SmartBiz loves NY, and we also love shopping at these local businesses all over NYC! From pizzerias to record stores to karaoke bars and everything in between, we’ve got you covered with the must-visit spots in the city.
Food Markets and Restaurants
When you think of NYC, you probably think of the amazing variety of cuisines represented in the city. Even though it’s so difficult to pick favorites, we’ve narrowed all the options down to our go-to spots for a quick bite or a satisfying meal.
DeKalb Market Hall
A Brooklyn hallmark, DeKalb Market Hall offers a taste of many different cultures all in one convenient location. With so many options, you might find yourself walking around the underground food market for longer than you think. Stop by the some of the local vendors like the Arepa Lady, Cafe D’avignon, Pierogi Boys, and Daigo Hand Roll Bar to pick up a delicious bite (or five).
“Wow! Overwhelming plethora of choices of nearly any kind of food you can begin to imagine. Seriously insane. I walked around for a good 30 minutes before deciding on where to go, but they had cuisine from around the world, a bar and plenty of seating. Also a Trader Joe's in back. Every diet/lifestyle seems it could be accommodated here, from Paleo, clean eating, vegan, vegetarian, etc. Will definitely be back to try out some of the other vendors.”
TAP NYC offers a Brazilian getaway in both the Upper West Side and Williamsburg. With sweet and savory tapioca crepes, organic açaí bowls, cheese bread, and more, TAP NYC has something on the menu for everyone. The unique Brazilian flavors are not only delicious, but healthy too! Tapioca is naturally free of gluten, sodium, sugar, and fat but makes for a great base for fresh, house-made toppings.
“I am obsessed with their Acai bowl and tapioca crepes. The Acai bowl is delicious and not too sweet. The crepe was crusted by parm and was crunchy and chewy at the same time - I had the one with avocado, mushrooms & arugula. Have been here twice in a week much to the detriment of my wallet.”
For delicious, authentic NY bagels any time of the workday, Leo's Bagels is an excellent option. Although they’re best known for their traditional, hand-rolled, kettle-boiled bagels, Leo’s also offers a variety of baked goods and spreads, as well as premade sandwiches, salads, and more.
“Yes, yes, yes!!! Hand rolled bagels with tons of sandwich options. They had omelet bagels and egg bagels. However, I opted for the belly lox on everything with plain cream cheese and lettuce, tomato and onion. It was fantastic!!! The bagel was very good and the flavor was awesome. I would come back in a heartbeat if we were in town longer!”
Looking for a Greek adventure without leaving the city? Bahari Estiatorio has got you covered. Astoria is known for having one of the largest Greek communities in NYC and Bahari is a piece of Greece in town. The food is very traditional, and Greek is the most spoken language in the restaurant (from the owners to customers). This welcoming space has a lot of character and offers a broad range of different meats and food.
“Bahari is consistently a great experience. The prices are very reasonable and the food is amazing. Their grilled octopus is perhaps some of the best I've ever had - same goes with all of their meze options. Highly recommend it.”
You can’t talk about New York City without pizza, and Roberta’s is one of our top picks for a delicious slice. With a creative menu, friendly staff, and inviting atmosphere, this local favorite is your stop for a quality meal with a group or a quick lunch between meetings. They also have several locations in New York and Brooklyn, and even a restaurant in Los Angeles!
“This place has been a Bushwick staple for a long time. I used to come here all the time when I lived nearby and now we always stop in when I’m in town visiting the old crew. I had such a nice welcoming experience from Dave and Nicol at the bar. They are awesome guys! Kevin was our server and was so thoughtful, enthusiastic, and attentive. Never a bad experience at this place :-)”
Fifth Hammer Brewing Company
For a casual bite, Fifth Hammer is the place to go. This brewery and public taproom offers a unique beer tasting experience. In what was once a metalworking factory, the industrial space is spacious, airy, and perfect for a group get-together on a weekend.
“Great beer, great service and a fun and friendly atmosphere. It's also part of a beer crawl around LIC. Dogs are welcome and there are loads of games for you to use while you drink. There was even a screen for sports and a great food truck right outside when we were there. The door opens up completely in summer so sitting at the edge makes you feel like you're drinking outside.”
Spain Restaurant is known both for its delicious, authentic menu and for its outstanding service. In business for over 40 years, this local gem offers a taste of the flavors of Spain in New York’s famous Greenwich Village.
