Fathom Favorites : New York City

1. 169 Bar

A terrific old dive with all the gritty trappings you're looking for: kitschy decor, cheap shots, real characters. In a city that's becoming more and more polished, 169 has retained its edge and 100-year-old patina. Not to mention a leopard-print pool table, loud music, and fake palm trees.

169 E. Broadway
New York, NY 10002

2. Smith & Mills

The kind of bar you wish could be your local. A former stable has been turned into a quirky little gem of a watering hole — drinkers elbow to elbow, downing cocktails in coup glasses and reaching for another oyster. The bartender probably has a handlebar mustache, but this place is proto-hipster: small-batch, crafted with care, and focused on the details.

71 N. Moore
New York, NY 10013

3. Attaboy

This discreet bar on a residential street was once the speakeasy responsible for the 21st-century classic cocktail craze. The bar has moved on, but two key bartenders have stayed behind, and now craft cocktails with the same whiz-bang precision, but without the secrecy and reservation system. Mixology to the max.

134 Eldridge St.
New York, NY 10002

4. Smalls

The quintessential late-night dive and one of the best jazz scenes in Manhattan since 1994 (minus the rocky few years in early 2000s).

183 W. 10th St.
New York, NY 10014

5. The Dead Rabbit

Dip your cup in the communal punch at The Dead Rabbit Grovery & Grog, a brand new tavern that channels old New York. The upstairs parlor focuses on 19th-century mixed drinks; the Irish taproom downstairs serves oysters, stews, pies, and beers in the Anglo-Hibernian tradition.

30 Water St.
New York, NY 10004

6. Brooklyn Bridge

Brooklyn Bridge

Iconic suspension bridge has an upper level promenade for pedestrians and cyclists. The views are second-to-none, and are best observed early morning or after midnight, when you can have a little peace and quiet. The bridge empties out at City Hall on the Manhattan side and Dumbo on the Brooklyn side. Stroll down to Empire Fulton-Ferry State Park, a wide and grassy knoll level with the East River.


Brooklyn Bridge
entrance at Cadman Plaza
Brooklyn, NY 11201

7. New York Public Library

New York Public Library

Between the lions exists a Beaux-Arts oasis of quiet calm where you can catch up on e-mails, marvel at the original Guttenberg Bible, and peruse literary exhibitions. Take a breather or a quick cat nap in the Rose Reading Room. A free one-hour tour happens Thursdays at 2 p.m. (meet at reception).

476 Fifth Ave.
New York, NY 10018

8. MoMA


Wildly influential house of modern and contemporary art. Go on Friday evening, when admission is free (4-8 p.m.). Follow up with cocktails and dinner at the design-minded (award-winning) restaurant, The Modern.

11 W. 53rd St.
New York, NY 10019

9. Union Square Greenmarket

Union Square Greenmarket

A bounty of food, flower, and provision stalls from local purveyors. Chef sightings are highly probable. Happens Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays.


16th St., at Broadway
New York, NY 10003

10. Washington Square Park

Washington Square Park

A longtime gathering spot for all things counter-cultural, today's park benches and giant fountain are filled with NYU students, chess players, street performers, folk singers, skateboarders, and downtown locals looking to hang out, make friends, and people watch.


Fifth Ave., at Waverly Pl.
New York, NY 10003

11. Prune


The lines are long for brunch, but Gabrielle Hamilton's very small, uber charming East Village restaurant delivers incredibly inventive, delicious, and ambitious New American fare straight through dinner. In between meals, when it's a little quieter, you can sit at the cozy bar, slurp back a few wild-style Bloody Mary's, and nibble on bar snacks like pickled shrimp and roasted pistachios.

54 E. 1st St.
New York, NY 10003

12. Carbone


An over-the-top Italian-American dining experience from the guys who made waves in Little Italy with Torrisi Italian Specialties and Parm. Waiters dressed in burgundy tuxes serve oversize menus to patrons looking for dinner theater from the comfort of their red leather banquettes. And entertainment is what they get: cheese carts, cured meats, bowls of pasta, sea urchin, and tiramisu are delivered in abundant portions with flare. Is that Tony Bennett in the corner? Yes. Along with the abundant check, a bottle of Sambuca is left on the table.


