The Happy Fairgoer’s Guide to Frieze Week 2018: Where to Eat, Drink, Shop, and More

From coffee to cocktails, we have you covered.

Guests enjoying the Lightship Frying Pan Bar at sunset. Courtesy of the Courtesy of Lightship Frying Pan Bar.

Frieze Week is upon us, and with it comes a flood of art-goers to New York City. But while the London import might be the eponymous event, the Frieze Art Fair on Randall’s Island is only the beginning.

The swanky TEFAF New York Spring is also opening at the Park Avenue Armory, the African art-focused 1-54 is launching in Red Hook, and the sprawling Art New York is coming to Pier 94—not to mention oodles of must-see gallery shows in Chelsea and elsewhere. Even if you’re not new to the city, the jam-packed schedule means advance planning is of the utmost importance.

To that end, the artnet Galleries team has compiled recommendations for the best spots to suit every outing, from the best cafe on the Upper East Side for a power breakfast to the top rooftop bar to meet colleagues at the end of the day. Here is your go-to guide for Frieze Week in New York City.


The Odeon Restaurant, courtesy of The Odeon via Instagram.

The Odeon Restaurant

This stalwart establishment has been an art-world favorite since the 1980s, when Warhol and Basquiat were regulars. The Odeon’s bright red neon sign and tasteful art deco interior are like a beacon for New Yorkers of every stripe. Convene in a cozy booth with friends to discuss your latest art purchases over steak frites and French onion soup or refuel at the bar solo with a cocktail and the restaurant’s great burger.

The Odeon is located at 145 West Broadway


Should you find yourself perusing the white-cube Chelsea galleries and in need of a pick-me-up, Cookshop is the perfect place to recharge. Chef Marc Meyer’s farm-to-table seasonal menu supports local farmers and offers something for meat lovers and vegetarians alike. Be sure to snag a table outside on the patio for prime Chelsea people-watching. And if the wait is too long or you didn’t make a reservation, Chelsea Market, a sophisticated food hall bursting with unique shops, is just a five-minute walk away. Be sure to check out Artist and Fleas for local artsy finds.

Cookshop is located at 156 Tenth Avenue at 20th Street

Sant Ambroeus

Reward yourself for conquering your art-fair fatigue with a visit to Sant Ambroeus, an Italian restaurant and coffee bar located just a few blocks away from the Frieze bus stop on the Upper East Side. Whether you want a full Italian meal or need to satisfy your sweet tooth with some classic gelato, this slice of Italy in Manhattan never disappoints. You can also gear up for a day on your feet wandering Upper East Side galleries with the espresso and cappuccino bar, conveniently open to suit early birds.

Sant Ambroeus is located at 1000 Madison Avenue



Courtesy of Lightship Frying Pan Bar.

Lightship Frying Pan 

This jaunty red port gives new meaning to the term “watering hole”—the Frying Pan is actually a boat docked on the Hudson River. Situated along the West Side Highway, with easy access to Art New York & Context, this establishment is the ultimate rustic New York bar. With plenty of space for a big group, stake out a table, grab a bucket of beers, and pray for good weather!

Frying Pan is located at Pier 66 at West 26th Street in Hudson River Park

Bemelmans Bar

Named after Ludwig Bemelmans, the illustrator of the classic Madeline books, this bar in the Carlyle Hotel is class from top to bottom. The walls are adorned with scenes from the books by the illustrator himself.  Since 1947, the swanky spot has been one of Manhattan’s primary see-and-be-seen venues. After a sophisticated tour of TEFAF at the Park Avenue Armory, head over to Bemelmans for a signature martini and live jazz music.

Bemelmans Bar is located on the ground floor of The Carlyle at 35 East 76th Street

Gallow Green

The secret garden on the roof of the McKittrick Hotel is home to this idyllic Chelsea gem, a reliable spot for handcrafted cocktails and amazing views. It is a hidden oasis from the madness of the city—especially during the fairs—and a perfect pit stop along a Chelsea gallery walk. The manicured flora makes for the perfect Instagrammable backdrop. (You’ll need to break up all that art on your feed anyway.)

Gallow Green is located atop the McKittrick Hotel, at 542 West 27th Street 



Toby’s Estate in Flatiron.

Toby’s Estate Coffee

With the chaos of fair week, we know you’ll be in need of an extra caffeine kick. Toby’s Estate is a Brooklyn-based Australian small batch coffee roaster with locations all over the city. Toby’s is committed to sustainability and rich and intense flavors. And if you happen to find yourself in the Flatiron neighborhood, pop into the adjacent outpost of The Strand Bookstore while you sip an espresso. The outpost also offers baked goods from city favorites such as OvenlyDoughnut Plant, Happy Belly Cookies, and Bosie Bakery.

Toby’s Estate has locations in Williamsburg, at 125 North 6th Street; in Flatiron at 160 Fifth Avenue; and in the West Village at 44 Charles Street



Andrea Bowers’s Somos 11 Millones/We Are 11 Million (in collaboration with Movimiento Cosecha) (2018). Photo by Timothy Schenck.

Walk the High Line

You can’t leave New York without taking a stroll along the High Line, where the sprawling vista views never get old. Running from West 34th Street down to Gansevoort, this beautiful urban park inhabits what was once an above-ground rail line. Open to the public in 2009, the High Line incorporates permanent and rotating art installations into an environment of design and nature. Grab a popsicle from People’s Pops and check out the current group show “Agora,” Dorothy Iannone’s mural I Lift My Lamp Beside the Golden Door, and Phyllida Barlow’s prop. We suggest starting at the top and walking down to the Whitney Museum, where you can see Grant Wood’s American Gothic currently on view.

Central Park

Central Park is the most visited urban park in the United States—and for good reason. With a serene pond to paddle-boat around in, a reservoir track to get your heart rate up, and a sprawling 843 acres to stroll through, this park truly has something for everyone. Pick up food from Dean and Deluca and have a picnic on the Great Lawn, where you’ll see city-dwellers celebrating the end of a (long) winter.



Installation view of “Inka Essenhigh” at Miles McEnery Gallery, 2018. Courtesy of Miles McEnery Gallery.

“Inka Essenhigh” at Miles McEnery

Swing by Miles McEnery’s Chelsea gallery to see the surreal paintings by New York artist Inka Essenhigh. The dreamlike canvases feature Essenhigh’s twisted perspective on childhood fables, where the landscapes are familiar, yet somehow unlike anything of this world. Let your mind wander as you take in the skewed perspectives and eerie colors in these imaginative works.

Inka Essenhigh is on view through May 25; Miles McEnery is located at 525 West 22nd Street

“Doug Aitken: New Era” at 303 Gallery

For a fully immersive experience, check out Doug Aitken’s “New Era,” where a large-scale video installation tells the story of Martin Cooper. You might not recognize his name, but Cooper is the inventor of the cell phone, a perfect subject for Aitken to tackle with his technology-based art practice. The 89-year-old Cooper’s words, combined with Aiken’s powerful images, create a dystopic environment where technology and nature coexist. Enter into the vortex and surround yourself with film screens that you can’t look away from.

New Era is on view through May 25; 303 Gallery is located at 555 West 21st Street

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