New York fucking City is not only the best city in the entire U.S., but in the entire world. I’ll pretend like you didn’t already know that, though. If you live here, you know that putting up with a disgusting amount of man buns, rat-infested subways, and questionable drug pushers is all worth it because no other place will ever be good enough. If you don’t live here, then I know you wish you did—otherwise, you would’ve never applied to NYU for grad school to begin with. The city is home to rooftops you can simultaneously tan and blackout at (a betch’s two talents), Instagram-worthy food you won’t find anywhere else, and a shit ton of your favorite celebrities because all those songs about NYC aren’t just for nothing.
Whether you’re a true New Yorker or (annoying) tourist, I’m sure you think you’ve hit up plenty of boujee rooftops and overpriced festivals in the past few months but there’s only six weeks of this
life-threatening heat wave summer left. It’s time to really amp up the crucial areas of your life (social, sex, Instagram) with the most perfect (and only) summer bucket list you’ll need. Realistically, if you’re seriously bored in New York City, then it’s your own goddamn fault.
^^^ Literally every time someone gets kicked out of a bar in the city.
1. Watch An Outdoor Movie With A View
Since suburbs or anything resembling John Deere-obsessed hicks are a foreign concept to those of us who are only outdoorsy in the sense that we enjoy blacking out on rooftops, that means drive-in theaters are pretty much non-existent, too. That is unless you’re willing to drive like, an hour away, aka
I literally don’t have my license that’s not happening. Get the same experience, only better, by visiting Bryant Park on Monday nights or Brooklyn Bridge Park on Thursday nights for free film viewings. Ditch the Netflix and chill for once and bring the blanket here instead. Best part? It’s free.
2. Buy Something With Too Many Calories At Smorgasburg
Even if you go every
weekend year, there will always be new additions to the city’s most Instagrammed food market in Brooklyn. This summer, find something you haven’t tried yet at Smorgasburg and get it for the likes. I’m not saying you actually have to eat it (does anyone eat the food they Insta?), all I’m saying is you’re guaranteed triple-digit likes.
3. Attend A Free Outdoor Concert In One Of NYC’s Parks
This really grool program, SummerStage, hosts hundreds of free concerts scattered across the five boroughs. In efforts to represent diversity and other good deeds for the city, the summer festival brings in a wide range of artists and genres to perform. Whether you’ve heard of them or not, it’s free fucking live music where you can buy beers and call yourself cultured or some shit.
4. Soak Up The Sun With Wine In The High Line Park
Despite all of the nightclubs we love in Meatpacking, it’s also the start of an elevated public park that’s built right on a historic train line. The High Line (don’t get it twisted with the hotel) runs from Gansevoort Street all the way to West 34th. It’s a little under 2 miles long so if you walk the whole thing, it totally counts as cardio for the week day. The park features perfect sunbathing chairs, cute little carts with famous popsicles, and most importantly, an outdoor cafe with a huge selection of beer and wine. Watch the sunset and stay for their stargazing events. You’ll have enough Instas to last you like, a week.
5. Order A Beer Pitcher From The Oldest Beer Garden In NYC
It may be a tad out of the way but, once again, YOLO. So if it means venturing out to Astoria by taking the N or the Q, you’ll live. The oldest and one of the biggest beer gardens in the city is right in Astoria, Queens. They have a menu full of dozens of beers and wines, so even if you just “don’t like beer,” you’ll def find one that tastes almost like Bud Light. Or, you can just resort to your usual wine. Their happy hours consist of $4 mugs and $14 pitchers—a deal you can’t pass up in a city that’s expensive af.
6. Score A Poolside Pic At One Of JIMMY’s Summer Pool Parties
This exclusive hotel in SoHo only opens its pool to the public without a cover charge on Saturdays and Sundays at 3pm. A Jimmy Pool Party has everything you need for a solid pregame or curing a bad hangover. With live DJs, stocked bar, too many guys in finance, and a pool with stunning views, it’s everything you need for the perfect photo op. Use your own discretion for risking possible STDs in the pool, but other than that, you’ll have no problem finding enough room for a Bambi candid on the poolside. While you’re at it, use our guide for other rooftop bars you should blackout at ASAP.
7. Visit “The Happiest Place On Earth” At Least Twice
This is a must-do for any Hamptons- or beer-lover—so like, everyone. Have you had your Instagram flooded with people covered in yellow fucking smiley face stickers, looking like they’re having the time of their lives? Well, they’re def at The Boardy Barn. Open only on Sundays (rain or shine), this outdoor tented bar is the place Long Islanders love to get wasted by 3pm at. Its specials are basically “dollar beer nights” on crack. So, like a shit show. Be prepared to get beer for no more than a couple dollars accompanied with some mud, 90s hits, and a pizza counter for those drunchies. Admission is $20 but all so very worth it. No wonder this place closes at 8pm, you’ll be blackout by like, 6pm.
8. Get Buzzed Off Of Ice Cream
The gods have heard us. Alcohol + ice cream is now very much a thing. Located in Kips Bay, Tipsy Scoop features a plethora of flavors all infused with alcohol up to five percent. They range from Mango Margarita Sorbet, Cake Batter Vodka Martini, to Spiked Hazelnut Coffee. If you come during their afternoon happy hours, you can get two for the price of one. What a pregame game-changer.
9. Eat On The Water
The Frying Pan, a literal floating lighthouse, is located on Pier 66 on West 26th. Impress your friends with serious brunch upgrades by opting to eat and drink on this docked bar with an unreal view of the Hudson River. You can choose from a number of beers, wines, and liquors, as well as a variety of food to hold you over. Since The Frying Pan is right on the water, you probs won’t be able to tell the difference between you actually being drunk or just moving along with the waves. Either way, you won’t even care, just try not to vom.
