City Guide
new york lower manhattan travel guide

A Guide to All the Cool Spots in Lower Manhattan

We did the legwork so you don’t have to.

By: Jodi Taylor

Regardless of how much time you spend in a city, it can never hurt to get a fresh list of spots to check out. Places you may have overlooked over the years (even though you walk by them every. single. day.) or ones you’ve possibly never even heard of thanks to the constant over-saturation of new places and things. Personally, we wanted a refresher for Lower Manhattan, so we turned to Alix Brown, the music director for Soho Grand Hotel and The Roxy Hotel who moonlights as a DJ and columnist on GrandLife, for a few suggestions, and boy, did she deliver. Below, 21 (hopefully new) places for us all to check out. See you there?

Lucien, 14 1st Avenue

“Do yourself a favor [and order] an Aperol spritz and steak au poivre.”

Photo: Courtesy of Alix Brown

Flower Power Herbs & Roots, 406 E 9th Street

“For the last 25 years, this place has been serving the best selection of organic and wildcrafted herbs, roots, and extracts for all your culinary, medical, beauty—and even witchy—uses. You can even take classes on foraging and mushroom identification!”

Photo: Courtesy of Alix Brown

Academy Records, 415 E 12th Street

“I used to work at this record store; it’s a few blocks from where I live, so I try to go as much as possible.”

Photo: Courtesy of Alix Brown

Crystals Garden, 247 E 10th Street

“They have the best plants for your apartment—like cacti and succulents, glittering gemstones, and lots of palo santo.”

Photo: Courtesy of Alix Brown

Tokio 7, 83 E 7th Street

“I’ve found clothes here that I’ve held on to for years. Pre-loved designer digs that won’t burn a hole in your wallet.”

Photo: Courtesy of Alix Brown

Selima, 59 Wooster Street

“Selling vintage and original retro designs in Soho since 1993. Shoppers secret: Her Bond Street shop basement has an incredible archive you need an appointment to see.”

Photo: Courtesy of Alix Brown

Jill Stuart, 466 Broome Street

“My favorite New York designer, and the first fashion show I ever went to. Jill and I have such similar taste; I love everything she creates.”

Photo: Courtesy of Alix Brown

Morrison Hotel Gallery, 116 Prince Street

“A mind-blowing collection of rock ‘n‘ roll and old Hollywood photos (that you can buy!) from legendary photographers like Mick Rock, Bob Gruen, Terry O’Neill, and so many more.”

Photo: Courtesy of Alix Brown

What Goes Around Comes Around351 W Broadway

“I used to work at WGACA as a buyer and did all their retail and creative displays in the windows. Gerard and Seth have a vast knowledge of all things vintage and an archive that is unparalleled.”

Photo: Courtesy of Alix Brown

Lupe’s East L.A. Kitchen, 110 6th Avenue #1607

“Colorful decor, delicious margaritas, and the best refried beans this side of the Mississippi.”

Photo: Courtesy of Alix Brown

Clic Gallery, 225 Centre Street

“Chic home goods and the best art and design books.”

Photo: Courtesy of Alix Brown

Posteritati Movie Poster Gallery, 239 Centre Street, Flr 4

“If they don’t have the movie poster you are looking for, chances are they can track it down for you and even frame it!”

Photo: Courtesy of Alix Brown

Saturdays NYC, 31 Crosby Street

“Coffee and surfboards: the two things my boyfriend loves to do in the morning.”

Photo: Courtesy of Alix Brown

Tompkins Square Park, E 10th Street

“I’ve heard horror stories from people who say this park used to be filled with punks and crazies, and it still kind of is—that’s why I love it.”

Photo: Courtesy of Alix Brown

Gilligan’s, 310 W Broadway

“The only outdoor restaurant in NYC that has a squash blossom pizza just like you get in Italy.”

Photo: Courtesy of Alix Brown

Roxy Cinema, 2 6th Ave, Cellar level

“Best movie selection downtown, showing classics and modern film. Plus, vintage candy (like Runts!) and booze for sale at the concession stand.”

Photo: Courtesy of Alix Brown

Ruddy’s Music Soho, 461 Broome Street

“Ruddy’s music store has been open since 1978. They have their own picks and make customized glitter instruments. I mean, c’mon!”

Photo: Courtesy of Alix Brown

Omen Azen, 113 Thompson Street

“The best Japanese in NYC. Period. Every time I go there, I see someone cool like Patti Smith, David Byrne—even Wim Wenders. Get the uni shooters and gold sake.”

Photo: Courtesy of Alix Brown

Raoul’s, 180 Prince Street

“Martini and a hamburger. Done deal.”

Photo: Courtesy of Alix Brown

Paul’s Cocktail Lounge, 2 6th Ave

“I love Paul. He has the golden touch when it comes to nightlife, and a really, really good record collection.”

Photo: Courtesy of Alix Brown

McNally Jackson, 52 Prince Street

“My go-to bookstore, they have a great collection. I [will] tell you from experience, go when you have time because you’ll want to browse for hours.”

Photo: Courtesy of Alix Brown

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