Plus, a pop-up from Ursula, whiskey tastings, and the IRL return of NYC Pride March.

Ice cream sandwiches | Photo courtesy of The Musket Room

This weekend should make a stargazer out of all New Yorkers (and no, we don’t mean the normal parade of celebrities that live here). A rare alignment of five different planets is headed our way, and it’ll be bright enough that even light-polluted NYC will be treated to the show.

Speaking of parades, the jubilant NYC Pride March marks its IRL return this Sunday for the first time in three years. And of course, we’ve got plenty more to tempt you this weekend, from a bevy of Midsummer events, to a free movie screening in a very iconic location, to seriously tasty ice cream sandwiches. Read on for everything fun you can eat, drink, and do this weekend in NYC.

And for even more activities, make sure to check out all of the city’s exciting new restaurant openings and our guide to local historic LGBTQIA+ sites.

Eat New Mexican fare from a James Beard nominee

East Village
Ursula’s unique and utterly delicious New Mexican food was one of the only good things to come out of the pandemic. But if you haven’t had luck snagging a breakfast burrito at their Crown Heights storefront yet, we’ve got another option to try dishes from this recent James Beard Award nominee: chef Eric See is hosting a takeover at The Standard, East Village’s NO BAR until the end of the weekend. Guests can choose from a four-course dinner menu featuring dishes like Bean and Cheese Tostadas and Lamb Carnitas, or come ready for a celebration on Sunday when the team will host “Queens of the South: a queer brunch celebration.” The latter will feature music by DJ Young Wavy Fox and drag performances curated by The Soapbox Presents.
CostDinner from $65 per person, Brunch dishes from $14

Chow down on Cajun and Creole food

NYC has historically been lacking in legit Louisiana-style cuisine, but that changed earlier this year with the opening of Filé Gumbo Bar on Church St. The restaurant, helmed by chef Eric McCree, is a love letter to the inimitable Cajun and Creole culinary traditions; think appetizers like the Iconic Jazz Fest Crawfish Bread (a heavenly mix of cheese and seafood on toasted French bread), or house-favorite Tiny’s Gumbo, which is made with a rich peanut butter base and flavored with fresh herbs and Cajun spices. And don’t worry about the restaurant running out of their signature dish: there are not one, but two dedicated gumbo chefs.
Cost: Entrees from $20

Watch this alien phone home during a free screening

Friday, June 24, 5 pm
Pier 86
Just when you think you’ve done it all in NYC, you find out you can watch classic sci-fi movies on an aircraft carrier. This Friday, head to The Intrepid for not only free admission to the museum, but a gratis screening of the classic film E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial. Guests are encouraged to bring lawn chairs, picnic baskets, and blankets for the outdoor movie night, but note that booze is off limits for this one. Plus, fun fact: both the Museum and the movie are celebrating their 40th anniversary this year.
Cost: Free, seating on a first come, first serve basis

Zou Zou's in Manhattan West serves up mouthwatering Eastern Mediterranean cuisine. | Photo courtesy of Manhattan West

If you’re looking for an untapped urban oasis, look no further than Manhattan West—a new shopping and dining hub in one of New York City’s most bustling neighborhoods. Whether you’re catching a game nearby at the Garden or famished from a day of sightseeing, Manhattan West is home to some of the best new restaurants to get you going again—like Eastern Mediterranean fare from Zou Zou's, Spanish tapas from Casa Dani, or house-made pasta from Ci Siamo. So, come see what the buzz is all about.

