New York

The Ultimate Guide to Attending the 2023 US Open in NYC

Terrific tennis, tasty bites, and tranquil hangouts.

Jimmie48 Photography/Shutterstock
Jimmie48 Photography/Shutterstock
Jimmie48 Photography/Shutterstock

Every year at the end of summer, New Yorkers and spectators from around the world gather in Flushing, Queens for the country’s biggest and most anticipated tennis tournament: the US Open. Held at Flushing Meadows Corona Park (also home to one of the best public tennis courts in town), the Grand Slam tournament celebrates its 143rd anniversary this year and kicks off matches on Monday, August 28 at 11 am.

Viewers can watch the sport’s biggest names, like Carlos Alcaraz and Iga Swiatek, battle it out in defense of their 2022 titles. Pre- and post-matches, there’s plenty to do in and around the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. From exploring the celeb-backed food scene around the stadium to diving into the borough’s rich cultural history, we pinky promise you’ll never be bored. Here’s our ultimate guide on what to do before and after attending IRL games at the 2023 US Open.

Leonard Zhukovsky/Shutterstock
Leonard Zhukovsky/Shutterstock
Leonard Zhukovsky/Shutterstock

Official US Open events

Events at Billie Jean King National Tennis Center

Along with watching once-in-a-lifetime matches between tennis giants, the US Open stadium grounds also hosts a slew of exclusive programming throughout the tournament.

From August 22‚ÄďAugust 27, make your way to Flushing for the annual US Open Fan Week. Among the many events, on August 23, snag a ticket for the Stars of the Open tennis exhibition, where stars like Frances Tiafoe, Elina Svitolina, and John McEnroe will play lighthearted matches to benefit the Ukraine Crisis Relief Fund through GlobalGiving. Following that, on August 24, get an exclusive sneak peek of all the delectable bites available during the tournament at Flavors of the Open, while getting to watch this year’s potential winners practice on the courts. One of the last events to drop by is the crowd-favorite Arthur Ashe Kids Day and, regardless of the name, this day-long (and free) event fits the bill for all ages. There are performances from comedy group Dude Perfect, special appearances from crowd favorites like Coco Gauff, limited-availability bleacher seating to watch the pros practice before their main draw matches, and more.

On August 31, the US Open celebrates the LGBTQIA+ community, inclusivity, and diversity with the third annual Open Pride. The event-which benefits the US Open’s “Bring Change, Be Open” social movement-will feature a rainbow illumination of Arthur Ashe Stadium, a performance by Gotham Cheer, and the sale of US Open Pride merchandise.

Finally, though not a guarantee, stick around the main courts and locker room pathways in the hopes of securing an autograph from the athletes. Although the players are sometimes ready to head right in for decompression, many fans find that determination is key here and end up with treasured selfies or signatures.

Events at Rockefeller Center

Think you’re not good enough to participate in the US Open? Think again. A limited-time collab between Rockefeller Center and Raquet House¬†will allow locals to play on a world-famous court. Located at the famous Center Plaza from August 24‚ÄďSeptember 1, New Yorkers can book court time after signing up for the Raquet newsletter. Also, players and spectators can keep an eye out for their favorite tennis stars who will intermittently drop by for a few rallies.

Photo courtesy of Fuku
Photo courtesy of Fuku
Photo courtesy of Fuku

What to eat and drink at the US Open

Best restaurants at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center

While tournaments like the London-based Wimbledon are known for signature dishes such as Strawberries and Cream, the US Open’s food scene encapsulates a wide breadth of our local dining landscape courtesy of popular local chefs and eateries.

Within the Food Village culinary hall, there’s plenty of counter service options like Eataly, Fuku, Hill Country, Taqueria Nixtamal, Van Leeuwen Ice Cream, and more. Alternatively, opt for a swanky sit-down experience at one of the seven restaurants including Aces, a seafood-centric eatery helmed by chefs Ed Brown (Ed’s Chowder) and Masaharu Morimoto (Momosan); and Mojito, a Cuban-American concept led by chef David Burke (David Burke’s Tavern). In total, there are also 60 concession stands spread across the facilities, which are well-stocked with beer, liquor, hot dogs, barbecue, and more, to keep you going under the strong summer rays.

STUDIO MELANGE/Shutterstock
STUDIO MELANGE/Shutterstock
STUDIO MELANGE/Shutterstock

Things to do in Flushing

Queens Museum

Just a short stroll from the stadium is the 50-year-old Queens Museum, home to one of the Big Apple’s most popular museum spectacles: Panorama of the City of New York.

