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Dan Q Dao

Dan Q Dao

Dan Q. Dao is the Digital Community & Commercial Editor at Time Out New York. He prides himself most on his hair and his big kid appetite. Follow him on Twitter at @danqdao.

Articles (91)

The best weekend getaways from NYC

The best weekend getaways from NYC

Oh, NYC — we can never quit you, with your amazing restaurants, internationally-recognized bars and world-class museums. There’s simply no way to be bored in this city. The crowds, the hustle and the pace, however, can lead to some serious stress and, well, sometimes we need a break. Fortunately the location of our fine city affords easy access to many other exciting, yet more relaxed destinations. These weekend getaways from NYC offer fun, relaxation and a little something different not too far from home. Whether you’re taking a car or public transportation, these destinations are easily accessible in five hours or less. Enjoy nature, chill by a lake, take in some art or do a little shopping. From quaint towns to beachy locales, a weekend away will be just the thing to recharge. If you don’t have a whole weekend to spare, consider one of these day trips from NYC. Looking for a longer getaway? A road trip from NYC might be for you. But these weekend getaways are just right, opening up a whole new world in upstate New York, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and more. RECOMMENDED:– Best things to do in upstate New York– Cheap romantic getaways near NYC– Best beaches in NYC– Best day trips from New York– Most scenic train rides in America This article includes affiliate links. These links have no influence on our editorial content. For more information, click here.

The best Brooklyn attractions

The best Brooklyn attractions

While Manhattan draws the most tourists with its all-around incredible slate of restaurants, bars, museums and bucket-list things to do, Brooklyn isn’t far behind. For locals and repeat visitors, the best Brooklyn attractions are well worth a spot alongside NYC’s essential destinations. Williamsburg, of course, is an attraction in itself, but you’ll find cool things to do in neighborhoods like Park Slope, Brooklyn Heights, Bed-Stuy, DUMBO and more. These Brooklyn attractions range from walks through parks, visits to iconic architectural gems, fabulous museums, unique shopping and other only-in-NY activities. So be sure to branch out from Manhattan and hit up Brooklyn for more unique New York experiences. RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best New York attractions

The 19 best dumplings in NYC right now

The 19 best dumplings in NYC right now

The dumpling is a perfect food. Lovingly wrapped in dough and filled with a sweet or savory surprise, every culture has their own satisfying version: Vietnamese bĂĄnh bột lọc, Chinese xiao long bao and Russian pelmeni all help New York City taste a little more like home—no matter where you’re from. Dumplings are some of our favorite cheap eats, too, so you can plan a soup dumpling crawl of the five boroughs and still have plenty of dough (get it?!) left over to pay for a cab back home. RECOMMENDED: Find more of the best restaurants in NYC

NYC’s 10 best hidden restaurants and bars

NYC’s 10 best hidden restaurants and bars

New York City’s best restaurants include places with things to see (and to Instagram!), new spots where you can be seen and semi-obscured spaces with hush-hush themes. Like speakeasy-inspired bars, that last category's destinations have the appearance of exclusivity by way of hidden doorways, fake-out facades and staircases this way and that.  Some are a little less discrete than in years past with the recent addition of outdoor dining, brisk takeout business, or simply time, but the spirit of secrecy can still be a fun departure from the norm. So break out the magnifying glass and wind your way to NYC’s best hidden restaurants. RECOMMENDED: Find more of the best restaurants in NYC

The best lesser-known NYC attractions

The best lesser-known NYC attractions

NYC is chock full of iconic attractions that are known around the world. From the Statue of Liberty and the Metropolitan Museum of Art to Times Square and the Empire State Building, these NYC attractions should be on everyone’s must-do list. Once you’ve tackled all the most important things to do in the city, branch out and explore these lesser-known NYC attractions. These under-the-radar attractions range from overlooked parks to quirky museums. New York has many historic buildings that don’t make the best-of lists, but they’re definitely worth a visit. You may be surprised that you’ve never heard of some of these attractions, so check them out now to be in-the-know. For more under-the-radar gems in NYC, check out these off the beaten path tours, hidden restaurants, hidden streets and speakeasies. RECOMMENDED: Full guide the best New York attractions

The 14 best chocolate shops in NYC

The 14 best chocolate shops in NYC

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. 

The best helicopter tours in NYC

The best helicopter tours in NYC

For the ultimate panoramic view of this incredible city's iconic skyline, you'll probably want to book yourself on to one of New York’s best helicopter tours. Because what could be better than gazing out across the best city in the world? Of course, vistas aren’t in short supply in this town - and you can always marvel at the cityscape from one of the city’s best rooftop bars - but you’ll need to get a little bit higher for that picture-perfect wide-angle of the best New York attractions, from the Empire State Building to Central Park. Whether you want to jump on a quick 20-minute flight or take it all in over two whole hours, our list of the best helicopter tours in NYC has the perfect chopper for you. Time to take to the skies, people!  This article includes affiliate links. These links have no influence on our editorial content. For more information, click here.

