For a fast indulgence: La Churreria, right next to the salon. “They have the most amazing, cream-filled churros. Get the dulce de leche.”
La Churreria, 284 Mulberry Street (between Houston and Prince streets); 212-219-0400.
The best time to get into the always-packed red-sauce joint, Parm: “Go for an afternoon snack, or even a cocktail. It’s usually overflowing, but never at this time. My favorite thing is to order the ice cream cake with a gin and tonic.”
Parm, 248 Mulberry Street (between Prince and Spring streets); 212-993-7189.
For date night cocktails and dinner: “Ken & Cook on Kenmare is chic but comfortable. The great thing about this place is they have a large bar, so if you want to sit close to your guy and have an intimate dinner right there, you can. But, they also have larger tables and elevated booths—great for people-watching.”
Ken & Cook, 19 Kenmare Street (between Bowery and Elizabeth Street); 212-966-3058.
For an affordable, no-fuss glass of wine: “Epistrophy on Mott Street is very neighborhood-y, but the décor makes you feel like you’re in another country.”
Epistrophy, 200 Mott Street (between Kenmare and Spring streets); 212-966-0904.
Healthy breakfast on the cheap: “Fiat Café has fantastic omelet options that come with salads. Plus, they open early, which is rare in this neighborhood.”
Fiat Café, 203 Mott Street (between Kenmare and Spring streets); 212-969-1809.
For a really healthy breakfast: “Hands down, the best place for getting your juice fix is The Juice Press on Mott Street.”
The Juice Press, 250 Mott Street (between Houston and Prince streets); 212-777-0034.
For the best gift, ever: Find the perfect gift for your best friend or sister at Love, Adorned. “I go for their jewelry. They have antique engagement rings, new pieces, and then more random eccentric pieces like skull paperweights.”
Love, Adorned, 269 Elizabeth Street (between Houston and Prince streets): 212-431-5683.
For affordable flowers: Try Blue Water Flowers on Lafayette Street. “They’re very personal. The last time I called, they spent more time than necessary explaining what a dahlia was without making me feel dumb.”
Blue Water Flowers, 265 Lafayette Street (between Prince and Spring streets); 212-226-0587.
For quiet, late-night dessert: The basement at Lovely Day. “I went with my friend recently and we split the rhubarb crumble with ice cream and talked for hours. It was Friday night in Nolita. The streets were full of people, and it was a complete oasis down there.”
Lovely Day Café, 196 Elizabeth Street (between Prince and Spring streets); 212-925-3310.
Last-minute fancy food before a party: Hit up Caffe Falai for the cannoli cream crepe cake. “This is a MUST! Bring it to any party and watch it disappear.”
Caffe Falai, 265 Lafayette Street (between Prince and Spring streets); 212-274-8615.
Photo: Courtesy of Julie Dickson