NYC, summer looks good on you!
I’m Angela, your Eventbrite City Manager.
While the Farmer’s Almanac says this season will be as brutally hot as our months of polar vortex were cold, we at Eventbrite are so over staying inside. From rooftop cocktails to beachy getaways and free concerts in the park, something special happens when the mercury rises here. So, don’t just sit there—try something new, appreciate the favorites, and fall in love with summer in the city all over again.
NYC’S BEST SUMMER EATS
Let’s face it: We have the best eats yearround. But, from food festivals to seasonal fare, everything tastes better in the summer.
BITES WORTH GOING OUT OF YOUR WAY FOR
Red Hook Lobster PoundEast Village, Manhattan
Too lazy to go all the way to Red Hook for a lobster roll? Their new East Village outpost will do the trick! The $16 Maine Style lobster roll is worth every penny.
Cafe El PresidenteFlatiron, MANHATTAN
In a neighborhood previously lacking a solid taco joint, this spot is reasonably priced, well-decorated, and tasty. Sample one of each taco with your buds, or check out the Quesadilla Maiz Azul.
Roll 'N RoasterSheepshead Bay, Brooklyn
We know it’s far, but Emmons Ave is bustling in the warmer months, and the ridiculous 70’s decor of this joint just screams “summer.” Get the roast beef sandwich with cheese and onions, and don’t forget the cheese fries.
Habana OutpostFort Greene, Brooklyn
Cafe Habana’s solar-powered Brooklyn outpost is even better than the original. The outdoor seating lends itself to an unpretentious party vibe, and the corn and margaritas are summer’s favorite snack.
Do or DineBedStuy, Brooklyn
You haven’t truly lived until you’ve tried a foie gras donut. Also, there’s live music during brunch all summer long. ‘Nuff said.
Bunna CafeBushwick, Brooklyn
This former vegan-friendly Ethiopian outfit finally found a home! Go with a friend and get the “Feast for Two”— everything on the menu is awesome.
OddFellows Ice Cream Co.Williamsburg, Brooklyn & East Village
It’s not summer without ice cream all day, everyday. Known for their creative flavors, OddFellows makes a peanut butter and jelly ice cream that tastes like the inside of a Snickers ice cream bar with jam.
TaldePark Slope, Brooklyn
Dayum, Dale Talde. Created by one of Brooklyn’s favorite chefs, Talde wins year-round. But, their spicy lemongrass chicken is just what summer should taste like: light and fresh with a kick.
Tortas Neza (Juan Bar)Jackson Heights, Queens
Nothing is more NYC than a guy serving tortas out of a window at a bar. Grab a sandwich to-go at this Roosevelt & 97th spot, and eat in the plaza under the 103rd-Corona Plaza stop on the 7 train.
Edible Brooklyn & Edible Manhattan serve up kick-ass food events all summer long. We’re really looking forward to this no-heat feast at Brooklyn Brewery in June.
Kind of like Thanksgiving in September, it’s totally acceptable at the Vendy’s to eat until you pop a button off your skinny jeans. A street food showcase and intense cook-off between the best sidewalk chefs, this year’s 10th anniversary event will be hosted at Governors Island.
The concept is simple, but a hit. On select Tuesday nights throughout the summer, notable chefs get down-and-dirty on the BBQ at Good Company in Williamsburg. Event-goers throw down $10 for a plate of food and a beer, and party the night away in the backyard.
Good news: Brooklyn Night Bazaar is keeping their doors open through the summer! Not only do they now have a full liquor license, but they’re offering “Taste Passes,” which gets you fast-track entrance, a drink, and five tastings from assorted food vendors.
Despite serving a vegan-only menu, these guys are crazy popular among all crowds. Their award- winning Vanilla Bourbon Creme Brulee Donuts are impossible to pass up. Look out for their new souped-up truck roaming the NYC streets this summer.
An empanada shack so good, it’s worth the walk through Times Square! Although there’s something on the menu for everyone, the Argentine empanada is the most popular pick.
King of Falafel
Freddy Zeidaies is kind of a local legend, running his falafel stand with all the love you would want put into your lunch. While he’s known for his fresh falafel, his chicken shawarma is the true gem.
