WHERE TO EAT Fried chicken & foxy Ladies
Beyond bagels and pizza, New York City cuisine is hard to nail down. No matter which nabe you’re noshing in, there will be something for everyone.
Cowgirl Hall of Fame 519 Hudson St (at 10th St), cowgirlnyc.com. It’s like being on the frontier except with more kitsch, cuter waitresses, people-watching and giant pitchers of flavored margaritas. And brunch ’til 4!
down-Under Meets Soho
Ruby’s Cafe 219 Mulberry St (at Spring St), rubyscafe.us. Tiny Australian-owned joint with a neighborhood vibe, affordable prices and an unbeatable beer-and-burger special.
Best Place to Run into NYC Media Moguls (or Their Assistants)
Balthazar 80 Spring St (between Crosby & Lafayette), balthazarny.com. Around the corner from every new media venture in the city and a hot-spot for high-status French food. You should get your own latte, though.
Cuisine Avec Le Je Ne Sais Quoi
Yo In Yo Out 1569 Lexington Ave (between 100th and 101st Sts), yoinyoout.com. This super-friendly lesbian-owned restaurant in Spanish Harlem serves up CEO Chef Yo’s French and Mediterranean-inspired specialties.
Mexico Lindo 459 Second Ave (at 26th St), mexicolindonyc.com. Tasty margaritas, plentiful sangria, live boleros and fine Mexican cuisine. How do you say “more, please?” in Spanish?
The Buckle of the Borscht Belt
Veselka 144 Second Ave (at 9th St), veselka.com. Ukrainian specialties like pierogies complement traditional options to please every single drunk person you could ever stumble in there with.
Waverly Diner 385 Avenue of the Americas (at Waverly). A New York classic for quick, typical diner fare or a morning coffee/paper perusal at single-seater booths.
Drink and a Dog
Grey’s Papaya 539 Eighth Ave (at 37th St) and 2090 Broadway (at 72nd St). The ongoing recession special—two hot dogs and a drink for under five bucks—remains one of the best deals in town.
Ladies who Lunch
Cafeteria 119 Seventh Ave (at 17th St), cafeteria group.com. Twenty-four-hours’ worth of inventive spins on comfort food and breakfast like macaroni and cheese and French toast. You may have to wait for a table, but there’s enough eye candy to keep you occupied.
Yaffa Cafe 97 St Marks Pl (between 1st Ave & Avenue A), yaffacafe.com. Just like in an eccentric neighbor’s tea shop with a cute back garden, even the lighting in this place is eclectic. Get hummus for everyone, or another of the menu items, including Veggie Curry, veggie burger or Berber Chicken.
NEW YORK STANDARDS
Pommes Frites 123 Second Ave (between St Marks & 7th St), pommesfrites.ws. Life-changing experience involving 20 varieties of french fries and a bajillion special dipping sauces. Side effects include praising Pommes Frites to everyone you know all the time.
Levain Bakery 167 W 74th St (at Amsterdam Ave), levainbakery.com. Rich and gooey chocolate chip walnut, dark chocolate chocolate chip, oatmeal raisin, dark chocolate peanut butter chip… the New York Times says they’ve got "the largest, most divine cookies in Manhattan.”
Shake Shack Madison Square Park (between Madison Ave & 23rd St), shakeshacknyc.com. You will be waiting in line (which you can monitor via "Shack Cam.") Do it with someone you love.
Joe’s Pizza 7 Carmine St (between Avenue Of The Americas & Minetta Ln), joespizza.com. Authentic New York pizza by the slice.
Magnolia Bakery 401 Bleecker (at W 11th St), magnoliabakery.com. Carrie Bradshaw accidentally made this place’s cupcakes super-famous. But they deserve it, and the banana pudding is an unsung hero.
Rice 292 Elizabeth St (between Houston & Bleecker Sts), riceny.com. Rice offers healthy, delicious and eclectic dishes with Asian, European, African, South American, Indian and Carribbean influences. Friendly to vegetarians, overall earth-lovers, and anyone watching wheat or dairy intake.
Pinkberry various locations, pinkberry.com. An LA import famous for its uniquely tart yogurt and fresh fruit toppings. Try the Cap’n Crunch on vanilla fro-yo.