181 Thompson St.
New York, NY 10012

13. Vic's


A modern Italian joint worth more than the sum of its contemporary buzz words (locally-sourced, humane, market-driven, pizza). The restaurant (airy, cozy, with a wood-burning oven) makes the terrific Italian food even more approachable. Bring your friends, request a booth, split the pies, but order your own plate of cacio e pepe (you won't want to share).


31 Great Jones St.
New York, NY 10012

14. Dimes


The cafe of the moment is the penultimate example of health-conscious Californian fare. The space is bright and minimalist. The crowd is dewy and slender. The power bowl is the power move (at least when it comes to ordering breakfast).

49 Canal St.
New York, NY 10002

15. Cosme


The star of Mexico City's dining scene opened his first American outpost with a splash. World-renowned chef Enrique Olvera pushes the limits of heritage foods — enchiladas, sopes, and veracruzana delight the palate in new and interesting ways. 

35 E. 21st St.
New York, NY 10010

16. ABC Kitchen

ABC Kitchen

A slow-food stunner of a dining room in the back of the magical ABC Carpet & Home. Helmed by Jean-Georges Vongerichten, local and organic ingredients are given chic treatment; even the vegetables feel like precious gifts on a plate. The adjacent ABC Cocina is JGV's idea of a fiesta — at once globally artistic, wholly atmospheric, and downright delicious.

35 E. 18th St.
New York, NY 10003

17. Estela


In an unassuming second-floor restaurant above the beloved dive bar Botanica, chef Ignacio Mattos turns out inventive dishes that capture the spirit (and the crowds) of the moment. Everything's market-driven, from excellent mussels escabeche (a must) to cloud-like ricotta dumplings.

47 E. Houston St.
New York, NY 10012

18. Momofuku Ssam Bar

Momofuku Ssam Bar

This is David Chang's take on an Asian fast food restaurant. The signature dish — a roast pork butt — feeds ten, and it's a party. Save room for dessert (the now-famous Crack Pie, cereal milk soft serve) at Milk Bar in the back. Open late-night.

207 Second Ave.
New York, NY 10003

19. Daniel


Daniel Boulud and his French kitchen brigade routinely trump white-tablecloth dining experiences. Tasting menus are complex and exceptional. After a decade, a new facelift keeps the place fresh and gleaming. 

60 E. 65 St.
New York, NY 10065

20. Balthazar


Restaurant guru Keith McNally's masterwork brasserie caters to media types and tourists alike with consistent power breakfasts, including homemade breads and pastries from their patisserie. It's a no-fail option for those who want to feel part of the NY scene. Get the best glimpse of Soho people-watching from the benches outside.


80 Spring St.
New York, NY 10012

21. Minetta Tavern

Minetta Tavern

Everything you’ve heard is true. No, we can’t get you a reservation. Go early or go late, grab a seat at the bar, feel like you've been transported to the 1930s.

113 MacDougal St.
New York, NY 10012

22. Blue Ribbon Brasserie

Blue Ribbon Brasserie

Late-night revelers, chefs, and foodies stop in for raw bar towers, beef marrow, duck club, rack of lamb. The service is excellent, even at 3 a.m. This is a local institution and the original outpost of the mini BR Empire (which includes the notable Blue Ribbon Sushi just down the street).

97 Sullivan St.
New York, NY 10012

23. Katz's Deli

Katz's Deli

Skip breakfast, and head to New York City's oldest deli on the early side of noon to beat the lunch rush and get extra TLC piled on top of your sky-high, hand-carved pastrami sandwich. They'll even ship a salami as a souvenir. The other classic neighborhood deli, Russ & Daughters, recently opened a next generation restaurant, but Katz’s remains a culinary time capsule.

