GO's 6th Annual Where-To Guide To NYC
We present you with GO’s Top 10s of the best of NYC (in no particular order)...
If you’re in the market for naughty toys or a shoegasm, pinching pennies on the city’s yummiest falafel or splurging on a wine-based skin therapy treatment, this guide’s got the goods to help you plan your city fun this Pride season. WHERE TO EAT: CHEAP EATS & SWEETS For those greasy, deep-fried, sugary cravings—you know you have ‘em. Note: All of the below can be considered drunk food. Mamoun’s 119 Macdougal St (@ W 3rd St), mamounsfalafel.com. Long lines, cramped quarters, boozy frat kids—$3. Soaking up the night’s bender with the best falafel in the city—priceless. Crif Dogs 113 St. Marks Pl (btwn First Ave & Ave A), crifdogs.com. Late-night hot dogs with all the fixin’s—and we mean all (coleslaw, pineapple and jalapenos, to name a few). Viet-Nam Banh Mi So 1 369 Broome St (@ Kenmare St), 212-219-8341. This Chinatown shop offers the classic Vietnamese sandwich of ham, ground pork, pickled veggies, cilantro, mayo and jalapenos on a crusty baguette. Rickshaw Dumpling Bar 61 W 23rd St (btwn 6th Ave & Broadway), rickshawdumplings.com. High-end chef Anita Lo brings her prowess to Southeast Asian street food, and serves up perfect, delicate dumplings. Rush Hour 134 Ludlow St (btwn Stanton & Rivington Sts), 212-979-9211. This takeout hole-in-the-wall is great for big, juicy burgers, fresh lemonade and the finest comfort food in the world: tater tots. Pomodoro Pizzeria 51 Spring St (@ Mulberry St), 212-966-9229. It may be old news by now, but we still can’t get enough of their signature vodka slice. Dosa Man Washington Sq So (@ Sullivan St). Get in line for South Indian crepes from the most popular vegan food cart in the city, hands down. Cattyshack Sunday BBQ 249 4th Ave (btwn President & Carroll Sts), Park Slope, cattyshackbklyn.com. Hopefully you’re not too nervous to scarf in the presence of the girl you like, because just $15 gets you an all-u-can-eat buffet at Brooklyn’s lesbian mecca. Don’t let good BBQ go to waste! Sweet Melissa Patisserie 276 Court St (@ Douglas), Cobble Hill, sweetmelissapatisserie.com. Get your sugar high with high-end sweets, like homemade marshmallows and the decadent caramel apple bread pudding in a crème brûlée custard. Rice to Riches 37 Spring St (btwn Mott & Mulberry Sts), ricetoriches.com. Who knew rice pudding could be so diverse? Sample flavors ranging from “Fluent in French Toast” to “Property of Lemon Poppy” with toppings of graham crackers, jelly and more. Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory 1 Water St (@ Old Fulton St), Brooklyn Heights, 718-246-3963. There are many reasons to trek by foot across the Brooklyn Bridge to the lovely park below—their creamy, homemade treat is the most important one. Teany 90 Rivington St (@ Orchard St), teany.com. Moby’s veggie/vegan haven offers little snacks and sweets with big flavor, and plenty of vegetarians’ favorite beverage, tea. COMMUNITY FAVES Owned and/or adored by LGBTs with the munchies—come and get it at... Deborah 43 Carmine St (btwn Bleecker & Bedford Sts), deborahlifelovefood.com. Chef Deborah Stanton shows off her culinary fireworks in the open kitchen. Cowgirl 519 Hudson St (@ W 10th St), cowgirlnyc.com. This place is probably washed in margaritas, and their big Tex-Western food will make your spurs jingle-jangle and have you shoutin’ “Howdy!” at the hot wait staff. Beast 638 Bergen St (@ Vanderbilt Ave), Prospect Heights, 718-399-6855. Small plates pack big punches; wine by the quartino washes them down. Superfine 126 Front St (@ Pearl St), DUMBO, 718-243-9005. They’re not talking about sugar. The food at this two-level southwestern neighborhood