nomad neighbourhood guide new york city

Until recently NoMad meant very little to the average New Yorker, and even less to the average New York visitor. Not quite Chelsea, not quite Flatiron and definitely not Murray Hill, the rectangular patch of Manhattan in the centre of all these neighbourhoods was a no man’s land of sorts, a cluster of pretty offices, high-rise apartment buildings and bizarrely, the Museum of Sex.

Over the last five years, however, the area north of Madison Square Park (aka NoMad) has undergone a significant transformation, which many attribute to the opening of the ACE Hotel on 29th Street between 5th Avenue and Broadway. Once the trendy restaurant/bar/boutique/coffee shop/hotel opened in 2009, it wasn’t long before other sleek players in the hospitality industry followed suit and chose NoMad as their location. Today the area caters to older twenty-somethings, a mixed breed of tech entrepreneurs and media creatives who demand slightly more refined experiences than what’s available in the Lower East Side or Williamsburg. NoMad continues to rise through the ranks of New York’s hottest neighbourhoods. Let SUITCASE take you on a tour…

A Perfect Day in NoMad, NYC

Morning

Having launched the first ever Shake Shack in Madison Square Park, NoMad is undoubtedly a location dear to Danny Meyer’s heart. The beloved restaurateur continues to expand his empire with Marta, a chic pizzeria in The Redbury. Start your day with a substantial brunch of bianca pizza or avocado toast in this bright, airy dining room. Next, there’s no better way to walk off the carbs than by wandering through New York’s vibrant Flower District, located on 28th Street between 6th and 7th Avenue. Fashionistas will enjoy the nearby Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology, which holds an impressive permanent collection of historic pieces from Chanel and Balenciaga, as well as cutting-edge exhibitions throughout the year. Afterwards, perk yourself up with an espresso at Eataly and wander through this emporium of Italian foodstuffs.

Lunch

New Yorkers have fallen in love with Sweetgreen, a chain of salad bars that focus on locally sourced, organic ingredients. Believe the hype and pick up a nourishing and nutritious lunch at their NoMad location. Afterwards, wander down to the city’s most beloved and most beautiful bookstore, Rizzoli, which recently re-opened in a 5,000 sq ft space filled with brass chandeliers, palatial columns and dark mahogany shelves. Of course, no day is complete without a little pampering; we love Heyday, a new facial shop dedicated to affordable and convenient skincare. Enjoy a pick-me-up with a 30-minute treatment for just $60.

Afternoon

Now for a little retail therapy. We love Project No. 8’s offering in the ACE Hotel. A reinterpretation of the hotel shop, it offers a curated selection of unique magazines, unusual gifts, travel goods and effortlessly cool clothes. The ACE also provides a home to Opening Ceremony’s uptown location. After your retail cardio, we recommend a protein fix by way of oysters (of course). Right next door to Opening Ceremony you’ll find the John Dory Oyster Bar, a seafood spot helmed by renowned chef April Bloomfield. Enjoy a plate of oysters and a cocktail designed by the late, great Sasha Petraske. As the sun sets, we recommend walking uptown and catching the view from the top of the Empire State Building.

Evening

People are pretty excited about the NoMad Hotel, and for good reason. The venue encapsulates the hip glamour of the neighbourhood and has one of the best restaurants in the city. The NoMad Bar is an equally favourable contender and a good place to start your night with a cocktail. For dinner, the pinnacle of New York fine dining can be found at Eleven Madison Park – a three Michelin star restaurant that books up months in advance. Yes, the 12 to 15 course tasting menu will set you back $225, but it is truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience. If you’re after something more casual, then head over to the recently opened La Pecora Bianca for lovely Italian food. Finally, finish your night with live music, more drinking and fun times by way of ping pong at SPiN; we recommend booking in advance to guarantee that you’ll get your game on.

Sleep

The ACE Hotel, as we’ve discussed, also provides a lively atmosphere to come home to after a long day in NoMad. Bedrooms are spartan in comparison to the glamour downstairs, so really, you are paying for the fun times on the ground floor and the amazing location.

If you’re after something more affordable, The Paul is a cheap and quirky boutique hotel with rooms ranging from a simple bunk bed to an expansive double room with private garden terrace. We love the playful touches in this recently opened hotel, including the Merriam-Webster dictionary found at every bedside.

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