Located on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, the recently opened Regina’s Grocery makes our heart skip a beat. Why, you ask? Because here you can buy homemade sandwiches made daily by – wait for it – a real Italian grandmother. Not only do the sandwiches come with finger-licking ingredients that include smoked ham, olive spread or roasted peppers, but they also have names like Uncle John and Cousin Vinny. Safe to say, you’ll probably feel like home here, whether you’re Italian or not.
A gourmet pantry where you’ll find a wide range of finger-licking products, from artisanal cheeses and chocolate to Italian salumi, dried pasta as well as housemade gelato and sorbet. But even if you don’t need to stock up on high-quality ingredients, you should definitely stop by Bklyn Larder to taste one of their renowned sandwiches!
A literary landmark, Rizzoli was established in 1964 in New York and has become a cultural destination for local and international book lovers. The self-proclaimed “most beautiful bookstore in New York” is, in fact, not just beautiful, but stunning. Cast iron chandeliers, murals, vaulted ceilings, and an expansive Diocletian window that fills the interior with natural light are some of the reasons you should visit Rizzoli. Besides the breathtaking range of illustrated books, literary titles, foreign language books, and European magazines, of course.
The first Bookmarc store opened in 2010 in New York, before the concept spread to London, Tokyo and Paris. As you’d expect from the renowned Marc Jacobs brand, in this elegant bookstore you’ll enter a world of refined style and culture as you browse through fine art, photography, fiction, music, and pop culture titles, as well as a range of rare books.
BookCourt opened its doors in 1981 and has offered a literary feast to its local customers, out-of-town visitors and tourists ever since. With an impressive array of books, including small press titles and university books, you can discover plenty of gems in this family-run bookstore.
Three Lives is a haven for book lovers and a place where a strong sense of community permeates the shop that is defined by its owners not as a bookstore, but as a “living space.” It was also called by Pulitzer Prize winner Michael Cunningham “one of the greatest bookstores on the face of the Earth,” so you can rest assured you’ll find something special here.
If you love cooking, cookbooks, or simply the atmosphere you can find in cozy neighborhood shops, you must pay a visit to Bonnie Slotnick. The Italian cookbook section changes constantly, but it usually fills at least four shelves. Here you can also enjoy reading in the back garden when the weather’s warm and you can even bring your dog, as pets are welcome!
Launched for the Brooklyn community with the help of the same community, the Greenlight Bookstore is filled with a charming local vibe. Apart from the huge variety of hand picked books, at this warm and welcoming bookstore you can attend special readings with both celebrated and indie authors.
This independent bookshop offers an array of books organized in distinct ways (fiction in country categories, for example), specialty magazines, quirky greeting cards, good coffee, and an intimate ambience all in one. The décor is also creative and has whimsy accents, with books hanging from the ceiling.
Stepping inside Borgatti’s, you will find yourself in what can only be called ‘pasta heaven’. Fresh, handmade fettuccine with flavors that include mushroom, squid ink, basil, and spinach are joined by some of the best cheese ravioli in the city. Opened in 1935, the shop is run by the third generation of the family and has become a foodie destination for locals. The selection off products is limited, so everything is as fresh as possible and made to perfection.
At Vosges Haut-Chocolat, exotic flavors, innovative combinations and craftsmanship blend with high quality ingredients and a passion for chocolate. This translates into gorgeous creations that taste as good as they look. Try the Collezione Italiana of truffles made with Taleggio cheese, wild Tuscan fennel pollen, Sicilian sea salt, and Piemonte hazelnuts.
There’s plenty of fish in the sea, but the freshest can be found at Citarella. That’s because the company has eliminated the middle man over 30 years ago and works directly with fishermen to bring only the best fish and seafood to the Citarella shop. But even if you’re not a big fan of fish, you can drop in for the great selection of gourmet food.
Blue Apron Foods is a gourmet food shop that features locally sourced products but also a carefully selected range of specialty products from all around the world. Treat yourself to breads and cupcakes from local bakeries, high-end charcuterie, artisanal cheese, delicious sweets, and locally roasted coffee.
Fueled by a passion for cheese and high quality food, Murray’s Cheese Shop offers an impressive selection of cheeses from all over the world to its customers, as well as a range of meats and specialty foods. Here you’ll find authentic, artisanal cheeses from Italy, Wales, Greece, or Vermont, to name a few. And if you’re looking for something truly special, try their range of cave aged cheeses, matured in state-of-the-art caves in New York.
