12 E. 42nd St.
Nat Sherman started out selling his cigars to film stars and gangsters during the Great Depression before opening this retail outpost in 1930. Today his grandkids run this high-ceilinged midtown showroom that has the feel of a mid-nineteenth-century New York parlor room, complete with varnished wood fixtures, free-standing ashtrays, and clouds of cigar smoke. Luxurious blends of loose tobacco (with names like “Manhattan Twilight” and “Old Oxford”) are arranged in glass jars below a wall-mounted array of custom pipes. Across the store, weathered-looking wooden drawers store packets of cigarettes. But Nat Sherman is best known for its cigars, and the two full walls of stogies in the main showroom are just the beginning. A hallway in back leads to an expansive walk-in humidor, where a caged-in “Blender’s Vault” holds the real treasures: limited-run, hand-labeled cigars made with the Shermans’ favorite Dominican, Honduran, and Nicaraguan crops. Customers can puff on their purchases at the heavy glass ashtrays scattered throughout the store or kick back in the plush downstairs smoking lounge.