It’s no secret that New York doesn’t exactly have a surplus of well-appointed bathrooms that are accessible to the public. A quarter of every New Yorker's life is probably spent waiting in line at Starbucks or trying to remember where the biggest major chain retailer is.
One person who’s hoping to help Gothamites in their never-ending quest to find a suitable rest stop is Andrew Maksymowicz. He’s the man behind Poopers Guide, an Instagram account that reviews bathrooms based on criteria like cleanliness, comfort, accessibility, size and amenities. The project actually started ten years ago, and resulted in a 26-page guide to bathrooms that Maksymowicz still keeps under his bed.
“I started Poopers Guide while I was at college in Rhode Island,” said Maksymowicz. “I would visit my family in NYC and be walking around thinking, ‘Why is it so hard to find a place to pee in the city that has everything?”
Before reviewing any bathrooms, Maksymowicz asks himself if anyone from the street would be able to walk in and use it. If so, he gives it a go. (The only place he's ever been kicked out of was Motorino.) A few of his surprising finds so far have been a semi-functional bidet in an East Village sushi place and the bathroom in the back of Victoria’s Secret in Herald Square.
“My current number one pick for the best restroom in New York is in the Flatiron,” he says. “Between the private stalls in the lobby and spacious flow of the downstairs restroom. It’s got all granite, dark word. It’s the perfect atmosphere in my opinion.”
Irving Farm -Poopers Rating 💩2.4/5 Location: Upper East Side Ages 4+ Too Dirty for a family and no changing table Poopers Expert Advice (PEA) - This restroom feels clunky, it has an ugly sign and no style but wants to be so much more. Almost Irving...almost 🚽Cleanliness (CL) 2 - Just because you make nice coffee doesn't mean you know how to pick up trash and keep a clean bathroom 🚽Comfort (CO) 2 - Again the bathroom doesn't depict the quality of the shop. Feels like you're pooping in a doctors examination room 🚽Accessibility (AC) 3 - If you're nearby it is fairly easy to access, but with only one stall the wait can be a little long at times 🚽Size (SZ) 3 - For a one toilet restroom the size is nice, but it's been said it's not the size but how you use it 🚽Amenities (AM) 2 -I would say besides the maddening slow paper electric paper towel dispenser - the saving grace of the bathroom is the dresser to put your bag on so it won't be on the floor and the long sitting/bathroom waiting area outside the door.
Shake Shack - Poopers Rating 💩3.8/5 Location: Midtown West Ages Newborn + Clean changing tables Poopers Expert Advice (PEA) - Nestled between Herald Square and Times Square, this restroom will be able able to serve your needs. 🚽Cleanliness (CL) 4 - Yup it's fresh inside ...just like the food 🚽Comfort (CO) 3-It's cozy...but kinda lonely too because it's a little too big. While I was testing the bathroom out I hoped I had locked the door....If you don't lock the door, there is a long distance to walk with your pants down to lock it 🚽Accessibility (AC) 3 - So this location is busy, so the restrooms may be busy...which if you're not a paying customer could work out well because you won't need a code to get in but jus wait for someone to leave 🚽Size (SZ) 5 - Perhaps the designer planned on making these bathrooms apartments at first 🚽Amenities (AM) 4 -Auto hand dryer, the quiet quality ones that dry your hands effectively, handicapped railings, soap and a changing table.
Miss Flava -Poopers Rating 💩3.2/5 Location: Williamsburg Ages 6+ No changing table Poopers Expert Advice (PEA) - This is an awesome bathroom, graffitied walls and color make this a unique and memorable trip to a restroom. 🚽Cleanliness (CL) 4-If you look past the walls, which add an urban Brooklyn vibe, you'll notice no dust bunnies or clumps of trash. 🚽Comfort (CO) 4 - I personally enjoyed my visit here, the room wraps you up in the if the Warriors (movie not NBA team) met Miami feel 🚽Accessibility (AC) 3 - Staff is super friendly, the restroom is located in the back of the restaurant so you'll have to ask to use the restroom if you're not a customer. You can do it! 🚽Size (SZ) 3 - There are two restrooms, a Pink room and a Blue room. The pink room is roomy, the blue room is more for slender folk, the blue bathroom door itself is a challenge to walk around. 🚽Amenities (AM) 2 - Soap. Paper towels. A mirror on the back of the bathroom door.
Urban Outfitters / UO Cafe -Poopers Rating 💩3.4/5 Location: Herald Square Ages 4+ No changing tables Poopers Expert Advice (PEA) -Shopping around 34th street presents multiple challenges, it costs money, time, and you will have to go to the bathroom. That's why I like to frequent Urban Outfitters for my potty needs 🚽Cleanliness (CL) 4 - Considering this is at the start of tourist migration uptown towards Times Square, UO offers a clean space. 🚽Comfort (CO) 4- You'll be sitting on the toilet with disbelief that you're in Herald Square, if you listen closely you might be able to hear a cricket in time square 🚽Accessibility (AC) 3 - When looking at the entrance to the bathroom hallway, you'll be met with a 'for customers only' sign. But you can ask the cafe worker for the key and simply say you're shopping at UO 🚽Size (SZ) 4 - The stalls are spacious and cozy, it's also good for a family that doesn't feel safe leaving their kids unattended, children can wait in the hallway that you'll need a key to enter 🚽Amenities (AM) 2 - Paper towels, extra toilet paper piled up around you, the restroom offers everything you need, but nothing extra
Juanchi's - Poopers Rating 💩3.4 Location: Williamsburg Ages 4+ No changing table Poopers Expert Advice (PEA) - If you're in Brooklyn and need a place to take a break, this is a MUST USE spot, and please, please stay for the food. It's amazing 🚽Cleanliness (CL) 4 - This place sparkles, it's clean and ready to use 🚽Comfort (CO) 3- The inside makes me feel like I'm pooping in an old South American town, downside is that the bathroom fits one person at a time 🚽Accessibility (AC) 5 - Just walk in off the street, you'll be met by super friendly staff - who I imagine won't ask you to buy something, but you should get some fries 🚽Size (SZ) 2 -Small, yet cozy restroom, enough room to fit inside with a bulky winter coat and backpack 🚽Amenities (AM) 3- Wonderful scented Myers soap, hand dryer and a funky cool bucket sink add to the experience - Happy Pooping