• Ellie

Three ways to do NYC well (without burning cash)

I’m going to cut to the chase here: New York is an expensive city. Yes, you might get cheap flights but no, you will not find a ‘cheap’ hotel that has an acceptable hygiene rating and AirBnB probably won’t help you out either - space is an ultra premium. Still, I bloomin' love New York City. Previously I’ve stayed in both Manhattan and Brooklyn and IMO Brooklyn has the edge when it comes to vibes (and skyline views) so I booked into a central Williamsburg hotel.


I’m not going to write a post about how little we spent over 5 days in NYC because frankly, it would be a fictional work of art. We spent a lot of money, the vast majority being on food and drinks, but we did also uncover some gems and explore some beautiful places which didn’t add a tonne to the bill so if you’re heading over the pond, take note.


1. Comedy at the Knitting Factory


Hands down one of the best evenings we had was the Sunday night stand up comedy at The Knitting Factory. A bar and music venue, we had no real idea what we were in for so turned up curious to see what the rave reviews were about. There are minimal seats so get there early - or be prepared to stand for the two to three hour set which comprises of a variety of comedians invited by the hosts. The night we went hosted five comedians, all of whom brought a different energy to the stage and got the entire audience laughing. The cost of the tickets? Free. You heard me - free tickets. Your only spend is the (not cheap) drinks so make sure to head down next time you’re in town.


2. Breakfast in Central Park


Luckily, we were blessed with the most glorious weather in the city (except the torrential final day) so this is very much a fair weather option but all being well, give it a go. Make the most of jet lag by getting up early and head over to the famous Levain Bakery on W 74th St to grab the fluffiest brioches. Then wander a couple of blocks over to Central Park where yes, there may be tourists to dodge - but by heading into the park early and avoiding the main entrance off Fifth Ave, you can bag a bench overlooking the lake to enjoy your delicious breakfast before exploring the hidden corners of the park (which imo are far better than the photo spots).


3. Eat Old School American at Pies ‘n’ Thighs


There are few things where we differ from our friends across the pond, but the popular combination of fried chicken and syrup is indeed one of those things. Some love it, some hate it - but if you’ve not given it a go, head to Pies ‘n’ Thighs in Williamsburg for a treat. If the sweet and savoury isn’t for you, you can opt for the fried chicken box with a side of mac ‘n’ cheese and fries...because you’re in America, right? Whilst the lists of chic NYC restaurants to head to can be endless, they can also rack up pretty hefty bills so if you’re looking for somewhere low key and tasty, give this place a go. You can always take a dessert to go because - in all honesty - you probably won’t manage to squeeze one into your sitting.


I'd love to know if you have any additional tips or tricks so please share away ready for my next trip!