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#LoveLocal: Support the independent businesses at the heart of NYC

As the city recovers, we’re backing the independent businesses that represent the soul of the city from unique shops to restaurants and bars.

Will Gleason
Written by
Will Gleason
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Hello, New York!

Time Out editors have been seeking out the best of the city since 1968. We know that New York is nothing without its restaurants, bars, theaters, music venues, nightclubs, cinemas, art galleries—and all the other local, independently run places where people come together to eat, drink, laugh and think.

We’re determined to help. That's why we've launched our Love Local Awards to support local food, drink, culture and entertainment in New York. You can now vote for your favorite spots for the awards here! We want to hear from you! We need your help to decide New York's favorite restaurant, bar, club, theater, gallery, coffee shop, bakery and independent store. (We had hundreds of nominations, so you're bound to find some spots you'd like to support.)

You can follow us on Facebook and Instagram to hear more about our ongoing campaign. As New York adjusts to its new reality, we’ll continue to support local independent venues, and the people that bring them to life. Keep scrolling to see Time Out's Love Local campaign in action and consider supporting a New York business today.

Will Gleason
Editor
Time Out New York


Vote for your favorite businesses

  • Things to do

The nominations are in! We had tons of them. Loads of entries which means loads of brilliant venues that make all of our lives in NYC worth living. That tiny art gallery that staged an amazing exhibition this year. The café that plays actually decent music. And, of course, the local bar you love. Time to show them your support by casting a vote. 

If you have a favourite theater, gallery, bar, restaurant or anything, we want you to vote for it right now. 

Small business in NYC: the latest

  • Restaurants

“Cheap” has a unique meaning in NYC. There are people in other parts of the country (or at least on the internet) who will try to tell you that they can get a whole house, college education or town hall bribe for $10 where they’re from. This is, of course, untrue, but the five boroughs are certainly more expensive than most places. That’s why satisfying “cheap eats” for $10 and under are noteworthy in New York. In a city where it costs $5.50 just to get to work and back by subway, finding something to fill you up for a little less than twice that much can be a cheerless relief. If said item is also actually tasty, it reintroduces some levity back into the occasion. So the next time you’re choosing between a four-bedroom in Anytown, USA or excellent slices, chopped cheese, fried chicken sandwiches, falafel or tacos, have a look below and know that you made the right choice.  RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best restaurants in NYC

  • Restaurants

Choosing a favorite restaurant in New York City is a joyful task with myriad possibilities depending on the occasion, mood and even the time of year. Your favorite dive, fine dining destination and 'any night' type of place might all occupy top spots on your personal best list in spite of their disparate qualities.  Our list of NYC’s 50 best restaurants is the same, spanning each of those categories and more to comprise a catalogue of all the places we wish we were at right now. They don’t have to be the newest or the most famous (though some are), just places that we want to return to again and again, and that we think that you will, too.  Note: Many of the city’s best chefs, restaurants and concepts have been welcomed into the Time Out Market. Because that is the highest honor we can award, establishments related to the market have not been ranked here, but you can see them below.  RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best dishes and drinks in NYC

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  • Restaurants
  • Eating

NYC Winter Restaurant Week—when more than 400 restaurants offer prix-fixe menu specials—runs from January 18 to February 13 in 2022. Clocking in at nearly a month, that might seem like plenty of time to race from one place to the next for $29, $39 and $59 lunch and dinner deals, but, being that Saturdays are excluded, it’s really only 23 days. Also, it takes time to travel between restaurants in all five boroughs.  RECOMMENDED: The best restaurants to book for NYC Winter Restaurant Week Fortunately, ten of those Restaurant Week spots are all under one roof at Time Out Market New York in Brooklyn. The Market’s Ess-a-Bagel, Felice Pasta Bar, Fornino, Ivy Stark Mexology, Jacob's Pickles, Migrant Kitchen, Pat LaFrieda, Mr. Taka Ramen, Tiki Chick and Wayla outposts are all offering uniquely curated menus for the occasion.  In fact, Time Out Market New York’s participating vendors make up more than 80 percent of NYC Winter Restaurant Week’s Dumbo offerings and over 20 percent of Brooklyn total. It is also the only food hall in this season’s lineup.  Time Out Market is located at 55 Water Street in Brooklyn. 