“Absolutely one of those hidden treasures in NYC. The food remains consistently excellent after 4 decades of coming here. The service is excellent and you will leave ultra satisfied with a cost factor that is more than fair. Bring a hearty appetite!! Enjoy”
Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream
Don’t forget to leave room for a little dessert! For a delicious scoop of housemade ice cream paired with a chocolate chip cookie or a cup of freshly brewed coffee, Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream is the place for you. Specializing in refreshingly simple, traditional methods, Van Leeuwen gets down to basics to craft a variety of interesting flavors using only a handful of pure ingredients.
“Van Leeuwen has an assortment of great flavors that are very common in name but the creaminess and rich flavors of the ice cream really differentiates this store from others! I had three flavors: mint chip, strawberry, and the earl grey! The mint chip and strawberry are classic flavors that I usually get but the Van Leeuwen versions were novel in taste and absolutely delicious. Next time I come here I would definitely like to try the unique flavors such as the honeycomb and peanut butter marshmallow crunch!”
Arts and More
Ready to get creative? These NYC-based small businesses will help you get inspired.
Brooklyn Craft Company
Located in Greenpoint, Brooklyn Craft Company stocks plenty of supplies for your DIY projects, from yarn to needlework materials and everything in between. Not only do they sell crafting essentials, but they also host exciting workshops to bring arts-and-crafts lovers together. In fact, that’s how this small business came to be!
“This is a small shop that also offers classes. I have taken the quilting classes. The teacher is amazing, the staff was helpful and nice. The fabrics were limited, but high quality. They also offer open sewing time for a small fee. You can use their space, machines, irons, ironing boards and they will give you a discount on any supplies. Such a gem.”
Academy Records and CDs
Academy Records is a pleasure to visit when you’re in the Flatiron District of Manhattan—it’s a musical landmark in New York City since 1977. The local shop carries mostly secondhand CDs, LPs, 45s, DVDs, and Blu Rays, as well as some new and collector’s items. If you’re looking for a specific genre, you’ll probably find it at Academy.
“Amazing. A wide variety of vinyl, CDs, and movies, with some truly awesome deals. I found classic rock, pop, and jazz albums, as well as several films that I have been on the lookout for for several years.”
Strand Bookstore has become a legendary New York location over its 90 years of operation. Boasting 18 miles of books and counting, the Strand is a Greenwich Village landmark for book lovers of all ages. With over 2.5 million used, new, and rare editions, the Strand has every genre covered. Not only that, but they also stock various literature-related items like journals, mugs, and onesies.
“One of my favorite bookstores. You can find almost anything you want here. The selection is huge and they often carry editions that are no longer in print. Upstairs is the rare book collection -- always a great time exploring it. The basement has a vibe. It's unfinished and rustic feeling. Also, some of the best categories are down there so don't skimp out on the basement.”
Ready for a fun night with friends? Baby Grand is the place to be. This tiny, boutique karaoke bar is truly one-of-a-kind. Head here after work early in the week for a quieter night out or stop by on a Friday or a weekend for a full house. Either way, you can sing your heart out with your friends and make new ones too!
“This karaoke bar makes up for its teeny size by being the most fun, inclusive, supportive space you could dream of to sing karaoke in!! We had an amazing time last night - the drinks are great, the song selection is vast, and the vibes are always good. Shoutout especially to a bartender who was dedicated to making it a safe and inclusive space for everyone.”
This secondhand clothing store has a wide selection of vintage and modern duds to buy, sell or trade. Beacon’s Closet is a go-to place in Brooklyn and in the city as well with a large variety of clothes going from surfing clothes to channel bags! They really have it all including shoes and other accessories.
“I've been a customer at beacon’s closet for many years and I don't see that changing, love the selection of unique items and great customer service. Always look forward to the next awesome item I'll be obsessed with that I found at beacon’s!”
The Seaport Paw
This shop is definitely a must for animal lovers. From grooming experts to unique, homemade treats, The Seaport Paw is great for pet owners. Located in one of the most beautiful areas in the city, close to East River, the shop has organic products, day-care, and very friendly staff.
“Four paws up for Seaport Paw! The entire staff is really sweet and attentive, and my girls (two adorable shih-poos) always look cute as can be after getting groomed by May or her brother Joe. I first found out about Seaport Paw when I saw a guy walking his dog on the street--his shihtzu had the most adorable freshly groomed look that I just had to stop him in the street and ask what groomer he used. You guessed it--Seaport Paw! After months of shopping around I struck gold with these guys and will continue to use them for as long as we are in the city.”
For more curated shopping guides in your area, check out the SmartBiz Resource Center! Get out there on Small Business Saturday 2019 and support the locally owned businesses around you this holiday season.