You’ve seen them in movies, on TV, on tour, and in magazines, but do you ever get curious about where the stars hang out for some non-work related fun? New York City is filled with celebrity hotspots for you to explore and indulge in as well. Yes, many of these places are pretty exclusive, but the experiences that each provides are worth trying to get in. And who knows? You may find yourself in an unexpected run-in with you favorite celeb. The potential selfie that lies ahead helps make a trip to any of these star-studded destinations extremely worth it.
1. Nobu (40 W 57th Street and 105 Hudson Street)
Step in from the cobblestone streets of Tribeca and find yourself transported into a serene, dimly lit Japanese setting complete with sleek wooden tables and countertops and scattered trees to add the the restaurant aesthetic. If you’re further uptown, stroll just slightly South of Central Park and enter a shrine of sake barrels, intricate light and ceiling fixtures and soft yet elegant leather chairs. Uptown or Downtown, Nobu NYC will satisfy you not only through decor and decadently delicious cuisine and drinks, but also with the VIP guestlist that dines here nightly. Everyone from the Kardashians, to Jennifer Lawrence, to Simon Cowell like to get their sushi/sashimi fix at chef Nobu Matsuhisa’s Japanese gem. There is really no way to go wrong with your ordering here, and you might just end the night with a new star-studded selfie to post on Instagram once the meal has ended.
2. La Esquina (114 Kenmare Street)
A sort of speakeasy environment, it’s no wonder celebrities like to indulge in their Mexican cuisine favorites here. Snag a reservation and enter through the bodega-style taqueria (which is also delicious). Then, make your way downstairs, as the bouncer escorts you through a door marked “Employees Only,” through the kitchen, into the secret bar and restaurant area. You may find yourself at a table next to Kate Hudson, Julia Roberts, or George Clooney. Enjoy authentic Mexican bites from a menu filled with tacos, tostadas, enchiladas, and more. The hotspot is also famous for its street art decor and its nighttime live dj performances.
3. Burger Joint (119 West 56th Street)
Jealous of the celebrity Instagrams with In-n-Out on the West Coast? Sad that Shake Shack used to be New York’s own burger hotspot until it blew up and went global? Whenever celebrities crave a nice, juicy NYC burger, they hit up Burger Joint. The meat lovers’ dream spot is tucked away next to the reception desk in the Parker Meridien and only discloses its location through a neon burger sign. The menu is simple: burgers, fries, soda, booze. And you should take a cheat day and enjoy it all. In this modest diner setting, you may turn around to find Beyonce, Blake Lively, or Jennifer Lopez chowing down on a double cheeseburger and fries. This spot is totally a place you’d come across in the “Stars…They’re Just Like Us” section of Us Weekly.
4. LAVO (39 E 58th Street)
Homestyle Italian food for dinner and one of the hottest nightclub scenes around? There’s nothing not to love about the glitzy glamorous Las Vegas originating hotspot, LAVO. Not only is this a celebrity sighting spot regularly, but it has also been the multi-time venue for the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show After Party. A hotspot can’t really get much hotter than that. For the dining experience, savor a selection from their raw bar and their creamy burrata before digging into any of their delicious entree dishes or pasta. Whether or not you’ve pregamed with a choice from their striking bar that sits in the front of the restaurant, make sure to head downstairs to Lavo’s nightclub, self-described as a“subterranean playground” to see the real action. Be on the lookout for an exciting list of VIP patrons who frequently fill this stunning nightlife scene.
5. Marquee Nightclub (289 10th Ave)
Yes, this place charges $10 for a miniature bottle of water, but what else would you expect when partying VIP style? Chelsea’s premiere nightclub is open until the sun goes up, making it the perfect place for celebrities to party all night long. Built with the carnivalesque in mind, Marquee is just the epitome of the ideal celebration spot. DJs including Politik and David Guetta ensure that both you and the celebrity frequenters won’t ever feel the need to stop dancing. Celebs like Rihanna and Paris Hilton certainly knew it was the place to have a good time when they booked the venue for their birthday celebrations. Bottle service is always flowing, and confetti is usually falling, making it a night you may even remember after a few too many drinks.
