I’ve always had a love affair with Larchmont. Its small-town yet sophisticated ambience is the perfect antidote to the antiseptic mall “experience.”
Founded as a resort community for affluent New York City residents looking to spend summers by the sea, it’s now home to a vibrant year-round mix of highly educated and cultured former Manhattanites and other expats with deep pockets, including Wall Street types, moms juggling high-powered careers, and French-speaking families whose children attend the French American School in town. That lively mix is key to Larchmont’s quaint, tasteful charm. Add in chic shops and excellent eateries—all located mostly on the main thoroughfare of Palmer Avenue—and it’s easy to see what makes this village so enticing.
Yes, like many other small towns across the country, it took a hit during the recession— several beloved fixtures didn’t make it through—but the appeal of Larchmont endures with the addition of new icons in the making. Come spend the day strolling the avenue discovering them all.
Start at pre-Amazon.com treasure The Voracious Reader (1997 Palmer Ave; 914-630-4581; www.thevoraciousreader.com) for a lovingly curated collection of favorite old tomes and enticing new children’s titles. Then pick up a from-scratch, all-natural pink lemonade cupcake at Sugar Mama by Kim Bakeshop (1985 Palmer Ave; 914-834-8340; www.sugarmamabykim.com). You’ll walk it off by the end of the day!
Browse the superb collection of contemporary paintings by emerging and midlevel investment-quality artists at Kenise Barnes Fine Art (1947 Palmer Ave; 914-834-8077; www.kbfa.com).
Cross the street to refuel at Aroma Coffee Roast (1932 Palmer Ave; 914-834-0989; www.aromacoffeeroast.com), a tiny spot with a post-hippie vibe. Sip your handcrafted iced latte—coffee beans are roasted fresh daily on-site—at an outdoor table for some good people-watching.
Cross the street again for gourmet confection shop Sweeets (1935a Palmer Ave; 914-630-4400). Get the paseo almond brittle, known to some as Westchester County crack. Then head one storefront over to Mancino Custom Tailors & Clothiers (1931 Palmer Ave; 914-834-9373; www.mancinocustomtailors.com) for a look at fine custom and ready-made fashions for men and women.
Cross the street and make a right onto Chatsworth Avenue to poke around Anderson’s Book Shop (96 Chatsworth Ave; 914-834-6900; www.andersonsbooksny.com), located about a block up.
If you like a leisurely lunch, head back to Palmer, to Lusardi’s (1885 Palmer Ave; 914-834-5555; www.lusardislarchmont.com), for some of the county’s best Mediterranean cuisine. Or visit Turquoise (1895 Palmer Ave; 914-834-9888; www.turqmed.com), a laidback restaurant specializing in Turkish food.
After lunch, stop at Peridot Fine Jewelry (1903 Palmer Ave; 914-833-7333; www.peridotfinejewelry.com) to lust over its stunning selection of jewels presented in a gallery-like space.
Then duck next door, into Clutch (1905 Palmer Ave; 914-315-1434; www.palmerandpurchase.com), to discover of-the-moment handbags and women’s fashions.
And finally, pop into Pink on Palmer (1907 Palmer Ave; 914-833-8955;www.pinkonpalmer.com), a treasure box of specialty beauty products and cosmetics, to assemble your own goody bag.
Best in Larchmont
2 Chatsworth Ave
28 Chatsworth Ave
Ellen Marie Day Spa
1875 Palmer Ave
Bar & Lounge Scene
Vintage 1891 Kitchen
2098 Boston Post Rd