Over at the Byrdie HQ, we take trips to the nail salon very seriously. It's such a special time to relax and tend to yourself. We also know that it is not an easy feat finding amazing nail salons. In a big city like New York, which houses too many nail salons to count, discovering the really good ones takes a lot of crowdsourcing, Yelp scrolling, and certainly some experimentation. Walking out of the salon and thinking about all of the ways your manicurist could have cut your cuticles better or done your design differently is a feeling we'd rather avoid.
So we've got you covered with the best NYC nail salons that will not disappoint. Trust, the service of the staff, vibe of the salons, and designs they offer are top notch. That said, these places book up fast. If today's your day to treat yourself, we suggest you give one of the below a call ASAP.
Fact: Ask a group of It girls what their favorite salon is, and I guarantee one of them will say Paintbox. The salon has an entire book full of one-of-a-kind designs that are so memorable I can spot a Paintbox mani the second I see one. Even better? You're never without a glass of champagne while enjoying your mani.
17 Crosby St., New York City
Want nail art that'll automatically earn you compliments? Vanity Projects is the spot. Its bold and original designs are not for the faint of heart—you'll seriously stand out with these innovative paint jobs done by some of the most sought-after nail artists. If you want to have more fun with your nails, this place is for you.
99 Chrystie St., New York City
Another salon known for its insanely good nail art, Valley is everyone's favorite. Real talk: The salon features an array of designs that'll speak to whichever mood you're in.
198 Elizabeth St., New York City
237 W. 15th St., New York City
21 E. 62nd St., New York City
12 Chase Road, New York City
Think chill vibes for the ultimate cool girl. Enjoy the low-key comfort of Chillhouse by indulging in one of the brand's signature manicures (it recently welcomed 10 new designs) over a delicious matcha or wine. It's essentially a woo-sah haven, decked out with a café, nail salon, and massage rooms.
149 Essex St., New York City
Jinsoon Hand and Foot Spa
Loved by celebs like Sarah Jessica Parker, this upscale nail salon created by the one and only Jin Soon Choi herself, is incredible. Its fresh and airy space will immediately relax you. Not to mention you'll only find quality polishes that'll ensure a banging paint job.
37 Walker St., New York City
56 E. Fourth St., New York City
23 Jones St., New York City
421 E. 73rd St., New York City
Sundays Nail Studio
Yes, the salon's service is impeccable, but I can't get over the genius concept of Sundays Nail Studio. It doubles as a wellness center, offering space to hold events and focus groups. Plus, the décor is unmatched—you'll feel like you escaped into a land of zen. You just have to see it for yourself.
51 E. 25th St., New York City
20 Hudson Yards 500 West 33rd Street, New York City
Akiko Nails doesn't feature just any nail art, it specializes in Japanese design techniques. The artists are trained to make your wildest dreams come true when it comes to your nails. I've been dying to go here for the longest—it must be the neon pink sign that just screams cool.
137 Rivington St., New York City
483 Broadway, New York City
We'll admit it: Décor matters when it comes to good nail salons. If the place doesn't look chic, we don't trust it with our nails. Bisou is the cream of the crop when it comes to its interior, and its nail designs do not disappoint. What's even cooler about this space is it's so intimate—it only has four stations. So you'll pretty much feel like VIP.
6 Spring St., New York City
Ask a group of editors what their favorite nail salon is and I guarantee you'll hear Tenoverten. Free of traditional toxins most nail polishes have, you won't have to worry about unsafe ingredients. With several locations around the city, you can always rely on an A1 manicure here.
132 W. Houston St., New York City
112 Reade St., New York City
121 Fulton St., New York City
119 W. 56th St., New York City
So many nail polishes are made with harsh chemicals that are dangerous to wear and horrendous for the environment. Hortūs Nail Shop prioritizes conscious products that are all certified organic. The relaxing vibes of this Lower East Side treasure will win you over.
