Top 5 Hidden Restaurants

Walking around the city, you can find a lot of restaurants varying in shapes, and sizes.   Some are very large and some are so small, earning the title as “hole-in-the-wall” restaurants. Eateries even differ in presence. Yes, you read that right. Most are visible in appearance, whereas others are hardly noticeable.

These dining rooms are so low key that they look like regular buildings. When passing by, one could easily mistake it as abandoned vicinity and would never expect it to be a dining room. Some are discreetly hidden behind a wall. Good luck trying to find these places!


  1. Zenkichi

77 North 6th Street, Brooklyn, New York 11211 – between Wythe Avenue & Berry Street in Williamsburg

Photo Taken by Jeff Bachner.

Photo Taken by Jeff Bachner.

I had the hardest time trying to find this place the first time I came here.  Yes, believe it or not, there is a restaurant encased behind those wooden planks. The inside is even harder to navigate through; black wood as well as mirrors takes the space on the walls, making it seem like a maze. The purpose of this is to experience a private dining style. Not only is Zenkichi known for its great disguise, its also known for its exceptional Japanese cuisine.  The prices range from $4.95 to a whopping $65, which is for an 8-course meal per person – total steal!


  1. No Name Bar

597 Manhattan Avenue, Brooklyn, New York 11222 – between Driggs Avenue & Nassau Avenue in Greenpoint

Photo Taken by

Photo Taken by

What I found memorable about this eatery, beside its shabby and plain exterior, is its awesome name. You would never know the name of the restaurant because it is not exhibited on the front of the restaurant like a normal restaurant would. If you ask anyone that works there what the actual name is, expect to get this as your answer: “The No Name Bar.” It’s confusing, but different and unforgettable. This place serves Thai food, and its ramen noodles make this hidden gem a hit. The price ranges from $10 to $15, so you won’t feel bad about breaking the bank!


  1. Kuma Inn

113 Ludlow Street, New York, NY 10002 – between Rivington Street & Delancey Street in Lower East Side

Photo Taken by Marriet Hagpie.

Photo Taken by Marriet Hagpie.

We can be thankful that this restaurant at least has its name painted on the doorway. Don’t let the ragged surface of this restaurant fool you.   I found this to be a great place for a cozy and satisfying meal. They have several signature dishes on the menu, from a yellowfin tuna tartare to grilled salmon. Also, it is BYO beer and wine. The food is excellent in price, ranging from $2 to $15. We promise you are inn for a treat.


  1. Freemans Restaurant

8 Rivington Street, End of Freeman Alley, New York, NY 10002 – between Freeman Alley & Chrystie Street in Lower East Side

Photo Taken by

Photo Taken by

Tucked away in Freeman’s Alley glitters the location’s namesake restaurant. Styled as a hunting lodge, it serves a rustic American cuisine. This eatery offers breakfast, lunch, brunch, dinner, and dessert.  When I came here, I was told to order the artichoke dip because it is the star dish at Freemans Restaurant.  Hands down, it was the best artichoke dip I have ever eaten.  The food prices range from $6 to $26. Even without the glittering lights from the lamps, this hideaway would still shine.


  1. Hudson Clearwater

447 Hudson Street, New York, NY 10014 – between Morton Street & Barrow Street in West Village

Photo Taken by

Photo Taken by

This place is so disguised that once I walked in, I felt like I stumbled across a secret. The main entrance is this picture above. After you walk through this, you enter a patio. Towards the back of the patio is another entrance to an indoor dining area. The indoor restaurant has an entrance on Morton Street, but it is not used. The food is perfectly portioned rustic American cuisine.  Some favorites are the grilled hanger steak and the butternut-squash cake. What’s great about this place is every dish is made with fresh ingredients from local farms. The food prices are affordable, starting from $3 to $27.



10 Unusual Things to do in New York City

Check out this link on some interesting activities to do in the city.  Whether you are learning the art of the trapeze or perusing Hell’s Kitchen Flea Market, you’ll find yourself having an “unusually” good time.  Enjoy!

10 Unusual Things to do in New York City

Top 5 Funky Toy Stores

Whether you are shopping for toys for your little sibling or for yourself, New York City is chock-full of toy stores.  These listed shops aren’t your infamous or typical toy stores like Toys”R”Us or FAO Schwarz.  Don’t get me wrong, these places do bring me happiness, but they don’t have that quirky element that makes them stand out.

I love shopping for clothes the way I love pursuing around toy boutiques.  I’m sure we can all collectively agree that it brings out the kid in us.  I know for myself whenever I walked into each of these stores, I either channel my inner five-year-old or I reminisce on the special memories I had with those trinkets.  If the big city seems too serious for you or you feel like you need to take a brief break from reality, then this is the list for you.

1. KidRobot

126 Prince Street, New York, NY 10012 – between Greene St & Wooster St in SoHo

126 Prince Street, New York, NY 10012

Photo taken by Esther K.

After walking into this store, I couldn’t help but feel like a kid in a candy shop.  The unique vinyl and plush toys surely lured me in and overwhelmed me with their bright colors.  It is eye candy for sure.  Some of these items are pricey and some of them are reasonable, but there is something in here for everyone.

2. Forbidden Planet

832 Broadway, New York, NY 10003 – between 13th St & 12th St in Greenwich Village, Union Square, East Village

Photo taken by Emma G.

Photo taken by Emma G.

Confession:  I’m a total fangirl.  I love comics, anime manga collectibles, graphic t-shirts, and action figures.  This store is a fangirl and fanboy heaven.  I spent about 2 or 3 hours in here, getting lost in the merchandise and talking for hours with the quirky, knowledgable staff.  The products and the overall experience were beyond enjoyable.

3. Toy Tokyo

91 2nd Avenue, New York, NY 10003 – between 6th St & 5th St in East Village

Toy Tokyo

Photo taken by

This store is personally one of my favorites.  When I walk in here, I feel like I am in a museum:  everything is clustered together by collection and displayed in glass cases.  What makes these toys so special is that they are hard to find anywhere else nowadays.  The rare novelties range from Japanese figurines to GI Joe’s to classic Voltron figures.  Toy Tokyoconnects you to your childhood and to some of your favorite comics.  I felt like I needed to buy everything when I was there!

4. My Plastic Heart

210 Forsyth Street, New York, NY 10002 – between Houston St & Stanton St in Lower East Side

Photo taken by Vincent Y.

Photo taken by Vincent Y.

This may be a small store, but it has so much to offer.  It’s an art gallery AND a toy store!  When I first went here, I remember there was an artist working on the white wall, setting his pieces up to be displayed and soon purchased.  There was so much to look at that between the art covering the walls and the impressive art toys.  This store will not hurt your wallet, and it is worth the visit!

5. oo35mm

81 Mott Street, New York, NY 10013 – between Canal St & Bayard St in Chinatown

Photo taken by Kelly N.

Photo taken by Kelly N.

0035mm isn’t your average toy store.  Not only does it carry toys, but it carries skin care products and jewelry.  I love going in here to check out the neat toys as well as the beauty accessories.  This gem carries toys and skincare products that are not available in every shop. Every time I walk in, they have a great selection of products and a staff that is eager to help.