I've tried to make this list up of slightly off-the-track places, or places you wouldn't find in your guide book. In fact, it mainly consists of personal favourite hangouts, shops that sell KISS stuff, and bars where I like to drink. For that reason you won't find Macy's or the Oyster Bar at Grand Central on the list. Buy a book for those. Or better still, get out there and explore yourself!
12 W. 18th St., New York, NY 10011 @ 5th Ave. (Check website for other locations)
Allegedly the city’s biggest second-hand record store.
Addy and Ferro
672 Fulton St., Brooklyn, NY 11217 @ S. Elliott St.
Boho (remember that?) boutique, with vintage-inspired finds personally hunted down by the owners (that would be Addy and Ferro).
97 Third Ave., New York, NY 10003 @ 12th St
For all your Hello Kitty, J-pop, and Cutie needs. Cool street brands sold here too, bizarrely.
13 Christopher St., New York, NY 10014 @ Gay St.
Super-girly boutique with one-off and designer pieces to make your purse cry.
Alife Rivington Club
158 Rivington St., New York, NY 10002 @ Clinton St.
Just about the coolest trainer (sorry, sneaker) shop in the world. No sign, just a mysterious buzzer.
70 E. 1st St., New York, NY 10003 @ First Ave.
The ex-Comme des Garcons’ designer now runs this store selling her own brand. Eastern designs with a distinct NY-edge.
37 St. Marks Pl., New York, NY 10003 @ Second Ave. (Other branches too – check the site!
Vintage shopping the way it should be. Cheap and piled high.
430 E. 9th St., New York, NY 10009 @ First Ave.
Huge vintage store, with good prices and great quality.
660 Madison Avenue, New York NY 10021
New York’s department store of choice. Cool designers, beautiful interiors – forget Macy’s, this is the real deal. Don’t forget to check out the Co-Op too for sale bargains.
88 N. 11th St. Brooklyn, New York NY 11211
New York’s favourite, but most expensive, vintage store.
174 Spring Street, New York, NY 10012
I know, I know. But this place is trendy. Blergh! All the newest designers, denim labels, and hip and happening kids. No place for old folk like me.
118 West 3rd Street, New York, NY 10012
Vintage record store, with a heavy emphasis on punk and metal. You say that like it’s a bad thing.
390 Metropolitan Ave., Brooklyn, NY 11211 @ Havemeyer St.
Teeny tiny boutique selling one-offs and handmade bits and bobs.
22 Cortlandt St., New York, NY 10007 @ Church St.
A bit like Hell, a bit like Heaven. Huge, packed, discount department store. The heavy, heavy reductions on names like Miu Miu, Marni and Marc Jacobs (and loads more designers not beginning with M) make the crowds (almost) worthwhile. Go EARLY.
Dave's Quality Meat
7 E. 3rd St., New York, NY 10003 @ Bowery
No meat here. This store is beloved of skaters and sneakerheads for its huge range of labels and styles. Although you can't pick up a kilo of sausages, they will wrap your purchases up like meat, if that helps.
427 W. 14th St., New York, NY 10014 @ Ninth Ave.
Expensive but interesting designer store – lots of new names and exciting designs.
122 W. 25th St., New York NY 10001 @ Seventh Ave.
Fairly expensive, but definitely worth it. Gorgeous array of mid-century design Lucite jewels, purses, and accessories. Tonnes of brilliant antiques too.
869 Washington St., New York, NY 10014 @ 14th St.
International womenswear boutique with a rock and roll edge – think Sonia Rykiel and Mawi.
15 Prince St., New York, NY 10012 @ Elizabeth St.
Discrete, kinda secret vintage store. It has to be secret, there’s no other reason foe the $5 cowboy boots and $2 dresses. Surely?
Cute, good quality vintage, reasonably priced. Less sifting through the shit required here – it’s all amazing.