  • Restaurants

New York City Restaurant Week comes but twice a year, and the winter edition is back for 2022 from January 18-February 13. More than 400 restaurants from all five boroughs are offering two-course lunch and three-course dinner deals for $29, $39 or $59. Restaurants can participate in week-long increments or for the whole event, over half have indoor and outdoor dining options, and about the same amount have already posted their menus.   With so many sensational new restaurants, romantic spots and NYC classics, and so little time to taste them all, it can be hard to narrow the field. We’ve taken a loupe to the lot to spotlight the top options. These are the best winter Restaurant Week reservations to book right now.  See here for a full list of what restaurants are participating in NYC Restaurant Week!

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  • Nightlife
  • Nightlife

Attending queer events is about to become much easier in NYC. A trio of New Yorkers entrenched in the city's nightlife and LGBTQ+ scenes saw a major blindspot in existing ticketing platforms and decided to make their own queer ticketing platform and coffee house theater—both dubbed "Red Eye." RECOMMENDED: Broadway Week returns with unbeatable two-for-one ticket deals Red Eye Tickets exclusively features LGBTQ+ performers like Amber Martin in "Bathhouse Bette," Drag Race viewings and other queer entertainment and gives 25 cents per ticket to organizations such as GAG, The Ali Forney Center, Callen Lorde and Rainbow Railroad—something no other NYC-based ticketing platform does. The importance of this is twofold: by exclusively selling tickets for shows featuring queer performers, Red Eye fills a gap made by other platforms, and by setting aside proceeds to LGBTQ+ organizations upfront, they can help groups that have had a rough couple of years because of the pandemic. "Any production you take on can be a gamble and as much as you want to support them, it's hard to know what you'll have to offer. By building that in upfront, it guarantees that cash flow," said Red Eye co-founder Sam Benedict. As the winner of the Stoli Key West Cocktail Classic, Benedict was able to raise over $15,000 for Gays Against Guns. By offering exclusive access to LGBTQ+ performers and their shows, Red Eye promises to give exposure to the talent that people miss out on because they're not found on bigger

  • Restaurants
  • Eating

Sometimes the best medicine is a good meal. Katz's Deli, the famous kosher-style delicatessen located at 205 East Houston Street, is offering a new package made exclusively for those under the weather, whether it be with COVID-19, the flu or something else. RECOMMENDED: To-go cocktails may become a permanent NYC fixture The "Get Well Soon" package, which can feed about four people or one person over the course of two to three days, includes two quarts of housemade chicken noodle soup, one quart housemade matzoh ball soup, one pound of hand-carved turkey breastsix New York everything bagels, four square potato knishes, one eight-ounce jar of Katz's deli mustard and one half-loaf of deli rye bread (approximately 16 slices). There's an option to add one pouund of pastrami for $30 more. The package is $115, so it qualifies for free shipping from Katzdelicatessen.com. With the seven-day positivity rate at 31% in NYC, it's likely you or someone you know is sick, and in many cases, whole families who are sick. Perhaps a little "Jewish Penicillin" (matzoh ball soup) and other hearty dishes could help push them toward recovery. Photograph: courtesy Katz's Deli

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  • Bars

Everything’s easier when you're drinking out at a bar. Your dive’s beer is frosty, the wine bar has harder-to-find bottles and cocktail destinations shake and stir myriad ingredients into ideally calibrated glassware. (It's just not the same at home!) The options are unending, the ice is nicer and you aren’t just drinking, you’re at the spot.  Whether you're hoping for the return of to-go cocktails, recently learned to make the classics at home or simply become a super-regular at the liquor store, it's time to take it easy once more. These are the 50 best bars in NYC. 

  • Restaurants

It has never been easier to find enticing plant-based dishes in NYC. Our vegan and vegetarian options go beyond veggie burgers, although NYC has plenty of those, too—and extends to special occasion destinations, exciting new spots and some of the best overall restaurants in the city. Sure, restaurants all over the ingredient spectrum have broadened their nutrient horizons over the years, but these are your best bets for a meat-free guarantee. RECOMMENDED: See more of the best restaurants in NYC

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  • Restaurants

Although so-so, deeply-discounted post-holiday chocolate from whatever Duane Reade’s closest to the subway is always a treat, some occasions call for the good stuff. Times when you aren’t just giving a confectionary gift, but rather presenting one, maybe even in a heart-shaped box, require a visit to NYC’s classic candy stores, bakeries and chocolate shops for top-notch truffles, creams and cordials. These small family spots and international behemoths are the best in the business right now. 

