Ditch the tour books! Seriously, tour books don’t direct you to the Real New York. You will end up going to all the places that other tourists go to! That’s my opinion of course. To experience the Real New York, I suggest going to independent stores, restaurants and cafés. They are owned and run by real New Yorkers and they care about you and the money you spend there!
Oh and if you want a really good cup of coffee, I suggest Joe, the art of coffee. And for all you fabulous Australians, you can get a flat white here in NYC! At Joe they call it a cortado. Check out the Third Wave cafés in the city. There are close to 100 of them now! Stay tuned as I will be adding a section of some of my favorite independent businesses to the New York City Visitors Guide in the very near future.
Note: I am not compensated nor do I have any affiliation with places or services mentioned here.