spot is hot. HK Restaurant 523 9th Ave (@ 39th St), 212-947-4208. The menu is great any time, but the real deal is the all-day brunch on weekends, with unlimited Bloody Marys, Mimosas, Screwdrivers and Bellinis. Rubyfruit Bar & Grill 531 Hudson St (@ Charles St), rubyfruitny.com. Located in the West Village’s classic lesbian bar, the downstairs dining room offers American fare and a hearty brunch. East of Eighth 254 W 23rd St (btwn 7th & 8th Aves). This comfort food hotspot has a garden out back, and has been the home of drag shows, a scrumptious and eclectic menu and gay-friendly charm in Chelsea for years. Lola’s 15 Watts St (@ Thompson St), lolais soul.com. Seductive soul food with a French twist in a sexy SoHo space make this the perfect date spot. Mexico Lindo 459 2nd Ave (@ 26th St), mexicolindonyc.com. Make your taste buds dance with their especialidades de la casa. The New French 522 Hudson St (@ 10th St), 212-807-7357. An eclectic, global menu in a serene, neighborhoody locale. Tell them "Hey! I read about you in GO Magazine!" and your entire party gets a glass of house wine. Bone Lick Park 75 Greenwich Ave (@ Bank St), 212-647-9600. Their BBQ is, well, finger-licking good, but unlimited mimosas make this a great brunch destination as well. Kate’s Joint 58 Ave B (@ 5th St), 212-777-7059. Their faux buffalo wings score major points, though all the dishes at this vegetarian diner are winners. New Leaf Café 1 Margaret Corbin Dr, Fort Tryon Park, nyrp.org/café. Not only is the mother of all brassy, bawdy superstars (that’s Bette Midler, in case you didn’t know) the owner of this beautiful, tranquil café, but proceeds from your meal benefit her New York Restoration Project. Lips 2 Bank St (@ Greenwich St), lipsnyc. com. Drag queens don’t take a lot of guff, but at Lips they are at your service; food is not the reason to dine here. CLASSIC NEW YORK Some of these venerable establishments have been around the block, literally, but they all stand the test of time. Peacock Alley Waldorf=Astoria, 301 Park Ave (@ 49th St), peacockalleyrestaurant.com. Rub elbows with society regulars at the Waldorf’s famous restaurant. Life Café 343 E. 10th St (@ Ave B), lifecafe. com. Come this September, the quirky East Village café will survive the musical (Rent) that inspired countless soul-searching queer teens to flock here for its “pasta with meatless balls.” Rainbow Room 30 Rockefeller Plz, 65th Fl, 49th St (btwn 5th & 6th Aves), rainbow room.com. Sky-high views (and prices) dazzle at this exclusive dinner and dancing spot. Wall Street Burger Shoppe 30 Water St (btwn Broad St & Coenties Slip), burger shoppenyc.com. Only in New York: a 10-ounce Kobe beef burger topped with aged gruyere, seared foie gras, gold flakes and black truffles. The cost? Let’s just say it’ll get you 175 items on the Dollar Menu. Yaffa Café 90 St Marks Pl (@ 1st Ave), yaffa cafe.com. Zebra-print booths and all-night breakfast have been comforting East Village hangovers since, well, forever. Chez Josephine 414 W 42nd St (btwn 9th & 10th Aves), chezjosephine.com. Intimate and beautifully adorned, this theater district classic is devoted to Josephine Baker. 2nd Ave Deli 162 E 33rd St (btwn Lexington & 3rd Aves), 2ndavedeli.com. The address may have changed, but the towering sandwiches are just as scrumptious as ever. Barney Greengrass 541 Amsterdam Ave (@ 86th St), barneygreengrass.com. The “sturgeon king” of the Upper West Side also delights smoked fish fiends with their lox, herring and more. Lady Mendl’s 56 Irving Pl (btwn 17th & 18th Sts), ladymendls.com. Take your five-course high tea with the real ladies who lunch. Lombardi’s 32 Spring St (@ Mott St), firstpiz za.com. “America’s first pizzeria” introduced