Red Hook Ballfield Vendors
Summer would not be complete without a trip to the Red Hook Ballfield vendors. Serving up Latin-American treats, from El Salvadorian pupusas to fried Mexican chicharones, you could spend an entire afternoon stuffing your face with these family recipes and catching the breeze off the bay.
Keep calm and curry on, people! Love Mamak brings together Malay and Indian street food styles in Williamsburg on most weeknights. Their most popular item is the Chicken Rendang—it’s packed full of sweet, tangy, peanutty goodness.
FOOD TRUCK FAVORITES
Curated by the fine folks from the Vendy Awards
WHERE AND WHAT TO SIP THIS SUMMER
While many of us appreciate a good daytime drink, this activity gets exponentially more enjoyable in the warmer months, when backyard patios and rooftop joints offer us a sweet escape. Here are picks for places to get saucy this summer:
The GarretWest Village, MANHATTAN
Want fries with that? This bar just opened up on Bleecker Street and is kind of a secret—you have to go through Five Guys and take the stairs at the back to enter!
Night of JoyWilliamsburg, Brooklyn
Gorgeous living-room-inspired date vibes downstairs, and a large open roof with a bar upstairs. Perfect for lounging in the sunshine and getting your pre-game on.
The DrinkEast Williamsburg, Brooklyn
A Maritime wonderland with a cute back patio, this neighborhood hangout is a great place to grab a cold glass of seasonal punch.
One Last ShagBedStuy, Brooklyn
A solid cocktail list and roster of great DJs adds to the charm of this tiki-inspired bar. Most of all, the backyard is bomb.
Lavender LakeGowanus, Brooklyn
Don’t let this bar’s namesake, the crazy polluted Gowanus Canal, scare you off. Lavender Lake has the most stylish backyard in Brooklyn, plus delicious craft cocktails and gourmet eats.
Greenwood ParkSouth Slope, Brooklyn
This massive indoor/outdoor restaurant and bar used to be a gas station. Now, it’s host to bocce courts, picnic tables, 60 beer tap lines, and fresh summery cocktails.
BEST WEEKEND DAY DRINKING
The LibraryEast Village, Manhattan
We don’t care that you’re dark and dirty… never leave us, Library! This place has the cheapest drinks and the best jukebox in the city. Find it by the unicorn in the window.
Gowanus Yacht ClubCarroll Gardens, Brooklyn
This no-frills seasonal joint is entirely outdoors and has great service for the price of food and drinks. Give the bartender $5, ask for a “random grab,” and thank us later.
Sunny's BarRed Hook, Brooklyn
More than you could ever ask for in a dive bar. It’s right on the water, drinks are dirt cheap, and it’s dog friendly. Plus, there’s occasional live entertainment!
Le Bain at The Standard,Meatpacking, MANHATTAN
Sure, it draws a touristy crowd. But, there’s no dispute that The Standard has excellent bartenders and a spectacular view.
Refinery HotelMidtown, Manhattan
While the cocktails here are as lovely as the views, our favorite thing on the drink menu is the watermelon beer.
McCarren Hotel & PoolWilliamsburg, Brooklyn
Pay a flat fee for access to their saltwater pool, towel service, and a glass of rosé. They even have WiFi, so you can pretend to work here, too.
Brooklyn Bridge Park Pop-Up PoolBrooklyn Heights, Brooklyn
While this isn’t exactly a bar, the free public pool on Pier 2 has amazing views. Cool off with a beverage (adult or not!) on the sandy “beach” and remind yourself how amazing our city is.
AlmaColumbia Waterfront, Brooklyn
They don’t take reservations for the rooftop, so show up right as they open for dinner at 5:30—or be prepared to wait. Drink margaritas and indulge in their amazing eats until the sun sets over the skyline.
LEAVE THE APARTMENT
Between the smell of hot garbage and stranger sweat on the subway, sometimes, we all just need a break. Luckily, you can get out of the city without ever leaving town—and greater escapes are usually just a train ride away.
This is a branch of the Met even many locals fail to enjoy. If you’re into a shorter trip, hop on the subway and enjoy the amazing medieval art and architecture overlooking the Hudson River.
