Introducing the extended version of Sabah's Guide to Downtown Manhattan! A compilation of our favorite spots to eat, drink, shop and dance -- all within 15 minutes walking distance of Sabah House New York. We encourage you to read it, download it, share it and try our recommendations! Whether you're a tourist, or a local... you might just find your new go-to spot.
WHERE TO EAT:
Abraco (81 E. 7th St.)
On a quintessential East Village block, we come here for great espresso, olive oil cake, and people watching. We often bump into long-time Sabah customers in their well-worn pairs, and great conversation ensues... see you there!
Michaeli Bakery (115A Division St.)
Nestled down near some of our favorite spots in the LES, this is our go-to for Israeli-style baked goods. We love their pistachio kunefe, mini Kugelhopf and the Moroccan doughnuts.
Cafe Lyria (166 Crosby St.)
We were very pleased when Yannis & Theo opened up a coffee shop across the street from Sabah House New York. The coffee is as good as it gets, but these Greek brothers are the real stars of the show. Ask for their special Freddo Cappuccino on a hot day!
ATLA (372 Lafayette St.)
Two blocks away from Sabah House New York is ATLA - Mexican Chef, Enrique Olvera’s casual, all-day eatery. During winter, we come here for their chicken soup. In the summer, we sit outside and order the suadero tacos with a classic Margarita to wash it down - both are some of the best in town.
Gem (116 Forsyth St.)
A hidden gem that is hard to find! With a 16-seat dining room surrounding the open concept kitchen, chef Flynn McGarry himself, presents each dish to your table. We’re inspired by Flynn’s approach to seasonal cooking as their pre-fixed menu changes three times a year, showcasing what is locally abundant during that time.
C&B Cafe (178 E. 7th St.)
Our favorite breakfast spot in the East Village - we’ve been coming here since it was half the size, and before there was a line around the block. The owner is Turkish, so expect to find a menu highlighted with some traditional Turkish dishes. Order the Menemen and Lablabi eggs and you won’t be disappointed. The new bakery and pastry shop set in the old dry cleaners next door is delicious too - we always leave with a chocolate chip cookie and espresso. On a sunny day, get your order to go and eat it across the street in Tompkins Square Park.
Ramen Ishida (122 Ludlow St.)
We stumbled upon this 10-seat ramen spot in the LES two years ago and haven’t stopped coming back since. The spicy pork ramen and pork buns are our favorite in the city!
Raoul's (108 Prince St.)
A dozen oysters, the off-menu Cheeseburger (in our opinion, the best burger in the city) and a glass of Chablis at the bar on a Sunday afternoon. That’s hard to beat. Order the burger as soon as you sit down because they’re in limited supply and they go quickly!
Casa Adela (66 Loisaida Ave.)
This place is an East Village institution, making authentic Puerto Rican dishes since 1973. Come here for lunch and bring your appetite. Order the rotisserie chicken with a cold cerveza before heading to one of the many neighborhood bars nearby – like NuBlu!
Fanelli Cafe (94 Prince St.)
Since 1847, and still the place to be on any given night in SoHo, we come to Fanelli's for a great table outside: people watching, a few martinis, two rascal burgers with fries later and we're having a night. Reliable, relaxed, friendly, and owned by two of our favorite people in Soho, Fanelli Cafe is at the top of our list for any night of the week.
Cervo's (43 Canal St.)
We’ve been coming here regularly for a glass of wine and their crispy shrimp heads since they opened in 2017. They’ve also got a great lamb burger with anchovies that you can’t miss! This is the perfect place to bring out of town friends for a casual, early dinner.
Little Rascal (163 Elizabeth St.)
Little Rascals is a Sabah, and Nolita staple, serving up wholesome Turkish dishes with exceptional Mediterranean flavors. An ode to their Turkish roots, Brothers Halil and Öner Gündogdu have created a space that is as much about connection and hospitality as it is about the food. Just the way we like our New York City restaurants!
Estela (47 E. Houston St., 1st Floor)
The Sabah team comes here at least once a month. This is our friend Ignacio Mattos’ first restaurant in New York and a crowd favorite. The entire menu is worth trying, but the arroz negro and endive salad are the stars + the wine & cocktails menu is spectacular. We love coming solo and sitting at the bar.
