Every individual neighborhood in NYC has its charm, but there’s arguably a super-cluster of neighborhoods below 14th street that stretches from the west side into the center of the Manhattan, roughly encompassing: Meatpacking, West Village, Greenwich Village, Soho, Nolita, and Little Italy. Old school West Village is the kind of neighborhood, despite its small size, that you want to get lost wandering around all day, admiring its quintessentially compact, ivy-clad apartment buildings, with plenty of cafe- and wine bar-pit stops along the way. Attached to the northwest corner of the West Village, the Meatpacking District is home to the end of the Highline and the new Whitney, and is still a buzz-y night-life destination for a younger set. Heading east, there’s Greenwich Village, NYU’s territory, and the oft-photographed Washington Square Park. South of Houston Street can admittedly get a little touristy, but you’ll still find some of the best shopping in Soho; Little Italy, decorated in strings of lights, is unapologetically festive; and tiny Nolita complements them both. Below, some of the essential places to see and things to do in this super-cluster area of NYC.
International Culinary Center
462 Broadway, Soho | 888.324.2433
Though the International Culinary Center is one of the country’s best institutes for turning out chefs, sommeliers, and managers, they offer one-day crash courses for home cooks, too. The classes are wonderfully specific, with the intent of 24-hour mastery, whether you want to try your hand at cupcake decoration, fondant, or the basics of sushi.
101 Spring St., Soho | 212.219.2747
Donald Judd moved into 101 Spring Street in the then derelict Soho in 1968, and over the course of twenty-five years, renovated each of the five floors in the building according to his singular aesthetic. The result is a space that is as much a home as it is a piece of art. The Judd Foundation opened up the space to docent-led tours, where visitors get to see his custom-made furniture, and the art and objects he acquired over the years. It’s a wonderful window into Judd’s entire sensibility.
99 Gansevoort, Meatpacking Disrict | 212.570.3600
The Whitney—a long-time doyenne on the UES shut its doors and moved to the Meatpacking District, where it sits in a Renzo Piano-designed building at the Southern end of the Highline. The Whitney decamped because of space constrictions up town, a situation that’s now eased by its 200,000 square feet. (The Metropolitan Museum of Art is supposedly taking over The Whitney’s previous Marcel Breuer’s design home at Madison and 75th.) Bonus: It’s open until 10pm on the weekends.
9 Great Jones St., Greenwich Village | 212.203.2121
Formerly known as Acme Bar & Grill, this old-school standby shortened its name and got a little spruced up with the help of Danish celebrity chef Mads Refslund in 2012. With the upgrade came a cool interior and an even cooler scene. The food is homey, earthy American with a twist (country toast and white asparagus hollandaise, for example), and whether you’re in the mood for a meal or not, it’s also worth coming here for drinks. The downstairs space (which features exposed brick walls and is usually candle-lit) is available for private events.
64 W 10th St., Greenwich Village | 212.505.7777
Pan-Mediterranean food, reinterpreted, is one way of summing up Alta. To start, expect boquerones on caramelized tomato toast, crowd-pleasing bacon wrapped dates, and fried goat cheese paired with fragrant lavender honey. Mains include a mix of the raw plates found on every menu, but listed alongside some more exciting options like a venison carpaccio, and a smoked sunchoke risotto with lemon and pecorino. The post dinner drinks list is extensive—grappa, amari, madeira, we could go on. The vibe is warm and inviting, with two fireplaces and all the burnt terracotta shades we associate with the Mediterranean woven into the décor.
110 Waverly Place, Greenwich Village | 212.777.0303
This is probably Mario Batali’s best restaurant, serving up his perfectly executed, regional Italian dishes in a dressed-up, white tableclothed setting. Unlike many other upscale NYC restaurants, Babbo has a fun (and never stuffy) vibe. It’s hard to get a table but we like to go to the bar for an incredible plate of pasta and a glass of wine. The private room is a great place to host a fancy lunch.
Ballroom at the Jane Hotel
113 Jane St., West Village | 212.924.6700
Don’t be fooled by the Persian carpets, the roaring fireplace, or the woody interiors—this spot functions more like a night club than a sleepy hotel bar. There’s a DJ and you can expect dancing (on the couches), a bit of a line at the bar, and a wait at the entrance (with bouncers). It’s worth it for the drinks, the music, and the scene.
80 Spring St., Soho | 212.965.1785
As the crown jewel of restauranteur Keith McNally’s downtown empire, Balthazar channels all the charm and style of a Parisian bistro—booths and antiqued mirrors included. Dining here feels like an event, and as such it draws big crowds for its Coq Au Vin, Moules Frites, and burger. We actually like its adjacent bakery best, where you can take perfect croissants, loafs of bread, and coffee to go.
268 6th Ave., West Village | 212.982.3300
Bustling, no-frills, and speedy, the chalkboard of reliable specials (and menu classics) pleases all palettes: For one, they do a really good and simple Rigatoni Pitti. There’s seating inside and out, though in warmer months, you’ll want to grab a chair on the sidewalk patio.
775 Washington St., West Village | 212.924.9700
While crowds line up for the semi-al fresco dining in the summer, Barbuto is wonderful in the winter, too, when the garage doors close and the wood burning oven warms up the room. Their “Pollo al forno”—roasted chicken with salsa verde—is amazing, as Jonathan Waxman has perfected many arts, including serving perfectly light, rustic Italian.
Boom Boom Room
848 Washington St., Meatpacking District | 212.645.4646
Located on the 18th floor of The Standard Hotel—with spectacular views of the Hudson and the High Line—the Boom Boom Room is even better when you’re looking in. With its intimate, velvety banquettes, and great people watching, it’s always fun. While there, migrate over to André Saraiva’s pet project, Le Bain, next door, which has a swimming pool among other attractions.
73 Gansevoort St., Meatpacking District
There’s not much to confuse or offend on this un-intimidating, all-American menu. It’s based on comfort food, meaning you’ll find casual basics like great mashed potatoes, pancakes, and pies galore. The no-frills, laid-back atmosphere make both outposts equally kid-friendly, as do sweet offerings, like the homemade pie (they’re most famous for key lime).
42 Grove St., West Village | 212.255.3590
Rooted in an appreciation for traditional French cuisine, Jody Williams’s beloved neighborhood wine bar is a favorite for indulgent pastries and French toast at breakfast, and snack-size French Coq au Vin and the like at lunch and dinner. It’s as good for a quick bite to eat as it is for a full meal, and the setting, with a tin ceiling, exposed bricks, and French-style cafe seating, is a perfect, romantic spot for a date or intimate dinner. Williams’ food is so good, and the concept so well-received in the city, that she’s taken it to Paris, where even the hard-to-please French have welcomed her style of French cooking.
Café Altro Paradiso
234 Spring St., Soho | 646.952.0828
Located in Soho, Café Altro Paradiso is the second restaurant from Ignacio Mattos (chef) and Thomas Carter (sommelier and front-of-house)—their first was the brilliant Estela in NoLita. This Italian restaurant is much bigger than tiny Estela, and less about the presentation and look of the dishes—though still focused on really good, un-fussy food.
17 Prince St., Nolita | 212.625.2001
The Cuban-style food and quick take-out (especially the corn) satiates that very specific craving, and the place is always flooded with people from midday to midnight. It can get noisy—there’s a take-out window next door if the crowds are too overwhelming. There’s a location in Brooklyn, and strangely enough, in the Malibu Country Mart.
181 Thompson St., Soho | 212.254.3000
This Italian spot on Thompson Street boasts Vito Schnabel’s artwork on the walls, Zac Posen designed uniforms, a floor inspired by The Godfather, and a slightly more upscale version of the Italian-American fare you’ll find at their other restaurants: It’s pretty 1950’s meets hipster chic. And like the good old days, the food is rich and luscious from lobster ravioli to rich sides like creamed escarole and corn tartufato.
5 King St., Soho | 212.235.7133
Apart from the tasty Italo-American dishes—a now famous uni pasta, homemade spaghetti (kids go nuts for it), perfect roast chicken—the music is what really sets this restaurant apart. Colorful old-school boombox prints decorate the walls, and Snoop Dogg, Jay Z, and Dre boom from the speakers, making the meal a good one for a big group (they actually have a private dining room if you’re inviting more than ten people), rather than an intimate gathering.
