28 Awesome Outdoor Dining Options in NYC
Revamped patios, secret gardens, and more al fresco spots to enjoy this summer.
It’s hard to believe that finding a restaurant with outdoor dining in New York City was once harder than scoring tickets to the newest Broadway show or snagging the latest must-try pastry. But now after more than a year in which outdoor dining was often the only option and restaurants were forced to make it work on NYC’s busy sidewalks, there are more places than ever to dine on the streets of the city.
Last month, New York’s flexible outdoor dining program was extended for another year, so streetside tables and pop-up patios aren’t going anywhere. But even as the number of options continues to grow, making reservations and navigating the outdoor dining scene (with plenty of rooftops bars and secret gardens, too!) can still be difficult. That’s where we come in. From open-air setups where you can soak up the sun to covered options for unpredictable weather—we’ve rounded up some of NYC’s best outdoor spots to grab a meal, so check out these 28 spots with stand-out outdoor seating.
The Garret Cocteleria
With the help of The Garret Cocteleria, New Yorkers can escape to the tropics this summer without leaving the concrete jungle. The bar and restaurant recently transformed its outdoor space into a pop-up dubbed Jungle Summer with floor-to-ceiling lush greenery, frozen cocktails by beverage director Max Stampa-Brown in flavors like tamarind and papaya, and plenty of shareable bites like dragon fruit mango ceviche and spicy tuna tartare. Visit on weekends from Thursday to Saturday to listen to Latin tunes courtesy of DJ PJay and DJ Milkyshake.
After spending the last decade in fine dining at establishments like Cafe Boulud, Gramercy Tavern, and most recently, as a sous chef at Eleven Madison Park, chef Eric Huang is now slinging the most sought-after fried chicken in town. Pecking House was once a takeout-only operation with a sprawling wait list, but Huang is now offering limited outdoor seating every Saturday and Sunday at the concept’s Fresh Meadows location. Sample chili fried chicken with sides; crispy sandwiches with dark soy caramel, pineapple jam, and charred cabbage; and spicy orange pepper wings al fresco, and see what the buzz is all about.
How to book: Walk in
The team at Den Hospitality may be known for tucked-away, speakeasy cocktail bars like Borrachito and The Garret Bars, but their latest venture leaves everything out in the open with an eye-catching corner location and incredible outdoor seating options. Bandits is a modern take on a retro diner and dive bar with drinks crafted by beverage director Max Stampa-Brown. Enjoy bar snacks like a New Jersey-style hot dog, cauliflower wings, and lots of tater tot varieties in the outdoor ‘70s aesthetic with black-and-white checkerboard floors and old-school diner signage on the individual outdoor dining booths.
Since its opening in April, chef Chintan Pandya and restaurateur Roni Mazumdar of Rahi and Adda have been serving fiery provincial Indian cuisine in an equally bold atmosphere at Essex Market. At Dhamaka, the massive murals and art lining the walls of the dining room are a sight to behold, but the views outside are just as impressive with bold colors covering the patio structure and open-air tables that allow you to take it all in.
From the husband-and-wife team behind beloved Colonia Verde, Disco Tacos was a pandemic-era taco truck that now has a brick-and-mortar space for a full-service restaurant. The lively eatery offers tacos and shareable small plates, plus margaritas and other tequila and mezcal cocktails by the glass or pitcher, and all can be enjoyed via sidewalk seating or on the brightly colored patio under the glow of a neon sign.
How to book: Walk in or order takeout and delivery via website
Take your shoes off and secure a seat at one of Dr. Clark’s outdoor kotatsu tables, and you’ll know you’re at one of the hottest outdoor dining setups in the city. Located at the original space of the popular hangout and karaoke spot Winnie’s, the Japanese restaurant employs traditional low-to-the-ground tables with an awning overhead, so guests can enjoy dishes grilled tableside along with a menu of Hokkaido specialties no matter what the forecast predicts.
