The Ultimate Guide to Attending the 2023 US Open in NYC
Terrific tennis, tasty bites, and tranquil hangouts.
Every year at the end of summer, New Yorkers and spectators from around the world gather in Flushing, Queens for the country’s biggest and most anticipated tennis tournament: the US Open. Held at Flushing Meadows Corona Park (also home to one of the best public tennis courts in town), the Grand Slam tournament celebrates its 143rd anniversary this year and kicks off matches on Monday, August 28 at 11 am.
Viewers can watch the sport’s biggest names, like Carlos Alcaraz and Iga Swiatek, battle it out in defense of their 2022 titles. Pre- and post-matches, there’s plenty to do in and around the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. From exploring the celeb-backed food scene around the stadium to diving into the borough’s rich cultural history, we pinky promise you’ll never be bored. Here’s our ultimate guide on what to do before and after attending IRL games at the 2023 US Open.
Official US Open events
Events at 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.
From August 22–August 27, make your way to Flushing for the annual US Open Fan Week. Among the many events, on August 23, snag a ticket for the Stars of the Open tennis exhibition, where stars like Frances Tiafoe, Elina Svitolina, and John McEnroe will play lighthearted matches to benefit the Ukraine Crisis Relief Fund through GlobalGiving. Following that, on August 24, get an exclusive sneak peek of all the delectable bites available during the tournament at Flavors of the Open, while getting to watch this year’s potential winners practice on the courts. One of the last events to drop by is 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 crowd favorites like Coco Gauff, limited-availability bleacher seating to watch the pros practice before their main draw matches, and more.
On August 31, the US Open celebrates the LGBTQIA+ community, inclusivity, and diversity with the third annual Open Pride. The event—which benefits the US Open’s “Bring Change, Be Open'' social movement—will feature a rainbow illumination of Arthur Ashe Stadium, a performance by Gotham Cheer, and the sale of US Open Pride merchandise.
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.
Tennis court at Rockefeller Center
Think you're not good enough to participate in the US Open? Think again. A limited-time collab between Rockefeller Center and Raquet House
will allow locals to play on a world-famous court. Located at the famous Center Plaza from August 24–September 1, New Yorkers can book court time after signing up for the Raquet newsletter. Also, players and spectators can keep an eye out for their favorite tennis stars who will intermittently drop by for a few rallies.
This year, we propose you take your US Open viewing experience to the water by watching the men’s final match on NYC’s first-ever floating tennis court. Dubbed the SS evian, the pastel pink court will sit atop a Circle Line ship and sail along the Hudson River during the championship match on Sunday, September 10. Those who purchase tickets to the SS Evian viewing experience will also be automatically entered into a raffle to play a few games with the legendary Maria Sharapova.
IHG Hotels & Resorts programming
There’s no shame in recognizing that a game of pickleball is more in your wheelhouse. At the IHG Athletic Club, New Yorkers can battle it out with fellow pickleballers on August 25 and 26 from 12 pm–5 pm. In addition to free play, guests will get hands-on training from pros and compete for prizes like a custom Joola paddle.
What to eat and drink at the US Open
Best restaurants at the 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 local chefs and eateries.
Within the Food Village culinary hall, there’s plenty of counter service options like Eataly, 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); Mojito, a Cuban-American concept led by chef David Burke (David Burke’s Tavern); and the Amex Centurion Lounge, a travel-themed lounge for Amex Platinum Card Members with dishes designed by chefs Cédric Vongerichten and Michael Solomonov. In total, there are also 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.
In addition to the concession stands, thirsty guests can drop by the Heineken Red Star Patio Café and Heineken Bar for a cold beer or one of the Grey Goose bars for the tournament's signature cocktail, the Honey Deuce.
Things to do in Flushing
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 you’re there, check out this summer’s latest exhibitions like cutting edge film, sculpture, and photography in “Shooting Down Babylon” or the vibrant paintings displayed within “Queens, Lindo y Querido.”
Distance from stadium grounds: About a 10-minute walk.
One of the most iconic and recognizable city landmarks, which currently boasts the title for 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 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
Queens Botanical Garden
After a couple hours of cheering your heart out 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 Honey Deuce cocktails and impressive athleticism.
Distance from stadium grounds: About a 20-minute walk
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 nine upcoming Mets home games from August 22 through September 10.
Distance from stadium grounds: Less than 3-minute walk
Best restaurants in Flushing
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 trendying 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. Newcomers that have quickly become popular go-tos in the neighborhood include the sprawling Japanese bar and restaurant Izakaya Nana and whimsical Korean bakery GongGan.
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