NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Tall ships and sailors aren’t the only specialties coming to the Big Apple for Fleet Week.
The annual Memorial Day weekend event kicks off Wednesday. A tradition since 1984, sailing in with the ships will be city-wide food and drink specials at local bars and restaurants – to be enjoyed by tourists, foodies and soldiers alike.
Nearby the ships docked at Pier 86 (off W. 46th Street), sits Italian eatery Casa Nonna. At W. 38th Street, the location makes the Tuscan restaurant an ideal post-pier dining option. For Fleet Week, Casa Nonna is offering a pasta tasting, featuring four pasta courses and a dessert for $44.
Another dining destination near the ships is The Gastro Bar at 35th Street. The Gastro Bar specializes in tapas inspired by the five boroughs, so service men and women coming in from all over the country can sample authentic New York fare, including the Mini Pastrami Sandwich, the Baby Reuben Sandwich and the Mini New York Hot Dogs.
More: NYC’s Best Tapas
Also welcoming the troops will be Southern Hospitality BBQ. First round drafts (Coors or Miller) will be on the house for men and women in uniform at both the East side and West side locations.
More: NYC’s 10 Best Gastropubs
Over in the West Village, The Tea Set is celebrating Fleet Week with a special Mediterranean Platter and a Mon Capitaine Pisco Punch, served together for $29.
And as the military festivities take to Times Square on Saturday for Military Day, the area’s famous family-style Italian restaurant, Carmines, is welcoming sailors and ship visitors alike with a seafood feast. There, diners will find shareable platters of Baked Clams ($22.50), Shrimp Fra Diavolo ($31.50) and pasta with calamari ($24.50).
Meanwhile, another Times Square institution, Virgil’s, is also joining in on the Fleet Week fun. Only a few blocks from the military action, the restaurant is advertising their special as a alternative for “homesick Southern sailors who crave their hometown’s food.”
A variety of regional barbecue specialties will be available, such as Sliced Texas Beef Brisket ($22.50), Memphis Pork Ribs ($24.95), Pulled Carolina Pork ($20.50) and Kansas City Fried Chicken ($20.50).