At Di Palo’s you’ll discover the authentic flavors of Italy. Cheese, cured meat, sauces, pasta, and olive oil – they are all handcrafted in various regions in Italy and selected during frequent trips to the country. Opened since 1924, Di Palo’s is now run by the fourth and soon the fifth generation, but has always maintained its original mission, of bringing a slice of Italy to the heart of New York.
If you love chocolate, definitely visit Cacao Prieto. It’s a chocolate heaven filled with 100% organic, in-house handmade chocolate and cocoa-based liquors and rums. The family-owned business is one of the few chocolate companies in the world directly involved in every step of the manufacturing process, as the Prieto family has farmed organic cocoa in Dominican Republic for more than 100 years.
The Meadow is a neighborhood food shop where you can find craft salts from all over the world, a wide range of artisan chocolate made with the highest quality ingredients and creative flavor combinations, gorgeous flowers, a vast selection of cocktail bitters, and Himalayan salt blocks hand-picked from 600 million year old salt deposits in Punjabi. But prepare yourself – you’ll never see salt in the same light after a visit to The Meadow.
A must-visit place for all book lovers, the Strand is a legendary bookstore opened in 1927 and run now by the second and third generation of the family. 2.5 millions of books await behind the doors of the bookstore, and they range from new items to vintage treasures and much loved used books. The Strand declares that all book lovers are welcome. We’d say that even if you’re an e-book fan, you should drop in. Who knows, you may find a hidden gem or even fall in love with books all over again.
The Steven Alan brand is timeless and understated, providing expertly tailored clothing made from high quality materials and a wide range of accessories. Apart from the Steven Alan collection, you can also find products created by renowned brands and designers, like Acne Studio, Shinola, Comme des Garçons, or Vault by Vans.
Established in 1838, C.O. Bigelow has been operated by the same family since the beginning. As the oldest apothecary in the US, the store is a destination in of itself, but the products make the trip truly special. From handmade remedies to premium grooming products and a curated selection of formulas and products from all over the world, you can discover the spirit of age-old apothecaries translated to modern day New York.
This is the largest Muji store in the US, and it lives up to that label. Stepping inside, you’ll be swept into a Muji wonderland. Here is where you can create your own diffuser or perfume by using 48 different scented oils, embroider your new products at the embroidery station, or customize your purchase with stamps. At the store you’ll also discover the largest section of Found Muji products in the US, which showcases traditional items from various places all around the world.
Launched in 2007, Monocle transformed from a global affairs magazine (which is now published ten times a year from the London HQ) to a well-known brand with stores in London, Tokyo, Singapore, Toronto, Merano, and of course, New York. The shop in NYC measures a cozy182 square feet and offers the complete Monocle range which includes clothing, bags and travel items, books and music. A cool atmosphere is also included, free of charge.
Matter opened in 2003 in NYC and soon became one of the most respected voices in the world of design, discovering the next great thing with an impressive talent for finding talent. The brand’s own collection aims to put contemporary American design on center stage, celebrating independent designers and the very best manufacturers. At Matter, international designers and promising talents share the same space and offer visitors a special journey into the wonderful world of design.
Mykita has stores in numerous cities, from New York and Paris to Tokyo and Berlin, where customers can discover a vast range of premium glasses with minimalist frames and German lenses. The NYC flagship store has a striking and bright contemporary décor that combines mass-produced objects, displaced from their original context, custom designed furniture, and lighting effects. It’s a beautiful space that looks and feels like a stage or art installation.
The eyes are the window to the soul, so if you want to make the right impression (or just look chic), you’ll need to get the perfect set of frames. At Warby Parker you’ll be welcomed by professionals who are ready to make you see clearly again or look more stylish than ever. The company was founded by friends who shared a noble goal: to bring eyeglasses to those who can’t afford them and make designer eyewear accessible. Remember, for every pair of glasses sold at Warby Parker, a pair is donated to someone in need.
Opening Ceremony was founded by two friends who left their jobs in corporate fashion to open a place where they could share their love of art, fashion and travel. The name comes from the modern Olympic Games, which also inspired the concept of the brand. While promoting iconic US designers and artists, Opening Ceremony also showcases international designs from a different country each year, bringing an exotic flavor to NYC. The two stores are located next to each other; the more recently opened shop offers stylish menswear created by renowned designers, while the original store features womenswear, a bookshop, and shoe gallery over four levels.
At KITH Brooklyn you’ll find urban style and designs filled with a New York charisma. But if we’d have to describe the brand in one word, we’d use cool. Opened in 2011, the company has three flagship stores where you can browse through premium products from the KITH label and a curated selection of apparel and footwear from other brands for men, women and kids.
