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What’s more exciting than preparing for a holiday? And not just any old holiday but a trip to one of the great cities of the world…

This week I’m packing my bags for a much anticipated trip to New York. When last I wandered among the bustle and bluster of Midtown, the Twin Towers still stood and the bravura of the city bordered on the unnerving. But mostly I remember being completely overwhelmed by the possibilities of Manhattan. Those weeks have become something of a blur of tourist traps and hawkers on 42nd St. This time around, older, better travelled and somewhat wiser, I intend to explore more and try to imagine life as a New Yorker for the week.

Diners, delis and doughnuts 

Having already traipsed the tourist trail, I’m now free to enjoy all that New York has to offer away from the pressure of sight-seeing. For me, that means food and coffee. As a European, I plan to don the cliché and unashamedly seek out the American experience: diners, delis and doughnuts. Mind you, I will also be in need of some decent coffee and to that end have been looking up some recommendations. While the prospect of the counter-top refill is enticing, I’ll also want an occasional good quality cappuccino to fuel the neighbourhood ramblings.

Over to you….

So, if anyone has a “must eat here” tip (in the low-mid budget range) I’d love to hear from you! I’m thinking coffee shops, pizza places, BBQ joints, old-school diners or just good all round restaurants that deserve a try. Lastly, I also love exploring bookshops and have heard there are some great ones in Manhattan. Anyone venture an opinion on whether Strand is overrated or worth a look?

Thanks for your time!