The 29 best Chinese restaurants in NYC

The 29 best Chinese restaurants in NYC

New York City has a long lineage of excellent Chinese restaurants showcasing the culinary traditions of nearly every province in China, as well as the fusion fare created by immigrants in the United States. Whether you're looking to sample fiery Szechuan fare at tiny Chinatown restaurants, experience a classic weekend dim sum brunch at an area icon, or grab top-notch takeout and delivery to enjoy at home, the city has an abundance of options. These are the best Chinese restaurants in NYC. RECOMMENDED: See all of the best restaurants in NYC

The most beautiful churches in NYC

The most beautiful churches in NYC

New York City is an architecture fan’s dream, chock full of iconic buildings and stunning skyscrapers. Even the less design-inclined can appreciate and admire the beauty of the city’s buildings, from classic to modern. Among these visual landmarks, there are many beautiful churches in NYC that are architecturally stunning and definitely worth checking out. Locals and visitors alike can appreciate the sense of calm that these churches can induce, with their high ceilings and stained glass windows. In addition to beautiful architecture, these churches have interesting histories, intricate paintings and sculpture, lovely gardens and grounds, and tours to take it all in. Some offer a unique setting for concerts and other events. When you’re planning a tour around NYC — or if you’re just looking for some new spots to check out on a city stroll — check out these NYC churches. They are on par with some of the best museums in the city, and you’ll be blown away by their beauty and history. RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best New York attractions

The 22 best diners in NYC

The 22 best diners in NYC

Whether it's late at night, lunchtime or when you’re trying to cure a hangover—NYC’s best diners will always be here for you. While New York certainly has fancier restaurants, these low-key, come-as-you-are spots will always have a place in New Yorkers' hearts. Some diners, with traditional menus including burgers, ice cream, endless coffee and donuts, even made our list of the best restaurants in NYC. With their long history in NYC pop culture, you’ll feel like the main character in your own sitcom when you slide into one of their slightly sticky booths. RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best restaurants in NYC

The best Manhattan attractions

The best Manhattan attractions

If you’re planning on making a visit to New York City, it would be ridiculous not to start with Manhattan and its attractions. Though in point of fact neither the biggest borough (that’s Queens!) nor the most densely-populated (that’s Brooklyn!), it is the center of the city: historically, geographically and culturally. Dominated by some of the world’s most iconic skyscrapers, here you’ll find globally famous attractions like the Empire State Building, Statue of Liberty and Central Park. You’ve got some of the best restaurants in New York. And all the biggest and best Broadway shows are here because Broadway is literally in Manhattan. Whether you’re just visiting the Big Apple for the weekend or you’re a lifelong New Yorker looking for something new to do, these attractions in Manhattan are essential additions to your bucket list. RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best New York attractions This article includes affiliate links. These links have no influence on our editorial content. For more information, click here.

The best bike tours in NYC

The best bike tours in NYC

For those looking to experience New York City like the locals, hop on two wheels and join one of the best bike tours NYC has to offer. There are lots on offer but we've whittled down the best – we think you're going to like them. And yeah sure, the best walking tours may allow you to take your time and the NYC bus tours may cover more ground, but bicycle tours are an ideal way for first-time visitors to explore a specific area or see the top New York attractions at their own pace. From a breezy ride down the idyllic Brooklyn waterfront to a cruise through Central Park, our guide rounds up the best bike tours in NYC for every mood and budget. We would say they are all wheelie good but that would be lame. Enjoy! RECOMMENDED: Full guide to NYC tours and walks This article includes affiliate links. These links have no influence on our editorial content. For more information, click here.

Listings and reviews (42)

No Bar

No Bar

5 out of 5 stars

It’s long been a sad but all too real fact of nightlife that a designated gay bar is usually never a solid cocktail destination—until earlier this year, that is, when former Mission Chinese executive chef Angela Dimayuga unveiled this pioneering concept at the Standard East Village.Unabashedly queer and unbound by convention—No Bar’s website declares that there are “no covers, no rules, no holds barred”—the bar serves thoughtful cocktails like the In the Gig ($8), a Tecate-mezcal boilermaker served in a togarashi-rimmed beer can, and the fresh green-juice–esque Feel the Beet ($14), sloshing vodka with Lillet and a fragrant beet shrub. But the gag is that you can enjoy all of these drinks at a DJ-soundtracked, drag queen–moderated viewing party for the latest episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race. It’s the ethos of this interdisciplinary approach that makes No Bar a forward-thinking endeavour, and one that expands on what hospitality can be. Why should LGBTQ revelers not enjoy good cocktails and, for that matter, good bar food? From the kitchen, Dimayuga turns out gussied-up pub grub, such as a perfectly browned, made-for-dipping grilled-cheese sandwiches with gooey cheddar and provolone and amped up with a sweet tomato ragĂč. Then there’s the real showpiece: a spicy Italian sausage sandwich, the meaty links nestled on crunchy broccoli rabe and a funky alpine fontina. Yes, these are simply fancy bar snacks. And, sure, well-made drinks are a dime a dozen in New York. But that belies No

