Wednesday, November 11, 2015

How to eat well, live well, and drink well on
a budget-friendly weekend in the Big Apple.
Who says you need to blow your budget on a trip to New
York City? Sure, there are plenty of luxury hotels and splurge-worthy
restaurants, but the city that never sleeps also provides plenty of free
things to do, and affordable drinking and dining for budget-conscious
travelers.
Saturday: Getting Immersed in New York's Culture For breakfast, it
doesn't get much more classic than a bagel and a cup o' joe.
It's easy
to find the combo at corner cafes and delis all over the city, but for the
best, grab a ticket at Russ & Daughters, a Lower East Side institution
since 1914, where a bagel and a schmear will only cost you $2.75.
Or stop by
Black Seed for Montreal-style wood-fired bagels and Stumptown coffee.
Though
their signature sandwiches (baked eggs, cheddar, and bacon, for example) range
from $6 to $12, you can get a simple bagel with cream cheese for $3.
Add a
small coffee for $3.27 and you've only spent $6 and change for a filling
breakfast.
While museums can be expensive to visit—we're looking at you,
MoMa—there are plenty of other ways to soak in New York's artistic
legacy.
You'll find the largest concentration of galleries in Chelsea (all
free and open to the public).
The major ones to hit up include Gagosian and
David Zwirner for blockbuster shows by artists like Jeff Koons and Yayoi
Kusama; Pace and Milk for cutting-edge contemporary art.
The High Line also
has temporary art installations that rotate regularly, and you can spot cool
street art murals nearby.
After all that, you'll likely be ready for a drink.
At Ten Bells, a
laid-back wine bar with a focus on biodynamic and sustainable wines, you can
get dollar oysters and split a $15 carafe of wine with a friend during happy
hour until 7 p.m.
New York has no shortage of dive bars where you can get
cheap drinks all the time.
The Ear Inn is a no-frills historic mariners' bar
where you can choose from 13 beers on tap for $7, plus fried dumplings (6 for
$8), chicken potpie ($13.50), and burgers ($11 to 16).
And though it's
shockingly common to find cocktails priced at $12 to $16 around town, at the
hip bar Mr.
Fong's in Chinatown, you can imbibe unfussy but creative
cocktails for $9 all night long.
Still hungry? Soak up the booze with a delicious, greasy slice at one of New
York's old school pizzerias.
There are family-owned spots all over the city
where you can grab a satisfyingly cheesy slice for a couple of bucks.
Sunday: Exploring the Parks This so-called concrete jungle actually has
more than 1,700 parks, playgrounds, and recreational facilities and, needless
to say, it doesn't cost a dime to visit them.
Beyond Central Park, local
favorites include Washington Square Park in Greenwich Village, Tompkins Square
Park in the East Village, Riverside Park on the Upper West Side, and Prospect
Park and Brooklyn Bridge Park in Brooklyn.
On weekends, the city's parks
become especially animated with street performers, locals walking their dogs,
and people canoeing on the lake, playing basketball, or shopping at the
greenmarkets.
Grabbing lunch at a food hall is a great way to taste dishes by some of the
city's best chefs at a fraction of the price you'd pay for a sit-down meal
at their restaurants.
Inside Gotham West Market, you'll find perennially
popular ramen by Ivan Orkin ($13), burgers by Michelin-starred chef Brad
Farmerie at Gotham Roadside ($8.04), and tapas by Seamus Mullen at El Colmado
($5 to $17).
Go to the new Urbanspace Vanderbilt behind Grand Central for
local favorites like Roberta's Pizza ($6 to $12 for small pizzas) and sweet
treats by Ovenly ($2.75 to $7).
Chelsea Market and Gansevoort Market provide
plenty of dining options, too.
In the Financial District, Brookfield Place has
French food hall Le District and Hudson Eats.
Since Sundays were made for day drinking, why not take a tour of one of the
city's breweries or distilleries? Brooklyn Brewery in Williamsburg offers
free tours on the weekends, and $5 brews in the tasting room.
Nearby, the New
York Distilling Company gives free tours and tastings of their excellent gins
and rye whiskeys from 2 p.m.
to 5 p.m.
on weekends.
Laura Itzkowitz is a contributing digital editor at Travel + Leisure.
You
can follow her on Twitter and Instagram at @lauraitzkowitz.
Who says you need to blow your budget on a trip to New York
City? Here are tips on free things to do and affordable drinking and dining
options for a fun and cheap weekend in NYC.

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