GO's 8th Annual 'Where-To' Guide to NYC
Glitter sunscreen? Check. Bottle of water? Check. A cellphone for taking down cute chicks’ digits? Check! But before you let loose on Pride Weekend, plan on exploring the best of New York City between disco naps. GO hand-picks the not-to-be-missed spots for dining, shopping and playing in the Big Apple’s best lezzie locales. And, if you’re looking for cultural and nightlife events, see our A&E and Nightlife sections for the best of NYC’s Pride season happenings.
Where to EAT
Cowgirl Hall of Fame
519 Hudson St (at West 10th St), cowgirlnyc. com. A kitschy favorite dishing up hot Southern barbecue and even hotter waitresses. Yee-haw! They’ll have you at the Prickly Pear Margarita.
459 2nd Ave (at East 26th St), mexicolindonyc. com. Daily cocktail specials, sizzling fajitas and freshly-made guacamole. Nom freaking nom. Welcome to Tijuana Nirvana.
61 Delancey St (between Eldridge & Allen Sts), cocoron-soba.com. This Japanese noodle shop has set tongues wagging—and you’ll want to lick the bowl. Start with Stamina Soba and finish with Black Sesame Cheesecake. Slurp!
638 Bergen St (at Vanderbilt Ave, Brooklyn), brooklynbeast.com. A lesbian-owned tapas bar serving cocktails, affordable wines by the bottle and Spanish-inspired yum-yums. Try the creamy bleu cheese polenta with sautéed portabellas.
156 10th Ave (at West 20th St), cookshopny.com. This West Chelsea spot is the place for both people-watching and a superlative dining experience. Don’t miss the Mint Patty with Maldon sea salt and chocolate sauce. Eat dessert first.
'ROUND THE CLOCK JOINTS
763 9th Ave (between West 51st & West 52nd Sts), empmamanyc.com. Crispy empanadas, pitchers of Sangria and scrumptious desserts await you 24/7. Seriously. What more could you want?
1250 Broadway (at West 32nd St), kangsuh32. com. This is the place to satisfy late-night sushi or Korean barbecue cravings. It’s also ideal for large groups. Bring your posse and share an Asian feast in a private dining room.
119 7th Ave (at West 17th St), cafeteriagroup.com. Enjoy sophisticated comfort food all day and all night at this stylish Chelsea eatery. A perfect brunch spot, gather some friends to sample mojitos, Cobb salads and a tempting trio of mac-and-cheese dishes.
144 2nd Ave (at East 9th St), veselka.com. An East Village staple, Veselka is the hub of round-the-clock nibbling and noshing. While its featured cuisine is Ukrainian, Russian and Polish, you’ll also find traditional diner grub.
78 West 11th St (at 6th Ave), frenchroastny.com. A French bistro that never closes should be on your list of the best things in life. Relax with pals during brunch, lunch or late-night cocktails. Bring a date and make out over the moules frites.
NEW YORK STANDARDS
Red Velvet Bakery
141 West 72nd St (between Columbus & Amsterdam Aves). Just as their name implies, these bakers specialize in luscious Red Velvet cupcakes in the former Buttercup Bakery space. While the cuties take center stage, don’t ‘dessert’ old standbys, such as bountiful brownies and lip-smacking layer cakes.
179 East 86th St (at 3rd Ave) papayaking.com. Nothing screams New York like the tropical fruit drink/frankfurter combo. Grab a drink and a dog, and then catch a flick in the nabe; there are four movie theaters within a two-block radius.
205 East Houston St (at Ludlow St), katzsdelicatessen.com. After nearly 125 years, Katz’s is still the epicenter of classic Big Apple deli fare. Go with traditional favorites like pastrami on rye or matzo ball soup. Try the potato latkes with apple sauce as a hangover cure.
435 Halsey St (at Lewis Ave, Brooklyn), saraghinabrooklyn.com. Serving sublime pizza in a rustic European atmosphere, this Bed-
Stuy idyll is just that: idyllic. The backyard seating area is a sweet spot for casual outdoor dining. One caveat: Bring cash—they don’t take credit cards.
5 Catherine St (at Division St). This Cantonese clay pot casserole joint gets high marks from Gotham foodies. With meat-based and vegetarian options, there is something for everyone. Taste the Thousand Year Old Egg, if you dare.
187 9th Ave (at West 21st St), blossomnyc.com. A candlelit vegan sanctuary where you can worship seitan. (Seitan scallopini, that is.) With a fireplace, a private upstairs dining room and an impressive organic wine list, it‘s also a romantic date place.
