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Navigating New York City

When I looked at my calendar a couple days ago and realized it’s May, a little burst of excitement ran through me. This month, the Zendesk team is heading back to New York City for The Future of Customer Experience event at Center415 on May 17.

For those who are joining us at The Future of CX, as we call it for short—or just headed to New York City sometime soon—we pulled together a list of places to try while in town. Now, I’m no New Yorker, but I did get a taste for the city while there last October for Zendesk’s Relate conference. Plus, I did some good ol’ crowdsourcing on this one (thanks, Instagram). So if you find yourself wanting a quick bite or an offsite adventure, these places promise some good eats:

Café Grumpy. I think we can all identify with the name of this place—before we’ve had a cup of their coffee, at least. Not only is their coffee delicious (and strong, thank goodness), there’s a great mission behind the beans. Cafe Grumpy works directly with growers and producers around the world, and each roast has a different taste and story. You’ll leave feeling ready to take on a day of learning and networking, and with the satisfaction that you’ve supported a business that is doing some good.

Cha Cha Matcha. This is my personal favorite spot for a morning caffeine kick. (I may have come here every single day when we were last in New York… maybe.) If you’ve never had a matcha latte before, Cha Cha’s are unparalleled and a must-try. If you’re not in the mood for drinkable green tea, this spot offers matcha banana bread, pastries, and soft serve—all of which, I can confirm, are stellar. If you’re on the Instagram hype, this café is one of the most Insta-friendly places I’ve ever been—tropical wallpaper, marble tables, and napkins that say “I love you so matcha”... it’s almost impossible not to snap a picture.

Eataly. Eataly has it all: sit-down restaurants, specialty markets, order-up counters, and, most importantly, gelato. For a lovely May evening (fingers crossed!), Serra on the Rooftop would be an excellent choice. Their brussel sprouts make my heart sing.

abc kitchen. The whitewashed brick walls and exposed wooden beams make this eatery easy on the eyes (which makes sense, seeing that it’s nestled within the trendy abc home store). abc serves up farm-to-table fare that leaves you feeling light—no Cheesecake Factory-sized portions here.

Boqueria. Tapas, tapas, tapas! Boqueria is perfect for family-style dinners with your team or with your new conference connections. Understandably, it’s a popular spot—our team passed by on a Wednesday night to find the place packed, with a wait time of over an hour. You might want to make a reservation for this one.

By Chloe. This is a fantastic grab-and-go vegan spot. After long days of preparing for Relate 2017, By Chloe was my go-to spot for some good ol’ veggies and clean energy (because caffeine can only get you so far). I highly recommend the Spicy Thai salad; in fact, I’ll likely grab one the second I hop off the plane. Sorry, burger-loving friends, you might want to skip this one.

Shake Shack. For the burger-loving folks who hated me for the suggestion above, this one's for you. While Shake Shack started out in New York City, it’s expanded into an international chain that’s committed to sourcing good ingredients and promoting animal welfare.

Comedy Cellar. We all need a good laugh every now and then, and Comedy Cellar is the place to get just that. Comedians from SNL, Comedy Central, and beyond grace the stage every single night. You can make reservations online, which is highly recommended—but if they’re booked, you can also arrive early to wait in line for any extra open seats.

The High Line. Built on an old freight rail line, The High Line stretches almost 20 blocks across Manhattan’s West Side. On a nice day, The High Line is the place to be—tons of lush greenery and direct sunlight are sure to put a little extra pep in your step. And if you have extra time, you should also check out the Chelsea Market—the end of The High Line drops you off right in front.

Next up? Dallas.

Sara Lighthall is a content marketer at Zendesk and a student of life. When she’s not demystifying the Millennial generation on Relate, you can find her with her toes in the sand and a latte in her hand. See what she’s up to on Twitter: @saralighthall.