Around the corner from Sabah House New York, the offspring of the original il Buco, Alimentari has the most amazing cured meat and bread selection, a rotating list of pastas, and for lunch – their panini program is amazing. Plan for an afternoon nap.
Ho Foods (110 E. 7th St.)
A tiny hole-in-the-wall on the way to Tompkins Square Park, their beef noodle soup is, as they say, to die for.
Forsythia (9 Stanton St.)
This quaint little spot opened in 2020 during the pandemic on Stanton Street in the Lower East Side. We recommend walking in to indulge in their abbreviated menu at the bar (you'll likely wait, it's worth it). Their menu centers on Roman cuisine, meaning lots of delicious pasta, made exclusively by hand everyday. We suggest ordering one of each – though our favorite is the La Vecchia Scuola Bolognese. Save room for their house made focaccia, served with butter and olive oil. They have some of the best sommeliers around and, if you’re lucky, a wonderful chef who just might serve you for the evening!
Librae Bakery (35 Cooper Square)
Located in the heart of Cooper Square, you’ll find our new favorite bakery. Owners, Dona Murad and Andre Gerschel, draw on their mixed backgrounds to offer a menu of baked goods and coffee that is worth the afternoon break! You’ll find their take on Scandinavian/Danish pastries, tahini rye chocolate chip cookies, a selection of croissants, warm bread with butter and jam that’s simply delicious and many other tempting treats.
WHERE TO VISIT & SHOP:
Joe's Pub (425 Lafayette St.)
A program of the Public Theater and only a few blocks from Sabah House New York, Joe’s Pub is both a restaurant and intimate performance venue. Come and witness a range of impressive live genres and acts from Theater and Cabaret to Jazz and Comedy! We highly recommend tickets to the Habibi Festival to catch their annual performance of contemporary and traditional music of the SWANA ('South West Asia North Africa') region from October 11th to 15th, 2022! You can’t miss it!
Zero + Maria Cornejo (33 Bleecker St.)
Our dear friend and Chilean-born designer Maria has been consciously and responsibly producing great minimalist style clothing by women for women in the heart of NYC since the early 2000s. Go visit her beautiful store & showroom just across Lafayette on Bleecker Street.
Oroboro (217 Mott St.)
One of our favorite retailers in the city, Oroboro’s owner, April, is constantly curating & refreshing her assortment of women’s apparel, accessories, home goods & art. Always an inspiration to visit!
Blue in Green (8 Greene St.)
A Japanese-centric menswear store in SoHo that carries hard-to-find brands like Kapital, as well as an assortment of the best Japanese denim. They’ve got a good vibe and knowledgeable staff, head over there for a new look!
Jill Platner (165 Crosby St.)
Our next door neighbor, Jill Platner, produces timeless, organic jewelry and sculptures in a studio above her shop. Her new space, here on Crosby Street, was recently renovated and is worth a visit!
Artifacts 20th Century (280 Mott St.)
Because we love all things design! A store dedicated to the furniture, art, and design objects of the 20th century. They feature a wide array of work from the leading designers of the mid-century modern movement. If you’re looking for furniture designed by Aalto, Bertoia, Charles & Ray Eames, Jacobsen, Nelson, Noguchi, Florence Knoll, Robjohn-Gibbings, etc., look no further than Artifacts.
Great Jones Spa (29 Great Jones St.)
You’ve been eating, drinking, & shopping for a few days and need a little R&R - book an afternoon pass (and if you’re feeling it, a massage) at the Great Jones Spa. Steam, Sauna, Cold Dip, repeat. Repeat. Repeat. And you’re ready to eat, drink, shop and dance some more!
Chop Suey Club (81 Hester St.)
Here you will find highly curated, quality, contemporary Chinese design and art priced low to high. An intimate setting with a variety of items made by Chinese artisans, from jewelry to sunglasses to art, home decor and clothing. We usually walk out with a new pack of incense or coffee table book to add to our growing Sabah House collection.
Mercer St. Books & Records (208 Mercer St.)
