Looking for the best things to do in NYC this weekend? Whether you’re the group planner searching for more things to do in NYC today, or you have no plans yet, here are some ideas to add to your list for this long summer weekend. Don’t miss Shakespeare in the Park, go out for New York Restaurant Week, do an outdoor movie screening, and go find Rugrats-themed ice cream.”
Things to do in NYC this weekend
These are just a few. Want more?
New York City Restaurant Week, which is now live for dining, has been a twice annual tradition since 1992. When it first got cooking, the culinary holiday was celebrated with $19.92 lunch specials at restaurants like Tribeca Grill. Surprisingly, those midday meals only rose to $26 by 2020. What’s even wilder? This year’s prices have actually fallen. Sort of. Summer 2021’s NYC Restaurant Week, which runs from July 19 through August 22, has three pricing tiers: $21, $39 and $125 for lunch or dinner. RW organizers advise restaurants to offer at least an entree and a side for the first two tiers, and the $125 ticket must include three or more courses plus a little something extra like wine. This year, more than 500 participating Italian, Thai, Russian, Cuban, Spanish, French, Mexican, Indian, Brazilian and Japanese izakayas, ice cream parlors, steakhouses, fish bars, brasseries, bistros, grills, cafes and sushi restaurants decide which deals to offer when. And you decide how many of these marvelous options you can cram into four-and-a-half wonderful weeks. It’s a lot!
Last March, when New York City’s public performance venues were forced to close their doors, the Metropolitan Opera was among the first arts institutions to respond to the crisis with virtual programming. Just days after the shutdown went into effect, the company began its series of Nightly Met Opera Streams, providing viewers around the world with a different free opera from its archives every night—a run that has continued for 70 weeks and drawn more than 20 million viewers. But now the Met, which plans to return to live performances this September, is bringing this tremendously popular series to a close. The lineup for the Met’s final week of free streams, from July 19 through July 25, was selected through a Viewers’ Choice poll, and it includes full works by Mozart, Bizet and Donizetti. Each opera goes live on the Met’s website at 7:30pm EDT (12:30am BST) and remains viewable until 6:30pm EDT the next day. The works are also available through the Met Opera on Demand app on various devices. Full details about Week 71 of the Met’s streaming program are here.
This week, the turn-lemons-into-lemonade project will host a special cabaret/concert performance by the Tony Award-winning actor Brian Stokes Mitchell, who will debut his show Out With The Old, In With The New. Mitchell will hit the stage starting this Wednesday, July 21 through Friday, July 23 at the Restart Stage in Damrosch Park. The performance will see a pastiche of original songs, classic Broadway numbers and songs pulled from the American songbook sung by Mitchell. Can’t make it this week? Don’t worry! Mitchell will return with Out with the Old, In with the New one more time from August 12 through August 14.
The Market Line, a gourmet subterranean food hall on the Lower East Side, is reopening this Thursday, July 22, after a pandemic-hiatus. Originally opened in November 2019, The Market Line is part of the larger Essex Crossing development, and aims to house an eclectic mix of locally-sourced vendors and restaurants reflecting the character, culture and grit of the historic neighborhood. Come hungry, because many returning vendors will offer their iconic local eats and grocery essentials, including Essex Pearl (locally caught seafood!), Nom Wah (dim sum and noodles), Ample Hills, Ends Meat (whole animal butchery), Taqueria Nixtamal (fresh corn tortillas), Pho Grand, People’s Wine, The Pickle Guys, Veselka, Que Chevere (Puerto Rican cuisine), Cafe Grumpy and more. Brand new vendors will also sell their most popular dishes at the market, including Alimentari Flâneur, Best Damn Cookies, Dragon Bing, Tap NYC, and Mighties among others.
There are eight million stories in the naked city, as the old movie said, and this week a select few of them will be aired on the gentle oasis of greenery known as Little Island, which opened in May. From Wednesday through Sunday (July 21–July 25), NYC’s latest must-see destination will play host to its first-ever Storytelling Festival, devoting spaces throughout the park to a mostly free smorgasbord of spoken word, music, poetry and audiovisual art. Nearly all of the events in the festival are free to anyone attending Little Island at the time; admission to the park costs nothing and is open to anyone in the morning, then moves to a system of timed-entry reservations at noon.
Dapper Tours is a local tour service that provides guided tours of Gotham from an old-timey sidecar. The vehicle in question is, in fact, a vintage Ural motorcycle, a model that has a fascinating history involving reverse-engineering by Russians in the 1940s. The company now manufactures rides for civilians and is one of the world’s leading purveyors of sidecar motorcycles. The world’s leading purveyor of sidecar cocktails, however, remains any bar we’re at on a Saturday night. A ride on one of the motorcycles will normally set you back $269–$779 depending on the length of your ride and your itinerary. But let’s get real, this is probably something that you’d pull the trigger on when you have someone visiting from out of town.
amNY Weekender | Here are 6 things to do in NYC this weekend / By Dean Jamieson
Friday, July 23
Union Square Green Market: One of the largest farmer’s markets in the country, the Union Square GreenMarket is every Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Come out for fresh produce, pies, flowers, pastries and meats. Some of the over 100+ farmers and vendors include PE & DD Seafood, Roaming Acres Farm, Pet-al Flowers and She Wolf Bakery. North and West sides of Union Square Park, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Free to enter.
“Working On It” & “First Look” at Museum of the Moving Image: A break from the Museum’s regular programming, Working On It & First Look is an event where filmmakers, critics and viewers get to watch, discuss and explore the creative process. This week’s program will include Jeff Reichert’s I Feel Struck by the Loss of Nameless Things; Dining Out, Calling In, and The Sacred and the Staged, to be followed by a discussion. 36-01 35th Avenue, Astoria, 2 p.m. $15 / $11 seniors & students / $9 youth (ages 3–17) / Free for MoMI members.
Saturday, July 24
Greenpoint Terminal Market: Located on the waterfront, with a gorgeous view of the Manhattan skyline, the Greenpoint Terminal Market is returning this Saturday with over 100 vendors, from vintage and antiques to local art, design, and a variety of international food. Come eat, shop and support local small businesses and artisans. 2 Noble Street, Brooklyn. 9 a.m. Free.
10th Annual New York City Poetry Festival: Every last weekend of July, for ten years, the New York City Poetry Festival has been bringing poets, audiences and collectives to the idyllic space of Governors Island. Come meet, read, teach, talk and enjoy the sunshine. This year’s poets include Terrance Hayes, Deborah Landau, Ariana Reines, and many more. Colonel’s Row, Governors Island. 11 a.m. Free, but ticket packages are available starting at $10.
Sunday, July 25
Fordham Flea Market: The largest of its kind in uptown and the Bronx, the Fordham Flea Market is returning this Sunday with dozens of local artists, creators and merchants. Come shop for small batch apparel, accessors, packaged goods, and much more. Fordham Plaza, Bronx. 12 p.m. Free.
Movies Under The Stars: “Harriet“: Critic’s favorite “Harriet” is being screened this Sunday as part of the City’s Movies Under The Stars series. Nominated for an Oscar, this 2019 explores the incredible true story of Harriet Tubman. Come spread a blanket and enjoy the film. PG-13. Brower Park, Brooklyn. 8:45 p.m. Free.
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.