UPTOWN

Manhattan Valley/Morningside Heights

  • Silver Moon Bakery; 2740 Broadway at 105th (café/bakery) —go here for : fresh sandwiches, great lemonade, outdoor dining
  • Community Food and Juice; 2893 Broadway, between 112th and 113th (organic restaurant) —go here for : fresh flavors, a great burger, outdoor dining
  • West Side Market; 2840 Broadway (grocery store) —go here for : cheese, produce, hard to find products like Norwegian gjetost
  • The Hungarian Pastry Shop; 1030 Amsterdam Ave between 110th and 111th (bakery/café) —go here for: the best baklava, quirky coffee drinks and snacks for St. John the Divine’s sculpture garden
  • Manhattan School of Music; 120 Claremont Ave (performing arts) —go here for : free concerts, almost every day
  • Absolute Bagels; 2788 Broadway (bagels) —go here for: one of the best bagels in town, hands-down (crunchy outside, chewy inside)
  • Life in Motion; 2744 Broadway (yoga) —go here for: vinyasa & chanting with the intellectual Columbia set

Upper West Side

  • Levain Bakery; 167 W 74th St (bake shop) —go here for: the world's best chocolate chip cookie
  • Grandaisy Bakery; 176 W 72nd St (Italian bakery) —go here for : crusty Italian breads, Illy coffee, thin crust pizza
  • Prohibition; 503 Columbus Ave (bar) —go here for: live music, coverbands that sing all your favorite guilty pleasures
  • Nougatine; 1 Central Park W (French restaurant) —go here for : simple, modern French cuisine that won’t break the bank
  • Lincoln Center David Rubenstein Atrium; 61 W 62 St (performance space) —go here for: Target Free Thursdays
  • Boulud Sud; 20 W 64th St (Mediterranean restaurant) —go here for: unusual wines-by-the-glass; za'atar-spiced dishes; exceptional pastas

Upper East Side

  • Cooper-Hewitt Design Museum; 2 E 91st St —go here for: a great range of ever-changing design exhibits, ranging from modern architecture, to eco-innovation, to almost-useless works of genius.
  • The Plaza Food Hall; 1 W 59th St (food) —go here for: sweets, caffeinated drinks and high-end portable eats 
  • William Greenberg Dessert; 1100 Madison Ave (bakery) —go here for: the best black and white cookie I've ever had in NYC 
  • The Penrose; 1590 2nd Ave (cocktail bar) —go here for: the best bar scene in the neighborhood, a great burger and steak sandwich
  • Bar Pleiades; 20 E 76th St (cocktail bar) —go here for: upscale cocktails that bend expectations, French-inspired bar snacks, warm madeleines

MIDTOWN

Hell’s Kitchen

  • Kashkaval; 856 9th Ave (wine bar) —go here for : a variety of interesting and moderately priced wines, delicious pickings (think spreads and cheese)
  • Hell’s Kitchen Fleamarket; 39th St between 9th and 10th ave (weekend market) —go here for : costume jewelry, furs, antiques, boots, and bags at better prices than the Brooklyn hipster fleas
  • Ippudo; 321 W 51st (ramen shop) —go here for: my favorite ramen in Manhattan
  • Gotham West Market; 600 11th Avenue (indoor food market) —go here for: Ivan Ramen's roasted garlic mazemen, small plates at El Comado

