Pride Week NYC culminates in the 43rd annual Pride March on Sunday, June 24. The hugely popular parade heads down Fifth Avenue from 36th Street, and ends in the West Village at Christopher and Greenwich, near the location of the June, 1969 Stonewall riots which helped spark the gay civil rights movement. Seek out these restaurants for brief respites, post-parade toasts or a quick refueling during the festivities (call for reservations wherever possible).
7 9th Ave (at Little West 12th St)
New York, NY 10014
Vittorio Assaf and Fabio Granato recently opened this spacious downtown addition to their Upper West/East Side Italian mini-empire directly opposite Meatpacking District brunch icon Pastis. After wandering among the tents at PrideFest (Hudson and West 14th Streets), nosh on fresh Northern Italian pastas (gluten-free available) and entrees like the Ravioli ai Porcini ($19.50). Or bite into one of the 24 different styles of pizza ($9.95-$29), including a classic Margherita or Ai Formaggi, hot out of the wood-burning oven. Both brunch and kids menus are available.
Bistro The Tea Set
235 West 12th St (at Greenwich)
New York, NY 10014
There’s something completely appropriate about this cozy tea house, a sensory mash-up of French, Asian, Indian and British influences nestled in the West Village. For Pride (and to help celebrate a newly minted liquor license), consider the boozy three-course prix fixe ($34), where courses one and three involve cocktails. Open with the Sex Booster Rosé Sangria, a blend of organic Sex Booster tea, rosé wine, citrus and champagne. Course two is an aphrodisiac seafood risotto, while course three is a ginger margarita featuring 1800 tequila, house-made ginger cordial, Cointreau and fresh lemon and lime juice.
259 Bleecker St (between Cornelia and Jones Streets)
New York, NY 10014
Sure you can grab a chewy, greasy slice from any corner joint, but this is a special day. Why blow your diet on bad ‘za? Pizza Roma specializes in square-cut “slices,” featuring local, organic products and a slow-rise dough claimed to be lighter and easier to digest than the usual NYC gut bombs. For Pride, you’ll find a counter-side “Stop and Go” special: any slice and a glass of Prosecco for $18. Or sit and mangiare with the $35 Gay Pride Prix Fixe: a mixed green salad, personal vegetarian Rainbow Pizza and a glass of Prosecco.
Eataly New York
200 5th Ave (at W 23rd St)
New York, NY 10010
Farther up the parade route, this ginormous Italian food hall offers sit-down, take-away and counter service in a variety of settings (though crowds here can be as manic and thick as along the parade route). Dine on ultra-fresh fish at Il Pesce or grab a porchetta sandwich to go at meat-centric La Rosticceria. Though it’s likely to be packed (and perhaps even reserved), the rooftop bar La Birreria ought to be a good place to both savor a craft beer and cheer on parade participants 14 stories below. Added bonus: The “We Remember” banner which used to be displayed at the New York Public library, is unfurled here (at 24th Street) instead.
Related: A Guide to NYC’s Flatiron District
Harney & Sons SoHo
433 Broome St (between Broadway and Crosby)
New York, NY 10013
For a nearby break from the madding crowd, swing by this peaceful SoHo oasis where walls of loose tea, a knowledgeable-to-the-point-of-geeky staff and free samples entice. Emeric Harney, general manager and third-generation tea blender, is actively involved in the LGBT community. Order the limited edition Love Life tea and proceeds will benefit the Gay Men’s Health Crisis (GMHC), also running a booth at PrideFest. At the back of the store, you’ll find the dozen-seat Tea Lounge, where a small bites’ menu and pots of tea encourage you to linger. Pair your brew with sliced cucumbers on rice crackers smeared with green tea cream cheese ($6) or ham and gruyere scones with dijon ($7).
Related: The 3 Best Iced Tea Cocktails In NYC
Robert Haynes-Peterson is an editor and freelance writer living in New York. He is certified by the American Sommelier Association through its 24-week Vinification and Viticulture program, and the government of Mexico through its Master Mezcalier program (continuing). His work can be found at Examiner.com.