Guides New York Where To Eat, Drink, Stay & Play In NYC: Summer 2023

Where To Eat, Drink, Stay & Play In NYC: Summer 2023

City Guide July 20, 2023


Get ready to dive into the vibrant heart of New York City, where the city's pulse quickens under the summer sun. After a long and arduous winter, we deserve some fun. This is why we’re conjuring up this list of where To Eat, Drink & Stay in NYC. Whether you're a foodie, a cocktail connoisseur, a culture enthusiast, or a traveler seeking the best spots to unwind, we've got you covered with all the fun things in summer 2023 in NYC.

We’re talking all things food, drinks, stays, and plays, but before that, we’ll mention luggage storage— because nothing is fun when you have to lug your things around. But no worries, Nannybag is here to solve that problem.

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Where To Eat in NYC


Welcome to Smorgasburg, the largest weekly open food festival in the States. Each week dozens of local vendors come together for this event. In NYC, smorgasburg is open Friday, Saturday, and Sunday in different locations daily.

Try some Brazilian bites at Petisco Brazuca or Colombian street food at Palenque. The choices are endless, well there is an end, but it’s a lot! So head over to your nearest Smorgasburg for places to eat and drink.

Where: Thursdays open at Midtown 1211 Avenue of the Americas

Fridays open at The Oculus, Fulton+Church from 11 am to 7 pm

Saturdays at Marsha P. Johnson State Park, 90 Kent Ave, Brooklyn, from 11 am to 6 pm

Sundays at Prospect Park, Breeze Hill, Brooklyn, from 11 am to 6 pm

If you RSVP on weekends, you get a $5 voucher!


Japan Fes

Japan Fes is a vibrant celebration of Japanese culture in New York. With over 300,000 annual attendees and 1,000 vendors, it’s the world’s largest Japanese food festival. You can find many authentic Japanese foods like Takoyaki, Okonomiyaki, Yakisoba, Karaage, Ramen, Matcha sweets, or Imagawayaki here. The dates are limited and scattered throughout the summer, so check and free your schedule beforehand.

Where: To check out dates and locations for 2023, click here.


Empanada Mama

This translates to the mother of all empanadas, and there’s a reason why. Empanada Mama is known for having the biggest and best empanadas in NYC. With over 40+ flavors on rotation, you’re guaranteed to find your new favorite. But if you have trouble making up your mind (libras,z we’re looking at you), look at the menu online beforehand, take a deep breath, and remember that you’ve got this.

Where: 4 locations: 765 9th Ave/ 95 Allen St/ 200 W 40th St/ 355 E 14th St.


Port Sa’id

The second version of a Tel Aviv restaurant, led by the chef from Miznon and Shmoné, is Port Sa’id - an expansive establishment offering a unique Israeli menu and playing an all-vinyl soundtrack. The ambiance in Hudson Square resembles a laid-back warehouse party, featuring numerous tables adorned with brown butcher paper alongside a lengthy bar overlooking an open kitchen.

The food plates might seem fancy but don’t worry. It’s not a fine-dining restaurant. The vibes here are very calm and relaxed. Come for the food, and stay for the speakeasy.

Where: 350 Hudson St, New York



Where To Drink in NYC

La Barca Cantina

Say hello to New York’s first and only floating (on a boat) Mexican restaurant. The restaurant features a full bar with exquisite cocktails and agave flights. If you’re looking for Mexican food, you’re lucky because the menu includes delicious tacos and other Tex-Mex snacks.

La Barca Cantina has specialty sailings like the bottomless mimosa and bellini sailing on Sundays and the Barka after Darka, a 3-hour sailing with a DJ on board. Enjoy the views from Hudson Bay as you get up close and personal with sights like the Statue of Liberty.

Where: Pier 81, W 41st St, New York


Mr. Purple

This luxury rooftop lounge and bar is one of the best bars in NYC. It’s a great place to be for a sunset happy hour or a chill afternoon cocktail. Try their spritzes, the perfect drink for the summer weather.

This rooftop also has a pool and is open to the crowd on the weekends. Remember that there is a minimum spend to access the pool.

Where: Hotel Indigo Lower East Side, New York



Translating to “Passionfruit” in Portuguese, Maracuja is a neighborhood bar in Williamsburg. Drop in for the daily hour to score cocktails and frozen cocktails for only $9 and pair them with some East Coast oysters from Wellfleet, Massachusetts. Hang out, drink or two, and play pool while you’re there.

