Your birthday is the one day of the year that you’re allowed to make it all about you. No matter what your favorite perks of your celebration may be, New York offers the ideal itineraries for everyone to make their special day one for the books. Here’s a guide to how to spend your birthday in NYC, tailored just for you:
Birthdays are for presents, so spend your special day receiving a bunch of delicious goodies for free! From specialty rolls, to nigiri, to soba, to fish tacos Haru sushi (multiple locations citywide) wants to give you the gift of delicious Japanese eats. The sushi-centric hotspot gives members of its (free) Haru Access Program a $20 gift card toward their birthday meal. It’s almost a requirement that you save room for dessert on your birthday, so despite how full you may be from your sushi feast, after dinner head over to Ample Hills Creamery (Multiple Locations Citywide) to enjoy flavors including “Ooey Gooey Butter Cake,” “No Sleep ‘til Pumpkin,” or “Munchies.” The birthday guy or girl gets their frozen heaven on the house. The creamery also offers two hour ice cream making parties (though unfortunately that creamy, delicious experience does not come free of charge).
On a bar crawl for freebees, reserve a table at Houston Hall (222 W Houston St) for a free bottle of birthday champagne, make a stop at The Dead Poet (450 Amsterdam Ave #1) for free drinks when you share your special day with a dead poet and head to SKINny (174 Orchard St) for free drinks all night long. Cheers to gifts that just keep on giving
If your sweet tooth dominates your birthday itinerary, NYC is the ideal atmosphere to have your cake (and cookies, chocolate, candy, cupcakes, and donuts) and eat it too. Revamp the typical bar crawl by making your birthday into a dessert and drinks crawl that starts in the AM and goes ‘til the sugar rush disappears and the food coma hits. Hit up Sweet Revenge (62 Carmine St) for their 7 day breakfast/brunch menu, featuring red velvet belgian waffles that taste great paired with Vanilla Bellini & Belhaven Ale. Don’t forget to grab a signature cupcake on the way out. Because it’s your birthday and you can eat what you want to, let your sweet tooth guide you to ChikaLicious (204 E 10th St) for a dessert-filled dinner prix fixe with a decadent wine pairing. Enjoy petit fours, a choice of main course dessert, and add the wine pairing to complete you sweet treat meal.
Before you head out to the bars, tell your friends you’d like to get the celebration rolling with a cupcake from Prohibition Bakery (9 Clinton St)… because it’s way cooler than birthday shots to pregame with an alcohol infused cupcake. Once out, try to make it to the Brooklyn bar, Butter & Scotch (818 Franklin Ave, Brooklyn), which turns dessert favorites into delicious cocktail creations. It’s safe to say your birthday celebration will be pretty sweet.
If your birthday goal is to feel like royalty, there are plenty of ways to feel like a million dollars on your big day. If you plan on partying all night in style, first treat yourself to a spa treatment at any of the Bliss Spa locations at W hotels across the city. Indulge in a “blissage” or a “deep sea detox” to start your birthday off feeling fabulous. If you want your dinner experience to appear exclusive and worthy of envy, make a reservation for the Lower East Side’s Beauty & Essex (146 Essex Street). The foodie speakeasy hotspot boasts an exciting, yet elegant atmosphere with inventive food and cocktails. It’s also important to mention that the bathroom features a champagne fountain. While you can totally pass the entire night at this intriguing establishment, you can also exploit your VIP status by getting a table at one of New York’s hottest clubs. If you need help figuring out where to begin planning your glamorous clubbing experience, visit birthdaybottleservice.com to find your ideal venue to celebrate another year of fabulousness.
One of the best parts of being a kid was choosing a theme for your birthday party, turning your celebration into a fantasy world center around you. If you’re nostalgic for these times, the city has plenty of themed venues for the 21+ crowd to fall in love with. Update the carnival theme to a funky, trendy street fair with a dinner at Vandal (199 Bowery) on the Lower East Side. The relatively new hotspot serves up their take on global street food, while diners are surrounded by eye-catching custom street art. While childhood birthdays may have given you the chance to have a photo-op with a clown or beloved storybook character, at Vandal, you can’t miss the chance to take the picture with the hot pink, breakdancing bunny that handstands in the restaurant’s foyer.
If you definitely don’t want to be the center of attention but you still love a good party, head slightly more uptown to the Standard Biergarten (848 Washington St). This bar literally takes Oktoberfest and transports it to Meatpacking. Here, it’s always a loud, crowded party that gives you the opportunity to drink beer out of a Stein, a glass boot, or from a large beer fountain wedged into the middle of a table. Their cocktails also go unmatched. There’s no better place for a big group to hang out and simply have a great time.
If you’ve done enough boozy birthdays and want to leave any drunken regrets in your previous year, don’t forget that you’re in the country’s biggest city where there’s an endless list of other activities to help you celebrate. Begin the day at a delicious everyday brunch spot like Jack’s Wife Freda (50 Carmine Street), where literally every item on the menu is inventive and too good for words to describe. At night, enjoy the perfect pairing of dinner and a show. The Midtown Greek restaurant, Molyvos (171 7th Ave) offers both a pre and post theater dinner specials, so if you can choose to enjoy a leisurely meal after you’ve your choice performance lets out. If you’re not a theater lover, you can also find an exciting sports event or concert to help make your birthday night something special.