At Secret NYC, we’re a team of passionate New Yorkers (spread out across Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens) who are constantly exploring what the city has to offer across the five boroughs. From checking out the newest openings to discovering under-the-radar spots and businesses, we’re on an endless journey to bring you the best insider tips, plans and inspiration in New York City. For a quick look, be sure to follow and share our list (only visible mobile) here.
We’re launching a new ongoing project and leaving our mark on every corner of the city! From restaurants to bars and exhibits to bookstores, we’re giving our Secret NYC stamp of approval on all of our favorite local businesses across NYC that you can support.
So on your next stroll out and about, be sure to keep your eyes peeled for bright yellow stickers decorating business window fronts. If you spot our Secret NYC stamp of approval, you’ll know it’s a must-visit destination. We’ve picked these places for a multitude of reasons: whether it be a spot near our apartment we return to time and time again (and wish we could keep secret!), or an iconic NYC joint that truly lives up to the hype.
We started out small by our office in SoHo and spots near home, but stay tuned as we add more to our list and expand to all NYC neighborhoods (and scroll to the bottom for an easy-to-see map of all the places)!
- Jerrell’s Betr Brgr, SoHo: our favs from their entirely vegan menu are the O.G. BETR BRGR (with bacon), loaded chili fries, and strawberry milkshake. 117 6th Ave
- Stella’s Caribbean, Park Slope: named after Jamaican-born Chef Duwaine Harris’s mom, Stella’s serves up delicious Jamaican dishes from jerk shrimp to codfish fritters. 5321 9th St, Brooklyn
- Alimama, Chinatown: a longtime favorite of Secret NYC, you can pick any item off Alimama‘s menu & end up delighted — we’re obsessed with the boba milk tea cream puff and onyx mochi donut. 89A Bayard St.
- Pizza Secret, Prospect Heights: if we’re looking to satiate our pizza craving (always) we head to this “secret” joint making true Neapolitan pies. We even created our own limited-time Secret NYC pie when we hit 1 million followers on IG. 72 5th Ave, Brooklyn
- Piccola Cucina Osteria Siciliana, SoHo: with a SoHo and Uptown location, this Italian spot offers seasonal ingredients sourced from local markets to bring diners the freshest dishes imaginable. 196 Spring St.
- Pastavino, Staten Island: with an incredible entirely house-made pasta program and to-die-for Roman-style Focaccias, you can never go wrong here. 44 Navy Pier Ct, Staten Island
- The Queensboro, Jackson Heights: this Jackson Heights fav offers a rustic refuge for diners looking to enjoy delicious comfort food. There’s also a community fridge right outside, providing food for the community free of charge. 80-02 Northern Blvd, Queens
- Despaña, SoHo: come for Spanish tapas and a glass of sangria! You can also shop their specialty grocery section to take some goodies home with you. 408 Broome St, New York
- Loreley, Lower East Side: restaurant & beer garden whose super-Instagramable decorations rotate every season (plus they have allll the hot winter cocktails you could want). 7 Rivington St., New York
- Sugar Wood, SoHo: the newest naughty bakery in NYC with “Woody” (penis-shaped) or “Kitty” (vagina-shaped) waffles, either naked, dripped or drizzled in a variety of sweet sauces. 157 Prince St., New York
- Court Street Grocers, SoHo: our video team’s go-to order is the Clean Turkey with roast white meat, arugula, mayo, white onion, and sweet pickles. 540 LaGuardia Pl.
- Pop-Up Bagels, Greenwich Village: yes, the hype is really worth it. 177 Thompson St., New York
- Malai, Carroll Gardens: cool off with ice cream flavors that highlight South Asian cuisine. 268 Smith St., Brooklyn
- Dog Day Afternoon, South Slope: the best place to get your hands on a true Chicago dog. 266 L, Prospect Park West, Brooklyn
- Jasmine’s Carribbean, Midtown: escape to the Caribbean without having to leave the city. 371 W 46th St, New York
- Yafa Cafe, Sunset Park: perfect for Yemeni pour-overs, this cafe is also down the street from the bodega that the owner’s family has run for years. 4415 4th Ave, Brooklyn
- Brown Butter Craft Bar & Kitchen, Bed Stuy: this Black-owned brunch spot offers up delicious biscuits, amazing drinks and a beautiful outdoor area. 413 Tompkins Ave, Brooklyn
- Citroën: a neighborhood bistro serving up all things French! 931 Manhattan Ave, Brooklyn
- Comfortland: for the most inventive, over-the-top sweets and bites. 4009 30th Ave., Queens
- Spes, East Village: we especially love the interactive spinner (an adult version of the Twister spinner) that helps you pick what wine(s) you’ll be having. 413 E 12th St.