210 Thompson St, New York, NY 10012
Vinyl lovers rejoice! This is a haven of hard-to-find, must-own music. CDs too, so don’t panic.
437 E. 9th St., New York, NY 10009 @ Ave. A
Cool Japanese nick-nacks and comic books and weird shit.
153 Prince St., New York, NY 10012 @ West Broadway
Just about my favourite store in the world. Like Claire’s Accessories but a million times cooler, and 1/3 of the price. Go here.
Hell’s Kitchen Flea Market
25th Street between Broadway and 6th.
The best vintage fair in the world. Bargain basement prices, piles of clothes, jewellery, accessories and home-warew, for obscenely low prices. And obligitory hotdogs!
712 5th Ave, New York, NY 10019 @ 55th St.
Boutique department store, whatever that means. Neat-o local designers, big names, and lots and lots and lots of beautiful shoes and handbags.
262 Mott St., New York, NY 10012 @ Prince St.
Not the official tourist store, despite the name. Bad-ass urban-y boutique featuring the likes of Tatty Devine and Philip Lim. Tough but girly, expensive but worth it.
125 Fifth Ave, New York, NY 10003
European and American designers. Stores all over the city, but the original is the best.
449 W. 14th St., New York, NY 10014 @ Tenth Ave.
Super-cool store flogging fresh off the runway looks.
96 Greene Street, New York, NY 10012
Sophisticated, but decidedly avant garde boutique, beloved of stylists and the Olsen twins.
Love Saves The Day
119 Second Ave., New York, NY 10003 @ 7th St.
Fun vintage store, selling everything from retro KISS toys to 1950’s aprons. All cheap too!
43 Third Ave., New York, NY 10003 @ 10th St.
Cheapo vintage store, with a rock and roll edge.
Mini Mini Market
218 Bedford Ave., Brooklyn, NY 11211 @ N. 5th St.
Kitschy tomboy store, selling all sorts of fun crap that you don’t need, but really want. Kind of like Fred Flare, in real life.
125 Greenwich Ave., New York, NY 10014 @ 13th St.
Quirky and cute home décor and gift store.
New York Vintage
117 W. 25th St., New York NY 10001 @ Seventh Ave.
Next door to my old office, this place is piled high with top-end vintage designer. A little pricey (Chanel, YSL, Jean Muir and more!), but excellent selection.
Olive and Bette’s
158 Spring Street, New York NY 10012
Cutesy girly boutique, featuring allsorts of new designers and local talent.
35 Howard St., New York, NY 10013 @ Broadway
Hippedy happening boutique – home to Topshop in the US, as well as a tonne of other cool, hard-to-find labels. Kind of a New York version of Colette.
131 Grand St Brooklyn, New York NY 11211
Small but brilliant punk record store.
302 Bowery, New York, NY 10012 @ 1st St.
Home of the stylist extraordinaire, this store stocks every possible item of clothing you might have dreamed of. False eyelashes, hooker shoes, leopard print, spangle, glitter. I think I’ve died and gone to Heaven.
477 Broadway, New York, NY 10013 @ Grand St.
Huge Chinese superstore, selling just about everything you might ever want.
218 W. 14th St., New York, NY 10011 @ Seventh Ave.
Jumble sale-style vintage store. That’s no bad thing.
Branches all over the city
Super cheap, super fabulous beauty store. For all your beauty, hair, fancy-dress, and novelty needs. Cute vintage-style packaging on their own brands too.
382 Lafayette St., New York, NY 10003 @ 4th St.
There’s a reason this vintage store is so famous. So it’s not the cheapest second-hand store you’ll visit, but it’s pretty special all the same.
Search and Destroy
25 Saint Marks Pl., New York, NY 10003
Legendary NY punk store – for all your patches, stickers, records, and clothing needs.
119 Grand St. , Brooklyn, NY 11211 @ Berry St.
Eco-friendly hipster boutique. Lots of interesting stuff.
