Indian food pop-ups, giant cookies, and an art fair are all on tap.
“In a year that’s been short on good news, here’s a little something nice: there won’t be any fare hikes from the MTA until at least 2022! So, whip out that Metrocard this weekend and take advantage of lots of fun stuff happening in the five boroughs: we’ve got art fairs, we’ve got juicy burgers, and we’ve even got live salsa music. Read on for nine actually fun things to eat, see, and do in New York City this weekend.”
Bronson’s Burgers comes from the team that produced beloved spots Wayla and Kimika, so it should be no surprise that the towering creations coming out of this kitchen are already creating buzz. Start off with the signature burger, which features a thick, juicy patty with caramelized onions, cheddar cheese and pickles, but save room for the chili cheese hot dog, the grilled cheese served with a side of tomato soup, and, of course, the cheeseburger hash browns. If you still have room, finish off the meal on a sweet note with one of their numerous milkshakes, including a decadent cookie butter crunch version.
Cost: Burgers from $12
After both canceling and reformatting the past year’s events, NYC Restaurant Week is back in all its glory. The program gives New Yorkers a chance to dine at restaurants that might otherwise be out of reach by organizing prix-fixe meals at affordable price points. This year, lunch is $21 and dinner $39 for an entrée and side. But, if you’re feeling fancy, there is also a brand-new $125 option that includes three courses and unique add-ons curated by each restaurant participating. Some of our favorites to look out for: Hancock Street’s elevated American cuisine, Sylvia’s classic soul food, and Khe-Yo’s flavorful Laotian.
Friday, July 23, 7:30 pm-11:30 pm
Is there a better summer combination than live music and beer? Head to The Bronx Brewery this Friday for live salsa music from Grammy award-winner Jeremy Bosch, plus Los Hacheros and DJ Javick. While you’re grooving, sip on suds like Rise & Grind (coffee kolsch), Some Like It Hopped (a hoppy Vienna lager), and Big City Bastard (hazy session IPA). And don’t forget to check out the merch, we’re big fans of the bucket hats.
Cost: $25 a ticket
Lower East Side
After successfully weathering the pandemic, one of NYCs most unique food halls fully reopens this weekend. Located right off the Manhattan side of the Williamsburg Bridge, The Market Line is a subterranean snacker’s paradise boasting some of the city’s heaviest hitters including Nom Wah, Doughnut Plant, Veselka, and Ample Hills. Make sure to save some time to explore The Tenement Museum after you eat.
Saturday, July 14, 5 am
While New Yorkers may be more likely to see 5 am before they go to sleep, perhaps we can convince you to go to bed early on a Friday night just this once. To celebrate its 90th year and a $165 million overhaul of its visitor experience, the Empire State Building is offering guests the chance to greet the new day from its famed 86th floor viewing platform. Every Saturday through the Sunrise with Starbucks event, up to 100 visitors can watch the day break over Manhattan (with coffee in hand, of course) and snag some seriously ‘gram-worthy snaps.
Cost: $114 per ticket
Upper East Side
Are you really a New Yorker if you’ve never tried the pillowy black and white cookie from William Greenberg Desserts? If you’re hanging your head in shame right now, make sure to scoop one up from the shop’s newly redesigned digs, which open this Friday. Aside from the famed cookies, there are also delicious hamantaschen, Linzer tarts, pies, and cakes, plus a new street-side pick-up window if you’re in a hurry.
Cost: Pastries from $1.75
Sunday, July 25
While he lived here, Gerardo Gonzalez was one of New York’s buzziest chefs, helming the burners at hotspots like El Rey and Lalito. And though we still mourn his move to the Cayman Islands, this Sunday and Monday the chef will be back to host two delicious dinner parties at wine-centric Niche Niche. Expect a mix of both Mexican and Caribbean flavors for the menu, with plenty of flowing wine. Reservations are available via Resy.
