I didn't know that the Neue of Neue Galerie was pronounced "Noy-ah" until I went on the tour. Just a couple of block up from The Met, is Neue Galerie ("new gallery"), a museum for early 20th century Austrian and German art.
The entrance is on 86th street, right off of Fifth Ave. Carrère and Hastings, the architecture firm that designed this building in 1914, also designed the New York Public Library and the Frick Collection (my favorite museum). The building was renovated to house the museum in 2001.
Walking in, it feels very much like you're entering someone's house (albeit a multi-million dollar one), instead of a typical museum. Straight ahead is the admission desk and a staircase that takes you to the gallery space upstairs.
The museum galleries are on the second and third floors. The second floor covers Austrian art and showcases paintings by Klimt and the third floor houses German art with works by Kandinsky and Paul Klee. It's not a huge museum and it feels intimate and manageable. No photos are allowed ANYWHERE on the second and third floors (BOO!), so you'll have to check out their website for images.
The public tour starts at 2PM and it is offered on Saturdays, Sundays, and Mondays. Tours are free with admission. Unfortunately, I did not like the tour. The information was great, but the delivery was not. Our tour guide had a batch of note cards, which she read off of from start to finish for the entire 40 minute tour. It was like she was reading her book report to the class. I guess I've been spoiled by great tour guides who are experts in their field who can rattle off information with ease. I didn't ask any questions since I just assumed she wouldn't know the answer.
However, with that said, I would still recommend the tour since I did learn a few things I would not have learned otherwise. Audio guides are free with admission, so you can take that route instead, if you prefer.
One of the highlights of the museum is their cafe to the right of the lobby, Cafe Sabarsky. Remember my visit to Cafe Kristall? Both places are run by chef Kurt Gutenbrunner. Take a step inside and feel like you're in Vienna.
During lunch hours, you'll see a line and a wait for a table. It's worth it.
Started off with a Roasted Bratwurst with Riesling Sauerkraut with Roasted Potatoes & Dijon. Excellent! I cleaned my plate. Completely hearty and perfect for a cold day.
This house-made Viennese Hot Chocolate with Whipped Cream in a double walled Bodum cup lured me away from my usual cup of tea.
And for dessert, the server recommended this Seasonal Fruit Crumble Tarte, and she was right, it was delicious. Topped with a generous amount of berries, my friend Kelli and I shared this dessert and were making plans to come back to the cafe in between bites.
Note: Check hours before you go since the museum and cafe have different hours of operation. Museum is closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
INFO: Neue Galerie | 1048 Fifth Ave. (entrance on 86th Street) | New York, NY 10028 | 212.628.6200
TOUR: Free with admission, free audio guide with admission