210 Forsyth St., New York City
Bushwick haunt Local Honey does it all—waxing, massage, and nails—and manages to produce their own product line as well. Get a normal mani-pedi or go for extravagant extensions from one of their in-house artists. Pick up a candle or some palo santo while you're there.
53 Irving Ave., Brooklyn
If Desna's salon from Claws was real and happened to be located in Bushwick, it would be Wild Oleander. This is where you want to go if you're looking for loud, wild nail art that looks like it came straight off of a blacklight poster from the 70s. Add in their tropical-themed decor, and you're living a margaritaville-on-acid fever dream—in the best way possible.
222 Varet St, Brooklyn
Okay, so admittedly, Jenny Bui isn't a salon, she's a person who owns and operates two salons. But she's Cardi B's now-legendary nail tech, and we would be remiss to make this list and not include her. Both salons are fairly similar and cater to similar clientele, and you can usually find Jenny doing nails at the Bronx studio—if she's not across the world working on a famous client, of course. Her motto? "Never too much bling."
Jenny's Spa, 305 E Fordham Road, Bronx
Nails On 7th Ave, 2449 Adam Clayton Powell Jr Blvd, New York City
Williamsburg-based Paintbucket is exactly what you expect out of a Williamsburg-based nail salon: indie polish brands, free prosecco, and nail art inspired by crystals, animals, and southwestern patterns. Go with friends on a sunny day and soak in the millennial pink decor before taking a walk to the nearby Williamsburg waterfront.
204 Wythe Ave., Brooklyn
Beware: côte's NYC outpost in Union Square gets crammed. But it only speaks to how wonderful the technicians are and how brilliant the service is. Everything you'll be treated with, down to the brand's nail polish, is non-toxic; and if you love your shade enough, you can pick up a bottle right there.
100 E 13th St., New York City
Ph7 is another boutique that specializes in natural beauty, specifically 10-free nail polish and sugaring services. Unlike many other natural-only and non-toxic places, however, they actually have non-toxic gels as well. We know that a polish that lasts more than a week and doesn't kill your nails sounds too good to be true, but you'll just have to check it out yourself.
227 Grand St., Brooklyn
106 S Oxford St., Brooklyn
Yuki Natori New York
Located 2 blocks off Central Park, the most stressful experience you'll have at this salon will probably be shuffling your feet behind tourists while you try to get to the front door. Inside, you'll find a luxurious and thoroughly modern Salon & Spa complete with massage rooms, a bar, and some of the best nail techs in the city.
39 W 56th St., New York City
At first glance, Marie Nails might look like any other bicoastally beloved salon—until you realize they have a location in Hawaii and eight in Japan, too. It turns out that Marie Nails isn't just a salon, it's an empire, with its own professional nail school to boot. No matter what nail style you're looking for, you can find someone to do it perfectly at Marie Nails.
155 Prince St., New York City
Oh! My Nails
If the cute designs and easy-to-get-to location don't hook you on this salon, maybe the fact that owner MoMo works with Karlie Kloss, Ashley Graham, and Beyoncé will.
273 East 10th St., New York City
Delacqua, with its exposed brick and ornate mirrors, feels as much like a movie set as it does a salon. Rest assured, however, that they mean business—whether it be hair or nails. The Italian-inspired decor, luxe accommodations, and stellar service will have you feeling like a Renaissance queen.
2027 86th St., Brooklyn
RounGe are a well-loved salon chain in Singapore and Tokyo, but their only stateside operation is this one in NYC. Booking an appointment online is a bit difficult unless you speak Japanese, so calling is probably your best bet.
201 East 23rd St., 2nd Floor, New York City
Sweet Lily Natural Nail Spa
Looking for a basic mani-pedi with nontoxic ingredients? If the grime of New York has you dazed, get out of the city for a while with a visit to this salon. Opt for a Lavender Cream or Honey Walnut manicure to calm your senses, and you'll step out of the door feeling like you just got back from a (very short) vacation.
222 W Broadway, New York City
Want to keep your nails long, strong, and healthy so your mani can look even better? Read up on the best vitamins for nails podiatrists recommend.