By Natasha Bazika
Who is ready for summer in the city? We definitely are! From dining alfresco to rooftop bars and pools, and let’s not forget the free summer festivals, this summer is set to sizzle, and we can’t wait. Don your best outfit for Summer at Lincoln Center, catch a movie on a rooftop and cheers to warmer, longer weekends because summer is here and it’s staying. Check out our guide on what to do this summer in the greatest city on the planet.
One of the better things about summer is the ability to dine outside under warm rays. In a city that is built mainly on concrete, restaurants use sidewalks, rooftops and any space they can secure to provide a sun-filled dining experience; even if it’s letting the breeze in through large folding doors. We scoured the concrete jungle to bring you some great alfresco dining options.
Añejo Tribeca Born out of a desire to create a quality and fun dining experience, Añejo Tribeca is here to satisfy all your summer Mexican fantasies from braised short rib tacos to a cellar brimming with 200 tequilas—and a tequila sommelier. It doesn’t get better than that. Set in the hip area, known for its industrial buildings turned residential lofts, Añejo offers a refreshing casual dining spot, set in a beautiful industrial chic building. Spend your lunch breaks munching on Pork Carnitas or meetings sipping on mezcal and crunching on chips and salsa—because there are no chips without salsa, and guacamole. Info: anejotribeca.com.
Arlo SoHo This hotel offers more than just thoughtfully designed guest rooms; it also boasts several dining options from a rooftop to a blossoming courtyard. The Courtyard makes for an excellent spot to relax in the outdoors under the cool shade of bamboo trees. Enjoy a cocktail, eat, or simply sit back and soak up the atmosphere. Head down to Harold’s, the neighborhood hotspot for weekend brunch, complete with Bloody Mary and Shakshuka. You can also indulge in the same menu items from Harold’s at Arlo Blooms, an eco-friendly botanical garden bursting with color on The Courtyard. Why not book the greenhouse for a group alfresco dining experience. Info: arlohotels.com/arlo-soho.
Whether you’re looking to rage in the mosh pit, appreciating local artists, or simply want to dress up for a pink-themed picnic, New York City has it all—and more. This summer several free summer festivals are happening and some which require an admission fee but are entirely worth it. Check out just some of the anticipated events coming to the city soon.
MoMA PS1 No list of summer festivals would be complete without the beloved annual MoMA PS1 Summer Warm Up, the most anticipated outdoor music series, which run every Sunday during July and August. The series will feature the best in live and electronic music, presenting a wide range of emerging and established artists. Although the lineup has not been announced, we do know it will be exceptional. The program’s alumni include contemporary creators Solange, Black Dice, Cardi B, Jamie XX, Lizzo, Skepta, Thom Yorke, Four Tet, and A-Trak as well as legendary DJs including Derrick May, DJ Premier, and Ritchie Hawtin. Info: moma.org/calendar/programs/156.
Summer At Lincoln Center Throughout the summer, Lincoln Center will be host to several events, starting with Midsummer Night Swing, an event that will have you dancing all night long. Enjoy the sounds of renowned guest artists, emerging voices, premieres, and more—all reflecting Mozart’s legacy at the Mostly Mozart Festival. Celebrate all things theater all summer long with events such as Lincoln Center’s Great Performers who will be delivering compelling performances of classical and bold, cutting-edge repertoire. The American Songbook is set to keep the canon of popular American songs relevant with new interpretations while Summer Evenings offers listeners three captivating programs of beloved chamber repertoire. Get your tickets now before they sell out. Info: lincolncenter.org/festivals-programs.
PINKNIC IN THE PARK
This year instead of a picnic in the park, try Pinknic in the park. This summer tradition welcomes hundreds if not thousands of guests a year, all dressed in pink and white, sipping on rosé, frosé, Champagne, and even pink cider. As is proper etiquette of a picnic in the park, food will be served by the mouthful and includes all our favorites from Beyond Sushi, to Wowfulls and Dô: Cookie Dough. Also, Big Mozz, Corner Harvest, Doughnuttery, Gordo’s Cantina, Lena, Lobster Joint, Mac Truck, Melt Shop, Mighty Quinn’s BBQ, Ramen Burger and more will all be making an appearance. While sipping on festive drinks and indulging in the best of the best, live music will be supplied by a lineup of talented artists including Mark Ronson, Chromeo, Youngr, Brasstracks and more. The two-day event will take place on Randall’s Island Park from July 19-20 with tickets ranging from $95 to $185. Don’t forget to grab the complimentary Pinknic wine glass. Info: pinknic.com.
