Stucco-covered Julius’ may be the city’s very first gaystropub.
Why is the weather always hot as hell during Pride Weekend? Your best refuge — before, during, or after the march — is in a well-air-conditioned restaurant for a meal or snack (with a frozen cocktail or two, if you prefer). And you needn’t call it “brunch.”
On the other hand, the event always proves so tumultuous and exciting, maybe you want to try the difficult task of locating a streetside table — and, let us tell you, there are plenty of those in the West Village, where the whole shebang ends up.
The entire staff of Fork in the Road has been sent out to find the best joints to eat at on Pride Weekend, places that love the entire LGBT community — and would like nothing better than to take your money for some very good food. Some are obvious, while others are quite obscure, but all are within easy walking distance of the march route. See you there, and happy Pride Weekend!
The wonderful (and cheap) bacon cheeseburger at Julius’
10. Julius’ — Founded in 1927, Julius’ lays claim to being the city’s oldest gay tavern. A line of brass dogs runs along the bottom of the antique bar, while a back room is filled with framed Mattachine Society magazine covers. (Test for twinks: Do you know what the Mattachine Society is?) The kitchen is the only thing in the closet here, and it turns out juice-oozing burgers, perfect fries, BLTs, chicken sandwiches, and onion rings, plus a special or two per night. Cinema buffs: The first scene of Boys in the Band was filmed here. 159 West 10th Street, 212-243-1928
9. Cafeteria — Serving upscale diner food and eye candy 24 hours a day, Cafeteria is basically ground zero for LBGT dining. The music is loud, the drinks are ultra-leaded, the door staff’s got ‘tude, and the mac ‘n’ cheese is responsible for roughly half the gym memberships in Chelsea. And brunch, it goes without saying, is dependably crowded. 119 Seventh Avenue, 212-414-1717
8. Pink Teacup — This soul food hot spot has been near the corner of Bleecker and Seventh Avenue South since the days of Bob Dylan and Joan Baez, and you should make a beeline for the breakfasts, which feature perfectly cooked eggs, airy biscuits, Southern sage sausage, and, of course, rafts of crisp bacon. Available all day and late into the night. 88 Seventh Avenue South, 212-255-2124
Breakfast all day long is your best bet at Pink Teacup, but the fried chicken is pretty good, too.
The Texas hot links sandwich, on a brioche bun, with slaw, pickle, and salad
7. Bone Lick Park — Maybe this ain’t the best barbecue in town, but the portions are generous, the frozen margaritas strong, and the people watching unsurpassed — especially from the tables on the street, which are sure to be mobbed at this quintessential corner of the West Village. Go for the sauce-slathered Texas hot links sandwich, or a half-rack of baby-backs. 75 Greenwich Avenue, 212-647-9600
6. Elmo — The bustling scene is one of the best reasons to stop by this Chelsea hot spot. The food plays to the grandstand with a classic Cobb salad, meat loaf sandwich, and Kobe beef chili. The fries and herb mayo are particularly yummy, and the ultra-pink décor makes for a fun backdrop. Come here for some nibbles before continuing the evening at nearby Splash. 156 Seventh Avenue, 212-337-8000
5. Vynl — How gay is Vynl? So gay that you’ll find Cher and Dolly Parton in the restrooms (as décor, mind you), and Liza immortalized in tile on the tabletops. There’s a good dress-it-yourself hamburger, some classic salads, and decent pan-Asian food, but really, it’s the flashy ambience and the clientele that are the draws. 102 Eighth Avenue, 212-400-2118; 754 Ninth Avenue, 212-974-2003
Vynl spills its seats onto the sidewalk.
Finger sandwiches at Bosie Tea Parlor
4. East of Eighth — Usually the party at this rainbow-flag institution is at the downstairs bar, which somehow manages to be flamboyant and laid-back at the same time. During weekend mornings, however, all of the action moves to sunny back patio, where live jazz and mimosas aplenty make for a raucous brunch environment, even by Chelsea standards. 254 West 23rd Street, 212-352-0075
3. Bosie Tea Parlor — The owner is a fan of Oscar Wilde, and this new West Village tea parlor is named after his lover, Lord Alfred Bruce Douglas, nicknamed Bosie. Stop in here for a full afternoon tea, crustless finger sandwiches, or a simple cuppa from one of the 80 l’Âge de Thé teas on offer (or continue partying with a glass of wine or a cold beer). Macarons come in a rainbow of colors (perfect for Pride!), but better yet are the fancy desserts, like the Darjeeling tart or the Paris Brest. 10 Morton Street, 212-352-9900
2. Annisa — We’ve been following (and adoring) chef Anita Lo — certainly one of the first self-proclaimed lesbian chefs in the city — ever since she opened Mirezi over a decade ago. Annisa (“The Women” in Arabic) is one of Greenwich Village’s finest restaurants, a perennial contender for culinary awards. The truffled roast pullet with a pig-foot dice is not to be missed, nor is the rack of lamb with South African flavors. The dining room makes you feel like you’re sitting on a cloud. Reservations essential. 13 Barrow Street, 212-741-6699
The tiny bar at Annisa
The pad see ew and fried tofu at Room Service, with a cocktail called Sex in the Bathtub
1. Room Service — If Liberace owned a corner pad Thai joint, it would look like this. Who wouldn’t want to eat a plate of moderately priced Panang curry under a sparkling chandelier hanging from a pink patch of leather? Pair that with throbbing dance music and inexpensive cocktails, and you’ve got the biggest party you’ll ever experience in a place with a pad see ew lunch special. 166 Eighth Avenue, 212-691-0299
Come this weekend, Room Service will be mobbed.
Check out the rest of our Pride Week coverage.
This feature represents the combined efforts of Keith Wagstaff, Rebecca Marx, Lauren Shockey, and Robert Sietsema.