  • Comedy

The cult comedy thriller Search Party is back on HBO Max today for its fifth and final season. The critically beloved series, which follows a group of narcissistic millennials as they deal with mysteries, murder and increasingly dire situations, is a sharp and witty look at the quirks and hang-ups of a specific subset of young New Yorkers. It also manages the impressive juggling act of being both a hilarious comedy and a tense thriller. We’re sad to see it go! RECOMMENDED: "The Other Two" star Heléne Yorke shares her favorite spots Before diving into the final season, we caught up with John Reynolds—the actor who plays listless Brooklyn boyfriend Drew—to get some of his go-to local spots in Kings County. “I would say [this season] is the biggest swing the show has ever taken, and it just continues to go down a campier rabbit hole,” Reynolds tells Time Out. “It’s dealing with enlightenment and the wellness community—mixed with capitalism—and it just gets crazier from there.” You can watch the fifth and final season of Search Party now on HBO Max.

Love Local from Time Out New York Kids

  • Things to do
  • City Life

Brownstone Brooklyn's newest attraction is a win-win for kids and parents.  While you're sipping a hot chocolate (perhaps with a shot of Bailey’s Irish Cream), your kiddos can whip around Court Street Tavern's debut ice skating rink. The newly opened Carroll Gardens restaurant has taken outdoor accommodations and upped the ante; while most eateries have opted for heated tents, this South Brooklyn spot has created its own destination for winter fun.  Meet the Court Street Ice Rink. Photograph: Time Out / Danielle Valente Photograph: Time Out / Danielle Valente Photograph: Courtesy Emily Bartlett Perfect for ages 13 and under, the super-cute "glice" rink from Matt Shendell of Paige Concepts is open daily from 12:15–7:15pm for $25 per child (including skate rentals). Parents can make reservations on Resy for 45-minute sessions and walk-ins are welcome. For an additional $10, moms and dads can rent a skate aid seal—an adorable buddy looking to help your little skaters keep their balance. Note that lockers are not available, so be prepared to hang onto those winter boots.  Plus, there's more good news. TVs are stationed right above the rink, so you can have your eyes on the game, your lil' winter Olympian and that tasty Hot Toddy. We told you this would be a win-win for everyone! Court Street Tavern is located at 449 Court St in Carroll Gardens.  Most popular on Time Out - Awesome things NYC families can’t miss in 2021- New kids’ movies coming out in 2021 that you can’t miss

  • Things to do
  • Literary events

Are your little ones missing their favorite reading circle? Don’t worry, Mom and Dad: We have the perfect solution! Time Out is partnering with the New York Public Library to present digital storytimes for pint-sized bookworms. Beginning August 10, families can tune in Monday through Thursday at 10am—right here—for a remote read-aloud. Curious about the lineup? The Time Out New York Kids newsletter will reveal forthcoming story time schedules on Fridays, so sign up today! Monday, January 4 Susan Burkhardt from Van Cortlandt Library in The Bronx The Completed Hickory Dickory Dock by Jim Aylesworth and I Just Ate My Friend by Heidi McKinnon Tuesday, January 5 Dana Keddy from Todt Hill-Westerleigh Library in Staten Island I Went Walking by Sue Williams and Boo! by Ben Newman Wednesday, January 6 Ruth Guerrier-Pierre from Kips Bay Library in Manhattan Bear Sees Colors by Karma Wilson Thursday, January 7 Nanette Rivera from Mulberry Street Library in Manhattan Perfect Square by Michael Hall Friday, January 8 Katie Loucks from Mosholu Library in The Bronx Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush and Rock-a-bye Baby by Jane Cabrera

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  • Art
  • Art

Update: The completely redesigned Allison and Roberto Mignone Halls of Gems and Minerals will now open in spring 2021 as opposed to February 2021. An exact date has not been revealed. We'll be sure to update you as soon as we know more.  Looks like we're going to have to be patient.  The Museum of Natural History's completely redesigned Allison and Roberto Mignone Halls of Gems and Minerals will now open in 2021 as opposed to this fall. But judging from the details, we have a feeling it'll be well worth the wait. On Feb 17, 2021, the family attraction will welcome visitors to the 11,000 square-foot space that house roughly 5,000 pieces from 95 countries. Guests can catch a glimpse of a 3,000-pound block of iridescent green and blue labradorite, the Singing Stone from the 1893 World’s Fair in Chicago and the new "Beautiful Creatures" exhibit, which will celebrate historic and contemporary jewelry inspired by animals. Patrons will be able to find it in halls’ first temporary exhibition space. Plus, as an added bonus for the little learners in your crew, the Allison and Roberto Mignone Halls of Gems and Minerals will be the perfect spot for children with an interest in earth science, as it promises to be an invaluable resource for schools and camps.  Courtesy AMNH “Generations of New Yorkers have loved the Museum’s mineral and gem halls, storing up memories of family visits and marveling at the glamorous displays of utterly spectacular minerals and gems,” Ellen V. Futter, Pre

