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The Design-Lovers Guide to NYC: What to Do, Where to Go, What to Eat

Are you an interior design lover wondering where to source a specific piece of vintage furniture? Want to find the best thrift store in town? Or perhaps you’re just looking for a beautiful hidden restaurant gem to take your friends to? Here's our guide to all of that and more in NYC.

The Design-Lovers Guide to NYC: What to Do, Where to Go, What to Eatdesigned with spoak - watermark

So in honor of spreading the word and sharing all the cool places and things we’ve discovered lately, we’ve decided to create the first (of many) design-centric local city guides brought to you by the Spoak editorial team and our community. First up, NYC! It would be quite the feat to cover every cool thing happening around the city, so these are just some of our top choices—some classic and some newer—at the moment.

Bookmark it for the next time you’re wandering around town!

Things to do:

Visit the Noguchi Museum

This museum holds the largest collection of Isamu Noguchi’s work and is a never-ending source of inspiration. Pro-tip: Admission is free to the museum on the first Friday of every month.

Perfect for: A day trip to Queens. Bonus points if you go on a nice day to explore the sculpture garden.

Visit the Judd Foundation

The Judd Foundation has preserved historic, permanently installed living and working spaces of artist Donald Judd right in the city. It’s a beautiful building in New York that is worth a visit, even if you don’t know much about Donald Judd.

Perfect for: Anyone who’s into historical spaces or someone who has been wanting to visit the Marfa exhibit and hasn’t been able to make the trek yet.

Get lost at The Met

If you haven’t already visited The Met, you are in for an absolute treat! Between the 5th Ave location and the Cloisters, you’ll have plenty to uncover.

Perfect for: Taking your art-loving guests from out of town to.

Take the ferry to Governors Island

There’s something about taking a ferry in NYC that feels so special. Governors Island reminds us of peak summer days and all the fun outdoor activities. Rent bikes and explore the island, or grab a bite to eat and relax in the grass. There’s something for everyone.

Perfect for: Spending your entire day wandering around outside.

Have a picnic in Prospect Park

Or any park, for that matter! Spring is finally here, which means it’s time for us to grab our allergy meds and a to-go bag with all of our favorite picnic essentials.

Perfect for: The next time it's a beautiful day outside.

judd foundation
Judd Foundation

Where to shop:

Susan Alexandra

Susan’s new storefront is a blast of color and fun. It feels like you’re walking through a fairytale when you pop into her shop. You can even make your own charmed necklaces or bracelets while you’re there.

Perfect for: Finding a really special and personalized gift for a friend (or yourself!).

Big Night

The next time you’re about to pack that picnic bag or maybe even plan an outdoor dinner party, you might want to stop at Big Night first. They have all the snacks and party essentials.

Perfect for: Anyone who’s hosting and looking to impress their dinner party guests with some fancy party favors.

Books are Magic

Owned by novelist Emma Straub, this bookstore is a staple in the Cobble Hill community. It’s the type of bookstore that you could get lost in for hours.

Perfect for: A bookworm who thinks there’s no such thing as too many books.

Coming Soon

A design-centric shopping day would not be complete without a stop to Coming Soon. It’s a favorite around these parts, and if you visit their website, you’ll see why. Eclectic, bright, and all the Spoaky things.

Perfect for: When you feel like treating yourself to a fun home decor piece.

Salter House

A small home decor shop that sells everything you never knew you actually needed. Bonus points if you grab one of their very tasty homemade bagels.

Perfect for: The beginning of a stroll down Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn.

Greenery Unlimited

This is beyond your normal plant shop. When you walk into Greenery, it feels like you’re walking into a tropical oasis.

Perfect for: The next time you need to pick up a new plant friend.

Susan Alexandra (left); Big Night (right)

Where to eat:

Ladybird

A vegan tapas and wine bar. The decor in this space makes you feel like you’re at a fancy little lunch party.

Perfect for: Light bites the next time you find yourself in the East Village.

Pietro NoLita

An excellent Italian restaurant, which you may have seen on Instagram due to its very loud, pink interiors.

Perfect for: Satisfying your desire for pasta and an Instagram-worthy dinner.

Edy’s Grocer

Newer to the Greenpoint neighborhood, you won’t be able to miss this Lebanese market & deli with its lime green sign outside. They sell a wide range of imported groceries and have a rotating monthly menu of Lebanese cuisine.

Perfect for: Whenever you want to experience eating the best Lebanese food in NYC.

Pietro's NoLita (left); Edy's Grocer (top right); Ladybird (bottom right)

Court Street Grocers

Is there anything better than a CSG sandwich? Our community recently dished about their favorite sandwich orders of all time, and CSG sandwiches were at the top of the list.

Perfect for: The next time you are hankering for a real good sandwich.

Jajaja Mexicana

A plant based Mexican restaurant serving all vegan Mexican street food and tasty cocktails.