282 Bowery, Nolita | 212.226.3055
A member of Keith McNally’s family of excellent eateries, along with —Balthazar and Morandi, Cherche Midi’s French-inflected menu is pretty much perfect. Here you’ll find a classic salad nicoise, steak frites, and a really solid steak tartare. The brunch menu has all of the expected standbys (eggs benedict, smoked salmon, beignets) as well as some inventive additions (i.e. lobster scramble).
24 5th Ave., Greenwich Village | 212.868.2424
Incorporating North African and Middle Eastern flavors makes this a bit more than your average Provencal-centric restaurant. There is always Bouillabaisse on the menu, but you can have that, Tunisan flatbreads, and a Chicken Tagine, too. Just like the food, the decor—tiled floors and accent walls, rattan seating, and old wooden tables—fully captures that bright, airy Provencal sensibility.
37 Kenmare St., Nolita | 212.966.0800
This is definitely one of the best soba joints in the city: We like the Nolita location the best, as the spot in the LES is really tight. Go for the Mera Mera Dip Soba, with minced chicken and a fiery broth: The noodles are packed with flavor, chewy, and perfectly al-dente. Don’t miss the homemade silky tofu, sprinkled with grated ginger, scallions, nori and bonito flakes, which is as creamy and delicious as a hunk of fresh burrata.
La Compagnie des Vins Surnaturels
249 Centre St., Little Italy | 212.343.3660
This downtown wine bar is from the same team behind some of our favorite bar-restaurant spots in London and Paris. The concept is a cozy, candle-lit, living room-esque space with plush couches and decorative throw pillows, mod chairs, and marble-topped tables. The wine list is unsurprisingly very French, and impressive, plus there’s a small but sufficient small-plate snack and dinner menu. In other words, this makes an excellent date spot.
529 ½ Hudson St., West Village | 212.691.9700
This Peking Duck-dedicated spot—tucked away in a converted laundromat beneath RedFarm—has the sort of exquisite Chinese food that you’d expect from Ed Schoenfeld and Joe Ng. While the Peking Duck was excellent (you have to reserve one in advance), we were most blown away by the uni noodle and octopus salad and the crab fried rice.
408 Broome St., Soho | 212.219.5050
Both a shop and tapas bar, we head here for hard-to-find Spanish ingredients like Bomba rice, excellent Manchegos, smoked paprika, and an endless variety of delicious preserves. It’s nearly impossible to walk away without snacking on one of their perfect tortillas. There’s also a market in Queens.
151 Elizabeth St., Nolita | 646.666.0810
Owned by the adorable husband/wife team Sarah Schneider and Demetri Makoulis and chef Nick Korbee, Egg Shop was founded on a mutual love of the egg sandwich. That said, their menu has since expanded to include all kinds of egg specialties, from BLT benedicts, to spicy fried chicken with eggs, and smoked salmon scrambles. There’s a delicious egg-centric dinner menu, too, and there are now locations in Nolita and Williamsburg.
EN Japanese Brasserie
435 Hudson St., West Village | 212.647.9196
EN Japanese Brasserie flies a bit under the radar, which is a great thing because it means that it’s generally quiet and hushed. While the tall ceilings make the space feel much bigger than it actually is, the vibe is still warm and inviting. The traditional Japanese cuisine goes way beyond sushi (though the sashimi hardly disappoints) and offers great options for picky and adventurous eaters alike. There are two private rooms set up in traditional Japanese style without chairs; the intimate spaces only hold eight or nine people.
47 E. Houston St., Nolita | 212.219.7693
We were thrilled when Igancio Mattos (formerly of Chez Panisse, Il Buco, and Isa) opened this spot on East Houston (he now has Café Altro Paradiso nearby on Spring Street). The dishes are of a Mediterranean slant, and while they’re unfamiliar and unexpected, he never sacrifices taste or pleasure for innovation. There are many swoon moments on the menu: egg salad on matzo, raw scallops with yuzu, beef tartare with sunchoke (the texture of this was incredible), and ricotta dumplings. It’s a small spot with rustic accents that never threaten to overshadow the food. It can get quite loud, and tables can be hard to come by, but if you can get one, go.
234 W. 4th St., West Village | 212.933.1824
Restaurateur Gabriel Stulman (of Happy Cooking Hospitality) recently re-concepted his West Village Italian restaurant, Perla, into Fairfax, a Mediterranean eatery with a straightforward menu of inventive dishes you’ll want order over and over, oh and a great wine list. Part of the swap was changing out formal dining room tables for more casual living room furniture and communal tables (many of the pieces taken from the Stulman’s own home), making it super comfortable, but more of a personality-filled drinks-and-small plates place than a full dinner destination. If you come before 6:30, you can get a glass of wine and a plate for $20. It’s also a great place to host a party.
570 Hudson St., West Village | 212.924.0818
Whether you head to the Carroll Gardens original or the West Village outpost, you can expect a home-style Italian meal in a casual, neighborhood setting from Frank Falcinelli and Frank Castronovo. We love their vegetable-centric offerings, house-made pasta, and hearty Meatball Parmigiana, which is pretty great for lunch.
641 Hudson St., West Village | 646.657.0045
Chef Günter Seeger made a name for himself in Atlanta (Seeger’s was one of the best restaurants there for many years), but he got his start as a bartender, so his restaurants have always been known for their great wine lists. His first NYC restaurant is a formal prix-fixe, and the menu changes every day.
High Street on Hudson
637 Hudson St., West Village | 917.388.3944
This is Chef Eli Kulp’s NYC outpost, a corner-cafe-meets-restaurant in the West Village. (The original location, also well reviewed, is in Philadelphia.) The bakery here is a big draw, and you’ll find most of High Street’s pastries and breads incorporated into their breakfast menu, though we’re just as keen on dinner.
508 Greenwich St., West Soho | 212.641.0654
Inspired by the word for everyday food in Swedish (husmanskost), the fare here is generally rooted in comfort and familiarity. That said, chef/owner Ned Baldwin is too pedigreed to keep it simple, having come from Prune. You’ll find everything from a roasted peach and feta salad to little neck clams and a perfectly prepared burger.
105 Christopher St., West Village | 212.414.5774
The simple cooking style here is an ode to Chef Rita’s Florentine mother and the dishes she made with ingredients from their farm. The menu highlights are all of the classics, like insalata di pomodori, spaghetti alla pomarola, and a beautifully cheesy lasagna (which has several variations, depending on the season). Everything is made with olive oil imported directly from the restaurant’s namesake farm in Tuscany. In the bar, you’ll find a selection of straightforward negronis. It’s the kind of place that’s just as appropriate for a cozy date night as for sunny patio drinks after work.
47 Bond St., Greenwich Village | 212.533.1932
An oldie but a goodie, Il Buco remains one of our more favored Greenwich Village haunts for a cozy supper—around since the early nineties, this antique store-turned-restaurant has retained all the delightful quirks that make a space so memorable. The setting is reason alone to show up—a subterranean wine cave with soft terracotta-hued walls and rustic wooden seating, while the traditional copper pots suspended from the ceiling add to the quaint taverna-vibe and reflect the low, ambient lighting. The menu is hyper-traditional Italian food featuring all the saucy, hearty dishes we always want to eat, executed perfectly. Come hungry and order a selection of pastas (we’re partial to the buttery, rich, chanterelle tagliatelle), always the grilled fish of the day, and save room for the fruit crostata—one of those not too large, never too sweet deserts the Italians do so well.
430 Lafayette St., Greenwich Village | 212.505.5111
Indochine’s opening back in 1984 was actually a dinner in honor of Juilan Schnabel—and the entire art crowd showed up to celebrate. Blessedly, the place hasn’t changed much since then; the wallpaper is iconic, and the Chilean sea bass has garnered a cult-like following. They know what they’re doing, so you can trust them to handle private events of any size.
