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Best of New York 2012


Illustration by The Heads of State  

Where can a person find the perfect pair of tangerine-colored jeans? A reliable reupholstery shop? A good cup of chawanmushi? Those are the kinds of questions we ask ourselves every year when we set out on the grand quest to identify the finest of just about everything this sprawling, ADD-inducing city has to offer, also known as our annual “Best of New York” issue. To find the answers, we scour scores of bistros and burger joints, peruse racks of designer pumps and vintage frocks, haunt whiskey bars, reconnoiter beauty counters, and test-drive dry cleaners. We also badger assorted gourmands, style mavens, bargain hounds, and neighborhood know-it-alls, as well as our spouses, friends, and co-workers, for their favorite things to eat, drink, and do around town. This year, we’ve thrown in a featurette called “Smackdown,” too, in which we pit a new item or place—frites, birthday-party venues—against a classic of the genre. All in all, the result is a list of selections that is beyond question, unless, of course, you wish to question it. In that case, please do share at There is no such thing as too many ideas for good chawanmushi.

Contributors: Amos Barshad, Eric Benson, Chris Bonanos, Marykate Boylan, Julie Earle-Levine, Randi Eichenbaum, Rik Fairlie, Rachel Felder, Jillian Goodman, Vanessa Grigoriadis, Ashlea Halpern, Bryan Hood, Jenny Kang, Cemile Kavountzis, Molly Langmuir, Amy Larocca, Ben Mathis-Lilley, Jenny Miller, Tim Murphy, Lauren Murrow, John Ortved, Rob Patronite, Adam Platt, Robin Raisfeld, S. Jhoanna Robledo, Vanita Salisbury, Kayleen Schaefer, Jennifer L. Schwartz, Beth Shapouri, Brendan Spiegel, Fiorella Valdesolo, and Katie Van Syckle.


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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).