10. Hotel Chelsea/El Quijote Restaurant, Chelsea
Photo courtesy of Delia Cabe
The Hotel Chelsea is famous for its wayward-home type quality its always had for burgeoning creatives. Though the hotel was built in 1880’s, its connected bar, El Quijote, wouldn’t “serve its first tapas and sangria” until 1930, as Cabe states. However, since its opening, it too became a home for residents of the Hotel Chelsea. Among some of the most notable are: Patti Smith and Robert Mapplethorpe (forever a duo), Mark Twain, once again all three of the beat generation founding fathers (Kerouac, Ginsberg and Burroughs), Thomas Wolfe, and Bob Dylan– just to name a few.
Though the Chelsea Hotel remained in the hands of the same family until 2007, El Quijote didn’t enter the possession of the new owners until 2014. Today, El Quijote still emanates vibes from the Cervantes novel that inspired it, as it depicts scenes from the novel (whimsical windmills, bulls and toreadors) accompanied by the sounds of Spanish flamenco music.
Signature drink: Gin-Tonic (since the El Quijote sangria recipe is apparently top secret)