Gupshup

Gupshup

4 out of 5 stars

In New York City, nearby blocks can feel worlds apart. Case in point: “Curry Hill,” a traditional Indian food stronghold in Murray Hill, lies just north of Gupshup, a confident newcomer that is not only world’s apart from its mom- and-pop neighbors’ ambiance but also incorporates an international eclecticism right into its cooking. For example, you can flavor cracker-thin bread with some foie gras butter or wrap lentil chilla “pancakes” around pulled jackfruit, taco- style. As an alum of New Delhi’s posh Indian Accent, chef Gurpreet Singh is evermore relaxed in his bi-level digs, which resemble a colorful mansion of an imagined wealthy family in the 1970s Bombay. Here, black-and-white checkered floors and green velvet-cushioned booths evoke nostalgia, while a vibrant, bright-pink mural of a woman posing in a headdress and high heels brings a zeitgeist energy. On this fashionable stage, Singh ventures deep into fusion territory with small plates—think fluffy, street-style puchkas nestled in a curd-rice mousse flecked with nubs of lightly smoked salmon or a Mumbai-meets–Mexico City guacamole served with strips of spiced chips baked with chickpea flour. On the bread front, try a fragrant, caraway-seasoned kulcha: Filled with wilted garlic-coriander spinach, it can be spread with tomato-fennel chutney and fresh mint burrata and eaten like toast. Among the best of these freewheeling experiments is a Keralan-inspired rasam ramen that tangles wavy noodles with cubes of paneer cheese

NYX Professional Makeup

NYX Professional Makeup

This Los Angeles–based company is known for its global color cosmetics. While not geared toward spooky Halloween looks, the Union Square shop offers high-end makeup that can put the finishing touch on any outfit. The highlight, however, is the customer service: Beauty professionals can help recommend looks from any of the various bars. Check the Shadow Bar for a smoky eye look or the Lip Bar to bring a rosy hue to those lips.

Snug Harbor Cultural Center

Snug Harbor Cultural Center

Many learning facilities throughout the city allow kids to look but not touch, but this expansive cultural center and botanical garden encourages youngsters to interact with their surroundings for the full experience. Grow to Eat classes at the onsite Heritage Farm let kids discover where food comes through planting, examining and preparing seasonal produce. Enroll in Little Yogis for a peaceful nature escape in the Chinese Scholar’s Garden, or explore the botanical garden grounds by getting crafty in Autumn Leaves sessions or taking an ecological tour in the science-focused Wetlands Creatures program. Ages 5–10.

Agozar Cuban Restaurant

Agozar Cuban Restaurant

4 out of 5 stars

With this year’s newly eased travel restrictions (thanks Obama!), vacationing in Cuba is once again all the rage for celebrities and other in-the-know Americans. But for the majority of us New Yorkers who won’t be making off this island and onto that one anytime soon, experiencing authentic Cuban fare is as easy as walking down the Bowery. Sitting on the corner of Bleecker, the colorfully-trimmed Agozar Cuban Restaurant has been serving up traditional Cuban- and Mexican-style tapas, sandwiches and specialties since it opened in 2002. Inside the charmingly decorated dining room, exposed brick walls are decked with vintage framed posters and canvas paintings depicting daily life in the Caribbean, while potted palm fronds and banana leaves add tropical splashes of green to the warm, red-orange paint. It’s a fitting setting for enjoying pricy-but-worth-it tapas like slices of salty chorizo offset by caramelized onions and a sangria glaze ($8); and miniature arepas ($8), layering stringy, savory ropa vieja beef over steamy sweet-corn cakes, all topped with a crema nata sauce. On the entrees front, skip the lechón roasted pork ($24), which, while tender and well-prepared, lacked the right punches of garlic and citrus needed from the requisite mojo sauce. Instead, opt for a full portion of that ropa vieja ($24) or the more adventurous vaca frita ($24), which pan-fries the beef to a toothsome crisp that bursts pleasantly with meaty flavor. While spice is not very prevalent on the men

Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum

Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum

The history of this beautiful estate dates back to the 17th Century, when Thomas Pell signed a treaty with the Siwanoy Indians to purchase what is now the Bronx borough. Located within today’s Pelham Bay Park, the current house was built between 1836 and 1842, and was sold to the City of New York in 1888. Re-opened as a museum in 1946, it now offers tours of its furnishings, carriage house and formal gardens.