An impressive architectural mini model of all five boroughs, the piece is an accurate depiction of the city’s buildings/topography up to the most recent time it was updated in 1992, and tends to leave visitors pondering just how small each of us New Yorkers really are. While you’re there, check out this summer’s latest exhibitions like cutting edge film, sculpture, and photography in “Shooting Down Babylon” or the vibrant paintings displayed within “Queens, Lindo y Querido.”
Distance from stadium grounds: About a 10-minute walk.

Unisphere

One of the most iconic and recognizable city landmarks, which currently boasts the title for world’s largest globe, is conveniently located just outside the grounds of the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows Corona Park.

Built more than 50 years ago, the Unisphere is a spectacular 12-story‚Äďtall stainless steel structure which depicts the Earth with orbiting rings representing early satellites. Designed by artist Gilmore D. Clarke as part of his architectural plan for the 1964 New York World’s Fair, over the decades, it has become a notable emblem both locally and globally. Needless to say, if movies like Men In Black and Captain America: The First Avenger deem this spot to be a sublimely dramatic setting, you’re sure to get some fire shots for IG.
Distance from stadium grounds: About a 10-minute walk

Queens Botanical Garden

After a couple hours of cheering your heart out during a nail-biter of a match, spending some time among the quiet serenity of nature at the Queens Botanical Garden is just the ticket to rejuvenation. With over 40 acres of themed gardens stretching across the property, explore seasonal blooms, nearly century-old cedar trees, an herb garden, whimsical meadows, and more. After a calming afternoon respite, head back to the arena for another evening filled with Honey Deuce cocktails and impressive athleticism.
Distance from stadium grounds: About a 20-minute walk

Citi Field

Close to all of the US Open revelry lies yet another sports enthusiast’s dreamland, Citi Field ballpark, where you can continue your competitive streak by watching a baseball game on the same day as a tennis match. Home of the beloved New York Mets, the stadium also houses a striking tribute to the history of its team with a grand 3,700-square-foot Mets Hall of Fame and Museum. Exclusively open to ticket holders on game days, switch out sets for innings at one of the nine upcoming Mets home games from August 22 through September 10.
Distance from stadium grounds: Less than 3-minute walk

Best restaurants in Flushing

At the end of the 7 Train line and one subway stop away from Mets-Willets Point, Flushing Main Street is home to a thriving AAPI community.

Take advantage of its bustling (and unmatched) dining scene and embark on a food crawl with bites offering a range of cultures and flavors. Local favorites include Chinese specialty spots like Chong Qing Lao Zao and White Bear; Korean kimbap and dukbokki joint, KimGaNae; and dim sum destinations like Nan Xiang Xiao Long Bao for soup dumplings and Royal Queen. featuring steaming carts. A crew of fast-casual eateries flourish here as well, including the trendying Korean corn dog hotspot Afternoon. To close out your food crawl with something sweet, we’d be remiss to not mention Spot Dessert Bar, where interpretations on traditional Thai treats shine, as well as Yi Fang Taiwan Fruit Tea to quench your bubble tea thirst. Newcomers that have quickly become popular go-tos in the neighborhood include the sprawling Japanese bar and restaurant Izakaya Nana and whimsical Korean bakery GongGan.

Other local spots we adore include: the New World Mall Food Court, Partea NYC, Kaizen, Spring Shabu Shabu, and Shanghai You Garden.
Distance from stadium grounds: One subway stop away or about a 30-minute walkWant more Thrillist? Follow us on Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and YouTube.

Izzy Baskette is the New York City Staff Writer for Thrillist. Talk to her at [email protected] or find her on Instagram.

New York

Scavenge for Peeps Cookies and More Fun Treats in NYC This Easter

The best Easter desserts in NYC this spring include Easter Bunny Churros and Carrot Cake Macarons.

Photo courtesy of Funny Face Bakery
Photo courtesy of Funny Face Bakery
Photo courtesy of Funny Face Bakery

As spring makes its way through New York City, not only do we get to enjoy beautiful weather, stunning cherry blossoms, and cool activities priced at $Free.99, but it’s also the perfect time for some limited-edition desserts.

With Easter fast approaching, bakeries are filling their shops with tons of chocolate eggs, carrot cake-flavoured everything and all types of flavours that offer both nostalgia and innovation within the city’s dessert landscape. After you’ve picked up a cake from the city’s best new bakeries, from Easter Bunny Churros to Carrot Cake Macarons, here are 8 Easter desserts to try in NYC right now.

