US Open 2022: Best food, events and activities near the tennis stadium

Every year around Labor Day, tennis fans around the world gather to watch the biggest stars of our time battle it out for a heralded US Open title. Held in Queens at Flushing Meadows Corona Park (also home to one of the best public tennis courts in the city), the tournament celebrates its 142nd anniversary this time around and kicks off with matches beginning Monday, August 29 at 11 a.m.

So, in anticipation of the epic battles of the next few weeks – and as we pay tribute to legends like Serena Williams, who will mark the end of her esteemed games career, and trailblazer Althea Gibson, who has just had her childhood Harlem neighborhood after her, we’re here to record our favorite stadium activities in addition to cheering on your best players.

Whether it’s exploring the on-site dining scene at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center or nearby Main Street or delving into the borough’s rich cultural history, we promise you’ll never be bored. (or will never go hungry). Here’s our ultimate guide to what to do before and after attending IRL matches at the US Open 2022.

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

Explore the stellar range of dishes from popular local chefs and restaurants

USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center
While tournaments like London-based Wimbledon are known for signature dishes such as Strawberries and Cream, the US Open culinary scene encapsulates a broad spectrum of our local culinary landscape through popular chefs and restaurants.

In the Food Village culinary hall, there are many counter service options like Fieldtrip, Fuku, Hill Country, Taqueria Nixtamal, Van Leeuwen Ice Cream, and more. Alternatively, opt for a chic seated experience at one of seven restaurants, including Aces, a seafood-focused 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 throughout the facilities, which are well stocked with beer, liquor, hot dogs, barbecue, and more, to keep you going in the strong summer rays.
Distance from the pitch to the stadium: None! It’s in the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center

Queen's Museum
Queen’s Museum

Delve into the cultural history of Queens and one of the Big Apple’s most famous museum exhibits

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

Known as an impressive architectural mini-model of the five boroughs, the piece is an accurate representation of the buildings/topography of the city until it was last updated in 1992, and tends to leave the visitors wonder just how good each of us New Yorkers really are. As the museum currently undergoes the final stages of a $69 million renovation project, permanent exhibits feature everything from memorabilia from previous World’s Fairs (Flushing Meadows Corona Park hosted the 1939 and 1964 events) to a collection of Tiffany glass.
Distance from the pitch to the stadium: About 10 minutes on foot

Unisphere | Leonardo Zhukovsky/Shutterstock

Take selfies in front of the iconic Unisphere

Flushing Meadows Corona Park
One of the city’s most iconic and recognizable landmarks, currently holding the title of world’s largest globe, is conveniently located just off the grounds of the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows Corona Park.

Built over 50 years ago, the Unisphere is a spectacular 12-story stainless steel structure that represents the Earth with orbiting rings representing the first 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 landmark both locally and globally. Needless to say, if movies like men in black and Captain America: The First Avenger consider this location a sublimely dramatic setting, you’re sure to get IG shots.
Distance from the pitch to the stadium: About 10 minutes on foot

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

Embark on a food tour within a thriving AAPI community nearby

At the end of the 7 Train line and one subway stop from Mets-Willets Point, Flushing Main Street is home to a thriving AAPI community.

Take advantage of its bustling (and unrivaled) food scene and embark on a food tour with bites that offer a range of cultures and flavors. Local favorites include Chinese specialties such as Chong Qing Lao Zao and White Bear; Korean kimbap and joint dukbokki, KimGaNae; and dim sum destinations like Nan Xiang Xiao Long Bao for soup dumplings and Royal Queen with steaming carts. A team of fast-casual eateries are also popping up here, including trendy Korean corn dog hotspot Afternoon. To end your food tour with something sweet, we’d be remiss not to mention the Spot Dessert Bar, where renditions of traditional Thai sweets shine, and Yi Fang Taiwan Fruit Tea to quench your bubble tea thirst.

Other local spots we love include: New World Mall food court, Partea NYC, Kaizen, Spring Shabu Shabu and Shanghai You Garden.
Distance from the pitch to the stadium: A metro station or about 30 minutes on foot

Queen's Botanical Garden
Queen’s Botanical Garden

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

Queen’s Botanical Garden
After a few hours of nervous sweating over a nail-biting match, spending time in the quiet serenity of nature at the Queens Botanical Garden is just the ticket to rejuvenation. With over 40 acres of themed gardens spanning the property, explore seasonal blooms, nearly century-old cedars, an herb garden, whimsical meadows, and more. After a soothing afternoon of respite, return to the arena for another evening filled with the sound of tennis balls banging against racket strings.
Distance from the pitch to the stadium: About 20 minutes walk

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

Catch face-to-face time with your favorite players and more

USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center
In addition to watching unique matches between the tennis giants, the grounds of the US Open stadium also host a host of exclusive programs throughout the tournament.

August 27th comes the finale of USTA Fan Week with the crowd-favorite Arthur Ashe Kids Day, and whatever its name, this one-day (and free) event is suitable for all ages. There are performances by comedy group Dude Perfect, special appearances from icons like Venus Williams, limited-availability bleacher seats 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 take part in promoting the US Open “Make Change, Be Open” social movement. Stay tuned via the US Open website for event details.

Finally, although not a guarantee, stick around the main courts and locker room aisles in hopes of getting an autograph from the athletes. Although players are sometimes ready to jump straight into decompression, many fans find that determination is key here and end up with valuable selfies or signatures.
Distance from the pitch to the stadium: 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 the US Open revelry is another sports fan’s dreamland, Citi Field, where you can continue your competitive streak by watching a baseball game on the same day as a tennis match. Home to the beloved New York Mets, the stadium also houses a striking tribute to its team’s history with a grand 3,700 square foot Mets Hall of Fame and Museum. Open exclusively to ticket holders on game days, change sets for innings at any of the Mets’ next seven home games from August 29 through September 12. dreaming of glory for your favorite tennis athletes competing nearby.
Distance from the pitch to the stadium: Less than 3 minutes walk

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

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