Ethical Fast Food
Better Burger 178 Eighth Ave (at 19th St) or 561 Third Ave (at 37th St), betterburgernyc.com. Eating cheeseburgers here won’t make you feel like you’re betraying Food Inc. Juicy organic beef, turkey, ostrich or veggie burgers served with soy-cheese and smoothies! Takeout-friendly.
Romance in Bloom
Blossom 187 Ninth Ave (btwn 21st St & 22nd St), blossomnyc.com. This multi-award-winning spot offers organic vegan gourmet by candlelight. The romantic atmosphere is complemented by an organic wine list and a mouthwatering menu (even for carnivores!). Save room for dessert!
Not Your Mom’s Meatloaf
Josie’s 565 Third Ave (at 37th St) and 300 Amsterdam Ave (at 74th St), josiesnyc.com. The Upper West Side locale is white-tablecloth fancy and boasts an inventive menu. The all-veggie meatloaf is better than your Mom’s and the brunch is virtually perfect.
Nuthin’ But Muffin
Birdbath 145 Seventh Ave South (at Charles St), birdbathbakery.com. They deliver their goods from City Bakery to Birdbath locations via bike! Their shelves are built out of recycled paper! And the baked goodies are sweet too.
Babycakes 248 Broome St (between Orchard & Ludlow), babycakesnyc.com. It’s dedicated to "high quality, vegan, mostly organic and gluten-free confections." Dairy- and soy-free foodies are accommodated by spectacularly delicious cupcakes, cookie sandwiches and cakes.
Please Your Palate
Zen Palate 663 Ninth Ave (at 46th St), zenpalate.com. You can bring your own wine to the restaurant side of this multi-faceted Asian vegetarian legend, where pricier entrees are served, or get counter and smaller entrees at the takeout-oriented spot next door.
BRUNCH BITES (A.K.A PRIDE HANGOVER)
Served With Soul
Amy Ruth’s 113 W 116th St (between Lenox & Seventh Aves), amyruthsharlem.com. Famous soul-food palace with a serious waffle menu. You’ve been waiting your whole life to sample the "Rev Al Sharpton" (chicken and waffles), right?
Cafe Forànt 449 W 51st St (between 9th & 10th Aves), cafeforant.com. Two super-cute lesbians meet in Provincetown, move to NYC, and open a restaurant that serves brunch every single day. Don’t skip the apple tart tatin.
Nolita House 47 Houston St (between Mulberry & Mott Sts), nolitahouse.com. If you miss their killer happy hours or special Mac Daddy Tuesdays, catch Bluegrass Brunch for biscuits and gravy, baked french toast, New Orlean style shrimp and grits or low-carb eggs Benedict.
They Make Tofu Tasty
Good Enough to Eat 483 Amsterdam Ave (between 83rd & 84th Sts). Apple pancakes, vegan tofu scramble, BLT, homemade turkey sausage and strawberry almond waffles–and that’s just the beginning.
Zuzies 40-17 30th Ave (at 56th Ave), zuzies.com. Astoria’s newest snack shack, opening in July at the Mix, features fusion-focused nibbles like chipotle turkey meatloaf heroes, island citrus jalapeno burgers, Southwestern egg rolls and Zuzie’s’ signatures veggie burgers.
FLIRTY AND FANCY
Lo and Behold
Annisa Restaurant 13 Barrow St (at 4th St), annisa restaurant.com. Lesbian Top Chef Anita Lo’s restaurant recently relaunched after a fire, and the reviews are even better than before. Infusing French cruisine with Asian ingredients, Lo’s technique and modern style are so totally worth it. And all the wines are from female vinters!
Dell’Anima 38 Eighth St (at Jane St), dellanima.com. We saw Rachel Maddow here once, so you never know what could happen over a plate of risotto.
ONLY IN NEW YORK
White Horse Tavern 567 Hudson St (at 11th St), 212-989-3956. According to legend, Dylan Thomas drank 18 whiskeys here and then died. Maybe you should sit outside and think deep thoughts, but with sunshine and beer instead.
Stay for the Show
Angus 258 W 44th St (at Eighth Ave), angusmcindoe.com. Nosh on American fare, then stay to glimpse the Broadway stars who hang out there after the curtain falls around 11pm.
Get Lucky Tonight
Lucky Chengs 24 First Ave (between 1st & 2nd Sts), planetluckychengs.com. The food is mediocre, but you’re not there for the nibbles. The "interactive drag queen cabaret" is out-of-this world.