Gramercy, Murray Hill & Midtown East

  • City Opera Thrift Shop; 222 E 23rd St # 212 (thrift store) —go here for: cheap and cool furniture, quirky clothes, books
  • Rolf’s; 281 3rd Ave (kitschy bar) —go here for: extreme christmas decorations
  • Kalustyan’s; 123 Lexington Ave(gourmet shop/upstairs deli) —go here for: the city's best spice shop; a Mediterranean/Indian bang-for-your-buck lunch
  • Numpang; 140 E 41st St (Cambodian sandwich shop) —go here for: spiced-driven sandwiches (love pulled pork or catfish), chipotle-coconut street corn
  • Resto; 111 E 29th St (Belgian restaurant) —go here for: the best boudin noir I’ve ever had, fresh refined comfort food
  • The Cannibal; 113 E 29th St (sandwich shop) — go here for : carnivore luncheons, pigs head cubans, gamey tartares
  • Gramercy Tavern; 42 E 20th St (farm-to-table restaurant) —go here for: a classic New York City dining experience that surpasses its 20+ years, every single time
  • Salvation Burger; 230 E 51st (upscale burgers) —go here for: the "classic" burger; two thin patties with pickles and special sauce on a beautiful artisan bun
  • Mee Noodle; 930 2nd Ave (Chinese cuisine) —go here for: some of the freshest Chinese takeout in the city, especially the Cantonese Wonton soup
  • The Smith; 956 2nd ave (restaurant) —go here for: cozy bistro ambiance and delicious classics - not to mention some of the best moules in Manhattan
  • Totto Ramen; 366 W 52nd Street (ramen shop) —go here for: the best ramen without a epic wait in Manhattan; especially the wavy noodle "Taiwan Paitan" 
  • Alidoro; 18 E 39th St (sandwich shop) —go here for: flavorful vegetable- and charcuterie-laden Italian style sandwiches; try the namesake on "stirato" bread
  • Taylor St. Baristas; 33 E 40th St (coffee shop) —go here for: a flat white, Australian accent included

Flatiron, Madison Square Park & Midtown West

  • Eataly; 200 5th ave at Madison Square Park (Italian superstore) —go here for: celebrity chef sightings, charcuterie and cheese, luxury culinary odd and ends, an amazing foodie bookstore, the Laboratorio della Mozzarella, the Cremespresso & Cioccolato Caldo at the Lavazzo Bar
  • Ace Hotel; 20 W 29th St(hotel) —go here for : a hip, freelancer’s library vibe; afterwork drinks; Stumptown coffee
  • No. 7 Sub; 88 Broadway (sandwich shop) — go here for: creative grinders, especially the broccoli with lychee pickles
  • Raines Law Room; 48 W 17th St (cocktail bar) —go here for: worth-waiting-for drinks, attention to detail (my favorite: steel straws), speakeasy ambiance
  • Hanjan; 36 W 26th St (korean restaurant)  —go here for: modern takes on bibimbapbanchan and other Korean favorites
  • Seoul Garden; 34 W 32nd St, 2nd Fl. (Korean restaurant) —go here for: super-fresh banchan, korean bbq, spicy kimchi soup
  • SweetGreen; 1164 Broadway (salad bar) —go here for: exceptionally fresh ingredients, friendly design and service, healthy weekday lunch
  • Larb Ubol; 480 9th Ave (thai restaurant) —go here for: seriously spicy, authentic thai food - featuring an extensive larb menu
  • NoMad Bar; 10 W 28th St (cocktail bar) —go here for: some of the most creative cocktails in town (try the Bamboo or the Sakura Maru!) + large format punch
  • The Breslin; 16 W 29th St (restaurant) —go here for: an elevated take on British fried snacks, anything pork-centric
  • Upland; 345 Park Avenue S (Italian restaurant) —go here for: inventive pastas, especially the bottarga spaghettini, and one of Manhattan's most beautiful interiors

Chelsea

  • Café Grumpy; 224 W 20th St (coffee shop) —go here for: the perfect cup of drip coffee, quality time with your laptop
  • Txikito; 240 9th Ave (basque tapas restaurant) —go here for: basque cider, patatak mentaiko (fries w/cod roe mayo), txiki txanpi (mushroom grilled cheese), esparragos (white beans and mussels)
  • Co Pane; 230 Ninth Ave (pizza) —go here for: unusually light, yeasty crust, radicchio salad, stracciatella pizza
  • The High Line; 10th Ave (raised walkway) —go here for: refreshing views of the Chelsea skyline, people-watching, hip snacks
  • Haven’s Kitchen; 109 W 17th St (cooking school/shop) —go here for: intimate cooking classes, Bellocq teas/La Colombe coffee, a smattering of delicious gifts
  • The McKittrick Hotel; 530 W 27th St (multi-purpose performance space) —go here for: dinner and dancing at the Heath, rooftop cocktails at Gallow Green, live music and Sleep No More at the Manderley Bar