Snug Harbor Cultural Center

Snug Harbor Cultural Center

Sitting just a ferry ride away from the hustle and bustle of Manhattan, this Staten Island gem, a former home for retired sailers, is still somewhat of a secret. Spread across 83 acres, the area boasts an enormous botanical garden and cultural center surrounded by cobblestone streets and tiny paths of Victorian and Tudor homes. One of the most popular attractions here is the Chinese Scholar’s Garden, fitted with magnificent rocks meant to resemble mountains inspired by the poetry and paintings of Confucian, Buddhist and Taoist monks, as well as a bamboo forest path and Koi-filled pond. ">

Woolworth Building

Woolworth Building

This century-old building is one of New York City’s 20 tallest, and at the time of its completion in 1913, it was the tallest in the world. Its lights were turned on in a fancy opening ceremony by President Woodrow Wilson, who pushed the on switch from Washington, D.C. Since the demise of the Woolworth Company in the ’90s, the building has passed hands to property developers who plan to convert the top 30 floors into luxury condos. You can still tour the lobby, however, with its stunning glass and marble interiors.

Gnocco

Gnocco

3 out of 5 stars

Sitting inconspicuously on a residential, tree-lined block facing Tompkins Square Park, Pierlugi Palazzo’s rustic, Northern Italian charmer recalls an era many have only heard of: a time before big-ticket toques conquered the East Village and the hood was teeming with affordable, family-owned Italian trattorias. It’s endearing then that the five-year-old Gnocco offers somewhat reasonable prices—heaping plates of pasta run around $17, pizza pies start at $15—for its hearty fare, which is served across a homey, indoor-outdoor space lined with romantic candles and potted greenery. It goes without saying that if you name your restaurant after a single dish, it needs to be done exceptionally well. To that end, Gnocco achieves its purpose: the beignet-like Modenese pastry made of fried pizza dough ($13.50) arrives with a large spread of different Italian meats (salty prosciutto, lusty capicola), which can be wrapped around or stuffed inside the steamy pockets for an instantly addictive, hot-meets-cold pairing. Its more familiar cousin pizza fares similarly well, an ideal option for fans of the thin crusted, generously-sauced style in varieties ranging from comfort-zone margherita ($14.50) to the standout bresaola-and-arugula number ($19.95). For larger plates, skip pricy-yet-lackluster entrees and opt for more bang-for-your-buck pastas, which recently included a summer special of creamy and perfectly al dente tagliolini blanketed in freshly shaved black truffles ($23.95). For a mo

Zuma

Zuma

3 out of 5 stars

In a city full of eateries striving to come across as authentically New York, it takes a Japanese-inspired London import to create a space that feels truly international. With locations in far-flung Dubai, Bangkok and Miami, Zuma’s globe-trotting influences play out in both appearance and menu at this New York outpost, which opened in 2015. The brainchild of German-born chef Rainer Becker, the 100-seat, iron-and-leather–clad concept centers on the informal Japanese style of izakaya dining, which typically involves shareable small plates along with a selection of sake. And while the markings of an upscale izakaya abound—there’s a sushi counter, 80-bottle sake bar and robata grill—, informal would also be the best way to characterize the restaurant’s treatment of its principal cuisine.   Offered a la carte or in a choice of chef’s omakase ($58 classic, $98 signature, $158 premium), the menu comprises such worldly offerings as prawn-and-cod dumplings, pork belly with yuzu mustard miso and an oven-roasted, corn-fed chicken roasted on cedar wood. On a recent night, the mid-range signature omakase opened with a steamed baby spinach lathered in a pleasantly sweet, almost peanut-buttery sesame dressing, before delving into a mixed parade of raw and robata offerings—of these, the standout was a simple yet instantly addictive fried softshell crab dipped in mizuna (Japanese mustard) and wasabi mayo, while crowd-pleasing seabass sashimi (yuzu, truffle salmon roe) proved likewise a succes