Perfect for: The next time you need to find a quick, festive lunch spot in the LES.

Sunday in Brooklyn

Whatever you do, make sure you order the pancakes. Just trust us.

Perfect for: Brunch with your besties, or honestly any other meal of the day. It’s all amazing.

Dinner Party

A small but mighty restaurant in the heart of Fort Greene. When you’re eating at Dinner Party, you feel like you’re sharing an intimate meal with everyone that’s in the space. It’s cozy in the best way possible.

Perfect for: Whenever you’re craving a thoughtfully put together menu and a nice night out with your friends.

JaJaJa Mexicana (left); Court Street Grocers (right)


Where to drink:

Hotel Delmano

Walking into Hotel Delmano feels like stepping into the past. Their decor isn’t even the best thing about their space either; just wait until you try their raw bar and cocktails.

Perfect for: The next time you’re craving oysters.

Public Records

This space wears many different hats: cafe, restaurant, sound room, bar, etc. We love a multifaceted queen! During the daytime, Public Records is a very calming cafe to meet your friends and even get some work done. At night, it transforms into a fun bar and music venue.

Perfect for: Audiophiles who love great coffee and excellent vinyl.  

Gem Wine

Gem Wine is the sister wine bar to the original restaurant, Gem. They focus on low-intervention wine makers and serve a menu of tasty small dishes. Add this one to your list of must-visit bars.

Perfect for: Girl’s night with your besties.

Cherry on Top

This spot is new but it’s already become a Spoak favorite. Cherry on Top is natural wine bar located in Bushwick with the best selection of wine and snacks. We recommend ordering the house red and a side of their fancy toast.

Perfect for: Any and all natural wine lovers.

Temperance

This neighborhood bar has everything nailed down—from their modern decor and checkered accent walls, to their eclectic small plates and (you guessed it) epic wine list. Visit when it’s warm outside so you can enjoy their secret patio.

Perfect for: A glass of wine the next time you’re in the West Village.

PIPS

Natural wines, Italian-style aperitifs, and a small plates menu inspired by coastal Italy. If someone ever invites you to PIPS, say yes!

Perfect for: Whenever you wish you were vacationing in Italy.

Hotel Delmano (left); Public Records (right)

For more design happenings, join Spoak.

Special thanks to all of our members who contributed to this guide, including Erin Strasen, Carina Miranda, Hayleigh Dial, Jendalyn Cohen, Lauren Roth, Erin Pawlik, Jennifer Paccione Angulo, and more.

Date Posted
November 1, 2022
Tagged
Community

The Design-Lovers Guide to NYC: What to Do, Where to Go, What to Eat

Are you an interior design lover wondering where to source a specific piece of vintage furniture? Want to find the best thrift store in town? Or perhaps you’re just looking for a beautiful hidden restaurant gem to take your friends to? Here's our guide to all of that and more in NYC.

So in honor of spreading the word and sharing all the cool places and things we’ve discovered lately, we’ve decided to create the first (of many) design-centric local city guides brought to you by the Spoak editorial team and our community. First up, NYC! It would be quite the feat to cover every cool thing happening around the city, so these are just some of our top choices—some classic and some newer—at the moment.

Bookmark it for the next time you’re wandering around town!

Things to do:

Visit the Noguchi Museum

This museum holds the largest collection of Isamu Noguchi’s work and is a never-ending source of inspiration. Pro-tip: Admission is free to the museum on the first Friday of every month.

Perfect for: A day trip to Queens. Bonus points if you go on a nice day to explore the sculpture garden.

Visit the Judd Foundation

The Judd Foundation has preserved historic, permanently installed living and working spaces of artist Donald Judd right in the city. It’s a beautiful building in New York that is worth a visit, even if you don’t know much about Donald Judd.

Perfect for: Anyone who’s into historical spaces or someone who has been wanting to visit the Marfa exhibit and hasn’t been able to make the trek yet.

Get lost at The Met

If you haven’t already visited The Met, you are in for an absolute treat! Between the 5th Ave location and the Cloisters, you’ll have plenty to uncover.

Perfect for: Taking your art-loving guests from out of town to.

Take the ferry to Governors Island

There’s something about taking a ferry in NYC that feels so special. Governors Island reminds us of peak summer days and all the fun outdoor activities. Rent bikes and explore the island, or grab a bite to eat and relax in the grass. There’s something for everyone.

Perfect for: Spending your entire day wandering around outside.

Have a picnic in Prospect Park

Or any park, for that matter! Spring is finally here, which means it’s time for us to grab our allergy meds and a to-go bag with all of our favorite picnic essentials.

Perfect for: The next time it's a beautiful day outside.

judd foundation
Judd Foundation

Where to shop:

Susan Alexandra

Susan’s new storefront is a blast of color and fun. It feels like you’re walking through a fairytale when you pop into her shop. You can even make your own charmed necklaces or bracelets while you’re there.

