Femme Traveller / 07.02.15 / BY Victoria Honey

NEW YORK: Downtown Girls Guide

You certainly won't find any Park Avenue Princesses strutting their stuff down the streets of Downtown New York. This end of the city lends itself to hip and cool and much more relaxed but don't panic, you will still find top restaurants, the hippest bars and all the designer wear a gal could ever need. Yes, Chanel does exist in SOHO! Whether you want to wander the cobbled streets of boutiques in SOHO, sit by the Hudson River and take it all in, or party the night away at The Boom Boom Room you will love the people and the energy of downtown.

La-Femme-Mecca-(Passport)EAT

BEST COFFEE

RUBY’S

As an Aussie it is incredibly difficult to find any coffee actually worth drinking. Skip the Starbucks (yuk!) and head to Aussie owned Ruby’s in SOHO. You can get your average flat-white, latte or cap, it’s funny how something so simple can make you so happy. Aussie-style burgers and Vegemite toast are also on the menu if you need a little hit of home.

LA FEMME MECCA AT RUBY'S CAFE SOHO NEW YORK

219 Mulberry St, New York
www.rubyscafe.com

BREAKFAST & BRUNCH

LOCANDA VERDE

Attached to Robert De Niro’s The Greenwich Hotel is this gem of a restaurant serving brunch 10am-3pm Saturday and Sunday. A relaxed and warm Italian atmosphere will have you wanting to stay all day, or it could be the delish Lemon Ricotta Pancakes – YUM! The Soft Scrambled Farm Egg Crostino also goes down nicely with a Bloody Mary after a big night out in the city. Yes, you can book but it’s always more relaxing to wander in at your own pace.

LA FEMME MECCA AT LOCANDA VERDE TRIBECA

377 Greenwich St, New York
www.locandaverdenyc.com

LUNCH

THE DUTCH

Give your feet a rest from the boutiques of SOHO with lunch at this instant classic where you will find American comfort food at its best, and trendiest! The menu includes favourites such as pastrami on rye (with onion rings!), double cheddar burger and they also have an oyster bar. It’s a win for everyone really. If you are feeling guilty about indulging you can counteract all these calories with a fresh cold pressed juice.

LA FEMME MECCA AT THE DUTCH SOHO

131 Sullivan Street, New York
www.thedutchnyc.com

DRINKS

JIMMY AT THE JAMES

If you can get up to the rooftop at The James it is definitely worth it for late afternoon cocktails in the sun or a pre-dinner drink. Unlike other New York rooftop bars, Jimmy is open through summer and winter with areas both inside and outside. The menu features custom cocktails reinvented from the classic american tipples.  Often booked out for private functions, we suggest you get there when it opens at 5pm to secure yourself a position around the pool. If you are a hotel guest you will have direct access to the rooftop. Watching the sun go down on Manhattan is truly magnificent from the top.

LA FEMME MECCA NEW YORK JIMMY AT THE JAMES

15 Thompson St, New York
www.jimmysoho.com

EMPLOYEES ONLY

This prohibition-style cocktail bar has been a firm favourite in the West Village for years now and their fab classic cocktails are not to be missed. Located on Hudson St, the best instruction we can give you is to look for the neon ‘psychic’ sign in the window. No joke, there is actually a psychic as you walk through the door who will read your cards for a small fee. It can be quite the talking point if you are willing to sit there after waiting in the que, just don’t take her too seriously! You will find it difficult to get a seat on a weekend but its definitely worth it for the well heeled crowd post dinner in the Meatpacking District.

LA FEMME MECCA AT EMPLOYEES ONLY WEST VILLAGE NEW YORK

510 Hudson St, New York
www.employeesonlynyc.com

DINNER

EMPELLON COCINA

The food is creative and high-end, the setting is dark and moody, and loud!  You will not be finding your traditional taco at this Mexican joint in the East Village. The menu is weird and wonderful so be adventurous and let the waiter select for you, but make sure you try some of the salsas and have a Spicy Cucumber Margherita or 2!

LA FEMME MECCA AT EMPELLON CUCINA EAST VILLAGE NEW YORK CITY

105 1st Ave, New York
www.empellon.com

SNACKS

CHOBANI

Move over Pinkberry and welcome to the world Chobani. Make up your combinations in this fresh and sleek yoghurt bar. Sweet lovers should try the pistachio & chocolate, savory kids go for the avocado & mango served with blue tortilla chips.

LA FEMME MECCA VISIT CHOBANI YOGHURT IN SOHO NEW YORK CITY

150 Prince St, New York
www.chobani.com

GEORGETOWN CUPCAKES

You can’t go to New York without a visit to one of the many bakeries. This is our pick for downtown because they are unbelievably good! While we are partial to the classics they have a phenomenal selection of specials and seasonal flavours including Cherry Blossom in April and Gingerbread in December.

