New York is perfect for a long weekend – but if you’re just in the city for a short time, you want to stay super centrally to get the most of out of the city. Luckily Atelier Ace (the team behind the Ace Hotel) have recently opened the Sister City hotel, right on Bowery, in that trendy sweet spot between the Lower East Side and Soho.
The bedrooms at Sister City are certainly compact, but they’re very clever with the space – a flip up desk, cleverly designed bathroom, under-bed storage, etc – and the style and design is minimalist but spot-on.
Rooms at Sister City start from an amazingly affordable $150 per night (pro tip: Make sure you create an account and login before booking – this gets you discounted room rates).
Photos by Brian W Ferry
So now your lodging’s sorted, where should you eat, drink and entertain yourself in the local area?
TOP 3 RESTAURANTS FOR DINNER
Lalito serves Latin American food in Chinatown – it’s good for casual, trendy meals (lunch, dinner and Saturday brunch), and it’s certainly unique (the menu and the interior – make sure you visit the bathroom!). Good for vegans and carnivores alike.
On the fringe of Chinatown you’ll find Dimes, a small arched restaurant with oddly shaped tables and an unusual menu (breakfast, lunch, dinner and weekend brunch). The cuisine is hard to pinpoint, but I’d say it’s fairly safe to say there’s something for everyone at this super hip Canal Street canteen.
Jack’s Wife Freda
There are three JWF locations, but the Soho outpost is closest to Sister City. Another all-day spot (brunch is very good too), serving fairly international dishes (but with a definite Middle Eastern / Israeli influence). Great cocktails, a cute interior, and cool branding – it’s a safe bet.
TOP 3 RESTAURANTS FOR BRUNCH
Sister restaurant to Banter (another fab brunch option, further west), Sonnyboy is a fab choice for brunch. Excellent Aussie coffee, impressive folded eggs, a very attractive interior and super friendly staff – this one’s a must-visit.
Another Aussie brunch spot, where the coffee’s great (of course) and the menu is fresh and health-conscious. There are smoothie bowls aplenty (with key ingredients like algae, collagen and charcoal). An Instagram-bruncher’s dream.
Russ & Daughters
I never miss a visit to this Jewish-style spot when I’m in New York – it’s my favourite place to go for smoked salmon, bagels and breakfast – and unfortunately lots of people know it, so I suggest you arrive early / visit off-peak. You can’t go wrong with the lox bagel plate, smoked salmon scrambled eggs or challah French toast – I’m salivating at the thought!
TOP 3 COFFEE SPOTS
Tiny little spot with a handful of tables, a futuristic minimalistic interior, and excellent coffee. I always head here to fight the jet lag.
Three locations – the Lafayette branch is my fave, as two sides are windows – perfect for watching the world go by.
Cute spot, with excellent latte art and Aussie caffeine.
TOP 3 BARS
I have loved Sel Rrose for a long time. There’s a daily Oyster Happy Hour (4-7pm), the cocktails are awesome with unique, fresh ingredients, and the “demolition chic” interior gets me every time. I can’t recommend this place highly enough – I like to come for a pre-dinner drink and oyster course.
Hidden behind an unassuming metal door (only the line of people, waiting for it to open, give it away). It’s considered as one of the best cocktail bars in the city, located in the former Milk & Honey space. They don’t take reservations, so I’d recommend arriving 15 minutes before it opens (at 6pm).
A small wine bar (no reservations) – they do serve food, but the wine list is what we went for; it’s super varied (and was Game of Thrones themed when we visited!) and they do tasting flights.
TOP 3 THINGS TO DO
Sundays Studio for a mani/pedi!
A sanctuary of wellness and self care, Sundays nail salons are beautiful. Treatments come with a freshly brewed cup from their loose leaf tea bar, and optional headphones with meditation soundtracks! All polishes are non-toxic and in the trendiest hues. A perfect treat is NYC’s weather isn’t playing ball.
Do a workout!
New York has the hottest exercise scene I know, and there’s something for everyone. (Pro tip: You can probably score yourself a cheap class with the studios’ intro offers…)
– Runners will love Mile High Run Club‘s treadmill workouts
– Sky Ting Yoga serves up yoga in a beautiful space
– Head to Tone House for hardcore functional training
– Sign up for a Rumble class of boxing and HIT
Enjoy your trip to New York! Let me know how you get on, and if you visit any of my recommendations.
Follow along @ninafitton for real time recs.