Jack’s Wife Freda
224 Lafayette St., Soho | 212.510.8550
The husband and wife team behind this wonderfully buzzy spot are South African and Israeli respectively, and this unusual mix turns out to be a hit, as evidenced by the delicious, homey cuisine that comes out of the kitchen. Thanks to its bustling but laid-back vibe, it’s become more of a hang-out than a traditional restaurant: People linger from breakfast until late at night. There’s a second location in the West Village.
89 Macdougal St., Greenwich Village | 212.744.0585
There’s a pretty large group of people who contest that J.G. Melon has the best burgers in the city. They first set up shop on the corner of 3rd Avenue and 74th Street back in 1972, and it retains its original charm thanks to the persevering green-checked tablecloths and well-worn wooden bar. The newer Greenwich Village location is, of course, a popular haunt for NYU kids—just keep in mind that it’s under different ownership than the original.
228 W. 10th St., West Village | 212.255.5757
Despite its two-floor, 100-plus-seat space, tables are somewhat hard to come by at L’Artusi, which makes the spots at the white marble bar all the more valuable. The menu centers around several pleasing pasta dishes, with Italian-inspired seafood and meat mains, plus plates like L’Artusi’s roasted mushrooms with pancetta, fried egg, chilies, and ricotta salata. There’s also a serious wine list, and Sunday brunch to consider.
Lafayette Grand Café & Bakery
380 Lafayette St., Greenwich Village | 212.533.3000
Lafayette serves all three meals in a beautiful brasserie space: Copper pots hang in the kitchen, horseshoe-shaped booths are spacious and inviting, while the clean, fresh look of the bakery—with blue-and-white patterned floor tiles and lots of white marble—offsets the rusticity of the dining room. We like the shellfish platter and the oysters, along with the rotisserie chicken for two and an order of the fries. It’s also a great place to meet for breakfast, with simple, quality dishes that all have a French twist (two farm eggs any style with pommes de rôtisserie or smoked salmon benedict on brioche). The private wine cave has its own bar, which makes it ideal for office holiday parties.
32 Spring St., Nolita | 212.941.7994
Lombardi’s gets the title of being the U.S.’s first ever pizzeria, meaning it does receive its fair share of tourists. The best way to get your hands on this pizza is to order for take-out. Lombardi’s has tough competition, but this is certainly a contender as one of the best in the city.
170 Thompson St., Greenwich Village | 212.982.5089
Lupa is Mario Batali’s most accessible spot, full of ambiance and offering all sorts of affordable pastas served family style. Our favorite: Spaghetti Aglio e Olio. It’s simple but the quality of the ingredients makes it luxurious. You’d never know it, but they actually have a private room in the back. Or, for a larger group, you can reserve the entire restaurant.
54 Carmine St., West Village | 212.255.2100
This great neighborhood spot—care of the team behind The Little Owl—is one of our favorite spots for lunch. The American fare is simple and delicious, meaning the turkey sandwich is perfect, and the burgers are pretty great, too.
Mermaid Oyster Bar
79 Macdougal St., Greenwich Village | 212.260.0100
The third outpost from the Mermaid Inn crew, this Greenwich Village oyster bar is arguably the most beloved. They have a solid happy hour, and in addition to the raw bar, you can also get New England seafood staples (there’s a lobster roll served on grilled brioche), salads, and grilled fish and steak. We like it for date night.
90 Bedford St., West Village | 212.229.2220
The décor is nothing special, but the Middle Eastern dishes—standards from tabbouleh to falafel, plus their trademark oven baked “pitzas” (that’s a pita served like a pizza)—are more than a cut above your standard Turkish café. Plus, it’s really well-priced. We love this as a lunch option or as a crowd-pleasing take-away. There’s also a location in the East Village and in Harlem.
Omen a Zen
113 Thompson St., Soho | 212.925.8923
While it’s nothing special when it comes to atmosphere and décor, this unassuming Japanese nook in Soho serves up delicious Kyoto-style food, including plenty of super fresh sashimi and small, flavorful cooked dishes. We’re partial to the Omen udon noodles, served simply with seaweed and hot or cold broth. This spot is a big hit among artists, actors, and creatives, who probably love the food as much as its hushed, relaxed vibe. We always order The Garden.
113 Jane St., West Village | 212.255.4143
Order the pizza. It’s the reason to eat at this light, bright Italian restaurant inside the lobby of The Jane Hotel. The combination of the crust—thick and bubbly around the edges but still thin in the center—and the toppings, from garlic-cream-clam to vodka-burrata-basil, is beyond delicious. If you’re not into pizza (we’ve yet to meet anyone who’s not, but we’ve heard stories), the crispy rice salad and pork ribs dich, which comes with a sticky sauce and is topped with bee pollen, is pretty fantastic, too.
218 Lafayette St., Soho | 212.965.8777
Inspired by the city of Bologna in the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy, Michael White’s Osteria Morini churns out excellent fare using lots of regional ingredients (prosciutto, parmigiano, balsamic vinegar, et al). The pasta here is especially great, as are the antipasti.
1 5th Ave., Greenwich Village | 212.995.9559
The pizzas here are, of course, absolutely exquisite—try the clam pizza, one of the very best. And their non-pizza options—the spaghetti alla carbonara, in particular reach a whole new level of deliciousness. It’s a great space to dine-in, as the theme is an old-school European train station, but if you can’t get a reservation, the take-out menu is a good alternative.
131 7th Ave. S., West Village | 646.657.0646
Otto’s is part of the wonderful trend of casual taquerias sprouting up in NYC: Homemade corn tortillas, salsas, and marinades make it a step above your normal take-away joint (there are a few high-top seats for eating in). They also cater. There are also locations in the East Village and Hell’s Kitchen.
248 Mulberry St., Nolita | 212.993.7189
This Nolita original is part of the Major Food group (Dirty French, Carbone, etc.), and as-to-be-expected it’s reliably really good. It couldn’t be Parm if it didn’t serve a really good one, along with other trattoria standbys like broccoli rabe, penne scampi, and chicken limone. There are also outposts in the Financial District, Upper West Side, Williamsburg, and at Yankee Stadium.
187 Mulberry St., Nolita
Everyone in New York has their own best-of list, but the wood-fired pizza at Pasquale Jones, from the same folks behind Charlie Bird, is a solid contender. The littleneck clam and spicy coppa (kale, garlic, smoked caciocavallo) pies are standouts, and a nice match to their wine list, which has some great reasonably priced bottles. The action here centers around an open kitchen and two wood-burning stoves; the booths—though limited—are roomy and good if you’re dining with littles in tow. Reservations are hard to come by, so walking in is your best bet, though be prepared to take several spins around the block while you wait. (Worth it, still.)
Pearl Oyster Bar
18 Cornelia St., West Village | 212.691.8211
While this may be the oyster bar that started the casual seaside dining trend in the city, it hasn’t been overshadowed by its younger competitors. It remains a firm favorite, and we come back time and again for the seaside shack fare which they do so well, including oysters, of course, and huge, mayo-laden lobster rolls. Their hot fudge sundae is pretty insane, too.
234 W 4th St, West Village | 212.933.1824
Relocated from Minetta Lane, Perla Café is an Italian restaurant by Gabe Stulman, the man behind Joseph Leonard and Fedora. There are a handful of new dishes on the menu, along with some familiar pastas. The vibe is more casual in the new location, and, another change, Perla is now open for weekday lunch and weekend brunch
70 Kenmare St., Nolita | 646.613.7522
Ramen Lab seats no more than ten people at a time so there’s always a wait, but the Sun Noodle bowls are well worth it. The tiny space also serves as a think tank of sorts for emerging ramen chefs, hosting regular tastings and pop-ups with the likes of Paris-based Kodawari Ramen and Menya Jiro from Japan, as they hone their craft.
180 Prince St., Soho | 212.966.3518
Run by the Raoul brothers and their family, and open in Soho since before the neighborhood scrubbed itself clean, patrons return again and again for the bistro fare, and the charming, authentically eccentric vibe. It genuinely feels like a secluded little Parisian nook, where you can find great French staples and a late night scene at the bar.