- Heart of Gold, Astoria: whether you’re grabbing after-work drinks, testing your knowledge at trivia or laughing at a comedy show, you can’t go wrong. 37-14 31st Ave, Queens
- Flagship Brewing Company, Staten Island: opened in 2014 by childhood neighbors, Flagship prides itself on being the ultimate beer destination on SI. They now distribute beer across NY, but there’s nothing like a pint in person. 40 Minthorne St., Staten Island
- Good Judy, Park Slope: Good Judy has been serving up a gay old time in South Brooklyn since 2020, simultaneously nailing a complex craft cocktail menu plus piano karaoke, Drag Race screenings & summer block parties. 563 5th Ave, Brooklyn
- Lips Cafe, Flatbush: their Ginger Pineapple is a must-try and was actually inspired by our very own Secret NYC Editor! 1412 Nostrand Ave., Brooklyn
- The Monkey Cup, Harlem: owned by an immigrant couple from Venezuela, this coffee shop has tons of books to peruse as you sip on their aromatic teas. 1965 Adam Clayton Powell Jr Blvd, New York
- Spirited Away Bottle Shop, SoHo: for all your mocktail necessities. 177 Mott Street, New York
- Lockwood, Jackson Heights: for impeccably curated home goods and NYC-specific items, many locally made. Various Locations (see map)
- Sweet Pickle Books, LES: pickles and books? That’s right! This quirky little spot on Orchard is a cozy bookstore that offers jarred pickles in exchange for used books. (P.S. we really like the spicy ones). 47 Orchard St.
- Beauty Strike, Clinton Hill: your one-stop shop for vegan and cruelty free skincare, along with a variety of nourishing skin and body treatments. 73 Washington Ave, Brooklyn
- Raffetto’s, Greenwich Village: passed down through four generations, this iconic NYC pasta shop in the Village still uses the same guillotine machine to cut homemade noodles that was used then (cash only)! 144 W Houston St.
- By Liv Handmade, Williamsburg: watch Liv herself sew in the front of the shop while you peruse her sustainable inventory of breathtaking dresses and garments. 293 Manhattan Ave, Brooklyn
- Leroy’s Place, Park Slope: this fantasy land comes alive with interactive installations and “pun-filled gifts.” 353 7th Ave, Brooklyn
- Nose Best, Bushwick: check the bottom of each candle because there’s a QR code that has a corresponding Spotify playlist and cocktail recipe to every scent! 96 Knickerbocker Ave Suite 111, Brooklyn
- Fferins Candy Store: Shop the best assortment of treats and goodies from the UK. 438 7th Ave, Brooklyn
- Abracadabra: The ultimate one-stop-shop for all things magic, masks and costumes. 19 W 21st St.
- Universal Museum of Hip Hop Pop-Up, The Bronx: this limited-time exhibit offers a taste of the highly-anticipated Universal Museum of Hip Hop while it’s still under construction. Our favorite part was the 15-foot x 8-foot tall BoomBox & virtual graffiti! 610 Exterior Street, Bronx
- Baby Grand, Union Square: if you’re looking to sing your hard out, whether that be in front of an audience of complete strangers or in a private room with your closest friends, you absolutely can’t go wrong with a night at Baby Grand. Plus, you can memorialize your night with some adorable pics in their photo booth. 29 W 17th St, New York
- Nuyorican Poets Cafe: head to the historical Poets Cafe to watch live performance art like spoken word slams and comedy. 236 E 3rd St, New York
- Nan Xiang Xiao Long Bao, Flushing & K-Town: Nan Xiang is known for its rainbow “Lucky Six Soup Dumplings,” and has been chosen as Michelin-recommended Shanghainese food for nine consecutive years. Various Locations (see map)
- BLVD Bistro, Harlem: this soul food restaurant never fails to comfort us with its seven-cheese macaroni, jumbo shrimp & grits and fried chicken sliders on biscuits. Plus, brunch is served all day, every day—a NYer’s dream! 2149 Frederick Douglass Blvd.
- Lloyd’s Carrot Cake, The Bronx: for three decades this family-run bakery has been supplying the Bronx & East Harlem with the most delicious cakes for special occasions or everyday cravings. Its namesake dessert comes from Lloyd’s mother’s original recipe. 6087 Broadway, The Bronx
- Liberty Bagels, 260 W 35th St.: voted the #1 bagel in the city out of more than 200 tried & tested spots, Liberty Bagels is no joke with mountains of cream cheese, freshly rolled bagels & three different NYC locations. Various Locations (see map)
Stay tuned as we continue to add to this map viewable via desktop and our google list to be viewed on your mobile phone and feel free to reach out to us with any of your suggestions through Instagram.