Where we investigate in NYC
Chelsea Lodge (moderate)
This quaint townhouse, with its great location and even better room rates, has hordes of loyal fans.
Hotel Mela (very expensive)
New York City's first new hotel of 2007, the Mela (which means "apple" in Italian) is also the first new lodging in its Midtown Manhattan neighborhood (just off Times Square) in over 20 years.
Burger Joint (inexpensive)
Is this greasy spoon - situated, strangely enough, inside the posh Le Parker Meridien hotel - the home of the Big Apple's best burger? Many say so, and after biting into one of their juicy beef belt-busters and digging into an order of shoestring fries served in a paper bag, we'd have to agree.
Carmine's (moderate to expensive)
The eats are served family-style at this cozy Italian spot (don't miss the broiled porterhouse), which is appropriate since everyone here, from the bartenders to the busboys, makes you feel like one of their own.
Dylan's Candy Bar
Swapping designer clothes for candy, Ralph Lauren's daughter, Dylan, opened this retro sweet shop in 2001. Take along the kiddos and introduce them to all the treats you loved as a child, including Zotz, Razzles, Cow Tales, and Chick-O-Sticks.
East Broadway, between Oliver and Rutgers streets. Chinatown’s most eclectic thoroughfare (per New York magazine) is ripe for exploring. Here, you’ll find everything from the popular bubble-tea drinks (May’s Bakery) to Hello Kitty kitsch (Jumbo Philatelic Company) to Manhattan’s busiest library (the Chatham Square Branch of the New York Public Library). There’s a lot to see, so make sure you wear comfortable shoes.