Designer Todd Snyder’s Flatiron and Nomad
Menswear designer Todd Snyder has spent his career working in Manhattan's Flatiron and newly-coined Nomad districts. Here, he shares his top picks for where to eat, drink and shop in lower Midtown's rapidly changing hoods
“I’ve been working in the Flatiron District for almost two decades — long before Nomad was a neighborhood — and I love the area, so it was an easy decision to start my label, Todd Snyder, here. It feels like Manhattan’s new creative hub: Designers Alexander Pollock and John Varvatos, and Ford Models have all set up here. It’s great people trying to make a living and build a brand, and there’s a sense that we’re all in it together.
“I try and avoid the throngs of shoppers on Fifth Avenue, but I make an exception for Eisenberg Sandwiches. It’s easy to miss and impossible to describe until you’re in it — an old Jewish deli stuck between shiny chain stores — and they make one of the best egg sandwiches in the city. I work long hours, so I let off steam with a walk through Madison Square Park and have a burger at Danny Meyer’s Shake Shack if I’m early enough to beat the long lines. It’s amazing how much this patch of green helps you decompress. For lunch I’m usually at ABC Kitchen, where the pizzas and the burger with pickled jalapeños are outstanding, but I also like the Library Bar at the Nomad Hotel. The area has changed a lot since it opened, and between its restaurants and bars, and the Ace Hotel’s John Dory and Breslin restaurants, the new neighborhood is getting a lot of attention. But it needs more small restaurants and boutiques to come into its own.
"For now my favorite shopping spots are 18th and 19th Streets between Fifth and Sixth Avenues, where you have the usual suspects like Muji and Converse alongside Idlewild travel books and stationers A.I. Friedmam. For antiques, I love the Mantiques Modern and Organic Modernism. In the evening, one of my favorite bars is Raines Law Room, a time warp of a place where you announce your arrival through a door to the maître d’, and a young crowd sips cocktails like the Kentucky Buck Fifty and the Bramble — drinks with whiskey, gin and absinthe I would expect my grandparents to order.”
Where to Eat
Flatiron’s always had splurge-worthy restaurants including Gramercy Tavern, Eleven Madison Park and Craft, but it’s not all tablecloths and steak tartare. For a caffeine fix, get in line at Stumptown Coffee, inside the Ace Hotel, run the baked goods gauntlet at Spoon, or grab a tray and a cookie the size of your head at City Bakery. For perfect pasta, order the cacio e pepe at Danny Meyer’s trattoria-style restaurant Maialino, or mix it up with bourbon and serious smoked meats at new kid on the block Maysville. For a sweet-tooth fix, we love Shake Shack's creamy concretes (frozen custard), best eaten on a bench in Madison Square Park.
Where to Drink
After-work crowds, Union Square tourists and the ubiquitous Irish sports bars mean that finding your scene, or indeed a stool, in this part of town can be a challenge. We say go big, with work-of-art cocktails at Flatiron Lounge; find a Downtown look (filament bulbs, exposed tin, handsome bartenders) and vibe at Black Door; or admire the beautiful people and organized chaos at the Ace Hotel’s Lobby Bar. Prefer your brew with a view? Head to Birreria on the roof of Eataly and spot the Empire State Building over an unfiltered homemade cask ale.
Where to Shop
Shoppers flock to Flatiron’s patch of Fifth Avenue for its affordable big name fashion brands, including Club Monaco, Madewell, J. Crew and J. Crew Men, plus designers Michael Kors and Comptoir des Cotonniers. For a more stylized New York look, raid the racks of Opening Ceremony, inside the Ace Hotel, or stock up on coveted Aesop toiletries and French gent fashions at Maison Kitsune, on the ground floor of the Nomad Hotel. Homebodies will love the colorful patterned linens and glasses at Marimekko, the classy NYC-themed gifts at Fishs Eddy and the six floors of dream-home furniture and bespoke jewelry at ABC Carpet & Home.
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