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Photograph: Courtesy Front of House

The 48 best outdoor dining spots in NYC

Blooming gardens, gorgeous patios and sidewalk cafes are among New York’s best outdoor dining spots.

Amber Sutherland-Namako
Written by
Amber Sutherland-Namako
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It's been a hot one, and prime summertime outdoor dining season is sizzling, too. All around NYC, rooftop bars, restaurants with amazing views and lovely waterfront destinations are shining in their annual turn in the sun. And the best outdoor setups at these luncheonettes, all-day cafes, Michelin-starred stunners, dives, neighborhood favorites and newcomers all have settings to get your attention, and great food and drinks to keep you coming back from now through next fall.     


RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best restaurants in NYC

Time Out Market New York

Best restaurants for outdoor dining

  • Restaurants
  • Seafood
  • Financial District

The views walking up to The Fulton at Pier 17 downtown are breathtaking to tourists and longtime New Yorkers alike, and they're even more satisfying with a drink and some sensational seafood. Many of The Fulton's seating areas offer views of The East River, the shores of Brooklyn and the bridge that gets you there, including the patio. 

Pilot
  • Bars
  • Cocktail bars
  • Brooklyn Heights
  • price 2 of 4

Boats are inherently romantic, and Pilot is especially so. The 147-foot wooden schooner was built in 1924, and today it’s beautifully appointed in lacquered seaside hues. It does, of course, bear a striking resemblance to sister vessel Grand Banks, but Pilot has a west-facing view of glittering lower Manhattan to accompany the oysters, caviar, lobster rolls and cocktails on the menu. 

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  • Restaurants
  • American
  • West Village
  • price 2 of 4

The ivy-laced garden at Graydon Carter’s little hobby is as close as most of us will ever get to having a private yard in the West Village. And, while reservations used to be harder to get than a mortgage–with people and celebrities alike clamoring for tables–these days you can pretty much sit right down. Pop in and make up for all those years you weren’t ordering the $90 mac and cheese. 

  • Restaurants
  • Seafood
  • Red Hook
  • price 2 of 4

Red Hook is one of NYC’s best waterside neighborhoods and Brooklyn Crab towers above its smattering of restaurants. Literally, it spans three stories with outdoor areas throughout. Choose your altitude and dive into tasty crustaceans, bivalves and other creatures from the sea. 

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  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Restaurants
  • Mexican
  • Greenpoint
  • price 2 of 4

This Michelin-starred modern Mexican restaurant from the Speedy Romeo team spotlights wood-fired dishes like lamb barbacoa tacos, market fish and the best bavette you’ll find in town. They bring the outside in with plenty of greenery in the dining room, but it’s especially intoxicating to sip wine, beer, cocktails and frozen drinks on Oxomoco’s inviting patio. 

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  • Restaurants
  • West Village

This bold-name magnet had a respectable 15 year run, followed by a half-decade hiatus before reopening a stone’s throw from its original Meatpacking District location in 2019. The French bistro is lovely as ever, and dining on its stretch of sidewalk seating feels particularly decadent, especially midday over a bottle of crisp white wine. 

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Restaurants
  • Contemporary American
  • Prospect Heights
  • price 2 of 4

Tables at Olmsted have always been hard to come by, but sometimes space in the backyard, where they grow some menu ingredients, is a little easier to snag. Prepare your patience, hope for the best and eventually you’ll be sitting down to its frequently refreshed selections.

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  • Bars
  • Lounges
  • Cobble Hill
  • price 2 of 4

If you know anything about Henry Public, you know about its showstopping turkey sandwich: a mighty hill of leg meat piled between two substantial slices of bread that only the most accomplished sandwich eaters can conquer sans cutlery. The rest of the brunch and dinner menus are terrific, too, but its hard to keep from returning to this winner, whether you're at the vaguely vintage bar, dining room or out in the confines of Henry Public's handsome, sturdy outdoor dining structure. 