Worth and Worth was founded in 1922 and is currently one of just three remaining custom hat makers in the US. Handmade from the finest materials and custom designed, the hats created by the brand make a bold statement and allow the wearer to express his or her personality in a chic way. Here you will find a hat for any occasion and designs seemingly plucked from vintage films or taken straight from the sunny coasts of Italy. We tip our hats to Worth and Worth.
If you want to immerse yourself in the surfing lifestyle while strolling through the heart of New York, you have to check out Saturdays Surf NYC. Where else would you find handcrafted surfboards and hand planes alongside books, apparel, art and grooming products? To top it all off, you can also stop for a coffee here, as the baristas are some of the best in the city.
Shinola believes that American manufacturing is the way forward to a future where excellence, skill and craftsmanship revive the beauty of industry and bring communities together. And this is not just a ‘feel good’ statement on an About Us page. They put their money where their mouth is. Shinola proudly designs and makes its handcrafted leather goods, watches and bicycles in Detroit. The New York flagship store is located in Tribeca – go there for high quality products with a red, white and blue heart.
These guys really know their coffee. For instance, did you know that coffee has twice as many nice-smelling organic molecules than red wine? We didn’t either. But at Stumptown Coffee the beans are roasted to perfection, so you can smell and taste hints of jasmine, chocolate, orange, or cloves. Plus, they are passionate not only about the quality of their coffee, but also about sustainability and supporting local producers.
Culture Espresso has been waking up NYC residents with great coffee since 2009. Like all the best coffee places, this one puts value on the quality of the beans, working with one farmer or coffee roaster at a time. Here you can also sink your teeth into some delicious chocolate chip or oatmeal cranberry cookies. Which are baked in house. Do we need to say more?
If you love Nordic design just like we do, don’t forget to take a trip to Búðin. This cozy coffee place was opened by three friends that wanted to combine their love of coffee, a passion for the Nordic aesthetic and their Icelandic heritage in a New York City context. Here you’ll find high quality specialty coffee, draft beer, and houseware created by Scandinavian designers. Oh, and Búðin means ‘The Shop’ in Icelandic and it’s pronounced as “Boo-th-in”.
Toby’s Estate Coffee believes that each cup of coffee, beyond its flavor and aroma, has the potential to tell a story. Beans are ethically sourced from around the world and roasted by the Toby’s Estate Coffee team to perfection. Go to the shop for a cup and to browse the selection of coffees sourced from Brazil, Burundi, or Colombia.
At Ninth Street Espresso, quality is king and simplicity is queen. Opened in 2001 on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, this place brought the concept of specialty coffee bar to NYC. The simple menu focuses on providing fantastic tasting coffee and nothing more, in a refreshingly honest way. Since 2013, NSE has started roasting its own beans and now you can buy their coffee beans online.
Named after the first coffee shop opened in Vienna in the 17th century, Blue Bottle Coffee has the same goal as the original, which is to bring great coffee to its customers. The first US Blue Bottle opened its doors in California in the early 2000s, but now you can get the same aromatic cups of coffee in New York and even in Tokyo. Good to know: the coffee is sold within 48 hours of leaving the roaster, so it has the optimum flavor.
At Bluestone Lane you don’t go for ‘wake me up’ coffee, you go for ‘wow, this is a damn good cup of coffee’ coffee. Premium organic and fair trade beans are roasted by artisans to produce aromatic cups bursting with flavor. Bluestone Lane declares that it wants to “enlighten” New Yorkers’ palate. If there’s great coffee involved, we’re all for it.
Abraço is the place to go to if you want to enjoy a good cup of coffee and a bite to eat while listening to music in a warm and lively atmosphere which is also kid-friendly. The coffee shop is inspired by Spanish and Italian bars, which is a major plus in our book, and offers flavorful coffee along with house made sweet and savory treats.
When you’re in a need for a coffee fix and you’re also really hungry, you can’t go wrong with El Rey. Here you can order a cup of joe roasted by the coffee artisans at Parlor Coffee and a delicious brunch while enjoying the light, airy ambience of the interior. If you’re planning to go to El Rey this summer, you can also cool down by ordering the Mexican iced mocha which is made with a bit of Aleppo pepper and mint.
La Colombe values high quality coffee and the art of roasting the beans perfectly as much as it cherishes ethical trading, creating long-lasting relationships with local farmers, and providing free coffee to the neighborhood homeless shelter. If this isn’t coffee with a soul, we don’t know what is. But even if you’re heartless, you can still go for the great coffee. Everybody wins.