218 Bowery, Nolita | 917.639.3880
Rebelle was created by a team of industry insiders—the general manager (Branden McRill), chef (Daniel Eddy), and wine director (Patrick Capiello), each with star-studded culinary resumes, are all owners in the establishment. So far, it’s been a potent combination—the team earned a Michelin star within a year of opening their doors. The wine list alone is a huge draw, as you’ll find reasonable prices on some stellar, hard-to-find bottles and a team of sommeliers that are knowledgeable and helpful, but not the least bit snobby or intimidating. Though every dish on Chef Daniel Eddy’s menu is mouthwateringly good, the steak tartare, duck, and lobster are all must-orders (and we recommend springing for the chef’s counter, should you have the opportunity).
529 Hudson St., West Village | 212.792.9700
Chef Joe Ng is doing wonders in a great second floor space in the West Village (upstairs from Red Farm’s newer sibling, Decoy), and a second outpost on the Upper West Side. Red Farm’s menu focuses on fresh greenmarket product, artfully prepared fish, and delicious dim sum (including less familiar creations like Katz’s pastrami egg roll). From the dim sum selection, the Pac Man shrimp dumplings are as delicious as they are Instagram-worthy and the duck spring rolls are not at all greasy and taste surprisingly refreshing. We’re more than willing to endure the substantial wait (no reservations here) for a bowl of the Lobster Long Life noodles and the veggie fried rice. They put together prix-fixe menus for large groups in private spaces at both locations.
235 Mulberry St., Nolita | 212.965.0500
At the heart of this family-run restaurant is a fifty-plus-year-old thin crust pizza recipe. But Rubirosa also does Italian classics like chicken parm, lasagna, and meatballs; and they have a separate gluten-free menu. Make a reservation in advance, especially if you want to eat at prime dinner time—although, Rubirosa’s weekend brunch is surprisingly good, too.
219 Mulberry St., Nolita | 212.925.5755
This hangout for Australians (for real) offers an insanely delicious burger, along with meal-worthy salads. It’s a great pit-stop for a quick bite should you be shopping your way through Nolita. The original location has doubled in size (expanding into next door’s space) since opening in 2003, and there is also now a second location on the border of Murray Hill and Gramercy.
463 West Broadway, Soho | 646.757.5477
It’s no surprise that Major Food Group’s take on the deli has been a big hit. Come in the morning for bagels, smoked fish, and chopped salads, and in the evening for a dimly lit brasserie vibe, with roasted salmon and spicy fried chicken on the menu.
47 E. 12th St., Greenwich Village | 212.228.6088
With just 20 counter seats to fill and a strict omakase-only rule, there’s no doubt that Chefs Nick Kim and Jimmy Lau (both of Neta fame) are aiming to attract legit sushi aficionados. And rightfully so: The $175 kaiseki features both sushi and such inventive dishes as uni risotto, toro with caviar, and lobster with smoked bacon. The (slightly) more reasonable $135 sushi tasting is another option. But the food is excellent—well worth the hefty price tag—and the dimly lit, exposed brick space makes for a very cool atmosphere.
63 Bedford St., West Village | 212.929.3499
The menus for lunch and dinner here include the standards—there’s hummus, tzatziki, boureki, and the like—but this isn’t your typical family-run diner. The chef turns out fresh interpretations all day long. At lunch, we tend to gravitate toward their big, fresh salads, and in the evening, we love combining “mezedes”—hearty veggie dishes—with our mains.
23 Commerce St., West Village | 212.924.2212
A two-month wait for a seat at Nakazawa’s bar, a chef whose claim to fame is having worked under Jiro, is not unheard of. Pedigree aside, the wait for the restaurant makes total sense: You’ll get 20 perfect pieces of perfect nigiri. The cuts are gorgeous, and it’s dressed up ever so slightly with just an ingredient or two (yuzu paste, lemon, salt).
The Burger Joint
33 W. 8th St., Greenwich Village | 212.432.1400
The original outpost of The Burger Joint is in Midtown’s Le Parker Meridien hotel, which you’ll only find thanks to a line of people looping through the lobby, leading to a black velvet curtain. There’s a pretty epic burger joint on the other side. The line moves fast though, and once you’re in, the menu is concise, written on the cardboard sign above the register. Order a burger (or grilled cheese) with “the works”—that’s onions, relish, and the joint’s own special sauce. With pen grafitti and old-school movie posters on the walls, and good classic rock on the stereo, it’s a fun, kitschy experience through and through. The second stand-alone location in Greenwich Village has the same great food.
The Little Owl
90 Bedford St., West Village | 212.741.4695
This tiny corner restaurant has a great neighborhood vibe and hearty, Mediterranean-inspired dishes. It’s the kind of place you can always rely on for homey classics, like eggplant parm and a perfect roast chicken.
The Spotted Pig
314 W. 11th St., West Village | 212.620.0393
There’s always a party going on at this permanent fixture on the New York dining scene, and always good food: Among other things, they serve up some of the best french fries in New York and, incidentally, one of the best brunches, too. The private room upstairs is hyper-cozy, making it best suited to more intimate parties (and the colder months).
51 Grove St., West Village | http://www.viacarota.com/#about
Cauliflower in fontina gratin, wild boar ragu… the Italian small plates from chefs Jody Williams and Rita Sodi are ridiculously well done. Another major draw: The gorgeous outdoor patio. As Mario Batali put it, this place “is everything right about the West Village.”
210 6th Ave., Soho | 212.807.7421
A New York mainstay since the ’70s, the prevailing theory at Soeun is an old-school Japanese-based macrobiotic one: there is no meat, dairy, or eggs on the menu and certain veggies are prohibited. One could argue that the cult of the macro plate began here, but there are plenty of other dark green veggies, grains, beans and fish on the menu to leave you feeling pleasantly sated. Salmon or black cod can be ordered with teriyaki sauce; the yuba, tofu “skins” are served with Chinese cabbage, carrot, and scallion in a tamari kombu broth. Both downtown spaces (the other is in the East Village) are light-filled and sparsely decorated. Bonus: They deliver.
359 Sixth Ave., Greenwich Village | 646.559.9909
Chef Seamus Mullen does amazing things with Spanish cuisine at one of our favorite spots in the city. The focus here is on ingredients, which are fresh, exquisite and presented in ways that honor Spanish tradition while giving it all a fresh twist at the same time.
26 Bond St., Greenwich Village | 646.329.5836
Hip, but not overrated or overrun, this all-day cafe from the guys behind The Jane Hotel is a great place to meet up for a coffee or casual lunch/dinner. They sell artisan goods up front.
31 Great Jones St., Greenwich Village | 212.253.5700
This is the sort of kid and group-friendly spot that every neighborhood needs. Helmed by chef Hillary Sterling, the focus is on hearty pizzas, pastas, and veggie-driven sides. No big surprise since these are the people behind Five Points (RIP), Cookshop, and Hundred Acres.
137 Sullivan St., West Village | 347.534.3050
West-Bourne brings a bit of the West Coast to New York with its Cali-inspired, veg-based menu and zero-waste philosophy. LA native Camilla Marcus delivers dishes centered around seasonal, local produce elevated with some of her favorite artisanal products from her home state. Everything is healthy and hearty (try the farm grains with almond butter)–and the wine list is solid, focusing on a large selection of varieties from California. Furthering the Cali influence is the sustainable design that includes reclaimed wood, custom furniture, and nostalgic, throwback-y art highlighting 1960’s LA. A portion of all meal proceeds goes toward The Door, a New York non-profit dedicated to youth empowerment.
ZZ’s Clam Bar
169 Thompson St., Greenwich Village | 212.254.3000
This teensy 12-seat jewel box serves top-notch raw fish and small seafood plates best washed down with some pretty out-of-this-world cocktails by Thomas Waugh, of Death & Co fame. In other words, definitely sample a few cocktails, which come in playful presentations from a tea cup to a ceramic buddha with a straw through its belly. As in all restaurants by the Major Food Group, it’s hard to get a reservation—same goes for their private room, which needs to be locked down well in advance.
