NYC

Davidoff of Geneva, Madison Avenue

 

In the cigar world, there’s probably no name more synonymous with “luxury” than Davidoff’s. Davidoff of Geneva’s Madison Avenue store is a nationwide flagship for the brand, and it offers all the “good life” you’d expect from this brand and this location. The shop, which has been in its current location for less than three years, just celebrated its 25th anniversary — in part — with the release of a special 25th Anniversary Davidoff cigar. 
“What makes it different is it’s made from seven different aged tobaccos. It’s a toro size and it’s just an exceptionally different blend from any other blends that we’ve made. Any time we make an anniversary or a limited edition, it’s a tobacco that’s totally different from any of the standard ones that we have in our shop,” said assistant general manager Robert Seise. 
The shop also has what Seise calls a “boutique within the boutique,” which offers high-end accessories (this is a Dupont distributor for the New York area) and men’s gifts.

Davidoff of Geneva

515 Madison Ave ( Midtown )
www.davidoffmadison.com

 
 

Nat Sherman Townhouse

 

Cigar culture is dominated by Latin American roots and classic European elegance. Nat Sherman, though, is a patently American brand. And the Nat Sherman Townhouse — on 42nd Street just off Madison Avenue — is as good a place as any to get to the roots of the New York cigar scene. 
The first Nat Sherman retail experience was a retail store on Broadway in 1930. Today, the Townhouse is a smoking landmark that feels welcoming to the white and blue collar crowds alike — a fitting vibe for this monument to the American herf. Of course, the humidor here is stocked with all the Nat Sherman products you could want, but you’ll find plenty of other brands and accessories. 
“It’s something at a level and quality that we believe stands up to Nat Sherman levels,” said Michael Herklots. “There’s always been this very authentic, true New York spirit in the Nat Sherman brand and the Nat Sherman retail store. It’s meant to be something that’s accessible and something that’s approachable, but certainly something that they’re not gonna forget once they leave.
” The neon and plush leather make this place relatable and luxurious, familiar and extraordinary all at the same time. And the fact that you can sometimes come here not only for cigars, but to indulge in other experiences like manicures or fittings for custom shirts, means that the Nat Sherman Townhouse is a hub for indulgence.

Nat Sherman Townhouse

12 E 42nd St ( Midtown )
www.natsherman.com

 
 

Club Macanudo

 

In New York’s Upper East Side, you’ll find General Cigar’s Club Macanudo — a classic tribute to the luxurious side of the cigar lifestyle. You can’t ask for a more comfortable place to hang out, even if you’re not a smoker, and you’d be hard pressed to find a cigar establishment with better food and drinks to go with whatever you choose from the extensive cigar menu (which, of course includes an array of General products like Macanudo, Cohiba, Partagás, La Gloria Cubana and Hoyo de Monterrey, along with a selection of smokes from other manufacturers, like Padrón, Davidoff and La Aurora). 
For instance, you might try the 63rd Street Martini, which the club says is the best in the city. And, with the right cigar, the chocolate truffles are about as great a treat pairing as we can think of. The steaks are great, there’s a wine for every preference, the Scotch selection is outstanding, and if you’re a beer snob, you’ll want to have them pour you the house brew: Club Macanudo, Amber, ESB. 
The club often features live music and other special events, so you might want to check in with them to see what’s playing before you decide when you’ll head over — maybe you’d rather go on blackjack night than jazz night. There is a dress code here (collared shirts only for men; no sneakers, flip flops or shorts), so make sure you’re looking sharp before you walk through the door.

Club Macanudo

26 E 63rd St ( Upper East Side )
www.clubmacanudo.com

 
 

Carnegie Club

 

While the name might give the impression that it’s members only, this time warp of a smoking lounge is open to the public. They welcome all comers, so long as you show up dressed appropriately, collared shirts and slacks for men. 
There’s a small humidor with a limited selection of smokes to choose from but what really sets the club apart are the vibe (a throwback to the days of Sinatra, whose music is performed here sometimes) and the Scotch selection. “We try to cover every region, sometimes a few from each. We also have other whiskeys, bourbons, rye. But Scotch is our main thing,” said manager Scott Asbury, adding that there’s also aged rum and tequila.

Carnegie Club

156 W 56th St ( Midtown )
www.hospitalityholdings.com

 
 

Cigar Inn

 

This family-owned tobacconist boasts two Manhattan locations: one on 2nd Avenue and another on 1st. Aside from a wide cigar selection and a spacious lounge, Cigar Inn also offers shoe shines and haircuts by appointment. Their house cigar, The New York Borough Series, is an homage to the city, with the five vitolas named Brooklyn, Bronx, Manhattan, Queens and Staten Island. 
Evenings at Cigar Inn are a must while in the city, as every inch of the store and lounge area is packed with an eclectic crowd of regulars.

