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Clean Bathrooms in New York City

Make finding a clean "public" restroom a little easier with these helpful tips.

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Why is finding a basic necessity so difficult in New York City? You manage to find that t-shirt you've been looking for, you successfully navigate the subway system without getting lost, but finding a clean restroom while you're exploring the city can be an arduous task.

When you get the urge to go and you're on the go, try one of these options:

  • Starbucks
    With locations on nearly every New York City block, this is an always popular option. The popularity means there might be a line, but the baristas are happy to give you the key whether you make a purchase or not. Starbucks NYC Locations.
  • Barnes & Nobles
    Barnes and Nobles has locations throughout the city.
  • Bryant Park
    Located near the library on 42nd Street between 5th & 6th Avenues, when the park is open, I've found this public bathroom to be surprisingly clean, because there is always an attendant.
  • Grand Central
    Grand Central is located off 42nd Street between Park and Lexington Avenues. You can find the public restrooms downstairs near the food court.
  • Police Stations
    Any police station will happily let you use their bathroom. They are located throughout the city.
  • Angelica Film Center
    Located at Mercer and Houston, you can access the restrooms in the café area -- which is open to everyone regardless of whether you are a ticket holder.
  • New School & Foundation Center
    Both located on Fifth Ave. between 13th and 15th St. these are a hassle free choice when you're in the area.
  • Bed, Bath & Beyond and Old Navy
    Both located on 6th Avenue near 18th Street, they offer a clean respite in the area.
  • Saks Fifth Avenue
    A user writes: "Has a great ladies room -- It has a nice mirrored area to refresh your make-up and telephones and couches too."
  • NYU Buildings
    Other than the dorms, any building with a NYU flag, which you can't miss when you're in the Washington Square area, will have accessible facilities. These work best if you can blend in as a student.

Hotel Bathrooms
  • Waldorf-Astoria Hotel
    At 301 Park Ave the art deco decor is worth a peek, and if you are looking for a bathroom, it's a good choice between 49th & 50th Streets.
  • Marriot Marquis
    Located in the heart of Times Square at 1535 Broadway, the bathrooms here are top rate (& located on the 2nd floor) if you can blend in with the businesspeople and tourists that stay here.
  • The Royalton Hotel
    Although it's rumored the doors aren't the easiest to open in these bathrooms/modern works of art, they're well worth a visit.
  • Soho Grand Hotel
    Located on on Grand and West Broadway, where public toilets are scarce. Walk past the front desk and continue down the back corridor to find the bathrooms.
  • Grand Hyatt
    You have to wait for someone with a room key to go in or out and casually catch the door, but once inside, you can use the facilities.

If you have a favorite "public" restroom in New York City, you can email me at gonyc@aboutguide.com and I'll add it to the list!

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