This ’n’ That
124 West 25th Street, New York, NY 10001
Heaps of vintage jewellery, at reasonable prices. Still, this place is beloved of stylists and designers, so it’s not bargain basement. Great selection of Bakelite, which is akin to manna from Heaven for me.
170 Ludlow St., New York, NY 10002 @ Stanton St.
One of NY’s first designer boutiques, this pretty store is home to all sorts of indie designers and new imports.
64 E. 7th St., New York, NY 10003 @ First Ave.
Consignment store featuring the likes of Yohji and Acne – not your run of the mill vintage, but prices match the labels.
Trash and Vaudeville
4 St. Marks Pl., New York, NY 10003 @ Third Ave.
Legendary St Marks Place punk store, selling suitably rock and roll clothing.
What Goes Around Comes Around
351 W. Broadway, New York, NY 10013 @ Broome St.
Top end vintage, with prices to match. It’s mostly worth it, too.
542 Broadway, New York, NY 10012 @ Spring St.
High-end labels in an (intentionally) run down setting.
108 Ave. B @ 7th , New York, NY 10009
Punk bar featured in lots of films -- Crocodile Dundee, anyone? Loads of beers, photo booths and arcade games.
1471 First Ave., New York, NY 10021
Neighbourhood dive bar with good nights and entertaining clientele.
310 Spring St., New York, NY 10013 @ Greenwich St.
Slightly more upscale dive bar, kind of like a nice London pub. Cool antler chandeliers -- like a hunting lodge but with hot chicks.
95 Stanton St., New York, NY 10002 @ Ludlow St.
The ultimate punk venue -- visit for punk rock karaoke if nothing else.
231 E. 14th St., New York, NY 10003 @ Second Ave.
Old-school beauty parlour, now does swanky cocktails and manicures. Ultimate girly fun.
168 Ave. B, New York, NY 10009 @ 11th St.
Subway-train style bar with amazing back garden. **NOW WITH HEATERS [FINALLY]**
441 E. 6th St., New York, NY @ Ave. A
Friendly Irish bar with lots of pool and brilliant jukebox.
302 Broome St., New York, NY 10002 @ Forsythe St.
Sleazy-ish Oriental bar with great cocktails.
169 Ave. A, New York, NY 10009 @ 11th St.
Cheap booze, huge jukebox, good times.
Hogs and Heifers
859 Washington St., New York, NY 10014 @ 13th St.
Bras, beer, bikers. It's a bit of a tourist attraction but still worth a visit.
Home Sweet Home
131 Chrystie St., New York, NY 10002 @ Delancey St.
Taxidermy and rock 'n' roll. This place is decked out like your nan's house, but the hipsters love it.
John Street Bar and Grill
17 John St., New York, NY 10038 @ Nassau St.
The only good bar in the financial district.
162 Ave. B, New York, NY 10009 @ 10th St.
Great bands, great photobooth, nice atmosphere.
295 Grand St., Brooklyn, NY 11211 @ Havemeyer St.
The hipster's favourite in the official hipster district... for now.
93 Second Ave., New York, NY 10003 @ 5th St.
Vice magazine hangout. 'Nuff said.
135 Ave. A, New York, NY 10009 @ 9th St.
Genuine Polish-owned dive bar, still run by Lucy 30 years later.
34 Ave. B, New York, NY 10009 @ 3rd St.
More taxidermy, this time with added fairylights and cocktails.
99 Ave. B, New York, NY 10009 @ 6th St.
Run by Dick Manitoba of punk legends, The Dictators, this place has my number one favourite juker box ever.
25 E. 1st St., New York, NY 10003 @ Second Ave.
Tiny punk hangout. This is a real grunge bar. As the NY Times says, 'go ahead, drink yourself to death. That's what everyone does here.'
178 Ludlow St., New York, NY 10002 @ Houston St.
Hipster hangout. They're all kind of over it now, but it's still fun. Good toilets too...
