While midtown Manhattan is often associated with the flashing screens of Times Square and the bright lights of Broadway, there’s a lot to discover beyond the typical tourist hot spots. It’s a vast neighbourhood where old meets new and where nature, art, history and commerce collide. Here are a few of our favourite places to stay, shop, eat and visit in the heart of New York City.


AMAN NEW YORK- One of the city’s most anticipated hotels in recent years, Aman New York first opened its doors a little over a year ago and immediately became an urban sanctuary. The main lobby and two restaurants are on the 14th floor of the famous Crown Building, on the corner of 5th Avenue and West 57th, while the 83 suites—as well as the pool, state-of-the-art gym and spa—can be found on the seven floors below. (On floors 15 to 30 are Aman New York’s 22 private residences.) There’s a reason why guests seek out this exclusive luxury resort chain, and they won’t be disappointed by the New York location—the hotel is impeccably thought out, has a soothing East-meets-West style and marries natural materials and original artwork. It was designed by Jean Michel-Gathy of Denniston Architects (who also did the Aman in Venice), and the Zenlike energy is carried throughout the rooms, which are inspired by Japanese open-plan living and have features like pivoting partition walls. Complete with oversized king beds, wall murals that pay homage to 15th-century Japanese artist Hasegawa Tōhaku, working gas fireplaces and soundproof glass, guest rooms make for a quiet place in which to recover from the city that never sleeps. With two top-notch restaurants—including Arva, which serves seasonal Italian fare and has a large outdoor terrace and bar (which can be glassed in during winter), and Nama, which offers exceptional Japanese cuisine—it’s hard to tear yourself away from this opulent cocoon. For late nights, there’s even an underground jazz club below the hotel (accessible through a back entrance); the club’s creative director is Lady Gaga’s trumpet player Brian Newman, and it’s equipped with a high-tech sound system that will give any music lover good vibes.


INNSIDE NEW YORK NOMAD- An option that will allow you a little more spending money, this chic family-friendly hotel has comfortable, well-appointed rooms, and its various terraces are as idyllic for a morning coffee as they are for a pre-dinner drink. As an added bonus, the gym (a rare amenity in New York City hotels) is on the 20th floor and offers spectacular views to take in with your workout.

Eat & Drink

LE ROCK- Recently opened on the ground floor of the Rockefeller Center, the aptly named Le Rock is the latest restaurant from the owners of beloved TriBeCa French-food eatery Frenchette. This bustling art-deco-inspired spot does what chef-proprietors Lee Hanson and Riad Nasr (the latter of whom is from Montreal) have always done so well: French-bistro fare that’s not afraid to be, well, French. But Le Rock is bigger than Frenchette, so it’s easier to nab a table; plus, it is open from breakfast to dinner and has a fantastic list of wines to complement any meal.

KEENS STEAKHOUSE- Take a trip back in time at a steakhouse on West 36th that dates back to 1885 and used to be a haunt for actors, producers and writers from the nearby Herald Square theatre district. Today, Keens is as lively as ever and feels steeped in history. To no one’s surprise, there’s plenty of beef on the menu, but the restaurant’s signature dish is its legendary mutton chop. (Although some would argue its standout is actually its martini.) And those who prefer surf over turf need not worry—there’s a selection of fish and shellfish too.


S&P LUNCH S&P may be a lesser-known Jewish-style lunch counter than the more famous Katz’s or Carnegie Deli, but this almost-century-old establishment is perhaps the most perfect spot for a simple meal made to yesteryear perfection. Tuck into a stacked turkey club, the Fifty/50 sandwich—an egg salad and tuna salad combo—potato latkes served with sour cream and applesauce or the classic S&P burger while shoulder to shoulder with New Yorkers of all ages devouring their favourite standbys.

MITR THAI- This fun, fresh and affordable new Thai restaurant is part of the recent Midtown restaurant renaissance. The dishes are broken down according to region, and there’s something for every type of Thai-food fan—especially if they don’t shy away from spice. Service is friendly and efficient, cocktails are creative and reservations are highly recommended.


SHINJI’S- This intimate 18-seat cocktail bar, from the team behind Michelin-starred restaurant Noda, is as dark and enveloping as an octopus’ lair and even has actual tentacle decor. Contemporary takes on cocktails expertly play with humour and nostalgia. The Tropicana, for example—which is made with vodka and a house-crafted orange liquor and served inside a frozen orange and comes complete with a red-and-white-striped straw as a nod to the famous ads—is the bar’s version of a screwdriver. And The Jackie Treehorn, which takes its name from a character in The Big Lebowski, is a molecular-gastronomy version of a White Russian; instead of milk, bartenders use lactic acid—which gives the same mouth feel—and they serve the drink on an elaborately patterned carpet coaster. Small Japanese-inspired bites have a similar level of attention to detail; try the sticky-rice-stuffed wings with Baika caviar and candied lemon skin or the seasonal Japanese hand rolls, the latter of which are made tableside.



