The Ultimate Guide to Attending the 2022 U.S. Open in NYC

From stadium eats and museums to iconic selfie spots, here’s all the cool stuff to do nearby before and after watching games IRL.

US Open at Arthur Ashe Stadium in the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center
US Open at Arthur Ashe Stadium in the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center | lev radin/Shutterstock
US Open at Arthur Ashe Stadium in the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center | lev radin/Shutterstock

Every year around Labor Day, tennis fans from across the world gather to watch the greatest stars of our day compete for a heralded US Open championship title. Held in Queens at Flushing Meadows Corona Park (also home to one of the best public tennis courts in town), this time around, the tournament celebrates its 142nd anniversary and kicks off with matches starting on Monday, August 29 at 11 am.

So, in anticipation of the next few weeks’ epic battles—and as we honor legends like Serena Williams, who will mark the end of her esteemed career at the games, and the trailblazing Althea Gibson, who posthumously just had her childhood Harlem block named after her—we’re here to rec our favorite things to do around the stadium grounds in addition to cheering on your top players.

From exploring the onsite food scene at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center or at nearby Main Street to diving into the borough’s rich cultural history, we promise you’ll never be bored (or hungry). Here’s our ultimate guide on what to do before and after attending IRL games at the 2022 US Open.

Chicken Bacon Ranch Melt from Melt Shop in Food Village
Chicken Bacon Ranch Melt from Melt Shop in Food Village | Photo courtesy of USTA

Explore the stellar lineup of food from popular local chefs and restaurants

USTA 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 chefs and eateries.

Within the Food Village culinary hall, there’s plenty of counter service options like Fieldtrip, 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 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.
Distance from stadium grounds: None! It’s in the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center

Queens Museum
Queens Museum

Dive into the cultural history of Queens and one of the Big Apple’s most famous museum exhibitions

Queens Museum
Recently featured in the Netflix series, Pretend It’s a City, and located within Flushing Meadows Corona Park, the 50-year-old Queens Museum is home to one of the Big Apple’s most popular museum spectacles: Panorama of the City of New York.

Known as 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 the museum is currently undergoing the last stages of a $69 million renovation project, permanent exhibitions showcase everything from memorabilia from previous World’s Fairs (Flushing Meadows Corona Park was home to both 1939 and 1964 events) to a collection of Tiffany glass.
Distance from stadium grounds: About a 10-minute walk

Unisphere | Leonard Zhukovsky/Shutterstock

Take selfies in front of the iconic Unisphere

Flushing Meadows Corona Park
One of the most iconic and recognizable city landmarks, which currently owns the title as the 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 tall stainless steel structure which depicts the Earth with orbiting rings representing early satellites. Designed by artist Gilmore D. Clarke and 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

Nan Xiang Xiao Long Bao - Flushing, Queens
Nan Xiang Xiao Long Bao - Flushing, Queens

Embark on a food crawl within a nearby thriving AAPI community

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 trending 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.

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 walk

Queens Botanical Garden
Queens Botanical Garden

Find zen after screaming your heart out through lush greenery and blooms

Queens Botanical Garden
After a couple hours of nervous sweating 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 the sound of tennis balls thwacking against racket strings.
Distance from stadium grounds: About a 20-minute walk

Naomi Osaka at the US Open
Naomi Osaka at the US Open | Photo courtesy of USTA

Catch some face time with your favorite players and more

USTA 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.

On August 27 comes the finale of USTA Fan Week with 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 icons like Venus Williams, limited-availability bleacher seating to watch the pros practice before their main draw matches, and more.

On September 1, the US Open celebrates the LGBTQIA+ community, inclusivity, and diversity with the second annual Open Pride Day. Throughout the stadium, staff, players, coaches, officials, commentators, and fans will be partaking in furthering the US Open’s “Bring Change, Be Open” social movement. Stay tuned via the US Open website for event details.

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.
Distance from stadium grounds: None! It’s in the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center

Citi Field
Citi Field | Alan Tan Photography/Shutterstock

Continue your competitive streak with a baseball game

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 seven upcoming Mets home games from August 29 through September 12. From highlight reels and interactive programming to rare memorabilia and two World Series trophies, the exhibit will have you dreaming of glory for your favorite tennis athletes competing nearby.
Distance from stadium grounds: Less than 3-minute walk

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Izzy Baskette is a Staff Writer for Thrillist New York. Find her on Instagram.