Celebrate Midsummer at events around the city

Friday, June 24 and Saturday, June 25
Various locations
While the movie Midsommar may have scarred you, we promise actual Midsummer events are far less gruesome (and have more booze). Bronx Brewery is hosting a Mid Summer Day party at their East Village location this Saturday; expect plenty of (duh) beer and food from Bastard Burgers, plus spin sessions from Swedish DJs Binnie Smalls and Happy People Soundsystem. Meanwhile, Barely Disfigured cocktail bar in Cobble Hill is also hosting two events on Saturday: a “sip and snip” flower crown class with TikTok star DrinksbyEvie and a Midsummer party with thehoodwitch; both events will be serving NYC-based Harridan Vodka specialty cocktails, which include their newly launched “Midsummer Reserve” blend. And if you’d rather celebrate the holiday low-key, swing by Aquavit on Friday, where you can scoop up a Midsummer Kit. Inside are the makings of a fantastic meal for four, including three types of herring, gravlax, Danish Rye bread, strawberries and mascarpone, and more.
Cost: Varies

Cool down with NYC’s tastiest ice cream sandwiches

Saturday, June 25, 12:30 pm-3:30 pm
It’s hard to think of a pastry chef more innovative or community-focused than The Musket Room’s Camari Mick. And this Saturday, she’s knocked it out of the park once again with brand-new ice cream sandwich collabs. For the inaugural weekend, Mick has partnered with chef JJ Johnson of Field Trip to create a jollof ice cream that’s rolled in seasoned popped rice and sandwiched between macaron cookies. A new treat will be unveiled every Saturday; look out next month for chef Stefano Secchi of Rezdôra and Kerry Diamond of Cherry Bombe magazine.
Cost: $9 each; preorder here

Shop a variety of AAPI-owned small businesses at this fair

Saturday, June 25, and Sunday, June 26
Industry City
AAPI Creatives & Entrepreneurs—better known as ACE—is an organization dedicated to uplifting and amplifying small, AAPI-owned businesses. They also throw pretty sweet pop-ups. This weekend, catch the latest iteration, “Celebr-Asian of Love,” at Industry City, where over 40 vendors will be selling everything from beauty and wellness products to fashion, food, and artwork. While it’s free to attend, everyone is invited to donate $5 or more, which will go to ACE’s non-profit partners, Asian American Arts Alliance and Heart of Dinner.
Cost: Free, register here

Master the shuck at this seafood-focused event

Sunday, June 26, 5 pm
West Village
Have you always been a bad shucker and too ashamed to admit it? This Sunday, learn how to properly and safely shuck, when record-holder oyster shucker Patrick McMurray hosts a one-day-only event at Flex Mussels’ West Village location. Aside from proper oyster etiquette, there will also be a variety of food and drink specials, including fully loaded seafood towers and cocktails like The One That’s The Pimms Fizz (made with Pimm’s #1 gin, ginger beer, citrus, and cucumber). Plus, in honor of the NYC Pride march, a portion of the day’s proceeds will be donated to The Trevor Project.
Cost: Entrees from $26

Deep-dive into whiskey at this swanky dinner

Sunday, June 26, 7 pm
Quiz time: did you know Great Jones Distilling Co. is the first whiskey distillery in Manhattan since Prohibition? Those are quite large shoes to fill, but once you’ve tasted their bourbons and ryes, you’ll know the bootleggers of yore would approve. A fantastic way to sample the goods and try the distillery’s fantastic food (courtesy of on-site restaurant The Grid) is their Canapes and Cocktails event. The two-hour experience pairs three whiskey drams and three whiskey cocktails with six courses of light bites like Maple-Braised Bacon and Calamansi Sorbet. Bonus: you will also be guided through a four-part tasting of Great Jones Whiskey.
Cost: $145 per person

Watch some of the world’s best independent films at this festival

Fort Greene
If you don’t have the budget to travel for the world’s best film festivals, may we suggest an alternative? BAMCinemafest does all the work for you, curating the best independent films from the USA and around the globe, and then presenting them at their annual festival. This year brings a slate of filmmakers with historically underrepresented voices; don’t miss Brooklyn-based rom-com Ferny & Luca, or Sirens, the story of the Middle East’s first all-woman metal band.
Cost: Tickets from $20 per screening (full list here)

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Juliet Izon is a Thrillist contributor.