Cigar Inn

1016 2nd Ave ( Upper East Side )
www.cigarinn.com

 
 

SoHo Cigar Bar (Previously Circa Tabac)

 

Located in Soho, SoHo Cigar Bar prides itself on being one of the very few places in New York where you can find cigars, food and drink indoors. Their “1920s art deco speakeasy” feel, as owner Lee Ringelheim described it, probably makes this unlike any place you’ve ever lit up. Aside from well-known brands like Padrón, La Gloria Cubana and Macanudo, SoHo Cigar Bar has an array of its own private label cigars in the works, which will include a variety of traditional blends as well as some flavored offerings. Their classic cocktails include a SoHo Cigar Bar Cocktail (which is made with Glenmorangie, Tullamore Dew, orzata, lemon juice and an orange twist), Manhattans, old fashioneds, champagne cocktails, and a full menu of bourbons, ryes, champagne and wines. Another unique thing about SoHo Cigar Bar that feels ripped out of another era: the staff. Aside from being really cool chicks, the waitresses and bartenders on hand when we stopped by were a ton of fun to hang out with (and easy on the eyes in their cabaret-style getups).
“We’ve been called ‘the last bar.’ We’re not trying to be pretentious. We are a speakeasy by way of classic cocktails,” said Ringelheim.

SoHo Cigar Bar
(Previously Circa Tabac)

32 Watts St ( Soho)
www.sohocigarbar.com

 
 

Papa Juan

 

Located in West Harlem, this relatively new neighborhood lounge has a growing cigar selection and a fun environment with one of the most welcoming groups of regulars we ran into in New York City shops. It’s a cozy spot with a helpful staff, making it ideal for beginning smokers, longtime Snobs, or even those just looking to have a drink. It’s BYOB here, so even after the modest $8 beverage fee, you can smoke and drink affordably. 
Papa Juan was named after a guy from the founder’s hometown, Ingenio Arriba in the Dominican Republic.

Papa Juan

3456 Broadway ( Harlem )
www.papajuancigars.com

 
 

Lexington Bar and Books

 

There are three Bar and Books locations in New York, with two more in Prague and Warsaw. They are among the most unique places to smoke in town. Their library-and-monkeys-themed decor is surprisingly elegant and feels like it makes perfect sense from the moment you walk in. The monkeys will put your heart at ease, but if you need more there’s always the full bar... 
“You can see at all our locations, if you go to any of our locations, you’ll see all these monkey wallpapers, chandeliers, lamps,” said manager RJ, adding with a chuckle that he doesn’t know exactly what the deal with the monkeys is.

Lexington Bar and Books

1020 Lexington Ave ( Upper East Side )
www.barandbooks.cz

 
 

OK Cigars

 

OK Cigars is one of the few “mom-and-pop” businesses left in its neighborhood, and the small shop has all the personality and character of its eclectic Soho surroundings. 
“One of the things that sets us apart is our antique tobacciana. In other words, old pieces of tobaccorelated memorabilia, much of which still is usable,” said owner Len Brunson. Walking into the store, you’re surrounded by tobacco history. You might want to smoke outside, though, as nearby modeling agencies and shops make for great pedestrian scenery.

OK Cigars

383 W Broadway ( Soho )
www.okcigars.com

 
 

Davidoff of Geneva, 6th Avenue

 

Three blocks from Central Park, this shop has a storied history and will be celebrating its 50th anniversary in August 2014. The space recently underwent renovations (lighting, flooring, and two new lounge areas) to make their service-focused experience even more enjoyable. The cigar, pipe, and high-end accessories selection is excellent and the level of customer service is beyond compare in the city. 
The store’s location and lounge setup offer the best views of the foot traffic on Ave of the Americas. “Being in midtown, you always get celebrities in here,” said general manager Ron Melendi. “Joe Torre, who was the manager of the Yankees. We also have Rudy Giuliani, who comes in from time to time. We’ve had Alec Baldwin in here, we’ve had Arnold Schwarzenegger.”

Davidoff of Geneva, 6th Avenue

1390 6th Ave ( Midtown )
www.davidoff.com

 
 

Barclay Rex

 

Barclay Rex’s two locations serve both pipe and cigar smokers. With over a hundred years in the industry, few places have as much institutional knowledge. You’ll find all the big names here, along with harder-to-find boutique brands. “Anything from Pepín García is a hit,” added Barclay Rex’s James Richards.
The Midtown location is just steps from Grand Central Station, making it a cigar destination for a diverse crowd that’s drawn here not only by cigars and pipe products, but also other products, like the store’s high-end hats. You’ll find plenty of fine dining nearby as well. James recommends La Fonda Del Sol, Madison & Vine, Bobby Van’s Steakhouse, and Cipriani Dolci.

Barclay Rex

70 East 42nd Street ( Midtown )
www.barclayrex.com

 
 

Midtown Cigars

 

Especially by New York City standards, this place is big. Huge. There’s no lounge, but if you’re looking for the best prices on the largest offering of cigars, the two-level store is your kind of place. The staff is helpful and you’ll also find a nice array of gifts, like cigar store Indians and humidors.
If you’re looking for some bundled cigars, make sure you head down to the basement level, where you’ll find more sticks than you can shake a … well … you know.
This isn’t exactly the place to come for a full-blown “finer things” experience, but it’s tough to beat the value you’ll find. And couldn’t we all use a bit of that while in New York City?

Midtown Cigars
562 5th Ave ( Midtown )

www.midtowncigar.com