Snug Harbor Botanical GardensStaten Island
The Staten Island Ferry is a fun and free way to get great city views. Snug Harbor Botanical Garden is a short bus ride from the ferry terminal, where you’ll quickly forget you’re in the city at all. Don’t knock it ‘til you try it!
THE BEACH BUS IS BACK! Pre-game on this fast and cheap ride with your buds. In addition to beach lounging, your agenda should include: tacos from Rockaway Taco, frozen sangria (yes, it’s a booze slushy) from Caracas, and partying at Playland Motel.
Less developed than Coney Island; try biking from the 6 train to this beach. When things get busier in the warmer months, take advantage of the quiet nature trails. Feeling adventurous? There’s a nude beach in Section 1—no joke.
The views of Manhattan and Queens are gorgeous, and the air tram is reason enough to go. Be sure to visit Four Freedoms Park at the southern tip of the island—you’ll feel like you’re on a giant ship in the middle of the East River. Ahoy, Matey!
OUTSIDE CITY LIMITS
Lighthouse BeachFire Island, NY (Long Island)
Named for the nearby lighthouse, this is the largest clothing-optional beach in New York. It draws a fun and accepting crowd, which is probably why a visit to Fire Island is a right of passage for many New Yorkers.
Asbury ParkNEW JERSEY
Like many parts of NYC, this New Jersey beach town has experienced a major transformation in recent years. Located two hours from Penn Station on NJ Transit, Asbury Park is home to a bunch of great boardwalk restaurants and legendary music venues. Plus, The Empress Hotel’s gay club, Paradise, has fabulous karaoke nights every Thursday and Sunday.
Only 70 minutes away from Grand Central Station on Metro North, Croton-on-Hudson has many peaceful hiking trails—most notably, the breathtaking Croton Dam. Don’t go home without trying ice cream at The Blue Pig.
Slightly further into the Hudson River Valley, Beacon is still only 80 minutes away from Grand Central Station on Metro North. Spend some time at the Dia:Beacon museum before checking out the cute little restaurant scene on Main Street. Plus, the Storm King Art Center isn’t too far!
New PaltzNEW YORK
Farthest from the city, New Paltz offers amazing spots for hiking and camping. Grab breakfast at Main Street Bistro, spend the day on the trails at Mohonk Preserve, and share a pint with your hiking buddies at The Gilded Otter.
PARTIES YOU CAN’T MISS
These summer parties have a little something for everyone, all summer long.
After the loss of the Gowanus Grove location, Mister Sunday has moved to Sunset Park. This daytime party is the epitome of summer fun: drinking in the sunshine, working on your tan, and dancing to deep house, techno, and disco tracks.
Couch Sessions: Stay GoldOngoing
These parties start during the day, and go deep into the night! Once a month during the summer in Brooklyn, local lifestyle blog, Couch Sessions, throws a bash with carefully curated lineups of up-and-coming artists—along with food, booze, and quirky giveaways.
Central Park Dance SkateWEEKLY
Hosted by the Central Park Dance Skaters Association, rollerskate to DJs in Central Park on Saturdays and Sundays all season long. BYOB (blades, or skates, that is) and find outdoor dancing at after parties nearby.
These parties aren’t limited to summertime, but they always have a few outdoor-specific events in the warmer months. It’s run by a cat-masked art collective that believes in the artistic power of dance. Be prepared for themed parties, dress up, and good times.
Be prepared for the red carpet treatment in June for pride month. This super inclusive event features amazing local DJs, and each party has a QUEEN theme (i.e. QUEEN OF SUMMER). Be sure to say hello to the Queen of Honor, who is usually a respected performer or community member.
Summer Solstice: Yoga in Times SquareJune 21
Practice your “mind over madness” techniques at this overwhelmingly popular and free yoga fest in the heart of Times Square. Not to be a super cheeseball, but this gathering of hundreds of yogis in the middle of the busiest intersection in the city captures the true beauty of living here.
While there are hundreds of Pride events throughout the city in June, our march down 5th Avenue and through The Village is the biggest pride celebration in the world. Also check out the annual street fair, PrideFest, for great live music and vendors.
