then given later in the chapter.

Without taking into consideration extended stops at any one location, each walk will take a maximum of three hours. The approximate distance is indicated at the top of the page, before the directions.


New Yorkers love eating out. Maybe this is because the average kitchen in a New York City apartment is incredibly small. Whatever the reason, there are nearly 20,000 restaurants to choose from.

Most New Yorkers eat dinner between 7pm and 9pm. Reservations often aren’t necessary, although at really popular restaurants you may have to wait awhile for a table. At more upscale restaurants, however, reservations are required for lunch as well as for dinner. When in doubt, call ahead to be sure.

When you get your bill, you’ll notice the sales tax has been added. In New York, there is an 8.875 percent tax on all restaurant meals. Since a tip of 15-20 percent is expected, a handy rule of thumb for those who don’t want to bother with the math is to simply double the sales tax to know how much to tip. Regardless of the quality of the service, always tip your servers and bartenders—they rely on tips as part of their income. Be aware that if you are with a group of five or more, a 20 percent gratuity is automatically added to the bill in many restaurants. Always read the fine print on the menu and, especially when you’re with a large group, check your bill closely before you pay to make sure you don’t tip twice.

Sales tax on clothes and shoes is 4.5 percent, and this generally is not included in the price tag. For other products, such as cosmetics and household items, the sales tax is 8.8 percent. For hotel rooms, tax is 14.75 percent.


Something’s always going on in New York. Notable events include:

Usually in February > Lunar New Year Parade

March 17 > St. Patrick’s Day Parade

Late June > Coney Island Mermaid Parade

Last weekend in June > NYC Pride March

Second Sunday in June > Puerto Rican Day Parade

October 31 > Village Halloween Parade

Early November > New York City Marathon

Fourth Thursday in November > Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

Late November-late December > Christmas at Rockefeller Center

December 31 > New Year’s Eve at Times Square


In addition to days that don’t fall on a specific date, such as Good Friday, the following are official holidays in the United States:

New Year’s Day > January 1

Martin Luther King Jr. Day > third Monday in January

President’s Day > third Monday in February

Memorial Day > last Monday in May

Independence Day > July 4

Labor Day > first Monday in September

Columbus Day > second Monday in October

Veterans Day > November 11

Thanksgiving > fourth Thursday in November

Christmas > December 25


We’ve put a lot of care into writing this guidebook. Yet shops and restaurants in New York come and go fairly regularly. We do our best to keep the walks and contact details as up to date as possible and to update the print edition as often as we can. However, if despite our best efforts there is a place that you can’t find, or if you have any other comments or tips about this book, then let us know. Email us at


The most direct way to get to and from the airport is by taxi. A trip from John F. Kennedy (JFK) Airport to Manhattan will take you between 40 minutes and one hour, depending on traffic, for a set rate of $52.50 (plus toll). Rides from JFK to other parts of the city will cost you between $38 and $65. If you’re coming in through Newark, New Jersey, you can also expect it to take 40 minutes to one hour to get into the city, and the taxi ride will cost you between $50 and $75 (plus toll). If you’re flying into LaGuardia in Queens, it will take you about 20-40 minutes to get into Manhattan and will cost you between $20 and $35. Don’t forget to factor in the tip—it is customary to tip taxi drivers 15-20 percent.

A less expensive alternative is to take a shuttle, such as New York Airport Service Express (, Olympia Airport Express (, or SuperShuttle ( Shuttles cost between $12 and $23 per person.

It’s also possible to get from the airport into the city using public transportation. Bus M60 from LaGuardia will take you into Manhattan. From Newark, the AirTrain will get you to Penn Station in Midtown in 45 minutes for $12. And from JFK, the AirTrain will bring you to the E train, which you can take into the city.

Once you are in the city, the fastest way to get around is by subway. Generally speaking, the subway is clean and safe, provided—of course—you don’t go around conspicuously flaunting all your valuables. To use the subway, you need a MetroCard. These are available in SingleRide tickets ($2.75), Pay-Per-Ride cards, or Unlimited Ride cards for specific durations of time. Pay-per-ride cards work with a balance (maximum $80), and you get bonus credit when you put $10 or more on your card. The Unlimited Ride cards come in two options: 7-day unlimited rides ($31) or 30-day unlimited rides ($116.50). During this period, you can use your card as much as you want but only once every 18 minutes and for one person at a time.

Subways stops are named—simply enough—after the street where they’re located. Some stations have convenient separate entrances for trains heading north (uptown) and those heading south (downtown). At every station, you’ll find a map of the subway and any special service notices. This is also all available at

There are also plenty of taxis in NYC. Just stick your hand out and one will soon stop for you. Taxis are available when the number on top is illuminated. When the words “off duty” are lit up, the driver isn’t picking up customers, and when no light is on, the taxi is occupied. When telling the driver where you want to go, it’s handy if you also know the cross streets (for example, 52nd Street, between 1st and 2nd avenues).