Perfect for: Finding a really special and personalized gift for a friend (or yourself!).

Big Night

The next time you’re about to pack that picnic bag or maybe even plan an outdoor dinner party, you might want to stop at Big Night first. They have all the snacks and party essentials.

Perfect for: Anyone who’s hosting and looking to impress their dinner party guests with some fancy party favors.

Books are Magic

Owned by novelist Emma Straub, this bookstore is a staple in the Cobble Hill community. It’s the type of bookstore that you could get lost in for hours.

Perfect for: A bookworm who thinks there’s no such thing as too many books.

Coming Soon

A design-centric shopping day would not be complete without a stop to Coming Soon. It’s a favorite around these parts, and if you visit their website, you’ll see why. Eclectic, bright, and all the Spoaky things.

Perfect for: When you feel like treating yourself to a fun home decor piece.

Salter House

A small home decor shop that sells everything you never knew you actually needed. Bonus points if you grab one of their very tasty homemade bagels.

Perfect for: The beginning of a stroll down Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn.

Greenery Unlimited

This is beyond your normal plant shop. When you walk into Greenery, it feels like you’re walking into a tropical oasis.

Perfect for: The next time you need to pick up a new plant friend.

Susan Alexandra (left); Big Night (right)

Where to eat:

Ladybird

A vegan tapas and wine bar. The decor in this space makes you feel like you’re at a fancy little lunch party.

Perfect for: Light bites the next time you find yourself in the East Village.

Pietro NoLita

An excellent Italian restaurant, which you may have seen on Instagram due to its very loud, pink interiors.

Perfect for: Satisfying your desire for pasta and an Instagram-worthy dinner.

Edy’s Grocer

Newer to the Greenpoint neighborhood, you won’t be able to miss this Lebanese market & deli with its lime green sign outside. They sell a wide range of imported groceries and have a rotating monthly menu of Lebanese cuisine.

Perfect for: Whenever you want to experience eating the best Lebanese food in NYC.

Pietro's NoLita (left); Edy's Grocer (top right); Ladybird (bottom right)

Court Street Grocers

Is there anything better than a CSG sandwich? Our community recently dished about their favorite sandwich orders of all time, and CSG sandwiches were at the top of the list.

Perfect for: The next time you are hankering for a real good sandwich.

Jajaja Mexicana

A plant based Mexican restaurant serving all vegan Mexican street food and tasty cocktails.

Perfect for: The next time you need to find a quick, festive lunch spot in the LES.

Sunday in Brooklyn

Whatever you do, make sure you order the pancakes. Just trust us.

Perfect for: Brunch with your besties, or honestly any other meal of the day. It’s all amazing.

Dinner Party

A small but mighty restaurant in the heart of Fort Greene. When you’re eating at Dinner Party, you feel like you’re sharing an intimate meal with everyone that’s in the space. It’s cozy in the best way possible.

Perfect for: Whenever you’re craving a thoughtfully put together menu and a nice night out with your friends.

JaJaJa Mexicana (left); Court Street Grocers (right)


Where to drink:

Hotel Delmano

Walking into Hotel Delmano feels like stepping into the past. Their decor isn’t even the best thing about their space either; just wait until you try their raw bar and cocktails.

Perfect for: The next time you’re craving oysters.

Public Records

This space wears many different hats: cafe, restaurant, sound room, bar, etc. We love a multifaceted queen! During the daytime, Public Records is a very calming cafe to meet your friends and even get some work done. At night, it transforms into a fun bar and music venue.

Perfect for: Audiophiles who love great coffee and excellent vinyl.  

Gem Wine

Gem Wine is the sister wine bar to the original restaurant, Gem. They focus on low-intervention wine makers and serve a menu of tasty small dishes. Add this one to your list of must-visit bars.

Perfect for: Girl’s night with your besties.

Cherry on Top

This spot is new but it’s already become a Spoak favorite. Cherry on Top is natural wine bar located in Bushwick with the best selection of wine and snacks. We recommend ordering the house red and a side of their fancy toast.

Perfect for: Any and all natural wine lovers.

Temperance

This neighborhood bar has everything nailed down—from their modern decor and checkered accent walls, to their eclectic small plates and (you guessed it) epic wine list. Visit when it’s warm outside so you can enjoy their secret patio.

Perfect for: A glass of wine the next time you’re in the West Village.

PIPS

Natural wines, Italian-style aperitifs, and a small plates menu inspired by coastal Italy. If someone ever invites you to PIPS, say yes!

Perfect for: Whenever you wish you were vacationing in Italy.

Hotel Delmano (left); Public Records (right)

For more design happenings, join Spoak.

Special thanks to all of our members who contributed to this guide, including Erin Strasen, Carina Miranda, Hayleigh Dial, Jendalyn Cohen, Lauren Roth, Erin Pawlik, Jennifer Paccione Angulo, and more.

Date Posted
November 1, 2022
Tagged

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