The only way to get your day going in NoHo is with some caffeine coursing through your body. You quickly discover that baristas at the Gasoline Alley Coffee do it the right way. If you’re looking for frills, look elsewhere, this place’s focus is simple, they are into producing strong flavors. Unlike many of the coffee shops in the area, they even roast their coffee beans in house. The décor is as direct as their coffee. The place is small and the walls are pretty much bare. Take your coffee Zen style?
Your food experiences today begin at The Wren. The trendy, rustic gastropub has quickly become a popular lunch and late night hangout. The food is prepared simply, but in its simplicity, it is incredibly tasty. If you are looking for something light, try the Grain Salad (farro, sugar snap peas, radish, pecorino and almonds with a choice of bacon lardons and poached eggs as an add-on). You could also opt for the maple sausage sandwich (scrambled eggs, homemade sausage, cheddar, pickled jalapeño with maple sriracha on brioche).
The one place you MUST find yourself in on your first night in NoHo is the beloved Public Theater, which opened in 1967, a cultural stronghold in the neighborhood. The Public Theater, located across the Colonnade Row, is home to the Shakespeare Workshop and ran one of the most popular shows – The Merchant of Venice – that featured Al Pacino. The original showing of endlessly popular Hamilton was also staged in this building. Other notable productions in recent years have included Eclipsed by Danai Gurira (of The Walking Dead) and Lupita Nyong’o (of Star Wars: The Force Awakens).
Time for a cocktail? Check out Wise Men. The history of this bar goes back into the 1970s when the original Wise Men opened in Chinatown as way to connect Hong Kong immigrants with their homeland. The newest version, which opened doors to the receptive public in 2011, is an ode to the owner’s family and that former legendary Asian eatery. Family photos adorn the restaurant’s walls, a tribute to its former digs. The new restaurant, however, puts a distinct focus on the cocktails. The list is short and sweet, but they truly are the place’s biggest attraction. Concoctions like “Last Word” (gin, lime, maraschino, chartreuse) and the “Xmas in St. Barth’s” (rum, coco, maple syrup, angostura bitters and cinnamon) have the most admirers.