Weekend Inspiration: Quick Getaway in Nolita, NYC - United Hub
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Weekend inspiration: Quick getaway in Nolita, NYC

By Kelsey + Courtney Montague

New York City is thrilling, busy and larger than life – but it can sometimes also be totally overwhelming to visit. As former New Yorkers, we think the city should be experienced in bite-size pieces. If you're looking for the best food and shopping the city has to offer, start your trip in Nolita.

Nolita stands for 'North of Little Italy,' and is firmly sandwiched between SoHo and the Lower East Side in both attitude and latitude. Hotels are abound in the area and The Nolitan boasts gorgeous rooms, great views and a kind staff.

Cafe Gitane waffles and a flamingo

Start the day by walking to Café Gitane. When you step inside, you'll feel as if you've entered a cafe in Morocco. Order the organic baked eggs and the orange blossom waffle topped with bananas and strawberries. On weekend days, watch vendors for the Nolita Market set up along The Basilica of St. Patrick's Old Cathedral brick fence while you enjoy your carefully brewed coffee. The Nolita Market offers quality products for both men and women. Next, wander up and down Mott, Elizabeth and Mulberry Streets, where you'll find charming and unique boutiques. Nu Boutique is a stand-out favorite in the area.

If you're in need of a refreshment, grab an organic juice treat at Butcher's Daughter and then grab a quick bite at Lovely Day where they serve up Asian-inspired fare daily. A local area hangout, Lovely Day will give you a sense of Nolita's trendy, intellectual, hipster crowd.

'What Lifts You' mural in Nolita.

Once you're feeling replenished, make your way over to The New Museum on Bowery – a museum downtown that always offers unique, exciting exhibits. For street art aficionado, stop by Tristan Eaton's Gigi Hadid creation on Broome (between Centre Street and Mulberry Street) as well as Shepard Fairey's art piece on the side of Little Cupcake Bakeshop. It's a guarantee there will be a huge curated piece on the corner of Houston and Bowery. And, of course, check out our 'What Lifts You' mural at the corner of Kenmare and Mott, first made famous a few years ago by Taylor Swift.

If you need a break from walking in the afternoon, slip into Spazio for the best chair or foot massage in the city. It's one of the area's best-kept secrets.

Milk Cafe in NYC

Next, head to dinner. If you're looking for a fancy New York staple and great people-watching, go to Balthazar, but be sure to make a reservation in advance. If you're more interested in an off-the-beaten-path spot, head over to Quartino for healthy fare —it's one of our favorite restaurants in New York and boasts one of the friendliest staffs. Quartino's olive oil is from the owners' Italian farm and the food is sourced from local and organic producers. After dinner, make your way down Mott Street to stop by Milk Bar where you must try Christina Tosi's crack pie, or if you're in the mood for something Italian, wander down Mulberry Street and grab a gelato while you admire Little Italy's shops.

Before you head out the following day be sure to stop by Fiat Café for pancakes. The owner is often sitting just inside the door reading an Italian magazine. Upon entering, he will jump up, find you a chair and inform his chefs of your heart's desire. The food is always delicious and service is quick – just make sure to have cash on you.

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