25 Fall-Friendly Outdoor Dining Options in NYC
Cozy backyards, secret gardens, and more al fresco spots to enjoy this season.
It’s hard to believe that last year, outdoor dining was one of the only ways for New Yorkers to enjoy the city’s best restaurants. And thankfully, now that dining rooms are open again and after a bustling summer of new restaurants popping up left and right, we’re settling into the fall season with no shortage of renewed options.
The upshot of the pandemic is that restaurants have upgraded their outdoor setups so much over the past year that many still opt to dine al fresco all year long. From streetside tables and pop-up patios to rooftop options and secret gardens, outdoor dining isn’t going anywhere—and for the upcoming crisp weather season, we’ve rounded up some of NYC’s best outdoor spots to grab a meal. Whether for barbecue in Long Island City or Indian fare in the Flatiron District, here are 25 spots with stand-out outdoor seating that have got you covered.
With three bars, space for up to 800 people, and a massive backyard beer garden, Pig Beach’s brand new 28,000-square-foot Queens outpost is the perfect spot to kick back for al fresco barbecue. The spot has all of Matt Abdoo and Shane McBride’s lauded barbecue favorites so you can get a quick pulled pork sandwich or feast on an entire spread with all the fixings. But this location is setting out to become way more than just a barbecue joint, with a 28-foot jumbotron for outdoor movie nights and a stage for live music and shows on the patio.
Sitting down for New England-style seafood by the waterfront may not be top of mind as the weather cools down, but owners Cobi Levy and Will Makris—the pair that transformed famed Lucali into a Carroll Gardens slice shop called Baby Luc’s earlier this year—are aiming to change that. At Jibs, the outdoor-only restaurant the duo opened in September, guests will feel like they jetted off to a seaside resort town thanks to its nautical decor, views of the Hudson River, and a giant great white shark floating overhead—the only reminder that you’re still in the city is the towering new Manhattan West development standing in the background.
Recently reopened right down the street from its original locale, Junoon now has cozy, private outdoor seating options where you can enjoy comforting dishes like eye-catching smoked vindaloo masala ribs and a spread of chaat, lentils, biryani, and more by chef Akshay Bhardwaj. The Indian restaurant’s outdoor space includes open-air streetside options, as well as an enclosed area where diners are surrounded by plants and separated from other tables with glass dividers.
Saishin by Kissaki
Perched on the rooftop of the Gansevoort Hotel, this brand new omakase counter from the Kissaki restaurant group is ideal for those in-between fall weather days. The half indoor, half outdoor space at Saishin by Kissaki has a 16-seat omakase bar where chef Frankie-Yong Doon’s creations shine, even when competing with the space’s incredible views of the city skyline and The High Line.
The Ten Bells
The Lower East Side’s go-to natural wine bar recently opened a Bushwick location with plenty of outdoor seating to accommodate all the buzz. The corner location has a spacious back patio with large picnic tables, exposed brick, and vines, perfect for sprawling out during The Ten Bells’ epic happy hour that offers dollar oysters, $6 glasses of wine, and $18 carafes every day until 7 pm.
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 surrounded by ‘70s aesthetic with black-and-white checkerboard floors and old-school diner signage on the individual outdoor dining booths.
While Semma is chef Chintan Pandya and restaurateur Roni Mazumdar’s shiny new project, Dhamaka still holds up as a solid go-to for fiery provincial Indian cuisine in an equally bold atmosphere at Essex Market. The restaurant's 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 with views of the Williamsburg Bridge.
This modern West Village Italian spot has been getting quite the buzz lately as chef and owners Scott Tacinelli and Angie Rito released a new cookbook inspired by their family recipes (including some served in the restaurant). But you can still get Don Angie’s famous pinwheel lasagna straight from the source—and stay warm while doing it. The restaurant has outfitted its streetside patio with individual huts, so each table sits in its own room with a heater and three walls. With their logo printed on the windows, a bright red exterior, and hints of black-and-white checkerboard, this restaurant also gets some serious style points.
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 of the dreamy yet industrial space at Fandi Mata, guests will feel like they’re in a luxurious garden. And that feeling is carried to the patio where seating is surrounded by bright fabric pillows and lush greenery that transports you out of Greenpoint while enjoying a Mediterranean menu for brunch, dinner, or drinks. Indoors on the mezzanine, the eatery also just launched a new Mezcaleria Bar helmed by Milos Zica (formerly of Employees Only) where diners can choose from more than 35 mezcal varieties along with signature cocktails.
Forsythia’s sprawling outdoor dining structure looks just like an extension of its dining room, making it the perfect spot to enjoy handmade pasta and other Roman-style dishes any time of year. The warm yellow space has retractable doors and windows, plus fans for more temperate days and heaters as colder weather rolls in.
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 a sky-high ceiling, offering indoor-outdoor dining at its finest alongside the East River.
Part plant store and part vegan cafe, this Clinton Hill neighborhood spot is cozy and welcoming any time of year. Guevara's bright pink outdoor seating area provides coverage from shade and any inclement weather while you sample vegan baked goods, sandwiches, empanadas, and other breakfast, lunch, or snack options.
Located in the notoriously bustling East Village, Hasaki has been serving sashimi and edomae-style sushi in a relaxing atmosphere since 1984. For its outdoor seating, dine out front at one of the partitioned tables on the restaurant’s patio along 9th 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 new modern outdoor seating options designed by the Rockwell Group. The latest chef to helm the program’s kitchen is chef Nina Compton of Compère Lapin, bringing her acclaimed New Orleans meets Caribbean fare to NYC. Guests can sample her a la carte menu at sleek individual outdoor seating spaces with wooden tables and retractable blinds.
At Gabe Stulman’s latest 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 earlier this year 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 King’s corner location at King Street and Sixth Avenue, diners can enjoy seating that brings the dining room ambiance outdoors with plants, airy dividers, and heaters making an appearance overhead as the weather cools down.
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 beer-battered squash rings with green tomato ketchup and Baxtrom’s take on cozy backyard s’mores with homemade marshmallows.
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 waitlist, 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.
This staple NYC brasserie now has garden-inspired individual dining booths making up its streetside eatery just in time for the cooler months. 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 spot quickly became a staple for picking up local goods and wood-fired takeout food, but Rolo’s debuted a menu of simple yet elevated seasonal fare for brunch and dinner earlier this year. 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 best known for freshly ground masa, tacos, and flowing margaritas by the glass or pitcher, but you’ll be visiting for the plethora of outdoor seating and fun vibe, too. The sprawling open-air restaurant spills out onto the sidewalk, where diners can expect streetside tables as well as covered options to save you from any unexpected weather.
Rule Of Thirds
Just in time for dropping temperatures, Rule of Thirds is bringing back its popular Winter Village setup. The space includes individual huts that sit tucked away in an adjacent alley, making the perfect hideaway. Make a reservation for a pavilion, and five to 10 guests can dine in individual, cozy huts and choose from pre-fixe menus with temake and other Japanese small plates that highlight seasonal ingredients. Throughout the fall, there’s even a special uni-centric menu for when the delicacy is in season on both coasts.
Just as the name implies, George Mendes’ Veranda sits just above the streets in SoHo with a retractable pergola roof and greenhouse vibes. A few different bars and dining spaces make up the spot, so in addition to the restaurant’s globally inspired American fare, there are also additional destinations for before-dinner drinks like at Bar at Veranda or light bites al fresco at the restaurant's outdoor terrace.