Heading to NYC for July 4th? #Author Monica DiNatale Has Tips on Eating & Exploring! #guestblogger

I know a lot of people here on the west coast, love to head east and spend some time in NYC and the Hamptons or other locales of equal interest. The city is less crowded and easier to navigate. It’s also more like getting the best of both worlds being out on Long Island as well as in the city proper. For those who love the city but wonder what can be done on a holiday weekend like Fourth of July besides watch fireworks, we have a special guest expert, Monica DiNatale, author and NYC expert to give us hot tips on things to do and where to eat when in NYC. Bonus– it’s not just “any place” to eat but places worth finding because either it’s a great place to visit or see or it’s great food!

Things to Do and Eat in New York City July 4th Weekend

I eat out eight days a week. The food in New York City is so tasty and so varied that I just can’t seem to stay home. Holiday weekends are a great time to visit because many New Yorkers leave for the beach making room for the rest of us. My passion for dining out and saving money led me to write 365 Guide New York City. It includes 365 restaurant deals and bar specials in Manhattan plus my favorite insider advice. I want everyone to enjoy the New York City experience. If you’re visiting July 4th, give these places a whirl.

>North River Lobster Company

North River is one of my favorite places to enjoy an outstanding raw bar and a cruise on the Hudson River. The floating restaurant goes out for free forty five minute cruises six times a day on weekends and four times Monday through Thursday. At $33, the lobster dinner served with potatoes and a vegetable is outstanding. Try “The Acadia” which includes six shrimp, twelve oysters, six littlenecks and six Jonah Crab Claws for $69 if you want to snack and share. The raw bar is top notch and the staff is super friendly. It’s a great way to get out on the water. (Pier 81 at West 41st Street)

Pier I Cafe
Wrought iron tables and colorful umbrellas make this open-air restaurant along the Hudson River a gem, especially as the sun goes down. Pier I offers an impressive array of appetizers, salads, sandwiches and entrees including grilled fish and skirt steak. The burgers and Cajun fries ($12) alone are worth the visit. Try the red or white sangria by the glass or pitcher, or a craft beer from the full bar. They are kid and dog friendly. Located in Riverside Park, plan on taking a long walk or bike ride and then have lunch or dinner at Pier I. (500 West 70th Street and Riverside Park South)

Death Ave


The outdoor courtyard at Death Ave is 2,000 square feet and has a retractable roof for bad weather. It’s right off The High Line Park so plan to make this stop after a lovely walk through the elevated gardens. The menu is Greek and the feta burger with fries ($17) is enormous and deliciously stacked with feta and greens. From 4-6:30 p.m. through the week, enjoy $5 beers including cask selections, $7 wines and $9 cocktails like fig juleps or jalapeno margaritas. On Monday nights make a reservation for “movie night.” With the purchase of a wine bottle, cheese plate and Mediterranean spreads appetizers, you’ll enjoy classic films like “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolf” on July 6th. (315 Tenth Avenue)

A visit to Chinatown is full of fun culinary activities. On the outskirts of Chinatown lives the tiny cash-only gem Shanghai Cuisine. The soup dumplings are perfectly juicy and full of soup. Beware not to burn your tongue. The pork is my favorite ($5 for 6) with a close second for the shrimp and pork dumplings ($6.25). If you’re a veggie fan try the steamed vegetable dumpling for $6.25. I usually get the chow fun noodles with chicken ($8.95) to compliment the dumplings. (89 Bayard Street)

Chinatown Ice Cream Factory
I am an ice cream addict. After satisfying your dumpling craving, you will soon come across a line of people in front of the Chinatown Ice Cream Factory. It is absolutely worth the wait. Chinatown offers both regular flavors like coffee and vanilla for the die-hards but the real stars are the exotic creations. Stretch your taste buds with flavors of black sesame, red bean and lychee. They are positively outstanding and silky smooth. One scoop is $3.75 and two scoops $5.75. (65 Bayard Street)


Monica DiNatale is a Deals Expert and Author of “365 Guide New York City,” the only guide book full of restaurant deals and bar specials in NYC. Monica has been featured as the Dining Expert for “PIX 11”and “Good Day New York.” “365 Guide New York City” is available on Amazon in paperback and e-book.

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