224 Ave. B, New York, NY 10009 @ 13th St.
Old school irish punk bar. Don't ask for a Cosmopolitan.
127 Ludlow St., New York, NY 10002 @ Delancey St.
Like drinking in a garage. But in a good way.
Otto's Shrunken Head
538 E. 14th St., New York, NY 10009 @ Ave. B
Amazingly brilliant Tiki bar.
158 Ludlow St., New York, NY 10002 @ Stanton St.
A bit more upmarket than my usual dives, but good nights. And if the Mancunian barman is still upstairs, he'll give you free drinks for being English.
Rudy's Bar and Grill
627 Ninth Ave., New York, NY 10036 @ 44th St.
My favourite place on the planet. Best neighbourhood bar ever -- dirty yard, killer jukebox, hot dogs, popcorn, cheap beer -- I have wet dreams about this place.
209 E. 5th St., New York, NY 10003 @ Bowery
Genuinie Irish bar, always attracts a good crowd. No logo on the foam.
Sweet and Vicious
5 Spring St., New York, NY 10012 @ Bowery
Medieval-esque bar with posh crowd but a neat-o garden.
14 Orchard St., New York, NY 10002 @ Canal St.
Former brothel and sweet shop, now just a good bar with good bands.
Trailer Park Lounge
271 W. 23rd St., New York, NY 10011 @ Eighth Ave.
Kind of a theme bar, but in a non-shit way.
225 Ave. B, 2nd fl, New York, NY 10009 @ 14th St.
[Not so] secret bar, decked out like someone's lounge.
107 Ave. C, New York, NY 10009 @ 7th St.
Bavarian-style beer hall -- celebrate Oktoberfest there in style, along with the rest of NYC.
152 Orchard St., New York, NY 10002 @ Rivington St.
Indie heaven, complete with stage for the hippest new hipster band to show off.
135 W. 41st St., New York, NY 10036 @ Broadway
Smart, spaceship-esque club with obnoxiously large TV screens contrasting against elegant original 1920’s features.
47 W. 20th St., New York, NY 10010 @ Sixth Ave.
Legendary NY club (remember Party Monster?) housed in a former church. Go-go dancers add to the fun.
133 Ave. C, New York, NY 10009 @ 9th St.
Latin-style bar with awesome cocktails and dark corners to hide in.
110 University Pl., New York, NY 10003 @ 13th St.
Bowling and booze – a winning combination if ever there was one. Suitably retro.
515 W. 27th St., New York, NY 10001 @ Tenth Ave.
Obscenely expensive celeb favourite, dress to impress.
149 Greenpoint Ave., Brooklyn, NY 11222 @ Manhattan Ave.
Polish club which attracts everyone from glamorous Eastern European chicks to greasy rockers.
168 Delancey St., New York, NY 10002 @ Clinton St.
No attitude rock club with a brilliant roof terrace, BBQ, and obligatory palm trees. Bands in the basement.
511 Greenwich St., New York, NY 10013 @ Spring St.
Home to legendary hipster night, Misfits, this Soho club is actually still pretty fun, and boasts a wall painted with old-school tattoos, as well as stripper poles,
112 Rivington St., New York, NY 10002 @ Essex St.
Unpretentious grunge club – cheap booze, good bands, good times.
371 W. 16th St., New York, NY 10011 @ Ninth Ave.
Located in the basement of the hip Maritime hotel, the Japanese themed Hiro Ballroom is simply beautiful, even if it looks like the set of Kill Bill’s slaughter scene. Definitely, definitely worth a visit.
532 W. 27th St., New York, NY 10001 @ Tenth Ave.
Very cool, very expensive club, full of celebs and rich boys buying girls drinks.
51 First Ave., New York, NY 10003 @ 3rd St.
You can smoke inside here! Very dark, very secret, very fun.
74 Leonard St., New York, NY 10013 @ Church St.
Legendary music venue still attracts good bands – always worth checking who’s on. Great bar too.