the thin-crust Neapolitan style pie to New York in 1905. Bohemian Hall 29-19 24th Ave, Astoria, bohemianhall.com. Find Czech charm—and booze—at this open-air beer garden in Astoria. Joe Allen 326 W 46th St (btwn 8th & 9th Aves), joeallenrestaurant.com. Go for a pre-theater dinner or a post-theater celeb-sighting. WHERE TO SHOP: CLOTHES Wrap yourself in the vestments, both old and new, from these shops. The Market NYC 268 Mulberry St (btwn Houston & Prince Sts), themarketnyc.com. Downtown designers display their cutting- edge wares here. Funky Lala Boutique 422 E 9th St (btwn 1st Ave & Ave A), funkylala.com. We’ve always loved out designer Angela Lowe’s style and taste; now she has a boutique to display her fashion forward selections. Rags a Go Go 218 West 14th Street, between 7th & 8th Aves, 646-486-4011, joshuasuzanne.com. For the finest in vintage threads, drag yourself over to Rags a Go Go for the quintessential lesbian cowgirl button down. It’s pearl-buttoned perfection. Century 21 22 Cortlandt St (btwn Church St & Broadway), c21stores.com. The destination for great deals on designer labels. Monk Thrift Shop 175 MacDougal St (@ W 8th St), 212-533-0553. Everything from mom’s prom dress to a rumpled Hermès bag can be snatched in this crowded vintage emporium. About Glamour 103 North 3rd St, Ground Floor, Williamsburg, aboutglamour.com. A 2,400-square-foot warehouse full of serious Billyburg fashion. Beacon’s Closet 220 Fifth Ave (btwn Union & President Sts), Park Slope, beaconscloset. com. Have fun combing through the racks for fancy finds at the Slope’s vintage treasure box. Dykes in the City Online @ ditc.net. DITC’s home-grown label does androgyny right. Hooti Couture 321 Flatbush Ave (@ 7th Ave), Park Slope, hooticouture.com. Look like a million bucks without spending nearly that much for the most adorable and glamorous blasts from the past. Macy’s 151 W 31st St (@ Broadway), macys.com. The mother of all department stores. Miracles happened at the original (think: Santa). UNIQLO 546 Broadway (btwn Prince & Spring Sts), uniqlo.com. The US flagship of this Japanese favorite hosts wall-to-wall solids in every color. Daffy’s 3 E 18th St (@ 5th Ave), daffys.com. It might not be that original, but we love Daffy’s separates, shoes and accessories for a song. Patricia Field 302 Bowery (@ 1st St), patrici afield.com. TV and film’s fashion queen brings her eccentric picks to the Bowery. ACCESSORIES & ETC. Golf clubs, hot shades, high-tech treats—where to buy everything but the kitchen sink. World of Golf 74 Broad St (@ Marketfield St), theworldofgolf.com. Some of us look good in plaid, some don’t. But even for the don’ts, this destination for golf-lovers has all the tools of the trade you need to get your game on. Pema 225 Bedford Ave (btwn North 4th & 5th Sts), Williamsburg, pemany.com. Migmar Tsering’s jewelry, footwear and apparel comes from hemp and hand-knit wool. Fabulous Fanny’s 335 E 9th St (btwn 1st & 2nd Aves), store.fabulousfannys.com. Antique, custom and vintage eyewear for looks ranging from movie star to disheveled hipster to cat-eyed librarian. Shoegasm 20 W 23rd St (btwn 5th & 6th Aves), shoegasm.com. They’re not joking. The extensive inventory sheds some light on foot fetishism. Babeland 43 Mercer St (@ Grand St), babeland.com. Toys “R” Us for grown-ups. Pleasure Chest 156 7th Ave So (@ Charles St), thepleasurechest.com. The sexiest vibes and ‘dos since 1972. Kiki de Montparnasse 79 Greene St (@ Spring St), kikidm.com. High-end, romantic adornments for your private parts. Pearl River Mart 477 Broadway (btwn Grand & Broome Sts), pearlriver.com. This Chinatown department store stocks knickknacks you had no idea you needed. MTV Store 1515 Broadway (btwn 44th & 45th Sts), 846-5655. As of press time, t-shirts with giant silkscreened photos of A Shot at Love’s Dani Campbell weren’t available yet, but you never know… Recycle-A-Bicycle 75 Avenue C (btwn 5th & 6th Sts), recycleabicycle.org. Bike emergency? Replace missing parts (it happens to the best of us) at this bike gadget depot, or buy a newly refurbished vintage model. B&H 420 9th Ave (@ 34th St), bhphto video.com. A tech-geek’s wonderland, this is your one-stop-shop for all things digital. Nat Sherman 500 5th Ave (@ 42nd St), nat sherman.com. Okay, we’re not outright endorsing this kind of behavior, but this smoke shop does manufacture the classiest cancer sticks around. WHERE TO SLEEP: Park yourself in one of these fine (or freaky) establishments and let the hum of city traffic lull you off to dreamland. Tribeca Grand 2 6th Ave (@ White St), tribecagrand.com, from $479. Bring Fido—this hot hotel is gloriously pet-friendly. La Semana 25 W 24th St (btwn 6th Ave & Broadway), lasemanahotelnyc.com, from $189. Jacuzzi in the middle of the room? Check. Mirrors above the bed? Check. Random weirdoes walking the halls? Check. Classic New York. Mandarin Oriental 80 Columbus Ave (@ 60th St), mandarinoriental.com, from $955. If you’re willing to break the bank, do it in the lap of luxury—while perched above Central Park. W Union Square 201 Park Ave So (@ 18th St), starwoodhotels.com, from $439. Sleek and comfortable, and a hop, skip and jump away from Pride festivities. On the Ave 222 W 77th St (@ Broadway), ontheave-nyc.com, from $329. Don’t miss the sweeping views of midtown from the 16th floor balcony. Waldorf=Astoria 301 Park Ave (@ 49th St), waldorfastoria.hilton.com, from $259. You won’t find a hotel more storied and steeped in history than this one. Hotel Chelsea 222 W 23rd St (btwn 7th & 8th Aves), hotelchelsea.com, from $129. Celebrating its 125th year of housing bohemian visionaries. Hostelling International New York 891 Amsterdam Ave (btwn 103rd & 104th Sts), hinewyork.org, from $29. Penny pinchers and global social butterflies will feel at home here. 60 Thompson 60 Thompson St (btwn Spring & Broome Sts), 60thompson.com, from $539. Fancy digs with a downtown flair. Bowery Hotel 335 Bowery (@ Great Jones St), theboweryhotel.com, from $425. Even those who mourn the loss of old Skid Row will be seduced by the twinkling façade of this hip new hotel. Holiday Inn Express 112-10 Horace Harding Expwy, Flushing, hiexpress.com, from $119. Stay close the airport to save, and—should you do anything naughty—be ready for a quick getaway. Celeste House 126 8th St (btwn 2nd & 3rd Aves), Park Slope, celestehouse.com, from $175. A 109-year-old house in the industrial Gowanus area of Brooklyn can be a pleasant and quiet holiday for visitors to the Slope. WHERE TO GET WET: Hey, we don’t mean like that. Sheesh. Anyway…despite the illusion that it’s in the North, temperatures get subtropical during a New York summer. These wet spots will be your salvation. Harry’s Water Taxi Beach 2nd St & Borden Ave, Hunter’s Point, Long Island City, water taxibeach.com. Ride along a beach with a so-close-you-can-touch-it view of Manhattan? You betcha. Prospect Park Lake Wollman Rink, near the Lincoln Rd/Ocean Ave entrance, Prospect Park, prospectpark.org/visit/activities/boat ing. Peddle boats are available for rental through Labor Day. Hudson River Downtown Boathouse, Pier 40, Houston St (@ Hudson River), down townboathouse.org. Kayak your way down the mighty Hudson. Gowanus Dredgers 2nd St (@ Bond St), Bklyn, waterfrontmuseum.org/dredgers. The murky Gowanus Canal isn’t exactly the ideal waterway for a relaxing canoe ride, but it’s certainly, uh, interesting… Astoria Park Pool 19th St (@ 23rd Dr), nyc