If you like West Village and SoHo, you’ll love NoHo. Make an afternoon of it & explore Nolita while you’re downtown.
Bars in NoHo
I LOVE this little bar tucked away in the backstreets of NoHo. Submerged below street level, The Smile in NoHo is a true neighbourhood favourite. Housed in a charming heritage building, the setting feels historic but the menu is firmly of the 21st century. This is such a reliable spot for a nice drink (solid wine list, very good cocktails) and some small plates between a day of shopping in NoHo. It’s always lively but never too crowded, and it’s firmly off the tourist trail.
A charming, English-style “gastropub”, The Wren is in the same vein and from the same people as The Penrose on the Upper East Side and Wilfie & Nell in the West Village. I wish they wouldn’t serve their wine in tumblers, but I still love hanging out, people watching, with a drink & some snacks on a sunny afternoon.
Ghost Donkey is a teeny tiny mezcal and tequila bar, right near its siblings Saxon + Parole and Poni Room. It packs a punch, with crowds packed in like a tin of sardines, and saturated in bright pink light, from the fairy lights scattering the ceiling. Due to it’s inconvenient popularity and size, I prefer it for a quick drink stop during a night out, rather than making a night of it here. As you can imagine, it’s in its element on Cinco de Mayo.
Restaurants in NoHo
Bessou is one of my favourite restaurants in New York City. Translating roughly to “home away from home”, the small and stylish restaurant serves Japanese comfort food and homestyle cooking. The owner, Maiko, grew up in New York but learned about Japanese home cooking from her mother and trips to Japan from childhood, where she could experience her heritage through traditional, local foods. The vibe is understated and cosmopolitan, with hip hop music playing softly, clean white walls and exposed brick and carefully chosen art. It feels like you’ve got a really stylish friend who’s invited you over for dinner.
Favourite dishes: Salmon crispy rice – a crispy rice cube topped with sashimi and ikura (salmon caviar), wasabi aioli & dill. The applewood-smoked soy farm egg is also delicious!
Saxon + Parole
The menu is British and features a lot of seafood, the decor is equestrian and the vibe is party. It sounds like a strange combination, but Saxon + Parole somehow works. Perfect for dinner with a group of friends, rather than a romantic evening or solo dining.
B Bar & Grill
B Bar & Grill has been in the neighbourhood since 1993, and has a very classic, old New York feel. Moody lighting and leather banquettes inside, plus a large patio which tends to feel like more of a party outside. The food is solid, and it’s a reliable spot for a drink and a snack.
Coffee & cafes in NoHo
One of the prettiest cafes in New York, Lafayette is a little bit Paris, a little bit New York (one of downtown Manhattan’s favourite themes). It’s from Andrew Carmellini’s hospitality group, and while it’s not his most talked about, probably because it’s more cafe than restaurant, I love coming here for a coffee and a croissant, either at the bar or on the lovely patio.
Gasoline Alley Coffee
It’s easy to miss this tiny coffee window on Lafayette Street, but it’s a good spot to have tucked up your sleeve – reliable coffee & friendly staff.
Best shopping in NoHo
The best shopping in NoHo is found on Great Jones Street and Bond Street, where you’ll find antiques, homewares, designer fashion, furniture galleries and bookstores. The facials at Heyday are affordable and excellent, and they’ve got a huge range of high quality and hard-to-find skincare products for sale in the front of the store.
Get more ideas for your trip to New York City with my NYC Travel Guide & my 5-day NYC Itinerary.
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