Pearl's

Pearl's

4 out of 5 stars

Want to save 50% on your food bill here? Check out Time Out 'Table for Two': The Favorites Box There has never been a shortage of Caribbean food in New York City, especially in Brooklyn, where street carts and pizzerias hawk snacky Jamaican beef patties while sit-down favorites (Glady’s in Crown Heights, The Islands in Prospect Heights) dish out classics like jerk chicken and curry goat. It’s a shame then that of all the borough’s neighborhoods, Williamsburg, for all it’s culinary acclaim, had been so historically lacking in West Indian flavors. Thankfully, the cuisine got a major player in the fall of 2015, when John Seymour (Sweet Chick, Pop’s of Brooklyn) and his wife Fallon (Pop’s of Brooklyn) opened this neon-lit, Calypso-soundtracked canteen that pays homage to Fallon’s native Trinidad and takes its name from her grandmother, Pearl. Here, the couple trade their signature burgers and fried chicken for traditional island staples, which channel the region’s wide range of cultural influences from African and Spanish to East Indian and Chinese. For starters, pop some crowd-pleasing plantain bites dipped in the requisite sweet tamarind-chili sauce ($5), or scoop a perfectly-seasoned bready crab stuffing straight out of the shell ($12). Of the larger plates, seek out a half rack of jerk ribs ($21), shellacked in a surprisingly fiery guava-BBQ sauce and tempered with a side of sweet, coconut-crusted corn. The spice averse, however, should opt instead for one of the house rotis

Kizuna Nikkei Cuisine

Kizuna Nikkei Cuisine

3 out of 5 stars

Perhaps the first indicator that this Park Slope joint—a venture by owner Jacob Krumgalz and chef David DiSalvo (Blaue Gans, Wallse)—might not be your traditional steakhouse is the pop-forward playlist of Kygo and Calvin Harris that soundtracks the dimly lit space. With exposed brick and purple painted walls, along with mustard-yellow chairs, decor decidedly evokes the charm of a European bistro rather than a rustic chophouse. Yet despite its appearances, the restaurant’s effortless hospitality is anything but casual: well-groomed servers attend to tables under the watch of a blazer-clad manager, who rattles off recommendations for both meats and accompanying bottles of wine while greeting each and every guest who enters the door. Starters and smaller plates skew mostly toward solid takes on standard offerings such as tuna tartare ($14) and charred octopus ($16). The most creative of the bunch, a photo-worthy pork belly cotton candy ($13), is an indulgent treat of spun sugar wrapped around crispy Berkshire pork that smacks of a similarly caramelized Chinese roast pork. Yet, some miss the mark: an unfortunately unremarkable trio of rubbery pan-seared scallops ($14) is further hindered by a bland puree of potato leeks. Those craving seafood should opt instead for the larger plate of creamy lobster risotto ($23), with an ample half-pound of Maine crustacean crowning a bed of Arborio rice and rich Parmigiano-Reggiano sauce. It’s clear that the highlight of this operation, as it s

News (194)

Eleven top New York chefs share their favorite cheap eats in the city

Eleven top New York chefs share their favorite cheap eats in the city

New York has one of the most innovative food scenes in the world but, unfortunately, not always one of the most affordable. So we asked eleven chefs from some of the most high-end establishments in the city to tell us the food they eat when they're trying to save a buck.Sabich sandwich at Taïm ($8.50)“I love this sandwich; it’s incredibly filling. I actually ate this on my wedding day, a few hours before the ceremony.” —Leah Cohen, Pig and Khao and Piggyback Bar Breakfast burrito at Choza Taqueria ($9)“Delicious, healthy and with a legit Mexican-roadside vibe. It’ll fill you up—great way to start the day.” —Daniel Humm, Eleven Madison Park Egg-salad sandwich and lime rickey at Eisenberg’s Sandwich Shop (Sandwich $7.50, drink $2)“The vibe is instantaneous when you walk in: unapologetically old school. They cook the eggs and lovingly sandwich and serve them as you sit at the counter. A tart lime rickey to wash it down, and I’m good to go.Never disappoints.” —Alex Guarnaschelli, Butter Beef-brisket soup noodle at Lam Zhou Handmade Noodle & Dumpling ($6)“I love the brisket noodle soup. It’s super cheap and filling and has great flavor for such a simple dish. The noodles are always fresh and have this incredible texture.” —Flynn McGarry, Gem  Burger at Corner Bistro ($9.75)“This burger is such a satisfying meal when you need to indulge—and so tasty because it’s made on the griddle.”—Simone Falco, Rossopomodoro Lengua taco at Taqueria St. Marks Place ($3.50)“They do offal tacos r

Time Out New York crowns the city's best bars at the Bar Awards 2016

Time Out New York crowns the city's best bars at the Bar Awards 2016

Last night, the best and brightest of New York's bar world gathered for an evening of drinks and celebration at Time Out New York's second annual Bar Awards. Nearly all of the 26 finalist venues attended the event to find out whether they would take home one of seven coveted awards, as voted by a panel of industry heavyweights. Time Out Executive Vice President Justin Etheridge and Editor-in-Chief Carla Sosenko took the stage to announce the winners, who included newcomers like Bar Goto (Best New Cocktail Bar) and stalwarts like Mission Chinese Food (Best Restaurant Bar Program) and Maison Premiere (Bar of the Year).  RECOMMENDED: Full guide to Time Out New York's Bar Awards Throughout the evening, guests were treated to an array of cocktails by Tito's Vodka and beers by Peroni, along with a selection of sliders and small bites by Arena NYC. After awards were announced, attendees hit the floor for beats supplied by DJ Louie XIV. Check out some of the photos below and check Time Out New York's Facebook page for a full gallery.  Photograph: Andrew Werner Photograph: Andrew Werner Photograph: Andrew Werner Photograph: Andrew Werner Photograph: Andrew Werner Photograph: Andrew Werner Photograph: Andrew Werner Photograph: Andrew Werner Photograph: Andrew Werner Photograph: Andrew Werner Photograph: Andrew Werner Photograph: Andrew Werner Photograph: Andrew Werner Photograph: Andrew Werner Photograph: Andrew Werner Photograph: Andrew Werner Photogra

New York's newest viral food looks like a big drop of water

New York's newest viral food looks like a big drop of water

Fresh water may soon be in high demand on the West Coast, but in New York, good old H2O is making waves as the latest social media food trend. Among the best new vendors at Smorgasburg this year is a stand hawking the viral Japanese dessert known as mizu shingen mochi. The crystalline creation was brought to New York by founder Darren Wong, who's dubbed his version the Raindrop Cake.  Offered on Saturday and Sundays, the orb-like cakes can be sliced like any soft jello, but will melt if overheated or left out for too long. Wong's version, which is already taking over the feeds of the best foodie Instagram accounts in NYC, is built with barely solidified water and agar (a gelatin), then served over brown sugar syrup and kinako (roasted soy flour). See below more photos of the raindrop cake from Smorgasburg's opening weekend.    A photo posted by @raindropcake on Mar 20, 2016 at 10:14am PDT   A photo posted by mi 🐯 (@burrnttoast) on Apr 3, 2016 at 4:42pm PDT   A video posted by Mike Chau (@mikejchau) on Apr 2, 2016 at 10:05am PDT See how it's made in this Huffington Post video:

Williamsburg boutique offers free cocktails every Thursday this summer

Williamsburg boutique offers free cocktails every Thursday this summer

Yes, you read that right. There's free booze in Williamsburg tonight. By Brooklyn—a Williamsburg artisans' boutique offering goods produced entirely in the borough—is bringing together a band of Kings County vendors for a happy hour series at its new location (142 Grand St). From 5-8pm every Thursday in July & August, enjoy gratis cocktails like a sage julep with Trees Knees' chili-infused maple syrup from Mixed Made, or a licorice-charged number from Anya's Licorice.  Check out the vendor schedule for the rest of the summer:  7/23 - Mixed Made  7/30 - Anya’s Licorice 8/6 - Short Stack - this will be the release party for their new Peaches book. Cocktails and food from recipes in the book will be served. 8/13 - Butter & Scotch 8/20 - Grady’s Cold Brew 8/27 - Brooklyn Brine    

Ten bottles of rosé that you can buy for less than $20

Ten bottles of rosé that you can buy for less than $20

With the year's first heat wave scorching its way through Gotham, New Yorkers are seeking comfort every way possible—from iced coffee to ice cream and, of course, chilly glasses of rosĂ©. Yet, despite all the fantastic wine bars the city has to offer, sometimes all you want is to pop open a bottle of vino in the comfort of your own air-conditioned home. From newcomers on Long Island to the standbys of Provence, here are 10 stellar bottles of rosĂ© you can buy in NYC for less than $20.  1. Wölffer Estate Vineyard 2015 RosĂ© One of the forerunners of Long Island's wine-growing region, the acclaimed Wölffer Estate Vineyard delivers this gold-label flagship bottle that embodies everything you want in a rosĂ©: a light pink color, fragrant aromas of fresh peach and pear, crisp minerality and a classic dry finish. $18 2. Winc's Summer Water 2015 RosĂ© The wine-loving Instagram Yes Way Rosé joins forces with personalized wine club Winc for this second iteration of the cult-loved "summer water" (pictured above). The wine emulates traditional French-style rosĂ© with a syrah-grenache blend that sources grape from the Santa Barbara County region. $13 3. Bridge Lane 2015 RosĂ© Lieb Cellars' Bridge Lane Winery, located on the vino-soaked North Folk of Long Island, emphasizes young, fruit-forward bottles. Their rosĂ© takes after the dry style of the wine, boasting the acidity of a white with the fruity finish of a great pink. $14.99   M de Minuty RosĂ© Photograph: Courtesy ChĂąteau Minuty 4. ChĂąteau