227 Sullivan St (at West 3rd St), sacredchow.com. Delectable vegan cuisine made with organic and kosher ingredients. Sacred Chow offers a tantalizing array of small plates, sandwiches and salads. Sample the house Caesar salad and the hummus du jour.
430 East 9th St (at Ave A), dirtcandynyc.com. Who knew that vegetables could be so decadent? Chef Amanda Cohen does divinely ‘dirty’ things with cauliflower, corn and zucchini. Start with melt-in-your-mouth jalapeño hush puppies and maple butter.
270 Bleecker St (between 6th & 7th Aves), risotte ria.com. This self-described “gluten-free heaven” offers table service, take-out and delivery. Or pick up some grocery and bakery items for a picnic. Thirsty? Choose from an unusual selection of gluten-free beers!
75 9th Ave (at West 15th St), friedmanslunch.com. Tucked away inside the prodigious Chelsea Market, Friedman’s Lunch is your gluten-free sandwich headquarters. Specializing in comfort food, Friedman’s serves a seasonal variety of natural, organic and vegetarian dishes.
253 West 11th St (at West 4th St). This tiny French café on a tree-lined Greenwich Village street corner is the place to be for Sunday brunch. Sadly, it’s no secret. Wait for a table, then be richly rewarded with Croque Monsieur, Eggs Benedict or Pain au Chocolat. Ooh la la.
325 Bowery (at East 2nd St), peelsnyc.com. If you wake up from dreams of a big country breakfast, head over to this Noho eatery and make them come true. Buttermilk biscuits with sausage gravy? Yes, please.
134 Reade St (at Hudson St), marcforgione.com. Indulge in an elegant farmhouse brunch at this Iron Chef’s restaurant in Tribeca. Exquisite food in a romantic setting: perfect for the morning after.
54 East 1st St (at 1st Ave), prunerestaurant.com. Enjoy down-to-earth American home cooking with an twist. Try the calorie bomb Monte Cristo and sample the menu of Bloody Marys. Chef Gabrielle Hamilton was recently named NYC’s best by the James Beard Foundation.
Elephant & Castle
68 Greenwich Ave (at West 11th St), elephantand castle.com. A Greenwich Village landmark serving good old-fashioned brunch favorites like omelettes, burgers and salads. Ask for Vermont maple syrup on your French toast. Sweet.
FLIRT AND FANCY
The Red Cat
227 10th Ave (at West 23rd St), theredcat.com. More like a cozy red barn, nestled among art galleries, this West Chelsea gem serves mouthwatering Mediterranean fare. Order the organic roast chicken with dried cherry sauce.
47 Bond St (at Lafayette St), ilbuco.com. Celebrity chefs and foodies have made this Tuscan antique shop one of the hottest restaurants in town. Luxuriate by candlelight while you explore the exquisite nightly menu and a list of 400 wines.
344 West 52nd St (between 8th & 9th Aves), bamboo52nyc.com. This Hell’s Kitchen hotspot serves cool (and affordable) sushi and sashimi with creative cocktails and Tiki-themed potions. Try the pre-theater menu if you’re running to catch a Broadshow show nearby.
402 West 43rd St (at 9th Ave), esca-nyc.com. Chef Mario Batali has done it again with this Italian seafood knockout in Hell’s Kitchen. That’s right: Mario Batali. Need I say more?
65 East 55th St (at Madison Ave), aquavit.org. The chef's tasting menu is your best bet for sampling Executive Chef Marcus Jernmark's innovative Scandinavian dishes. Feeling extravagant? Try the lavish Sunday Smörgåsbord.
455 Madison Ave (between East 50th & East 51st Sts), giltnewyork.com. Snug inside the New York Palace Hotel, executive chef Justin Bogle turns out a taste of the Gilded Age. Try the Dry-Aged Niman Ranch Strip Loin and finish with a seasonal dessert like the Knickerbocker Glory sundae.
ONLY IN NEW YORK
178 Broadway (at Driggs Ave, Brooklyn), peter
luger.com. The definitive New York steakhouse where vegetarians fear to tread. Bring plenty of cash and order the legendary porterhouse. Revel in a carnivorous celebration you won’t forget.
328 Lenox Ave (at West 127th St), sylviasrestaur ant.com. Welcome to Queen Sylvia’s majestic soul kitchen, serving succulent ribs and finger-licking pork chops. Sample the Gospel Sunday Menu. It’s a religious experience.
113 MacDougal St (at Bleecker St), minettatavern ny.com. This historic haunt of writers and poets is great for late-night gatherings. Muse over the “supper” menu while you sip old-fashioned cocktails. The Hemingway Daiquiri will destroy you but not defeat you.
