20 of the Best Hidden Gems in New York


New York is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, with iconic sights such as the Statue of Liberty and Empire State Building, great shopping opportunities and some of the best restaurants in the world.

This being said though, there are still some corners which haven’t been fully discovered and turned into tourist traps just yet and if you’ve just booked cheap flights to New York with ourselves, read on.

Here are 20 of our favourite New York hidden gems to discover for yourself.

Museums

Mmuseumm

4 Cortlandt Alley

Located in an old freight elevator, Mmuseumm must be one of the smallest museums in the world, and only holds three visitors at a time!

The space features both temporary and permanent exhibitions, featuring items which have been ‘overlooked, dismissed or ignored’.

The Explorers Club Headquarters

46 East 70th Street

The Explorers Club was founded in 1904 by seven leading polar explorers of the day, with the aim of fostering the exploration of land, sea, air and space.

Nowadays you can visit their ornate headquarters and view a century’s worth of artefacts and taxidermic animals including Percy the polar bear, and the famous ‘yeti scalp’.

MoMath

11 East 26th Street

MoMath (the National Museum of Mathematics) is a unique playground for young and old, celebrating all things maths (or math, as it’s called stateside!).

While it might not seem like the most exciting topic, MoMath is a sensory experience which the whole family will enjoy, and you might even learn a thing or two!

Museum of Sex

233 5th Avenue

While it’s something of a European phenomenon, New York is home to America’s only sex museum, featuring over 15,000 artefacts celebrating all things to do with sex!

You know it’s not your everyday museum when you have to be over 18 to get into the gift shop!

The Museum of the American Gangster

78 St. Mark’s Place

This old movie theatre was once a clandestine speakeasy, run by the gangster Walter Sheib, and now stands as a museum celebrating the city’s shady underworld.

Houdini Museum

3rd Floor
421 7th Avenue

Hidden inside an otherwise unassuming Midtown building is a small, one-room museum which is dedicated to Harry Houdini, the world’s greatest ever escape artist.

Housed inside the Fantasma Magic Shop, the museum is home to hundreds of items which tell the story of Houdini, including many of the handcuffs and straitjackets used in his acts.

Shops

Evolution Nature Store

687 Broadway

The city’s SoHo district is full of quirky shops and restaurants, but Evolution really stands out.

This wood panelled store is filled with all kinds of natural history collectibles, including framed butterflies and insects, fossils, seashells, tribal art and even an articulated giant sloth skeleton lines the walls and shelves of this unique shopping experience.

Tannen’s Magic

45 West 34th Street

Tannen’s is New York’s oldest magic shop, and features such items as invisible paint, multiplying billiard balls, rabbit producing hats and more!

The store has been operating since way back in 1925 and has served some of the best in the business. They also offer classes if you fancy trying your hand at some tricks for yourself.

Brazenhead Books

228 Atlantic Avenue

Brazenhead is not your average bookshop, and is actually located inside the apartment of its owner, Michael Seidenberg.

Of course, you can’t just rock up whenever you want, so you’ll have to make an appointment, making the store a kind of speakeasy for books!

Restaurants/Bars

The Original Chinatown Ice Cream Factory

65 Bayard Street

The story goes that ice cream was invented by the Chinese thousands of years ago, and whether it’s true or not, the Seid family have definitely perfected it at one of Chinatown’s oldest businesses.

The shop has an ever-increasing range of unique flavours, including wasabi, black sesame and peanut butter and jelly!

Dinnertable

206 Avenue A

New York is home to many hidden eateries, one of which is the exclusive Dinnertable, which is hidden behind an unmarked door within the Garret East bar.

This ‘reverse speakeasy’ only has room for around 20 diners at once, so it’s tough to get in, but if you do, you’ll be treated to a menu featuring some excellent seafood options.

Luksus

615 Manhattan Avenue

Over in Brooklyn, you’ll find this high-end Danish restaurant, located in the back of the Greenpoint beer bar, Tørst.

With only 26 seats, each set at $125 per head, you might struggle to get in, but it’s worth it once you do!

Trinity Place Bar & Restaurant

115 Broadway

The Trinity Place Bar & Restaurant is unique in that it is located in a real bank vault from the turn of the century, located in the heart of the financial district.

The dusty old vault was transformed into a swanky bar, and now is one of the hippest and least well-known places to enjoy a drink.

Goldbar

389 Broome Street

For a high-end bar with a slightly morbid vibe, head to Goldbar, where the whole place is decked out in gold.

But this isn’t what’ll catch your eyes the most. Instead, you’ll be drawn to the wall which is adorned with rows and rows of gold-painted skulls!

Ellen’s Stardust Diner

1650 Broadway

For a diner that’s a bit different, head to Ellen’s on Broadway and 51st, just off Times Square.

What is it that make’s Ellen’s so special? Well, all of the staff sing! The diner is actually usually a stepping stone for aspiring Broadway actors and actresses, so you could be in the presence of the stars of tomorrow!

Other Attractions

The High Line

This elevated railway on the West Side had been abandoned and left to be taken over by nature.

Now it has been transformed into an elevated public park, complete with benches and bushes, which winds its way through the Manhattan buildings.

SeaGlass Carousel

The Battery Conservancy
State Street

At the Battery, on the southern tip of Manhattan, you’ll find this beautiful glass carousel, which is a big hit with visitors of all ages!

The Garden of Stones

Museum of Jewish Heritage
36 Battery Place

Part of the Museum of Jewish Heritage, the Garden of Stones is a unique living garden which is constantly changing over time.

The garden features plants which were planted in stones by Holocaust survivors and their families.

Over time, the plants will grow to break apart the rocks, ensuring that the landscape of the garden is always changing.

The Woolworth Building

233 Broadway

Once the tallest building in the world, the Woolworth Building was closed off to the public for many years, but you can now take tours of its gorgeous vintage lobby.

It’s a building bursting with history and a nice alternative to the more popular landmarks such as the Empire State Building.

New York Federal Gold Vault

44 Maiden Lane

Once you get through the pretty rigorous security measures, you’ll find yourself 80 feet under New York, surrounded by the largest stockpile of gold in the world.

In total, there’s around 7,000 tonnes of gold at the Federal Reserve, which is about 5% of all the gold ever mined in human history, with an estimated worth of around four hundred billion dollars.