205 E. Houston St.
New York, NY 10002

24. The Mark

The Mark

The sophisticated and discreet hotel is a stone's throw from Central Park and Museum Mile. A handsome black-and-white lobby makes for quite an entrance. Art Deco-inspired rooms designed by Jacques Grange are filled with luxurious details (Italian linen by Quagliotti, marble bathrooms, polished nickel fittings by Lefroy Brooks, designer kitchen appliances). The hotel's elegant restaurant is helmed by three Michelin-star Jean-Georges.

Madison Ave. at 77th St.
New York, NY 10075

25. 1Hotel Central Park

1Hotel Central Park

You can have it all: a do-gooder lifestyle, luxurious surroundings, a respite from the urban hum, aromatherapy, and Central Park as your backyard. Kids and pets are welcome too. The eco-chic hotel has in-room plants, a lobby farmstand, and goodie bags of healthy snacks presented to guests at arrival.


1414 Sixth Ave.
New York, NY 10019

26. SIXTY Soho


A multi-million dollar reno has resulted in an all-new look for the 97-room boutique property. The vibe is modern and sophisticated. Rooms feel residential, well-tailored, and cozy; ten suites have French balconies overlooking the (thankfully) still charming Soho skyline. Local restaurateur John McDonald opened the buzzy Italian restaurant Sessanta and reimagined the rooftop bar as a landscaped high-rise garden.


60 Thompson St.
New York, NY 10012

27. New York Edition

New York Edition

The iconic Clocktower building of 1909 is the new flagship of Edition, the hotel concept from Ian Schrager and Marriott International. The space is airy, sophisticated, and pristine — with silk drapes, Venetian plaster, and a stunning torqued staircase that is a work of art. Cityscape views are spectacular and it's spitting distance from the original Shake Shack (a landmark in its own right).


5 Madison Ave.
New York, NY 10010 

28. The High Line Hotel

The High Line Hotel

Subtle sophistication housed in a Gothic-style Chelsea building (formely known as the Desmond Tutu Center).  The rooms are homey with large windows facing the High Line and an enclosed garden for sunny strolling.


180 10th Ave.
New York, NY 10011

29. The Standard East

The Standard East

A 21-floor glass tower means floor-to-ceiling windows and lots of light. Cafe Standard is handsome as all hell and has sidewalk seating on a prime people-watching avenue. The California cuisine and Scandinavian decor at Narcissa are a real treat. You'll be in the center of all the action.


25 Cooper Sq.
New York, NY 10003

30. The Broome

The Broome

A quiet gem, tucked away on the coolest street in Soho. The interior courtyard, decorated with over-sized lamps, Moroccan floor tiles, and rattan bistro chairs, is tucked away and quiet. Rooms are decorated minimally but luxuriously.


431 Broome St.
New York, NY 10013

31. The Marlton Hotel

The Marlton Hotel

Channeling a Parisian hôtel particulier in Greenwich Village, this place is elegant without having an ounce of snobbishness. The cozy lobby living room has lots of seating, a cafe kiosk, free WiFi, and a roaring fire. Rooms are tiny, bright, feminine (brass fixtures, marble bathrooms, herringbone wood floors) and reasonably priced. Request rooms on the 11 or 16 line; the 03 line includes bathtubs.


5 W. 8th St.
New York, NY 10011

32. The Standard

The Standard

Party epicenter of the moment for the always-buzzing Standard Grill and Biergarten, the clubby Boom-Boom Room, and the glam, exhibitionist-friendly rooms overlooking The High Line.


848 Washington St.
New York, NY 10014

33. Lafayette House

Lafayette House

A beautifully appointed pied-a-terre that's all about privacy. The anti-hotel, there's no lobby and very little staff intrusion, just 15 big, charming, turn-of-the-century rooms with WiFi and working marble fireplaces. 

