Best of NYC®

Best Of 2010


  • + Allerton
  • + Alphabet City
  • + Astoria
  • + Auburndale
  • + Bath Beach
  • + Battery Park City
  • + Bay Ridge
  • + Bayside
  • + Bedford Stuyvesant
  • + Belmont
  • + Bensonhurst
  • + Boerum Hill
  • + Borough Park
  • + Brighton Beach
  • + Broad Channel
  • + Bronx
  • + Brooklyn
  • + Brooklyn Heights
  • + Brownsville
  • + Bushwick
  • + Cambria Heights
  • + Canarsie
  • + Carroll Gardens
  • + Central Park
  • + Chelsea
  • + Chinatown
  • + City Island
  • + Clinton Hill
  • + Cobble Hill
  • + College Point
  • + Coney Island
  • + Corona
  • + Crotona Park
  • + Crown Heights
  • + Cypress Hills
  • + Ditmas Park
  • + Douglaston
  • + Dumbo
  • + Dyker Heights
  • + East 100s
  • + East 40s
  • + East 50s
  • + East 60s
  • + East 70s
  • + East 80s
  • + East 90s
  • + East Flatbush
  • + East Harlem
  • + East New York
  • + East Village
  • + Elmhurst
  • + Far Rockaway
  • + Financial District
  • + Flatbush
  • + Flatiron
  • + Flatlands
  • + Floral Park
  • + Flushing
  • + Fordham
  • + Forest Hills
  • + Fort Greene
  • + Garment District
  • + Gerritsen Beach
  • + Glen Oaks
  • + Glendale
  • + Gowanus
  • + Gramercy Park
  • + Gravesend
  • + Greenpoint
  • + Greenwich Village
  • + Greenwood Heights
  • + Hamilton Heights
  • + Harlem
  • + Hell's Kitchen
  • + High Bridge
  • + Highland Park
  • + Hollis
  • + Homecrest
  • + Howard Beach
  • + Hunts Point
  • + Inwood
  • + Jackson Heights
  • + Jamaica
  • + Jamaica Hills
  • + Jersey City
  • + Kensington
  • + Kew Gardens Hills
  • + Kingsbridge
  • + Koreatown
  • + Little Italy
  • + Little Neck
  • + Long Island
  • + Long Island City
  • + Louisiana
  • + Lower East Side
  • + Marine Park
  • + Maspeth
  • + Meatpacking District
  • + Middle Village
  • + Midwood
  • + Morningside Heights
  • + Morris Park
  • + Morrisania
  • + Mott Haven
  • + Murray Hill
  • + New Jersey
  • + New Lots
  • + New Utrecht
  • + Noho
  • + Nolita
  • + Ocean Hill
  • + Out of Town
  • + Ozone Park
  • + Park Slope
  • + Parkchester
  • + Pelham Bay
  • + Pennsylvania
  • + Prospect Heights
  • + Prospect Park South
  • + Prospect-Lefferts Garden
  • + Red Hook
  • + Rego Park
  • + Richmond Hill
  • + Ridgewood
  • + Riverdale
  • + Rockaway Beach
  • + Roosevelt Island
  • + Rosedale
  • + Sheepshead Bay
  • + Soho
  • + South Park Slope
  • + South Riverdale
  • + South Street Seaport
  • + St Albans
  • + Staten Island
  • + Sunnyside
  • + Sunset Park
  • + Throgs Neck
  • + Tribeca
  • + Union Square
  • + Unknown
  • + Utah
  • + Washington Heights
  • + West 100s
  • + West 40s
  • + West 50s
  • + West 60s
  • + West 70s
  • + West 80s
  • + West 90s
  • + West Village
  • + Whitestone
  • + Williamsburg
  • + Windsor Terrace
  • + Woodlawn
  • + Woodside
Map It

Arts & Entertainment

Bars & Clubs

Food & Drink

People & Places

Shopping & Services

Sports & Recreation


Best Of :: Bars & Clubs

Best Brooklyn Tavern
Henry Public

Turn off all cell phones and electronic devices, please. You are about to enter Henry Public, a place that takes you back to 1840s Brooklyn, a time when Walt Whitman worked at the Brooklyn Eagle and the ferry was the best way to get to Manhattan. Opened last fall in Cobble Hill by the owners of the popular Carroll Gardens establishment Brooklyn Social, the tavern sets the mood with suspenders-wearing waiters, dusty old books, antique furniture, and walls adorned with portraits of famous characters of the day, such as Frederick Douglass and Henry Ward Beecher. Hang your top hat on the rack and have a seat at the zinc-topped walnut bar, where the no-nonsense bartenders create delicious original cocktails, such as the frothy Eagle's Dream, a tangy blend of gin, sugar, egg white, crème de violette, and lemon, and the potent Brooklyn Ferry, a mix of rye whiskey, Antica vermouth, maraschino liqueur, and absinthe. Alas, these cocktails do not have 19th-century prices attached (they'll run you $10 to $11), but ample seating is available at tables and cozy booths in the two rooms, and the fireplace is great on cold winter nights. Henry Public also offers a simple "supper" menu of marrowbones, hamburgers made with grass-fed beef, oysters, grilled cheese with apples, and the highly recommended turkey-leg sandwich. For something sweet, try the Wilkinsons, warm Danish pancake balls served with a rum-caramel sauce—or, if you're a card-carrying member of the Brooklyn Temperance Society, ask for a sweet, foamy egg cream.

