New York City Top 10

Posted on

by Mia Hanekamp, Editor In Chief

New York City is the nation’s capital of fashion, theatre, restaurants, nightlife and more. But every traveler knows that each city has its spots that make it truly unique to that person. My summer in New York was defined less by the commonly-recognized shopping and museums, and more by some special places that will forever mean something significant to me. Next time you’re in the Big Apple, check out these pieces of New York — I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!

Best Cafe
Balthazar Bakery (80 Spring Street, SoHo) — An office favorite at my internship, Balthazar Bakery was my go-to for morning caffeine and carbs. I loved walking past this Spring Street spot on the way to my office in the morning and seeing the outdoor benches full of coffee-drinking, cigarette-smoking people-watchers observing the scene from behind stylish shades. Order the spinach and grilled chicken salad with a pastry to go, but avoid the lunch rush: the career women of SoHo take their Balthazar power-lunches very seriously.

Close seconds: Caffe Reggio, Viva La Crepe, Max Brenner

photo by Janet Ternoff

Best Group Dinner
Lucky Strike (59 Grand Street, SoHo)– On our last night in New York City, my friends from the dorm and I made a reservation for a large group at this chic SoHo spot. I hardly remember what I even ordered that night; the experience was far more memorable. The service was spectacular, accommodating our large group with ease. We ate and drank for hours, recalling our experiences from the past three months and talking about our futures. We couldn’t have chosen a better venue for our last meal together in New York.

Close seconds: Ngam, Amity Hall, Plum

Best Bar

Brass Monkey (55 Little West 12th Street, Meatpacking District)– I might be biased, since Brass Monkey was the provider of my first legal drink, but this bar really is something special. For a Meatpacking spot, there is rarely a line, and the bouncers are actually friendly (no offense, Kiss & Fly). Located right along the river, Brass Monkey has three levels, each serving a different purpose. The first floor has a standard bar vibe, the second floor usually includes dancing after a few too many drinks, and the rooftop allows for conversation and spectacular downtown views. Despite being somewhat touristy and pretty pricey, Brass Monkey played host to some of my best nights in New York.

Close seconds: Frying Pan, Sky Room, Hudson Terrace

Best College Bar
Phebe’s (359 Bowery, East Village) — I was in the airport in August, just having landed in Chicago after my summer. I was chatting at baggage claim with someone who had been on my flight, explaining that I had been an intern in New York over the summer and that I go to the University of Wisconsin. One of the first things he said to me was, “So I bet you went to Phebe’s all the time, right?” to which I responded with a laugh, “…I was there last night.” If there is any perfect description of this bar, it’s just that. Expect to find summer interns, NYU students, and postgrads on postgrads on postgrads. The place itself isn’t special: it has the same vibe of your average KK or Brats, but it definitely provides a little piece of home for a Midwesterner lost in the big city.

Close seconds: 13th Step, Off The Wagon, Turtle Bay

Best Rooftop
Le Bain (848 Washington Street, Meatpacking District) — One of the best nights I had in New York this summer was the first time my friends and I went to Le Bain. A lounge on the roof of the Standard Hotel in the Meatpacking District, this place has everything. (Stefon, anyone?) An indoor jacuzzi, a disco ball, great music, Steve Aoki dancing with your friends… well, that was one night. Although I never jumped in the jacuzzi and I rarely drank there ($15 for a vodka soda… no thank you), Le Bain was special. The view from the roof is spectacular. Watch the city lights sparkle from the surrounding glass walls or from your seat on the water bed. Yes, water bed. Everything from the exciting neighborhood to the famous neon sign out front makes the elevator ride up to the top of the Standard that much more exhilarating.

Close seconds: 230 Fifth, Empire Hotel, Berry Park

Best Brunch
The Sunburnt Cow (137 Avenue C, East Village) — Drag your friends out of bed early on Sundays for my favorite eggs-and-Bloodys spot. It opens at noon, but without a reservation you’ll need to be at the door by 11:30. As you wait in line with your bottle of water and stories from last night in Meatpacking, daydream of unlimited Bloody Marys, Screwdrivers, Greyhounds and Mimosas, all for $20 with an entree. But let’s be real: it’s brunch in New York City. Who’s even thinking about food? Come for the endless drinks and stay for the DJ, eclectic East Village crowd and cute Australian waiters. Just be ready when your server cuts you off brings your bill with a shot for each guest at your table. Sunday Funday never tasted better.

Close second: … nothing. This is the best.

Best Late-Night Food
Artichoke Basille’s Pizza (111 MacDougal Street, Greenwich Village) — If there was one word uttered most among my friends between two and four a.m. this summer, it was “Artichoke?” Imagine the cheesy, greasy goodness of artichoke dip on a giant slice of New York-style pizza crust. Similarly to our own Ian’s, the line at Artichoke can reach to the corner any night after bar-close. But trust me: it’s worth it. In three months, I found no better source of satisfying late-night cravings.

Close seconds: Two Bros., Pommes Frites, La Esquina

photo from

Best in Brooklyn
Brooklyn Brewery (79 North 11th Street, Brooklyn) — When my favorite beer connoisseur made the trip out to New York this summer, I knew there was one place I had to take him. And at $20 for 5 tokens, it was the best way to spend a Sunday afternoon. The Brewery is easily accessible from the L train’s Bedford stop, allowing a walk through the hip Williamsburg on the way. We opted against the tour, and instead enjoyed a self-guided tasting of some great local beers, including my favorite, the Brooklyn Lager.

Best New NYC Fashion Brand
10th Tribe — In Spring 2012, ten close friends used a love for the streets of their home, New York City, and an appreciation for style, to found their own womenswear line. 10th Tribe is representative of modern simplicity and high quality New York City craftsmanship, helping to bring out the inner street-style fashionista in every woman. The brand is sold in three downtown Manhattan boutiques, as well as in Australia. To purchase 10th Tribe from your location, visit Zaden Row. To view the Spring/Summer look book, or for more information, check out

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *