United States

Get your shvitz on at NYC’s best bathhouses

“There’s a saying in Russia,” says Alona Krug, owner of the Brooklyn Banya (the Russian word for steam bath). “If a banya couldn’t cure you, you’re terminally ill.” It’s a tangible sentiment at many of New York’s old and new bathhouses alike, where heat-seeking habitués seek an escape from winter in saunas, steam rooms and hot tubs. These days, there are more ways to “take a shvitz,” as old-school heat worshippers call it, than ever. If you want to be massaged, surrounded by salt, beaten with oak leaves or chow down on blini or dumplings, we have the place for you — and the inside knowledge to make the most of it. Here’s what to know before you go to the best shvitzes in the city: Mermaid Spa Brian Zak/NY P ...