All destinations south of 14th Street have been cool since, well, probably the Ice Age. While the area has always been the place to go for edgy art, funky dining and drinks, and all-around vibes, there are some exciting new spots even the most plugged-in New Yorkers may not know.
For your downtown staycation, we recommend staying at the Hotel 50 Bowery, a Joie de Vivre Hotel (50 Bowery between Canal and Bayard Streets, Chinatown). With rooms starting at $239, this boutique destination blends the history of its surrounding neighborhoods with modern conveniences—in-room dining from renowned chef Dale Talde, bathroom amenities by Jonathan Adler, and original artwork by local artists—you’ll love. What should you do after you’ve checked in and relaxed a bit? We’re so glad you asked; scroll down for our ideas.
Start your day with breakfast from The Good Sort (5 Doyers Street between Bowery and Pell Street). Everything at this vegan café is Insta-worthy, from the colorful iced drinks to the delicious open-face breakfast sandwiches and breakfast bowls.
Trip Back in Time
One of the best little museums in New York is the Lower East Side’s Tenement Museum, where the experiences of New York’s turn-of-the-century immigrant communities are brought to vivid life. Located at 103 Orchard Street (between Broome and Delancey Streets), the museum offers walking tours and a chance to interact with performers who reenact life in the cramped apartments and crowded hallways from which so many generations of New Yorkers emerged.
Sea of Tranquility
Life was hard in the old tenements, but your downtown staycay doesn’t have to be. Book a massage at Aire Ancient Baths (88 Franklin Street between Sixth Avenue and Church Street) and be thankful for the indulgences we take for granted. We suggest a 90-minute salt massage or the ultra-decadent Red Wine Experience, which involves soaking in a bath filled with vino.
All that relaxing has probably helped you build up a bit of an appetite. We recommend Lalito (104 Bayard Street between Baxter and Mulberry Streets), a funky Mexican spot that pleases vegans and meat lovers alike. How does chorizo-stuffed squid sound? How about roasted sunchokes (with butter-toasted kasha, chopped lemon, parsley, and Midnight Moon goat’s milk Gouda)?
One for the Road
End the night right with drinks at Apotheke (9 Doyers Street between Division Street and Saint James Place). You’ll find inventive cocktails with cheeky names like Kiwi’s Playhouse (cachaça, soju, muddled kiwi with fennel, marjoram, lime, and agave) at this tucked-away spot.