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Ricky Velez
Photograph: Courtesy Chris Caso

Comedian Ricky Velez shares his favorite spots in Queens

The NYC native tells Time Out his go-to spots before the premiere of his new comedy special.

Will Gleason
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Will Gleason
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Queens native and stand-up comedian Ricky Velez is breaking out on his own this month with his own stand-up special being released on HBO and HBO Max on October 23. New Yorkers may recognize Velez from his role as Pete Davidson’s best friend on The King of Staten Island or from performances at local comedy clubs all over town. Now, his own comedy special, executive produced by Judd Apatow and Pete Davidson, is set to premiere on Saturday, covering topics ranging from drug dealers to fatherhood. (It was also shot right here in NYC at Brooklyn Steel.)

Before the special’s premiere this weekend, Time Out spoke with Velez to get some of his favorite go-to spots in his home borough—from creepy grave sites and solid sandwich spots to, uh, a Cheesecake Factory. Check it out below and catch Ricky Velez: Here’s Everything on October 23.

Cherry Valley

"Easily has the best sandwiches if you smoke weed in New York City. The “Corona” is my go-to: breaded chicken, bacon, onion rings, BBQ sauce on a hero with nacho cheese. You can buy basically anything you need from a pack of cigs to a handball at this deli. It’s also a late-night meetup spot, so time to time you get to watch a good drunken fight while enjoying your sandwich." 12-29 150th St., Whitestone

Harry Houdini’s Grave

"Have you ever gotten stoned and gone to a cemetery as a teenager? I did with my friends and we ran into 15 to 20 magicians hanging out at a grave site. After some investigating, we found out it was Harry Houdini’s grave site, and these magicians hang out there waiting to watch him escape...they showed us a ton of magic and till this day I’m still not sure if this was real or the weed was that good." Machpelah Cemetery, Glendale

Cara Mia Restaurant

"There is so much great Italian in Queens! I grew up right down the road from Cara Mia in Queens village, it’s a small family owned Italian restaurant. It’s the type of place that is always slammed with regulars and your mom would force you to wear your nice pants and a collared shirt there. I order the scampi on angel hair, but now I order to-go…I have no nice pants." 22020 Hillside Avenue, Queens Village

Bowl 360 Astoria

"I like neon lights, partying and competing with my friends. Also, I’m really good at bowling and I don’t tell people that before we go bowling. It’s our secret now." 19-45 49th St., Astoria

The Cheesecake Factory

"I’m a king here. I don’t even have to order, they know what it is: Pina Colada x 3, Buffalo Blast, and Thai Lettuce wraps. Off the “SKINNYLICIOUS” menu, I can’t resist the grilled artichoke. This is the only Cheesecake Factory in New York City, with that being said…it’s busy, call ahead." 90-15 Queens Blvd., Queens Center Mall

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