LA FEMME MECCA GEORGETOWN CUPCAKES SOHO

111 Mercer St, New York
www.georgetowncupcake.com

SHOP

OPENING CEREMONY

A carefully curated selection of international brands including Proenza Schouler and Comme Des Garcons and an ongoing collaboration with Chloe Sevingy. Housed over four stories this boutique also features a shoe gallery and a bookstore for you to shop or just peruse at your leisure.

OPENING CEREMONY SOHO NEW YORK CITY LA FEMME MECCA

35 Howard St, New York
www.openingcerenomy.us

TASCHEN

For the coffee table book lover, Taschen publishing house now has it’s own store based in SOHO. Full of books for the art, fashion and design lover you could spend hours perusing their library. The perfect spot to pick up the latest for your coffee table as a souvenir from your trip or gifts for loved ones. The glossy pages are like a work of art themselves and who can resist a space designed by famed Phillipe Starck!

LA FEMME MECCA TASCHEN BOOK STORE SOHO NEW YORK CITY

107 Greene St, New York
www.taschen.com

INTERMIX

As the name suggests, this boutique in the Meatpacking District stocks a mix of on trend international designers from the latest collections. You can pick up the latest garments from designers such as Chloe and Elizabeth & James as well as accessories including shoes, bags and jewellery. They have a small curated selection in each store (there are 5 in the city) so make sure you grab the piece you fall in love with when you see it because chances it won’t be there if you go back! The location alone is worth a look with some of New York’s trendiest restaurants and bars surrounding the boutique.

LA FEMME MECCA AT INTERMIX AT THE MEATPACKING DISTRICT NEW YORK CITY

812 Washington St., New York
www.intermixonline.com

DO

DRY BAR

Hotel hairdryer not doing it for you? Drop into Dry Bar for a $40 wash and blowout. Select from ‘do’s such as The Cosmo, The Manhattan and The Mai Tai just to name a few. Bonus point for the app they have to make the appointment process quick and easy.

LA FEMME MECCA AT DRY BAR TRIBECA

180 W Broadway, New York
www.thedrybar.com

THE HIGH LINE

A trip to New York is not complete without walking The High Line which starts in Greenwich Village and ends at West 34th St. An old elevated freight line that has been converted into a beautiful walk for tourists and locals. If visiting in the warmer months you can grab food and drinks along the way (cool drinks & treats a necessity in summer!) and see the gardens out in bloom. In winter you can still walk the high line while experiencing the seasonal garden and art exhibitions and installations.

LA FEMME MECCA WALKS THE HIGH LINE IN NEW YORK CITY

WASHINGTON SQUARE PARK

Humming with musicians and artists alike, chess players and home to the George Washington Arch which looks very much like the Arc de Triumph. Great for people watching in the warmer months along with a fountain for splashing around in.

LA FEMME MECCA AT WASHINGTON SQUARE PARK

STAY

THE JAMES

Located in one of Manhattans most stylish neighbourhoods, this boutique hotel towers over the heart of SOHO. Featuring a rooftop bar & pool and a chefs working garden, this property has everything you are looking for. Floor to ceiling windows allows the light to stream into rooms that have a modern fit-out, gorgeous new bathrooms and super comfy beds. Only a few steps away from SOHO’s trendiest bars and restaurants, basing yourself at The James will also allow you to drop off your shopping bags before hitting up those trendy bars post shopping!  Their sought-after restaurant, David Burke is not to be missed but make sure you book. All guests can enjoy complimentary breakfast and cheese and wine at night.

LA FEMME MECCA STAYS AT THE JAMES HOTEL SOHO NEW YORK CITY

27 Grand St, New York
www.jameshotels.com

LEARN

NEW YORK FLOWER SCHOOL

On the cusp of Downtown, New York Flower School offers a range of workshops for you to experience while in the Big Apple.  Workshops include Beginners Studio, Floral Photography and seasonal options such as Holiday Wreath Making which run from 1.5 – 3hrs depending on the workshop.  It will set you back anywhere from $150 – $400.

LA FEMME MECCA FLOWER WORKSHOPS AT THE FLOWER SCHOOL NEW YORK CITY

213 W 14th St, New York
www.flowerschoolny.com

EATALY

If you love wandering around Mario Batali’s food hall on steroids, why not complete a workshop as part of your visit to New York. The range is wide and diverse so make sure you investigate what interests you. You can do anything from pasta making to sommelier workshops or you can do a walking tour of Eataly. A great activity to do with your girlfriends! Pricing ranges from $35 – $300.

LA FEMME MECCA VISITS EATALY NEW YORK CITY

200 Fifth Ave, New York
www.eataly.com

Credits

Author / Victoria Honey