Celebrate the long weekend with everything from an outdoor fair to an indoor dance party.
The last unofficial weekend of summer is certainly going out with a bang. Not only is the US Open in town, but we’re also celebrating Labor Day and Rosh Hashanah this Monday. So, if you find yourself lucky enough to have scored a three-day (or more!) weekend, we’ve got you covered. There are reopenings galore, from beloved fairs to wacky off-Broadway productions, plus new openings including a gastropub and a super-fast pizza shop. Read on for nine actually fun things to eat, see, and do this weekend in NYC.”
As summer gives way to fall, our stomachs can’t help but think about all the rib-sticking fare cooler weather brings. And just in time for the changing seasons, Little Rebel opened this week in the East Village. Helmed by industry vets Dermont Lynch (Sel Rrose) and Jarek Krukow (Broadstone), the gastropub has entrees like mac and cheese with lobster, and fried chicken sandwiches made with candied bacon. Wash it all down with cocktails made by the legendary Brooke Smith of Dead Rabbit; our favorite is the Johnny Utah (whiskey, salted caramel syrup, and cream soda).
Cost: Entrees from $15; cocktails from $10
Simò Pizza, a concept from Rossopomodoro’s founder Simone Falco, is worth a visit for a few reasons. One, their pies are ready in a mere 90 seconds. Two, they are very affordable; most hover around the $10 mark. And, three, they are damn delicious. Check out their newly opened spot on University Place this weekend, which has flavors ranging from a traditional margherita to a decadent four cheese, as well as salads, meat and cheese plates, and nutella-flavored panna cotta.
Cost: Pizzas from $9.20
If you’re a Texas transplant, then you’re probably familiar with the kolache, a yeasted dough pastry stuffed with either sweet or savory filling. But we guarantee you’ve never had one like the new collaboration between Brooklyn Kolache and popular pizza spot, Emily. The Colony Kolache is inspired by Emily’s most famed pie of the same name and features pepperoni, pickled chili, honey, tomato sauce, and mozzarella, all wrapped up inside a pillowy dough. Make sure to try one this month; they’re only on the menu at Brooklyn Kolache until the end of September.
Cost: $5.50 per kolache
How does one describe House of Yes? Is it a performance space? A club? A bar? Part of its charm is that it’s pretty undefinable, but everyone who has been would agree that it’s a good time. Celebrate the venue’s recent reopening this weekend with their Thank You for Everything event; expect circus acts, dancers, and a new, secret speakeasy sideshow. Please note that proof of vaccination is required for entry and patrons are encouraged to wear their boldest and brightest looks.
Cost: Tickets from $10https://9de636cfdd289f5e3e3970d457ee27d6.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html
Saturday, September 4 and Sunday, September 5; 11 am-6 pm
South Street Seaport
After losing their longtime location near the Seward Park Co-ops, fans of the Hester Street Fair mourned the loss of one of the city’s most dynamic and lively flea markets. Luckily, they’re returning this Labor Day Weekend in a new location at Pier 17 in the South Street Seaport. Vendors will be selling everything from vintage clothing to the famed red velvet cake from Sheralyn’s Bakery to sustainable jewelry.
Cost: Prices vary
Sunday, September 5, 12 pm-10 pm
Upper East Side
Since there are plenty of festivals happening this time of the year, there’s always room to squeeze in one more (especially during a long holiday weekend). On Sunday, head to the Upper East Side for an all day family-friendly matsuri (Japanese festival) at NR, the sister bar to ROKC. The event is an homage to summer carnivals found throughout Japan, and attendees can expect water balloon fishing, a shooting gallery, performances, and plenty of over-the-top fun. Food offerings include takoyaki, cotton candy, karaage, spicy chicken buns, and more; along with a drink menu of shochu, sake, and highballs with Japanese whisky.
