New York City might just be the most famous city of them all. As a result of this, it’s hardly a hidden gem when it comes to travel. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t get “off the beaten track” during a visit to the Big Apple. In a city this large and diverse, anything is possible.

While the main tourist spots are great fun, there’s more to New York than the Statue of Liberty. Discover the city beneath the veneer; discover the alternative side to New York.

1 Asian cuisine in Flushing

Whatever you feel like eating in New York, there’s a good chance you will find it sooner or later. With people from all over the world calling the city home, it seems that just about every cuisine on the planet is represented here.

Chinatown in Manhattan has long been a firm favourite for seeking out alternative food in the city, but there are other places to visit. Time Out points to Flushing, Queens as the perfect place to try authentic Asian food. Although it’s much less of a spectacle here, the quality and quantity of places to eat is remarkably high. Whether you are after Vietnamese,  dim sum dumplings or noodles with a Middle Eastern touch, you will find it here.

2 The views from Water Taxi Beach

New York’s incredible skyline has to be on your list of things to see; it just has to be. But that doesn’t mean being crammed onto a sightseeing tour with hundreds of other tourists all selfies and “I heart NYC” memorabilia. No, there are other ways.

Water Taxi Beach is one such alternative to the typical tourist boats. Located in Long Island City, this synthetic stretch of stand sits on the East River with the best view in the house. This little alcove is very popular in the summer with the locals, due to a combination of the backdrop and the well-stocked bar. If you insist upon taking the usual boat tours, then at least come for a drink here one evening – New York’s skyline is something else at night.

3 Get your hands doughy

NYC is synonymous with good pizza. From the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles to Joey Tribbiani, all of the city’s most famous characters love a slice. But why stop at just trying some? Everyone does that. Why not make your own authentic New York pizza?

Down in New York’s historic Lower East Side, Pizza a Casa Pizza School has created the ultimate hands-on pizza experience in the Big Apple; before you can eat it, you have to make it. The experience is earning rave reviews from the likes of TripAdvisor and Yahoo Travel, so it might not stay quiet for long. Book your class before you go and get those hands doughy!

4. Hell’s Kitchen Flea Market

Many people who visit New York cannot resist a visit to 5th Avenue and its prestigious shopping; if not to buy then just to dream. But there are other places to indulge in some retail therapy in this city.

Hell’s Kitchen Flea Market has been a mainstay in New York’s alternative scene since 1976, and it’s the place to go for a different kind of shopping experience. This is where people with a taste for vintage do their bargain hunting and you’ll find everything from bohemian chic furniture to one-off antiques here. Fashionistas will be right at home in this market too, with rack upon rack of original pieces and avant garde gear. The Chelsea Market over in the Meatpacking District is of a similar style although there is much more variety with what’s on sale here.

Trade the shining glass storefronts for tarpaulin covered stalls and get your haggle on.

5 Visit the Brooklyn Brewery

New York has a rich history when it comes to beer and there’s no better place to see it than the Brooklyn Brewery. Located in the area’s once less-than-savoury Northside, this modern place of brewing has become something of a cultural hub for beer lovers and its brand is now recognised all over the world.

From Monday through to Thursday, the brewery limits itself to small-batch tours of just 30 people at a time. This is a much more relaxed way to see the brewery and it includes a history lesson of the beer and the production process as well as a chance to taste it for yourself.

Come Friday, the Tasting Room opens until Sunday; the beer flows along with the steady stream of people taking the brewery tour. During the weekend, the brewery becomes much more of a social experience than a tourist attraction as people quaff down different ales and soak up the edgy Brooklyn atmosphere.

For more information about a multi-centre holiday that includes New York, get in touch with our US experts today.

Multi-Centre Holidays

Next time you travel to New York, why not consider combining it with a few other destinations. For ideas and inspiration check out our US Multi Centre Holidays page. It features our top 10 most popular US itineraries.

Images: Thinkstock

Emma McDonough Senior Travel Consultant

Emma joined the eShores team in 2013 but has worked in the travel industry for over 20 years. With extensive knowledge of Europe, she is one of our European specialists, as well as being highly experienced in selling the Far East, India, the Caribbean, the Americas and the Indian Ocean - to be honest, there isn't much she doesn't know.