191 Chrystie St., New York, NY 10002 @ Stanton St.
Beautifully decorated hookah bar which tends to attract a sophisticated crowd.
361 Metropolitan Ave., Brooklyn, NY 11211 @ Havemeyer St.
Another nicely-sized music venue with a great line-up, and a really cheap bar.
113 Ludlow St., New York, NY 10002 @ Delancey St.
Gogol Bordello approved Bulgarian bar. If you don’t have a good time here, you’re probably dead.
77 W. Houston St., 2nd fl, New York, NY 10012 @ West Broadway
Swanky cocktail joint for swanky ladies.
96 Greenwich St., New York, NY 10006 @ Rector St.
The strip club it’s OK to like – it’s more fun upstairs away from the strippers anyway. Expensive but fun if you’re in the area.
101 Ave. A, New York, NY 10009 @ 6th.
Ancient, fun, gay-friendly punk bar.
332 E. 11th St., New York, NY 10003 @ First Ave.
Home to the sleazy, punk-tastic Trash night, burlesque dancers, and PBR drinkers. Fabulouso.
The Slipper Room
167 Orchard St., New York, NY 10002 @ Stanton St.
Red-light tinted burlesque club – check the site for dates though, because it’s quiet on non-show nights.
29-35 Ninth Ave., New York, NY 10014 @ 13th St.
If you’ve got a friend with a membership, this is a must-see for it’s members’ only luxe.
Vol de Nuit
148 W. 4th St., New York, NY 10012 @ Sixth Ave.
Euro-style bar with a full range of continental beers. Neat-o cabin in the back garden is where the real fun happens.
125 E. 54th St., New York, NY 10022 @ Lexington Ave.
Named after the man behind the Prohibition, this speakeasy-style club promises cocktails and ultra-cool DJs.
261 Driggs Ave., Brooklyn, NY 11222 @ Eckford St.
Beautiful old music hall, attracts some great names.
Welcome To The Johnson’s
123 Rivington St., New York, NY 10002 @ Essex St.
Decorated like your parent’s house, this place is more than a theme club. Cheap, good drinks, and awesome people.
60 Clinton St., New York, NY 10002 @ Rivington St.
Tasty tapas, good range of port (always useful), nice atmoshphere.
80 Spring St., New York, NY 10012 @ Broadway
Mid-range bistro with killer cocktails and tasty, tasty French food.
The Beatrice Inn
285 W. 12th St., New York, NY 10014 @ 4th St.
Run by Paul ‘brother of Chloe’ Sevigny, the Beatrice is packed to the rafters with models, fashionistas and celebs – but don’t let that put you off.
268 Sixth Ave., New York, NY 10014 @ Bleecker St.
Yum-alicious Tuscan food. Great place to take people… ‘I know this little Italian…’
187 E. Houston St., New York, NY 10002 @ Orchard St.
24-hour kebabs. Nuff said.
237 W. 42nd St., New York, NY 10036 @ Seventh Ave.
Another tourist-y joint, but worth visiting at least once for the Gospel Brunch. Southern style soul food, served up to the sounds of the Harlem Gospel Choir – a truly unforgettable experience.
119 Seventh Ave., New York, NY 10011 @ 17th St.
Smartened-up comfort road, beloved by hipsters. Open 24-hours, so always busy after a long night.
Calcutta Cuisine of India
175 East 83rd St., New York, NY 10028 @ 34th
Best Indian in NY, as seen in200 Cigarettes.
Chat ’n’ Chew
10 E. 16th St., New York, NY 10003 @ Fifth Ave.
Good value home-style cooking. Nice place for a huge tea that won’t cost an arm and leg.
331 W. 4th St., New York, NY 10014 @ Jane St.
A Village favourite, serving up artery-busting burgers and grilled cheese. Cheap ’n’ nasty but in the best possible way.
