389 Grand St., nr. Suffolk St.; 212-253-9978
If the stink of acrylic hasn’t given you reason to boycott $10 manicures, recent labor accusations against nail-salon owners might. But at this salon, run by husband and wife Eitan and Carmela Ben-Yosef, there’s a sense of conviviality among the staff that’s rare in the chop-shop manicure world. The Ben-Yosefs send their workers out to lunch, hand their tips over directly, and, if business is slow, have them put their feet up and relax. The couple—benevolent grandparent types—have imposed a no-acrylic, no-airbrush policy since opening nearly five years ago, so the space smells airy and fresh: better for workers, customers, and nails. A regular manicure is $8, a pedicure $19.