I found this list on Meta Filter and have co-opted it and plan to update and edit it as I go…Have any additions or subtractions? Let me know in the comments.
Go to the Top of the Rock at sunset
– Go to Times Square late at night and take photographs
– Visit the 9/11 Memorial
– Ride the wooden escalators at Macy’s in Herald Square
– Visit the Met, MoMA, American Museum of Natural History, one last time
– Take the 6 train to City Hall and stay on as it turns around inside the old City Hall station (it might also be worth becoming an MTA museum member just to take the old City Hall station tour)
– Visit the MTA Transit Museum
– Take the ferry out to Governor’s Island
– Spend some time just people watching at Union Square
– Take a NYPL tour and make sure you see the original Winnie the Pooh stuffed animals
– Take a Grand Central tour
– Take a Central Park tour by the Big Onion
– Ride the Roosevelt Island tram
– Visit the LES Tenement Museum
– Visit the Brooklyn Flea and/or Smorgasburg
– Walk the Brooklyn Promenade
– Tour the cheese caves at Murray’s Cheeses in the West Village
– Take an AIA NY skyline and bridge cruise
– Visit the Digester Eggs at Newtown Creek
– Take a canoe tour of the Gowanus Canal
– Visit the Hall of Fame for Great Americans and Gould Memorial Library at Bronx Community College. You might recognize them from movies like A Beautiful Mind.
– Visit the Panorama of the City of New York out at the Queens Museum and Flushing Meadows Park
– I know you said no Broadway, but hopefully you’ve already seen the immersive dance/theatrical experience Sleep No More (Hitchcock inspired, loosely based upon Macbeth)?
– Here’s a list I put together on Foursquare of Strange Places and Oddities in NYC
– Eat your weight in “only in NY” type foods: bagels and smoked salmon, pastrami on rye, hot dogs & papaya juice, black and white cookies, cheesecake, egg creams, pickles, halal carts
– Have a blow out dinner at Eleven Madison Park and/or a fancy (but not super expensive) prix fixe weekday lunch at Del Posto or Jean Georges
– Take a noshing walk around the West Village and the High Line
– Take a noshing walk around Flushing
– Have a cocktail at the Lamb’s Club or Monkey Bar for the atmosphere
– Visit John’s of Bleecker (ask for your pie to be well done), Patsy’s (East Harlem only), South Brooklyn Pizza, Di Fara
– Eat at the famous halal cart at 2am, 53rd and 6th (SW corner at night, SE during the day)
– Go to City Bakery, I think they had one in LA, but it closed up shop
– Feast on offal and weird misc. parts at Kabab Cafe and flirt/chit chat with Ali
– Grab a lobster roll at Luke’s Lobster or Pearl
– Have Momofuku Ssam’s weekday Duck lunch. Or dinner. I love the Creative Asian at Momofuku Ssam Bar, Ma Peche, Fatty Cue, or Wong. Some of the most creative cooking in town is happening at these places.
– Try Empellon Cocina. Mexican cooking by an ex-Alinea and WD-50 pastry chef (Alex Stupak). (I believe the Mexican is LA is nothing like this…)
– Get a sandwich at Defonte’s
– Grab a pretzel at Sigmund Pretzelshop
– Stand in line at Shake Shack on a nice day with some friends
– Have a gut-busting delicious brunch at Breslin, Locanda Verde, Shopsin’s, Clinton St Baking Co., or Minetta Tavern. Especially Shopsin’s.
– Txikito for Basque tapas. Don’t miss the suckling pig, miss the sofrito/chorizo/quail egg pintxo, croquettas, padron peppers, suckling pig, torreja dessert or whatever is on the daily specials board.
– Takashi for local/sustainable Japanese yakiniku. Awesome high-tech electric grills. Try the uni/shiso/wagyu dish, beef belly, short ribs, heart, liver, sweetbreads, first stomach, third stomach, four stomach, tendon, or whatever is good that day. Brain cream in a tube served with caviar and fresh blinis.
– Xi’an Famous Foods for food from Shaanxi province in China. Cumin lamb hand pulled noodles!
– Bagel sandwiches with smoked salmon, capers, red onion, cream cheese at Russ & Daughters. Excellent smoked salmon, whitefish salad, sable, all the Jewish appetizing classics. Try a few smoked salmons before you settle on one. You can get a mini-sized bagel sandwich here, too, if you wish. Takeout only.
– A steak and/or a scotch at Keens (lots of history here, too). Say hi to Ms Keens in the bar.
– Go to WD-50 for avant garde/experimental cooking
Here is a map that is unrelated but of the top favorites of NYC Redditors
View Reddit’s favorite places in NYC in a larger map