Mr. Bing – Beijing Street food recommendation


(from tour guide Maria’s personal blog comes this recommendation of great street food!)

Yesterday I was walking from Penn Station to Herald Square to catch the subway back to Queens. Incidentally I walked through UrbanSpace: Broadway Bites and a nice gentleman, outside of the Mr. Bing food stand offered me a sample of food.
The scent had already reached my nostrils and I was intrigued.
Due to good conversation with the staff regarding my background as a tour guide, and a Dane I stayed a little longer than one would usually do after being offered a sample of food.

While I ordered a ‘bing’, a Chinese street crepe/filled pancake; the Classic Vegetarian, I uploaded a cute little ‘staged’ video clip of being offered the sample, to Instagram Stories.

Thus – I asked who managed their social media accounts. Coincidentally, at the same moment Mr. Brian Goldberg, the founder of Mr. Bing came riding on a Citibike and I was able to introduce myself to him. We had a wonderful chat about his stay in Asia, 14 years, being fluent in Chinese as well as his travels to Scandinavia and my work as a freelance tour guide and entrepreneur, founder of NYC & Tours (Turist i New York, in Denmark)

The chat was wonderful, and I was so pleased to meet Brian. I pitched him the idea of my ‘Winter’ walking tours which will incorporate a visit to Bryant Park and thus offer my clients to get the ‘heat’ from traditional Chinese street food rather than maybe a warm apple cider, or hot chocolate. We exchanged cards and you can keep posted on NYC & Tours FB page for the launch of the tour.

But, back to the food! I would never have bothered to spend time chatting with the staff if the food wasn’t ‘original’, ‘delicious’ and ‘affordable’.

Fresh, and with vegetarian option – it’s a recommended go-to option for anyone looking to try something new, different or reminisce over their stay in China.

Read more about Mr. Bing, the story behind the ‘brand’ aka. Brian Goldberg etc., and the history of ‘jianbing’, the traditional Northern Chinese Street crepes: https://www.mr-bing.com/

And make sure to visit one of their locations, in either the pop-up location at Broadway Cites, Herald Square, or Vanderbilt Food Hall, East Village, Flatiron or Chelsea (coming soon!)!

Thank you, Mr. Bing for the treat!

NYC on a budget: Museums

New York City doesn't have to break your budget. With careful planning and consideration you can enjoy many of NYC's attractions and sights with little to no pay.
We will occasionally blog about these "free things to do in New York" but let's start by sharing this:

Many, many museums have suggested admission or "pay-as-you-wish" entrances. That means, signs may state that admission is $25 however there will be an asterisk notification somewhere stating that this is suggested or encouraged. Don't feel bad if you want to pay less - or nothing! (but know that your contributions do benefit)

The places offering free or suggested admission includes; American Museum of Natural History, Brooklyn Museum, Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Cloisters, Museum of the City of New York, Bronx Zoo, Guggenheim Museum, Jewish Museum, Museum of Modern Art, New York Botanical Garden and the Whitney Museum ... and many more!

Here's the complete list of places offering free or suggested admission:

NYC Free & Suggested Admission Venues list
American Folk Art Museum

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Joju Báhn Mì

Joju Báhn Mì – Vietnamese in Queens

Joju Bánh Mì - Vietnamese in Queens

written by Maria-Leena Kerr, owner and tour guide

While I'm enjoying my maternity leave I've had more time to exlore the new neighborhood I moved to. Elmhurst is so different from Forest Hills, where I lived before. And of course my tour guide brain is working full-power! A lot of you have enjoyed our "Taste of Queens" tour which is a longer tour. I was wondering whether to create a shorter 2-hr tour focused on one neighborhood and dare I say it; food? 🙂

While I'm contemplating that... I can tell you this much: I've already found my typical spot for american-chinese take-out, a typical american pizzaria with delicious potato pizzas, another chinese family style restaurant with a lot of interesting dishes where the "potato in spicy sauce" is a new obsession of mine. It's basically just raw potato strips in a pepper sauce. And it's so yummy!
But finally ... I ran into Joju Bánh Mì - A modern Vietnamese sandwich place on Broadway in Elmhurst.

It was one of those accidental things that happens. I just happened to be stopping by. They have a large selection of sandwiches, varieties of drinks and fries with different toppings. I chose a classic "báhn mì" sandwich with ham, cheese, daikon, cucumber, carrots and more. You decide how spicy you want it - and obviously I chose "More Spicy" with shiracha. Hey, shiracha is like ketchup when you're pregnant (at least it is for me)

It was just under $6 and oh, so delicious!😀

Until I may or may not create a new tour in Queens, I can recommend Noshwalks led by Myra Alperson, another NYC Licensed tour guide. Some of her delicious food tours go through Elmhurst, but she also has tours other places in NY and NJ. If you're interested, please check out her website: www.noshwalks.com - you could tell her Maria from NYC & Tours sent you.

