New York

Aparna Nancherla's Day Off in NYC's West Village Is an ‘Introvert's Bender'

The "Fairview" actor and comedian reveals her go-to spots in the neighborhood, including where to find vegan French food.

Thrillist/YouTube
Thrillist/YouTube
Thrillist/YouTube

“It’s a tour for people who are emotionally 145 years-old and want to be in bed by 8 pm.” That’s how comedian and actor Aparna Nancherla describes her ideal day off in NYC’s West Village. While we can certainly appreciate an old soul and chill, introvert vibes, we think she may be selling her guide to the neighborhood-and its scribble of charming streets-a tad short.

In our new video series, “Ride With Me,” Nancherla, who voices the character Chelsea Hill in the new Comedy Central animated series, Fairview, guides us through her favorite spots within this decidedly not-gridded slice of Manhattan. Then again, she tends to get a little lost there herself.

“Most of Manhattan is a grid and I have a terrible sense of direction, so I think I also enjoy the West Village just to challenge myself, get lost, and see if I can ever find my way out of it,” she said. “It’s also just a dense neighborhood in general. One of my favorite things to do is just explore a neighborhood and wander around and kind of pop into random places without a real agenda or plan, and I think the West Village is really good at having little, tucked away holes. There’s cool things to do like bars and clubs, but I would say, you know, I will take you on basically an introvert’s bender in the West Village.”

Pretzel croissant breakfast sandwiches, matcha and rose water lattes, griddle cakes that’ll ruin pancakes for you, whimsical stationery shopping, and indie film screenings-there’s much to love in Aparna Nancherla’s guide to the West Village. Go, take her word for it and lose yourself there, too.

Places to Eat & Drink

ad hoc collective coffee + shoppe
A self-described “sucker for a bougie coffee shop,” Nancherla is drawn to this spot by its expansive coffee and food menu, which includes sandwiches with interesting names. “There’s a huge food menu and all the sandwiches have people’s names, so you’re like, ‘Ooh, there’s a story there. Who are these people?’ Because they’re just people’s first names, like The Keith or The Sam.” Her go to: The Sangita.

“It’s a pretzel croissant-which I had never heard of before, but they’re delicious-with a fried egg, avocado, cherry tomato, cucumber, then melted cheddar over it,” she said. “I am a sucker for this sandwich, and they just have like 40,000 varieties of breakfast sandwich, so it’s hitting all the notes for me.”

As for the coffee drinks menu, her highlights include a matcha drink with rose water and a peanut butter-y twist on hot chocolate.

Breakfast by Salt’s Cure
As soon as Nancherla finishes dinner, she’s already thinking about breakfast. There’s an inherent optimism about your first meal of the day, she said. That’s especially true when there are Oatmeal Griddle Cakes involved.

“They basically make this thing called Oatmeal Griddle Cakes, their own spin on, I guess, a pancake, but they’re hard to describe,” she said. “They’re not as dense as a pancake. They’re these thin, crispy, buttery, just delicious things and I would say those are the stars of the menu.”

Nancherla first experienced Breakfast by Salt’s Cure living as an Angeleno (they have locations in WeHo and Santa Monica) and quickly picked up on their No. 1 rule: no syrup. And for good reason:

“They don’t need the syrup. That’s how good they are on their own. You can get a blueberry one or an apple one or a banana one, but the original holds its own. It’s like cinnamon sugar and butter. Doesn’t need syrup because it’s all there,” she said.

Delice & Sarrasin
As a vegetarian, Nancherla usually has to steer clear of French restaurants and their meat-centric menus. So, Delice & Sarrasin’s 100% vegan menu of plant-based takes on cassoulet, escargot, and even brie, makes her feel spoiled.

“You’re like, ‘Oh yeah, that’s why I live in New York. So that I can have vegan French food,'” she said.

Places to Shop

Goods for the Study
Nancherla’s love for stationery stores runs deep. As she put it, “I think in a past life I was a Victorian coat rack or something, because I believe women were furniture back then.” Time stops on a day off spent browsing racks and shelves laden with pens and attractive notebooks. And it somehow gets better from there.

“I just love the whole idea of letter writing and sitting in your little study with your quill pen and your nice stationery and that flowery sort of writing,” she said. “Stationery stores are my jam. I can just go through notebooks and pens forever.”

Things to Do

IFC Center
With a mix of indie film and mainstream movie offerings, this art house movie theater-like most places in the West Village-“scratches every itch.”Want more Thrillist? Follow us on Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, TikTok, and Snapchat.

Tony Merevick is the Managing Editor at Thrillist. Follow him on Twitter @tonymerevick and Instagram @tonymerevick.

New York

Scavenge for Peeps Cookies and More Fun Treats in NYC This Easter

The best Easter desserts in NYC this spring include Easter Bunny Churros and Carrot Cake Macarons.

Photo courtesy of Funny Face Bakery
Photo courtesy of Funny Face Bakery
Photo courtesy of Funny Face Bakery

As spring makes its way through New York City, not only do we get to enjoy beautiful weather, stunning cherry blossoms, and cool activities priced at $Free.99, but it’s also the perfect time for some limited-edition desserts.