  • Restaurants
  • Thai
  • West Village

Pinto Garden’s particularly photogenic titular space is enclosed and adorned with blooms and colorful cocktails. Snack on oysters, shishito peppers and popcorn shrimp for $9 a plate at happy hour, order unlimited drinks for an extra $25 with your Thai baked eggs at brunch and sample the seafood ceviche, crab fried rice and seasonal specials at dinner. 

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  • Restaurants
  • Cobble Hill

Newly-opened Lebanese restaurant Nabila's occupies a picturesque corner of brownstone Brooklyn as quaint as a sketch you'd see framed in a neighborhood spot just like this. Arrive on the early side for a chance at its two stretches sidewalk seats, as it's already a popular locale. 

  • Restaurants
  • West Village

Bandits evokes 1970s style in its 32-seat interior, and it has room for 30 more outside in one of the most stylish NYC street sheds you'll see. Slide in for four types of tots, a wedge salad and a chickpea "tuna" melt, plus plenty of drinks. 

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Claro
  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Restaurants
  • Mexican
  • Gowanus
  • price 3 of 4

Claro is one of the best Mexican restaurants in NYC, and its secluded patio really makes it shine. Its braised short rib chilaquiles is one of a top few in town, and the dish presently appears on a $45, three-course brunch prix fixe that also comes with a starter and a dessert. Spring for the curated mezcal pairing, too: At $38 it’s about as much as you’d spend on drinks at a similarly hot brunch spot, but here, they’ll do the choosing for you. 

  • Restaurants
  • French
  • Prospect Heights

Sister restaurant to “best of” list mainstay Olmsted, the also highly-regarded Maison Yaki serves a fun roster of skewers like a duck a l’orange meatball and beef short rib in its narrow, colorful dining room, and in the equally intimate backyard. It also offers a bottomless brunch for $40 per person on weekends. 

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  • Bars
  • Beer bars
  • Astoria
  • price 2 of 4

This longtime Astoria favorite has sidewalk seats, a covered street structure and a picturesque, mostly enclosed interior patio where you may gaze upon the sky without being fully inside. Sample Sweet Afton's wide-ranging brunch, dinner and drink menus across configurations. 

  • Restaurants
  • Williamsburg

There are two types of people in this city: Those who wish to stroll in the park and those who wish to turn brunch into a verb. Ok, there are also some in-betweeners and Santo Parque offers the best of all worlds (across mealtimes) near Williamsburg’s McCarren Park, plus best in class pão de queijo and great drinks. 

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  • Restaurants
  • Chinese
  • West Village

We were eagerly awaiting Simone Tong’s Cornelia Street restaurant for a year before it finally opened in July of 2020. Today, it serves seasonal menu items like lobster and potato salad with Singapore chili crab sauce, cucumber salad with silken tofu, grilled black bass and Peking grilled cheese inside and out in its slip of a space beyond the dining room. 

  • Restaurants
  • Italian
  • Cobble Hill

This Columbia Waterfront District favorite has a sprawling backyard where they’ve been known to host shrimp boils, barbecues and chef collaborations. Its regular menu includes pappardelle, spaghetti, rigatoni and the particularly popular hot chicken Milanese with radicchio and ranch.

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  • Bars
  • Wine bars
  • Carroll Gardens
  • price 1 of 4

Inside, June is a curious combination of cramped and comfortable. A line of booths on the left are spacious enough, but there isn’t a ton of room to maneuver between them and the long bar to the right, especially when that bar’s a few people deep. That makes its backyard even more of a breath of fresh air. It’s still a little small out there, only accommodating a couple dozen, but lights twinkle over glasses of wine and plates of pork terrine, anchovies and whipped ricotta, and the sky is literally the limit. 

  • Bars
  • Gastropubs
  • Astoria
  • price 2 of 4

The Bonnie is one of Astoria's best bars for a lot of reasons; good, better than bar food and great drinks primary among them any time of year. Its backyard picnic tables and prime people-watching sidewalk seats shine especially bright during the warmer months. 

