Striking an exciting balance between history and modernity, Manhattan’s Flatiron District houses everything from famous New York landmarks to wifi-ready coffee shops. With family-friendly parks standing a short distance from liberatingly racy museums, this eclectic area is sure to keep you guessing. Nodding to the past while looking toward the future, here are ten of the neighborhood’s most timeless destinations.
Visit the neighborhood’s namesake landmark, serving as an iconographic symbol of New York City for over a century. With its striking angles and stark design, the Flatiron Building is one of Manhattan’s most photogenic landmarks, making it a popular subject for artists and photographers. Join their ranks and snap a photo as you admire the unusual architecture of this piece of New York’s history.
Conveniently located inside the lobby of the Ace Hotel, Stumptown Coffee Roasters is a hot contender for the city’s best coffee spot. The roomy, wifi-equipped lounge is great for working or socializing as you sample Stumptown’s rave-worthy beverages and pastries. For serious caffeine-cravers, this popular hangout also offers packaged beans, allowing you to recreate your favorite drinks at home.
Shearling gloves, super-soft t-shirts, and silk scarves adorn the shelves at Maison Kitsuné, a French–Japanese boutique stocking both men’s and women’s designs. Honoring its consistently quirky and colorful aesthetic, the record label-turned-clothing brand features unexpected pieces like polka dot suspenders and corduroy dress shorts.
Recalling the bustling markets of Italy, Mario Batali’s renowned market and eatery brings foreign flavor to Fifth Avenue. At Eataly, patrons have access to authentic Italian ingredients such as fresh meats, imported olive oil, and an extensive variety of pastas. For those who just can’t wait to make it back to the kitchen, Eataly conveniently houses seven restaurants to satisfy cravings when they strike.
A great destination for open-minded individuals, the Museum of Sex aims to demystify the taboo through engaging and educational exhibitions. With exhibitions ranging from a historical look at the development of erotica to interactive X-rated carnivals, this establishment guarantees patrons an enjoyable, eye-opening experience. After your visit, be sure to stop by the museum’s risqué gift shop and attached café and bar.
With its elegant interior and authentic speakeasy atmosphere, Raines Law Room will transport you to glamorous 1920s New York. Low lighting, plush leather seats, and a discreet staff lend an air of mystery to this nontraditional bar, a quality further emphasized by its lack of phone number or obvious storefront entrance. (Tip: A doorbell located near the inconspicuous basement entrance will grant you admittance). Come for the cool atmosphere, and stay for inventive cocktails and strong drinks that would do the twenties proud.
Celebrate Tibetan culture at Tibet House U.S., an institution dedicated to preserving the nation’s history, art, and Buddhist philosophy. Offering educational lectures and galleries as well as yoga and meditation classes, the establishment provides a welcoming environment ideal for exploring one of the city’s richest subcultures.
A popular destination amongst locals, Madison Square Park offers a variety of attractions and activities for all ages to enjoy. Housing a number of art installations and restaurant pop-ups — in addition to its perennial Shake Shack outpost — this iconic green space is an ideal site for a leisurely stroll or enjoying lunch on-the-go. Also hosting an array of events such as barbecue block parties, outdoor concerts, and snowman-building festivals, the park serves as a hub for community bonding.
Explore foreign cuisine in a familiar setting at indikitch, an Indian restaurant with assembly line-style service. Adopting an accommodating build-your-own-meal approach, untypical of many Indian restaurants, indikitch serves traditional ethnic fare, such as samosas and naan, as well as meat and vegetarian curries. The restaurant’s customizable menu makes it an excellent place for first-timers to sample India’s culinary offerings, and allows longtime fans of the food to get their perfect plate every time.
Iconic New York City shop Rizzoli Bookstore recently reopened its doors, inviting bibliophiles from across the globe to explore its acclaimed and varied collection. In addition to an impressive selection of coffee table books and rare limited editions, the shop also stocks titles on everything from interior design to mystery novels. With its long local history and ample book section devoted entirely to New York, this independent shop is a must-visit for any book-loving local. By Julia Goicochea Splitting her time between Miami and New York, Julia is currently studying creative writing in New York City. She enjoys foreign films, graphic novels and Indian cuisine.