11 Howard St., Nolita | 212.235.1111
Aby Rosen’s new nightclub, which spans the entire second floor of Nolita hotel 11 Howard, is supposed to be a total scene at night (that is, if you can catch it on a date when it’s not closed for events), but we actually like it just as much in the early evening for after-work drinks. The room is lined with velvet banquettes and a long bar that’s lit from underneath, with bouquets of cherry blossoms and fresh blooms in every corner.
210 Elizabeth St., Nolita | 212.343.7011
The Daily boasts 600 drinks in their repertoire, which sounds overwhelming. But in practice, they choose one every night for each category—i.e. apertif, shaken up, long, a “bottled” cocktail for two. Drinks are paired with snacks like pretzel bites, pork sliders, and oysters. The bar feels both high-concept, and also warm and inviting.
The Rusty Knot
425 West St., West Village | 212.645.5668
All the way on the West side (i.e., immediately across from the river), this bar boasts a short menu of your basic tiki drinks, and the interior looks like the inside of Gilligan’s Island era yacht. The vibe is casual and, well, happy, and it’s always packed (in a good way).
Crosby Street Hotel
79 Crosby St., Soho | 212.226.6400
This exuberant Firmdale Hotels offering is sort of the perfect mix of over-the-top design flourishes and straight-up excellent hospitality, which makes it an instant hit for kids. Dotted with dog statues and bright colors, the rooms are fun, rather than stuffy, and there are lots of considerations for little ones: Adjoining rooms, cots, pint-sized bathrobes, a kid’s menu (and 24-hour room service), plus babysitting service. There’s also an on-site screening room.
27 Grand St., Soho | 212.465.2000The rooms at this Soho hotel are decorated minimally and elegantly. People flock here for the splashy features like a glass elevator on the side of the building, the scene-y rooftop pool, and great views of Manhattan from the gym, the sky bar, and many of the rooms.
113 Jane St., West Village | 212.924.6700
Designed to look like an old-fashioned luxury European hotel, this is a great (and affordable) place to stay. The rooms, like the Bunk Bed Cabins, are small, but they have everything you need (TV, Wifi, a DVD player, an iPod)—minus a huge price tag. Don’t expect a quiet stay: The lounge gets plenty of foot traffic when the bar opens, though you can always seek refuge at Café Gitane, the hotel’s popular restaurant.
The Mercer Hotel
147 Mercer St., Soho | 212.966.6060
André Balazs hotels are known for their practical, yet elegant spin on comfort: Homey amenities include a library of books and movies, while the rooms are modern and simple, with special attention given to good bedding and spacious bathrooms. The Mercer Kitchen is a great plus—it’s one of the best restaurants in the area, and a great spot for lunch while shopping.
5 W. 8th St., Greenwich Village | 212.321.0100
We almost don’t want to put any more of a spotlight on this hotel, as its lobby lounge is one of our favorite places to get work done outside the office: It’s hardly ever crowded, and there are always tables and couches available—some near a log fire—for meetings, lunches (we’re partial to the smoked trout salad), and laptop time. Located right near Washington Square Park, The Marlton’s dark, artful interiors, elegantly outfitted rooms, and snappy Margaux restaurant, bar and lounge area, makes it a pretty great spot.
The Standard Highline
848 Washington St., Meatpacking District | 212.645.4646
Between its penthouse bar, the Boom Boom Room, its dance club, Le Bain, The Standard Grill, and the Biergarten, it seems that this is where everyone wants to see and be seen on any given night in New York. The ultra modern interiors are worth checking out, as is the architecture: The building straddles the High Line and boasts incredible views of the Hudson.
& Other Stories
575 Broadway, Soho | 646.767.3063
It’s nearly impossible to walk out of this shop empty-handed: For one, it’s incredibly cheap and for two, we can’t get enough of their minimal, modern clothing that subscribes to market trends without being a slave to them. Much like Zara and Cos, you can mix their clothing in pretty seamlessly with your higher-end splurges. There’s also a Midtown location.
200 Lexington Ave., Ste. 1500, Nomad | 212.966.1500
Interior designer Thomas O’Brien is known for his elegant yet laid-back interiors and his store is a reflection of exactly that. Furnishings in luxe wood, textiles in a tempered palette of greys and off-whites, select industrial finds, and small home accents are jumbled together for an almost flea-market like effect, bringing a sense of discovery to any visit. It’s easy to walk in and covet the whole package, particularly because his design sensibility fits right in with a range of aesthetics. (Note that Aero has recently moved to a new location at the New York Design Center building.)
7 Greenwich Ave., West Village | 212.206.8674
This gorgeous, dark, and almost gothic spot in the West Village brings all the best small and unknown perfumers together in one room. From Diptyque and Frederic Malle to lesser known brands like Agonist, and Aedes’ own brand (they’ve now developed several scents), there’s a lot to take in, so ask the guys to help you narrow down the selection.
L’Appartement New York
254 Elizabeth St., Nolita | 917.261.6190
For in-the-know New Yorkers, Sézane has been a kind of Parisian style Holy Grail. The laid-back French label pretty consistently check off all the sartorial boxes, best known for their thoughtful edit of lace blouses, stacked-heel boots, great jeans, and unfussy dresses. For their first US outpost, they’ve settled down in Nolita, where design inspiration comes straight from founder Morgane Sezalory’s Paris flat complete with plush velvet seating, light wood floors, wraparound bookshelves, and lots of houseplants. (Bonus: there’s a small café fueled by goop favorite Maman so you can sip your latte while you peruse the racks, or settle into the nook near the front with one of the many books on offer.)
134 10th Ave., Chelsea | 212.226.7378
The first thing to catch our eye upon entering this striking black interior is an antique black carriage full of books and hand-made cushions: It’s just one of many visual statements throughout the space. Look around and there are shelves lined with design objets of diverse provenance, and of course there are no labels, as those would fetter the very calculated, striking displays. While the main room features a mix of furniture and objects, the annex features a deeper look at the work of their stable of craftsmen, from Malian textile designer Aboubakar Fofana to Oyuna, the Mongolian cashmere designer.
Bernd Goeckler Antiques
30 E. 10th St., Noho | 212.777.8209
If you’re looking for an exceptional piece or two to spruce up your living space, this is a good place to start. It comes with a pricetag, but you won’t find a similar selection anywhere else—including an impressive selection of Danish silver and ceramics, and Italian glass. Should you not have the budget, visiting the store is worth it just for the inspiration and the lesson in design history.
5 Crosby St., Soho | 212.625.1230
In a sprawling, white-washed space on Crosby Street, BDDW shows off Tyler Hays’s genius. And what that manifests as is beautifully designed and hand-crafted furniture, ceramics, and rugs—all with a rustic yet pristine, modern feel. It’s stunning, particularly in the way that it’s presented in pretty suites throughout the labyrinthine space. Along with Hays’s work, BDDW also carries a few other equally exquisite items like Lindsay Adelman’s sculptural lighting and Kieran Kinsella ceramic side-tables.
56 Crosby St., Soho | 212.219.1264
There aren’t many better jewelry boutiques in the country: Offering a mix of new and estate pieces, the curation here is stunning, but also cool (sometimes a hard-to-accomplish feat). You’ll find tiny little mixed stone rings from Mociun, huge diamond slice earrings, but Lito’s bejeweled third eye pendants. The original is in the Brentwood Country Mart in Los Angeles.
Canvas Home Store
426 Broome St., Soho | 212.372.7706
We’re huge fans of Ochre, Canvas’ elegant big sister interior brand, so it’s no wonder Canvas is a favorite, too. Stocked with household basics, it’s the more affordable version with a rustic French aesthetic. Selling rough-hewn linens in muted tones, furnishings, and the full spectrum of tabletop goods from glassware to serving dishes, this is a great first stop if you’re decorating. It’s equally useful for hostess gifts.
451 Broadway, Soho | 212.219.1454
Crate & Barrel’s sister store is full of modern, really well-priced furniture items and home accents, making it a great stop when in need of a few practical pieces for a quick home upgrade. We always stock up on their glass and dishware—they’re great, easily replenished, kitchen basics. There’s also a location in Midtown.
Creatures of Comfort
205 Mulberry St., Nolita | 212.925.1005
This popular Los Angeles transplant is drawing a similarly devoted clientele in New York, thanks to its cool, light-filled location and artful mix of lines like Acne and Rachel Comey. While the store is an experience, their online store is just as well-stocked.