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  • Bars
  • Cocktail bars
  • Chelsea
  • price 3 of 4

An elevated beauty, Gallow Green accepts reservations for its picturesque floral rooftop. Dine under vines and over oysters, salads and mains like grilled organic salmon, along with cocktails like the Sleep No More, with pea flower-infused vodka, elderflower and rosé cider. 

  • Restaurants
  • Upper West Side

This Upper West Side sparkler is equally suitable for brunch, dinner, or just drinks that can turn into whatever. It has a large, arrtactive bar inside, menu items inspired by “somewhere in the Mediterranean" and covered sidewalk and street seats outside. 

 

 

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  • Restaurants
  • French
  • Soho
  • price 2 of 4

The garden at Ladurée is as close as you’ll usually get to tea in Wonderland in Manhattan. The “jardin secret” menu also includes raw bar items, substantial entrées and, of course, plenty of pastries and the France-based restaurant’s famed macarons. 

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  • Restaurants
  • Pizza
  • East Williamsburg
  • price 1 of 4

Although it’s grown to other locations since first opening in 2008, our favorite Roberta’s is still the string-light lit, industrial block original. The ever-hip love letter to market cuisine and artisanal pizza still grows some of its ingredients on-site, a balm to the hyper-locavores who shed a tear seeing the pies in their grocery store’s frozen aisle. 

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  • Restaurants
  • American
  • Chelsea
  • price 2 of 4

A stone’s throw away from the beautiful High Line, Cookshop’s sidewalk seating manages to feel unrushed in spite of its bustling coordinates on Tenth Avenue at 20th Street. Brunch is bisected into sweet and savory sections: a cinnamon bun or an egg sandwich; beignets or poached eggs; a Dutch baby pancake or a hearty scramble. Lunch includes salads, burgers and brisket, and dinner brings a few of those, too, plus spit-roasted chicken and spiced lamb meatloaf. Sip cocktails, beer or wine any time.

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  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Restaurants
  • Italian
  • East Village
  • price 2 of 4

This corner spot’s been prime for people watching since it first opened in 2014. Like many of its peers, it’s expanded its sidewalk seating into the street as of late, so now there’s a little more room to dine on antipasti, chicken, steak and fish mains and ten types of pasta.

  • Attractions
  • Rockaways
  • price 1 of 4

This summer-only beach staple is as sweet as all the season’s songs, and just as fleeting. For days when you don’t feel like packing up a cooler full of what will inevitably become real-deal sandwiches, Tacoway’s there for a slightly more formal dining experience, replete with fish tacos, guac, and booze that didn’t recently see the inside of a water bottle. 

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  • Bars
  • Beer bars
  • Red Hook
  • price 1 of 4

Marvelous dive bars with outdoor space used to be a little harder to come by, but Ice House has had a semi-secret, large backyard for many years. You wouldn’t know it from the sidewalk, or even from the charmingly worn barroom, but this Red Hook staple has a sunny outdoor space even larger than its dark interior. Its deck and picnic tables are a great, low pressure place to day drink with good burgers, beers and shots. 

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  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Bars
  • Cocktail bars
  • Kips Bay
  • price 3 of 4

Whether you’re hot off Metro North after a weekend of antiquing, or you've just found yourself at the nexus of Gramercy and Murray Hill after work, Broken Shaker is your no-fail go-to for a good time. Located in the Freehand Hotel, the New York iteration is almost as beachy as the Miami original. Enjoy the Manhattan breeze on its rooftop terrace.

  • Restaurants
  • American
  • Williamsburg

Sit back in Pheasant's backyard and get to work on its Mediterranean bites. Start with the house focaccia and marinated olives before you move onto larger plates like the roasted Long Island tilefish or bone-in pork chop. Cocktails like the “I Love You Honey but I Hate Your Friends” let vodka, dry curaçao, hot honey and lemon send a date-night message when you don’t want to.

Want to spend the day drinking outside?

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