Beast 638 Bergen St (at Vanderbilt Ave), brooklynbeast.com. Lesbian-owned jewel in hip Prospect Heights offering an American spin on Mediteran-nean tapas and a hot weekly Girls’ Night.
Splash 50 W 17th St (between 5th & 6th Aves), splashbar.com. Musical Mondays at gay bar Splash attract a mixed-gender crowd of Broadway stars and fans. Recent appearances include Cheyenne Jackson, Kristen Chenoweth and Patti LuPone belting and dancing to Broadway showstoppers.
WHERE TO SHOP
New York is all about extremes: $500 can get you one shoe at Prada, or 5,000 animal-print thongs at Conway. You decide.
Century 21 22 Cortlandt St (between Church St & Broadway), c21stores.com. You might need a Valium afterwards, but this crowded mega-discount retailer richly rewards serious bargain hunters. Find up to 75 percent off on couture, pret-a-porter and casual collections.
UNIQLO 546 Broadway (at Spring St), uniqlo.com. With thousands of inexpensive, perfectly-folded cashmere sweaters and jeans in all colors of the rainbow, Uniqlo looks like the gayest store on Earth. "The Gap of Japan" is way cooler here than it apparently is there, and it’s planning a world takeover. Be first in line.
Macy’s Herald Square 34th St & 7th Ave, macys.com. You need to see it to believe it. That is all.
More to Love
Re/Dress NYC 109 Boerum Pl, redressnyc.com. The first vintage and resale clothing store for sizes 14 and up, this queer-owned destination caters to fierce fashionistas. Make this your number-one stop after a Park Slope brunch!
Reuse, Recycle, Resell
Zachary’s Smile 9 Greenwich Ave (between Christopher & West 10th Sts), zacharyssmile.com. Thrift store plus vintage plus a sewing machine, this boutique has one-of-a-kind re-structured clothing from recycled fabrics.
Columbia Consignment (52 Tiemann Pl, near 125th St & Broadway), pjdesigner@ yahoo.com. The best designer vintage and modern clothes on the Upper West Side and the only consignment/vintage store in the area, this brand-new women-owned-and-operated store has a casual, queer-friendly vibe and will even sell your clothes for you!
You’ve Been Framed
Fabulous Fanny’s 335 E 9th St (between 1st & 2nd Aves), store.fabulousfannys.com. Optical shop with a focus on antique eyewear, from poindexter frames to sexy cat’s-eyes.
Rags-a-Go-Go 218 W 14th St (beween 7th & 8th Aves), rags-a-gogo.com. Neighborhood lesbian icon Joshua Suzanne owns this notably clean, well-organized vintage store featuring steals and timeless duds.
Screaming Mimi’s 382 Lafayette St, screamingmimis.com. It’s been on a NYC fashionista’s to-do list since the Koch administration, featuring vintage threads from the ‘50s through the ‘90s, handcrafted jewlery, ready-to-wear collections and lots of vintage tees.
Pearl River Mart 477 Broadway (between Grand & Broome Sts), pearlriver.com. A bit pricier than it used to be, but still the best store in the world for Asian kitsch, kitchen wares, home decor, Buddha statues, clothes and imported foods.
Sustainable NYC 139 Ave A (at 9th St), sustainable-nyc.com. Local, organic, fair-trade, recycled, re-purposed, biodegradable, alt-energy: this place sells chocolate, cleaning supplies, beauty products, t-shirts, shoes, pet supplies and more.
Brown Paper Packages Tied with String
Muji 455 Broadway (between Grand & Howard Sts), muji.com. Minimalist style meets minimalist packaging at this Japanese chain with a boutique feel. Check out their travel gear section.
BETWEEN THE PAGES
Read for a Reason
Housingworks Bookstore & Cafè 126 Crosby St (between Houston & Prince Sts), housingworks.org. Cute coffee shop, used and new books, and super- special deals on publisher’s galleys and $1 book racks. Proceeds support AIDS services in NYC.
The Strand 828 Broadway (at 12th St), strandbooks.com. This three-story megastore is usually packed, but offers eight miles of new and used books to inspire hours of browsing.
Make Passes to Girls with Glasses
Bluestockings 172 Allen St (between Stanton & Rivington Sts), bluestockings.com. Independent feminist, lesbian bookstore, cafe and event space with serious roots and dedication to hard-to-find wimmin stuff. Good geek-girlwatching.