33 Bond St., Noho | 212.387.8520
Specializing in contemporary photography tomes, Dashwood is lined with every important book on the subject. The owner and staff are always up for helping you find something special or just for a good photo chat. Watch out for their own beautiful editions, including their two books with photographer Ryan McGinley.
57 Bond St., Greenwich Village | 212.966.3626
This beloved bi-coastal shop has a cult following thanks to its mix of always on-point brands and the occasional discovery: Isabel Marant, Alexander Wang, Balenciaga, and Georgia Hardinge are all here. Owner Nevena Borissova is also a stylist, and so in addition to the great mix on the racks, you’ll learn how to put it together, too.
1 Crosby St., Soho | 212.625.0838
At this veritable treasure chest, black walls highlight cabinets chock full of objects chosen solely for their beauty, whether they be modern French ceramics from Tse et Tse, rare jewels, or 15th-century religious effigies. It’s all the work of owner Federico de Vera who travels around the globe hand-picking and then arranging every single item for his two Manhattan stores. Nothing comes with a label, but should you want the backstory on any object, the staff are expert antiquarians and design connoisseurs.
Dienst + Dotter Antikviteter
411 Lafayette St., Noho | 212.861.1200
After spending decades in the art, antiques, and design world—at places like the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the antiques store Didier Aaron, and with the interior designer Jacques Grange—Jill Dienst opened her own gallery in 2005. Now housed in a former warehouse in Noho, the staple of Dienst + Dotter’s highly curated selection of furniture, paintings, objects, lighting and books is Scandinavian art and antiques, pure and minimal.
Doyle & Doyle
412 W. 13th St., Meatpacking District | 212.677.9991
Helmed by two sisters, Doyle & Doyle was the first shop to make estate jewelry cool, thanks in no small part to its original outpost in the LES (they recently relocated to the Meatpacking District). Since 1998, Elizabeth and Irene have been scouring the country for exquisite pieces from every conceivable period: You’ll find intricately-rendered Art Nouveau lockets, Edwardian diamond drop earrings, and a huge range of 19th century engagement rings.
E.R. Butler & Co.
55 Prince St., Nolita | 212.925.3565
The showroom, in the original Tiffany & Co. silver department building, is not only a stunning space, but it offers an encyclopedia array of hardware options from all styles and periods—they have the largest collection of hardware catalogs in the world. Along with their own gorgeous line, they also carry designer objects from Ted Muehling, Hella Jongerius, and Philip Crangi, a few of which they manufacture, too.
107 Sullivan St., Soho | 212.431.5839
Occupying a sliver of space in a quiet stretch of Soho, Global Table is one of those places that’s packed from floor to ceiling. Sourcing items from all over the world, the prevailing aesthetic is bright, colorful, and modern, though they also have a great selection of wooden serving pieces, like salad bowls and cutting boards. It’s rare to walk out empty-handed.
27 Prince St., Nolita
This thoughtfully curated shop by ultra-modern Danish designer Han Kjøbenhavn (the name riffs on the traditional spelling of Copenhagen) is helmed by a welcoming, knowledgeable, very small staff with a helpful but no-pressure approach, which makes it a pleasure to shop the high-end casual menswear on offer. Their sunglasses, which are unisex, are all very cool, creative versions of timeless styles; it’s the carefully streamlined, yet still innovative aesthetic that gives the shop, and the clothes, something special.
Housing Works Bookstore & Café
126 Crosby St., Soho | 646.786.1200
100% of the proceeds from this popular used bookstore go to its very worthwhile charity that provides housing for those in need (if you’re looking to unload your bookshelves, bring donations here). Twice a month, the store hosts the popular Moth Storytelling Series, which is worth lining up for. The gorgeous space, lined with dark wood shelves, is also available for wedding rentals. There are Housing Works thrift shops that sell furniture scattered across the city.
378 Bleecker St., West Village | 212.206.7475
This is the sort of under-the-radar spot where you’ll miss the actual storefront several times if you don’t know exactly where to look: Inside, it’s dark and moody, a sensibility reflected in the racks of Ilaria Nistri and Vivienne Westwood. The original location, just a few blocks away, stocks both men’s and women’s.
170 7th Ave. S., West Village | 212.414.8888
Novels, travel guides, and history books are all jumbled together and categorized by country and region, rather than by author or subject matter at this travel-centric bookstore: The idea is that a book based in a particular place can be the perfect supplement to your trip. As an example, before heading to Istanbul, they suggest you read Orhan Pamuk’s memoir by the same name, to get a real feel for the city. For those prepping for a longer trip or a move, their language classes are a major plus, as they’re taught by native speakers. There’s also a location in Brooklyn.
Il Buco Vita
51 Bond St., 2nd Fl., Greenwich Village | 917.946.3085
Nestled upstairs on Bond Street, this shop from the Il Buco team is focused on homewares sourced from across Italy. There are gorgeous hand-blown glasses, rustic linens, and every conceivable kind of serving bowl.
138 Greene Street, SoHo | 646.892.3188
It was only a matter of time before this beloved Chicago-based vintage furniture and décor emporium made its way to New York. With the brand’s signature mix of old and new, the Manhattan pop-up location includes a floral shop, workroom with custom fabrics, plus one-of-a-kind vintage across two light-filled floors.
449 W. 14th St., Chelsea | 212.206.1272
At this legendary boutique—an early pioneer in the Meatpacking/Chelsea area—you’ll find all the big brands from Alaia to Dries van Noten to Prada, each with its own rack and an eager sales person nearby. The house DJ in his booth may be a sign of better times now past, but it’s still a worthy shopping venue. (And if you’re ever in Atlanta, you have to go to the original.)
125 Mercer St., Soho | 212.255.7803
Over the past few years, this lingerie boutique has grown and opened up several shops all over the city. It turns out there was a real hole in the marketplace when it came to lingerie: A place where you can find pretty lingerie that you don’t feel silly wearing everyday, which means a tasteful mix of brands like Bordelle, Stella McCartney, Cosabella, and Princesse Tam-Tam, in both basic nudes and bright colors. There’s also a location in Union Square and the Upper East Side.
477 Broome St., Soho | 212.941.9656
We’ve gooped about Kirna Zabete before, as owners Sarah and Beth have pretty amazing taste. At their decked out, neon-laced shop, they display only the best pieces from high-end brands like Balenciaga, Derek Lam, and Stella McCartney.
125 Greene St., Soho | 212.475.2470
It’s not that the clothes stocked at this subtly other-worldly (and easy to overlook) boutique are necessarily Parisian, but many of the brands—Demylee, Vanessa Bruno, Megan Park, Golden Goose—have that seasonless quality that the French pull off so well. This is not to say that the array isn’t without its wonderful eccentricities, whether it’s a doll-shaped Servane Gaxotte necklace, or a cat-bedecked Tsumori Chisato tunic. But we digress, because the real siren song is the kid’s selection, packed with Bonton pullovers, Anais & I party dresses, and Finger in the Nose jeans. There’s also a handful of toys from iconic brands like Villac.
Larsson & Jennings
335 Bleecker St., West Village | 646.559.1561
This contemporary watch brand only launched in 2012, but its Swiss-made timepieces—made with locally sourced leather wristbands from “Anglo-Swedish tanneries” and with hand-finished, premium metals—are already sort of legendary. Their Bleeker Street brick-and-mortar (there’s another on Prince Street in Nolita) constitutes an airy, whitewashed space with a gorgeously minimalist design, a.k.a. typical Scandinavia-chic, where you can try out their unisex collection of built-to-last timepieces.
269 Elizabeth St., Nolita | 212.431.5683
As the jewelry extension of the East Village tattoo parlor, New York Adorned, you might expect that the jewelry here would be of the skull and crossbones variety. But it’s actually gorgeous, and for the most part, dainty: There are sapphire studded earrings from UK-based designer Polly Wales, tourmaline slab necklaces by Lola Brooks, and diamond rings in the shape of mini-crescents by Anna Sheffield. They also have an excellent—and unexpected—range of home goods and gifts. There’s a new outpost in Los Angeles, and a great shop in the Hamptons.