Yes, it is rooftop bar weather, and we have been waiting since last summer to check out the latest additions to the skyline. From a carnival-inspired adults only wonderland to a sophisticated new rooftop bar drawing in crowds for its botanical interiors, we bring to you the rooftop bars that are not to be missed this season, all complete with spectacular views.
Magic Hour Celebrate happy hour at Magic Hour, a fantasia rooftop bar designed to make all your circus dreams come true atop Moxy Times Square Hotel. Whether you visit by day or by night, it’s a place that’s good every hour of the day. Brunch on Sunday comes with a super stack of pancakes, an 18 oz. party pouch or a glittering disco ball filled with Bajan Tiki Punch. If you’re a purist, mimosa’s come deconstructed, waiting for you to mix brut with orange juice. Afternoon drinks are accompanied by snacks like disco waffles, jumbo soft pretzel, magic hour sliders, chicken tenders, French fries and more. For those with a sweet tooth, the boozy cupcakes are not to be missed. As for the cocktails, they come in curious vessels of all shapes and sizes. If you’re with a group, the choices under the Spirits for Sharing section include high octane, a fanciful fuel-pump filled with the “float my boat” cocktail or classic popcorn bucket served with a “berry bubbly” cocktail. Don’t worry, their beverage list also features classics like wine, Champagne, beer, and spirits. Info: moxytimessquare.com.
CATCH Roof One of few rooftops open for lunch, dinner, and late night in the Meatpacking District is also one of the coolest, with frequent celebrity sightings, so you know you’re dining where they do. CATCH Roof is located on the rooftop of CATCH NYC a restaurant bringing creative seafood-focused food to the hip area. Enjoy panoramic views in an ultra-chic atmosphere with great food, great company, and an unparalleled ambiance. You can dine alfresco in the 3,000 square foot indoor and outdoor penthouse or enjoy the beautiful weather on the terrace. Sip on inventive cocktails like the Pineapple Trainwreck, Mojito Mo’ Problems, and Dirtier Bastard. Don’t forget to stop by for brunch for the beet cured salmon eggs benedict, tuna poke bowl, or grilled Spanish octopus. There are also these fantastic Instagram worthy seafood towers and oyster shooters. Info: Call 212-392-5978 to reserve a table.
Fleur Room The latest rooftop bar to grace New York with its presence has already attracted a loyal crowd and continues to excite newcomers, so we thought it would be the perfect opportunity to introduce this swanky new space to you. The glass-encased lounge on Moxy Chelsea’s 35th floor has showstopping, 360-degree views of the Manhattan skyline, from the Statue of Liberty to the Empire State Building. As the weather warms, the glass walls retract to create an alfresco sky veranda, perfect for lounging with friends soaking up the views and summer breeze. Inside, botanical-inspired interiors create a glamorous space complete with luxurious floral fabrics, a copper-clad bar, water droplet chandelier and a massive vintage disco ball that once hung in the infamous LA club Vertigo. Stay for dinner or come for the bar bites, whichever you choose, the Fleur Room has a taste for all types. Indulge in Black Truffle Popcorn and Tea Sandwiches with King Crab Salad or opt-in for the main menu highlight such as the Steak Frites and finish with Cotton Candy and Mini-Ice Cream Cones. Info: Call 212-888-1095 to reserve a table.
Intrepid Summer Movie Series
May 24th – August 16th
Watch a movie under the stars on a ship’s flight deck and enjoy views of the Hudson River and famous Manhattan skyline. Admission is free, so first-come, first served. Info: intrepidmuseum.org/movie-series.
June 4th – August 6th
Hosted by BRIC, Celebrate Brooklyn is an event that lasts all summer and includes exhibits from local artists, events and performances. Info: bricartsmedia.org/events-performances/BRIC-celebrate-Brooklyn-festival.
The Belmont Stakes
Head to Queens and place your bets. In addition to the final leg of the thoroughbred Triple Crown horse races, the Belmont Stakes features a three-day festival with dozens of races, live music and a food-truck village for visitors to enjoy. Info belmontstakes.com.
Museum Mile Festival
New York’s biggest block party is back again this year for one day from 6 to 9 pm. Walk the mile on Fifth Avenue between 82nd and 110th Streets while visiting some of New York City’s finest cultural institutions, which are free and open to the public. Info: museummilefestival.org.
Sport your best rainbow at the annual LGBTQ+ street fair for a day of fun and celebration in the name of equality. Info: 2019-worldpride-stonewall50.nycpride.org/events/pridefest.
Macys 4th Of July Fireworks
Every year, Macy’s puts on a spectacular fireworks display for the city—and nation. This year, we’ll be celebrating America’s 243rd birthday from the Brooklyn Bridge. Info: macys.com/social/fireworks.