  • Art
  • Art

A library card goes a long way in New York City.  Today, the New York Public Library, Queens Public Library and Brooklyn Public Library announced that Culture Pass will resume for 25 attractions—with limited capacity—on Nov 1. This program provides New Yorkers with library cards free access to their favorite family attractions.  The 25 institutions participating:  Alice Austen House Museum American Museum of Natural History Asia Society Museum Brooklyn Museum The Drawing Center Dyckman Farmhouse Museum Fraunces Tavern Museum International Studio & Curatorial Program The Jewish Museum King Manor Museum Kingsland Homestead The Metropolitan Museum of Art Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) MoMA PS1 Morris-Jumel Mansion Museum of Arts and Design Museum of the City of New York National Lighthouse Museum New Museum New York Botanical Garden The Noble Maritime Collection The Noguchi Museum Poster House The Rubin Museum of Art SculptureCenter How to snag a freebie:  Beginning Nov 1, in-person passes can be reserved up to one month in advance on culturepass.nyc. (Learn more about Culture Pass rules.)  More good news:  Additionally, Culture Pass is rebroadcasting virtual arts and cultural programs for all ages from NYC's favorite institutions through Nov 21.  Besides mapping out your Culture Pass plans, be sure to check out the best new and upcoming exhibits at our go-to kids' museums, sit in for virtual storytimes from the New York Public Library every Monday through Friday and see what el

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  • Things to do
  • City Life

November 3 is quickly approaching, and the New York Public Library is in a political state of mind.  In honor of the upcoming election, the NYC institution has released a 2020 Election Reading List for three age groups: children, teens and adults. The selections focus on voter issues such as climate change, foreign policy and healthcare, among many others.  If your little bookworms are curious about this historical moment in our nation's history, have a look at some of the inspiring kids' books below that have landed on the ballots!   2020 Election Reading List for Kids Around America to Win the Vote by Mara Rockliff  Dreamers by Yuyi Morales Harbor Me by Jacqueline Woodson Out of the Ice: How Climate Change Is Revealing the Past by Claire Eamer Ruth Objects: The Life of Ruth Bader Ginsburg by Doreen Rappaport Courtesy: NYPL 2020 Election Reading List for Teens Banned Book Club by Kim Hyun Sook & Ryan Estrada Displacement by Kiku Hughes Dissenter on the Bench: Ruth Bader Ginsburg's Life & Work by Victoria Ortiz Election Manipulation: Is America's Voting System Secure? by John Allen It's Getting Hot in Here by Bridget Heos Courtesy: NYPL For the full list for each age group, visit nypl.org/election2020. While you're at it, be sure to check out Time Out's daily virtual storytimes with the NYPL and get homework assistance with the NYPL's free virtual tutoring—a game-changer for parents.   Most popular on Time Out - NYC schools closed: a running list of building shutdowns

  • Restaurants
  • Eating

Milk & Cream is at it again!  After the success of the limited-edition Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle treats (ice cream pizza!), the Instagrammable dessert spot is continuing the fun with a second installment of the Nickelodeon flavor takeover (#NICKFLAVORTAKEOVER). This time, the focus is on Blue's Clues.   Show one of your favorite TV shows for kids some love by stopping in for a snack. Now through Oct 25, the shop will offer Blue's Snack Time Treat, an ice cream sammie with cookie dough, chocolate chips and dark chocolate-covered pretzels and Josh's Ultimate Ube Surprise, a purple yam ice cream sandwiched between two chocolate wafers and dusted off with chocolate crunchies.    Courtesy: Milk & Cream Cereal Bar   Of course, the ice cream hotspot will be decked out in all-things Blue's Clues, so make sure there is room in your camera roll. (We did tell you this was an Instagrammable dessert spot, after all.) Plus, temporary tattoos will be given out with your Blue's Clues purchase.    Courtesy: Milk & Cream Cereal Bar   If all of these dreamy desserts have given you a hankering for the Nickelodeon of yesteryear, check out where you can stream the coolest old-school cartoons (Doug, Hey Arnold, Ren and Stimpy, etc.).  Most popular on Time Out - NYC DOE reaches a new decision about the return to school- The NYC School Calendar for 2020-2021- A drive-thru fair food festival headed to New York this fall- The Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze is opening a second location this year- The

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  • Things to do
  • City Life

