AskMen's Top Cities for Men in the U.S.
AskMen, the men's lifestyle site, has published a list of the Top 29 Cities to Live In for men. The AskMen experts ranked cities based on various criteria, including the percentage of university-educated women and lifestyle factors (such as the cost of a luxury automobile). Professional life factors were also considered, such as the number of vacation days guaranteed by law in each city.
Luxist and the Luxist Awards has featured many establishments located in each of the top ranking U.S. cities that made the AskMen list. Indeed, these cities are home to some of the country's best brew pubs, spas, dessert spots and places to go for a dip and play blackjack at the same time.
New York City (#1 on AskMen's List of the Top 29 Cities to Live In).
According to AskMen, there's no place on earth that makes men happier to be men than New York City. "The Big Apple is always reinventing itself and never fails to surprise us with what comes next," according to AskMen. "Since the financial crisis, the high-gloss bottle service bars have been replaced by cozy speakeasies, and designer tapas bars have been replaced by burgers and suckling pig, which is definitely a step in the right direction."
A Luxist Favorite: Spuyten Duyvil
Gallery: Spuyten Duyvil in Brooklyn, New York
Stride through the front door, past hipsters with more flannel than a Seattle lumberjack convention, and you'll be transported to an old-style Belgian kitchen with a Brooklyn twist. Mismatched chairs dot the bar's seating areas, while a host of maps depicting historical Canada and Chicago dot the walls. Enjoy one of Spuyten Duyvil's dozens of obscure beers, and don't be disheartened if Lagunitas is the only one with which you're familiar.
AskMen ranked Miami in the seventh spot, saying "While Miami may be best known for its beaches and the beautiful people who sprawl across them, culture isn't given a backseat. Miami is North America's emerging design capital, and given the plethora of party venues (and the great weather), there are tons of special events and festivals here all year, from wine and food festivals to music blowouts."
A Luxist Favorite: Icebox Cafe
The Ice Box Cafe, located in South Beach, features a massive bakery counter and a minimally decorated, informal dining room. From its old-fashioned pink coconut layer cake to its signature Ice Box Cake, all of its hand-made baked goods are natural and contain no artificial colors or artificial flavorings.
Owner Robert Siegmann, is a former New York caterer who was discovered by Martha Stewart after he prepared a celebratory luncheon for 100 people at her home in East Hampton.
Gallery: More from the Ice Box Cafe
Oprah Winfrey said the Ice Box Cafe bakes the best cakes in the country. Her favorite? The Bomb, which is a decadent symphony of chocolate with two layers of rich chocolate cake filled with melt-in-your-mouth bittersweet chocolate mousse and a layer of cheesecake brownies. The Bomb is topped off with a bittersweet chocolate ganache.
The Ice Box Cafe's German chocolate cake has been selected as a favorite by the New York Times while its sour cream pecan coffee cake was selected as one of the "Best Cakes in America" by the "Oprah Show" in May 2006.
San Francisco (#10)
San Francisco ranked 10th on the list. AskMen gave San Francisco extra credit because of the huge variety of activities available--outdoors and indoors. "San Franciscans stretch out beyond the dense urban jungle to bike up Mount Diablo in the East Bay, hike the Marin Headlands or shuck fresh oysters along the north coast," says AskMen. "San Francisco has one of the most dynamic food scenes in the United States, and a weekend of wine tasting is just 45 minutes away in Napa and Sonoma. It's not called the San Francisco Bay Area for nothing."
A Luxist Favorite: Bar Bambino
In a city known for excellent cuisine and fine wine, eking out a great reputation isn't an easy thing for a bar to do.
Founded in 2007, this trendy watering hole became a fast favorite for residents of San Francisco's Mission district and beyond. With a 63-seat main room that features a heavy dose of warm wood along with clean modern metal and glass, the atmosphere is both inviting and chic. A back patio makes for a great dining and drinking experience during the city's few warm months.
Gallery: Bar Bambino in San Francisco
Bar Bambino's wine list includes over 160 different varieties, including more than 35 available from the glass. Per bottle prices range from $32 to $333; most are uncommon wines from the Italian peninsula. For those interested in yeastier brews, Bambino offers a small selection of beers from the U.S., Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands.