Taxis can carry a maximum of four passengers, and the average price for a 3-mile ride is $7-11, depending on the traffic and time of day. For such a journey, the tip should be about $1—for longer rides it should be 15-20 percent. You can pay for a cab in cash or with credit card. When you pay with card, the machine itself will suggest a tip for you. When you leave the cab, always ask for the receipt. It has the taxi number on it, which is convenient to have if there is a problem or if you accidentally leave something behind.


In recent years, bikes have become an increasingly popular way to explore New York City. Since the city continues to create new bike lanes, more and more New Yorkers have been hopping on the saddle. Traffic may be chaotic, but biking is a trend that’s here to stay. The most popular bike routes are through Central Park, over the Brooklyn Bridge, along the Brooklyn Esplanade, next to the Hudson River, and through the eastern part of Manhattan.

Citi Bike ( is NYC’s bike share program, which anyone can use. There are hundreds of stations around the city where you can borrow a bike. After you’re done, simply return it to any other station for the next person to use. Bikes are available for 30-minute increments, which can be extended to 60 minutes for an additional fee. You can also opt for a day pass ($10) or a one-week pass ($25). After paying, be sure to immediately put away your credit card before continuing with your transaction. For long journeys, it may be a better idea to rent a bike through a bike rental or bike shop, which will cost about $8-10 for two hours. If you choose to go this route, reserve your bike or tour online beforehand to guarantee you get a bike or spot on the tour—particularly during the summer. Reservations can be made online, for example, using the website

Need a break from the city that never sleeps? Then take a bike ride along the Hudson River. Start in the West Village at the Waterfront Bicycle Shop ( or book a tour through Rolling Orange Bike Tours (

New York City traffic can be particularly hectic. Bike lanes are usually on the left-hand side of the road and sometimes continue on the opposite side of the street. Not all drivers are accustomed to the significant increase in two-wheel traffic, so always remain alert and don’t forget to rent a helmet with your bike. The most important traffic rules to remember are that pedestrians have the right of way, riding on the sidewalk is not allowed, cyclists must ride in the same direction as traffic, and traffic lights and signs apply to bikes the same way they do to cars. Traffic rules are strictly enforced and the fines for breaking them are hefty.

For more information about cycling in New York City, visit


1   21 Club is an institution > here

2   Keep it simple at Burger Joint > here

3   Dine on soul food at Red Rooster Harlem > here

4   The Fat Radish has healthy fare in an old sausage factory > here

5   Eisenberg’s is an authentic sandwich shop > here

6   The East Pole has a sumptuous lunch > here

7   Tacombi is an upbeat taqueria > here

8   Savor delicious food and wine at Aria Wine Bar > here

9   Fette Sau is for meat lovers > here

10 Get amazing seafood at Mary’s Fish Camp > here


1   New Museum has conceptual art > here

2   Stroll by the New York Stock Exchange > 11 Wall St

3   The 9/11 Memorial Museum leaves an impression > here

4   Whitney Museum of American Art has diverse pieces > here

5   The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) is a must-see > here

6   Grand Central Terminal is a Beaux Art gem > here

7   Modern art is at the Guggenheim > here

8   See Warhol at Castle Fitzjohns Gallery > 98 Orchard St

9   Fashion enthusiasts enjoy the Museum of Arts and Design > here

10 Neue Galerie features German and Austrian art > here


1   Enjoy a shot at Double Dutch Espresso > here

2   Partners Coffee serves a delicious brew > here

3   Good and fair trade is the philosophy at Prodigy Coffee > here

4   Grab a cup on the go at Saturdays Surf > here

5   Hungarian Pastry Shop is a college haunt > here

6   Stumptown Coffee Roasters is at the Ace Hotel > 18 W 29th St

7   Little Collins has the best espresso > here

8   Sip in Bakeri’s backyard garden > here

9   Butterfield Market is an area favorite > here

10 Rabbithole Restaurant is perfection > here


1   Hear great bands at Arlene’s Grocery > here

2   Radegast Hall & Biergarten is authentic > here

3   The Press Lounge has a big rooftop bar > 653 11th Ave

4   Angel’s Share serves unique cocktails > 8 Stuyvesant St



On Sale
Apr 7, 2020
Page Count
152 pages
Moon Travel

Moon Travel Guides

About the Author

Since 1973, Moon has been guiding travelers to unique, authentic experiences in more than 200 destinations around the world. We believe in the power of travel to connect people and enrich their lives. Our authors are local experts who share our commitment to independent businesses, local culture, and ethical travel. Moon Travel Guides are published by Avalon Travel, an imprint of Perseus Books, a Hachette Book Group company, in Berkeley, California.

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