Inside the dining room at this dreamy yet industrial Mediterranean spot, guests will feel like they’re in a luxurious garden at Fandi Mata. And that feel is carried to the patio where seating is surrounded by bright fabric pillows and lush greenery that transports you out of Greenpoint while enjoying brunch, dinner, or drinks.
Forsythia’s sprawling outdoor dining structure is like an extension of its dining room, making it the perfect spot to enjoy handmade pasta and other Roman-style dishes. The warm yellow space has retractable doors and windows plus fans for more temperate days. But if the sweltering summer gets to be too much, the restaurant installed AC units in the structure as well for a perfect summer dining experience no matter what the forecast holds.
With vast waterfront views of the Brooklyn Bridge and a prime location in the bustling Seaport neighborhood, Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s first seafood restaurant offers a scenic experience for any occasion. The Fulton’s covered patio includes sky-high ceilings around every table alongside the East River.
How to book: Via website
Summer in the city means it’s time to slurp oysters with a skyline view, and there’s no better place to do that than at Grand Banks. At this floating restaurant, guests start their visit by boarding a historic wooden schooner docked where oyster barges once sat along the waterfront in the 18th and 19th centuries. On its deck overlooking the Hudson River and Manhattan skyline, order from a menu of nautical-themed cocktails like the refreshing Skipper Key spritz with rose, lemon, and strawberry—and feast on East and West coast oysters along with other seafood dishes like lobster rolls, fried soft shell crab, and scallops atop a summer succotash.
How to book: Via website
Since reopening in March, diners can once again enjoy executive chef Michael Anthony’s American tavern fare in the dining room or out on the patio. Inside, Gramercy Tavern is offering a five-course tasting menu for $148 per person in the dining room that features dishes like sumac-crusted duck breast and marinated scallops with apple, radish, and shiso, but out on the patio you can order favorites like the restaurant’s signature burger from an a la carte menu.
At The Greens at Pier 17, this waterfront rooftop spot has been one of the most talked about (and Instagram-ed) outdoor dining setups of the past year. The outdoor-only restaurant has upped its game for warmer weather with mini lawns for each party and summer-y drink specials like a jalapeno watermelon margarita frosé. The food menu has also been made more seasonal with salads, vegetable summer rolls, and seafood options like lobster rolls and a soft shell crab sandwich to enjoy alongside unparalleled views of the city.
How to book: Via website
Part plant store and part vegan cafe, this Clinton Hill neighborhood spot is decked out for warmer weather. Guevara's bright pink outdoor seating area provides coverage from shade and any inclement weather, and sets the tone for sunny days ahead while you sample vegan baked goods, sandwiches, empanadas, and other breakfast, lunch, or snack options.
How to book: Walk in
Located in the East Village, Hasaki has been serving sashimi and edomae-style sushi since 1984. For its outdoor seating, dine out front at one of the partitioned tables on the restaurant’s patio along Ninth Street, or for a more intimate setting, venture through the restaurant to escape into a secret zen garden for an evening of omakase.
Intersect By Lexus
Since reopening during the pandemic, the rotating restaurants-in-residence program at Intersect by Lexus unveiled a new first-floor cocktail spot and also recently debuted modern outdoor seating options designed by the Rockwell Group. The latest chef to helm the program’s kitchen is chef David Kinch of Manresa, bringing his acclaimed farm-to-table California cuisine to NYC. Guests can sample his a la carte menu at sleek individual outdoor seating spaces with wooden tables and retractable blinds.
How to book: Via website
At Gabe Stulman’s newest restaurant, Jolene, kick back with a bottle of wine, snag a few snacks for the table, or order up a full, multi-course meal of his American bistro fare. The restaurant opened in May in the former home of The Jones and the iconic Great Jones Cafe, and outside of its homey dining room, the streetside patio spills out onto the cobblestone street with covered and open-air seating options.