854 7th Ave (at West 55th St), carnegiedeli.com. Oh, where do we begin! This tourist trap has built jawbreaking, overstuffed sandwiches since 1937. Order the Woody Allen and grab a few napkins because, you know, “living is messy.”
119 MacDougal St (at West 3rd St), cafereggio. com. A Greenwich Village institution since 1927, this is the American home of the original cappuccino. Linger over an espresso and the traditional tiramisu. It’s the ideal spot for people-watching.
Peanut Butter & Co
240 Sullivan St (between West 3rd & Bleecker Sts), ilovepeanutbutter.com. You’ll feel like a kid again at this scrumptious sandwich shoppe—a kid with gourmand tastes, that is. Sample the Sandwich of the Week: it might be a signature PBJ with Strawberry Rhubarb jam and “Smooth Operator” peanut butter.
Where to SHOP
546 Broadway (between Spring & Prince Sts), uniqlo.com. Touted as Japan‘s answer to the Gap, UNIQLO is your HQ for trendy thrifty threads. Shop the UV Cut Collection to fight off skin cancer in style. Download the UNIQLOOKS iPhone app for a ‘unique’ multimedia experience.
653 9th Ave (between West 45th & West 46th Sts), delphimiumhome.com. Pop into this Hell’s Kitchen home décor boutique for modern kitchen and bath accessories, home fragrance items and tongue-in-cheek gifts.
Saturdays Surf NYC
31 Crosby St (between Grand & Broome Sts), saturdaysnyc.com. Mixing classic men’s sportwear and accessories, surf gear and a selection of gourmet coffee sounds good to us. Check the Web site for links to the latest surfing conditions around NYC.
109 3rd Ave (at East 13th St), kiehls.com. Since 1851, Kiehl’s extra-creamy moisturizers and other beauty potions have been keeping New Yorkers’ stressed-out skin soft and supple. Plus, free samples with every visit!
88 North 11th St (at Wythe Ave, Brooklyn), beacon scloset.com. Try to hit this massive vintage/modern thrift emporium—with surprisingly affordable prices—on a weekday morning to avoid crowds of browsers. There’s a smaller outpost in Park Slope, too.
Guvnor’s Vintage Thrift
178 Fifth Ave (between Sackett St & Lincoln Pl, Park Slope), guvnorsnyc.com. Brooklyn’s Fifth Avenue is becoming synonymous with stylish vintage threads. Suzette Sundae’s rockabilly shop specializes in biker gear, cowgirl duds and rock n’ roll fashion.
104 Rivington St (at Ludlow St). A premium selection of vintage women’s shoes—flats, pumps, oxfords, platforms, boots and more—is the draw at this chic LES boutique.
218 Thompson St (at Bleecker St). Your one-stop shop for gorgeous vintage frocks in chiffon, brocade, embroidered silk and more. Pair your purchase with a beaded clutch or peep-toe pumps.
Grown & Sewn
116 Franklin St (between Church St & West Broadway), grownandsewn.com. Khakis that fit like jeans? Jeans with relaxed khaki styling? You can have both in a single pair of pants at this dry goods boutique.
Partners & Spade
40 Great Jones St (between Bowery & Lafayette St), partnersandspade.com. A gallery-slash-store with an eclectic inventory of found objects, artworks, accessories, rare books and ephemera. If cars can be hybrids, why not boutiques?
169 North 9th St (between Bedford & Driggs Aves), ps9pets.com. This pet boutique carries a huge variety of organic and natural products. Try the Evermore Pet Food; a women-owned, Brooklyn-based company, Evermore uses only human grade antibiotic- and hormone-free humanely raised meats, fresh seasonal produce and organic whole grains. It's good enough to eat—literally: founders Hanna Mandelbaum and Alison Wiener ate their dog food for a whole month to prove it!
543 East 6th St (at Ave B), loveshinenyc.com. Ditch that Duane Reade carryall. For affordable custom totes, purses, wallets and more in fresh, funky patterns, pop into this gay-owned East Village shop.
between the pages
The Strand Book Store
828 Broadway (at East 12th St), strandbooks. com. The store’s tagline says it all: 18 miles of new, used and rare books, with deep fiction and social science sections. Most paperbacks are 50 percent off the cover price.
172 Allen St (between Stanton & Rivington Sts), bluestockings.com. Bluestockings keeps the consciousness raising flame alive with readings, discussions, a selection of lefty tomes and copious fair trade coffee.