With Easter fast approaching, bakeries are filling their shops with tons of chocolate eggs, carrot cake-flavoured everything and all types of flavours that offer both nostalgia and innovation within the city’s dessert landscape. After you’ve picked up a cake from the city’s best new bakeries, from Easter Bunny Churros to Carrot Cake Macarons, here are 8 Easter desserts to try in NYC right now.

Photo courtesy of Magnolia Bakery
Photo courtesy of Magnolia Bakery
Photo courtesy of Magnolia Bakery

Magnolia Bakery

Throughout April
Various locations
There’s great news for devotees of Magnolia Bakery’s Classic Banana Pudding: For Easter, the spot is mixing up the iconic dessert’s vanilla pudding with some carrot cake. The Carrot Cake Pudding is filled with freshly grated carrots, coconuts, pineapples, raisins, and walnuts. And if both bananas and carrots aren’t your thing, they’ll be offering their Classic Vanilla Cupcakes in pastel colours with a Cadbury chocolate egg hidden inside.

Photo courtesy of Funny Face Bakery
Photo courtesy of Funny Face Bakery
Photo courtesy of Funny Face Bakery

Funny Face Bakery

Through Easter Sunday
NoHo and Seaport
Known for their celebrity face and meme-worthy decorated cookies, fans of Funny Face Bakery know that a new fun design is always just around the corner. For Easter, they’ve created the adorable Hoppy Easter decorated cookie that resembles a classic box of marshmallow Peeps. Along with that, they also have the return of their fan-favourite Caramel Pretzel Chip cookie flavour, plus a set of three mini-decorated cookies perfect for gifting.

The Doughnut Project

Friday, April 7 through Easter Sunday
West Village
With the ever-changing flavours at The Doughnut Project, it’s super easy to miss out on trying out a new debut. But this Easter weekend, there will be two new flavours available. One is of course, a carrot cake doughnut topped with a cream cheese glaze, and the other is known as the Doughnut Nest-a French cruller “nest” with a cream-filled doughnut hole “egg” in the centre.

Photo by Cole Saladino, courtesy of The Fragile Flour
Photo by Cole Saladino, courtesy of The Fragile Flour
Photo by Cole Saladino, courtesy of The Fragile Flour

The Fragile Flour

Wednesday, April 5 through Easter Sunday
East Village
For stellar vegan desserts this holiday, head to The Fragile Flour, a plant-based bakery and dessert wine bar. They’re known for going all out for each holiday with a variety of new pastry options that you can pair perfectly with a glass of wine. This Easter, they’ll have a whole dessert menu that’s both delicious and gorgeous for posting on IG. The menu includes Stuffed Carrot Cake Cookies, a Lemon Cake (whole or by the slice), some festive cupcakes, and specialty macarons.

Photo courtesy of Kreuther Handcrafted Chocolate
Photo courtesy of Kreuther Handcrafted Chocolate
Photo courtesy of Kreuther Handcrafted Chocolate

Kreuther Handcrafted Chocolate

Through mid April
Midtown
For a luxurious take on Easter chocolates, browse the selections available at Kreuther Handcrafted Chocolate. You can even pick the Easter Signature Chef’s Selection for a special box curated by award-winning chefs. For something other than chocolate, choose between the Carrot Cake Macarons or the cake flavored Easter Marshmallow Trio, both of which are almost too cute to eat.

La Churreria

Throughout April
Nolita
This churro-centric spot is putting the cutest Easter spin on their crispy cinnamon churros by twisting them up into bunnies and bunny ears. At Churreria, choose from a Bunny Churro Lollipop topped with your choice of chocolate or dulce de leche and sprinkles, or the bunny ear churros in the Ube and Matcha ice cream sundae or the Ube Milkshake, both of which are made with ice cream from il laboratorio del gelato.

Photo by Briana Balducci
Photo by Briana Balducci
Photo by Briana Balducci

Lafayette

Throughout April
NoHo
You’ve surely seen this croissant tons of times while scrolling through IG or TikTok, whether it’s the Pain au Chocolat one or the latest of the month. Known as Suprêmes, these filled croissants went viral and continue to live up to the hype each time a new flavour comes out. April’s flavour-sour cherry amaretto with a Luxardo custard and toasted almonds. While you’ll have to be super early and wait in line during one of their three drops of the day to get a taste, we promise you it’ll be worth it.

Photo courtesy of Levain
Photo courtesy of Levain
Photo courtesy of Levain

Levain

Seasonal
Various locations
We all know the iconic cookies from Levain-they’re gigantic, perfectly crispy and chewy, and well worth the long lines. For spring, the shop is launching a new flavour: Caramel Coconut Chocolate Chip. Filled with gooey caramel chips, fresh shredded coconut, and melty dark chocolate, it’s one you’ve got to try while it’s still around. To further celebrate the new season, all of Levain’s storefronts will be decked out in spring floral displays, serving as the perfect backdrop for pictures.

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Alaina Cintron is an Editorial Assistant at Thrillist. Her work can also be found in Westchester Magazine, Girls’ Life, and Spoon University. When she’s not at her desk typing away, you can find her exploring a local coffee shop or baking a new recipe.

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