If there’s one thing New Yorkers love, it’s brunch—especially when it’s outdoor brunch in NYC. Every weekend, Gothamites head to their favorite rooftop restaurants and charming sidewalk cafes for bottomless brunch as one of the highlights of things to do during summer in NYC. Here are our picks for the best outdoor brunches NYC has to offer.
RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best brunch in NYC
Best outdoor brunch in NYC
Outfitted with colored glass chandeliers and potted palms, even the indoor seating at this coastal Italian hit maker looks and feels alfresco. Though the actual outdoor section is directly underneath the High Line, you’ll still catch a nice breeze wafting through while you munch on morning standards like almond pancakes with berries and a smoked salmon affumicato. Also on offer is a sweet iced coffee mixed with aromatic house-made coconut cream.
Beneath the BQE, first-generation Peruvian-American chef Erik Ramirez serves up New Peruvian 101 with breakfast hybrids like the beef tenderloin stir-fry with fried egg, banana, French fries and rocoto crema, or the Swiss chard empanada with lime. The rooftop lounge provides the perfect perch for brunch dining al fresco.
Despite being a steakhouse specializing in beefy butcher cuts, Quality Eats delights in subverting the classic totems of the chophouse, perfectly demonstrated by the weekend brunch menu that boasts egg dishes like the poached option with short rib hash and a tabasco hollandaise or the hard boiled egg with smoked salmon tartine. There's sweeter fare too, like french toast and a lemon blueberry pancake souffle, as well as ample outdoor seating to make for an easy breezy brunch affair.
Venue says: “A neighborhood restaurant celebrating Sunday in Brooklyn by serving brunch and dinner daily and some of our favorite items for take away.”
Contrary to what the name might suggest, Sunday in Brooklyn is open for brunch every day of the week. The rustic three-story space boasts an outdoor patio and rooftop garden. The brunch menu includes both lighter bites, like carrot bread with ginger cream cheese ($3) or avocado toast with preserved tomatoes, wheatgrass and sprouts ($9), and heartier fare, like an egg-sausage sandwich with potatoes, cheddar and gojuchang aioli ($11), malted pancakes like hazelnut-maple praline ($15) and a plate of smoked salmon, pastrami black cod, sour cream, pickled green tomatoes and sourdough ($23). Signature cocktails like Champagne Problems, with bubbly, orange, berries and mint, or Juanny Appleseed, with tequila, hot apple cider, brown butter and cinnamon, are available (both $12).
Andrew Carmellini's two-story pasta spot boasts a brunch menu teeming with plates like ricotta pancakes and pepperoni frittata, a few of the namesake primi pastas from dinner and a breakfast spaghetti number that comes with kale, poached egg and pancetta. Ample outdoor seating lends itself well to people-watching on the bustling Bowery.
Chefs Eduard Frauneder ("Edi") and Wolfgang Ban ("the Wolf") visit the flavors of their Austrian motherland at this cozy neighborhood tavern deep in Alphabet City. Simple comfort foods like a schnitzel burger with heritage pig, and a Kaiserschmarrn (caramelized pancake bits with strawberry and cinnamon sugar) populate the brunch menu, while an intimate backyard garden complements the rustic digs inside.
Rosemary’s, the king of the Seventh Avenue and 10th Street strip, has a packed house with young men and women more on the prowl for each other than for anything good to eat. The restaurant, is a beautiful madhouse, in barnyard drag, with dangling plants and rustic beams strung with twinkling lights that lend a picnic vibe to the inside as well as the outside. Try the ham and eggs with poached farm eggs or something more classically Italian like the pickled chili linguine.
Chef and co-owner Jean Adamson, who worked at LES success story Freemans, offers more fatty comfort foods on her weekly changing menu at Vinegar Hill House. Brunch options include pork grits with a poached egg and a remoulade-sauced burger. The cozy, tavernlike restaurant has an outdoor patio that's just as charming, outfitted with wooden tables and string lighting.
Located under the Brooklyn Bridge, this vibrant-hued Mexican mainstay boasts an expansive back patio, powerful tipples and fiery Latin eats. Hearty brunch desayunos include a breakfast taco number—tortillas piled high with succulent house-made chorizo, potatoes, crema, avocado salsa and a crowning fried egg.
This bustling West Village eatery offers relaxed outdoor accommodations, craft cocktails and a modern Italian menu by chef Andrew Whitney. At the four-course brunch, opt for a Bloody Mary with salumi-infused FAIR quinoa vodka or go full Italian with a roasted-orange Negroni Sbagliato. Pasta starters like bucatini alla arrabiatta make way for hearty mains such as gamberi and grits (shrimp, parmesan polenta, tasso bacon, eggs) and a chorizo frittata with fingerling potatoes.
Looking for more to do outdoors?
Sitting outside on the patio, quaffing giant steins of beer is possible year round at Loreley, a heated outdoor beer garden on the Lower East Side. If truly awful weather pushes you inside, grab a seat in the indoor beer hall. With rustic wood benches for seating and exposed brick walls, this bar and restaurant has a modern German aesthetic. Thirsty patrons can sample beers from Weihenstephaner—the world’s oldest brewery—and the 11 other German-inspired breweries on tap. Kolsch, hefeweizen, lager and IPA: this beer garden has it all. Not into the suds? There’s also a wine list and full bar available. The bartenders will even mix up specialty cocktails, if you’re so inclined. All that drinking got you feeling peckish? Order something from the kitchen. Loreley’s extensive menu features classic pub food and German favorites. Think everything from giant soft pretzels, currywurst and weiner schnitzel to buffalo wings, nachos and burgers. Keep an eye out for special events, like holiday brunches and weekend craft beer festivals.
Venue says: “We are the largest heated outdoor beer garden in Manhattan's lower east side and have a great selection of imported beers, wines & spirits.”