6. The Spotted Pig (314 W 11th Street)
Serving seasonal British-Italian fair, this restaurant pairs a cozy environment with Michelin starred cuisine, giving it the ideal balance of friendliness and prestige. The celebs all agree it is a place that is impossible to not love. Even ongoing rivals Kanye and Taylor Swift have been spotted together here under the same roof. Celebrities definitely also love this place for its hearty menu, including everything from a classic skirt steak or burger to the more adventurous crispy pig ear salad. Their cocktail menu also has an array of drinks wide enough to put anyone in their happy place. Other familiar faces at this West Village gastropub include Beyonce and Jay-Z, The Gyllenhaals, and Ryan Gosling. So get over to the Village, grab a drink, and spot yourself some celebs at the Spotted Pig.
7. Polo Bar (1 E 55th Street)
8. Carbone (181 Thompson Street)
If you live for hearty tradition pasta dishes and love seeking out celebrity hotspot destinations, this needs to be your next stop. Cozy and authentic, Carbone also boasts an upscale reputation and high-profile list of clients. It’s obvious to understand why with a restaurant experience that earns its regard from your first drink all the way through dessert. Pasta lovers will savor the lobster ravioli or spicy rigatoni vodka, while meat lovers can happily dig into a mouth watering veal parmesan. Definitely don’t hesitate to book a table where Beyonce and Jay-Z, Jake Gyllenhaal, and Jerry Seinfeld all stop by to satisfy their Italian cravings.
9. Waverly Inn (16 Bank Street)
Want your squad to bump into Taylor Swift’s infamous girl squad? Book a table quickly at the West Village’s Waverly Inn to likely make this goal a reality. Stunning in decor and boasting an exciting list of celebrity regulars, the Waverly Inn is a great place to grab a drink, dig into their famous pot pie (or order the $60 Dover Sole Hollandaise) and people watch. Celebrities are even a part of the decor at this iconic restaurant. Artist Edward Sorel painted a mural for the Inn depicting famous faces of eras past including Andy Warhol, Eddie Condon, and John Sloan. While their Sole Hollandaise may break the bank, you can go there for brunch to get your hollandaise fix with their mouthwatering eggs benny. No matter when you go, getting in here at all is a privilege that you should try to obtain ASAP.
10. Bang Bang (328 Broome Street)
Think it would be cool to be inked like one of Hollywood’s elite? Keith “Bang Bang” McCurdy is not only himself the most famous tattoo artist in the world before he’s even hit age 30, but he also leaves his mark on some of Hollywood’s hottest including Miley Cyrus, Justin Bieber, Kylie Jenner, Cara Delevingne, and Rihanna. He’s the man behind Rihanna’s controversial gun tattoos and even inked Justin Bieber at 40,000 feet high. This big shot tattoo artist forms relationships with all the famous individuals he works on, so you probably should want to be his friend too. Whether you want to actually get a tat yourself or just want to see who may be getting the newest ink for the tabloids to talk about, head over to this Lower East Side shop.
11. Equinox (1 Park Ave)
12. The Bowery Hotel (335 Bowery)
Located in the bustling heart of the Lower East Side, The Bowery Hotel remains a favorite amongst Hollywood’s biggest names when they hit the East Coast. Selena Gomez, Dakota Johnson, Zayn Malik, and Zoe Kravitz have all spent trips to Manhattan here. State of the art, old-world style rooms and decor allow celebs to feel like kings and queens here, and the private trainers and massage therapists certainly help make the experience VIP. A complimentary film library makes this classy accommodation stand out amongst the others that fill NYC. Even if the rooms aren’t exactly in your budget, stride into the cozy yet stunning lobby bar and grab a handcrafted cocktail or make a reservation at the hotel’s delicious, star-studded restaurant, Gemma, and see who you may be able to spot inside.
13. Rose Bar (Gramercy Park Hotel, 2 Lexington Ave)
The hot spot for Fashion Week after parties, celebrity events, or just a quiet yet luxurious spot to sip a delicious crafted cocktail, Rose Bar is an eloquent, classy destination for spotting celebrities. It’s also important to note just how stunning the bar’s interior is. Works by artists including Andy Warhol, Basquiat, and Julien Schnabel fill the space, making the intimate bar double as an alluring art gallery. A cozy fireplace gives this upscale bar a homey feel. Find the Gossip Girl heartthrobs Ed Westwick and Chace Crawford here, or see the latest and greatest fashion statement pieces on the always pristinely dressed Mary-Kate Olsen. As long as you keep your cool in front of the celebs, you’ll feel super high-brow after a night at this Gramercy Hotel bar.
Good luck star-spotting out there! But take our word for it, even if you don’t see a celebrity, you won’t be disappointed by any of these places.