MORE HOT SPOTS:
Gift and Engagement Jewelry
Rony Tennenbaum 252 Mott St, ronytennenbaum.com. Make her say “I do” with one of Rony’s uniquely designed engagement rings. This will be a Pride to remember!
Best Indoor Shopping
Limelight Marketplace Sixth Ave (at 20th St), limelightmarketplace.com. Shop for cosmetics, locavore sweets and baby gifts in the latest Limelight incarnation, where high-end shops replace the Geiger Room.
St Mark’s Comics 11 St Mark’s Pl (between 2nd and 3rd Aves), stmarkscomics.com. With an extensive back-issue collection for digging, this is an NYC institution.
Renew Your ‘Do
Dickson Hairshop 137 Allen St (at Rivington St) serves faux hawks, crop cuts and side bangs (oh my!) Just a short walk uptown, there’s Astor Place Hair 2 Astor Pl (at Broadway) astorplacehairnyc.com, where you can get a haircut for $14. If you’re in the mood for a fancy treat, Yi Zhang at Jeff Merritt Hair Salon, 210 W 79th St, will make you feel like a star! At Crops For Girls 154 Orchard St (between Rivington & Stanton Sts), cropsforgirls.com, the name says it all.
They’re Playing Your Song
Rebel Rebel 319 Bleecker St (between Christopher & Grove Sts). One of the ‘hood’s few remaining independent vinyl-stocking record stores, this tiny shop has a bit of everything from unlabeled DJ mixes to the Smiths.
West Side Kids 498 Amsterdam Ave (at 84th St). Lesbian-owned and operated, West Side Kids’ dedication to ethnic and gender diversity is reflected in the product selection.
Aphrodisia Herb Shoppe 264 Bleecker St (between Cornelia & Jones Sts), aphrodisiaherb shoppe.com. Your eyes and nose will be transported back in time upon crossing the threshold and smelling the teas and spices at this unique herb shop.
Give the Gift of Gay
Rainbows & Triangles 192 Eighth Ave (at 19th St), rainbowsandtriangles.com. It’s gay Hallmark! Don’t let the leather scare you, there are lots of gifts, cards, candles and clothes to bring home to the gays in your ‘hood.
Double Your Fun
Pleasure Chest 156 Seventh Ave South (between Charles & Perry Sts), thepleasurechest.com. A classy spot, selling everything from top-of-the-line vibrators to bachelorette party supplies to sexy greeting cards.
Tic-Tac-Toe 161 W 4th St. Fishnet body stocking, strap-on, naughty maid outfit? Whatever you want, it’s packed right into this underground shop with a girly vibe.
Toys For Bois
Babeland 43 Mercer St (between Broome & Grand Sts), two other locations, babeland.com. The famously beloved Babeland is the lesbian-founded, -owned and -operated shop offering the best of everything with a feminist/queer bent.
Agent Provocateur 133 Mercer St (at Prince St), agentprovocateur.com. Coveted luxury lingerie at a VIP establishment with ultra-sexy advertising campaigns.
WHERE TO PLAY
NYC’s parks and outdoor activities are (mostly) free for the budget-conscious among us. Go soak up some Vitamin D.
OUTSIDE AND FREE
Riverside Park nycgovparks.org/sub_your_park/vt_riverside_park/vt_riverside_park.html. Stretching four miles from 72nd to 158th Streets along the Hudson River, it’s never crowded. The park has generous bike and running paths and plenty of outside waterfront seating.
Central Park, centralparknyc.org. This is the biggie: 50 acres of lawns, 26,000 trees, 150 acres of lakes and streams, 130 acres of woodlands, 26 ballfields, 21 playgrounds, 55 sculptures and monuments and 36 bridges. Picnic at Sheep’s Meadow, take the Carousel, visit the Alice in Wonderland statue and the Central Park Zoo. Try out Central Park Boating on the east side of park (between 74th & 75th Sts).
Shakespeare In The Park Central Park at 81st St, publictheater.org. From June 9 to August 1, catch either The Winter’s Tale or The Merchant of Venice, with, as always, stellar casts. It’a free, if you can stand in line for tickets
Coney Island 1208 Surf Ave (at W 12th St), coneyisland.com. Ride the Cyclone coaster, sit at the beach, have a hot dog and feel like you’re in some sort of confused time warp/emotional mashup of a day-trip.
Hudson River Park Composing multiple parks between Battery Park City and 49th St, with great views across the Hudson. The River to River Festival features free events all summer long.