govparks.org. Olympic-sized swimming in the shadows of stunning Midtown Manhattan. Russian & Turkish Baths 268 E 10th St (btwn 1st Ave & Ave A), russianandturkish baths.com. Go in for a schvitz or a cool dip and come out a new woman. South Street Seaport Pier 17, Fulton & South Sts, southstreetseaport.com. New York’s maritime history lives on alongside retailers a-plenty. City Island Bronx, cityisland.com. You’ll forget you’re in the Bronx once you set foot on this island in the Long Island Sound, replete with quaint homes and fish restaurants galore. Coney Island Brooklyn, coneyisland.com. Coney Island/Astroland is here for one last season—take advantage before she’s gone. Staten Island Ferry Whitehall Ferry Terminal, 1 South St, siferry.com. The best—and only—free sunset cruise, with sparkling views of Lady Liberty. Circle Line Downtown South Street Seaport, circlelinedowntown.com. Catch a cruise, and a close-up of Olafur Eliasson’s must-see art installation, “Waterfalls,” on display in the East River from July to October. NYC Ducks Broadway (@ 47th St), coachusa.com/nycducks. These guided tours of New York travel by both land and sea. WHERE TO PLAY: Bryant Park 40–42nd St (btwn 5th & 6th Aves), bryantpark.org. Catch a free classic film every Monday at sundown. Brooklyn Bridge Prospect St (btwn Cadman Plz @ E & W), Bklyn. Take a hike over the beautiful landmark (celebrating its 125th birthday this year). Governor’s Island Ferry from Battery Maritime Building, South & Whitehall Sts, govisland.com. Concerts, festivals, tours and more await you on this New York Harbor island long closed to the public. Baseball Yankee Stadium, 880 River Ave, Bronx, yankees.mlb.com; Shea Stadium, 12301 Roosevelt Ave, Flushing, mets.mlb. com. Both Yankee and Shea Stadiums will see their last games this year. Horseback Riding Van Cortlandt Park Stables, Broadway & W 254th Street, Riverdale, 718-548-4848. Enjoy the wooded paths of Riverdale on four-legged transport. NBC Studio Tour NBC Experience Store, 30 Rockefeller Plz, 49th St (btwn 5th & 6th Aves), nbcuniversalstore.com. Go behind the scenes and into the studios of some of your favorite shows. Top of the Rock 30 Rockefeller Plz, 49th St (btwn 5th & 6th Aves), topoftherocknyc.com. The best reason to go to the 70th floor of the GE Building instead of the top of Empire State Building: you’ll actually get to see the lovely ESB in your view. Liberty Helicopter Tours 30th St (@ 12th Ave), libertyhelicopters.com. An unusual and thrilling way to catch a breathtaking bird’s eye view of the city. Trapeze School NY Pier 40, West St (@ Houston St), newyork.trapezeschool.com. Calling all daredevils: Here’s your chance to check “learn to fly” off your list of things to do. Dave & Buster’s 234 W 42nd St (btwn 7th & 8th Aves), daveandbusters.com. Who knew skeeball could be more fun? It can after a few drinks, courtesy of this arcade for grown-ups. WHERE TO GET SOME CULTURE: Vox Pop 1022 Cortelyou Rd, Ditmas Park, voxpopnet.net. Radical bookstore, coffee shop and performance space, now with a Manhattan outpost at the Bowery Poetry Club. McSorley’s Old Ale House 15 E 7th St (btwn 2nd & 3rd Aves), mcsorleysnewyork.com. Get some culture, get some beer…same diff, when it’s at the city’s longest continually operating bar and the surprising birthplace of feminist drinking. Look it up! Dia:Beacon 3 Beekman St, Beacon, diabea con.org. Just north of the city, the beautiful Hudson Valley plays home to stunning contemporary artworks at the Riggio Galleries. Oscar Wilde Memorial Bookshop 15 Christopher St (btwn Waverly Pl & Gay St), oscarwildebooks.com. Read up at the world’s oldest gay and lesbian bookstore. 