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Time Out Love New York Awards 2014: Flatiron, Gramercy & Union Square

A local’s guide to Flatiron, Gramercy & Union Square. Here are the area’s top local stores, bars, coffee shops, music venues and restaurants.

By Time Out contributors, edited by Vivienne van Vliet
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Time Out readers have spoken, and below are the venues they named their absolute favorite in Flatiron, Gramercy & Union Square. So the next time you’re in the area and in need of food, drink or retail therapy, make a beeline for these places and you won’t go far wrong.

For more great things to do in Gramercy and Flatiron check out our full Gramercy and Flatiron guide.

The winners

The Cannibal, restaurants
The Cannibal, restaurants
Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz

RESTAURANT: The Cannibal

Restaurants American creative Midtown

With its deli fridges stocked with ales and lagers, and its aged steaks and whole hams dangling from steel hooks, the Cannibal could double as the set of a new dude-food show on the Cooking Channel. Run by guys and packed with them, the place is so unabashed in its bromance for craft beer and artisanal meat it’s almost a parody of a manly restaurant. If you like meat and beer, though, it’s pretty close to paradise. For restaurateur Christian Pappanicholas, the beer-obsessed carnivore behind the place, it’s the physical manifestation of some very personal passions. The new spot, which is connected to his Belgian-American eatery, Resto, right next door, is an unusual retail-restaurant hybrid—a beer store and a butcher shop but also a laid-back place to eat and drink. Its meat counter supplies whole beasts for Resto’s large-format feasts. But the Cannibal is otherwise autonomous, with its own chef, Michael Berardino (formerly of Dell’anima), and its own on-premise beer master, Ryan Colcannon. The eat-in food here is best ordered in rounds, pairing beer and bites as you work your way through the 300-odd selections on the drinks list. To go with that smoky Dutch rauchbier or that obscure Irish stout, you might begin with wispy shavings of Kentucky ham or with a fat hunk of lamb-neck terrine, exotic with star anise, cumin and Szechuan peppercorns. There are house-pickled vegetables and good lemony olives to pick at too. Still feeling peckish? How about a few sausages with the next

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STORE: Amé Amé

Shopping Midtown West

At its original location in the East Village, Amé Amé was a candy store that sold rain gear. But since relocating to a bigger space on the outskirts of Murray Hill, the eclectic gift shop now offers Rudsak leather jackets, silky lingerie by Frances Smiley ($65) and a “man cave” stocked with stylish ties ($89) and Nau trench coats ($280). But don’t worryÑthere’s still a giant wall of candy-filled jars, as well as a beautiful display of European- and Canadian-made rain boots. FYI: AmŽoffers a special (10 percent off your purchase) when you stop in the shop on a rainy day.

Pete's Tavern, bars
Pete's Tavern, bars
Photograph: Donald Yip

BAR: Pete’s Tavern

Bars Pubs Gramercy

According to history buffs, in 1904, O. Henry wrote “The Gift of the Magi” in what was then a quiet Gramercy pub. Today it’s three deep at the bar, and O. Henry would have a hard time parking it anywhere. Though Pete’s—a Civil War–era survivor—draws its share of tourists, you’ll also rub shoulders with neighborhood types who slide into the wooden booths to snack on affordable Italian eats with standard suds (16 beers on tap include a hoppy house ale) bubbling in frosty mugs.

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Irving Plaza, music venues
Irving Plaza, music venues
Photograph: Loren Wohl

MUSIC VENUE: Irving Plaza

Music Music venues Gramercy

With the rise of clubs like Webster Hall and Gramercy Theater, Irving Plaza has lost its monopoly on concerts by midsize touring bands. What to do? Rename itself! But nobody actually called the club Fillmore New York, and the name recently reverted back to its original form. By any name it’s a great place to see big stars slumming (the White Stripes playing a late-night gig) and medium heavies like Lily Allen on their way up to larger spaces. And from the parlor-lit lounge downstairs to the shadowy corners of the balconies, this pleasantly worn old ballroom whispers of New York’s rock past.

The runners-up

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The full list of winners by category

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