Staten Island Ferry Whitehall Terminal/South Ferry, siferry.com. Get a commuter’s price– free–for a great view/ of the Statue of Liberty from the harbor.
Front Runners frny.org. All the Pride activities got you feeling tired? Reenergize on a run with the Big Apple’s best LGBT and ally athletes at Front Runners New York’s Lesbian and Gay Pride Run on June 26th.
Union Square 14th St and Union Square East/West. Shop at the Greenmarket on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays. We guarantee an active dog run, lots of punk kids, skaters, breakdancing, art for sale and office workers on their lunch breaks.
Walk The Brooklyn Bridge from Manhattan (at Park Row & Centre St) to Brooklyn or take the water taxi (nywatertaxi.com) from Wall Street straight to the Fulton Ferry pier to visit the Brooklyn Bridge Park (1 Main St, Brooklyn, brooklynbridgepark.com). This picturesque park provides stunning views of lower Manhattan, as well as concerts and free outdoor movies.
CHEAP OUTDOOR THRILLS
South Street Seaport Museum, southstreetseaportmuseum.org. Sail aboard the Schooner Pioneer at 3pm or 7pm Tues–Fri or 1pm, 4pm and 7pm on Sat and Sun. Drink Champagne and feel that all is well with the world.
The Cloisters 99 Margaret Corbin Dr, metmuseum. org/cloisters. One of NYC’s best-kept secrets. The Romanesque architecture, medieval objets d’art and outdoor gardens are not to be missed.
Brooklyn Botanic Gardens 1000 Washington Ave, bbg.org. A Japanese Hill and Pond Garden, native flora, lily ponds and groves of flowering trees await at Brooklyn’s verdant jewel.
Bike and Roll Bike Rental 557 Twelfth Ave (at 43rd St), bikeandroll.com. The best way to see Hudson River Park.
PCS Limousine 1-866-573-4PCS, pcslimo.com. If you want to treat yourself or your special someone to a unique experience, take in all NYC has to offer from the back of these luxury wheels.
Empire State Building 350 Fifth Ave, esbnyc.com. Wait in line for a long time to visit the outside observatory, or cough up $41.52 for an Express Pass ticket.
Wanna see the Statue of Liberty? Check out the traditional Statue Cruises (statuecruises.com) or try The Beast Pier 83, W 42nd St (at 12th Ave). The Beast is a "rollercoaster, water-ride, and 30 fun-filled minutes of high-speed cruising all at once" — stop for a quick photo op at the Statue of Liberty with your captains "Mad Dog" and "Wild Thing."
The Gothamologist (thegothamologist.com) offers custom walking tours including “Homo-hattan”— its motto is "Out of the closet and into the streets!"
New York Historical Society 170 Central Park West (between 76th & 77th Sts), nyhistory.org. Through July 4th, Grateful Dead: Now Playing uses items from the San Francisco Grateful Dead Archives to trace the group’s history, New York trips and political impact.
Museum of Modern Art 11 W 53rd St (between 5th & 6th Aves), moma.org. Currently showing Picasso: Themes & Variations, Pictures by Women: A History of Modern Photography and photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson’s amazing work. Adult admission is pretty steep ($20), but if you dig up your school ID or AARP card, you can get $12 tickets.
Metropolitan Museum of Art 1000 Fifth Ave (at 82nd St), metmuseum.org. Currently showing Picasso in the Metropolitan Museum and American Woman: Fashioning a National Identity in addition to its legendary not-to-miss permanent collection.
Brooklyn Museum 200 Eastern Parkway (near Washington Ave), brooklynmuseum.org. A gem of the outer boroughs, the museum is currently showing American High Style: Fashioning a National Collection, which is all about the ladies.
NY Liberty/ WNBA at Madison Square Garden wnba.com/liberty. Watch our home team play against the Connecticut Suns on June 27 at 4pm. More game dates on the web.
Lesbian Herstory Archives 484 14th St, Brooklyn, lesbianherstoryarchives.org. In their words, “If a lesbian did it, we collect it.” Call ahead or check the website for hours before dropping in.
See a Show: Get your tickets online (broadwayworld.com), at the box office or at the Discount Broadway Tickets At TKTS Father Duffy Sq (at Broadway and 47th St), where you can pick up same day tickets to hot Broadway and off-Broadway shows at up to 50 percent off.
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