Even in a city where the hierarchies of taste are often determined by what’s brand-new, nothing provides more satisfaction than a classic that delivers, year after year. Is there anything more heartening than a Sunday-afternoon bagel and lox from Russ & Daughters? Do notes ever sound more intimate than when they’re coming out of a sax at the Jazz Standard? Is any other symbol more evocative than the interlocking N and Y on a Yankees cap? Here, a collection of the city’s perennial winners. Some are decades old and still delivering; others are newer but destined for glory.
BLACK AND WHITE COOKIE
William Greenberg Jr. Desserts
1100 Madison Ave., nr. 82nd St.; 212-861-1340
The perfect blend of cake and cookie, WGJ’s version of this New York yin-yang icon is unbeatable—and the icing is never crusty.
116 E. 27th St., nr. Park Ave. S.; 212-576-2232
Rather than booking weeklong residencies, this club programs more acts for shorter runs. Even if you don’t know who’s playing, you know you’ll hear jazz in the present tense.
PLACE TO BUY A YANKEES HAT
9 E. 4th St., nr. Broadway; 212-533-2277
The cap company’s East Village flagship carries more than 200 variations of the timeless, love-it-or- loathe-it Bombers hat.
Frank’s Chop Shop
19 Essex St., nr. Hester St. 212-228-7442
Chic, affordable cuts in an environment that appeals equally to financial types, gays, graffitos, and nearly every other genus of the New York City male.
Priti Organic Spa
35 E. 1st St., nr. Second Ave.; 212-254-3628
Tuesdays and Wednesdays mean $40 eucalyptus-and-spearmint mani-pedis at this all-organic (down to the biodegradable slippers) house of beauty.
Empire Coffee and Tea Company
568 Ninth Ave., nr. 41st St.; 212-268-1220
Carefully selected, freshly roasted beans and a friendly café-with-a-sofa demeanor that reminds us what life was like before Starbucks.
25 E. 1st St., at Second Ave.; 212-473-9842
Filthy, vile, barely held together by glue and graffiti, this quarantine zone for the most diseased minds of the East Village is beloved (and rightly so) as the last resting place of the neighborhood’s once-famous squalor.
PIZZA, BY BOROUGH
Una Pizza Napoletana
349 E. 12th St., nr. Second Ave.; 212-477-9950
For quality ingredients, no other pizza comes close.
295 Flatbush Ave., nr. Prospect Pl., Park Slope 718-230-0221
Andrew Feinberg is a virtuoso doughman.
108-26 Ascan Ave., nr. Austin St., Forest Hills 718-263-1126
They coax a beautifully charred pie out of a specially designed gas-powered oven.
Zero Otto Nove
2357 Arthur Ave., nr. E. 186th St.; 718-220-1027
With a serious pizzaiolo at the helm, this Salerno-inspired joint has become a local institution.
Joe & Pat’s
1758 Victory Blvd., nr. Manor Rd., Castleton Corners; 718-981-0887
Denino’s has its fans, but we’ll take J&P’s for its superior crust and balance of flavors.