Sleeping is overrated when there is a good book to finish.    Now that the New York Public Library has released its list of "125 Books We Love for Teens," a good night's rest will likely be few and far between. This brand-new collection of YA goodness joins the ranks of the Library's 125 favorite books for adults and children, both of which are in celebration of the attraction's milestone anniversary.  Now readers 12-18 (and the young at heart, of course) can enjoy tales of identity, self-discovery and love. (It's not all about unrequited crushes and the cool clique in homeroom, though there's plenty of that.) Curious what books made the list? Have a look at some of our favorite selections:  Go Ask Alice Anonymous The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood by Marjane Satrapi The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier The Giver by Lois Lowry The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams Bronx Masquerade by Nikki Grimes You can take a gander at the full list on the NYPL website and download your favorite selections (aka everything) on the SimplyE app.  Have younger readers in your crew? Check out daily storytimes from Time Out New York Kids and the New York Public Library, where you can sit in on a digital read-aloud of your favorite kids' books.  Most popular on Time Out - NYC DOE reaches a new decision about the return to school- The NYC School

  • Art
  • Art

Museums in New York City were given the green light to reopen at limited capacity on Aug 23. Although family attractions such as The Museum of Natural History and The Met started welcoming back visitors, most of our favorite children's museums only remain active online. However, the Children's Museum of the Arts just announced its plans in a Sept 18 newsletter.  "After evaluating options to reopen safely, we have made the difficult decision to stay closed for the remainder of the year," the note read. "Though our doors remain shut, we are more dedicated than ever to pursuing our mission of providing transformational and accessible arts opportunities through online content and programs." There are still plenty of ways to enjoy the best of the attraction: Art pods, parent workshops and virtual kids' classes are some of the offerings that'll keep the creative juices flowing this fall. No matter your little artist's interest, CMANY has the perfect fit, from its graphic novel club to animation and character design, among other cool after-school programs. Check them out! You can stay up-to-date on kids' museum reopening plans at Time Out New York Kids.  Most popular on Time Out - NYC DOE reaches a new decision about the return to school- The NYC School Calendar for 2020-2021- A drive-thru fair food festival headed to New York this fall- The Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze is opening a second location this year- The best apple picking NY kids and families love Get us in your inbox! Sign

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  • Things to do
  • City Life

Summer vacation is practically in the rearview mirror, so now is the time for kids to soak up that last bit of freedom.  Plus, there are a few end-of-season perks to enjoy. Some of NYC's best family attractions are offering free and discounted admission for students before the first day of school on Sept 21. Count us in! “Arts and culture are a critical part of New York City’s social fabric, and we thank these organizations for providing our kids with safe, educational activities before schools open next week,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said during his Sept 14 press briefing.  Making day trip plans? Here are the participating institutions, according to the city's website:  American Museum of Natural History: The museum welcomes NYC schoolchildren and their caregivers back, with a hall to visit for every grade and every age. Tickets are pay what you wish for NYC residents. Reserve on their website: https://ticketing.amnh.org/#tickets. Metropolitan Museum of Art: The Met is welcoming students and caregivers back to both their main building on Fifth Avenue, and to The Cloisters. For NYC residents, admission is pay what you wish. Closed to the public Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Reserve a timed ticket on their website: https://engage.metmuseum.org/reservation. Morgan Library and Museum: The Morgan Library & Museum is providing free tickets to school-aged kids aged 18 and younger and their caregivers on September 16, 17 and 18. Advance reservation required. Families can email tickets@th

  • Things to do
  • City Life

Update: You can snag 50 percent off a child's ticket (with the purchase of one adult ticket) when children where their costumes to Boo at the Zoo. Use "COSTUME" at checkout to claim the offer.  In a spooky state of mind? You're not alone.  Tickets have just gone on sale for the Bronx Zoo's annual Boo at the Zoo festival, and this year's celebration is chillingly wicked—in a good way!  Thursday through Sunday from Oct 1 to Nov 1 is your chance to revel in the Halloween fun, from magic shows and pumpkin carving demonstrations to mind reading and trips through the spooky extinct animal graveyard. Each day, animal-themed costumed stilt walkers and Halloween animal puppets will put on a "MASKerade" while the Wildlife Theater will pull out all the stops with performances in Astor Court.    Photograph: Courtesy Julie Larsen Maher   Like other family attractions, the Bronx Zoo had to make some adjustments to this year's festivities, but that certainly doesn't mean Halloween is canceled—far from it. All guests 3 and up are required to wear a mask and social distance when on the grounds. Additionally, advanced tickets are required before attending and reentry is not permitted. A full list of health and safety guidelines is available on the zoo's website.  You can snag tickets online ($39.95 adults, $29.95 children ages 3–12) and map out your other fall activities. We suggest apple picking, checking out Six Flags' new HALLOWFEST and, of course, marveling at the pumpkin artistry on dis

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