Housing Works Bookstore Café
126 Crosby St (between Prince & Jersey Sts), housingworks.org. Get your cheap beach reading here: Proceeds from book sales benefit programs for New Yorkers living with HIV/AIDS.
Spoonbill & Sugartown Booksellers
218 Bedford Ave (between North 4th & North 5th Sts, Brooklyn), spoonbillbooks.com. New, used and rare art books abound. Whether you’re searching for an original Cahiers du Cinema or the latest issue of BUTT Magazine, find it here.
43 Mercer St (between Broome & Grand Sts), babeland.com. It should be a ritual for any visitor during Pride: stop at Babeland and fill ‘er up on silicone playthings, vibrating goodies and plenty of lube.
211 West 20th St (at 7th Ave), purplepassion.com. This dimly-lit Chelsea shop caters to an exclusive clientele of leatherbois, BDSM enthusiasts and the lipstick-and-Levi’s crowd.
Kiki de Montparnasse
79 Greene St (between Broome & Spring Sts), kikidm.com. Kiki’s offers barely-there bras and gossamer panties seemingly made from cotton candy, as well as a more butch line of elegant underthings in grey jersey. Meow!
108 Roebling St (between North 5th & North 6th Sts, Brooklyn), weloveshag.com. It’s not just a sex shop—it’s a “sexy shop” in the heart of hipster Williamsburg. Aside from the selection of intimate toys and goodies, owners Sam and Ash offer queer-friendly workshops and erotic art exhibits.
Orchard Corset Center
157 Orchard St (between Rivington & Stanton Sts). Fancy it ain’t: You won’t find artful displays at this old-school lingerie shop. You will find, with the owners’ discerning eye, perfectly-sized bras, corsets, foundation garments and other Marilyn-style must-haves.
200 5th Ave (at West 20th St), eatalyny.com. It’s cheaper than a trip to Tuscany: Fill your senses with imported Italian wines, cheese, salumi, pastas, coffees, olive oils, meats, seafood and more. Eataly makes a mean daily mozzarella!
228 Flatbush Ave (at 6th Ave, Brooklyn), bklyn
larder.com. Despite the nondescript exterior, Bklyn Larder bursts with foodie favorites like locally-produced meats and cheeses, produce, honey, pickles and more.
Russ & Daughters
179 East Houston St (at Chrystie St), russand
daughters.com. Come for the whitefish salad, stay for the sense of history. Since 1914, the Russ family has dished out smoked fish, caviar, breads, preserved meats and dried fruits in the Eastern European tradition.
Where to PLAY
Out and Active
outandactive.com. This newish group for LGBT outdoor adventurers has hosted women-only hikes at Bear Mountain and bike trips just for chicks—always with a pit stop at a local bar for brews and bonding afterwards. Check the Web site for a current schedule—trips are always being added to the roster.
Pier 17, South Street Seaport, blazingsaddles. com. Taxis too expensive? Subway just too gross? Rent a comfy cruiser or sleek mountain bike from Blazing Saddles (helmet included!) and pedal swiftly and silently to NYC's downtown sights.
seastreak.com. Craving a quick overseas getaway? It's possible with the ultra-fast Seastreak luxury ferries. Spend a day at the beach at Sandy Hook, NJ, or let Seastreak carry you to Martha's Vineyard for a memorable weekender.
Staten Island Ferry
siferry.com. They are bright orange, redolent of nacho cheese and crowded with tourists, but it's the only free cruise in New York harbor. Glimpse Lady Liberty, Ellis Island and Governors Island on the way.
Central Park, thecentralparkboathouse.com. Explore Central Park's serpentine lake by rowboat. For $12 for the first hour and $2.50 per 15 minutes after, four people can share the rowing duties. Slake your thirst afterwards at the Boathouse's bar and grill.
HBO Bryant Park Summer Film Festival
Bryant Park (near 6th Ave), bryantpark.org. Pack your pic-a-nic basket and a discreet bottle of wine for the Monday movie series. Lawn space fills up fast! Highlights: Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (June 11), The Lady Eve (July 25) and Airplane! (August 8).
Shakespeare in the Park
Delacorte Theater in Central Park, shakespeare inthepark.org. An erudite New Yorker's favorite date spot! This year's schedule features the Bard's Measure for Measure and All's Well That Ends Well.
Concerts at Castle Clinton
Battery Park, rivertorivernyc.com. Part of the free River to River Festival, this summer's lineup features indie rock shows at the circular 19th century fort in lower Manhattan.
Battery Maritime Building, 10 South St, govisland. com. Free weekend ferries take visitors to this National Park Service-managed, car-free oasis for picnicking, bike rides, concerts, art exhibits and historical tours of the island.