Eisenberg’s Sandwich Shop
174 Fifth Ave., New York, NY 10010 @ 22nd St.
Another neighbourhood classic, run by the same family since 1929. Possibly the nicest staff in NY.
763 Ninth Ave., New York, NY 10019 @ 51st St.
Really, really, cheap. Something for everyone – Italian, Polish, Indian, Greek, Cuban… Nearly everything under $3.
831 Third Ave., New York, NY 10022 @ 51st St.
There’s a good reason the queues here stretch for miles at lunchtime. Yummy bagels with every filling you could dream of.
495 Lorimer St., Brooklyn, NY 11211 @ Powers St.
Like Central Perk but real. Experts say it’s the best coffee in NY!
19 Old Fulton St., Brooklyn, NY 11201 @ Front St.
New Yorkers will argue ‘til the cows come home about where sells the best pizza. They don’t need to. It’s here.
205 E. Houston St., New York, NY 10002 @ Ludlow St.
This New York institution is over 100 years old, and has been serving up quality Jewish deli scran to hungry drunks/hipsters/tourists ever since.
25 St. Marks Pl., New York, NY 10003 @ Second Ave.
Awesome Japanese – try the bull’s penis or turkey testicles. Go on, we dare you. Raucous good fun.
156 Chambers St., New York, NY 10007 @ Greenwich St.
Great neighbourhood bakery, also serves up nice lunches and cheap dinners.
196 Elizabeth St., New York, NY 10012 @ Prince St.
Thai cuisine in a Laura Ashley-tastic floral dining room. Brilliant! And cheap!
The Mermaid Inn
96 Second Ave., New York, NY 10003 @ 5th St.
A nice place for a nice dinner. Good fish, lovely garden – a bit classy for the likes of us, but worth visiting for a special occasion.
287–91 First Ave., New York, NY 10035 @ 118th St.
Another contender for NY’s bestest pizza.
159 Lexington Ave., New York, NY 10016 @ 30th St.
Adorable neighbourhood café that feels like it belongs somewhere in the middle of nowhere. Perfect for brunch.
Sammy’s Roumanian Steak House
157 Chrystie St., New York, NY 10002 @ Delancey St.
Live music, iced vodka, great quality Jewish home-cooking – often cooked at the table.
402 W. 34th St., New York, NY 10001 @ Ninth Ave.
My local diner – based on a retro vision of the future, but non-naff. No frills, just good food, big plates, and friendly staff. Open 24 hours for hangover munchies.
The Spotted Pig
314 W. 11th St., New York, NY 10014 @ Greenwich St.
Missing your local gastro-pub? Missing Jamie Oliver? Go here. It’s Oliver-endorsed (no turkey twizzlers then?) and sells all your Brit favourites.
248 Mercer St., New York, NY 10012 @ W. 3rd St.
The thinking person’s Starbucks. Full of NYU students, but that’s not a bad thing.
767 Washington St., New York, NY 10014 @ 12th St.
Kitschy Mexican with free tequila and Elvis shrine. Uhm… Brilliant?
Viet-Nam Banh Mi So 1
369 Broome St. , New York, NY 10013 @ Mott St.
A lunchtime staple – huge sandwiches, most for less than $3. Try the one with 3 varieties of pork… but really.
Whole Foods Market
It may be a chainstore, and it may have opened in England now, but you can’t beat Whole Foods for amazing quality, cheap, organic picnic food. The soups, salads, and sandwiches make a perfect lunch on the go.
97 St. Marks Pl., New York, NY 10009 @ First Ave.
24hr St Marks joint with fairylights galore, leopard print, mirrors, murals and more. Like eating in a junk shop but in the bestest possible way. Foodwise it's standard cafe grub, but you can't beat the atmosphere.
1557 Second Ave., New York, NY 10028 @ 80th St.
All you can eat sushi for $20. Go crazy. It’s amazing too, which helps. Eat up though, you get charged for leftovers.