Located in Chelsea, Joe Pro Shop/HQ is more than just a place where you can order an aromatic cup of joe. Here you’ll enter a coffee making wonderland where you can buy various types of equipment and also learn how to use your new machine to brew your own cups of good coffee. Plus, there’s also a vast selection of coffees from various North American coffee roasters to choose from.
Cafe Lalo opened in 1988 and has offered fine coffee to its customers in a distinct European ambience since the beginning. Vintage French posters, art, exposed brick walls, elegant chairs and expansive windows create a comfortable, early 20th century vibe in the middle of NYC. Here you can sip on a cappuccino or espresso, choose from the numerous cakes and desserts, and lose yourself in thought as you listen to some jazz.
Relaxing and welcoming, Qathra Cafe is a wonderful choice if you’re looking for good coffee and good food with a difference. The owner James works closely with local businesses to provide high quality products to his customers. Most of the food is sourced from farmers’ markets and local bakeries, while the coffee comes from a small business managed by a mother and son who buy the coffee directly from Nicaraguan farmers, roast the beans in Williamsburg, and sell them directly to James.
If you’re looking for an authentic Italian cafe experience, put Zibetto Espresso at the top of your list. This coffee place opened in 2006 with the goal to bring a piece of Italy to NYC. The coffee beans are roasted and blended in Italy, while the espresso machine is made by La Cimbali, a manufacturer who has been producing state of the art espresso machines for over 100 years. The ambience is spot-on, so make sure you pay a visit while you’re in the neighborhood. And don’t worry, even if this place is packed, there’s always seating available at the counter.
The guys behind Brooklyn Roasting Company love coffee. Like, really love coffee. They taste their coffee before they decide to buy it from the local farmers, again before the beans are shipped, and yet again after it’s roasted. That’s dedication (blended with an undeniable love of coffee). The Brooklyn Roasting Company also offers organic, fair trade, and Rainforest Alliance certified coffee and uses refurbished equipment and recycled materials. And it’s in Brooklyn, which we think makes it even better.
Go to The Brooklyn Barge for the views and linger for the laid-back summer vacation atmosphere. This repurposed barge is located on the waterfront in Brooklyn, but you may have already guessed that by the name. What you may not know is that you can get a great hot dog here, a few drinks, and get emotional as you take in the beauty of the Manhattan skyline at sunset.
Devoción has a noble mission. First, it wants to promote high-end Colombian coffee to the rest of the world. Second, it aims to support the local farmers living in the country’s most troubled areas, paying them fair-trade and above prices for their beans. So keep this in mind when you order a cup of coffee here. Also note that the décor of this former warehouse in Brooklyn is simply gorgeous. Think dark leather sofas, exposed brick, antique wooden furniture, plus a two-story vertical garden with 150 native coffee plants.
A restaurant that takes the charm of old-school diners (including the bar stools and counter), and filters it through a cool, Williamsburg lens. Some might say hipster, we prefer to say cool. The menu changes everyday and it’s written by hand by the waiter/waitress on your table. The burger is reportedly one of the best in Brooklyn and you’ll always find it on the menu.
The Llama Inn has a perfect name. No, don’t expect to find llamas staring at you as you nervously eat your meal. What you should expect is a warm atmosphere typical of traditional inns and great food inspired by Peruvian cuisine. The décor is creative and chic: a large artwork made with colored yarns adorns one wall and plants hang from the ceiling. This is a place to go with friends and maybe even make some new ones.
Rustic and warm California meets refined and urban New York on the plates at Upland, named after the city in San Bernardino County. Here you’ll find great food with seasonal ingredients and dishes that let veggies take the spotlight. You’ll also get a treat at Upland: the décor features patinated copper, oak, leather, custom-blown glass and is designed by the Roman and Williams studio. You’ll also see murals created by celebrated artist Wayne Pate.
Barbuto offers rustic Italian food made with seasonal ingredients. That makes the menu change regularly, so you have the opportunity to taste something different every time you go to this West Village restaurant. The open kitchen and the large windows create an airy, laid-back atmosphere, ideal for meals with friends.
Urban Italian food, soul-warming cooking and a welcoming tavern spirit combine at Locanda Verde. Located in TriBeCa, the restaurant’s popularity has continuously increased ever since it opened in 2009. It’s so popular, in fact, that getting a reservation is an accomplishment in of itself. Prepare yourself for celebrity sightings (possible) and for delicious dishes (guaranteed).
