“Get out of my way, I’m gay!”—me, during June as I barrel my way into bars and restaurants around the city. Okay, who am I kidding? This is me every month of the year, except Pride is my current excuse for demanding special treatment.
All jokes aside, this month marks an extremely important anniversary for the advancement of LGBTQ rights. On June 28, 1969, the Stonewall riots occurred in the wee hours of morning to launch a national movement for equality and fair treatment under the law. To celebrate this pivotal moment in history (50 years ago!), I have chosen five of my favorite restaurants in five different categories that are all within walking distance from West Village’s historic Stonewall Inn. From a thematic ice cream shop to a healthy lunch joint with plenty of vegan options, there’s a place for everyone on this list because nothing is more palatable than inclusivity.
CITY CLASSIC: Big Gay Ice Cream
My ice cream has been served with a little side of fabulousness since 2009—the year I moved to N.Y.C.—thus making Big Gay Ice Cream my pick for City Classic. What started as a popular food truck turned into three brick-and-mortar locations and a line of tasty pints sold in retail stores across the country. My favorite treat is absolutely the Salty Pimp, to which I’d absolutely sell myself out for. It’s a vanilla soft serve cone injected with caramel, topped with sea salt, and dipped in milk chocolate. Rainbow sprinkles are always and obviously free, which means I never leave the shop without them.
SWEET INDULGENCE: Sockerbit
I am a sucker for sour candy. I’m also a sucker for suckers. If I’ve got sugar on my mind and I can’t make up my mind, Sockerbit is where I’m headed. The adorable and colorful Swedish shop sells rows upon perfect rows of imported sweets, from chocolate and gummies to its famously salty black licorice. It is an organized human’s dream, which may be why I frequent it more often than I should. I just like to think of it as a quick and simple remedy to my OCD. Sugar has to be a healthier option than medication, right?
HIDDEN GEM: Pommes Frites
“Fries before guys” is my life motto and, despite the fact that we’re celebrating my interest in boys, I’d still pick a fry before a guy any day. If I’m in the West Village, that fry will most likely come from Pommes Frites and be dipped in one of its many amazing sauces. When news that the original East Village location burned down, I may or may not have cried real tears. But the tiny hot spot is back with a vengeance, serving up those delectably salty fries for the masses, with sweet and savory accompaniments like honey mustard mayo, truffle aioli, peanut satay, and barbecue sauce. And all is right in the world again.
HEALTHY RECHARGE: Cafe Clover
It’s not often that I crave a salad or healthy meal if I’m dining out, but Cafe Clover is the exception and a perfect choice for those with very specific dietary restrictions. Offering a bevy of menu items with seasonal ingredients, the critically-acclaimed restaurant is ideal for anyone maintaining a summer body, but in need of fresh and innovative flavors. This place also turned me on to tomatoes—a food I once loathed—with its grilled avocado salad. Changing minds and palates since 2015? Count me in.
MOST INSTAGRAMMABLE: The Clam
Is there anything more picturesque than a seafood tower, rosé, and al fresco dining on a pretty West Village street? Nope, there isn’t, which is why The Clam is my pick for Most Instagrammable. The quaint corner eatery is the perfect go-to for an after-work happy hour, offering oyster and drink specials, and a menu that rivals some of the best seafood spots in the city. My personal favorite is their lobster salad slider topped with fried clams. Yes, it’s as ridiculous as it sounds. And yes, I can house an entire plate of them.
Header image courtesy of Roger Gaess/Getty Images.