DOWNTOWN

Union Square

  • Fish’s Eddy; 889 Broadway —go here for: unique dishware, a 25-year NYC legend
  • ABC Kitchen; 35 E 18th St (seasonal restaurant) —go here for: fresh, bright flavors and curious combinations of market fresh items
  • ABC Cocina; 38 E 19th Street (upscale Mexican restaurant) —go here for: a fresh, seasonal take on Mexican cuisine in a beautiful, eclectic space
  • ABC Carpet & Home; 888 Broadway # 4 (home furnishings) —go here for: quirky but classy decorations, an urban escape
  • Tortaria; 94 University Place (Mexican sandwich shop) —go here for: sauced-up sandwiches (love the pulled pork) and spicy cucumber margaritas
  • All'Onda; 22 E 13th St (Venetian restaurant) —go here for: the sea urchin pasta
  • Daily Provisions; 103 E 19th St —go here for: incredible cruellers and scrambled egg-stuffed gougeres

Meatpacking District

  • Chelsea Market; 75 9th ave (indoor market) —go here for: culinary window shopping, beautifully butchered meat and super-fresh seafood
  • Cull & Pistol; Chelsea Market (seafood restaurant) —go here for: oyster, leek and potato soup, warm wood paneling, a hip date spot
  • L’Arte del Gelato; in Chelsea Market and at 75 7th Ave (gelato) —go here for: creamy, satisfying gelato that won’t break your budget
  • The Standard Hotel; 848 Washington St (hotel) —go here for : the ice rink, beer garden or just a quick spin in their uber-arty elevator
  • The Tippler425 W 15th St (cocktail bar) —go here for: fun-loving cocktails, afterwork or pre-game drinks, a lower-key Meatpacking scene

Nolita & Soho

  • Balaboosta; 214 Mulberry St (restaurant) —go here for: fresh, flavorful small plates and appetizers, like jerusalem artichoke/chestnut soup
  • OLA – Oficina Latina; 24 Prince St (Panamerican restaurant) —go here for: kumquat mojitos, ceviche
  • Harney & Sons; 433 Broome St (tea shop/cafe) —go here for: exceptional quality and variety of teas (my favorite is their black flavored tea, "Paris"), gifts for brew-happy friends
  • Kelley & Ping; 127 Greene St (Thai restaurant) —go here for: spicy coconut milk soup, high quality takeout, a quick bite with friends
  • Black Seed Bagel; 170 Elizabeth St (bagels) —go here for: wood-fired, Montreal-style bagels (especially the "everything"), tobiko spread
  • Navy; 136 Sullivan Street (seafood restaurant) —go here for: an ever-changing, seafood-forward menu, refreshing afternoon cocktails, 
  • Mother's Ruin; 18 Spring Street (bar) —go here for: Tecate, dressed (hot sauce and lime), seasonal cocktails, a dive-bar vibe that's more fun than grimey
  • La Esquina; 114 Kenmare Street (mexican restaurant) —go here for: tacos, mais cremoso (like hominy mac 'n' cheese); festive cocktails

