Trendy lunch spots in Nolita are always popping up, but The Smile has serious staying power. Marquee nightlife names Matt Kleigman and Carlos Quirarte, own this the bi-level space that doubles as a tattoo parlor (get inked downstairs). Country charm permeates every cranny, from an old bank-teller window stenciled with “Information” and acting as the kitchen pass, communal bench seating and shelves filled with knickknacks and art tomes like the Selby and Sartorialist. Young, artsy professionals unpack their messenger bags and chow down on hearty yet healthy sandwiches like the smoked salmon with lemon caper cream cheese or the brie and chocolate baguette, all delivered by a beautiful waitstaff. We highly recommend you pair anything with the basil-infused lemonade or a caffeinated affair from the 1963 Faema espresso machine. Matt and Carlos can often be spotted at the center table with their friends, further proof that if the owners eat at their own joint it must be good. And further proof that you’ll be sure to leave with a you-know-what on your face.
Photo courtesy of The Selby
I recommend taking a break from New York's mad pace by stopping in at Dashwood books, perusing their incredibly curated selection of limited edition, one of a kind, and specialized tomes. The owner David Strettell is incredibly astute, kind, and witty. He always has wonderful recommendations. I recently picked up my second issue of TIWIMUTA, a gorgeous art piece of a publication printed in limited editions and quite difficult to find. After this intimate bookstore, cross the street your favorite new find, and have a seat at The Smile where you can enjoy a pot of Marriage Frères' spectacular tea, some lunch or a pastry, and read your book in a warm friendly space, frequented by stylish locals.