With some of the best shops, sips and bites in the city, we’re saying yes to Nolita this spring. In honor of Kayu’s New York pop-up shop in this iconic neighborhood, we’ve compiled our founder’s favorite spots and sights—and whether you’re an out-of-towner or a born-and-bred New Yorker, you’ll find something irresistible to explore.
Where To Shop
One of the few remaining independent booksellers, McNally Jackson always reminds us what a magical spot a great bookstore can be. The shop is a local institution not only for its expertly curated reads, but also for its delicious coffee and pastries, and its ever-evolving gift offerings—be sure to skim their indie magazine selection and unique letterpress cards in between latte sips, then catch an evening reading by a beloved author.
Of course, McNally Jackson’s second-to-none taste in gorgeous books would extend to equally obsession-worthy stationery and desk supplies. Find “goods for the study” in high supply here, from elegant fountain pens and hard-to-find notebooks sourced from overseas to quirky, folders adorned with tongue-in-cheek words of work encouragement.
A space where lush homewares intermingle with original artworks from up-and-coming creators from around the globe, Clic feels like the apartment of your coolest art collector friend—complete with eccentric fashions with an upscale-hippie bent.
Don’t be surprised if a quick trip to this store turns into a multi-hour affair—there are just too many intriguing, perfectly designed items to behold. From unusual Japanese imports to stunning fine jewelry to the next big “status soap”, you’ll certainly want to bring home a souvenir (or ten) from this cozy, curious shop.
Chances are, you’ve shopped Totokaelo’s exquisite collections of global cool-girl staples like ACNE, Maison Margiela, and Issey Miyake online. But visiting the store—which looks like a minimalist museum to great fashion and home finds— IRL is even better. Expect to leave with a few artful additions to your closet in a quintessentially New York palette of blacks and whites.
Where To Eat
An unmissable breakfast option, Egg Shop both is and isn’t exactly what it sounds like. Starting with a love of the kitchen’s most humble ingredient, this small but infinitely Instagrammable cafe takes their egg-thusiasm in every direction—from an elevated take on the Bacon Egg and Cheese to more exotic, masala-spiced and chutney-laden explorations.
Come for the French-Moroccan fare, stay for the fabulous people-watching—Cafe Gitane is a perennially chic hotspot, so there’s always something happening within its doors (or at its sidewalk seating). Finish your stroll in the neighborhood by sipping an aperitif under its umbrellas and feel like a true local.
“Modern middle-eastern kitchen” is a phrase that would entice anyone, but be assured that Balaboosta is beyond even what you’re imagining. Start with a Harissa-spiked Bloody Mary before diving into a mouthwatering array of hummus options and tempting mains—everything from the shakshuka to the shawarma is stellar.
Don’t be fooled by the name—this bicoastal eatery is actually 100% vegetarian. Partnerships with nearby organic farms are central to the shop’s mission, so every bite (or sip) is sure to be infused with hyper-local goodness. Grab one of their famously fresh juices if you’re on the go, or imbibe one of the healthiest-tasting mimosas you’ve ever had for brunch.
There’s no day that couldn’t be improved by ice cream, and Morganstern’s isn’t your standard soft-serve. From a shop that wouldn’t look out of place in a Wes Anderson movie, Morganstern’s serves up unusual but strangely addictive flavors like Burnt Sage, Black Liquorice, and Banana Curry—alongside more classic fare for the less adventurous.
What To Do
A public greenspace for the past 200 years, Elizabeth Street Garden is both landmark and meeting place, an oasis in the city and a de facto backyard for its denizens. See it abuzz with people (and pollinators) during the springtime.
If you’ve heard of buzzy vacation spot Marfa, Texas, you have Donald Judd to thank—the artist put Marfa on the map when he made it his second home, but his first love was 101 Spring Street which he purchased as a hub for his architectural, almost brutalist sculpture work in the 60s. The building now houses works by his contemporaries as well as his permanent installations.
An architectural marvel that seems to rise mysteriously out of the city’s industrial skyline, Saint Patrick’s is a stunning spot to soak up some quiet for a few minutes. The historic landmark boasts beautiful stained glass and many other inspiring details, including a legendary pipe organ from the 1800s.
Where To Stay
Cool and eclectic, this boutique hotel has all the artsy flair you’d expect based on its hip location. The hotel’s plant-filled Jungle Room restaurant and lush rooftop pool (complete with bar) will have you feeling like you’re on a tropical vacation, but the breathtaking room views will remind you you’re firmly situated in the city that never sleeps.