329 Henry St., Brooklyn, 11201
559 Lorimer St., Brooklyn, 11211
Best Bar for Modelizers
Coffee Shop

Coffee Shop is beloved for its somewhat lethargic, surly serviceand we truly mean beloved, because the clientele gladly takes every frown from the dispassionate waitresses and comes back crawling for more. The Union Square staple may not blare it on its neon marquee, but it's the worst-kept secret in town that the restaurant almost exclusively hires models for its waitstaff. The gorgeous men and women curtly slinging sweet-potato fries may be working for the weekend or their next go-see, but the celebrities and locals who perch with equal aloofness in their outdoor cafe seats are there for the view. Who knows? Order enough fajitas, and your icy Swedish hostess may even smile at you.

29 Union Square W., New York, 10003
Best 'Mixology' Place That You Can Actually Get Into

We'd been turned away at Death & Co. far too many times to ever consider showing our face there again (really, there's no room for us?) when we stumbled upon Elsa, a jewel box of a bar situated slightly farther south and east. Elsa is one of those bars we'd rather not tell you about, actually, because we don't want it to become packed with those who won't appreciate its many charms, but since this is a Best Of . . . well, it's the best. Gorgeous white-wood-paneled walls and low Edison-bulb lighting make you feel as if you've just walked into a mansion in Cuba in the '50s, or perhaps an undiscovered Savannah speakeasy. The music is always on-trend, but not too much so. And the hipster-retro barstaff take great pride in mixing and serving you amazing classic cocktails (a mint julep with a huge, verdant sprig of fresh mint served in a steel cup, or maybe a dark 'n' stormy?). Like any high-quality speakeasy, Elsa also functions as a women's clothing shop during the daylight hours. Another plus: Even the bathrooms smell good. 217 East 3rd Street, 917-882-7395,

217 E. 3rd St., New York, 10009
Best High-End Drinks for Low-End Prices

The Red Hook waterfront doesn't much resemble New Orleans, although Erie Basin can exude a rather Bayou-esque scent and Fairway will supply you with everything you need to create a splendid oyster po'boy. But since last year, one local bar, Fort Defiance, has been making the Big Apple feel that much Big Easier. After stints as a food writer, bartender, and Jedi-level backyard barbecuer, St. John Frizell opened the Southern-spiked watering hole. There's a food menu, and our critics assure us that the eats are more than palatable. But we've been racing up Columbia Street and bellying up to the bar for some of the most gorgeous, innovative, and potent cocktails at prices that would barely buy you a tonic water at most of New York's mixology palaces. A recent trip yielded a $9 Manhattan better than any Brooklyn bar has a right to concoct; the Cloister, an $8 assemblage of gin, grapefruit, lemon, and chartreuse; and the $11 Sumo Collins, 24 ounces of the best use for a cucumber that anyone has yet invented.

365 Van Brunt St., Brooklyn, 11231
Best Local Jazz Club

Yes, Smoke, a little south of Harlem at 106th Street and Broadway, can be kinda pricey ($30 per person for dinner and show). But the food, which has gotten rave reviews in some quarters, is a lot jazzier than cheeseburgers and pretty good. It's the music, though, that definitely merits the raves. Say you're looking to soak up some tunes for you and your honey on a mid-week evening. You're liable to find a tight trio at Smoke—and no cover charge. Same with Sunday's "jazz brunch," which on a recent weekend featured Natalie Joy Johnson (lately in Broadway's Legally Blonde) belting it out. The music is wide-ranging and delicious, and the setting is intimate but neither cramped nor dusty. There are also less expensive late-night jam sessions ($10) and cover-free jazz brunches on Saturday, if that's your day of rest. At Smoke, you can pretend you're a '50s movie star taking in the New York scene, and no one will sneer at you.

2751 Broadway, New York, 10025
Best Bar to Get 'Weiss' to German Beer
Plattduetsche Park Restaurant

If you find Astoria's Bohemian Beer Garden insufficiently bohemian, consider a night at Williamsburg's Radegast not at all a gas, and can discern no siren call from the Lower East Side's Loreley, maybe it's time to venture farther out in your quest to leave no stein untipped. Plattduetsche Park Restaurant, located just over the Queens border, has slaked thirsts since 1939. And if that seems a rather inauspicious year to open a German beer garden, its survival testifies to its hoppy, yeasty excellence. (Think of these beverages as a far nicer way to get bombed.) Before it moves indoors in the winter months, Plattduetsche takes advantage of the summer, setting out long tables between chestnut trees and hiring Teutonic bands to accompany all the imbibing. Various seasonal brews include honey and berry weiss, just right for a balmy afternoon; specials include an aureate Spaten lager, a creamy Warsteiner, and a lemony Franziskaner hefe weisse. Half a liter will set you back only $7. At those prices, why not go Deutsche?

1132 Hempstead Turnpike, Franklin Square, Franklin Square, 11010

Best Brooklyn Tavern: Henry Public


All-access pass to the top stories, events and offers around town.

  • Top Stories


All-access pass to top stories, events and offers around town.

Sign Up >

No Thanks!

Remind Me Later >