The über-convenient lower-Midtown area near Madison Square Park, Gramercy, and the Flatiron District – recently-minted NoMad – is New York's new destination of cool. With its central location and abundance of subways, it's a veritable magnet for downtowners, socialites, entrepreneurs, creative types and fashion-forward people. First came the ACE hotel, with its Michelin-starred Breslin Bar Dining Room; the celebrated John Dory Oyster Bar; the artisanal Stumptown Coffee Roasters; creative sandwich shop No. 7 Sub; and the Lobby Bar. Then came Mario Batali’s Eataly, the world's largest Italian food and wine market, swiftly followed by beaux-arts boutique hotel NoMad and the slick luxury enclave, the Gansevoort Park Hotel. The eclectic district is also home to Eleven Madison Park; the Jazz Standard club; Jay-Z’s first 40/40 Club; the original Shake Shack; and famous brunch destination Sarabeth’s. Moving in this year are Maison Kitsuné, Opening Ceremony, and London’s Dover Street Market (masterminded by Comme des Garçons founder Rei Kawakubo).
The clash of quirky old and swanky new is one of the traits that makes New York unique. NoMad brilliantly embodies that mix.
Two-trick pony’ Maison Kitsuné – located in the lobby of The NoMad Hotel – is that rare combination of fashion and music label. Think: timeless clothing and up-and-coming bands.
— 1170 Broadway, New York, NY 10001, 212 481-6010 – kitsune.fr
The Antiques Garage
This indoor flea market – crammed with modernist objects, vintage clothes and furniture, and African antiques – is a Sunday morning institution for the city’s designers and decorators.
— 112 W. 25th St., New York, NY 10001, 212 243-5343 – hellskitchenfleamarket.com
ABC Carpet and Home
An exquisite museum mall for the home: seven floors of individual boutiques showing a vast variety of decorating styles, from country chic to Moroccan modernism.
— 888 Broadway, New York, NY 10003, 212 473-3000 – abchome.com
JJ Hat Center
Amidst the dozens of hat and sports shops on Fifth Avenue, JJ – established in 1911 – is perhaps the only one frequented by fashionistas: the wood-paneled showroom is packed with hundreds of styles of pork pies, caps, and fedoras.
— 310 5th Ave., New York, NY 10001, 212 239-4369 – porkpiehatters.com
Dover Street Market
The fashion/art/food concept mall was launched in London a few years back by the empress behind Commes des Garçons, Rei Kawakubo. The much anticipated opening of DSM in NoMad is at the end of 2013.
— 160 Lexington Ave., New York, NY 10016
This outpost in the Ace Hotel – a well-edited version of its SoHo HQ – is where fabulous fashionistas find acclaimed high-end designers, as well as up-and-comers.
— 1190 Broadway, New York, NY 10001, 646 695-5680 – openingceremony.us
If your Mac goes wrong, Tekserve is a more manageable option than the Apple store and just as gadget-packed. The Apple-savvy staff can help you with repairs, upgrades, and new products.
— 119 W. 23rd St., New York, NY 10011, 212 929-3645 – tekserve.com
A significant culinary epicenter of Manhattan, NoMad boasts a number of New York’s award-winning chefs in the area: April Broomfield (The Breslin, The John Dory), Danny Meyer (Union Square Café, Maialino, Gramercy Tavern, Blue Smoke, Shake Shack) and Daniel Humm (Eleven Madison Park, The NoMad) among them.
Headed by British star chef April Broomfield, this popular gastropub is noisy, dark, and always crowded. The nose-to-tail menu is extravagant, with heavy lashings of butter, salt, and meat.
— 6 W. 29th St., New York, NY 10001, 212 679-1939 – thebreslin.com
Stumptown Coffee Roasters
The finest coffee in town is served at this small outpost in the Ace Hotel. Here, roasts are sourced by terroir and coffee is brewed with precision and pride.
— 18 W. 29th St., New York, NY 10001, 347 294-4295 – stumptowncoffee.com
Mario Batali’s Eataly is the largest gourmet Italian market in the world. Think: freshly baked bread and pastries, meat and seafood, imported tomato sauces, wines, and olive oils.
— 200 5th Ave., New York, NY 10010, 212 229-2560 – eataly.com
The Restaurant at The NoMad Hotel
Dining here is a regal experience with its multiple seating areas – the Library, the Parlor and the Atrium – reminiscent of a warmly-lit Victorian mansion. At its helm is three Michelin star chef, Daniel Humm.
— 1170 Broadway, New York, NY 10001, 212 796-1500 – thenomadhotel.com
The John Dory Oyster Bar at the Ace Hotel
With two globe-shaped aquariums floating over the bar – one housing fish from the Atlantic, the other fish from the Pacific – April Broomfield’s seafood restaurant is first-rate.
— 1196 Broadway, New York, NY 10001, 212 792-9000 – thejohndory.com
Serving an array of traditional dishes, all of which are exquisitely spiced and plated, Tamarind is the exemplar of fine Indian cuisine.
— 41-43 E. 22nd St. – 212 674-7400, tamarindrestaurantsnyc.com
Eleven Madison Park
This is one of the most sumptuous rooms in New York: elegant and airy without being heavy. The same can be said of three Michelin star chef Daniel Humm.
— 11 Madison Ave., New York, NY 10010, 212 889-0905 – elevenmadisonpark.com>
The NoMad outpost of this coveted brunch spot is the city's largest. Sarabeth’s baked goods are reliably outstanding and her American comfort food – chicken pot pie, pot roast, mashed potatoes, and roasted root veg – is renowned citywide.
— 381 Park Ave., South, New York, NY 10001 – sarabeth.com
Mediterranean cooking served in a beautiful room, with fresh takes on Lebanese standards and inventive new twists.
