If it’s your first time visiting New York City, you can be forgiven for being a little bit intimidated. Hopefully you already to know to stay as far away from Times Square and its creepy Elmos as possible, and that neighborhoods like the East Village and the Lower East Side aren’t crime-ridden anymore (and are, in fact, the areas you should be visiting). But for some reason, there’s one sin that lots of tourists seem to commit, and it’s one that you should challenge yourself to avoid: Instead of dining at one or more of the city’s amazing restaurants, they eat at the New York locations of the same middling chain restaurants they visit back home.
Yes, I understand that chain restaurants are safe, reasonably priced, familiar, comfortable, and don’t require much thought. But do you know what happens to the vast majority of people who step outside of their comfort zone? They’re rewarded.
So do a little bit of research online about restaurants in the neighborhood where you’re staying, get recommendations from friends and relatives who’ve been there before, talk to the concierge at your hotel, find a seafood restaurant or Italian spot if you’re looking for something that will remind you of Red Lobster or Olive Garden, whatever it takes… just promise yourself that no matter what, you won’t visit a chain restaurant during your trip. New York is arguably the best town for eating in the entire world; don’t miss the opportunity to make the most of your visit, and don’t be afraid of something just because it’s slightly unfamiliar.