Practically made for street-side hangs, this laid-back neighborhood spot has a menu that changes daily and a hearty wine list with plenty of bottles to sip and share. Outside of the restaurant’s corner location at King Street and Sixth Avenue, at King, diners can enjoy seating that brings the dining room ambiance outdoors with plants and airy dividers. If you can’t stay for a full meal, check out their to-go window for cocktails, wine, ice cream, and more available to go.
Le Bain & The Rooftop
Atop The Standard, High Line hotel, this famed rooftop bar and dancing spot offers some of the wildest views of the skyline and Hudson River found in Manhattan. Le Bain & The Rooftop reopened in the spring with new cocktails like the Jungle J (gin, grapefruit, jalapeño, and pomegranate kombucha), and a food menu featuring small bites like shisito peppers, fish tacos, and Korean fried chicken. Reserve a table on the grass-covered terrace to hang Friday to Sunday from 4-11 pm.
How to book: Via SevenRooms
At this cool neighborhood spot located steps from Prospect Park, guests can dine in the backyard garden where chef and owner Greg Baxtrom grows produce and herbs to inspire the menu. Olmsted’s outdoor space is back open for brunch and dinner services with seasonal dishes like soft shell crab with grilled ramps and Baxtrom’s take on summer classics like corn dogs with cherry ketchup and corn pudding mustard.
Located on the Columbia Waterfront, Popina has a sprawling patio with tables spaced apart, string lights overhead, and walls of shrubs to create a green escape from the city. In between bites of fresh rotating pasta dishes and sips from the extensive Italian wine list, guests can try their hand at a game of bocce.
This staple NYC brasserie now has garden-inspired individual dining booths making up its streetside eatery. Quality Bistro is currently open for lunch and dinner, so guests can book a private greenery covered cabin for four to six guests to dine on classic dishes like French onion soup, steak frites, and raw bar towers.
This Ridgewood restaurant has quickly become a staple for local goods and cozy wood-fired takeout options, but Rolo’s also debuted a menu of simple (yet elevated) seasonal fare for brunch and dinner in May. The expansive outdoor space can accommodate up to 38 guests and features a roof overhead, simple picnic tables, string lights, and plexiglass separating each table.
Rosie’s, a Mexican staple on a street corner in the East Village, may be known for freshly ground masa, tacos, and flowing margaritas by the glass or pitcher, but come summertime, you’ll be visiting for the plethora of outdoor seating and fun vibe. The sprawling open-air restaurant spills out onto the sidewalk, where you’ll find sidewalk tables as well as covered options to save you from the sun.
This Caribbean spot has a warm colorful atmosphere inside, but venture out back and enjoy the Sally Roots’ back garden patio this summer. The space is open for boozy weekend brunches with a few different bottomless drink options, dinner feasts of classic Caribbean dishes like jerk chicken and braised oxtail, and happy hour with deals on tropical frozen cocktails and snacks like tostones and conch fritters.
How to book: Walk in
Located on the bottom floor of the Korean restaurant Boka, Sushi Nonaka opened just before the pandemic shuttered restaurants to serve high-quality omakase at less than $100 and a la carte options. The restaurant has a bar inside where guests can watch as sushi is made before their eyes, but the hidden back garden area offers a tranquil respite from bustling Amsterdam Avenue.
With a 2,500 square foot backyard garden, Ten Hope is pretty much made for outdoor dining. At the Mediterranean restaurant, choose from an open-air garden with vines and plants separating tables, or a mix of traditional seating and couches with side tables for the ideal setup to anything from casual drinks to a full meal.
This new venture from chef George Mendes marks his return to the NYC culinary scene since closing Aldea last year. Just as the name implies, Veranda sits above the streets in SoHo with a retractable pergola roof and greenhouse vibes that work perfectly for its spring debut. A few different bars and dining spaces make up the spot, so in addition to the restaurant’s globally inspired American fare, there’s also additional destinations for before-dinner drinks like at Bar at Veranda or light bites al fresco at The Bar Back.