“Say yes to free banana pudding.
We’re currently in the height of summer, and now that outdoor dining is set to stick around for at least another year (be sure to check out our favorite spots on where to go), our July plans are looking hotter than ever.
This weekend, celebrate Magnolia Bakery’s 25th anniversary with free desserts from a banana pudding mobile, head to Chelsea for a new eatery from the team behind a SoHo favorite, or vibe out at a music festival in Queens with hammocks and sno cones—we’ve got you covered with seven actually fun things to do, see, and eat in NYC. And for more actually fun things to do this weekend, check out our podcast streaming below.”
Explore flavors of the Levant at a new restaurant from chef/partner Ayesha Nurdjaja and The Bowery Group. As a spinoff eatery to the popular SoHo Mediterranean spot Shuka, Shukette celebrates its grand opening this weekend in Chelsea to debut its seasonal menu of dips, salads, and more in both indoor and outdoor seating. In addition to signature items like fetatoush, lafa with za’atar, and the charcoal-grilled Joojeh chicken, a curated selection of wine, beer, and low-ABV cocktails are also available.
Cost: Prices vary
What better way to celebrate 25 years in NYC than with free dessert? Each day throughout the weekend, Magnolia Bakery’s banana pudding mobile will be parked in a different location to give away 500 cups of their iconic banana pudding served in a limited edition birthday cup. From 11:30 am to 4 pm, head to the Bleecker Street store on Friday (with a special drag show from Carrie Dragshaw between 3-5 pm), McCarren Park on Saturday, and 30th Avenue in Astoria on Sunday. Track all of the action via their IG account, and be sure to scan the QR code on each cup for a chance to win free banana pudding for a year.
Saturday, July 10, 10 am-3 pm
Lower East Side
We can forgo sleeping in on the weekends if there’s a tasty prize involved, and this Saturday morning, we’ll happily rise early to check out a special pop-up at Mel Bakery in the Lower East Side. For one day only from 10 am-3 pm, the New Orleans-based Central American baker and author of Hondurian ancestry Bryan Ford (aka Artisan Bryan), will offer baked goods like a special medialunas (made with sourdough and topped with a light citrus syrup) and pan chuta (Peruvian flatbread). And after getting down with his dough, be on the lookout for Ford’s upcoming tv show, The Artisan’s Kitchen, debuting on The Magnolia Network.
Cost: Prices vary
Saturday, July 10
Grab your crew and let loose this weekend at the first annual Full Send Summer Music Festival in Astoria’s Radial Park. Featuring a five-performance lineup, including We the Kings as the headliner, enjoy Saturday’s ideal summer weather at this all-day event complete with food trucks, a myriad of bars, and a (yes, for real) 22-ft tall water slide. And in addition to playing carnival games with a sno cone in hand, if you’re looking for some one-on-one time with a hammock, upgrade to VIP tickets for special access to the “hammock lounge.”
Cost: General admission tickets start at $85, VIP tickets are available for $120https://d9c775e7671457460d2bbb1b315867de.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html
Saturday, July 10, and Sunday, July 11
While NYC might be filled with drivers zooming around like they’re race car drivers, check out the skills from 24 of the world’s actual top professionals with Formula E’s New York E-Prix this weekend. Happening at the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal in Red Hook, the gates at the Allianz E-Village open early each morning for a full day of programming. In addition to checking out practice races, special autograph sessions from drivers, and doing some e-gaming in the Gaming Arena, food from local vendors will also be available.
Saturday, July 10, and Sunday, July 11, 12 pm-6 pm
In the mood for hand-crafted, somewhat-niche, possibly-thrifted goods? Head over to Brooklyn’s Industry City and explore the Artists & Fleas market for some nifty things to buy. Featuring over 30 local vendors—with many that are women and LGBTQ-owned—peruse home decor, handmade fashions, and more from a rotating lineup of creators, designers, and curators.
East Village or virtual
If you’re ready for a change from streaming movies on your smartphone, head to The Lower East Side Film Festival for some flicks on a proper theatre screen (remember those?). Held at the Village East Cinema, grab a seat for a showcase of independent shorts, features, and documentaries by up-and-coming filmmakers and more. Highlights include an advance screening of Paul McCartney’s music series, McCartney 3, 2, 1, and an exclusive stand up performance and Q & A with comedian Tig Notaro. And if you really prefer to just stay home, the entire festival lineup is also available virtually.
Cost: Single screen pass for $10, All access pass for $35
Best new NYC restaurants
If you are looking for some of the best info on food and drink, restaurants and eating in New York City, then you want to head to New York magazine’s Grub Street.
Right now you want to check out: The Return of Restaurants
“Make up for lost meals. No takeout, no pasta kits, just 66 of the best new (or newly relevant) places to eat.”
Edited by Rob Patronite and Robin Raisfeld, Photographs by Dina Litovsky
Here are 3 more of my faves:
Take in Park Views With Your Kelewele
Teranga / 1280 Fifth Ave.
The trapezoidal windows at Teranga have long afforded patrons panoramic vistas of Central Park North, but the city’s embrace of outdoor dining has made Pierre Thiam’s West African–leaning venue even more appealing than before. Now you can snack on kelewele (spicy roast plantains) right at the edge of the park, overlooking the verdant trees while enjoying a warm summer breeze. On a recent Friday, I sat near a pair of diners, one of them relaxing in a jujitsu T-shirt, as I made quick work of a yassa bowl: tender chicken thighs slathered in saucy golden onions. If indoor dining is still quiet here, you’ll never feel alone in the alfresco area. Folks zoom by on hoverboards and messenger bikes, shaved-ice vendors pour polychromatic syrups into snowy cups, and people flood in and out of the park.—R.P.S.
Eat to the Beat in Hell’s Kitchen
Guantanamera / 939 Eighth Ave.
The conga drums are back. Their steady beats spill out onto Eighth Avenue, where outdoor patrons sip minty mojitos on white tablecloths. Although this Hell’s Kitchen Cuban canteen served porky lechon asado and garlicky cassava throughout the pandemic, what was missing for months was the music — the prickly guitars and folksy Caribbean tunes that have made the restaurant an accessible spot for everyday salsa dancing. Ceiling fans spin overhead near the open-air frontage as waiters ferry crisp Cubano sandwiches and some of the city’s finest vaca frita: shredded skirt steak that’s seared until it achieves the texture of soft jerky. —R.P.S.
Taste the Middle East on the Upper West
Dagon / 2454 Broadway
Airy and sun-drenched, the dining room pulsates with Israeli pop and a steady conversational hum. If you didn’t know better, you would think you’d wandered into some beachside hot spot in Tel Aviv, not a post-pandemic restaurant in the sleepy West 90s. Chef Ari Bokovza’s Levantine-leaning menu looks similar to others across the city. But the familiar mezze and salads take a fun turn with delectable things like shishbarak (Lebanese mushroom-filled dumplings) and kubaneh, the fluffy Yemenite Jewish bread that you pull apart like Parker House rolls. —B.O.
Also see Eater New York’s interactive map that highlights
these 66 restaurants that deserve your attention.