Photo courtesy of Magnolia Bakery
Photo courtesy of Magnolia Bakery
Photo courtesy of Magnolia Bakery

Magnolia Bakery

Throughout April
Various locations
There’s great news for devotees of Magnolia Bakery’s Classic Banana Pudding: For Easter, the spot is mixing up the iconic dessert’s vanilla pudding with some carrot cake. The Carrot Cake Pudding is filled with freshly grated carrots, coconuts, pineapples, raisins, and walnuts. And if both bananas and carrots aren’t your thing, they’ll be offering their Classic Vanilla Cupcakes in pastel colours with a Cadbury chocolate egg hidden inside.

Photo courtesy of Funny Face Bakery
Photo courtesy of Funny Face Bakery
Photo courtesy of Funny Face Bakery

Funny Face Bakery

Through Easter Sunday
NoHo and Seaport
Known for their celebrity face and meme-worthy decorated cookies, fans of Funny Face Bakery know that a new fun design is always just around the corner. For Easter, they’ve created the adorable Hoppy Easter decorated cookie that resembles a classic box of marshmallow Peeps. Along with that, they also have the return of their fan-favourite Caramel Pretzel Chip cookie flavour, plus a set of three mini-decorated cookies perfect for gifting.

The Doughnut Project

Friday, April 7 through Easter Sunday
West Village
With the ever-changing flavours at The Doughnut Project, it’s super easy to miss out on trying out a new debut. But this Easter weekend, there will be two new flavours available. One is of course, a carrot cake doughnut topped with a cream cheese glaze, and the other is known as the Doughnut Nest-a French cruller “nest” with a cream-filled doughnut hole “egg” in the centre.

Photo by Cole Saladino, courtesy of The Fragile Flour
Photo by Cole Saladino, courtesy of The Fragile Flour
Photo by Cole Saladino, courtesy of The Fragile Flour

The Fragile Flour

Wednesday, April 5 through Easter Sunday
East Village
For stellar vegan desserts this holiday, head to The Fragile Flour, a plant-based bakery and dessert wine bar. They’re known for going all out for each holiday with a variety of new pastry options that you can pair perfectly with a glass of wine. This Easter, they’ll have a whole dessert menu that’s both delicious and gorgeous for posting on IG. The menu includes Stuffed Carrot Cake Cookies, a Lemon Cake (whole or by the slice), some festive cupcakes, and specialty macarons.

Photo courtesy of Kreuther Handcrafted Chocolate
Photo courtesy of Kreuther Handcrafted Chocolate
Photo courtesy of Kreuther Handcrafted Chocolate

Kreuther Handcrafted Chocolate

Through mid April
Midtown
For a luxurious take on Easter chocolates, browse the selections available at Kreuther Handcrafted Chocolate. You can even pick the Easter Signature Chef’s Selection for a special box curated by award-winning chefs. For something other than chocolate, choose between the Carrot Cake Macarons or the cake flavored Easter Marshmallow Trio, both of which are almost too cute to eat.

La Churreria

Throughout April
Nolita
This churro-centric spot is putting the cutest Easter spin on their crispy cinnamon churros by twisting them up into bunnies and bunny ears. At Churreria, choose from a Bunny Churro Lollipop topped with your choice of chocolate or dulce de leche and sprinkles, or the bunny ear churros in the Ube and Matcha ice cream sundae or the Ube Milkshake, both of which are made with ice cream from il laboratorio del gelato.

Photo by Briana Balducci
Photo by Briana Balducci
Photo by Briana Balducci

Lafayette

Throughout April
NoHo
You’ve surely seen this croissant tons of times while scrolling through IG or TikTok, whether it’s the Pain au Chocolat one or the latest of the month. Known as Supr√™mes, these filled croissants went viral and continue to live up to the hype each time a new flavour comes out. April’s flavour-sour cherry amaretto with a Luxardo custard and toasted almonds. While you’ll have to be super early and wait in line during one of their three drops of the day to get a taste, we promise you it’ll be worth it.

Photo courtesy of Levain
Photo courtesy of Levain
Photo courtesy of Levain

Levain

Seasonal
Various locations
We all know the iconic cookies from Levain-they’re gigantic, perfectly crispy and chewy, and well worth the long lines. For spring, the shop is launching a new flavour: Caramel Coconut Chocolate Chip. Filled with gooey caramel chips, fresh shredded coconut, and melty dark chocolate, it’s one you’ve got to try while it’s still around. To further celebrate the new season, all of Levain’s storefronts will be decked out in spring floral displays, serving as the perfect backdrop for pictures.

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Alaina Cintron is an Editorial Assistant at Thrillist. Her work can also be found in Westchester Magazine, Girls’ Life, and Spoon University. When she’s not at her desk typing away, you can find her exploring a local coffee shop or baking a new recipe.

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