Summer StreetsAugust 2, 9, & 16
When else can you ride a zipline through the city streets and grab a frozen, chocolate-covered banana afterward? For three consecutive Saturdays in summer, seven miles of Manhattan’s streets are opened up for everyone to play, run, walk, bike, and even zipline on. Tip: Start early.
Sweet Spot FestivalAUGUST 2 & 30
It’s a mini music festival, dance party, and outdoor flea market in Harlem—all rolled into one. This street celebration is the best place to find all kinds of trinkets, from jewelry and clothing to CDs. Shop while you eat and soak up live music and DJ sets.
NYC’S SUMMER CONCERT LIST
What live shows are worth a spot on your summer calendar? Get started with these crowd-pleasers.
Central Park Summer StageVarious dates, May-September
All summer long, there are free and benefit concerts in the middle of one of the most famous parks in the world. Artists this year include: Conor Oberst, Counting Crows, Phil Lesh, Neon Trees, and John Butler Trio.
Celebrate BrooklynVarious dates, June-August
With a kickoff by Janelle Monae, and Robyn playing in August, Celebrate Brooklyn is back for another exciting season of free and benefit concerts. Other notable acts include: St. Vincent, The Dum Dum Girls, Deltron 3030, and Talib Kweli.
This local favorite will be returning to Randall’s Island with a bang in 2014. There are 80 acts over three days, including: OutKast, Jack White, Vampire Weekend, The Strokes, Phoenix, The Kills, Foster the People, and Disclosure. Cross your fingers for good weather, people.
This celebration of film, innovation, and music keeps getting better with more massive outdoor shows on the roster this year. Snatch up tickets to see Beirut, Thee Oh Sees, The War On Drugs, and CHVRCHES on the free/cheap.
Make Music New YorkJune 21
This free, all-day outdoor music festival happens across the city on the longest day of the year. Wander around and hear live jazz, DJs, marching bands, and more. Make Music also takes over Pier 1 on Staten Island on the same day for an all-ages free punk rock blowout.
Madison Square Park Oval Lawn SeriesEvery Wednesday
This free summer series is back with a kickoff show by Nicole Atkins on June 18, who is also playing Celebrate Brooklyn with Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds.
Soul SummitEvery Sunday
This massive weekly event in Fort Greene Park features classic house music and some of the most talented dancers you’ve ever seen.
Brooklyn Hip-Hop FestivalJuly 9-12
Celebrating its 10th anniversary, the week-long event hosted by Brooklyn Bodega will feature performances by Jay Electronica, Raekwon, Joey Bada$$, CJ Fly, and the rest of the Pro Era gang.
Hudson River Park’s River RocksJuly 10 & 24, August 7
Staged on the waterfront, Hudson River Park’s signature free concert series on Pier 84 is a solid event, with Wild Beasts, Temples, and Teenage Fanclub headlining this year.
4Knots FestivalJuly 12
Free and for all ages, the Village Voice’s 2014 two-stage show will feature Those Darlins, Speedy Ortiz, Radkey, Viet Cong (ex-Women), Nude Beach, Juan Wauters, and more.
Drawing inspiration from the legendary full moon parties of Thailand, MATTE’s Full Moon captures NYC’s unique edge and features live music, DJs, and food.
Sweat, skate, mosh, and shout it out at this massive multi-cultural festival. The lineup hasn’t been released yet, but it’s pretty much a guaranteed good time.
SUMMER SESSION: BEST CLASSES & WORKSHOPS
Learning gets way more awesome when it’s on your own time. Try these new skills on for size this summer.
These intimate cooking classes inside Whole Foods Market on Bowery cover everything from basic knife skills, to cultural favorites and dining on a dime.
From maker meetups to tastings, brush up on your fine food skills and impress your friends at the next summer soiree.
No backyard? No problem. Take advantage of these urban-friendly classes on floral arrangements, terrariums, and other gardening techniques.
History & Exploration
Hosting unique gatherings and walking tours in tucked-away locations around NYC, Obscura Society’s past events include lock-picking classes and tours of the New York Marble Cemetery, Newtown Creek, and Woodlawn Cemetery. We can’t wait to see what they have up their sleeves this summer.
Babeland’s many classes and meetups are hard to explain in G-rated terms, but these ultra-welcoming community events will help you work on your “night moves.” No, we’re not talking about dancing.