38 E. 4th St.
New York, NY 10003

34. Greenwich Hotel

Greenwich Hotel

A touch of Tuscany in Tribeca, the hotel has plush rooms, discreet service, quiet courtyard, and the excellent Locanda Verde restaurant. Robert DeNiro is an owner, but this is a hijinks-free zone.


377 Greenwich St.
New York, NY 10013

35. Carlyle


Arguably the city's grandest hotel, which explains the well-heeled, monied clientele. A destination beyond the rooms for Bemelman's Bar, the cabaret, and Sense Spa.

35 E. 76th St.
New York 10021

36. Ace Hotel

Ace Hotel

The city's blogerati make the clubby, arty lobby their daytime office and happy hour haunt. The rooms brim with charming retro-mod touches like record players and pencil sharpeners. Access to Breslin and John Dory restos a plus.

20 W. 29th St.
New York, NY 10001

37. Crosby Street Hotel

Crosby Street Hotel

The modern English design is vibrant and eye-catching. The rooms are spacious, witty, and charming. The scene is bustling. The clientele is chic.


79 Crosby St.
New York, NY 10012

38. The Jane

The Jane

The vibe is youth hostel meets decadent set piece. The tinieset rooms have shared bathrooms. Ideal for stylish revelers on a budget.  

113 Jane St.
New York, NY 10014

39. Bowery Hotel

Bowery Hotel

Old world opulence meets modern temperment. There's a swank lobby (velvet sofas, roaring fires, opulent carpets), lofty suites (marble bathrooms, views of the East Village),  and a true downtown scene (models, actors, designers).

335 Bowery
New York, NY 10003

40. Dover Street Market

Dover Street Market

It's hot. It's cool. It's oh-so delightfully Japanese. Rei Kawakubo's visually daring, multi-level concept shop features fashion-forward labels (Comme des Garcons, Junya Wantanabe, Supreme, Nikelab) inspiring merchandising, and a tiny outpost of the one-scone-and-you're-forever-a-devottee Rose Bakery. What makes it even cooler is that it's located in the decidedly very uncool Murray Hill neighborhood.

160 Lexington Ave.
New York, NY 10016

41. Creel and Gow

Creel and Gow

A stunning townhouse wunderkammer of rare natural specimens, taxidermy, and curiosities expertly curated among global design items. 

131 E. 70th St.
New York, NY 10021

42. Bergdorf Goodman

Bergdorf Goodman

Very fancy department store experience for the Holly Golightly type. On a red carpet shopping spree? Start here. Views of Central Park from the dressing room.

754 Fifth Ave.
New York, NY 10022

43. Bonnie Slotnick Cookbooks

Bonnie Slotnick Cookbooks

This throw-back secondhand shop is a love letter to vintage cookbooks, culinary ephemera, and etiquette books.

28 E. 2nd St.
New York, NY 10003

44. Strand Bookstore

Strand Bookstore

The old stalwart has eighteen miles worth of secondhand books, plus a floor dedicated to rareties.

828 Broadway
New York, NY 10003

45. Argosy Book Store

Argosy Book Store

Six floors of antique printed tomes, historical documents, botanical posters, Civil War maps, and other bibliophile treasures from this family run institution (since 1925).

116 E. 59th St.
New York, NY 10022

46. ABC Carpet & Home

ABC Carpet & Home

A jaw-dropping department store of home design treasures that feels like a whimsical movie set. Hundreds of chandeliers, mountains of rugs, thousands of dainty tabletop pieces – beautifully displayed in vignettes on six sprawling floors. Minimalists: brace yourselves.

888 Broadway
New York, NY 10003

47. John Derian

John Derian

A spirited collection of obscurities and striking ephemera including Derian’s signature découpage glassware and Hugo Guinness drawings.

6 E. 2nd St.
New York, NY 10003

48. East Village Hats

East Village Hats

The young apprentice took over for East Village hat maven and milliner Barbara Feinman. The tiny, well lit shop is still filled to the brim with finely crafted fedoras, fascinators, berets, and cloche hats. Each piece is a very special work of art.

66 E. 7th St.
New York, NY 10003