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Local New York Influencer Recommendations: Favorite Neighborhood Spots

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Every traveler knows that to avoid the tourist traps, you ask a local for recommendations. They have the inside scoop because they’ve had time to explore the ins and outs of their own city and have gathered knowledge from their friends and family. Local recommendations will give you a better experience – and as an added bonus, they’ll also be more likely to steer you into supporting locally-owned businesses as well. Below, a round-up of our favorite spots in the city brought to you by local influencers.

West Village, Manhattan

Ming D. Liu is the Chief Content Officer for Earthling Magazine (@earthlingmag), an online publication focused on using mindfulness as a tool for sustainability. In addition to her work at Earthling, she is also a poet (@travelingstoryteller) and runs a start-up integrated PR agency that celebrates diverse and inclusive brands (@theculturalpassport). Here are her favorite spots:

“This vegan restaurant’s unique take on Asian and Southern cuisine is perfect for both lunch and dinner. I love coming in and trying something new each time since they offer so many menu options. Don’t forget to try their cookies and cream ice cream – it’s super creamy and will have you wanting more!”

“In one of the busiest neighborhoods of NYC, you’ll find a quiet and serene tea parlor of over 100 hand-sourced and blended fine loose leaf teas. They also have delicious macarons and food (often organic). Bosie Tea Parlor is one of my go-to places for ‘me’ time, to read a book, do work, or just to catch up with a friend.”

Bushwick, Brooklyn

Sabrina Katz (@sustainablesabs) from Sustainable Sabs is a zero-waste, vegan blogger living in Brooklyn. Here are her favorite neighborhood spots:

“This adorable cafe is 100% vegan and provides all reusables when you dine in, so no unnecessary waste! I love coming in on a Sunday morning with my laptop to do some blogging or reading.”

“This is the co-op I go to for all my favorite bulk goods like pasta, beans, rice, and oats, as well as more specialty items like dates and flours, spices and teas. They also encourage you to bring your own containers which I love!”

Lower East Side/East Village, Manhattan

Lola Mendez (@missfilatelista), the founder of Miss Filatelista, is a travel journalist exploring the hidden corners of our world. Before she embarked on her journey, Lola was a publicist living in the city with 7 years of experience as a New Yorker.

“My favorite thing to do after a hectic day at work was strolling into one of the many community gardens in the Lower East Side. Many of them have quirky elements like street art, unique installations, and community-based organizations or meetups like farmer’s markets or gardening days. The Sixth Street and Avenue B Community Garden is the lushest and most picturesque and the Liz Christy Community Garden on Houston and Bowery is a great spot for scoping out street art – it’s also the oldest community garden in the area. Grab a coffee from Mud before strolling around the area and see what other gardens you can stumble across.”

Long Island City, Queens

Ashley Copperstone and Brian Geraghty are the founders and social media managers for Queens Eats (@queenseats), an Instagram page chronicling the best food Queens has to offer from trending hotspots to off-the-beaten-path gems.

“Everyone who eats there is from different backgrounds, different types of families but they are also there to do the same thing: grab their own fish from their wholesale area, watching spontaneous Greek dancing from the family that owns it, and, honestly, drink a lot as it’s BYOB.”

Flushing, Queens

Another from the folks at Queens Eats:

“Their soup dumplings are absolutely amazing! There’s always a line on the weekends even though it’s not subway adjacent and that’s for a good reason. They also have Nutella banana dessert soup dumplings! It’s an experience!”