Travel writer based in UK. Liz Taylor wannabe and aspiring food critic with a penchant for sweet sherry, Romanian street dogs and fancy fridge magnets. Visited 35+ countries so far and counting.
Pride month is here! In 2019 NYC celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, the event that kicked off the LGBTQ movement. Events and activities are popping up all over the city celebrating the impact of the queer community. Spread the love by visiting some of our favourite local businesses linked to all things LGBTQ and beyond, from romantic restaurants and the best gay bars to quirky souvenirs, innovative cultural happenings and the crème de la crème of LGBTQ-owned businesses
Award winning Italian restaurant in Greenwich Village owned by powerhouse lesbian couple Jody Williams and Rita Sodi, the food pays homage to Sodi’s Tuscan food heritage and has been delighting New Yorkers for over a decade. In recent years, they also opened up Buvette, a gastrothèque (think part restaurant, part bar, part café) that’s consistently voted as one of the most romantic spots in the city.
Look out for Brooklyn made bean-to-bar chocolate brand Dalloway, artisan producers of vegan, gluten-free, fair-trade chocolate. They don’t have a store front but they do supply some of NYC’s best foodie stores, such as Formaggio Kitchen, Harlem Shambles and Westside Market .
New York’s oldest Chocolate House is a friend to the LGBTQ+ community offering up novel chocolate wedding party favours in the shape of Bride and Bride or Groom and Groom chocolate moulds and they come with great credentials – they’ve been officially certified by the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce New York.
This ice-cream nirvana in the east Village often tops the polls for best ice-cream in the USA. Their ice-cream pints are the stuff of legend; go for the cult ‘American Globs’ which combines fudge-covered salted pretzel balls with sweet malted ice-cream. You can visit Big Gay Ice-cream and have a chat with the staff on Urban Adventures’ LGBTQ+ History, Neighbourhood & Pub Tour of Greenwich Village.
Yummy popcorn available all over the city at various stores. The brother/sister team behind the brand appeared on Shark Tank and it’s now one America’s most coveted snack foods, making it onto Oprah’s Favorite Things List.
If you’re looking for something to wear for the big Pride Parade, look no further than The Phluid Project, a hip clothing store and community space in NoHo where all the products are gender-free. Pick up a souvenir Pride-themed t-shirt, fanny pack or bandana. It’s not just clothes either, other products (such as their divine Glisten candles) are sold with proceeds going to organisations that support the LGBTQ+ community. There’s also a café and community space where everyone is encouraged to hang and get to know each other.
Housingworks Thrift shops (various location)
Housing Works describes itself as a “community of people living with and affected by HIV/AIDS. Our mission is to end the dual crises of homelessness and AIDS through relentless advocacy, the provision of lifesaving services, and entrepreneurial businesses that sustain our efforts.” Happily they also run the best thrift shops in town, where you’ll find an eclectic collection of clothing, accessories, art, furniture, and homewares at unbeatable prices (with proceeds going back to the charity), perfect for anyone looking for a unique and oh-so-New York souvenir to take home.
Discover sumptuous candles, beautiful (and affordable) jewellery handmade in the USA, quirky kitchen and homeware and funky (and sometimes funny) paper-based products and stationery. Mackenzi Farquer met her wife at a tradeshow while buying for Lockwood, her mini home & gift store empire in Queens and they bonded over their mutual love of all things retail. Fast forward to now and the couple manage four stores; two home goods stores, a fabulous paperie and a clothing store.
They stock a wide range of titles but it’s the quirky events and sense of community that the Astoria Bookshop embodies that make it well worth the trip to Queens for a browse and to attend one of their immersive book club events. Lexi and her team regularly partner with local groups and organizations; selling books at the monthly LIC Reading Series and donating proceeds from their ‘Blind Date with a Book’ display to various non-profits (currently Immigrant Families Together).
Docked on Restaurant Row, the nautical-inspired Ritz comprises 2 bars, bi-level backyard patio plus a street-facing patio space. Natural wood sets the stylish mood at this bi-level lounge. Exciting nightly shows and renowned DJs make for an unparalleled dance club experience. Since it opened its doors in 2006, the Ritz endures as a top spot in the Hell’s Kitchen area. They’re known for their over-generous pours, so watch out!