Los Angeles (#12)
In L.A., what's in one minute can be out the next, but scenesters will always find TMZ-worthy goings-on at Les Deux, Hyde, Villa, Bar Marmont and the Roof Bar at the Downtown Standard Hotel, according to AskMen. "2010 sees a surge of newer establishments, too, such as Drai's Hollywood, Soho House and Industry (only L.A. would think of an in-club burger bar)," AskMen says.
A Luxist Favorite: Sprinkles
Sprinkles is a favorite of Hollywood stars from Tyra Banks, Russell Crowe and Paris Hilton to Katie Holmes, Oprah Winfrey and Teri Hatcher, all of whom proclaim love for the sumptuous treats. "I love Sprinkles Cupcakes," says Banks. "I am addicted to them." Ryan Seacrest is a fan, too. "These are not just cupcakes, they're a lifestyle," he says. Barbra Streisand once sent a box of Sprinkle's cupcakes to Oprah Winfrey. Oprah enjoyed them so much she ordered enough to share with her entire studio audience. Sprinkles is also known for its star topped variety served at Oscar parties.
Gallery: More from Sprinkles
Company founders Candace and Charles Nelson opened the first Sprinkles in Beverly Hills in April 2005. People thought the couple were crazy to open a cupcakes-only bakery in the middle of "thin city" at a time with low carb mania was at its peak. Despite naysayers, they sold out within hours of opening, and sales haven't slowed since. Today, Sprinkles is known as much for its long lines and devoted fans as for its delicious cupcakes. Sprinkles is credited with inspiring a national cupcake craze as reported by the New York Times, USA Today, the Today Show and Nightline.
The Windy City ranked in the #1 spot last year but this year it is down to #24. "We still love Chicago," says AskMen. "From the free summer concert series in Millennium Park to the new craft breweries and restaurants opening in Logan Square and Wicker Park, Chicago is unpretentious and accessible."
A Luxist Favorite: Sir Spa
Walk into Chicago's SIR Spa and one of the first things you'll find is a refrigerator stocked with beer. It's little things like this that make the establishment one of the best men's spas in the world.
The 4,500 square-foot spa has a masculine feel to it, thanks to exposed brick walls and rich wood trim. Before and after treatments, guests can unwind in the relaxation lounge, complete with overstuffed leather recliners and a 50-inch plasma television. Many of the treatments are done in barbershop-style chairs along the lounge's wall.
Gallery: More from Sir Spa
At SIR, even the treatments themselves sound more like something you'd find in an auto repair shop than a spa – there's a "Hand and Foot Detail," code for manicure and pedicure. One of the most popular treatments is the "Tune-Up Massage," targeted at back, neck and shoulders to relieve chronic body pain (30 minutes: $55). The "Sports Massage" includes muscle stretching, compression and release therapy (60 minutes: $100; 90 minutes: $145; 120 minutes: $190).
The spa also offers a number of skin treatments for young and old. Freshen up your face with the "Face Firming Boost," which includes a collagen facial mask to fight wrinkles, or "Acne Treatment," which uses extractions and spot treatment to kill bacteria and heal scars. A variety of body hair trimming services are available as well. Ladies are allowed too – there's even a private treatment suite just for women.
Las Vegas (#29)
The last American city to make the list is Las Vegas. "We've always thought of Vegas as the ultimate man's destination, but recently it's become more attractive as a place for guys to actually live," says AskMen. "The world-class City Center development downtown, along with new condos for sale along the Strip, mean that there's much more to do here than just gamble."
A Luxist Favorite: Garden of the Gods, Caesars Palace
Caesars Palace has created the new Garden of the Gods pool oasis, which made its debut on March 19. The new Fortuna pool features an 18-foot waterfall where guests can challenge Lady Luck at the swim-up blackjack tables. And in addition to the new pools there are 44 new private cabanas, each with a stocked refrigerator of juice and water, flat-screen TV, DVD player, iPod docking station, wireless Internet access, ceiling fan and plush furniture. The two Bacchus pools are framed by curved staircases and available only to invited guests. Qua Baths & Spa offers poolside treatments while full-service massages are available in the large Jupiter spa cabana.