10. Splurge On An Overpriced Music Festival On Some NYC Island
Your summer isn’t really complete until you pay like, $300 for a music festival you hardly remember in New York. With Panorama coming up this weekend, what better time to spend an obscene amount of money on a festival full of good music, wannabe hippies, and an unhealthy amount of alcohol. The upcoming 3-day music fest will take place on Randall’s Island, featuring artists like Frank Ocean, Tame Impala, Kiiara, Tyler the Creator, and tons of other people you probably don’t know. The creators of Coachella came up with this festival too so, this is as close as you’ll get to being Vanessa Hudgens on the East Coast anyway. See the full lineup and buy tickets here.
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There’s only one place you can go to cleanse your sins on a Sunday morning in NYC, and that is boozy brunch. Bottomless drinks aren’t just an institution in this city, they’re literally the only thing we’ll wake up for after accidentally staying out until 5 AM, otherwise known here as relaxing after a long work week. Like everything in NYC, there are tons of options to choose from, which means we had to thoroughly investigate all the best places to bitch about being rent-poor while chugging champagne. Here are our ten favorite boozy brunch spots in Manhattan, because there’s no fucking way we’re getting on the L train that early:
1. Calle Ocho
Apologies in advance for using this word, but Calle Ocho is fucking lit. If you’re looking for an amazing Mexican brunch for under $30, look no further. Come hungry, because you’ll gorge yourself on the bread basket they dole out before the entree comes. And that $30 price tag I quoted? It includes the drinks. YEP. I’m talking multiple brunch sangrias in various flavors such as tropical, fresas (that’s strawberry for those of you who failed Spanish), and something called Havana Banana—and it’s all included in the price of your meal. Can’t decide between a white, red, or rosé? Try them all (and then die—the dranks are strong af). It’s worth the trek to the Upper West side, just trust me. (From $20)
This spot in the West Village is a failsafe option for when you want something slightly more bougie that involves a lot of guac. This is a two-hour BB that gets you any entree plus unlimited mimosas, wine or frozen margaritas, and you should really get at least one frozen marg because they’re fire. Their Mexican food is also amazing, so you don’t even need to be wasted to enjoy it. Factor in the chill decor, good service quick refills, and prime location for post-brunch drinking, and this spot is a 10/10. Just remember to book in advance. ($33)
If you feel like going back to the LES where you were blacked out a few hours ago, head on down to Essex for a fun brunch scene with loud music that’s good for bigger groups. You’ll get unlimited Bloody’s, screwdrivers and mimosas here and they go heavy on the alcohol which is a huge bonus because fuck work tomorrow. It’s also a loft-style restaurant with lots of natural lighting for your Instagram which is very important for obvious reasons. ($32)
4. Crooked Knife
This place gets our glowing stamp of approval as another very solid brunch option in the West Village. The menu has entire sections dedicated to omelettes and eggs bennies, and also things like fried mac n’ cheese and creme brulee french toast if you really feel like falling off the wagon due to the Sunday scaries. If you come when the weather’s nice, there’s a cute outdoor patio which is pretty small, but also hello, you’re in New York. ($39)
5. Dos Caminos
There are five Dos Caminos locations in NYC, which means no matter where you live, you aren’t far from delicious Mexican food and margs around brunch time. You’ve likely already been here for birthday dinners or drinks since this chain is somewhat of a staple, but why not try it out earlier when you can get the same cocktails for less? When it comes to hungover brunch we’re really not trying to reinvent the wheel here. ($18 + entree)
6. Il Bastardo
If you’re trying to keep the party going then we’d recommend Il Bastardo in Chelsea, which is always packed and rowdy enough to make you forget that other people are getting their shit together at this hour. Each person gets their own bottle of champagne or rosé, or a full pitcher of mimosa. There are also shot girls walking around, and if all that won’t get you buzzed then we can’t help you. The music is loud and there’s a strict dress code, so it’s not casual by any means, but then again none of the best boozy brunches are. ($65)
By now you’ve probably gotten copped onto the fact that Mexican is the main cuisine for the best boozy brunches, and Maya is yet another example in the UES. The kicker here is that you get unlimited drinks and food for two hours, which is enough to fuck up your diet in a major yet justifiable way. They’ve got a bumping hip-hop playlist going so order one of everything and go to town (it’s not like you’re going anywhere after…you’re in the UES). ($45)
8. Cafe Cortadito
You don’t come to Cafe Cortadito for the food, you come to get wasted with a bunch of friends at noon in the East Village and not get judged for it. The venue is small and always packed but on the plus side they’ve got outdoor seating for when it’s nice out. They serve Cuban dishes here, and with any entree you get unlimited mimosas and sangria. They have also have a champagne mojito which you should definitely get like, at least five of. ($23)
Poco is another fun spot in the East Village with great decor and even better vibes for day drinking on FRIDAY (if you’re taking a “sick day” from work), Saturday or Sunday. This place gets booked up fast so you’ll need to make a reservation in advance and it’s cash only *eye roll*. Other than that it’s a solid spot to drink all the Bloody’s, mimosas and sangria that your heart desires and your liver can handle. ($32)
10. Yerba Buena
This place has two locations, one in the East Village and one in the West, and both are highly recommended for a reliable drunching experience with food that’s actually really good (we’d even recommend this place sober, if that was a thing we ever did). Their bottomless deal only lasts for one hour, so you’ve got to be efficient to get through their long list of great cocktails, but we’ve got faith you can take full advantage. ($17 + entree)