Cost: $65 per person
Weekend-long, 5 pm-9 pm
Nidhi Jalan is the chef and founder of Masala Mama, a Brooklyn-based company that makes homemade vegetarian Indian sauces like tikka masala and coconut curry. And now, through a limited-time pop-up, you can try Jalan’s whole range of cooking, from flavorful aloo gobi to a refreshing watermelon chaat salad. While the whole menu is fully vegetarian, many dishes are also vegan; don’t miss the tofu dishes which are made with a tasty, traditional kettle-style preparation.
Cost: Entrees from $12.95
NYC is home to what seems like millions of art galleries, but not many of them are what you’d classify as affordable. But, if you’re looking to upgrade from the posters you’ve had since college, we have the solution. This weekend, The Other Art Fair Brooklyn, presented by Saatchi Art, comes to the Brooklyn Expo Center with 130 independent and emerging artists and art prices starting at just $150. There will also be illustrators making free, 60-second bespoke drawings, tours of the fair from curator Erin Remington, and the chance to sponsor and decorate care packages from Heart of Dinner.
Cost: Tickets from $15
Thrillist, a site with tons of food, drink, travel & entertainment info, introduces folks to the coolest things to do in NYC (and other places when you are traveling). I like to check them out regularly. You should, too.
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,
Here are 3 more of my faves:
Feast on Escargot and the Scene
Pastis / 52 Gansevoort St.
We’re happy to report that whatever strange alchemy it was (the warming onion soup, the cheeseburger “à la Americaine,” the spacious sidewalk operation sturdy enough for any blizzard) that elevated this fashionable Stephen Starr–Keith McNally Meatpacking District brasserie into one of the go-to destinations during the dark pandemic months is still very much intact. Like everywhere else around town, the dining room is beginning to fill up again, but the best seat in the house is still outdoors, where the sidewalk between the tables along Gansevoort Street has turned into a kind of promenade for the vibrantly reopened city. There was a jazz trio spinning out New Orleans sounds when we dropped by the other day, and couples walking arm in arm on their way to the High Line or an evening picnic in the park. Any picnic here should include some oysters and the bubbly, shell-less escargot, but be sure to save a little room for the baba au rhum, the nougat glacé, and the rest of the underrated brasserie desserts.—A.P.
Snag a Seat for Vietnamese Vermicelli
Di An Di / 68 Greenpoint Ave., Greenpoint
Cymande’s “bra” piped through the outdoor jukebox on a recent Friday at the Vietnamese restaurant Di An Di while patrons slurped up brothy vermicelli noodles underneath strings of white lights. Those who arrived after 8:45 p.m. were out of luck, as every table was filled with fashionable young folks in T-shirts and hosts had stopped taking names. Bowls of mi xao bo do bien, firm egg noodles studded with fat slices of squid and shrimp, scented the air with its garlicky perfume. The Before Times menu still hasn’t returned, which means no more rice-paper pizzas for now, but there are newish bánh mì lunch sandwiches stuffed with fried chicken, tofu, or pork belly. And the aromatic shaking beef (bo luc lac), with its wok-seared cubes of medium-rare sirloin and crisp tomato-watercress salad, remains.—R.P.S.
Sip Vermut Like a Basque Boulevardier
Ernesto’s / 259 E. Broadway
The pandemic was a disaster for everyone, but few felt the old “defeat snatched from the jaws of victory” moment more keenly than chef-owner Ryan Bartlow, who had to close this elegant little Basque-themed bar operation just as the buzz for its special brand of convivial tapas-style cooking was building. The bare-bones staff managed to survive on PPP checks and a pickup menu until early summer, before throwing open the floor-to-ceiling windows and filling the sidewalk with rows of tables, which, on a warm night, as the evening light filters through the leafy trees across the street, can feel a little like an outdoor café in San Sebastián. These days, the long, dinner-friendly bar is humming again, and with the first-rate drinks program (try the vermut and tonic), a roster of expertly rendered Spanish classics (the croquettes, the morcilla, the tortilla española), and a peaceful, unhurried vibe, there are, for our money, few more-enjoyable indoor-outdoor-dining options in town.—A.P.
Also see Eater New York’s interactive map that highlights
these 66 restaurants that deserve your attention.