Cheers to the Freakin’ Weekend
Much like peanut butter and jelly, old-school arcade games and cheap drinks are a match made in heaven. The aptly named Barcade in Williamsburg provides happy patrons with both. Insider Tip: Make sure to don your snappiest plaid—this locale is the apex of hipster-dom.
This past summer, The McKittrick Hotel, home of the long-running theater smash Sleep No More, launched a glorious and lush rooftop bar that tugs at our escapist fantasies. Insider Tip: Grab six of your best drinking buds and order one of their famed punch bowls.
Modeled after a traditional German brauhaus, this can’t-miss spot serves up a great selection of domestic and imported beers, as well as the tastiest sausages this side of the Rhine River. Insider Tip: Be warned: Come game day the restaurant’s back patio attracts more sports fans than Shea Stadium.
Deep in the heart of Chelsea, in an unassuming building with an unmarked door, you’ll find a magical turn-of-the-century speakeasy with a topnotch cocktail menu. Named for an 1896 law meant to curb New Yorkers’ liquor consumption, Raines specializes in cocktails made with fresh ingredients and unexpected twists. Insider Tip: Order the Transatlantic—just trust us.
Jonesing for a sweaty, '90s dance party? We’ve got your fix: No Malice Palice. Here, DJs spin an excellent mix of current him and throwback jams that are 100% guaranteed to have you shaking your tail feather on the dance floor. Insider Tip: The party really gets started after 10pm.
If you plan on hitting up, Horeshoe Bar leave all your hoity-toity pretenses at the door. This no-frills dive excels in tallboy PBRs and throat-burning well whiskey—it also has the added benefit of being rocking good time. Insider Tip: Hit movies like The Godfather Part II and Crocodile Dundee have been filmed here.
In Manhattan, impressive mixologists are more ubiquitous than yellow taxi cabs. But we dare you to find another cocktail den where the bartender will whip up a custom cocktail based on your spirit animal. With an off-the-beaten-path location and chill vibe, Little Branch is the perfect place to get your drink on. Insider Tip: Stop by to catch jazz performances Sunday through Thursday at around 10:30pm.
Get Your Grub On
With a blend of Irish-meet-Victorian décor, Lillie’s serves up stellar pub grub in a relaxed—yet, rowdy!—setting. Beyond the bar’s good times vibe, Birchbox co-founder Katia has bestowed upon Lillie’s a dubious honor: the best Moscow Mule in town. Insider Tip: Skip the sketchy food cart and head here for an after hours nosh—the kitchen stays open till 2am!
Not to make like Biggie and Tupac, but we’re gonna go ahead and throw out some fighting words: The East Coast (specifically, our fair city) makes the best tacos around. Case in point? Tacombi. Housed inside a casual, oasis-like space, Tacombi turns out mouth-watering, authentic Mexican fare that doesn’t disappoint. Insider Tip: Three words: Chorizo breakfast taco.
Serving up near-perfect risotto, heroic veal chops, and impressive pappardelle, Charlie Bird is our default spot for winning Italian Cuisine. Beyond the mountains of delicious pasta, Charlie Bird offers +A ambiance and décor— the narrow space was once a split-level bowling alley. Insider Tip: Don’t even think about stepping inside without a reservation.
This West Village staple has been delighting hungry Manhattanites for over 10 years—and in restaurant years, that’s a pretty incredible feat. Cozy and inviting, Home dishes out midwestern-style provisions just like Grandma made them. Insider Tip: In the warmer months, ask to be seated in the backyard patio.
Meat by the pound and a sweet selection of domestic beers—What’s not to love about Williamsburg hangout Brisket Town? The brainchild of chef Daniel Delaney this BBQ joint specializes in texas-style pork ribs, sausage links, and (duh) brisket. Full disclosure: Birchbox staffer Miko is currently dating the headchef—so we might be just a tad biased.
Birchbox Man Editor Nate says, “Best bowl of noodles this side of the Pacific.” And we couldn’t agree more. This humble little spot has an open kitchen, where you can watch your tender and tasty noodles coming into fruition. Insider Tip: Prior to feasting, stop by an ATM—this hole in the wall is cash only.
When in Rome do as the Romans do, and when in Alphabet City, make like the locals and visit this eclectic art gallery. With a forever-rotating exhibitions, you’re always bound to see something new. Plus, unlike most snooty NYC galleries, you won’t find a snobby art buyer insight. Insider Tip: Take a leisurely stroll around the neighborhood and check out Alphabet City’s hidden gardens. Maintained by community members and open to the public, these quiet spots are a great way to waste a weekend afternoon. Birchboxer Jess personally vouches for garden 6BC.
A registered historic landmark, Milton’s Playhouse is where jazz greats Thelonious Monk, Dizzy Gillespie, and Charlie Parker first got their start. Today, the club is a funky as ever. Insider Tip: Milton’s house band is packed with old school jazz luminaries. Check out their bios here.
This house of Himalayan art is an unsung gem of NYC’s art world. Insider Tips: They have a great happy hour in their cafe on Friday nights! As Rubin fan and Birchbox Man Editor Nate says: “Nothing like drunk-cruising Tibetan art, yo.”
Rejoice! At this Williamsburg mainstay, you can have your cake and eat it, too. Or rather, you can have a spicy hot toddy and drink it while watching a buzzed-about movie because Nitehawk Cinema offers moviegoers a full bar and a menu of warming comfort food. (Think: tater tots, housemade jerky, and popcorn flavored with truffle butter, and queso.) Insider Tip: Purchase tickets to your choice indie flick online—seats in this one-of-kind cinema go fast.
Every fanny pack-wielding tourist knows that The Metropolitan Museum of Art is pretty spectacular. But for in-the-know Manhattanites, there’s only one way to tour this behemoth art museum: Hack The Met. This VIP tour guides you straight to the museums most interesting paintings and prints—while skipping some of the more snooze-fest wings. (17th century art, anyone?) Plus, the ace tour guides are full of wit and spunk. Insider Tip: Birchbox co-founder Katia personally vouches for Hack the Met.
It’s a Beautiful Day
With two Manhattan salons, tenoverten is changing how New Yorkers think about mani-pedis—goodbye perfunctory polish change, hello relaxed ritual. You won’t find any outdated jetpools or massage chairs here—just excellent service in comfortable, yet sleek armchairs, and a covetable selection of the salon’s long-lasting polish colors. Insider Tip: Take advantage of the salon’s individual iPads and cue up a Netflix episode of your favorite show while you get pampered.
Atelier Cologne recently opened an outpost on Atlantic Avenue. (For you non- Brooklynites, Atlantic Avenue is located in the heart of downtown BK and blocks away from the Barclay’s Center.) We’re so enamored of this beautiful store we even penned our own love note to its greatness. Insider Tip: The store has a nifty sewing machine where they’ll engrave mini leather perfume pouches with your name.