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Best of New York

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The Back Room  

Old joke. A little old lady walks into a deli. “I’d like some smoked salmon,” she tells the man behind the fish counter. When he asks her how much, all she says is “Cut.”

The fish man places a thick, glistening whole fillet on the counter and starts cutting. One slice, two, three . . .

“Cut,” she says.

He goes back to work. A pound and a half, a pound and three quarters, two pounds . . .

“Cut.”

When the fish man has carved off all but the last few slices, the woman raises her hand.

“Stop,” she says. “I’ll take that piece.”

Little old ladies aren’t the only tough customers in this town. Not hardly. Discernment here knows no bounds. We are, on the whole, an almost absurdly discriminating lot—and proud of it.

Which is where our annual “Best of New York” issue comes in. This year, as in past years, our food fanatics, shopping obsessives, semi-professional night crawlers, and assorted other experts have scoured the city in search of the finest, well, everything. The result is our utterly unimpeachable (all right, it’s somewhat subjective), altogether comprehensive (there are 250-plus selections, anyway), and entirely useful (we stand by that claim 100 percent) manifesto on all things superlative. Want to know where to find the best steak? Yes, we’ve got the answer, and, no, it is not Peter Luger. Is it the perfect pair of jeans you seek? We can tell you where to find a stylish new brand that isn’t sold at every other overrun jeans emporium in town. Thirsty? We’ll tell you the best gay bar, karaoke bar, and German techno bar. What’s that? You’d like to know who’s got the best smoked salmon in town? Click here.

Eating
New York staples (falafel, takeout Indian), meals that should be New York staples (schnitzel, fish tacos), southern breakfasts, English brunches, and more great stuff to eat.

Shopping
Hipster T-shirts, vintage jewelry, reliable starter furniture, high-fashion sportswear, and other ways to improve wall to wall and head to toe.

Nightlife
The secret clubs, little-known rooftop hideouts, and back-room deli-slash- dive-bars where the city’s most enjoyable carousing goes down.

Beauty
Sophisticated maternity clothes, kid-tested play spaces, postnatal masseuses, and other necessities for parents and those being parented.

Services
You’ve got questions. Where can I get this shirt monogrammed? How do I fix this antique furniture without ruining it? How do I get my sweaters to stop smelling like smoke? We’ve got answers.

Kids
Sophisticated maternity clothes, kid-tested play spaces, postnatal masseuses, and other necessities for parents and those being parented.


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Cover of New York Magazine's Best of New York issue

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Other Best Of Guides

So what exactly does “best” mean in a city with thousands of pizza joints, hundreds of celebrity masseuses, and museum-worthy concept shops on every corner? Well, in the case of this, our annual “Best of New York” roundup, there’s a heavy emphasis on what’s new or what has somehow remained virtually unheard of (until now, of course).

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