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  • Writer's pictureMr. Toilet

Clean Restrooms in New York City: Your Barnes & Noble Alternatives

Updated: Apr 25, 2023

New York City, also known as the Big Apple, is a place that never sleeps, a place where people come from all around the world to experience the sights, sounds, and culture. However, one thing that many people don't consider when visiting the city is the issue of finding a clean and accessible restroom.

While there are public restrooms throughout the city, some are more desirable than others, and it can be challenging to find a suitable option when you're in a pinch. One option that many people turn to is the restrooms at Barnes & Noble. While Barnes & Noble can be a convenient option, it can often be overwhelmed by locals and tourists, making it a difficult stop when you're in need.


Barnes & Noble is a national bookstore chain with locations all across the country, including in New York City. While they have provided a convenient restroom option for many, if there aren't many options in the area you might find yourself waiting in line for quite some time. Additionally, depending on how many people are trying to use their restroom, you may lack certain amenities like toilet paper or clean stalls. This is no fault of their own, as the state of New York only has 5 public restrooms for every 100,000 people!

While it's commendable that Barnes & Noble provides a restroom option for those in need, you might consider other options especially if you have small children with you.


There are several alternatives to Barnes & Noble that are worth considering. For instance, Eataly in Flatiron has public restrooms that are (usually) clean and well-maintained. They are accustomed to a larger flow of people, and a such tend to go through their amenities much more regularly. Additionally, Macy's in Herald Square has restrooms that are serviced frequently and are well stocked, although you'll have to go through a maze of stores of sales people to get to them! Going here can often add an extra 40 minutes to your plans, as you have to navigate a complex floor map.

Another option worth exploring is the Lulu app. Lulu is a free app that lists all public restrooms near you, as well as gives you access to semi-private bathrooms owned by restaurants that the app partners with.

The app is easy to use and can be a lifesaver when you're in a pinch. With Lulu, you can find public and semi-private restrooms, filterable around any amenity you need, so you can make an informed decision about where to go.

Using the Lulu app is easy. Simply download the app and allow it to access your location. The app will show you all the restrooms near you. You can filter your search by distance, accessibility, and cleanliness, so you can find the perfect restroom for your needs. In addition, the app partners with restaurants that allow you to use their restrooms for a small fee, greatly expanding safe, clean, and accessible options around you.

One of the best things you can do when looking for a restroom in New York City is to plan ahead and have a few options in mind. For instance, public libraries are often overlooked as a bathroom option, but they can be a great resource. Many public libraries in NYC have clean and well-maintained restrooms that are available for public use. Additionally, libraries are often open for extended hours, making them a convenient option for those looking for a bathroom outside of traditional business hours. You can also look for businesses that offer public restrooms as part of their customer service. For example, some hotels, department stores, and theaters have public restrooms available to customers and non-customers alike. You can also purchase a coffee at restaurants and cafes, as many of them offer restrooms to their patrons.

But having said all this, if you're tired of guessing, hoping, and sometimes begging to be let in, we are here to help. Flush the pain of finding a bathroom away, and download the bathroom finder app Lulu on the app store!


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