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Where to Go For Contemporary Mexican Food: Fonda
Celebrated chef Roberto Santibañez recently opened his 3rd Fonda location in Chelsea and it's quickly becoming our favorite. While signature dishes like the Enchiladas de Mole Negro Oaxaqueño (soft corn tortillas filled with braised chicken topped with a stone ground Oaxacan black mole, queso fresco, cilantro, sesame seeds) and the grilled chorizo with Oaxaca and Chihuahua cheeses are "not going anywhere" staples on the menu, there is a new cocktail not to be missed. The “Ninth Ave” margarita is comprised of Serrano chile-infused silver tequila, watermelon, orange liqueur, citrus juice, and a chile piquin salt rim. The restaurant also boosts a unique mix of paintings and artisanal items by Mexican and local New York artists making the ambiance just as enjoyable as the comida.
Where to Go For Express Beauty Treatments: Red Door Union Square
Red Door has long been a spa staple on 5th avenue, but their new downtown location—which offers a bandada of 30-minute services—is taking things to a new level. May we suggest a microdermabrasion mini facial, gel mani, or makeup lesson at the beauty bar? Or, if you’ve got more time to spare, indulge in one of their customized scalp treatments like the Kérastase Deep Conditioning ritual or the Kérastase Mono-Dose application for thinning hair, followed by a blowout. For the serious pamperers, there’s also a full-service salon and spa downstairs. Time to get maravilloso!
Where To Find a Cool Rum Bar in Harlem: La Bodega 47 Social Club
This harlem-based Latin American eatery and cocktail spot features more than 100 varieties of rum. Put that factoid in a glass and sip on it for a while. Not only are their top-shelf liquors on point, but their menu options are as well. Try the red rice and beans with sweet plantains an garlic spinach, short rib nachos with Crema Hondurena, white beans, cheddar, and guacamole, or the Fricassee de Pollo (Cuban style) with yucca, raisin, sour orange. Once you’re terminado with your rum tasting, move on over to the speciality cocktails… The Mexican Wedding (Pueblo Viejo Blanco, ripe Mango, Vida Mezcal, Fresh Lime, Old Bay) and Banana Boat (Santa Teresa 1796, Brazilian Banana, Allspice, Vanilla Cream, Flamed Orange, Sea Salt) are where it’s at.
Where to Take a Rooftop Dip: The Empire Hotel
Not only is the Empire the place to stay during New York City Fashion week (or if you’re visiting the Met Opera or ballet), but it’s also known for it’s amazing rooftop pool, bar, and incredible views of the city. Try the Monkey in a Tree (Don Q Passion Fruit Rum, banana liquor, pomegranate juice and fresh lime) as you’re relaxing poolside, or indulge in the Bloody Mary Bar on Sundays from noon to 4pm. If you choose to stay in the hotel, you can also partake in their “Grazing in the Grass” package, which includes room accommodations for two, an Empire Hotel picnic blanket, thermal canvas carrying bag, frisbee, two bottles of water, city map, Central Park map, complimentary in-room WiFi and 50 percent off all mini bar items. Sign.us.up.
If you’ve ever been to one of David Burke’s restaurants (Fishtail, David Burke Kitchen, David Burke Prime), then you know you’re in store for a major meal. Fabrick is the legendary chef’s newest culinary venture located in the boutique Archer hotel and it’s already getting rave reviews – ours happens to be one of them. A cool dining room with an exposed kitchen and lively lobby bar elevate the fashion district venue to new heights and don’t even think about leaving without sampling the avocado panna cotta with blue corn tortillas or the grilled skirt steak with chorizo, chimichurri, and a potato and cheese fritter.
Where to Sip Bespoke Cocktails: Bar Nana
Inspired by the legendary brothel in Punta del Este (known simply as “Casa de Naná"), Bar Naná merges South American and French influences for a destination after-work or late-night drinks spot that’s truly worth a visit. Try the chorizo empanadas and wash them down with one of mixologist Giovanni Love’s hand-crafted cocktails like the Alta Smash (Avuá Cachaça, lemons wedges, sugar, mint) or the Mai Tai Clasico (Zacapa 23 Rum, fresh lime juice, orgeat, fresh pineapple). Oh, and the staff wears custom uniforms by Olivier Theyskens—we told you it was chic.