Where: 279 Grand St, Brooklyn, NY


Broken Shaker

Conceived by the visionary minds of Gabriel Orta and Elad Zvi from Bar Lab, this James Beard Award semi-finalist and winner of Tales of the Cocktail's Best American Hotel Bar promises a great time. The talented mixologists skillfully blend elixirs, syrups, and infusions, elevating them with fragrant herbs, freshly pressed juices, and exotic ingredients from across the globe. Enjoy a curated drink with a panoramic view of the city.

Where: 23 Lexington Ave, New York


Where To Stay in NYC

Empire Hotel

The Empire Hotel is a hidden gem that won't break the bank. Nestled in a prime location, you'll be just steps away from iconic attractions and trendy neighborhoods. The Empire has a guests-only sun deck and plunge pool 13 floors above the city streets. It isn’t easy to find a hotel with a pool at an okay price point which is why this has made it on the list.

One of the most frequently asked questions at this hotel is whether or not it’s the one featured on Gossip Girl. But that’s a secret we’ll never tell xoxo… just kidding it is.

Where: Empire Hotel, 44 West 63rd Street


Citizen M in Midtown

Citizen M’s have been taking over, and for good reason. This trendy hotel offers a sleek and modern design, setting the stage for a good experience. Located in the heart of Midtown, you'll have easy access to NYC's iconic landmarks, eclectic dining scenes, and vibrant nightlife.

Citizen M is here to deliver affordable luxury. By streamlining the check-in process, reducing the room sizes, and other minor tweaks, they can give you affordable without it feeling cheap.

Where: 189 Bowery, NY 10002, New York


The Jane Hotel Hostel

Step back in time and embrace the Bohemian spirit at The Jane Hotel Hostel. Housed in a historic building with a rich past, this quirky gem exudes a vintage charm. As a budget-friendly option, it's perfect for those seeking a unique and characterful stay without compromising comfort.

Prepare to share a shower with other guests, but it's certainly worth it for compact singles at $99. Great rates, cozy rooms, and a fabulous location at the Jane Hotel.

Where: 113 Jane St, New York, NY 10014


Freehand Hotel

Here is where creativity and community meet. Experience an eclectic atmosphere that draws in artists, adventurers, and urban explorers. This stylish hotel offers a variety of housing options, from private rooms to shared spaces, fostering a sense of connection and camaraderie among the guests. You’re guaranteed a good time as you enjoy the upscale amenities at the Freehand Hotel.

Where: 23 Lexington Ave, New York



Where To Play in NYC


Rollerskating at Rockefeller Center

The rink transforms into a vibrant roller paradise in the summer, another one on the list of fun things to do in NYC this summer. Whether you're a novice or a seasoned rollerblader, this one-of-a-kind rink welcomes all skaters. Boogie away with the guest DJs as you impress everyone with your shoot-the-ducks or any other skate moves you’ve picked up.

Address: The Rink is located at Rockefeller Plaza between 50th and 49th Streets

Hours: Daily from 12 pm–10 pm

Price: From $22 per person


Catch a movie at the Rooftop Cinema Club

With cozy seating, delicious snacks, and an electric atmosphere, these rooftop cinemas are a must-visit for film enthusiasts and city explorers. The Rooftop Cinema Club has a schedule of movies, and the showings range from family-friendly movies like Encanto to feminist revenge blockbusters like Promising Young Woman. So grab your popcorn and enjoy an unforgettable movie night under the stars with a view like no other because this is a must-do on your summer bucket list.

Address: 60 West 37th Street, New York, NY

Price: Prices range from $19.50 - $28.50, depending on seat type, ticket inclusions, and time of day

To see the movie schedule click here.


Kayaking in the Hudson Bay

Discover a fresh perspective of the city as you paddle past iconic landmarks and serene waterfront views from Hudson Bay. New York City provides many free kayaking experiences around different city points. Whether you're a seasoned paddler or a first-timer, kayaking in NYC offers calm waters as an escape from the urban jungle. Connect with nature as you paddle and set out into the waters.

Address: Pier 26 Hudson River Greenway

Hours: Kayaking is offered on weekends and holidays from 10 am-4:30 pm, no reservation is needed

Price: Free!



Pickleball Court in Central Park

Central Park now has a vibrant pickleball court where sports lovers can gather to enjoy a game of strategy, skill, and friendly competition. Yup, that’s right, New York has it all, folks. Whether you're a seasoned player or a curious beginner, this court is the perfect spot to practice your hand at Pickleball. Bring your friends and split a court among you!

Address: Wollmann Rink from 59th Street and 6th Avenue

Price: between $80 and $120 per hour, depending on the day and time you decide to play

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