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A Local Vegan's Guide to New York City

Hello everyone! For those of you who are new here, hi my name is Arielle and I moved from upstate New York to Queens in February 2023, so I've been living here for a little over a year now. I decided to put together this guide to help you out on your next trip to New York City with some of my favorite tips! I like to call myself a "bougie on a budget" traveler, who typically travels solo and is always in search of the best vegan versions of local cuisines. So hopefully some of my recommendations will be helpful in making your trip one to remember. I will do my best to update this guide with new information as I can. Please enjoy!


Disclaimer: This blog post contains affiliate links. This means that if you purchase a product or service through one of these links, I will earn a small commission.


Activities

Let's start with what there is to do here in NYC! It's a huge city with endless things to do, so there really is something for everyone.


Visit a Park

While NYC's most famous park is obviously Central Park, there are actually so many other amazing parks with tons of free art to view and activities to join! During the warmer months, there are even free movie nights at some of the parks.


Explore a Museum

New York City has some of the most famous museums in the entire world. From The Met and the MoMA to the Museum of Natural History and Museum of Ice Cream, there is something that will interest just about everyone. There are also lots of interactive museums, if that's your thing, such as Mercer Labs and Color Factory. Keep in mind that many museums and galleries offer free or discounted entry, especially for students.


Hop on a Ferry

If you're visiting NYC, you'd likely love to see the Statue of Liberty and admire the city's iconic skyline. While you can book a tour, they are often pricey and crowded. For a more affordable and local experience, I recommend taking a ride on one of the many ferries. The Staten Island Ferry is free and goes right past the Statue of Liberty. There is also the NYC Ferry, which has several routes to different parts of the boroughs and costs $4.00 per one-way ticket.


View of the skyline from the NYC Ferry


Check out the Nightlife

New York has a fabulous nightlife scene, with many different options. There are plenty of concerts and other nightlife venues across the city. In my personal opinion, the best parties are to be found in Brooklyn. If warehouse raves and late-night DJ sets are your vibe, you're going to want to head over the Brooklyn for sure. A venue I checked out recently and would love to go back to is called "Superior Ingredients", which is located in Williamsburg and has a rooftop party area. I'm not typically a bar person, but one lounge that I've been to and loved was the Dear Irving location on Hudson. It's located on the 40th and 41st floors and has amazing views and balconies that are perfect for that iconic "city girl" photo. If you're visiting in the summer, be sure to look out for the various boat parties as well.



Me on one of the balconies at Dear Irving on Hudson


Enjoy Nature

Nature? Yes nature, here in NYC! So the obvious is going to a park, but did you know that NYC has beaches as well? Coney Island is in Brooklyn and has the iconic amusement park, but the beach is usually dirty and overcrowded in my opinion. A better option would be Rockaway Beach in Queens. It has become more popular over the past few years, but I still think it's cleaner and less crowded than Coney, especially if you go on a weekday. Rockaway also has some great food options, one of my favorites being Island Beach Bites/Edible Island at Beach 97th. And if you're willing to go a little more out of your way, you can either venture up to Westchester County to enjoy some hiking or out to Long Island to check out their many beaches.


Eats

NYC has just about every type of cuisine you could possibly think of. And if you think you'll be too limited as a vegan, think again. Pizza is obviously an NYC staple, my favorite vegan pizza spot is Screamer's Pizzeria in Crown Heights. If you're craving burgers and fries, my favorite spots are Neat Burger and Jerrell's BETR BRGR. There are so many other great vegan spots around the city as well, check out my list on Trecco or my "NYC Restaurants" Instagram highlight for my personal favorites!


Co-Working

For my remote workers and digital nomads, it's important to know where all the good places to work from are. If you aren't new here, you likely already know that my favorite spot to co-work lately has been Le Petit Monstre in Brooklyn. They have free wifi and plenty of delicious vegan pastries and drinks (including matcha) to enjoy. Another spot I tried out recently and liked was Devocion in Williamsburg, although they have several other locations too. You can use their wifi if you make a purchase, and they do not have matcha but their coffee is quite good. I've also seen people co-working at the 1 Hotel in Brooklyn, which has a gorgeous lobby space with free wifi, but I have yet to try working from here myself.


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Stays

Where you decide to stay is going to depend on several factors, usually the most important to me is the location. The eco-conscious 1 Hotel chain has two locations in NYC, one by Central Park and the other near the Brooklyn Bridge. A couple of years ago I stayed at the Millennium Hilton, which is right next to the UN building and overlooks the East River and I loved it. I haven't stayed at this one, but I did once visit a friend at the YOTEL location in Times Square, who said she was able to find a pretty good last minute deal. And if you're dying to get that iconic bed overlooking the city view, you're going to want to book a night at Arlo NoMad. If you're on a tighter budget, there are some hostels around NYC, but I haven't personally been to or stayed at any of them.


Building facade of 1 Hotel Central Park from 1hotels.com


Getting Around

NYC has one of, if not the best, public transportation system in the country. It's also one of the best ways to save money during your trip, as the taxis or ride-shares can add up quickly. Download the MTA app for more public transit information and offline maps. Keep in mind that transit options may run more infrequently on weekends.


If you do prefer getting around by car, I recommend downloading the app Revel. I like them because they only use electric cars and all of the cars are a bright blue color, making it super easy to spot them and eliminate the chances of you accidentally getting into the wrong car. Remember to use my code "ARIELC2956" to get 50% off your first Revel ride and 25% off the following three rides you take!



I hope this recommendations are helpful to you whether you're visiting New York City for the first time or simply looking for some new ideas of things to do here. As always, feel free to reach out to me over on my Instagram with any further questions or comments!

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