16 Howard St., Soho | 212.625.1797As if founding and designing the now international furniture brand BDDW wasn’t enough, now the brilliantly creative (and energetic) Tyler Hays has opened up a second space in Soho named after a general store in his hometown of Lostine, Oregon. The reference to Hays’s childhood memories is ever-present here: Everything in the shop–from clothing to knives, butter dishes, and beyond—is handmade in Tyler’s studio in Philadelphia.
16 Crosby St., Soho | 212.343.9999
Maiyet’s chic, feminine runway and RTW collections are housed in their first flagship, a modern and refined all-white haven near Canal street. This newish line, which is quickly becoming a classic, is all the more appealing due to its provenance: Each and every item of clothing, jewelry and leather goods is hand-crafted in sustainable workshops around the world, from Kenya to Vietnam. Maiyet supports them all through social programs and skills training.
237 Centre Street, Soho | 212.226.0700
Benjamin Sormonte and Elisa Marshall–founding partners behind the charming, chic, and decadent Maman cafés (and one of our all-time favorite chocolate chip cookies)–recently opened this marriage of a marketplace, café, and boutique in the heart of Soho. Stocked with coveted French brands, from eclectic Jamini textiles to Bastide botanical creams to Merci Bisous wears for littles, this is one of those shops we can spend hours in–literally. Bonus: It’s an ideal spot to grab a housewarming, birthday, host, anniversary, you-name-it gift–and there’s a gorgeous West Elm-clad patio out back where you can take a respite and enjoy Maman’s incredible menu.
405 Broome St., Soho | 212.343.2600
Jamie Grey’s gallery-like design store carries exquisite furniture, lighting, and homewares from a mix of today’s most cutting-edge industrial designers. You’ll find pieces from Rich Brilliant Willing and Bec Brittain, and many exclusive collaborations. Though the aesthetic that runs through the space is extremely minimal, they make an effort to make home-like displays, which makes every visit inspiring.
52 Prince St., Nolita | 212.274.1160
At McNally, you’re greeted by several tables piled high with the latest arrivals and the staff’s most recent recommendations, which is a smart place to start. The rest of the shop is easy-to-navigate and bustling, plus there’s a coffee shop to enjoy your purchases and a self-publishing press should you have the urge. We’re tempted to join their monthly book clubs, on a variety of themes.
27 Howard St., Soho | 212.343.0033
Along with her own line of printed wallpapers and textiles, Michele Varian sells a mix of flea market finds, jewelry, and general curiosities. It’s always worth a stop for an unusual gift or home accent.
91 Crosby St., Soho | 646.590.1964
There’s really no better option than this beloved Australian brand’s take on paper-thin, rough-hewn porcelain, turned out in everything from large serving platters to everyday dishes and flatware. While each piece has a hand-made quality, they come in a vast array of smooth glaze finishes, from off-white to bright peach, blue, and yellow.
6 Centre Market Pl., Little Italy | 212.226.5759
Owners and stylists Morgan Yakus and Karin Bereson pride themselves on making their cozy store the sort of place where you can shop, but also just hang out. As avid vintage collectors, almost everything here is one-of-a-kind, though you’ll also find their now-famous boot clogs.
462 Broome St., Soho | 212.414.4332
Andrew Corrie and Harriet Maxwell MacDonald’s rough-luxe furniture, lighting, chandeliers, and accessories bring a sense of ethereality to any room, and their store is a wonderful showcase of the breadth of their refined style. At Ochre you’ll find beautiful pieces in all categories, from the small accents to the big, thematic pieces. Along with Ochre’s line, there’s a scattering of small curios and functional, beautiful objects sourced from all over the world.
199 Lafayette St., Soho | 212.966.0026
This is the place to source an entire men’s wardrobe: You’ll find Simon Miller jeans, Alex Mill buttondowns, and Common Projects sneakers, along with dressier suiting from Comme des Garcons. The guys behind Odin are fashion arbiters of men’s street style, which is why whenever we need to pick up a guy’s gift, we head here first. There’s also a location in both the West Village and the East Village.
35 Howard St., Soho | 212.219.2688
Before they were tapped to head up Kenzo, best friends Carol Lim and Humberto Leon launched Opening Ceremony back in 2002. At the time, it had a pretty compelling concept: It would highlight design talent from a specific country, before integrating it into a home team of sorts that stayed out on the floor. It was also one of the first stores to host in-store collaborations—they brought in Topshop for the Kate Moss capsule collection, which was particularly memorable. Today, OC has stores in LA, London, and Tokyo, where you’ll find a very specific buy from designers like Proenza Schouler and Band of Outsiders, along with collaborations with Chloe Sevigny and the Magritte Foundation. There’s also a small shop at the Ace Hotel in Nomad.
21 Bond St., Greenwich Village | 212.966.8954
Paula Rubenstein’s eponymous store on Prince Street in Soho (which she occupied for more than 20 years) made her a bit of a local legend. Just recently she moved to a new, and arguably more convenient, location on Bond Street in Greenwich Village. As ever, her shop is full of incredible found objects, from industrial furniture to Navajo weavings to antique signs—the endless shelves of yellow-paged books alone are enough to occupy an entire afternoon. The collection of fabrics and linens is the stuff of dreams.
121 Greene St., Soho | 212.420.7300
Proenza’s first brick and mortar location on the Upper East Side is everything you’d expect from this much-loved label: The space is a slick, geometric gray, with inlaid marble walls that are the perfect backdrop for the duo’s structural pieces. The second location in Soho is a perfect match.
95 Crosby St., Soho | 212.334.0455
Each season, Rachel Comey designs at least one item that becomes an instant classic, worn at offices and dinner parties from Williamsburg to the Upper West Side. For years, she’s been one of New York’s most influential designers—and a sweetheart among local editors and buyers for her playful yet grown up pieces. We love the tongue-in-cheek Leanne Shapton painted flag outside this flagship—the influential art director is a good friend—and the breezy Charles de Lisle interiors that make a feature of the exposed wood slat ceiling.
45 Great Jones St., Nolita | 212.625.1374
Resurrection’s stores in Los Angeles and New York are whitewashed, airy spaces with mid-century furniture scattered throughout. And then, of course, there’s the clothes. Owners Katy Rodriguez and Mark Haddawy gather all the greats like Lacroix, Valentino, and Westwood with an eye for some of their more colorful, over the top designs—though there are plenty of beautiful gowns and dresses here that don’t scream costume.
Roman and Williams Guild
53 Howard Street, Soho | 646.931.0017
Roman and Williams’s first brick-and-mortar location spotlights its Founding Collection—furniture, lighting, and accessories created by the husband and wife duo Robin Standefer and Stephen Alesch—and collaborations with global artisans, found objects, and antiques. From the glossy custom grey paint to the open shelving showcasing French and Japanese artisan glassware, every detail in the space is considered and exudes their signature striking-meets-livable Roman and Williams style, as seen in spaces like New York’s Ace Hotel, San Antonio’s Hotel Emma, and Freehand Chicago. Standefer and Alesch wanted the space to reflect the way they live, so they incorporated La Mercerie, an all-day Parisian café and bakery (open until 11 p.m.), and flower shop from “local muse of botany” Emily Thompson. The result is a gorgeously louche, utterly authentic space we never want to leave.
Roll & Hill
3 Mercer St., Soho
With its workshop in Sunset Park, Brooklyn and a roster of lighting designers that includes Lindsey Adelman, Jason Miller, and Bec Brittain, it’s no wonder Roll & Hill has been among the most in-demand lighting studios for New York’s in-the-know. The cat’s out of the bag now, though, with a sleek space in Soho that highlights each sculptural piece with just enough furniture to give it context. It’s a traditional showroom, so you won’t walk away with anything, but everything is technically for sale.
17 Perry St., West Village | 347.246.5830
With top-notch surf beaches in Rockaway and nearby Jersey, New York is something of a surfer’s destination, though you wouldn’t think it in the middle of Manhattan. And this brand of casual men’s clothing, from t-shirts and shorts to lived in sweatshirts for wearing post-surf, is a kind of destination in itself. Guys come to lust over the surfboards, the photographs by young artists displayed on the walls, and stay for an espresso at the in-house bar. The first location is on Crosby Street.