5 Pointz Jackson Ave (@ Crane St), Long Island City. A photographer-friendly warehouse blanketed in graffiti by famed artists. Galapagos Art Space 70 North 6th St (btwn Kent & Wythe Sts), Williamsburg, gala pagosartspace.com. Monday Night Burlesque still titillates after all these years. The Apollo 253 W 125th St (btwn 7th & 8th Aves), apollotheater.org. Every Wednesday night is Harlem’s most historic theater’s famed Amateur Night. Iridium Jazz Club 1650 Broadway (btwn 60th & 61st Sts), iridiumjazzclub.com. See living legend Les Paul every Monday. Leslie-Lohman Gay Art Foundation 127B Prince St (@ Wooster St), leslielohman.org. A permanent collection of over 3,000 works by renowned gay artists. New York Public Library for the Performing Arts 40 Lincoln Center Plz (@ Columbus Ave), nypl.org. Pull up a chair and enjoy a video or recording of a historic performance. As this is a research library, there’s a limit on what you can check out; that doesn’t apply to the hot librarian. St. Ann’s Warehouse 38 Water St (@ Dock St), stannswarehouse.org. Cutting-edge performance in the heart of DUMBO. Lesbian Herstory Archives 484 14th St (btwn 8th Ave & Prospect Park W), Park Slope, les bianherstoryarchives.org. Enlighten yourself on lezzie lit with their collection of oral and written histories—ahem—herstories. WHERE TO PRIMP & PAMPER: New York Adorned 47 2nd Ave (@ 3rd St), nyadorned.com. Adorn yourself with tattoos, piercings and henna. Great Jones Spa 29 Great Jones St (btwn Bowery & Lafayette Sts), greatjonesspa.com. Relax in a river rock sauna or around a three-story indoor waterfall. Mudhoney Hair Salon 7 Bond St (btwn Broadway & Lafayette Sts), mudhoneyhair salon.com. The Bond Street location specializes in Japanese thermal relaxers for a super-straight look; their other outposts focus on “punk, rock-a billy, mullet, ‘70s, ‘80s and now.” Juvenex 25 W 32nd St (btwn 5th Ave & Broadway), juvenexspa.com. Has Pride worn you out? Stop in any time, day or night, to rejuvenate (in the daytime, it’s women only). Cutting Edge Body Arts 31 8th St (@ MacDougal St), 212-253-9898. The artists at this tattoo shop are highly talented, and entirely self-taught. Ricky’s 375 Broadway (btwn Franklin & White Sts and other locations), rickysnyc. com. Boas, body glitter, salon-caliber hair care products and everything in-between. Public Salon 101 Metropolitan Ave (btwn Berry & Wythe Sts), Williamsburg, 718-782-4101. If you’re having trouble believing that Williamsburg has replaced any of Manhattan’s neighborhoods on the hipness scale, try getting an appointment at this high-profile ‘do den. Gloria Cabrera Salon 3 E 44th St (btwn 5th & Madison Aves), 5th Fl, feelgoodny.com. Ms. Cabrera has worked her magic on a Miss America and the Prime Minister of the Philippines. That enough cred for ya? Bumble & Bumble 415 W 13th St (btwn 9th Ave & Washington St), 8th Fl, bumbleand bumble.com. The free-haircut-place’s own specially blended products are like liquid hair care magic. Kiehls 109 3rd Ave (btwn 13th & 14th Sts), kiehls.com. Their signature no-frills packaging leaves the “wow” factor to the apothecary’s high-quality products themselves. Delluva Vinotherapy Day Spa 152 Franklin St (btwn Hudson & Varick Sts), delluvaspa.com. Dell’uva is Italian for“of the grape,” and that’s where this spa gets its magic—in products derived from the by-products of wine-making. Dickson Hairshop 137 Allen St (@ Rivington St), dicksonhairshop.com. Hot, hip cuts at reasonable prices, with a penchant for “mohawks fauxhauks 'frohawks nohawks,” plus a line of their own products. Awe Spa (114 West 71st Street), www.awespas.com. For women who have tried everything in the skin restoration arena, Awe Spa offers something unique to really one-up your friends: biologically active stem cells.