Union Square Cafe
101 E. 19th St., Union Square
The iconic Union Square Cafe moved from its namesake location to the corner of 19th and Park two years ago. The new space has all the charm of the original—subtle furnishings, great art, and the best service in New York City—but with more room, and more importantly, more barstools. This is one of those Danny Meyer establishments you can always rely on for a solid, even excellent, supper. A plate of Bibb and red oak leaf lettuces with a mustardy vinaigrette fools us into a healthy start every time. Following with those perfect knuckles of ricotta gnocchi in tomato sauce and ending with the banana tart is an order we rarely deviate from. Even people who hate bananas love this tart, improved only by the accompaniment of a glass of Sauternes. Trust.
Chloe’s Soft Serve Fruit Co.
25 E. 17th St., Union Square
Assistant district attorney Chloe Epstein’s pregnancy had her craving ice cream—but a quick look at the nutritional label left her concerned with what she was feeding herself and her future child. She started to experiment with making her own at home, and settled on a satisfying recipe with only three ingredients—fruit, water, and organic cane sugar. Now a full time glacier, the flagship store has classic flavors like dark chocolate and strawberry, plus great seasonal options and sweet and savory toppings like gluten-free gingersnaps, fresh fruit, and warm peanut butter sauce.
6 E. 18th St., Union Square
Union Fare, a newish foodhall smack-dab in the center of Union Square, has a little something for everyone: made-to-order salads, tacos, poké, burgers, pizzas under one roof. Bonus: there’s a coffee bar that serves matcha croissants for a midday pick-me-up.
38 E. 19th St., Union Square
It's no secret that we love Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten's ABC Kitchen, along with the rest of the world—and his adjacent and very new restaurant abcV, which employs the same GMO-free, sustainable ethos to an equally stunning effect—is certainly no exception. With a breakfast service that starts at 8am, abcV offers everything from omega seed butter shakes with raw almond milk, wild blueberry, hemp, chia and dates, to gluten-free almond pancakes, to lunch and dinner menus that boast incredible and varied plant-based dishes, there's really something for everyone. While you can still power-lunch in the back, you can also order takeout, or sit at the bar; if fresh-pressed juice, wellness tonics (which feature adaptogens, rhodiola, and ashwagandha), or kombucha aren't your thing, they have a cocktail menu, too.
TsuruTonTan Udon Noodle Brasserie
21 East 16th St., Union Square
Don’t let the fact that TsuruTonTan is a big chain in Japan steer you away: this noodle brasserie, which just opened its first US location here in Union Square, is serious about noodles. And not just any noodles, but udon noodles, which they make from scratch in-house every day and feature in bowls ranging from mushroom and egg to shrimp tempura with anago to their infamous mentaiko caviar offering. Don’t get too attached to anything, though: they switch up the menu regularly, offering more than thirty udon options at a time.
401 Bleecker St., West Village
They’re obviously famous for their cupcakes, but Magnolia also puts that amazing buttercream to good use on wedding cakes. Their bakers are especially adept at beautiful textures, creating soft, flower petal effects and even taking on the challenge of ómbre frosting. In addition to the New York original, they now have locations in Chicago and Los Angeles.
Art Space NYC
104 W. 14th St., 5th Fl., Union Square
Known for their Venetian plaster, Art Space NYC provides high-quality architectural art, eglomise glass, metal and other special finishes to clients worldwide. They also offer educational workshops on Venetian plastering, French plaster Stuc Pierre, American clay, and more.
Laserow Antiques & Interior Design
41 Union Sq., Suite 420, Union Square
Swedish mother-daughter team Karin and Liza Laserow draw on Karin's 30 years of industry experience to inform their interior design firm and antique showrooms (there's a New York location on Union Square and one in the sweetly rural Swedish town of Vollsjö). While the Laserows specialize in period antiques made between 1500 and 1850, their real talent is for finding comfortable, seamless ways to integrate those heirloom pieces into a more modern decorating style. Skeptics who need further proof of Karin's serious chops can watch her in her role as the antiques expert in the Swedish TV series Trash or Treasure (Bytt är Bytt).
17 E. 17th St., Union Square
Dig Inn’s philosophy is “farm to counter,” which means that they serve sustainably sourced, usually local food in a casual setting and in a price range that makes it a reasonable option for everyday lunch. The salads and the market plates are easy to take back to the office (or home for dinner), and the menu changes with the seasons, so you won't ever be bored with the offerings. There are locations in Morningside Heights, Union Square, Tribeca, and in Midtown on 52nd, Madison, and 55th, in Lower Manhattan on Pine, Liberty, and Broad St., in Nomad, and off Madison Square Park.
860 Broadway, 4th Floor, Union Square
Tai Ping’s luxurious carpets, which are handmade in China, can be found in many of the world’ best hotels—but they also make them for homes in custom sizes. Their gorgeous, Asian-inflected showroom space on Union Square is to the trade, so make an appointment and go with an interior designer. Their recent collaboration with Chen Chen & Kai Williams is particularly cool.
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