230 Elizabeth St., Nolita | 212.343.7974
We head to Steven Alan for the perfectly tailored yet lived-in men’s and women’s shirting that comes in an endless variety of plaids and stripes. Beyond that, it’s the relaxed mix of pieces from designers like A.P.C, Isabel Marant, Rachel Comey, that keeps us coming back. The outpost in Tribeca is the flagship and the original, though there are now locations scattered around the city. In Nolita, the men’s (230 Elizabeth Street) and women’s (229 Elizabeth) are next door to one another.
828 Broadway, Greenwich Village | 212.473.1452
If we were to name the most loved bookstore in the city, this would be it (after all, it’s been operating out of the same location since the ’20s). The staff picks and recommended reading tables are always on point, and, along with fiction and non-fiction titles, their photography and fine art section upstairs is wonderfully comprehensive, as is their dimly-lit rare books floor.
52 White St., Tribeca | 212.431.3825
Designer Ted Muehling’s timeless, nature-inspired pieces come in many exquisite shapes—spindly candlesticks, globe-like earrings—and are the result of collaborations with some of the world’s most revered manufacturers from Lobmeyr crystal to Nymphemburg porcelain. At his store and workspace—his studio is tucked away upstairs—you’ll find his jewelry, porcelain, and crystal, displayed in elegant glass vitrines. You’ll also find everything that inspires him, from found seashells and butterfly displays to the work of other artisans like Gabriella Hale and Axel Russmeyer.
The Apartment by The Line
76 Greene St., Soho | 917.460.7196
Launched by Vanessa Traina—who has unabashedly exquisite taste—this bricks-and-mortar extension of her clean-lined website is an apartment that you can shop in real life, from the rugs, to the shelving, to the beauty products in the bathroom. We’re obsessed with the concept, thanks in no small part to the fact that everything here is something you’d actually want to take home.
The End of History
548 1/2 Hudson St., West Village | 212.647.7598
Lit up like a rainbow, The End of History is one of the more unique stores in the city—if not the United States. Here, you’ll find really, really beautiful cased glass that’s highly collectible (with prices to match). It all looks so stunning as a grouping, you’ll want to take at least three pieces home. They also deal in really beautiful and rare pottery making the store an inspiration point for many home designers.
The Future Perfect
55 Great Jones St., Greenwich | 212.473.2500
When The Future Perfect first opened in Williamsburg, it made waves by selling contemporary, well-designed furniture and small home goods by young, totally unknown designers. Nowadays, the store has grown up a bit and moved to Manhattan (and added a location in San Francisco, too). They still highlight their discoveries, but in an almost gallery-like manner, giving each piece space to speak for itself. You can still find their excellent selection of gifts and small goods online. There’s also now a location in San Francisco.
The Nanz Company
121 Varick St., Soho | 212.367.7000
Based in New York with showrooms around the country, Nanz works closely with architects and designers to get their custom work just right, providing pretty much any custom hardware you can think of for your project. Highly professional—and armed with great aesthetics—we’d recommend them, and their work, for any restoration need. They also have a massive online catalog, which is an excellent tool if you’re looking for ideas.
243 Elizabeth St., Nolita | 646.692.4472
This irresistible boutique—the brainchild of Fiona Thomas and Alison Sires—was originally intended as a showcase for the duo’s eponymous line of well-cut separates (they’re both Loeffler Randall alums). It’s become much more, though, as they’ve found any number of gifts, knick knacks, and kids’ pieces to line the shelves. There are $5 finds, and there are $500 finds, but it’s all a wonderfully happy jumble.
Three Lives & Company
154 W. 10th St., West Village | 212.741.2069
A longtime mainstay in the village, the hand-picked selection at this crammed and cozy little shop is amplified by the store’s incredible staff and their spot-on recommendations. Unsurprisingly, readings here are a warm and intimate experience.
476 Broome St., Soho | 929.248.8178
This Japanese sportswear brand’s elevated riffs on classic-preppy separates—both women’s and men’s—are housed in a boldly designed, spacious Broome Street boutique. Among the wide-leg trousers, vibrant color-blocked sweaters, striped shirts, and boatneck tees you’ll find a highly curated selection of jewelry, shoes, and other goods from a global roster of designers like Knott and Want Les Essentiels. Whether your personal style skews classic or avant-garde, odds are you’ll find something here (though at a price).
190 Bowery, East Village
Totokaelo originated as a Seattle-based boutique (and online shop) renowned for contemporary clothing and artful objects (with a curatorial eye that skews largely monochrome/black-and-white). Its New York store, their first/only East Coast brick-and-mortar, is like a really impressive home: the naturally lit, five-storey, 8,400-square-foot brick building used to be an artist’s residence. There is a lot to process in here, but all of it is pretty much guaranteed to be fashion-insider chic: from their in-house label to brand like Vetements, The Row, Maison Martin Margiela, Jil Sander, Dries Van Noten, Junya Watanabe, and Acne Studios (conveniently, the lofty shop’s selection is organized by white, black, and color). The decor of this substantially sized, airy, open-concept edifice is whitewashed, high-concept, and as super-modern as the men’s and women’s separates, shoes, bags, jewelry, and miscellanea on display.
15 Bleecker St., Noho | 212.965.0144
It’s hard not to have a thing for Ulla Johnson’s breezy bohemian aesthetic—it’s the kind that attracts New Yorkers and LA girls alike. So for the designer’s flagship, she found a jewel box-sized shop on a tree-lined stretch Bleecker Street to call home. Inside a blush-hued space, Johnson’s attention to detail is more than evident: there’s a rotating roster of arrangements by Sarah Ryhanen of Brooklyn-based florist Saipua, a pendant light fixture by Lindsay Adelman, as well as macramé wall hangings by LA designer Taynya Aguiñiga. And then there’s the clothes—pinafore-style dresses, pretty embroidered tops, hand-crocheted sweaters, plus a small edit of delicate jewelry from Pippa Small and Sonia Boyajian are all on display.
33 Bond St., Greenwich Village | 917.675.6990
Back in the ’50s, when famed industrial designer Dieter Rams was the head of design at Braun, he developed a modular shelving system to hold his now-iconic hi-fi systems—and a company, started by Neils Vitsoe, was born. The system has been in production ever since, and in an anti-obsolescence testament, it’s changed very little, meaning that original Vitsoe owners can still add onto, and change, their systems today. It’s incredibly strong (Rams was an architect), meaning it can house huge vinyl and coffee table collections—and then you can take it with you when you move. (The planners will re-draw your systems for you for free.)
WANT Les Essentiels
301 W. 4th St., West Village | 646.398.7584
It’s hard not to love the story behind WANT Les Essentiels, a leather goods brand that was started by a pair of design-obsessed twin brothers from Montreal. Their New York location is their first shop in the U.S., inside a townhouse in the West Village. Want’s line is a reflection of the brothers’ minimalist, Scandinavian-inspired aesthetic: The “essentials for living” include gorgeously-crafted, minimalistic handbags, travel accessories, and line of beautifully turned-out sneakers, all made from meticulously-sourced leather and finished with a signature gold and silver zipper. In addition to their own designs, the store carries a tight edit from the brothers’ favorite clothing and home goods designers, including Comme des Garçons Forever, Filippa K, and Hasami Porcelain. As for the interior, it’s simply decorated with mid-century furniture and modern art, in a style that’s equal parts sophisticated and comfortable, plus their “tea room” in the back actually serves tea.
181 Mott St., Nolita | 212.925.1200
Winnie Beattie and her husband Rob Magnotta wanted to carve out a little piece of paradise in the middle of Manhattan. And they kind of did it. As the name suggests, the vibes here are cozy and chill, combining elements of surf culture and a hippie, beachy lifestyle via men’s and women’s lines like Raquel Allegra, Kule, and The Elder Statesman. For home, there’s Coqui Coqui, Apothia, and Warm’s own collection of fragrances.