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Karyn Campbell

Designer, Writer

New York City Guide

Coffee & Tea

  • Caffe Vita Coffee Roasting Co.

    Caffe Vita is a hole-in-the-wall serving up incredible espresso in the Lower East Side. This coffee shop is a staple in my hometown of Seattle, and the baristas have the same Pacific Northwest coffee perfectionism with a laid back smile. I come here and sit on the tiny stools near the front window and savor an Americano. Can’t find another like it in the city.

  • Saturdays Surf NYC

    Saturday’s Surf Shop is a barebones cafe escape from the cosmopolitan bustle of SoHo. I loathe walking on unavoidable Broadway during the day, so sometimes I’ll celebrate dodging human bodies by b-lining it here and ordering an iced coffee before sitting in Saturday’s backyard, where I watch all the chic people with, seemingly, a story behind those strands.

Shopping

  • Bonnie Slotnick Cookbooks

    Bonnie Slotnick Cookbooks is a pearl -- one of those places you stumble upon in Manhattan and ask, how and why does this exist? and thank you Gods for making it so! The tiny storefront shop in Chelsea sells vintage, rare, and out-of-print cookbooks from around the world. Whether or not you like to cook (or eat for that matter), this nostalgic hideaway is a wonderland of anthropology, sociology, graphic design and weirdness.

  • Dear Fieldbinder

    Dear Fieldbinder is a little boutique in Cobble Hill with a gallery-like selection of women’s apparel that doesn’t fit the typical over-priced mommy fashion mold so easily found in these parts. (I worry writing this that one day I’ll start buying $500 hemp clogs and curse myself). The store owner Lara does a great job mixing solid basics with trends that feel lasting enough to latch onto. And the color pallets are moody enough to make you feel cool but comfortable.

Food

  • Freemans

    The first time I dined at Freemans in the Lower East Side, I got lost circling a bunch of nameless brick buildings. Suddenly I thought “OoOh! It’s one of those neat places in an ALLEYWAY...!” And it was. At the end of Christie Street you’ll find a warm, cabiny, new american restaurant, full of eclectic wallpaper, candlelight, taxidermy, good beers and fresh eats. It doesn’t get much easier.

  • Snack

    Snack Soho is a tiny, 5-table restaurant tucked into West Soho. I am in love with this place. I can’t really put my finger on it. The menu never changes. I always order the same thing. ...I think it’s the waiters. They make you feel like you’re in a boho 90s movie. And the fact that one night you’re the only table seated, and the next you’re eating inches from Lena Duhham. Or someone. I don’t know. I just love this place.

Bars

  • B Flat

    B Flat in TriBeCa is a Tokyo-style jazz speakeasy serving a full menu of libations and snacks. It’s underground in a dark room where the waiters dress to the nines, but you don’t feel out of place. The music is intimate; the cocktails are strong -- a novelty spot for a friend date to start the night.

  • Casa Mezcal

    Casa Mezcal in Lower East Side serves many an item, but namely mezcal: Mexico’s favorite drink. They also have a full menu of Oaxacan delights, but I usually go there for a drink or two. Smoky mezcal with an orange slice is a Mexican comfort beverage, so I go for that. If I’m feeling slightly lady-like, I might sip on one of their many fancy cocktails. Bonus for the swanky-sceney-latin vibe.

Adventures

  • Spa day at 10/10

    I’ve always thought about spas like this: Either I’m going to drop beaucoup bucks in an environment swimming with European accents and new age music, or I’m going to hit up my neighborhood nail salon and risk chemical burn for a discount. 10/10 in TriBeCa is the spa that fills a dire need: relaxation at good prices in a desirable place. You can look out over the city in a comfy arm chair while getting your nails done. Waxes are the best I’ve come across in the city so far for quality and price. Spa lovers who want to feel pampered fairly, this one’s for you.

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