Although recreational cannabis may not be legal in New York, it is the original land of dime bags, bodega hook-ups, and super-friendly deliveries a la High Maintenance. As has been true for decades, the Big Apple is a place where countercultures constantly thrive, and it is pretty easy to find like-minded conscious consumers if you’re willing to look just below the surface. Call off the search; here are the best places to eat, smoke, shop, and hang in New York City.
Where to Ride the Wave
Brooklyn Botanic Garden
Where: 990 Washington Ave, Crown Heights, Brooklyn.
What: A beautiful spot to get lost in nature, right on the edge of Prospect Park. Cherry blossom season (early April-mid May) is a particularly nice time to bring a picnic and sit amongst the flowering trees in the Japanese Hill-and-pond garden.
Where: Williamsburg waterfront, just north of the Williamsburg Bridge.
What: A five-acre public park that features dog-friendly areas, playgrounds, art installations, and a taco stand—because nothing makes a perfect view better than some guacamole and a margarita. Bring a blanket and head there in the early afternoon to get a prime spot on the lawn.
Where: 22-25 Jackson Ave, Long Island City, Queens.
What: The Museum of Modern Art’s outpost in Queens in what was formerly Public-School number 1.
Why it’s great: This museum is the chilled-out cousin to its Manhattan counterpart. Think fewer lines, smaller crowds and the chance to explore an often-missed borough. Hot tip: don’t miss James Turrel’s sky room; a part of the permanent collection that allows you to have a moment of zen.
Where: South Street Sea Port/Multiple ferry terminals up and down the East River.
What: Being on the water in NYC is a magical experience.
Why it’s great: There are multiple ways to do this ranging from free to pretty pricey, but all of them are going to make you feel free, breezy, and provide an amazing view of the city. For a quick trip, the Staten Island Ferry is completely free, and you don’t even have to get off. The rest of the ferries, which can take you anywhere from the Upper East Side to Rockaway Beach, will only cost you $2.75. Lastly, there are various cruises you can take with full bars and food, like this sunset sail that will leave you completely blissed out.
The Met Cloisters
Where: 99 Margaret Corbin Drive, The Bronx.
What: The branch of The Met that features European medieval art and architecture.
Why it’s great: If you’re looking for an escape, the cloisters really feel like you are 100 miles outside of the city, and all you had to do was take the A train. Nestled in Fort Tryon Park, it is definitely a good idea to settle down in some green grass and then leisurely saunter over to the museum to take a look at the Unicorn Tapestries.
Where to Get to the Underground
Chef for Higher
Where: Location TBD
What: Monthly and special events for members.
Why it’s great: This monthly series is part supper club, part social club. With a menu that changes every month, each has a specific theme that features cannabis-infused ingredients that are locally sourced and sustainable. The events are mostly word-of-mouth and require a referral from an existing member, but a select few get to see for themselves by emailing them.
Where: Location TBD
What: A modern cannabis speakeasy.
Why it’s great: An underground monthly event that offers a safe space for consumption and infused hors d’oeuvres, a live DJ, CBD vendors, retro arcade games and more. Rosebud was founded by a non-binary woman of color after identifying a lack of representation of women, queers, and PoC in the cannabis scene in Brooklyn. They also conduct five to six course supper clubs where they pair specific flowers with terpene profiles for each course.
Mama D’s Sneaky Speakeasy
Where: Border of Ridgewood, Queens and Bushwick known as Bushwood
What: Art-infused salon series through a cannabis lens.
Why it’s great: Mama D is a renaissance lady; part chef, part signer and entertainer. She throws themed movie marathons, comedy shows, and showcases art from her home, for which she creates special edibles for each event. She serves infused amuse-bouche and partners with Rosebud to provide guests with an array of cannabis offerings.
Holistic Chef NYC
Where: Location TBD
What: A private chef that fused her two passions, cooking and weed, to create highly thought out private dinner experiences and cooking classes. Previous events include a High Tea, with weed-infused finger sandwiches and CBD tea, an elevated Valentine’s Day dinner, and more.
Places to Ease Mind, Body and Soul
AIRE Ancient Baths
Where: 88 Franklin Street, Tribeca
What: A spa featuring thermal baths as well as treatments.
