Secret NYC Restaurant Gardens: The Best Backyard Lairs for Dining in the Big Apple

For urban adventure seekers, few things are as exhilarating as hitting the pavement of the boroughs and seeing where the day takes you. But it can be grueling out there in the summer heat. Fortunately, New York has a deep web of hidden points of delicious respite waiting for you — if you know where to find them.

These are not your sidewalk cafes; these are al fresco urban oases where you can delight yourself with a bit of a breeze and put some distance between you and the grit of the streets. Seeking sustenance and solace from the teeming masses of competitive curb crawlers? Find serenity with our NYC outdoor dining guide to hidden New York secret restaurant gardens.

Executive chef Alberto Ibrahimi at Barbone will treat you like family and introduce you to his version of Italian soul food. Fresh ingredients, a full bar, an extensive wine list, and a spacious outdoor dining area make this a one-stop relaxation destination.

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Edi and The Wolf
The executive chef team behind midtown Manhattan’s Michelin-starred (and, sadly, shuttered) Seasonal Restaurant & Weinbar opened this casual homage to Austria’s wine taverns. Located in Alphabet City, it features an eye-pleasing menu of wonderfully prepared rustic Austrian best enjoyed beneath the patio’s hanging garden.

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A sustainable restaurant since opening in 1993, Home boasts a menu that showcases the best of New York’s regional agriculture. Beyond the local bounty, the petite eatery boasts an intimate wood-paneled backyard seating area that is guaranteed to ease and please.

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At Fort Greene’s ICI Restaurant, executive chefs Armando Reyes and Robert Howay prepare du jour bounty with a contemporary French twist (garlic scape soup, anybody?). Whether you go for dinner or brunch, the garden seating that hides behind the 19th-century brownstone is positively transportive.

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La Birreria at Eataly
Atop the bustling hordes of the Flatiron District, perched upon the great piazza of plenty that is Eataly, rests this comforting beer garden where you can sip your Peroni — or better yet, one of many house-brewed ales — accompanied by some mussels, housemade sausage, and other delights. [Photo credit: Virginia Rollison]

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2015 Top 100 Outdoor Dining Restaurants in Canada + 10 Most Instagrammable Patios

Dust off your sandals and bust out the sunscreen, diners! Summer is here, and to kick things off we’re unveiling the 2015 Top 100 Best Outdoor Dining Restaurants in Canada. The awards reflect the combined opinions of more than 275,000 restaurant reviews submitted by verified OpenTable diners for more than 1,600 restaurants in Canada.

Featuring restaurants that offer some of Canada’s most stunning views and dining experiences, the complete list includes winners from picturesque regions such as Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Stanley Park, British Columbia, and Banff, Alberta. Ontario leads all provinces with 41 winning restaurants, followed by British Columbia with 28, Alberta with 18, and Québec with 12. Restaurants associated with wineries, such as Miradoro at Tinhorn Creek Winery in Oliver, British Columbia, and Vineland Estates Winery Restaurant in Vineland, Ontario, are well represented among the winning restaurants.

Forget phone etiquette for a moment when you visit any of these honorees, and open your Instagram app to share snaps of these fabulous outdoor seating areas.  Need inspiration? Check out 10 of the most Instagrammable restaurant patios from this year’s Top 100 below.

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2015 Top 100 Al Fresco Dining Restaurants in America + 10 Most Instagrammable Outdoor Seating Areas

Summer travel season is almost here! Fire up your Google Maps app. Hit up Priceline for travel deals. And get ready to make the most or your vacation or staycation dining with a meal at one of the OpenTable 2015 Top 100 Al Fresco Dining Restaurants in America! These awards reflect the combined opinions of more than 5 million restaurant reviews submitted by verified OpenTable diners for more than 20,000 restaurants in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Highlighting restaurants in some of the nation’s most coveted vacation destinations, the complete list features winning restaurants in 15 states, and includes Frida’s in Lahaina, Hawaii, Geoffrey’s in Malibu, and The Turtle Club in Naples, Florida. Many of the restaurants are associated with picturesque resorts conceived to highlight the natural splendor of their surroundings or situated on prime spots in some of the country’s most beautiful coastal states. Come armed with your appetite and your phone; these restaurants are ready for their close-ups on your summer travel stream. Don’t believe us? Check out 10 of the most Instagrammable outdoor seating settings from this year’s honorees below.


The sunny state of California has 45 winning restaurants, followed by Florida with 18 and Hawaii with 17. Arizona has seven winning restaurants. Nevada and South Carolina have two winning restaurants apiece. Illinois, Maryland, Minnesota, North Carolina, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Virginia are also represented. American fare proves most popular among the winners; however, regional Californian and Hawaiian cuisines are also common, as is seafood.Continue Reading

OpenTable Restaurant Reviews Reveal #DinersChoice Top 100 Best Outdoor Dining Restaurants in America

As we look forward to an exciting season of summer travel, we are pleased to honor the 2014 Diners’ Choice Award winners for the Top 100 Best Outdoor Dining Restaurants in America. These awards reflect the combined opinions of more than 5 million restaurant reviews submitted by verified OpenTable diners for approximately 19,000 restaurants in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Showcasing restaurants situated in some of the most beautiful parts of the nation, the complete list includes award winners in 15 states, such as Geoffrey’s Restaurant in Malibu, Hau Tree Lanai in Honolulu, and Latitudes in Key West. California claims the greatest number of winning restaurants with 38, followed by Florida with 23, Hawaii with 16, and Arizona with seven. Texas has four honorees, while Nevada and New York boast two winners apiece. Indiana, Louisiana, Maryland, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Virginia, and Wisconsin are also represented. Restaurants serving American fare dominate the list, but several cuisines are also popular, including Hawaiian, Italian, Mexican, and seafood.

The Diners’ Choice Awards for the Top 100 Best Outdoor Dining Restaurants in America are generated from more than 5 million restaurant reviews collected from verified OpenTable diners between May 1, 2013, and April 30, 2014. All restaurants with a minimum number of qualifying reviews were included for consideration. Qualifying restaurants were then sorted according to a score calculated from each restaurant’s average rating in the “outdoor dining” category along with a minimum “overall” rating.

As you plan your summer adventures, be sure to book a table at one of these restaurants for an al fresco meal to remember.