Eat and drink for free at Grand Central every Wednesday this month

Eat and drink for free at Grand Central every Wednesday this month

Spotted at Grand Central: The Third Annual "Taste of the Terminal" will return with gratis summer treats every Wednesday in July to help you push through the mid-week blues. Tomorrow's kick-off will include complimentary brews and pretzels courtesy of Beer Table to Go, ice cream and sorbet from Jacque Torres Ice Cream and Zaro's famous black-and-white cookies from 11am to 2pm and from 4pm to 7pm. While you drink and dine, enjoy a lineup of performers curated by Music Under New York, including the West Village Quartet and, fitting, NYC Subway Girl. Check out the festival's July-long schedule below:  Wednesday, July 111am - 2pm: Ceriello Fine Foods, diptyque, Joe Coffee Company, Zaro's BakeryLive Music provided by: Susan Keser (violinist, classical to pop)            4pm - 7pm:Financier Patisserie, Jacques Torres Ice Cream, Li-Lac Chocolates, Manhattan Chili Co.Live Music provided by: Inti & the Moon (Latin fusion guitars)  Wednesday, July 811am - 2pm:Ceriello Fine Foods, Li-Lac Chocolates, Oren's Daily Roast, Tia's PlaceLive Music provided by: The Poor Cousins (Irish Folkfiddle & guitar) 4pm - 7pm:Aveda, Jacques Torres Ice Cream, Manhattan Chili Co.Live Music provided by: Eliano Braz & Terra Quartet (classical strings) Wednesday, July 1511am - 2pm:Café Grumpy, diptyque, Neuhaus Belgian Chocolates, Zaro's BakeryLive Music provided by: Gabriel Aldort (jazz & pop keyboards & vocals)        4pm - 7pm:Financier Patisserie, Café Spice, Tia's PlaceLive Music provided by: Salieu Suso

The six most exciting new bakeries to try this fall

The six most exciting new bakeries to try this fall

Say goodbye to beaches and health-food diets and hello to big sweaters and delicious carbs. This year, several exciting new bakeries are popping up in New York just in time for the autumn's feasting season. From fresh-baked bagel sandwiches to hotly anticipated brioche doughnuts, here are six newfangled bakeries firing up their ovens this fall. RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best things to do in the fall in NYC Black Seed East Village: On Monday, the team behind the Nolita cult bagel Black Seed opens this outpost in the former home of century-old bakery De Robertis. They'll be rolling out the signature rounds—handmade and honey-boiled by baker Dianna Daoheung—in beloved Black Seed combinations (tobiko cream cheese) as well as location-exclusive newcomers (wood-oven roast beef). Nodding to the space's history, there will also be Jewish rugalach and Italian rainbow cookies. High Street on Hudson: This summer, the culinary world rallied together to raise funds for Philadelphia-based chef Eli Kulp (Torrisi Italian Specialties) after he was paralyzed during a horrifying Amtrak accident. Now, even in the face of extreme adversity, Kulp is still on track to debut his New York location of Philly's High Street on Market, which he owns with Ellen Yin. An on-site bakery helmed by the lauded oven-master Alexandre Bois will sling creative bagels and house-baked breads.  Luckybird: Bespoke cake-maker Amy Berger will shift her online business to a Williamsburg storefront at 163 Montrose Ave

Make like a bartender with the five best cocktail classes at NYC bars

Make like a bartender with the five best cocktail classes at NYC bars

Fancy yourself a cocktail enthusiast? Looking to take your Brian Flanagan-style tumbler shaking to the next level? You're in luck—some of NYC's best bars now offer handy cocktail-making classes that are completely open to the public. Whether you're a total rookie or a home-bartending pro, you'll be able to hone your shaking-and-stirring skills using our guide to boozy workshops led by some of New York's top bartenders. For bartending classes in New York, click here. Leyenda: On May 7, the team behind this pan-Latin critical darling will launch the first of their new home-bartending class series, taught by co-owners Julie Reiner, Ivy Mix and Tom Macy. Head to Cobble Hill for one of four professional-level courses (the following three take place in June, August and September), such as the introductory Home Bar Basics: Essential Bottles, Tools, Techniques and Recipes and a summer-ready Summer Cocktails to Beat the Heat! featuring refreshing fair-weather sips. Take note: each session is limited to just 12 students, so check out the full schedule ahead of time and snag your tickets here. $95  Mace: For those looking to save a buck while still getting a quality drink education, look no further than Nico de Soto's pocket-sized East Village watering hole. Joining forces with barware company Cocktail Kingdom, Mace offers free (yes, free) weekly bartending classes every Tuesday from 7 to 8pm dedicated to a specific drink. Upcoming sessions include the margarita on May 3, the mint julep

New Yorkers can officially drink before noon starting this Sunday

New Yorkers can officially drink before noon starting this Sunday

Thanks to super cool Governor Cuomo, the archaic 1920s-era laws banning the sale of alcohol before noon will finally be lifted this weekend. When we first reported on this development in June, the bill had just passed over in Albany. It was delayed for a few months, however, as these government things typically are, but tomorrow will be the official first day in this glorious era of early day-drinking. So whatever your plans are tonight, make sure to wake up a few hours early to make it to brunch by 10am tomorrow. You'll be getting a whole two extra hours of getting drunk, and for those of us who know that 24 hours in a day is never enough, that's a great thing. Not sure where to go? Check out our handy guide to the best brunch in NYC to pick the right spot.   

