While the famed event technically started on September 20th, it doesn’t end until October 5th. And, truly, like any good foreign-tradition-turned-American, it will actually run all month throughout the city. So, you can still hop on the band wagon for the festivities. To decide on where to celebrate, Time Out New York lists its best beer gardens and beer halls, but there are plenty others not mentioned on the list worth giving a shot. If you’re up for a trip across the Hudson, Hoboken’s Pilsener Haus & Biergarten will not disappoint. Alternatively, if you’re stuck in Midtown for work (and maybe even if you’re not) head over to Bierhaus NYC, a hidden second-floor gem between 44th and 45th that boasts a great selection and authentic environment, table dancing included.
2. Head over to Brooklyn for Smorgasburg
While the weather is mild and the tourists are few, venture across the East River to Williamsburg for Smorgasburg, Brooklyn’s Flea Food Market. With over 100 vendors available, you can get lost while perusing everything from antiques to honey and hot sauce. Sip on some awesomely unique coffee or tea, pick up some McClure’s Pickles, and of course, grab lunch from one of the many food carts before leaving.
3. …Or to Arthur Avenue in the Bronx!
Located in the Belmont section of the Bronx, this is a must trip for anyone who deems themselves a true New Yorker. Pulling directly from the website, Arthur Avenue can be encapsulated in the following: “Ask any New Yorker about Arthur Avenue in the Bronx and you get either puzzlement or a flood of loving sentiment about the real Little Italy of New York, the best place for bread, pasta, meat, pastries, espresso machines, the only place to buy Italian sausage, and more. The paradox is real: Many New Yorkers never heard of the place, while for others it’s home away from home … although it is often a well-kept secret.” Pick up the best mozzarella in town (the same place that many esteemed Manhattan restaurants and markets buy from),
4. Piggy back it with a trip to the Bronx Zoo!
While you’re already up in the Bronx on a crisp fall day, you may as well go say hi to komono dragons and red pandas, right? If you’re anti-zoo or just not quite into it, there’s always the beloved Bronx Botanical Gardens as well!
Not into the Bronx or Brooklyn? How about Flushing, Queens for the real Chinatown? You get the gist, here – all I’m recommending is a trip out of Manhattan to one of the other boroughs for a hearty bite of culture elsewhere. Except Staten Island. I would never do that to you (honestly, how do people even get there?). But Mandarin Town is legitimate and it’s worth the 20 minutes into the faraway land of Flushing, Queens for the food. Plus, Andrew Zimmer already has us covered with a definitive guide and map.
From Wednesday, October 16th to Sunday, October 19th this will be one packed 5-day feast. Celebrity chefs from around the world will be in town hosting intimate dinners and hands-on classes. There will be parties and tastings and seminars of all sorts – but, like most things in Manhattan, it will come at a price. May I suggest the $100 and under list?
Yes, this is a thing and it’s (seemingly) more awesome than #6. Watch short films/informative documentaries on everything from beer to oysters, and then indulge in said delicacies afterward. It has been noted that “no, you will not need to make dinner reservations that same night.” Essentially, you’ll be fed well, and for a significantly cheaper price than most of the food & wine festival events. I’ve got my eye on the Nov. 1st Brewmore + More and The Night Aquatic.
8. Spend the day in Central Park!
There are few things more enjoyable than a warm, fall day spent in the park. For those who don’t live within a few blocks of it, though, it tends to take a backseat to all of our other favorite NYC destinations. But, there’s so much to do! If you’re a morning person, start the weekend off right with a jog or walk through the park with your friend. Then, grab brunch at Sarabeth’s on Central Park south afterward. If you’re more of a leisure-type, make your way over in the afternoon to one of these spots with a blanket and some picnic items. And don’t forget that the American Museum of Natural History is right alongside the park on the Upper West Side.
9. ...or at any other of NYC’s beautiful parks!
Central Park is grand, sprawling and gorgeous, but there are plenty of other, smaller parks that may provide a similar respite from the hectic chaos of the city’s grid. Head over to Bryant Park and catch some free yoga or visit the winter shops once Christmas rolls around. Or, spend the day cruising through the West Village and take a breather in Washington Square. As I mentioned in my post on Eataly, there’s also beloved Madison Square Park as well. Whichever park is your favorite, make sure to enjoy it during the mild days of fall!
In the minds of most Americans, October stands for pumpkin-anything and Halloween. And in New York, that also means the Village Parade. Gotta do it at least once, right!? Plus, this year, Whoopi Goldberg is the parade’s Grand Marshal. If that’s not reason enough to go, I don’t know what is.
Thumbnail pic: http://brandonremler.blogspot.com/2013/11/central-park-fall-colors.html