Oh man does New York City have quite the wellness scene. Coming from a SoCal girl who lives in San Francisco, I thought I’ve seen, tasted, and experienced it all, but leave it to the Big Apple to show you a good (sweaty) time.
It’s no surprise that the city known for it’s work hard, play hard culture offers the most challenging, trendy workouts. It also offers the most luxurious and inventive ways to relax, recover, and unwind – think rooftop pools, cryotherapy, and infrared yoga. I’ve compiled this comprehensive list of the best places to sweat, eat, and recover. And while I didn’t have the time in my 4 day visit to personally experience them all (and I really did try), all of these recs have been seriously vetted so you can rest assured this is the list for the best health, wellness, and fitness places to visit in New York City. Enjoy!
Best Places to Workout in New York – Fitness Classes at Boutique Studios and Gyms:
Tonehouse – this was hands down the most challenging workout. Train like an elite athlete with conditioning drills designed for football players, getting through it all with the encouragement of your teammates. Favorite features: dark, red lighting in the studio, waiting room area with a plethora of mobility stretching equipment, a cold plunge tub in the locker room, and breath mints available everywhere.
GRIT Bxng – if I had to describe this place in one word it would be: sexy. Backed by Pitbull and Tony Robbins, this fitness studio recently opened in the summer and it’s already gaining quite the following. Upon entering, the soft pink lights and bar serving healthy cocktails (and mocktails) make you wonder if you just stepped inside a swanky lounge. The branding is designed to make you feel like you’re in a hot nightclub, not a fitness studio and the locker rooms downstairs provide all the essential toiletries (and then some) for you to refresh afterwards. The workout consists of 3 parts – treadmill, boxing, and strength – set to an incredible sound system, lights, and the hottest music. And yes, there was a lot of Pit Bull music mash ups and it was everything.
Fhitting Room – choose from strength focused or circuit based classes at the Fhitting room. In each class, you get not one but TWO instructors to motivate you, correct your form, and deliver a great workout class with battle ropes, water rowers, kettlebells, assault bikes, and more. They have 3 locations in the city and offer classes all throughout the day. I really liked their focus on form and giving proper alignment cues, in addition to providing a full body workout accessible to all levels.Plus, they provide foam rollers and hypervolt massage guns to help you recover after class. Hell. yeah.
Equinox – maybe I’m biased because I teach here, but leave it to the luxury gym giant to deliver an exceptional experience. Headquartered in NYC, expect to find an Equinox on practically every block. My two favorite ones in New York? Printing House in Greenwich Village and Hudson Yards. Both offer insane views of the city, a luxurious rooftop pool to sunbathe at, and great classes ranging from yoga, strength/conditioning, and everything in between. Not a member? Check out Project by Equinox for a drop-in class lead by some of the hottest instructors testing out new fitness formats.
SLT – I didn’t make it to this studio but had it recommended by many fitness enthusiasts. If you’re looking for something low impact, easy on the joints, but still rigorous – this is your jam. Using a megaformer guided by expert instructors, this is a workout that doesn’t look intense but you feel it days afterwards.
Best Places to Eat in New York – Healthy Food Restaurants & Cafes:
Alright, there are so many places to eat and sip and taste in NYC. Pros? So many options. Cons? Decision fatigue because there’s so many options. I’m going to brain dump them all here for you to browse and pick according to your preference.
Tip: look them up in Google Maps and “Star” or “Save” them to your favorites – that way you can see how close they are to where you’re staying or hanging out in the city so you can make a game time decision on where to go based on proximity and hours open (which Google pulls). This is my best hack for food and I always do this in a new city. Expect your dining experience to be up-leveled with this trick.
-The Wild Son
-While We Were Young
-The Little Beet
-Cha Cha Matcha
-The Health Nuts
Best Places for Recovery & Regeneration in New York – The Spas, Wellness Centers, and Studios to Help You Relax and Heal From Your Workouts
With all the walking and working out options in New York, body aches and soreness is expected. Leave it to the city to offer a plethora of ways to help your body recover. Options include infrared saunas, cryotherapy, professional stretching (yes, you heard me), CBD massages, and yoga classes to appeal to all levels.
-Lyon’s Den Yoga
–Higher Dose. Chill out in an infrared sauna or go full cocoon in their infrared sauna blanket. Other services include cryofacials, lymphatic drainage, and dry salt therapy (similar to a tanning bed session, so maybe not for claustrophobics)
–Recover Air Compression. Offering athlete-inspired services such as air compression, hydromassages, infrared saunas, electromagnetic energy pulses, this place offers the latest technology designed to help promote blood flow for faster recovery.
-Stretch*d. Only in New York can you pay to have a professional stretch you out. This felt like the combo of a Thai massage and a physical therapist/personal trainer doing mobility work on you. My “stretch therapist” did a great job of focusing on my tight areas and had me feeling lighter and more limber afterwards. First time clients get to add an additional service for free such as a CBD massage, Hypervolt massage gun treatment, or a jade infrared heat mat.
Pro tip: come early or stay after to enjoy their complimentary foot massage machine and inversion table, along with browsing their expansive array of CBD edibles and topical creams.
–Chillhouse. Part coffee shop, part salon, part spa. This place is basically my happy place all rolled into one. At Chillhouse you can choose from a variety of offerings such as facials, gel manicures, reflexology, cbd massages, and an adaptogenic latte. Can I move in already?
More of a visual creature? Check out my Story Highlights “NYC” on my Instagram page @michellerazavi to catch the visual highlight reel of me checking out these spots!