Special Events

NYC Marathon Guide 2019: Where to Watch, Eat, and Drink During the Big Race

The best places in the city to cheer the runners, plus great nearby spots for refueling.

Photo courtesy of New York Road Runners Media Center

Nothing brings the city together like the TCS New York City Marathon. More than 50,000 competitors—athletes from all over the world, each with their own inspiring journey just to get to the race’s starting line—will run through all five boroughs on Sunday starting at 9 a.m. But perhaps even more incredible, over one million New Yorkers will line the race course to cheer  them on.

To help you be a part of one of the city’s most unifying moments, we’ve found the best spots to high-five runners in each borough, plus the choicest nearby places to share a meal or a pint with your fellow spectators.


Mile 2: Dyker Heights (at 92nd Street and Gowanus Expressway)

Head here to witness the very start of the race; it’s a great place to scream some early words of encouragement to the hordes of runners. Get there as early as 9:20 a.m. if you want to see the professional women race by; otherwise, the biggest crowds pass around 10:30.

Photo courtesy of New York Road Runners Media Center
Where to Head After

After you’re all cheered out, head to one of Brookyn’s most beloved Irish bars, Kitty Kiernans, just a few blocks away, where a fireplace awaits to warm up your cold, overclapped hands. 9715 Third Avenue

Mile 8: Fort Greene (at the Brooklyn Academy of Music)

This spot has been a low-key but excellent location to watch the marathon while also avoiding the crowds. Plus, you’ll be right near the Atlantic Avenue station, where you can hop on several subway lines.

Where to Head After

Toast the runners with a German ale at Black Forest Brooklyn, a beer garden where the exposed-brick front yields way to an interior decorated with an assortment of cuckoo clocks. We order the flammkuchen (Germany’s answer to thin-crust pizza) every time, as well as some of the best wursts you will find on this side of the pond. 733 Fulton Street


Mile 14: Long Island City (at Vernon Boulevard and Jackson Avenue)

This is typically a quieter area, and the lack of spectators makes it a hard stretch for runners in need of support. Keep them motivated while enjoying plenty of space to set up a portable chair.

Photo courtesy of New York Road Runners Media Center
Where to Head After

One of our favorite watering holes in the entire city, L.I.C. Bar has been offering a warm welcome—the roaring fireplace shines a hot light on the restored vintage interior—to New Yorkers for more than a century. 45-58 Vernon Boulevard


Mile 20: Mott Haven (at 138th Street and Willis Avenue)

You’ll witness one of the most challenging parts of the marathon at this spot, a treacherous hill runners like to call “the wall” and where many give up. Find a spot on the climb to give the participants the boost they need to get through the final six miles.

Photo courtesy of New York Road Runners Media Center
Where to Head After

One of the earlier breweries birthed from the city’s craft boom, the Bronx Brewery has a strong sense of community that you’ll experience the moment you step inside. The first time we visited, we felt like we were in the brewery version of Cheers. Yes, the bartender seemed to know everybody’s name. Order a flight of beer for just $12, play a round of cornhole, and relax on the couches. 856 East 136th Street


MILE 23: Upper East Side (at East 90th Street and Fifth Avenue)

You’ll find yourself standing along the famed Museum Mile with thousands of other fans as you watch runners enter Central Park for their final stretch—and the finish line. Though you might have to maneuver for a good view, it’s an exhilarating experience to be a part of such collective goodwill.

Photo courtesy of New York Road Runners Media Center
Where to Head After

Communal wood tables line the brick wall of the tavernlike space at Earl’s Beer and Cheese, where the rotating all-American craft beer list is always exceptional. Also exceptional: Earl’s “stupid-good” bread pudding, which is worth a trip uptown anytime. The thick-cut pieces of bread soaked in cinnamon sugar sauce come sizzling in a black pot and topped with crunchy green apples and whipped cream. 1259 Park Avenue (at 97th Street) 

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