Lower East Side
29 Prince St., New York
Cuyana has long been our go-to for small leather goods (shout-out to one particularly great Marie Kondo jewelry box collaboration). For their East Coast flagship, cofounders Karla Gallardo and Shilpa Shah took everything they knew from years of hosting pop-ups and created a pale-pink minimalist space. Visitors have the option of using small blocks shaped like laptops, water bottles, and cell phones to get a sense of a bag’s weight and look when it’s full of their personal items. There is also an in-store monogramming station—which is great if you’re in need of a quick, functional gift—and a well-edited clothing selection: silk camisoles, classic V-necks, and long, loose cardigans, all arranged by color.
247 Broome St., Lower East Side
On a quiet block of Broome Street, Ten Bells is easy to miss: It has a discreet facade and no obvious signage. Even though it opened ten years ago, it still exudes the vibe that it’s a local secret, which makes a visit here so fun on cold winter nights, when a quiet, empty corner is easy to find. While it’s billed as primarily a wine bar (they put a premium on organic and sustainable labels), the tapas are great, especially the boquerones (white anchovies in vinegar and olive oil) and the burrata with piquillo peppers and basil. There’s also a happy hour from 5 to 7 p.m. with $1 oysters.
43 Canal St., Lower East Side
Portuguese and Spanish vibes take center stage at this cozy Lower East Side spot from restaurateur Nialls Fallon and chef Nick Perkins, partners known for their Bed-Stuy restaurant, Hart’s. The menu is simple but satisfying, with a seafood bent: cockles with Vinho Verde and garlic; Maine scallops with endive and Basque peppers; a whole Boston mackerel with aioli; platters of Cape Cod and Washington State oysters. And the dishes pair well with a glass of unfortified white from the Iberian peninsula. There’s also a juicy grass-fed lamb burger and a roasted half chicken with asparagus and paprika. For the true Portuguese experience, come for Sunday brunch, when Cervo’s serves a classic fisherman’s breakfast, consisting of sardines, house-cured trout, and pickled red peppers on toasted sourdough.
177 Chrystie St., Lower East Side
A partnership between Taavo Somer (Freeman’s) and Carlos Quiararte (The Smile), the French-inspired food at Le Turtle is supposed to be great, but people are really coming for the experience: the wild interior (two-way mirrors, shiny surfaces, neon lights, and so on) seems like a sight to be seen.
VMV Hypoallergenics Skin-Specialist Boutique & Spa
227 Mott St., Lower East Side
If you have sensitive skin—and even if you don’t—this intimate little studio tucked away on Mott Street is especially compelling; all VMV products are derived from coconut oil sourced from the brand’s Philippines farm. The boutique in the front is brightly lit, cheery and staffed with knowledgeable, eager-to-assist employees. In the back is an atmospheric treatment room, where aestheticians perform some of the best facials around for balancing and fortifying troubled skin by way of intensely hydrating, soothing moisture therapies, as well as more-rigorous peels and microdermabrasion.
The Musket Room
265 Elizabeth St., Lower East Side
The menu is divided into five sections: Powhiri, Kaimoana, Papatuanuku, Ranginu, and Ka Kate, meaning introduction, seafood, land, sky, and farewell in Maori.
294 Elizabeth St., Lower East Side
We’re obsessed with stylist Jonathan Van Ness (Gay of Thrones, Queer Eye) and his incredible ability to transform the way people look and feel. When the bicoastal stylist is in New York, he’s at this NoHo salon, where he, founder Joseph Artale, and a team of talented stylists do absolutely brilliant hair—perfectly sun-kissed highlights, razor-cut layers—that’s both easy to maintain and amazingly natural-looking.
104 Bayard Street, Lower East Side
The first thing to know about this airy, minimalist Mexican restaurant is that it’s a “no avocado zone.”
37 Canal St., Lower East Side
Even in a neighborhood full of charming restaurants, this bistro, named for the most famous Brigitte we know, Bardot, stands out.
The Flower Shop
107 Eldridge St., Lower East Side
This ‘70s-inspired Lower East Side bar-slash-restaurant is one of our favorite spots. Upstairs there are comfortable booths to melt into after a long day, short day—or anytime you just really need a cocktail. The bar snacks are good, especially the cauliflower steak on a bed of farro drizzled with tahini. Downstairs feels like a tricked-out version of your cool neighbor’s basement—pool table, sunken fireplace, and jukebox included, plus walls covered with tapestries and kitschy-cool posters.
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