Releasing on October 7th (but already available for pre-order on Amazon) will be the new guidebook, New York: Hidden Bars & Restaurants written by Untapped Cities founder Michelle Young and the site’s contributing editor Laura Itzkowitz. As an update to our popular NYC Hidden Restaurants guide on Untapped Cities from 2014, below is our guide for 2015 with descriptions excerpted from the upcoming book.

Upon reviewing the 2015 list, you may wonder where some of the classic hidden restaurants are–Kuma Inn, La Esquina, the ski chalet behind Cafe Select–just to name a few. As they have been featured in our previous list, we’ve aimed for a wider range of dining types here, from cafes to lunch counters to a referral-only restaurant. This list will get you beyond the trendy to some of the more unique hidden restaurants in New York City.


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The (temporary) closing of Prosperity Dumpling on Eldridge street has thrown the world of bottom dollar dining into chaos. On the one hand, the aerial photograph of workers making those tasty dumplings in a Chinatown alley aside rats and trash is pretty gross. On the other hand, there is the lurching thought: “Where else can we get 50 frozen dumplings for $9 or 4 perfectly fried/steamed dumplings for $1???” We don’t want to know what goes on in a dollar dumpling kitchen, so we’ve never asked. And so here we are.

But have no fear. You may recall that in previous years, we sent intrepid columnist Luke Kingma to Chinatown several times a week for his column Sunday in ChinatownHe’s provided us here with a guide to 7 alternative dollar dumplings to tide you over until Prosperity Dumpling reopens.


The Ides at the Wythe Hotel-Williamsburg-Brooklyn-Best NYC RooftopsPhoto via The Wythe Hotel

Summer, and therefore “roof season” has blasted past, and although the weather remains great long past Labor Day weekend, just when it cools off enough to really enjoy the evenings, many of the rooftop bars close. But many don’t! So while you may not have exhausted our list of best off-the-beaten path rooftops for summer yet, we recently asked Leslie Adatto, author of the book Roof Explorer’s Guide: 101 New York City Rooftopsthe first-ever guide to public access rooftops, to share with us her top 10 for fall.

1. Brooklyn Crab in Red Hook

Brooklyn Crab-Red Hook-Waterfront-Rooftop-Best Rooftops-NYCBrooklyn Crab, photo via Brit & Co.

Brooklyn Crab has great views and great food, and when it’s a bit cooler out, they just roll down the clear plastic “windows.” You can take the Ikea ferry over there so it’s a fabulous day out.

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In an ever-evolving city like New York, it is often dangerous to get too attached to the history around you. The struggling century old pub that still serves $3 bottles will inevitably become your neighborhood’s third Dunkin Donuts. The pre-war walkup that just priced its residents out will be razed and replaced by some sky scraping architectural marvel. Even the brand new salad spot down the street will be swapped for a brand newer salad spot in a matter of months. That’s just New York.
Occasionally, however, something else happens. Defying all odds, small bits of our city’s history get preserved. Rarer still, they get preserved in such a way that the public can still experience them. Ever since we first caught wind of The Knitting Factory’s plans to restore and convert a 20th century carriage house on Metropolitan into a restaurant extension of the venue, we’ve been waiting anxiously for the reveal. Last week, we finally got the chance to stop by and drink in the space. Brooklyn, meet The Federal Bar.

Greenwood Cemetery Beehives-Untapped Cities AFineLyneGreen-Wood Cemetery began beekeeping in April 2015 with 120,000 bees from an apiary in Pennsylvania.  Photo via southslopenews.com

Urbanites are on a mission to have local, organically grown food, which in turn has led us to a growing interest in Urban Farming and the greening of our rooftops. With this, a growing interest in beekeeping and organically grown honey. In a hard-fought battle to legalize urban hives, the Board of Health voted to lift the ban in 2010, and today we have beehives in backyards and rooftops, some in amazing and surprising locations. For National Honey Bee Day on August 15th (also listed as August 22nd), we thought we’re bringing you 10 of our favorite hives and festivals in NYC.


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Non-residents of Washington Heights and Inwood may not venture too far off Broadway and 10th Avenue–after all, all those nice pre-war apartment buildings and city parks get swapped out for utility companies and the 207th Street rail yard. But in this neighborhood, many of the bars and restaurants happily exist underneath the elevated train and alongside manufacturing zones, where noise is less of a concern to neighbors. Along a side street behind Miguel’s auto glass store with nary a sign, is the Ganesha Outdoor Room, an outdoor courtyard bar and restaurant whose blasting live music thoroughly disconnects it from any religious affiliation.