The seven best hidden gems in Chinatown, according to an expert

The seven best hidden gems in Chinatown, according to an expert

While Chinatown remains perhaps the grimiest 'hood in downtown Manhattan, many of its top restaurants and local attractions have been blown up by hungry tourists and local culture vultures alike. Still, some of its best spots have flown under-the-radar for years, frequented mostly by residents and longtime patrons. To discover some of the neighborhood's lesser-known spots, we spoke to Wilson Tang, proprietor behind Chinese-American eatery Fung Tu and Nom Wah Tea Parlor—the city's oldest dim sum joint. As a New York native and long-time Chinatown small business owner, Tang knows a thing or two about the area's best kept secrets. From beef jerky to jewelry, here are his seven must-visit hidden gems in Chinatown.  RECOMMENDED: Chinatown, NYC neighborhood guide 1. Jung's Beef Jerky Find excellent handmade beef and pork jerkies in sweet and spicy variations at this over 50-year-old mainstay, also called Ping's Dried Beef. The owners, a husband-wife duo, cut, marinate and dry the meat daily in small batches. Wilson's tip: "Get here early because once they are out, they are out." 58 Mulberry St (212-732-7645) 2. Chen's Watch Repair Operating out of a small cart outside Fong Inn restaurant, this father-son business carries most types of batteries and bands needed for replacements. The elder Mr. Chen is a watch connoisseur who is very capable of handling higher end watches. Wilson's tip: "Looking for used luxury watches? He might just be able to get you one!" 46 Mott St     Mama Eat

Where to watch the US Open in New York City

Where to watch the US Open in New York City

As the grand slam of American tennis returns to New York, the city is once again abuzz with all manner of US Open mania from tournament-themed eats to star-studded parties. While the exact schedule of play has yet to be announced, qualifiers are just around the corner (starting Tuesday, August 25th) and it's never too early to plan out where to watch if you won't be there in person. With bars and restaurants across town screening the tournament in its entirety—including UES Brit booze den Jones Wood Foundry, Flushing's new rooftop Leaf Bar & Lounge and Slate with its 40 TV's and 9 foot Megatron—you won't have too much trouble jostling for elbow room. However, if you're looking for tennis served with a side of food and drink, check out these five exclusive US Open specials.  RECOMMENDED: See updated content on where to watch US Open matches Bill Baker's: Catch late afternoon matches (4-5pm) at this recently opened bar offering a wide range of tournament specials including: free popcorn, $10 dogs, $6 Baker's brews (recipes created in-house), $1 oysters with a drink purchase and $10 beer-and-shot combos. Bounce Sporting Club: While you watch your favorite tennis stars on 30 HD TVs, the expansive sports bar will serve an "I Got Five on It" special during all matches with food and drink on the cheap. Throughout the duration of the US Open, fans can enjoy $5 beer, wine, well drinks, sangria and bar snacks (mac n' cheese bars, pigs in a pretzel, wings).  The Skylark: The path to thi

Six caipirinhas to try in NYC right now

Six caipirinhas to try in NYC right now

With the summer Olympics in Rio in full swing, Brazil's national spirit cachaça—along with its best known cocktail, the caipirinha—is having a bit of a moment stateside. And while the centuries-old, sugarcane-based liquor has been proven quite versatile in newfangled creations by NYC bartenders, that traditional caipirinha preparation with muddled lime wedges and sugar in an old-fashioned glass remains one of the most foolproof ways to cool off on a hot summer day. For those looking to experience drinks that channel the spirit of that classic cocktail, here are six takes on the caipirinha to try in NYC bars today.  Watermelon Caipirinha at La Marina  With 75,000 square feet of outdoor, waterfront boozing space, La Marina is the perfect spot to catch some sun and sip on this refreshing watermelon caipirinha. For this recipe, bar captain Christian Mendez mixes Yaguara cachaça with fresh watermelon juice, a splash of lime and sugar. Copa Ouro at the Polo Bar At Ralph Lauren's tough-to-get-into American restaurant, the caipirinha made with two types of cachaça—Avuá Prata and Avuá Amburana—along with the usual lime juice and Demerara syrup instead of simple. For a stiffer sip, it's served up without ice.  Olympic Smash at Clover Club This traditionally-minded rendition by bartender Travis St. Germain blends smooth, amber-hued Yaguara Ouro with one wedge lime and two and a half finger limes, muddled in simple syrup. The mix is shaken, poured into a rocks glass and garnished with a