Whether you’re visiting for a weekend or finally taking advantage of living in New York City, there are countless unique museums to enjoy. But for a change of pace, stray off the beaten attraction path (not that we don’t love MoMA and the Met) and check out some of the Big Apple’s lesser-known places.
And since you’ll undoubtedly work up an appetite after feasting on so much culture, we wanted to list our favorite restaurants nearby to refuel.
The Frick Collection
Wander the halls of famed industrialist Henry Clay Frick’s extravagant former Fifth Avenue residence. Browse the museum’s permanent collection, including works by masters like Monet, Renoir, Rembrandt and Vermeer. The museum also offers an amazing concert series featuring European musicians (Javier Perianes, April 30).
If you’re feeling inspired, head over to Daniel Boulud’s masterpiece, Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star Daniel. Jackets are required in this swanky (yet never snooty) establishment where attentive service and flawless French cuisine reign supreme.
New-York Historical Society
The New-York Historical Society is home to New York City’s oldest museum, entertaining locals and visitors alike since 1804. The historical society’s exhibits cover a broad range of interests — much like the city’s residents. Showings highlight everything from tattoos and a Picasso-designed ballet to historical heavyweights Muhammad Ali and Alexander Hamilton.
The top floor (under renovations until early 2017) houses the museum’s permanent holdings, featuring historical artifacts, a wide range of American artwork and household accessories.
After your visit, stop for a meal at Storico, a modern Italian concept by Starr Catering Group inside the museum. The stark white and modern décor pays homage to the museum’s historical theme with its Victorian woodwork and two-story shelves filled with 19th-century china on loan from the museum’s collection.
Neue Galerie New York
This Upper East Side gem pays tribute to German and Austrian art and design from the early 20th century, with pieces from masters such as Kandinsky, Klimt and Klee leading the way.
Stick around to dine at local favorite Café Sabarsky. The Vienna-inspired café is adored by tourists and lunching ladies alike for its Austrian-style desserts (linzertorte and strudel) and classic fare, like Hungarian beef goulash and Bavarian sausages.
For the best of both worlds, treat yourself to tickets for the Cabaret Series, which includes a three-course prix fixe dinner followed by a performance of classic, turn-of-the-20th-century European standards by talented musicians. A visit here is best enjoyed with a few German lagers or glasses of riesling.
The Morgan Library & Museum
Come wander this majestic yet intimate space that was once the private home of financier Pierpont Morgan. Take a gander at an impressive treasure trove of rare books and manuscripts or enjoy one of the thoughtfully curated exhibits.
On view through May is an excellent Emily Dickinson collection featuring her rarely seen unpublished poems.
Satisfy your sense of history with lunch at Keens Steakhouse, which has been serving New Yorkers since 1885. Indulge in the famous muttonchops or sample from the impressive Scotch selection.
The Jewish Museum is dedicated to Jewish artists, innovators and the preservation and understanding of their heritage. Housed on Museum Mile in a Gothic-style mansion, the building features a vast collection of art and ceremonial objects. We can’t wait to see artist Charlemagne Palestine’s “Bear Mitzvah in Meshugahland,” which incorporates plush toys in an avant-garde exhibit, on display through August 6.
Don’t leave without trying Russ and Daughters’ legendary smoked fish (with all the accoutrements) and babka French toast.