Raoul’s is a must-visit restaurant that is part of SoHo’s history. This French restaurant opened in 1975 and has become the ultimate New York bistro, welcoming movie stars and mere mortals with the same enthusiasm and fantastic food. If you go there, order their famous ‘Steak au Poivre’, which has been on the menu since the beginning.
Root & Bone brought authentic, finger-licking Southern food to East Village. The dishes pay homage to the heart and soul of rural America and provide a fresh twist on traditional recipes. On the menu you’ll find ‘Drunken Deviled Eggs’, ‘Grandma’s Daisy Angel Biscuits’, or ‘Crispy Fried Bucket Of Bird’, which you can order half bird or whole bird. If there’s a place in New York where you can order a whole chicken that looks classy, this is it.
Santina is located in a former garage underneath the Highline in the Meatpacking district. If this doesn’t sound too stylish it’s because we didn’t mention the restaurant was designed by renowned Italian architect Renzo Piano. But this is not a pretentious place; it’s a comfortable, feel-good restaurant with food inspired by coastal Italian dishes and the rich heritage of the neighborhood. You can drop in at any time without a reservation, but don’t forget to order one of their cocktails.
Delicate, pretty, creative. At Oiji, the dishes are not just tasty, they have a playful yet refined side as well. This modern Korean restaurant in East Village lets you caress a smoked mackerel with a minuscule pine needle brush dipped in citrus soy or create your own miniature crepes with seven flavors. The artful creations demand to be Instagrammed, but you’ll probably forget about your phone after the first bite.
When it opened in 1994, il Buco was an antique store that offered a rustic “pranzo” experience to its customers. Now it is one of the most poplar restaurants in New York. It has a 200-year old wine cellar housing over 400 wines from artisans, boutique producers and world-renowned wineries, as well as an Italian, Spanish and Mediterranean menu. The décor is romantic with a vintage flavor, making il Buco the place to go to with your significant other. Or first date. Or the friends you love.
Any restaurant that makes its own butter deserves respect, especially when that restaurant also put Bushwick on the foodie map by making awesome pizzas. So hats off to Roberta’s. If you’re lucky, you can also get your hands on their mean hamburger. And if you’re in the mood for something fancier, go to Roberta’s new restaurant, Blanca, which is located nearby and has not one, but two Michelin stars.
At the Vinegar Hill House you can devour a rustic pork steak (made in an actual wood-fired oven) followed by a delicious and creative Sunflower Panna Cotta as you enjoy some peace and quiet under a cherry tree. Yes, this cozy restaurant on the Brooklyn waterfront has a fantastic outdoor dining area, so make sure you visit when the weather’s all nice and warm.
Come for the fantastic food, stay for the fantastic food plus the friendly atmosphere. At Babbo, the famous Italian hospitality combines with the mouthwatering traditional cuisine and modern twists on beloved dishes. Their impressive wine list is what dreams are made of. Oh, did we mention there’s a pasta tasting menu? You’re welcome.
A former butcher shop, Cherry Point has a charming vintage vibe that manages to be stylish and comfortable at the same time. Sit at the chestnut and copper bar and pretend you’re in a film noir as you order a Cherry Point Sour craft cocktail. Here you’ll also find a fantastic selection of house-made charcuterie and wines from small, independent producers. And you can drop in at any time, as you don’t need a reservation.
Since it’s named after Frederick Law Olmsted, the renowned landscape architect who co-designed Brooklyn’s Prospect Park and Central Park, you can expect to find a lush green paradise at Olmsted, both outdoors and on your plate. Seasonal, fresh, and green are some of the keywords to describe this neighborhood restaurant located in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn. There’s a living wall AND a back garden; in the latter you can see the veggies that will be prepared into savory dishes.
After opening two restaurants in Paris, renowned chef Daniel Rose teamed up with acclaimed restaurateur Stephen Starr to open his first US restaurant in New York. At Le Coucou you’ll experience fine French dining like you’ve never experienced it before. Using American grown ingredients, the chef creates his own interpretation of classic French dishes. Plus, the striking interior is designed by the Roman and Williams studio, making Le Coucou a must-visit place for gourmands and design lovers alike.
If you’re a fan of Italian food (honestly, who isn’t?), you should definitely pay a visit to L’Artusi in the West Village. The restaurant offers a modern and creative take on traditional Italian cuisine with dishes full of personality and bold flavors. The wine list is extensive and features bottles from all across Italy. There’s also a cheese bar and a beautiful 2500 bottle walk-in wine cellar which is perfect for private dining.