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Discover NYC – Your Guide to Indie Businesses

Discover the local, independent businesses that are the heart and soul of NYC in Shoot New York City’s guide to the best of indie New York!

Discover the real NYC in Shoot New York City’s Discover Guide

I love the independent businesses in New York, they are the heart and soul of the city! In this section you will find bookstores, cafés, restaurants, arts & crafts markets and more. This is an ongoing project to list the best of indie New York so visit often to discover the real New York City. Experience the hidden gems and places that New Yorkers frequent. For more information on many of NYC’s vibrant neighborhoods, have a read of my Neighborhood Guides. I am not compensated for writing these reviews and I'm only writing about the places that I like.

Sadly, far too many of these unique, independent businesses close every year. When I learn of one closing I will move it to the category Vanishing NYC. They may be gone but they’ll never be forgotten!


Fanelli Cafe, Soho, Manhattan

Fanelli Cafe isn't really a cafe at all. It is a restaurant and bar and it's considered to be "the city's second-oldest food-and-drink establishment in the same locale, having operated under various owners at 94 Prince Street since 1847." It has quite a history including the fact that The Beats were regulars there as was Bob Dylan and also most of the artists who lived in Soho in the 1980s frequented Fanelli's and discussed their work there.

I've had drinks and food at Fanelli's on a few occasions and it is typically filled with locals and a few tourists or shoppers. If you're looking to explore some of NYC's history while having food and drink, this is a great place to do it! During prohibition they operated as a speakeasy!

Fanelli Cafe, 94 Prince Street at the corner of Mercer Street

Fanelli Cafe