Cost: Entrance is free, food starts at $4, drinks are $10
We are big believers that you never need a reason to celebrate: cat’s birthday? Your middle school’s 50th anniversary? Awesome! And now, curating the vibe for your party just got a whole lot easier. Big Night is a new boutique that stocks everything you need for dinner parties, birthday parties, or anything else your heart can imagine. Think specialty grocery items like artisanal cheeses and charcuterie, but also one-of-a-kind ceramics and French flatware. There’s even a chic backyard space that’s available for private events.
Cost: Prices vary
The Blue Man Group has been wowing and puzzling audiences since 1991 with a show that is equal parts music, comedy, and art—but without a single word uttered. With its 30th anniversary this year and having toured throughout the world since its original debut, this Friday marks the return of the group to their first home, the Astor Place Theater. And yes, the performers are bald and blue, but it’s better if the rest of the show is left a joyful surprise.
Cost: Tickets from $66
Ring in the New Year with lots of baked goods
Monday, September 6
Aren’t double-holiday long weekends the best? In addition to Labor Day, the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah, is also celebrated this Monday. Traditionally, apples and honey are served during the meal to welcome in a sweet new year. While you can certainly scoop up some wonderful local varieties at our city’s farmers’ markets, many restaurants are also rolling out delicious specials. Il Buco Alimentari & Vineria will be selling a gift package with a loaf of challah, six Honey Crisp apples, and Westwind Orchard’s raw honey. For gluten-free friends, try By The Way Bakery’s Shana Tova cake, an apple-flavored cake that’s decorated like a giant fruit. For a full feast, order Tanabel’s Syrian Rosh Hashanah seder, which comes with everything from marinated eggplant with pomegranate seeds to braised beef short ribs. And, as any New Yorker worth their babka knows, there is nowhere better to snag Jewish holiday goodies than at Breads Bakery.
Cost: Prices vary
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.
Best new restaurants in NYC
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:
Meet in Midtown for Hunanese
Blue Willow / 40 W. 56th St.
When this terrific Hunan restaurant opened last year just down the street from Trump Tower, the owners had trouble attracting customers because security arrangements limited access to the block. But true fans of Hunan cuisine — which can be just as spicy as Sichuan, with a broader array of sharp flavors — have a way of sniffing out talent and overcoming obstacles in their path, and Blue Willow gradually became a word-of-mouth hit, especially among Chinese Americans. Now, with the barriers gone, the restaurant draws diners looking for dishes like house-smoked Hunan bacon (thick swatches of pork belly stir-fried with cloves of garlic) and “snow red greens” (minced mustard greens riddled with pickled red chiles). —R.C.S.
Share Thai Disco Fries at a New-Wave Diner
Thai Diner / 186 Mott St.
It’s clear while sitting at Thai Diner’s packed outdoor setup on Mott and Kenmare that Nolita, a reliably bustling corner of the city that felt eerily quiet throughout the past year, is very much alive these days. At this, Ann Redding and Matt Danzer’s latest spot, they’re serving Uncle Boons (RIP) favorites, such as khao soi and crab fried rice, alongside cheeseburgers, fried-chicken sandwiches, and Thai disco fries smothered in curry sauce, which we recommend pairing with a notably strong martini while ogling the ecstatic-to-finally-be-out-and-about passersby. —R.P.S.
Gorge on Russian Spa Food
Matryoshka at Wall Street Bath & Spa 88 / 88 Fulton St.
The Russian bathhouse isn’t just about cleansing; it’s about restoring and nourishing, which is why the indoor-dining ban hit the banya so hard. You were permitted to sweat it out on Fulton Street, but you couldn’t seek rejuvenation through hot borscht and cold beer. Now, after a few rounds in a sauna set to a screaming 220 degrees, you can once again bring your body back to life in a cafeteria with other dripping-wet patrons wearing very few clothes. Consider filling up on slippery Siberian pelmeni drenched in butter, fried potatoes slicked with enough garlic to qualify as a medicinal supplement, and Georgian lamb soup that will scorch your tongue for days, which means it’s precisely the right temperature.—R.P.S.
Also see Eater New York’s interactive map that highlights
these 66 restaurants that deserve your attention.