It stands to reason that New York’s Flatiron District – the locus of creativity in Manhattan and the epicenter of New York’s thriving tech scene – is going to have some pretty great places to eat, drink, and shop. It’s the triple play of cool. Here’s the lowdown on why it deserves a slot on your New York City bucket list.
The district is the namesake of the iconic Flatiron Building, the imposing 20th-century steel structure at Broadway/Fifth and 23rd Street. The neighborhood straddles the east/west quadrants of the Manhattan grid with Lexington Ave to the east and 7th Avenue to the west.
The heart of the action is the hyper-energy of Broadway. Small and large shops and restaurants crowd the main thoroughfares as well as the cross streets from Union Square to 23rd Street. Trendy fashion brands line 6th Avenue: Michael Kors, Kate Spade, Zara, Club Monaco, J. Crew, all crunched together over a few blocks of fashion madness. It’s the perfect neighborhood to explore on foot with stops for restorative breaks.
The altars of home design/furnishings run along Broadway.
ABC Carpet and Home, Restoration Hardware, Design Within Reach are the big players, with more to choose from on the shops that spiral out along the side streets. For glorious bath fixtures, check out Waterworks’ luscious bath showroom on E. 20th St. My favorite kitchen/cooking wares emporium is Wisk, on Broadway.
The Flatiron is awash in food options. There are tons of options; just take a look at Yelp or Trip Advisor. Sometimes you just need a coffee or a snack, sometimes lunch, sometimes dinner. Herewith an array of choices which pass 3 Score & More’s discriminating standards, but by no means represents an exhaustive list.
- Well established watering holes/restaurants such as Gramercy Tavern, and Barbounia (20th Street) and, on Broadway, Craftbar. Two restaurants are within ABC’s vast showroom/bazaar: Cocina (19th Street) and ABC Kitchen (18th Street).
- Spoon and Tbsp 17 W. 20th St. (between 5th and 6th) Wonderful Stumptown coffee brewed to perfection. If you, like me, have a weakness for brownies they can scratch that itch.
- Burdick’s 5 E. 20th St. If you’re hankering for some scrumptious chocolate or need fuel to tackle serious retail therapy along 6th Avenue, this is the place.
- Le Coq Rico 30 E. 20th St. Chicken and all types of game birds, prepared as only the French can do. Open for lunch, but I’d recommend it as a dinner spot.
- Dough Doughnuts 14 W. 19th St. Don’t be put off by the line of customers, because the short wait at this storefront is worth it. Snack in place or takeaway; these donuts are light, delicious and definitely NOT on anyone’s diet regimen. Coffee/tea available; communal tables.
- Beecher’s Cheese 900 Broadway (at 20th Street) Wonderful cafe – The Cellar – a great spot and a terrific choice of cheese, too. I recommend it as a great place for a drink at the end of the day, if not a comfort-food lunch!
Off-beat shopping opportunities galore
- Flying Tiger 920 Broadway (at 21st Street) A zany import from Copenhagen, this place is the flagship New York store and worth the trip. Bargains for home and office stock each shelf and the seasonal items are as outrageous as they are affordable. And don’t miss the tins of butter cookies, a Danish delicacy, and the perfect hostess gift
- Chacott 20 E. 20th St. Now owned by Freed of London, this store represents the global merger of ballet wear and all things dance. Which these days means all things fitness, too, from training to yoga. So, to satisfy your hidden ballerina, or sample the exquisite Chacott cosmetics and skin care line, this is a must stop.
- Space Kiddets 26 E. 22nd St. Need an unusual gift for the young one in your life? Wooden blocks in Chinese? Magic kits? Nursery rhyme books with illustrations projected on the ceiling (via your cell phone’s flashlight) will reinvent the bedtime story routine. Clothes, costumes, riding toys…. fun for young and old.
- Hannari & MG 20 E. 20th St. A pet store like no other. Looking for a doggie stroller? Doggie pack-pack? Doggie anything? Cat anything, too. Either way, here’s the place for you. Apologies to all the social Chows out there reading this board in front of the shop. Hannari and MG share the building with Chacott thus the same address.
One last thing: Theodore Roosevelt, the dashing figure who served as the 26th (and youngest) U.S. President (1901-1909), was born in a relatively modest house at 28 E. 20th Street. The National Park Service is now putting the finishing touches on his restored birthplace/museum, set to open in the Fall, 2016. Fitting, as he was responsible for the creation of the National Parks in the first place. A wonderful legacy, Teddy.
Whenever your wanderlust takes you to New York, keep the Flatiron District on your to-do list. The possibilities are endless – what’s YOUR favorite Flatiron recommendation? Please let us know in the comments below.
©3 Score & More, 2016