It’s summer, which means that interns will be traveling from far and wide to come take a bite out of the Big Apple.
New York City can be pretty overwhelming for newcomers.
Since it’s a super expensive city, it can also be tricky to find fun events and great eats without spending your whole paycheck.
To help you make the most of your summer in the city, Business Insider has put together a list of some of the best places to eat, drink, and hang out in New York this summer. We spoke with employees and interns at Business Insider’s New York headquarters, as well as friends who live in the city, including those who have worked and interned at high-profile companies like New York magazine — and asked them for their must-see, must-eat, must-do recommendations during a summer internship in New York.
Here they are.
On the map below, there are four different icons representing:
- lunch spots and cafés (burger and drink)
- restaurants (fork and knife)
- bars (mugs)
- activities (stars)
Zoom in to see more suggestions, and click on the icons for a link and brief description.
Here are a few highlights from the map, with commentary from our local experts:
Lunch spots and cafés:
- Shake Shack — There will be a line, but there’s also plenty of outdoor seating in the park. Plus, these burgers and shakes are worth the wait and come at a reasonable price.
- Cheese Grille — Cheese lovers, make sure to add this grilled cheese mecca to your list.
- Nam Nam — You’ll find everything from noodles to bubble tea at this Vietnamese gem.
- Joe’s Pizza — Joe’s might be popular with the tourists, but it’s still worth heading over and grabbing a true New York-style slice.
- The Nugget Spot — Stop by for a friendly staff and a diverse range of chicken nuggets and special sauces, and it’s open late on weekends.
- Murray’s Bagels — Swing by and pick up some of the best bagels in the city.
- Prince St. Pizza — Grab a delicious grandma pepperoni slice at this affordable pizzeria.
- Vanessa’s Dumplings — The perfect place to grab some cheap and tasty dumplings, soups, and steamed buns.
Brunch and dinner:
- Veselka — This Ukrainian joint is always open, always delicious, and features some standout brunch specials.
- Hometown Bar-B-Que — This place serves up some seriously amazing BBQ. If you’re worried about getting here, take a free water taxi from Pier 11 on Wall Street and enjoy the downtown skyline en route.
- Sal & Carmine Pizza — Don’t miss out on one of the best slices in the city.
- Deluxe Green Bo — Enjoy the soup dumplings at this hidden gem.
- Artichoke Basille’s Pizza — Pick up one of their delicious signature artichoke slices.
- Salvation Taco — A great spot to grab some scrumptious tacos after work.
- Cafe d’Alsace — Chow on hearty French and German at a reasonable price.
- McSorely’s Old Ale House — This bar has been open since 1854 — it even features a chair that Abe Lincoln himself sat in. Stop by, grab some ale, and take a gander at the walls, which are plastered in old newspapers and bar artifacts. Just remember to bring cash; they don’t take card.
- The Frying Pan — Enjoy the view and dig into fish tacos at this dockside restaurant and bar.
- Please Don’t Tell — Sneak through an entrance disguised as a phone booth to gain access to this speakeasy-style joint.
Things to do:
- Central Park — Central Park is a tourist hub, but it’s still a great place to escape the urban crush of the city. Check out some of the sites and go for a stroll.
- Mini Golf at Pier 25 — Hit the pier and put a full round of mini-golf for only $6.
- Citi Field — Join in on America’s favorite past time and catch a ballgame. It’s fun, and Mets tickets are dirt cheap at the moment.
- The Highline — This elevated-railroad-turned-park is a must-see spot. It gets crowded at times, but it’s worth the views.
- The New York Aquarium — Dive into summer at this aquatic attraction, which doesn’t have a set fee after 4 p.m. on Fridays.
- The Cloisters — Did you know there was actual castle in New York City? Don’t miss out on seeing The Cloisters. It looks like something right out of a fairy tale.
- The Brooklyn Bridge — Take a stroll across New York’s iconic nineteenth century bridge.
- Last Week Tonight With John Oliver — It’s free to attend a taping — but there are only so many spots! Just make sure to act fast if you want to snag a ticket.
- The Hills — Need to escape the city? Stop by Governors Island, which has plenty of hammocks and zero cars.
- The Museum of the Moving Image — This underrated NYC museum has a must-see special sci-fi movie exhibit this summer.
- Bryant Park — Pack a picnic and catch a free flick here every Monday night in the summer. Just make sure to grab your friends and get there early, to snag a spot.
- Downtown Boathouse — Make a splash this summer and kayak for free at the Downtown Boathouse.
Transportation and general tips:
- If you’re new to New York, get used to the subway. GoogleMaps and CityMapper are your friends.
- That being said, walk when you can. It’s good exercise, New York City is a super walkable metropolis, and getting stuck in a sweaty subway car is terrible. Plus, it’ll allow you to explore the city.
- Always leave some wiggle room in your commute — especially during this “summer of hell.” Download MTA’s Transit app to get alerts about delays.
- Hand sanitizer is a must, especially if you use the subway.
- If you ever lose your 30-day unlimited Metrocard, you can call the MTA and get a new card with around $4 back for each day left on the card.
- The Roosevelt Island Tram, the East River Ferry, and the New York City Water Taxi are all fun ways to get around, and offer some great views.
- ZipCar is pretty affordable if you need a vehicle in a pinch.
- Save Uber, Lyft, and Via, a car service that operates between Manhattan and Brooklyn, for your last resort — and make sure to compare their prices before committing to a trip.
- Invest in a good pair of walking shoes for your commute — and a bag to keep your nice kicks in.
- It’s safer to make reservations for dinners and brunches beforehand.
- It’s summer, but your office might be freezing. Bring sweater to work.
- Food apps like LevelUp, CUPS, LPQ, Starbucks, Argo Tea, OpenTable, and Yelp are immensely helpful in a city with so many dining options. Google Express and Jet.com can come in handy for groceries.
- If you need anything else, go to Duane Reade. They’ve got everything, and there’s probably one right around the corner.
- Stay in-the-know about fun happenings or locations by following INSIDER, The Skint, Time Out New York, and Meetup.
Have you interned in New York City? Would you like to talk about your experience or recommend must-dos? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.