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Time Out New York Love Local Awards
Image: Time Out

Revealed: Time Out New York’s 2021 Love Local Awards winners

From beloved bars to favorite cafés, these are the places New Yorkers love most

Will Gleason
Written by
Will Gleason
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One thing's for sure: in New York, there's a lot to love. In this year’s Love Local Awards, there were over 60,000 votes as you all championed your favorite places in the five boroughs. All those votes are a celebration of NYC’s beloved local restaurants, bars, coffee shops, music venues, museums and comedy venues—the places that make this city what it is. Now, we can finally reveal the winners… 

The 2021 Love Local Awards winners

  • Bars
  • Dive bars
  • Greenpoint
  • price 1 of 4

It's where pierogis meet punk! A long-running staple of the Brooklyn music scene, this beloved, worn-in ballroom with a capacity of 800 hosts relatively few events. However, the shows that do turn up here are frequently well worth the trip. Oh, and did we mention it's the only venue in town where you can nosh on kielbasa, bigos and blintzes? You can find all of the upcoming shows at the venue here

  • Comedy
  • Astoria

This reliable bar in Astoria hosts events featuring comedy, storytelling, poetry and more. It also happens to be the only independent, woman-owned and operated arts venue in Astoria! On top of stand-up comedy shows, you can head to the space to experience workshops, watch parties and even movie screenings. In short: it's a pretty awesome community space. (By the way, Q.E.D. is an abbreviation of the Latin phrase "quod erat demonstratum," in case you were wondering.) Check out the upcoming events here and check one out in person soon!

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  • Bars
  • Wine bars
  • Park Slope

This Park Slope Bar specializes in French wine. But the twist? Every single wine served here has been produced by women. It’s the brainchild of Alexandra Charpentier, a Parisian who set this place up to provide a celebration of women winemakers. Of course the wine list is exceptional, but the charcuterie boards look great, too. Keep an eye out for live music, wine tasting sessions, networking and even karaoke. You can also order wine online! You can find more information here.

  • Bars
  • Gastropubs
  • Astoria
  • price 2 of 4

This neighborhood restaurant opened in October 2014 and has since turned into a lively neighborhood destination for local beers, bespoke cocktails, comfort food and live music. (Once the weather warms up, be sure to check out the massive outdoor space, as well.) For those in the market for a new bottomless brunch, The Bonnie offers a solid deal at 1.5 hours for $25 per person. Don't miss the Brunch Burger, the Hot Honey Fried Chicken and the Bacon, Egg and Cheese Deluxe. The restaurant also hosts a happy hour from Mondays through Thursdays from 4pm–7pm and on Fridays from 12pm–7pm.

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  • Museums
  • Art and design
  • Meatpacking District
  • price 2 of 4

After nearly 50 years in its Marcel-Breur-designed building on Madison Avenue at 75th Street, the Whitney Museum decamped in 2015 to a brand new home in Lower Manhattan's Meatpacking District, conceived by international starchitect Renzo Piano. Planted at the foot of the High Line along Ganesvoort Street, the new Whitney building boasts some 63,000 square feet of both indoor and outdoor exhibition space. The Whitney is dedicated to presenting the work of American artists, and its collection holds about 15,000 pieces by nearly 2,000 artists, including Alexander Calder, Willem de Kooning, Edward Hopper (the museum holds his entire estate), Jasper Johns, Louise Nevelson, Georgia O’Keeffe and Claes Oldenburg. Don't miss the museum's signature event, the Whitney Biennial, this spring.

  • Health and beauty
  • Soho

One of the coolest spots to get a piercing in the city, Nine Moon Piercing focuses solely on piercing and jewelry, with a team of three piercers and two stylists giving you basically everything you need. They know their stuff, and the jewelry is beautiful. Much of what they carry is biocompatible titanium and gold jewelry from companies such as Anatometal, Neometal and BVLA. They’ve got extremely thorough Covid-19 health and safety protocols in place, too – including no piercings that require removal of masks, no walk-ins, temperature checks and only one person per appointment. Good stuff. 

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  • Restaurants
  • Bakeries
  • Upper West Side
  • price 2 of 4

No surprise here! New York's favorite bakery was none other than the home of, perhaps, the world's most delicious chocolate walnut cookie. At Levain Bakery, these massive mounds stay underdone in the middle, making them a boon to cookie-dough lovers. (Pro tip: don’t miss the lush, brownielike double-chocolate number, either.) The bakery has many more delicious treats on offer on top of those world-famous cookies, too! Stop by for some tasty bread, moist muffins, must-try lemon loafs and fresh country baguettes.

  • Restaurants
  • Coffee shops
  • East Village
  • price 2 of 4

Coffee Project owner Chi-Sum Ngai grew up serving traditional condensed-milk–splashed coffee at her parents' cafe in Malaysia before studying the dark stuff at Portland's American Barista and Coffee School. Ngai and her partner Kaleena Teoh have cafes in the East Village, Chelsea, and Brooklyn, and a roastery and training center in Long Island City. They also source from small, often women-owned, cooperatives and family farms that prioritize good working conditions, wages, and benefits for farmworkers. The drinks menu includes drip, pour over and espresso staples, as well as good chai and matcha lattes, a dark hot chocolate and tasty sandwiches, toasts and baked goods. It's one of the best spots for top-notch coffee in the city.

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