I see I can order online now from Joju, so I think I know where my lunch will be coming from.

As always, remember to follow us on Instagram for other shots from daily-life in New York City: NYC & Tours on Instagram

Joju Banh Mi menu Joju Bánh Mì menu Joju Bánh Mì Joju Bánh Mì

NYC on a budget: Skip the Lines and Travel on a Weekday

Skip the Lines and Travel on a Weekday - NYC&Tip

Written by our NYC&Tipster Larisa Perez

Ah! New York City! The City that never sleeps! The Big Apple! Glimmer! Lights! Camera! Action! Jazz Hands!

We all love New York. Even when we live here and we hate it, we still love New York.

We love the New York of movies and TV Shows.

We love the New York of endless possibilities; The New York that millions of tourists stream to each year almost religiously. There is just nothing like it in the world.

Yet, tourists come here and encounter the grim truth! It is very expensive to even spend time here let alone live here. Especially if you stay within the path of the usual tourist attractions and come on the same days that EVERYONE else does.

So here I am, a native New York who was raised in Brooklyn here to the rescue.

My suggestion: Skip the lines and come on a weekday. It’s a well- known travel trick to save a lot of money: to book your trip from a Tuesday or Wednesday! All your favorite places and even some places that you haven’t heard about are all open on these days and get this: at most museums you can get in for free or at a discount during these days!

Don’t believe me? Here is just one of many examples:

The Brooklyn Botanic Garden is normally $12/per person admission. But it has two free days: Tuesdays and Saturdays. Tuesdays it is FREE ALL DAY, but Saturdays it is FREE only in the morning. What would you rather do: spend $12 or have to wake up really early to be able to make it here on time to catch the free admission? Or, how about having the opportunity to come to Brooklyn to check out nearby Prospect Park and still make it to the Botanic Garden FOR FREE later on? It’s more relaxing that way! After all, you are on Vacation! Just because you’re in New York, doesn’t mean you have to stress out like a New Yorker.

Here is a full list of such deals: http://www.nycgo.com/articles/free-nyc-museums

If you come at the beginning of the week you will be able to go through all of these attractions and even more ALL FOR FREE! That will leave you more money for maybe a Broadway show or two or a better hotel room! Who knows?

So Skip the lines and come early in the week. Less people means a more personalized experience!

Jacobs Pickles

Jacob’s Pickles – A restaurant recommendation

Jacob's Pickles - Upper West Side

509 Amsterdam NYC

Written by: Maria-Leena Kerr

If you like rustic cozyness, good beer and fantastic southern food - then Jacob's Pickles is the right place for you! They're very popular, so it's a good idea to make a reservation if you're planning on having dinner there.

It's really easy to get there. Just take the red 1-train to 86th St station, walk one avenue east and 1.5 block south. There it is on Amsterdam avenue and 84th street.

Our waiter, Faith, was bubbly, happy and offered great service! The place have very high ratings on Yelp.com, and that's always a good sign.

We ordered Mexican Coca-Cola's for $4 each, Fried Pickles with spicy mayo as starters for $9. Southern BLT with fries for $16, and o-m-g delicious Buttermilk Fried Chicken Caesar Salad also priced at $16. The portions were huge, so we had to take the leftovers home in doggie-bags.

Read more about the place at: Jacob's Pickles NYC

Disclaimer:Recommendations are based on personal experiences from our NY-experts, and is not an official endorsement of the company from New York Concierge & Tours Inc. If any questions, please contact us!

Visit Bronx Zoo

Bronx Zoo

Written by Maria-Leena
This past summer I decided to take a trip up to the Bronx to visit the zoo. I wanted to do something a little out of my ordinary, on a day off.
There's several ways of getting to Bronx zoo, but for us the easiest way was to take the 2-train (red line) to Belham Parkway station. It took just about 45 min. from Times Square. And from the station another 5-7 minute walk - but very easy, there's plenty of signage.

The normal admission price for a "Total Experience" ticket is $33.95 for adults and $23.95 for children up to the age of 12. If you purchase the tickets online, you'll get 10% discount.
BUT - Wednesdays are free for regular admission, and "Total Experience" tickets are only $14.95 a person. I'd definitely recommend buying that, so that you don't miss out on all the attractions the park has to offer; e.g. a guided tour with rail amongst the many animals, 4-D movies, carousel and so forth.
The Zoo is HUGE and you really forget that you're in New York City. It's an amazing experience! Good for young and old.

If you want to read more about the Zoo, prices and how to get there follow this link to their official website: Bronx Zoo