A true neighborhood gem and our team’s little hideaway — now in their 30th year since they first opened in old school Greenwich Village. Get lost in this eclectic, artistic shuffle and find the most interesting second-hand books and records.
Love Adorned (269 Elizabeth St.)
Our good friend Lori Leven’s breezy space on Elizabeth Street is stocked with an eclectic mix of new & vintage jewelry, plus unusual items for the home, a curated inventory informed by years of her personal traveling and collecting. This is the perfect place to find gifts!
Boglioli (10 Bond St.)
When it's time for Suits & Sabahs (or just a more sophisticated getup), we look no further than Boglioli for their fine Italian menswear. Incredible fabrics, perfect cuts, and great colors. Tell Anthony that we sent you - he's half the reason we love to visit so much.
E. 4th street to walk:
East 4th street between Bowery and 2nd Ave is one of our favorite blocks. Known as the East 4th Street Cultural District, it’s home to long-standing independent retailers plus art studios & several great theaters. Check out Pageant Print Shop (where they sell rare & vintage maps), Rivington Guitars, Tom’s Juice and the new Italian grocery shop. Stop for a drink at KGB Bar when you’re done.
E. 9th street shopping:
Our favorite shopping street in the East Village is East 9th between 1st & 2nd Ave. Home to tons of small, independent retailers and great vintage shops – start at Katinka (only open in the afternoons) before moving on to Still House (home goods), Fabulous Fannys (vintage eye wear), and Duo NYC (vintage denim) amongst a handful of other great shops. Enjoy a drink at the Immigrant post shopping spree!
Colbo (51 Orchard St.)
We love the shopping experience here- you can listen to rare records, peruse design magazines and have a coffee! A perfect mix of high end & more accessible pieces, it’s a great place to discover new designers!
Angelika Cinema (18 W. Houston St.)
Angelika New York truly holds a special place in our hearts. First opened in 1989, Angelika is famous for showing diverse independent films. Come early and have a beer and a bite at the cafe before your cinema. If you happen to feel a rumble, don’t panic - it’s just the subway and that’s part of the charm!
Assembly New York (170 Ludlow St.)
Founded by former gallerist Greg Armas in 2008, you’ll feel like you are walking into a gallery when you enter. Located in the Lower East Side, Assembly is a reliable source for rare designer finds from around the world as well as vintage and art objects that focus on craft. We usually come here for Vintage Levis, and leave with unexpected pieces to add to our closet!
WHERE TO DRINK & DANCE:
Gem Wine (297 Broome St.)
Only steps away from sister restaurant Gem on Forsyth Street, you’ll find Gem Wine Bar for natural wines and small plates. Our go-to is the marinated peppers and the Oyster tomatoes.
Gonzalez y Gonzalez (192 Mercer St.)
Right around the corner from our shop, on Mercer Street and Houston, find our favorite salsa joint in the whole city. Since 1989, the iconic G&G has been turning it up with live Salsa, Bachata, Merengue and more Latin genres. Get there early on Thursdays and catch a free Salsa lesson to get warmed up for a fun night of dancing.
Ruffian Wine Bar (125 E. 7th St.)
Always a good time and a good glass of wine. They work with mostly small wine producers in Southern and Eastern Europe and have knowledgeable staff that will happily guide you through their irreverent collection. This is the best date spot in NYC in our humble opinion! The food is damn good too.
Cafe Gitane (242 Mott St.)
Come here for an afternoon spritz and olives after lunch. Time your arrival just right, and around ~4pm the afternoon sun shines down onto Gitane’s bistro tables making it some of the best outdoor seating in the city. People watching is A+ too.
Sake Bar Decibel (240 E. 9th St.)
Our beloved underground Sake joint, where the Sabah team used to frequent when we had our Sabah House on East 12th Street. Down a dingy flight of stairs, this speakeasy-like Japanese bar has been operating since 1993. Order from their wide selection of Sake while listening to Japanese punk rock.
Studio 151 (151 Loisaida Ave.)
Upstairs above NuBlu on Ave C, you’ll always find great tunes on vinyl and someone to dance with. Our favorite club in the city.
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