East Village, Alphabet City & NoHo

  • Porchetta; 110 E 7th St (high-end food shack) —go here for : amazing pork sandwiches, perfect potatoes, cracklin'
  • Ost; 441 E 12th St (coffee shop) —go here for: bistro ambiance, a calm place to read, great lattes/cappuccinos
  • Xian Famous Foods; 81 St. Mark’s Place (chinese restaurant) —go here for : spicy, savory noodles and soups at cheap-date prices
  • The Future Perfect; 55 Great Jones St (design store) —go here for: unique light fixtures, home decoration, and more forward-thinking design items
  • Caracas Arepa House; 93 1/2 E. 7th St (Venezuelan restaurant) —go here for: guasacaca, salty cheese, plantains, and the infamous arepas
  • Edi & the Wolf; 102 Ave C (Austrian restaurant) —go here for: lost-in-the-woods ambiance, schnitzel, spätzle, baby back ribs, riesling
  • Lovers of Today; 132 1/2 E 7th St (cocktail bar) —go here for: “secret bar” ambiance, the Hong Kong Garden cocktail
  • Northern Spy Food Co.; 511 E 12th St (local/sustainable restaurant) —go here for: crunchy kale salad, bluefish paté, homemade blood orange soda
  • Amor y Amargo; 443 E 6th St (cocktail bar/bitters tasting room) —go here for: some of the city’s best speakeasy-style drinks (without the password at the door or snobbery) made with exquisite and often unusual bitters
  • Verameat; 315 E 9th St (jewelry) —go here for: addictively edgy rings, conversation piece necklaces
  • Desnuda; 122 E 7th St (ceviche/wine bar) —go here for: high-end, spice-driven ceviche, unusual Spanish wines
  • Alder; 157 2nd Ave (Molecular GastroPub) —go here for: clever spins on classic eats, clam chowder, hanger steak, Dr. Dave's Script Pad (cocktail)
  • Still House; 117 E 7th St (design shop) —go here for: sleek-but-quirky jewelry, succulents and other cravable designs
  • Narcissa; 25 Cooper Square (Restaurant - Standard East Village Hotel) —go here for: innovative, upscale vegetable dishes, citrus salad with tapioca
  • Empire Biscuit; 198 Avenue A (24 hour biscuit shop) —go here for: greasy spoon satisfaction at 2am
  • Lafayette; 380 Lafayette St (French bistro) —go here for: an upscale family brunch, petits beurres, baguettes and other French pastries
  • Flinders Lane; 162 Avenue A (Australian restaurant) —go here for: sausage roll, fresh vegetable dishes and coconut laksa
  • Booker and Dax; 207 2nd ave (cocktail bar) —go here for: science-inspired mixology; bubbly cocktails on draft

Lower East Side & the Bowery

  • Rockwood Music Hall; 196 Allen St (live music) —go here for: free live music that changes on the hour, up-and-coming artists
  • Mercury Lounge; 217 E Houston St # A (live music) —go here for: a grungier, but historic music venue; the mildly edgy but mostly unpretentious crowd
  • Bowery Ballroom; 6 Delancey Street (music venue) —go here for: great acoustics and weeknight gigs at a mid-size venue
  • Butcher's Daughter; 19 Kenmare St (vegan restaurant) —go here for: fresh vegan fare without "fake meat" products, smoothies, casual date spot
  • The Randolph; 349 Broome St (bar/restaurant) —go here for: a bite before Bowery Ballroom shows, a casual date, Brooklyn-ish ambiance
  • Il Laboratorio del Gelato; 188 Ludlow St (ice cream) —go here for: black sesame, thai chili chocolate and other exotic gelato flavors
  • Cherche Midi; 282 Bowery (french bistro) —go here for: the city's most indulgent burger, signature Keith McNally ambiance
  • Morgenstern's; 2 Rivington St (ice cream shop) —go here for: lighter, egg-free ice cream in unusual flavors like salt and pepper pine nut
  • El Rey; 100 Stanton Street (cafe) —go here for: daytime coffee in the cutest space or a quirky, eclectic spin on health food in the evenings
  • Miller's Near & Far; 65 Rivington St —go here for: a burger before a show at Rockwood Music Hall, especially the patty melt
  • Bar Goto; 245 Eldrige St —go here for: creative cocktails infused with Japanese flavors and flair, the sesame-laden celery stick appetizer
  • Attaboy; 134 Eldridge St —go here for: bartender's choice cocktails; an intimate, out-of-the-way speakeasy vibe

Chinatown

  • Melt Bakery; Essex St (Essex St/Hester St, weekends) —go here for : amazing ice cream sandwiches
  • Brown Café/Orange Epicerie; 61 Hester St (bistro and shop) —go here for : low-profile, but outstanding weekend brunch
  • Jing Fong; 20 Elizabeth St (Chinese restaurant) —go here for : dim-sum – the full rolling-cart, table-side service
  • Hop Kee; 21 Mott St (Chinese restaurant) —go here for : authentic, high-quality Chinese (try the house specialities)
  • Bacaro; 136 Division St (Italian restaurant) —go here for: romantic dungeon ambiance, fiori di zucca (zucchini blossoms), artichokes & artful pasta
  • Chinatown Ice Cream Factory; 65 Bayard Street (ice cream) —go here for: black sesame and other atypical flavors
  • Dimes; 49 Canal St (health-focused cafe) —go here for: delicious superfood breakfasts, a narrow little nook with enviable ambiance
  • Lalito; 104 Bayard St (quirky health-conscious Mexican'ish food) —go here for: the shishito pepper dish with pomegranates

