Christina Tosi, chef and owner of Momofuku Milk Bar, is famous for providing New Yorkers with new, creative ways to satisfy their sweet tooths, from cereal milk soft-serve, to “crack pie” (a crunchy, toasted oat confection with gooey butter filling) and—our personal favorite—birthday cake truffles.
But how does the queen of sweet treats indulge herself (aside from taste-testing her own delicious concotions, of course)? Here, Tosi spills her five favorite ways to feel pampered in New York City.
1. Bike Rides: “There’s nothing like feeling as if you own this city,” says Tosi. “Riding my bike does just that for me. I have a rusty old red clunker and I love riding over the Williamsburg bridge early in the morning, late at night, or any other time of the day. I’ll ride over to the city to tool around, and ride up the east river, get a bite, meet a friend, hit up a thrift store. It’s the ultimate way to decompress!”
2. Qi Gong Massages: “I lived in Chinatown when I first moved to the city and fell in love with going to Qi Gong massages. My favorite place to disappear for an hour long massage is actually in the East Village—the gals there know me by face, and by the ridiculous number of knots in my back.”
3. Cure Thrift Shop: “I’m from Virginia, and the art of being frugal but put together is in my genetic makeup,” Tosi explains. “It’s quite hard to find a thrifty score in this city, but my best luck has always been at The Cure—it’s best to go when school is out of session in the summer. There’s nothing better than a mission impossible shopping mission, and there’s also a cute vintage furniture and antiques store next door.” 111 East 12th Street, New York City; curethriftshop.com.
4. Movie in the Park: “One of my favorite things about this city are the free movies in the park during the summer. It’s like having a picnic, and going to the movies—two of my other favorite indulgences separately—all wrapped up into one. Tompkins Square Park has some great films, as does the Brooklyn Bridge Park and, of course, Bryant Park.”
5. Dinners at WD-50: “There is no greater restaurant in New York City than WD-50, if you ask me,” Tosi says. “It is the perfect place to get dolled up just enough, but also stay cool and casual. The food is thoughtful, evoking, artistic and clever. I love riding my bike or walking to a meal at WD-50 because it’s in my neighborhood, the Lower East Side, which is so rich in life and downtown culture it seems like a waste to get there any other way. I also learned how to cook, how to eat and how to think while I spent over a year as a pastry cook under chef Wylie Dufresne. In my perfect evening, I’d get a cocktail at the bar first then tasting menu with the wine pairing—it’s always worth the splurge.” $240 per person; 50 Clinton Street, New York City; wd-50.com.