Our Guide to NYC’s One Can’t-Miss Summer Festival

From Stephen Colbert to steak and sushi. Let’s review.

May 2, 2017 9:00 am

You’ve probably heard by now: the year’s most hyped music festival was canceled over the weekend due to gross incompetence with a side of Murphy’s Law.

Luckily, we’ve got the panacea to all that: Vulture Fest, a flagship event for anyone who lives and breathes pop culture, is descending upon NYC for its fourth year May 20th-21st, with tickets on sale right now, right here.

New York’s biggest anti-music festival will feature nearly 40 high-profile affairs, conversations and panels featuring everyone from Stephen Colbert to Bill Burr to Kevin Bacon.

To assist, we’ve whittled the two-day bonanza down to the truly must-see events, along with where to snag a bite and a drink along the way.


Daily Provisions
The new bakery/cafe from Danny Meyer. Good for grab and go or easygoin’ bites in the AM. And, depending on what you consider brunch, the afternoon’s rotisserie chicken is a big hit.

STK Downtown
The coveted, sunny outdoor space is open for the season. Start with monkey bread, move on to their classic STK and eggs and enough Rosé Chiller (strawberry sorbet blended with sparkly) to last the whole meal through.

One of the best of al fresco options in the area with serious panoramic views. Lunch musts include lobster mac ‘n’ cheese, signature sushi rolls and a cucumber mint “detox retox” cocktail.  

Charlie Bird
Serving a lunch/brunch hybrid, Charlie Bird is bound to satisfy the whole crew’s appetite. It’s cozy, but now with an outdoor space for spring. Favorites include the poached eggs with polenta, Brussels sprouts and duck crackle crumble, and farro salad with pistachio, pumpkin and parmesan.

Burger. Get the burger.

Tiny’s and the Bar Upstairs
It’s fun and always delivers. Set in a historic bi-level 1810 townhouse, Tiny’s is solid for a full meal or just a glass/bottle of vino. Crowds are hit or miss, so a reservation isn’t a bad idea. A tad on the spendy side, but the pulled pork sammy is worth the trip alone.

Bonus: Bubby’s: All-day diner excellence. You can’t go wrong.

Gallow Green
That enchanting Great Expectations-esque rooftop is open for business, people.

You had some laughs, now go have some fun. Fishbowl has all the adult games for keepin’ the light-hearted party with some deceivingly strong creative cocktails. Seriously, their Thai Tea knocked me straight to next Tuesday.

The Bennett
Nostalgic vibes meet Southern hospitality. Even if you’re a scotch and soda kind of guy, step out and try their Dove Dispatch or Serendipitous Accident. Both are worth leaving the comfort zone.

The heavy-hitters this year include events with Aziz Ansari, the State of the Union with Stephen Colbert, the creators of Black Mirror on why it’s so disturbing, one degree of separation from Kevin Bacon (hardy-har) and even the intrepid Tim Ferriss in conversation with Vince Vaughn. But here are the five under-the-radar can’t-misses for both laughing and loathing.

Saturday Morning Cartoons
Back by popular demand, meet the voices behind some the world’s famed cartoon characters, from Bob’s Burgers to Archer.

A Conversation with Neil Patrick Harris 
He’s an Emmy Award winner, two-time People’s Choice Award winner, Critics’ Choice Award winner, star of the Netflix adaptation of A Series of Unfortunate Events and much, much more. We could go on. Meaning, that’s a whole lotta talent for one stage. 

The Moment with Brian Koppelman
Film buffs rejoice. Screenwriter and podcaster Koppelman, whose roster includes the likes of Billions, Rounders and Ocean’s Thirteen, takes the stage for a live recording.

Above Average Live! Comedy Showcase
If you’re looking for some ha-has, this all-star lineup is where you’ll find ’em.

Dean Screening
An early-release screening of the new film Dean at Alamo Drafthouse with an interview with the writer and director, Dimitri Martin. Expect dry humor to the nth degree.

Good One Podcast Live With Bill Burr
Like all good comedians, you either love or love to hate Bill Burr. We happen to belong to the former sect. Self-described, Burr says, “I host a podcast each week called The Monday Morning Podcast. I have an upcoming animated series on Netflix called: F Is For Family. Occasionally I act in movies but only when they let me. That’s it. Go f*ck yourself.”

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