Where to Get Your Rizos Cut by a Master: Christo NYC
If you're a curly-haired chica, you need a stylist who will not only understand the complex spiral system on your head, but give you a customized haircut to reflect those patterns. That's where Christo comes in. With over 30 years experience in the hair industry and a revamped full-service salon in Midtown, there's a reason he's known for giving one of the best curly cuts in the city. Christo uses a diametrix cutting technique, which is really an "inner texturizing sliding cut" to help to control bulkiness and rid you of the dreaded pyramid-like shape that can happen with ringlets. Plus, his unique method allows you to style your hair both curly and straight. Visit curlisto.com to book your appointment and tell them Latina sent you!
Where to do Jazz Brunch: LAVO
Brunch is a staple in NYC, but jazz brunch is even more of a grande deal. Make a reservation on Sundays between 1-4 to chow abajo on signature dishes like "South Brooklyn" chicken and waffles (crispy spiced chicken, bourbon maple syrup, spiced pecans), lobster eggs benedict (avocado, poached egg, truffle hollandaise), or their famed "Breakfast Pizza" (scrambled eggs, onions, smoked salmon, goat cheese).
Where to Eat Lobster on a Boat: North River Lobster Company
There’s nothing better than enjoying some lobster tails on a hot summer day — oh wait, yes there is, when you’re enjoying them on a boat. Enter the North River Lobster Company, which is essentially a floating lobster shack on the Hudson River. Choose from their countless fresh seafood options, mason jar cocktails, and buckets of beer, then grab a seat upstairs and take in the views. The best part is, you don’t have to pay to get on, so you can spend more on the lobster (and the aforementioned booze). Sounds good to us!
Where to Beach It … In Manhattan: The Beach at Dream Downtown
Enjoy a Hot to Trot cocktail (Cazadores Blanco, cucumber, agave, jalapeño) on the only real beach in Manhattan. OK, while there’s no technical ocean involved here, there is actually sand. Plus, the crowd, private cabanas, DJ, and chaise lounges are all added perks. The Beach offers day passes for non-hotel guests to indulge in all of the amenities the venue has to offer for $55.
Where to Eat a Delicioso Burger: AG Kitchen
Sure, you can choose from Shake Shack, Burger and Barrel, and the Burger Joint, but when you want the real deal—Latin style—head on over to AG Kitchen. Their "Manhattan Latin" burger is loaded with guac, bacon, cheddar, LTO, and special AG sauce and it will change your world. Also worth an order on the menu are the bacon wrapped dates with almonds, endive salad, and blue cheese and the seafood ceviche.
Where to Get the Best Workout in the City: BFX Studio
In between the brunches, lunches, and dinners we’ve suggested here, you might want to find an hour to actually work those off. Meet BFX, a boutique gym that features some of the best workout classes (and celeb trainers) in the city. With two locations in Chelsea and the Financial district, you can choose from boxing, barre, spinning, and fusion classes, or just hit the treadmill and the weights. Bonus — the lockers rooms are seriously swanky. We have never been more sore, in a bueno way.
Where to Take the Best Selfies: SPYGLASS
22 floors above Manhattan clearly offers a great backdrop for your vacation Instagrams. The following libations also serve as great props for your pics as well: Empire State (a blend of Hendricks gin, St. Germaine ginger and Basil) Top of the World (Aperol, watermelon, St. Germain, Prosecco), and Mez-jito (a twist on the classic mojito with Union Uno Mezcal, lime, cucumber, mint and simple syrup).
Where to Get the Best Facial in Town: Mario Badescu
New York is a city where a new blowout or brow bar opens every day, but there are very few landmarks in this beauty-filled space that have been around forever. Mario Badescu's Upper East Side salon happens to be one of them. The skincare guru is idolized by supermodels and celebrities alike (seriously, the lobby walls are splashed with autographed photos lauding him), but the other reason to pay a visit is for his wide range of products for every problem or concern. We stopped by recently to experience the new gold mask facial and our skin is still glowing—days later. The luxurious treatment includes a deep steam to remove impurities, followed by a thorough round of extractions and then the mother of all masks, which combines natural gold and pearl powders to tighten, tone, and refresh. Plus, MB's team of highly skilled estheticians are some of the best we've ever seen.