Brooklyn Bridge Park
Along East River shore between Atlantic Ave and Manhattan Bridge anchorage, brooklyn
bridgepark.org. Check out the unparalleled view of lower Manhattan from Brooklyn’s newest waterfront respite. Pier 1, 6, Fulton Ferry landing and Main Street are open for biking, sunbathing, strolling and special events.
Various locations, grownyc.org. Fresh veggies, fruits and dairy; ultra-fresh flowers and plants; excellent people-watching: NYC's outdoor greenmarkets bring the farm to the city with an urban twist. Get there early to rub shoulders with NYC's top chefs while they shop.
via Statue Cruises, nps.gov, statuecruises.com. See where 12 million immigrants entered the U.S. between 1892 and 1954. Forty percent of Americans can trace their families' roots back to Ellis Island: The park’s new American Family Immigration History Center tells the story.
Coney Island Boardwalk
Atlantic Ocean (between West 37th & Brighton 15th Sts), coneyisland.com. From hair-raising rides on the Cyclone and Deno's Wonder Wheel to burlesque shows, weekly fireworks and the Mermaid Parade, Coney Island's boardwalk is America's original playground. Grab a Nathan’s Famous hot dog and drink it all in.
Brooklyn Botanic Garden
900 Washington Ave (at President St), bbg.org. The cherry blossoms are long gone, but summer's plants are just coming into luxuriant bloom. Don't miss a peaceful stroll through the Japanese pond garden.
2300 Southern Blvd, Bronx, bronxzoo.com. Lions, tigers and bears? Check–plus gorillas, giraffes, sea lions, reptiles, birds, an adorable baby zebra and tons more. Ride the Wild Asian Monorail (May through October) to spot Asian elephants, Indian rhinos, tigers and red pandas.
The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Community Center
208 West 13th St (between 7th & 8th Aves), gay
center.org. Pick up a GO Magazine, drop in on an erotic art exhibit or attend the all-important post-Pride AA meeting at this indispensable community resource.
Lesbian Herstory Archives
484 14th St, Brooklyn, lesbianherstoryarchives. The famous lesbian pulp collection is a must-see in dyke-dense Park Slope. Call ahead or check the Web site for opening hours.
New York Public Library
5th Ave & 42nd St, nypl.org. Pore over unpublished poetry, scan vintage newspapers, update your Facebook status or just gaze at the beautifully restored Rose Reading Room. Hint for a hot July day: The NYPL’s air conditioning is fierce!
Museum of Sex
233 5th Ave (at East 27th St), museumof sex.com. Browse the fascinating permanent collection—erotic robots! Medieval chastity belts!—or catch the intriguing current exhibit The Nudie Artist: Burlesque Revived.
Metropolitan Museum of Art
1000 5th Ave (at East 82nd St), metmuseum.org. You could spend a week in this massive temple to world art without seeing every artifact. Don’t miss the Costume Institute’s exotic retrospective, Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty.
200 Eastern Pkwy, Brooklyn, brooklynmuseum. org. The innovative exhibits at this world-class institution could rival any Manhattan museum. First Saturdays events feature live music, film, performances and Brooklyn’s beautiful people.
Museum of Modern Art
11 West 53rd St (between 5th & 6th Aves), moma.org. MoMA has NYC’s finest collection of American and European 20th century art, plus trendsetting exhibits and a peaceful sculpture garden in the middle of midtown.
Anthology Film Archives
32 2nd Ave (at East 2nd St), anthologyfilm archives.org. Anthology’s programming champions new and obscure filmmakers, out-of-print movies and avant-garde cinema, with occasional screenings of long-lost gay classics.
West 23rd St & the Hudson River, chelsea piers.com. An indoor-outdoor megaplex with fitness facilities for sports mild (yoga, fitness classes) to extreme (rock climbing, sailing, boxing). Cool down at Chelsea Piers’ onsite spa after a killer workout.
Brooklyn Academy of Music
30 Lafayette Ave (between Ashland Pl & St. Felix St, Brooklyn), bam.org. BAM sponsors cutting-edge programming in independent cinema, dance, opera, theater and literature. Coming up June 16–26: BAM Cinemafest, a festival of new films from around the world.
Useful Web sites:
GO Magazine: gomag.com
Heritage of Pride (NYC Pride organizers):
Lesbian, Gay Bisexual and Transgender
Community Center: gaycenter.org
New York City Anti-Violence Project:
NYC: The Official Guide: nycgo.com
Public Transit: mta.info, njtransit.com