We only have a few days so we will just be doing a hike or two and driving a little. We don't have any expectations to see it all, especially with our 6 month baby. But we are still looking forward to anything that we are able to see/do/eat.
We are visiting the western region of North Carolina at easter (Great Smoky Mountains regions). I'd love some recommendations where to eat. I've heard some great things about food in Asheville (seven sows looks great among others). We are also really keen to try some barbecue, both NC styles. We love all types of food especially those types which are regional or just really good in the area.
Sydney and Singapore have great food scenes too (I'm from Sydney and my sister lives in Singapore) so while you're in NYC I'd expect you'd want to eat in those places you can't find there.
This is the information I give my visitors.
Decide what tourist places you want to go to- I expect it would include statue of liberty, empire state, flatiron/madison sq park, central park, fifth av shops, times square (?), brooklyn bridge among others.There are a few places to eat near there Korea Town on 32nd (near empire state), eataly, shake shack, hill country chicken, murray hill indian restaurants (near flatiron), 9th av hells kitchen restaurants (times sq).
Try your best to find time to see other areas. The lower east side is worthy of an explore on its own. Such rich history, great food and cool shops. RER's tour seems good. I'd snack, not eat when you're there, too many things to eat. Don't miss Katz, Russ and Daughters, doughnut plant, Yonah Schimmels knishes. Economy candy is good if you like candy- not usually the first stop for NZ/AUS visitors.
Another area that I'd snack, not have a full meal is Soho/Nolita. Most visitors go there to shop. I'd have corn & a taco at La Esquita (don't go to Calexico, its no better than the new mexican places taking over Sydney), sandwich at Parm, coffee and pastry at Balthazar (overrated, yes but they do the faux-french thing much better than sydney).
East Village is another area to snack and wander. All the chowhound suggestions are great. Yes to Vaselka.
Dinners, I'd choose one really nice restaurant - no doubt you have many choices on your list and for the others find out the more interesting NYC options. Good food in Sydney and Singapore is on far with with high end restaurants here. I like to go to at least one "old school" restaurant with friends, Keens, Minetta Tavern are two of my favs.
UES doesn't have much (I've worked up there as a chef for a few years). Grey's papaya is worth a snack on route somewhere but its not great. Infact I don't love the hotdogs here (except at Bark and other more interesting places) but you have to have one. There are some ok places in the UES but its worth the effort to go out further. Earls beer and cheese is good, but that up near Harlem.
Harlem, love it. You can go old school (Amy ruths, sylvias) or new school at Red Rooster. A walk along 125th is interesting.
Brooklyn is a big place. Are you thinking williamsburg, or south brooklyn. Being here 4 days you wont' have much time to see much. Maybe you could get the train to clark st and wander around brooklyn heights and then across the bridge to manhattan. There are some good places in Dumbo (Julianna;s pizza http://newyork.grubstreet.com/2012/12...). Not much in downtown brooklyn. All the good places are in wburg, cobble hill, fort greene, park slope, prospect heights but you won't get there.
Coffee- there are lots of Antipodeans working here and honestly they are making some of the city's best (cafe grumpy, culture expresso near bryant park, surf in soho, bluebird in EV, lots of places in BK) in fact Tobys estate is here now). All the suggestions are good. I'd def go to Stumptown at the ace hotel and sit in the lobby. You can find a good coffee in most areas if you know what to look for.
Chinatown- yum cha is better in sydney and singapore. There are interesting regional chinese restaurants that you can't get in AUS but eat that in singapore. Its a fun place to see though. If u eat there try nom aha.
And yes, 4 days or 4 weeks isn't enough. We've been here 4 years and I haven't been to all the places I want to go!