— 236 5th Ave., New York, NY 10001, 212 683-2929 — ililinyc.com
L&W Oyster Co.
More than just a raw bar, this top-notch seafood restaurant features new takes on old classics like the 'Brooklyn' clam chowder – made with Brooklyn Brewery lager, house-made pancetta and corn nuts.
— 254 5th Ave., 212 203-7772 — landwoyster.com
This innovative take on Belgian fare is meat-centric, but the load is lightened with more delicate, modern dishes that focus on seasonal, local ingredients.
— 111 E. 29th St., New York, NY 10016, 212 685-5585 — restonyc.com
New York City’s version of a Texas smokehouse, with exposed wooden beams, an extensive beer selection, and down-home delectable food.
— 116 E. 27th St., New York, NY 10016, 212 447-7733 — bluesmoke.com
No. 7 Sub
The edgiest sandwich shop in town and home of the artisanal sub – everything here is home-baked, home-cured or home-cooked. No. 7 even infuses its own sodas.
— 1188 Broadway, New York, NY 10001, 212 532-1680 — no7sub.com
The opening of trendy hotels like The Ace – and their restaurants and boutiques – has brought new cachet to NoMad. Come summer, the action occurs on high: NoMad Hotel's rooftop restaurant; Eataly's rooftop birreria; and Gansevoort Park Hotel's rooftop pool, offering the most romantic Empire State Building views.
The Hurricane Club
Swanky – think: chandeliers and white jacket-waiters – meets Tiki-tacky Polynesian kitsch.
— 360 Park Ave. South,. New York, NY 10016, 212 951-7111 – thehurricaneclub.com
A gem of a wine bar – intimate, candle-lit, and fairly priced – with an extensive, expertly chosen wine selection, served with small plates of cheese and charcuterie.
— 41 E. 30th St., New York, NY 10016, 212 481-0197 – wine30nyc.com
The Rooftop at NoMad
Both a restaurant and private event space, this rooftop has stunning views of the city. In summer, the five-course prix-fixe seasonal tasting menu is a must.
— 1170 Broadway, New York, NY 10001, 212 796-1500 – thenomadhotel.com
The Gansevoort Park Hotel
In steamy weather, beautiful people flock to this rooftop to sip a drink by the pool and enjoy its breathtaking view. After dark, it converts into a three-level lounge with multiple bars and outdoor terraces.
— 420 Park Ave. South, New York, NY 10016, 646 380-5391 – gansevoortpark.com
This dimly-lit basement venue offers a modern dinner-and-a-show listening room, featuring acclaimed musicians performing avant-garde to classical jazz.
— 116 E. 27th St., New York, NY 10016, 212 576-2232 – jazzstandard.net
An intimate, 115-seat cabaret that delivers classic New York entertainment nightly: from comedy and burlesque to performances by Broadway stars. Served up with drinks, appetizers and desserts.
— 34 W. 22nd St., New York, NY 10010, 212 206-0440 – metropolitanroom.com
A lesser-known but no less worthy boutique hotel with a luxurious rooftop patio and Italian restaurant, Bread & Tulips, which serves seasonal and local ingredients.
— 365 Park Ave. South, New York, NY 10016, 212 685-7700 – hotelgiraffe.com
NoMad's notable landmarks include the iconic Flatiron Building and Madison Square Park whose $5 million renovation was the major catalyst for the area's growth – making it one of NYC's great work-live communities.
The Flatiron Building
Immediately recognizable by its unique triangular form, this 1902 landmark is situated at the intersection of Broadway and Fifth Avenue, appearing deceitfully narrow when viewed from Madison Square Park.
— 175 5th Ave., New York, NY 10010
New York Life Insurance Building
With its majestic golden spire, this landmark is visible from all points in NoMad. Designed by Cass Gilbert in 1926, it was once one of the city’s tallest buildings.
— 51 Madison Ave., New York, NY 10010
Metropolitan Life Tower
Once New York's tallest structure, this 1909 building was modeled after St. Mark’s Campanile in Venice, Italy, and is currently being converted into the boutique Edison Hotel.
— 1 Madison Ave., New York, NY 10010
American Academy of Dramatic Arts
Notable graduates of this two-year drama school – with programs in theater, film and television – include Lauren Bacall, Danny DeVito, Anne Hathaway and Paul Rudd.
— 120 Madison Ave., New York, NY 10016, 212 686-9244 – aada.org
Museum of Sex
It aims to educate – not scandalize – the public about the history and cultural significance of sex in NYC. 2013 marks the advent of Playbar, the ‘first ever food-sex-art-cocktail bar’.
— 233 5th Ave., New York, NY 10016, 212 689-6337 – museumofsex.com
National Museum of Mathematics
MoMath is one of the most entertaining ways to satisfy your inner nerd with its interactive and often fascinating exhibitions.
— 11 E. 26th St., New York, NY 10016, 212 542-0566 – momath.org
Madison Square Park
Seven-acre Madison Square Park is one of the city’s premier outdoor spaces, featuring large grassy areas, playgrounds, a dog run, free WiFi for nature-starved office dwellers and the original Shake Shack. It also functions as a public art museum and, come summer, an outdoor concert venue.
— Madison Ave. to 5th Ave. and, 23rd St. to 26th St. – 212 889-6600, madisonsquarepark.org
The Marble Collegiate Church
Formed in 1628, Marble Collegiate is the longest-running Protestant church in North America. Its most influential pastor, Dr. Norman Vincent Peale (1898-1993), penned 46 books including his most famous, The Power of Positive Thinking.
— 1 W. 29th St., New York, NY 10001, 212 686-2770 – marblechurch.org