Brush up on your photography skills or learn advanced techniques at these free classes.
This socially conscious community hosts a multitude of workshops to help people build startups, careers, and lives of purpose and impact.
Tech & Design
With business, design, and technology classes for all skill levels, General Assembly’s curation of content and teachers is unmatched.
WORK UP A SWEAT
This internationally renowned contemporary dance company opens its doors for weekly and monthly movement classes, yoga workshops, open rehearsals, and more.
Supporting all types of fitness fans, City Sports hosts free classes and events all summer long.
Locals Surf SchoolSurfing
You don’t need some schmancy Hawaii vacation to learn how to surf. Learn from locals on the Rockaways! If you really want to fit in, grab a pina colada from Connolly’s Bar afterward.
YogaFree Yoga in Prospect Park
Lululemon and local yoga studio, Bend & Bloom, collaborated to create these free, open-level outdoor classes. The teachers are always top-notch, and there’s nothing like yoga in the fresh air.
Hit the streets in search for everything from artisan eats to handmade clothing and accessories.
Grand Army Plaza GreenmarketProspect Heights, Brooklyn
Saturdays ∙ 8AM-4PM
Go hungry and wander around sampling local and organic fare from the incredible farm vendors. Then, stock your picnic basket with focaccia bread, fresh goat cheese, and fruit before relaxing and lunching in Prospect Park.
SmorgasburgWilliamsburg & Brooklyn Heights, Brooklyn
Saturdays & Sundays ∙ 11AM-6PM
Sample an amazing variety of some of NYC’s best food outposts every Saturday at East River State Park, or Sundays at Brooklyn Bridge Park’s Pier 5. Bring a friend and split everything so you can try it all. Don’t miss the fishcakes from Mr. Cutters!
LIC FleaLIC, Queens
Saturdays & Sundays ∙ 10AM-6PM
This chilled-out version of Smorgasburg features lots of local Queens vendors you may otherwise miss—plus Robicelli’s, who make some of the best damn cupcakes in the city. Find all of this at the big parking lot on the corner of 46th Avenue and 5th Street.
Union Square GreenmarketFlatiron
Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays & Saturdays ∙ 8AM-6PM
Open all year round, this giant market is best in the summer. You can get all your fresh produce, eggs, and even gluten-free bread here. Plus, it’s a great spot for people watching.
Renegade Craft FairWilliamsburg, Brooklyn
September 13 & 14, 11AM-6PM
This traveling craft fair has been gracing Brooklyn for eleven years now, and still features a good mix of both trusted favorites and new makers. Wear comfy shoes and bring cash when you go to their new location at 50 Kent.
Indonesian Food BazaarAstoria, Queens
Select Summer Weekends
Happening about once a month in the parking lot of the Masjid Al-Hikmah Mosque, locals and well-fed travelers agree that this is where the city’s best Indonesian eats can be found.
ANGELA’S FAVORITE THINGS
Get a little inspiration for your own summer bucket list by checking out my must-do summer schedule.
ON MY CALENDAR:
This quasi-legendary underground variety show features awesome local comedy, burlesque, and performance art while also serving as launch parties for the up-and-coming Brooklyn-based art mag, Hausfrau. Be prepared to drink, laugh, and perhaps blush a little, too!
Let’s be real: Andover isn’t anywhere near the city. But, that’s the point. If you’re looking for a true adventure this summer, Tough Mudder is where it’s at.
Hosted inside Major League Baseball stadiums across the country, this festival hits Citi Field this July. With hundreds of craft brew samples and bacon-infused tastes, there’s a lot to get excited about.
Use code “EventbriteNYC” for $10 off GA & VIP tickets.
Can you tell I love bacon? Bring your own blanket and spread out on the Red Hook waterfront while enjoying local eats, beer, cooking demos, and live music.
Maker FaireSeptember 20-21
The perfect way to send off summer! This science-meets-county fair is an all-ages festival for tech enthusiasts, crafters, tinkerers, and more. Between the life-sized version of Mousetrap, robo-cupcake-mobiles, and music made with Tesla coils, this is a creative’s paradise.
SPECIAL THANKS for contributions by:
Lenora Jayne Thornton