Love is in the air, people! After a whopping 134,000 folks voted for their most cherished spots in Time Out’s Love Awards, we can now unveil the most-loved New York attractions, best restaurants in NYC, shops, brunch spots and much, much more. And we’re spreading the love elsewhere, too, rounding up the best bars in NYC and the 101 best things to do in NYC. Get out and enjoy!
RECOMMENDED: See the full Love New York Awards results
Why Time Out loves Central Park (pictured): Landscape architects Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux may have started work on this park before the Civil War, but the 843-acre green space is as cherished by modern-day New Yorkers as it was by their 19th-century predecessors. (Last year alone, nearly 40 million people were estimated to have visited—and 40 million people can’t be wrong.) From the summer staple Shakespeare in the Park to the winter wonderland of Wollman Rink, the sloping hills and overgrown bramble make Gothamites’ lives a little bit better, no matter the season.
Why Time Out loves Brooklyn Barge (pictured): This city has too much to drink and not enough boats. Luckily, this floating Greenpoint spot—yes, it’s really a barge—opened in 2015 for wannabe sailors to indulge in their seafaring fantasies, even if the extent of the voyage is some light bobbing on the East River. Munch on tacos, shrimp, sliders, nachos and other treats from an on-site food truck, sip summery $12 cocktails (like Kimi’s Kayak Colada, with pineapple, coconut and Novo Fogo Cachaça), or share $24 pitchers of brew and bask in the long-awaited rays. If the barge grows too crowded (and it almost always does), the mainland touts even more sun-soaked space. The walk to the train may be a slight hardship, but when those long, burning nights finally hit, you won’t mind at all.
Why Time Out loves Veselka (pictured): Serving pierogi to drunk NYU students and downtown natives for more than 60 years, Veselka is an East Village rite of passage. And it’s especially helpful as a next-morning Ukrainian remedy after a rough night out (which may have included another stop at the 24-hour restaurant for 4am kielbasa). Between the bacon-egg-and-cheese pierogi and the smoked-salmon eggs Benedict served over latkes, everything on the menu screams comfort food. Just come ready to wait, as Veselka attracts plenty of others looking for the same nourishment.
- 1. Music Hall of Williamsburg
- 2. Madison Square Garden
- 3. Brooklyn Steel
- 4. Rockwood Music Hall
- 5. Bowery Ballroom
Why Time Out loves Brooklyn Steel (pictured): The new kid on the block, this 1,800-capacity venue opened in April 2017 with five nights of loud, revelatory dance music by LCD Soundsystem. The band liked it so much, it returned for two more extended runs. From Brooklyn Steel’s unfinished, industrial feel, you can tell the building was a former steel manufacturer (hence the name), but its main room is open and airy, with great sight lines for its size. The balcony provides an elevated perch that gives you a full view of the space, and its three bars are well equipped for the between-set drink rush, even during shows by recent big gets like MGMT, SZA, Ty Segall and Jawbreaker.
- 1. Empire State Building
- 2. The High Line
- 3. Chrysler Building
- 4. Washington Square Park
- 5. Brooklyn Bridge
Why Time Out loves the Empire State Building (pictured): You don’t become a city’s most recognizable icon without looking pretty damn good. Since it was erected in 1931, this Art Deco beauty has been a pop-culture fixture—on the big screen, it has played host to everyone from King Kong’s giant ape to Sleepless in Seattle’s star-crossed lovers—and a 102-story welcome home to returning travelers. With the hourly light show that made its sparkly debut just last month, though, it’s clear that Gotham’s famous skyscraper isn’t content to live in the past. Like the city it has come to represent, this New Yorker never stops changing. (And did you happen to catch the ESB illuminated in red on May 15? That was in celebration of our Love New York Awards!)
Venue says: “Time Out love Awards Runner-Up 2018! Time Out Best New Japanese 2010, Michelin Guide recommended, Best Chefs of America 2013.”
Why Time Out loves Katsuno (picutred): While you may think NYC’s best Japanese food is in Manhattan, we suggest you cancel your reservation for midtown omakase and hit up Forest Hills, Queens. The decor may be lackluster, but who cares? Chef-owner Katsuyuki Seo directs his energy into the food coming out of the kitchen, not into an Instagram-friendly atmosphere—and that’s a good thing. Clean flavors and refined techniques distinguish Katsuno, which serves classic sushi and sashimi as well as a variety of udon and soba noodle soups beaming with umami.
- 1. Wave Hill
- 2. The Metropolitan Museum of Art
- 3. Visit Hasidim Tours
- 4. Museum of Modern Art
- 5. Brooklyn Museum
Why Time Out loves Wave Hill (pictured): Meticulously groomed gardens and ace views of the Hudson River and the New Jersey Palisades are all a part of the experience at Wave Hill, poised in the Riverdale section of the Bronx. Not only that, the cultural center, housed in a grand 19th-century mansion, hosts tours, indoor and outdoor art exhibitions and music performances, fresh-air activities (think garden walks and bird-watching expeditions), and workshops in woodworking and other crafts.
- 1. Alamo Drafthouse Downtown Brooklyn
- 2. Nitehawk Cinema
- 3. AMC Loews Lincoln Square 13
- 4. Angeilka Film Center
- 5. AMC Loews Kips Bay 15
Why Time Out loves Alamo Drafthouse (pictured): The Austin import is your runaway winner for several reasons: the impeccable visuals, the “ninja-quiet” servers who, midmovie, bring you nachos and spiked milkshakes, and the ghoulishly fun cocktail bar decorated with death masks. But the real clincher, we suspect, is Alamo’s diligently enforced ejection policy for cell-phone abusers, the result of which has been a rare oasis of cinematic enjoyment in a town that has a hard time switching off.
Why Time Out loves ShiShi (pictured): Dig flirty, timeless and budget-friendly getups? Owner Yael Levertov packs her racks with flowy, floral kimonos, jungle-print jumpsuits and the like, all for under $100 a pop. But if you see something you like, you’d better pounce: Levertov stocks a range of sizes but only five items per style. (We consider that a bonus, since you’re less likely to spot another person wearing the same outfit.)
Why Time Out loves House of Yes (pictured): Strap on your go-go boots and find your tribe! On any given night at this Brooklyn hub, you can find club kids, frat bros, glitter gods and year-round burners soaring into the stratosphere of sweaty dance-floor decadence and bathroom high jinks. Its denizens include all-star DJs, aerialists, fire dancers and a coterie of living fantasies, all abiding by House of Yes’s strict imperative that every guest practice affirmative consent before any physical contact. Hear, hear.