THE PARIS THEATRE- Tucked in next to Bergdorf Goodman on West 58th, The Paris is the longest-running art house in the city. A single-screen cinema (New York’s last one) with balcony seating, the storied theatre dates back to 1948 and was the venue for some of the city’s most famous film runs, including A Room With a View and Belle de Jour. In 2019, Netflix took control of the landmark with a promise to continue its rich history of showing contemporary cinema, so it’s worth checking out what’s on offer; there are always special screenings, filmmaker appearances and cinematic discussions to entice a whole new generation of movie lovers.

TITANIQUE- It has been more than 25 years since the release of Titanic, one of the most successful films of all time, and if you’ve ever thought “I want more Céline Dion in the plot of this film” (beyond her world-dominating single “My Heart Will Go On”), do we have a show for you! Titanique is the Daryl Roth Theatre off-Broadway musical hit (which has an extended run until June 16, 2024) that amps up the campy laughs and makes our favourite quirky Québécoise superstar the captain of the ship. It all starts when Dion hijacks a guided tour of a Titanic museum with her own wild version of the film’s love story between Jack and Rose. Fun pop-culture references and odes to the ’90s film are strung together with Dion’s deep pop catalogue, sung by some of the most talented young voices of Broadway, who also have the comedic chops to keep the audience on their toes.

DAVID ZWIRNER GALLERY- If you don’t have time for a tour of Chelsea’s extensive art-gallery offerings, why not hit the free museum-quality exhibitions at David Zwirner’s two Chelsea locations, on 19th and 20th streets? You’re guaranteed to see works of note as this world-renowned gallery only deals with the very best in contemporary art, including Lisa Yuskavage and Kerry James Marshall, as well as the estates of some of the 20th century’s most influential artists, like Diane Arbus and Alice Neel. Just this past summer, Zwirner hosted shows with fashion-world darling Yayoi Kusama and Belgian painter Luc Tuymans, a master of the ethereal.



BERGDORF GOODMAN- A trip to Bergdorf’s is worth it just to experience this iconic New York department store, on the corner of 5th Avenue and West 58th. Sure, you might not be able to buy anything, but the place itself is beautiful, and the oft-forgotten art of window display is alive and well here. Plus, the higher up you go, the less expensive the clothing gets. (And let’s not forget sales!) Bonus: It’s secretly one of the best places in the city to casually spot celebrities and influential New Yorkers, so keep your eyes peeled for one of the Real Housewives of New York City!

TIFFANY’S A stone’s throw from Bergdorf’s, the newly renovated Tiffany & Co. “Landmark” store reopened its doors this past spring with 10 floors to delight little-blue-box lovers’ senses. Tiffany first welcomed customers here in 1940, and much of the building’s iconic original structure still remains, but the space also looks toward the future. The facade, with its statue of Atlas holding a clock above the revolving doors, was refurbished to honour its original design, while the interiors have been completely reimagined with plenty of glitter and glam. If all those diamonds make you peckish, the on-site Blue Box Café offers a seasonally inspired menu created by famed French chef Daniel Boulud.


JJ HAT CENTER- Just in time for fall—the best headwear season—JJ Hat Center, the oldest hat store in the city (it’s been in business since 1911), literally has you covered. Offering everything from fedoras to berets, baseball caps to Western styles (hello, Beyoncé) and even knit-cashmere toques for those chilly Canadian nights, the shop has experts who will guide you through finding the perfect piece to complement your look and express your personality.


COMME DES GARÇONS- The outside of designer Rei Kawakubo’s recently refurbished Chelsea Comme des Garçons boutique is nondescript in a very New York way, with its brick facade, peeling, weather-beaten posters and layers of graffiti. But after you make your way through the undulating aluminum tunnel entrance, you’ll find yourself in a golden-hued avant-garde space that perfectly represents the whimsical Japanese brand. “According to research, when babies are given a choice of colours, they often choose gold,” says Kawakubo in a Wallpaper* interview. “I imagined a magical and intimate world of gold, my third colour after black and red.” Set your sights on both men’s and women’s clothing and accessories as well as unique fragrances that are sure to make you stand out, even in this town.


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