One of New York City’s oldest gay bars located in Greenwich Village at corner of Christopher St & Gay St. Happy Hour, karaoke, drag shows, dancing & more! Cute bartenders serve up the most fun for the least money in a newly-renovated and extremely-seasonally-decorated lounge space. New show or party (or both) every night of the week! Free coat check, never a cover, $3 Drinks daily!
A gay & straight crowd camps out at this bi-level bar for piano sing-alongs, drag revues & comedy. Established in 1950 – The Duplex continues today as an international destination for arts and entertainment, providing nightly performances as varied and colorful as the streets of the West Village.
Since 2003, Therapy has been the Gay Bar in Hell’s Kitchen. Open nightly, featuring awesome drag shows, good food & clever cocktails. Many RuPaul’s Drag Race’s contestants and winners have had residencies here including Bianca Del Rio, Bob the Drag Queen and Monet X Change.
The oldest and most celebrated lesbian bar in NYC, lesbian-owned and lesbian-operated. Henrietta Hudson is proud to be age and gender diverse, inviting gay-boys and tourists to come and join in the fun. With two bars and, regular events (we love Homo Town for its nostalgic music setlists) and world class DJs on the weekends, this is NYC dyke-central.
Susanne Bartsch is NYC’s self-proclaimed patron saint of transformation and inclusion. A party-planner extraordinaire, she’s been curating some of the world’s most creative and inspirational events for over 30 years. She’s even been featured in a Netflix documentary, a sure-fire sign that you’ve ‘arrived.’ Check out On Top at Le Bain/Standard Hotel, Play Now at 3 Dollar Bill, and Bartschland Follies at the McKittrick Hotel (same location as the production “Sleep No More”, a very fun burlesque show with a rotating cast that sometimes features Amanda Lepore).
Ars Poetica is a queer woman-owned experiential poetry agency, providing entertainment and creative content for events and individuals around the world. They have written poetry for feminist and LGBTQ icons like Queen Latifah, Alyson Stoner, Rufus Wainwright, Hillary Clinton, and Meryl Streep, among many more. They host their own events too, and have a new series of handmade poetic talismans to benefit Planned Parenthood.
Queer Soup Night is a Brooklyn-born queer party with soup at its center. Regular events that showcase queer chefs & raise money for important causes such as the Trans Women of Color Collective and the Queer/Cuir Kitchen Brigade.
A cultural hub that aspires to reclaim scholarship from a queer perspective and preserve and exhibit artworks that speak to the LGBTQ+ community. Their powerful and eclectic exhibitions change regularly, so be sure to check their website to find out what’s going on while you’re in town.
Beginning life as a temple of expression for artists, musicians and dancers, House of Yes in Brooklyn has one of the most creative and fun event calendars in the whole city. They specialise in curating killer parties, spectacular entertainments and intimate experiences. And they’ve been so successful that you can now catch them in New Orlean, Miami, Los Angeles, Tennessee and London!
Explore NYC’s iconic West Village Village with a local guide by your side, hear stories about the people that shaped the LGBTQ+ community and see the Stonewall Inn, the Stonewall National Monument and the Oscar Wilde Bookshop. Enjoy a drink in the city’s oldest known gay bay and finish your evening in our favourite piano bar for a cocktail and a ‘Broadway Lullaby.’
This NYC icon has a long and complicated history but it’s probably best known as the former site of Limelight, one of the city’s most notorious 1980s night spots. After shutting it’s doors for the final time in 2007, it briefly came back to life as an uber-trendy department store. Now, if you want to admire the gothic architecture you can go for a gym session at the David Barton Gym or you could go for modern dim sum at Jue Lan Club, which is situated in the chapel, better known as ‘the shampoo room,’ which was home to many a debauched foam party back in the day.
One of the world’s most famous street artists, Haring gained international recognition in the 1980s for turning NYC’s iconic subway into an urban gallery of his thought-provoking art works. He went on to partake in a range of successful group and solo exhibitions around the world, open up his own gallery in Soho and launch the ground-breaking ‘Pop Shop’ where fans of his work could buy his art at an affordable price (usually on t-shirts, toys, buttons and magnets).