Why it’s great: If you are looking to completely shut off and relax, a 90-minute pass to AIRE gives you access to their six thermal baths, steam rooms, and salt exfoliation area. Plus, they offer a variety of treatments to help you truly unwind.
Where: 131-10 11th Ave, College Point, Queens
What: It’s a trip—a spa that puts an almost extra spin on traditional Asian and European bathhouses.
Why it’s great: This is a great place to be stoned. First of all, go with a big group. They make everyone wear matching outfits (blue for the boys and pink for the girls) and if you’re not already laughing at that point, there are drinks to be had, Korean food to be eaten, and dozens of indoor and outdoor pools, saunas, and hot tubs to explore.
Where: Locations in Greenwich Village, Williamsburg, and Upper East Side
What: A guided group meditation studio.
Why it’s great: What’s a more perfect pair that meditation and cannabis? Totally unwind with a guided meditation that is approachable for beginners and will leave you ready to tackle the L train at rush hour. They offer a variety of different experiences, including a sound bath that will give your senses some extra oomph.
When the Munchies Hit
Where: 22 Orchard Street, Lower East Side
What: A nostalgic slice shop.
Why it’s great: A throwback joint serving high-quality pizza (they hand-mill their own flour) with neon on the walls and pet-nat on the menu. Think of the spot you went after soccer games, add in a hip-crowd and a bumpin’ playlist and you’ve got Scarr’s.
Where: 366 Metropolitan Avenue, Williamsburg
What: A subtly tiki-themed bar with outdoor space.
Why it’s great: Commodore is a crowd-pleaser. There are old movies playing on the TV, tropical cocktails, and some really tasty bar food. The fried chicken sandwich is a classic and the nachos are some of the best you’ll ever have. There’s plenty of seating, and the back patio is a great place to hang when it’s warm.
Where: 342 E. 11th Street, East Village
What: A classic Italian bakery.
Why it’s great: Open since 1894, there is no better place to indulge in sweets. They are famous for their cheesecakes, but also have assorted Italian cookies, so might as well fill up a box and go to town.
Where: 205 E. Houston Street, Lower East Side
Why it’s great: The place where Harry met Sally, where you can “send a salami to your boy in the army”—don’t skip a sandwich at Katz’s. Pastrami is the way to go, and you’ll get your food served with a helping of authentic New York hospitality. Just don’t lose your ticket, or else!
Where: 549 Classon Avenue, Bed Stuy
What: A delicious new eatery serving rotisserie chicken and natural wines.
Why it’s great: Who doesn’t love eating with their hands when they’re stoned? The restaurant is nicely designed with great mood lighting and ambience. There are only six things on the menu, so you want to have to worry about making difficult decisions—plus they feature a curated selection of natural wine, beer, and classic cocktails.
Where to Go for CBD and Accessories
Grass Roots Juicery
Where: 336a Graham Avenue, Williamsburg
What: A chic smoothie-shop with a nicely curated gift market.
Why it’s great: Come in for an acai-bowl and leave with some CBD oil and a cute beaded pouch. They also collaborated with @itsnicepaper and crafted a delightful strawberry-mint CBD elixir.
Where: 96 Wythe Avenue, Williamsburg
What: A luxe hotel offering CBD cocktails and great views of Manhattan.
Why it’s great: Harvey, the lobby restaurant at the hotel features a drink called “If You Like Pina Colada” with rice whiskey, CBD-infused Singani 63, plus coconut and pineapple juices. After, head to the roof to take in the sparkling skyline.
Where: 259 Sixth Avenue, Greenwich Village
What: A gourmet health food store.
Why it’s great: The shoppable counterpart to Cafe Clover, a sophisticated yet casual healthy eats joint. The market offers a selection of prepared foods, beauty products, and wellness items including Lord Jones, Wildflower, and Ojai Energetics.
Where: 447 Central Avenue, Bushwick
What: The OG CBD coffee shop.
Why it’s great: An inclusive space that serves CBD-infused coffee as well as treats, and offers open-mic nights, live music, film screenings. Their goal is to foster a community of creatives and offer a welcoming venue to all. Sounds about great to us.