New York City is a place of constant reinvention, and that trait is obvious in the city’s approach to outdoor dining. As warm weather and sunshine return with the changing seasons, streets remain delightfully co-opted by restaurants, giving the city the feel of one big block party. Throughout the five boroughs, streateries, secret gardens, and streetside oases continue to allow New Yorkers to dine out al fresco.
From lush Williamsburg backyards to roomy Lower East Side rooftops, the following restaurants all make for a stellar outdoor dining experience during warmer weather.
Williamsburg: Ten Hope
Williamsburg dining enthusiasts may recognize the wholly open air corner restaurant from its other iterations, but Ten Hope may be the best yet to occupy this space. The outdoor garden is popular for brunch, where $25 (plus an entree) gets you unlimited mimosas and more for 90 minutes. For dinner, expect Mediterranean-influenced new American food, such as seared octopus and brick chicken with fava beans.
Williamsburg: Casa Ora
Green turf, lively plants, and lattice fencing have turned the street in front of Casa Ora into a tropical getaway. The Venezuelan restaurant’s menu of small bites such as arepitas, empanadas, and guacamole with plantain chips also includes heartier entrees like asado negro for two, a tender braised short rib adorned with fresh herbs. In addition to frozen margaritas made with fresh juice and house-made syrups, diners can expect excellent service, which earned the restaurant a spot on OpenTable’s editor’s choice list of top places to celebrate in NYC.
Williamsburg: Shalom Japan
The unique combo of Japanese and Jewish fare finds a home at Shalom Japan, where the cuisines come together for singular dishes such as wagyu pastrami sandos, matzo ball ramen, and lox chirashi. A few fenced-in tables outside the corner restaurant make for lovely warm Brooklyn brunches and nights.
East Village: BAAR BAAR
This gastropub serves up a modern interpretation of regional Indian cuisine. Its vibrant decor extends outdoors in a brightly colored, tented structure. A wide-ranging dinner menu includes seasonal vegetable biryani and sea bass cooked in banana leaf with South Indian spices, and weekend brunch highlights include the Kerala fried chicken sandwich, a jackfruit burger, and live “Bolly Jazz” music on Sundays.
Lower East Side: Blue Ribbon Sushi Izakaya
A top-notch sushi spread while catching a breeze makes for a perfect evening. Settle into the outdoor patio on the second floor of SIXTY LES Hotel where Blue Ribbon Sushi Izakaya serves its extensive menu, and diners can be entertained by the view of always-bustling Allen Street. Taste your way through sushi from the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans—the menu is organized to help learn the geography of your fish’s origins—or trust the chef with a $125 omakase that offers a full tour of what Blue Ribbon has to offer.
Midtown West: La Grande Boucherie
Located underneath a covered, open-air pedestrian passageway in Midtown, La Grande Boucherie’s outdoor dining area mimics the enclosed galleries that connect many streets in Paris. Surrounded by colorful stained glass windows and seated at tables with elegant wood-topped dividers, diners enjoy French classics such as steak tartare, croque monsieur, and escargot paired with the restaurant’s extensive absinthe selection.
Harlem: Maison Harlem
Open for lunch, brunch, and dinner, this classic French bistro in Harlem has a tented patio area for outdoor diners to enjoy shade and a cross breeze from the open sides. The menu features standouts such as quiche lorraine, duck leg confit, and Provencal-style mussels with roasted tomatoes, garlic, and herbs, along with a large selection of French wines.
Experience full-on Paris chic in Laduree’s stunning courtyard, a shaded tree- and floral-filled garden made for enjoying warmer weather. The French teahouse is famous for its macarons and other traditional pastries, but there’s also a full savory menu here with dishes such as quiche lorraine, a chicken club sandwich, and lobster pasta.
West Village: Little Owl
Little Owl’s sidewalk patio creates an inviting space echoing the ambiance that makes the dining room a go-to spot for anniversaries, birthdays, and other celebrations. Fresh flowers provide color to each table, and an added tent offers shade to diners enjoying Mediterranean-inspired dishes such as the signature pork chop with butter beans and wild dandelion. Look up and you’ll recognize the famous facade seen in every episode of Friends.
For an outdoor dining experience completely unlike any other in the city, head to Osamil’s “Pojangmacha,” a nod to Korea’s outdoor dining set-ups from the late ’80s. A small red hut with open windows and doors for cross-ventilation offers the restaurant’s full menu, with favorites such as the whole fried chicken served with pickled vegetables and a signature dipping sauce.
Amylos serves Greek cuisine that ranges from the traditional to fun riffs on classic dishes. Book a table on the restaurant’s covered patio for brunch, lunch, or dinner, and enjoy dishes such as grilled calamari, lobster moussaka, and the kontosouvli mixed grill, which serves two (or more!) and includes chicken, pork, and lamb. Bring a group so you can share all the menu items you have your eye on.
Jackson Heights: Bistro Eloise
This neighborhood restaurant offers a regional tour of France via its menu, from classic crêpes to coq au vin. Lunch, brunch, and dinner can all be had on the restaurant’s breezy tented patio area. Don’t miss the global wine list and Champagne cocktails.
Astoria: Sac’s Place
Located in the former commissary at Kaufman Astoria Studios, Sac’s family-style pizza restaurant is a great spot for groups and celeb spotting, if you’re dining alone. Sit in the brand new outdoor pizza garden and take in the breeze with a special lunch and dinner menu that includes slices and whole pies, classic or Sicilian style, with your choice of toppings.
Long Island City: American Brass
There’s no better time than summer for enjoying waterfront dining and fresh seafood, and American Brass complements its upscale East River setting with seasonal menus and local ingredients. Along with steak frites, cavatelli with peekytoe crab, and raw seafood towers, diners can take in views of Manhattan and Gantry State Park while eating at American Brass. The restaurant’s chic and breezy greenhouses provide additional outdoor seating and a space to grow microgreens.
Astoria: Mansion Supper Club
Part dinner party, part restaurant, step into your coolest friend’s backyard at Mansion Supper Club. Palapa-style umbrellas shade picnic benches and smaller tables are covered by kitschy faux palm trees to set the scene for a very good time. Dig into Latin American-influenced snacks such as ceviche or “crazy hot dogs” topped with pineapple relish and pink salsa, plus beachy drinks including a spicy piña colada or creamy blue coconut royale.
Little Italy: San Gennaro
One of the newer arrivals to Arthur Avenue, San Gennaro mixes traditional Italian-American fare with lesser-seen specials inspired by the Italian-born chef’s upbringing. Sit on the shaded, open-air patio and enjoy favorites such as veal milanese or regional fare like linguine al ragu di noci, a pasta dish with walnut sauce from Italy’s Liguria region. Cap off the meal with a cool serving of lemon sorbet or tiramisu.
Tried them all? Check out other outdoor dining options here.