The West Village & Washington Square

  • The Spotted Pig; 314 W 11th St(gastropub) —go here for : ricotta gnudi, robust sandwiches, shoestring fries 
  • Kin Shop; 469 6th Ave (modern thai) —go here for: squid ink soup, goat neck curry 
  • Jeffrey’s Grocery; 172 Waverly Place (lunch and light bites) —go here for: killer grilled cheese, market-fresh meals
  • Bar Pitti; 268 Ave of the Americas (italian food) —go here for: home-made pastas, afternoon in Italy ambiance
  • Buvette; 42 Grove St (wine bar) —go here for : french-y small plates, chocolate mousse, quaint bistro ambiance, a worth-the-line brunch
  • Otto; 1 5th Ave (Italian restaurant) —go here for: eggplant caponata, octopus salad, cacio e pepe pizza
  • Employees Only; 510 Hudson St (speakeasy) —go here for: dim-lit ambiance, creative cocktails, a great weeknight bar crowd
  • Wine Spot; 127 MacDougal St (wine/flamenco bar) —go here for: live flamenco on Thursday/Sunday nights
  • Perla; 24 Minetta Ln (Italian restaurant) —go here for: approachable offal, glamorous leather booths, decadent pastas
  • Tertulia; 359 6th Ave (Spanish/tapas restaurant) —go here for: shared plates, seafood basque cider, and paella-style rice dishes (soccarat in tact!)
  • Small’s; 183 W 10th St (jazz club) —go here for: afterwork or late night jam sessions; dive-y, old school ambiance
  • Victory Garden; 31 Carmine St (frozen yogurt) —go here for: goat milk frozen yogurt with indulgent or health-focused fixings
  • Old Tbilisi Garden; 174 Bleecker Street (Georgian restaurant) —go here for: khachapuri, tarragon soda, salads with walnut dressing
  • Via Carota; 51 Grove Street (Italian restaurant) —go here for: intimate European ambiance, rustic small plates, a charming table for two
  • The Happiest Hour; 121 West 10th Street (cocktail bar) —go here for: tiki-inspired decor, an excellent burger, afterwork cocktails
  • Slowly Shirley; 121 West 10th St, downstairs (cocktail bar) —go here for: serious, upscale cocktails in an dim lit, old school space
  • Kopi Kopi; 68 W 3rd St (coffee shop) —go here for: the avocado-espresso milkshake
  • High Street on Hudson; 637 Hudston St (bakery and farm-to-table restaurant)—go here for: the incredible bread selection, the $65 "in our hands" dinner tasting menu, and the sunflower seed risotto
  • Loring Place; 21 W 8th St (farm-to-table restaurant) —go here for: wood-fired and seasonal vegetable dishes; great cocktail program; hummus and radishes with housemade crackers

Tribeca

  • Locanda Verde; 377 Greenwich St (Italian restaurant) —go here for : ricotta with truffle honey, brunch, sophisticated city ambiance
  • Chambers St Wines; 148 Chambers St (wine shop) —go here for : rare, organic, and/or interesting wines from small producers
  • Khe'yo; 157 Duane St (Laotian restaurant) —go here for: raw bluefin tuna, pork curry noodles, Laotian pho on Sunday nights
  • Terroir; 24 Harrison St (wine bar) —go here for: a diverse wine list curated by one of NYC"s most legendary wine experts; small bites
  • Little Park; 85 W Broadway (farm-to-table restaurant) —go here for: upscale takes on vegetables, richly flavored meats, hip luxury hotel decor
  • The Bennett; 134 W Broadway (cocktail bar) —go here for: Raines Law Room quality cocktails without the wait, elevated bar fare, date night ambiance
  • Le District; 225 Liberty Street (French market) —go here for: the exceptional cheese counter and unusual French epicure items