The Best Outdoor Brunch Spots In NYCLots of places serve brunch, but not all have outdoor seating. These are the best spots that have both.
Maybe you love brunch. If so, you probably already know some places to have it outside. But let’s say you don’t. The waiting, the decision-making on a weekend, the usually-overpriced food you could (maybe) make at home—those are all completely acceptable excuses to avoid brunch. But if the weather's gorgeous on a Saturday morning and a bowl of cereal just won't cut it, all those excuses can go out the window. All the places in this guide offer great food in the open air.
Cafe Spaghetti fits right into picture-perfect Carroll Gardens, and it's exactly the type of place where we’d like to be seen eating simple, rustic Italian food and drinking spritzes on a sunny Saturday. Most of the seating is out back, in a very charming, very Carroll Gardens-meets-Call Me By Your Name courtyard, where you sit under limoncello yellow umbrellas watching waiters glide around a blue Vespa stationed in the center of the space. During brunch hours, order off their “Weekend Lunch” menu, which happens to have brunchy things like pomodoro baked eggs and ricotta pancakes with orange honey, in addition to their excellent pastas.
Thyme & Tonic is an entirely gluten-free and mostly vegan restaurant with one of the best bottomless brunch deals on the Upper West Side and a lively scene. They also have a flower-powered outdoor dining area adorned with hanging floral garlands and palms, where you can order pink peppercorn palomas to match the pink dining structure. If you do get the bottomless booze deal, you get an entree (we’re partial to the coconut pancakes and spicy red shakshuka) and a GF pastry from Modern Bread & Bagel next door.
The Bonnie has a backyard patio surrounded by trees and equipped with picnic tables long enough for groups of six. It’s the perfect place to partake in a leisurely bottomless brunch with all of your friends, or just stop by for a coffee and the best zucchini bread in Astoria. What we like most about brunch here is that they don’t attempt to give their eggs benedict or shrimp and grits the M. Night Shyamalan treatment. There are no surprise twists that you didn’t ask for—at most you’ll get an aioli (barely) gone wild, or some pumpkin latte maple syrup with your french toast sticks. It gets extremely busy on weekends, so make sure to make a reservation if you’re coming with more than two people.
The inside of this classic restaurant in Vinegar Hill looks like it was around when some of the founding fathers were alive, but the quaint backyard is one of our favorite places to eat outside in modern-day Brooklyn. The must-order item on the menu is the incredible sourdough pancake that's cooked in a wood-fired oven. It’s custard-like in the middle and might come with strawberries, apples, or peaches depending on the season.
K’Far is an Israeli restaurant that spans the entire lobby of the Hoxton Hotel in Williamsburg, but you should try and snag a spot in their leafy green courtyard. The outdoor dining area is decorated in shades of coral and brown, surrounded by a makeshift jungle of fake plants. Their most beloved breakfast item is the long, flat Jerusalem bagel sandwich filled with creamy eggs, schug, and cheddar. The egg and cheese combination is almost custard like, with some heat from the bright green schug. Grab a Yemenite latte and cinnamon walnut babka to round out the meal.
The patio structure at Thai Diner is a miniature version of the Nolita spot’s impressive dining room. It’s all-bamboo-everything, from the wallpaper to the chairs, complete with heaters hanging above every table and shiny checkered floors that’ll make you feel a sudden urge to do the lindy hop. Every New Yorker should strive to eat their signature egg sandwich, a gorgeous flaky roti wrapped around egg, cheese, and your choice of sai oua herbal sausage or bok choy and avocado.
You might not know it, but you want some khachapuri adjaruli right now. So head to Chama Mama in Chelsea, which has some of the best Georgian food in Manhattan and a killer backyard to eat it in. Bring some friends and claim a large picnic table, preferably by one of the many human-sized potted plants scattered around the space. A khachapuri for the table is a must, as are the kebab omelet and machkati, a Georgian pancake stuffed with pastry cream. When the weather’s nice, nothing’s better than holding court with your friends and admiring each other’s cheese pulls while sipping Georgian wine.
Ras Plant Based does not have its own back patio, but their sidewalk brunch set-up is a vibe. The vegan Ethiopian restaurant feels like a multisensory art exhibit with colorful murals inside, rainbow colored tables scattered around the sidewalk, and a bright blue openair dining stall to match. Take advantage of the hour and try Ras’ breakfast, which comes with smokey dirkosh firfir, a plant-based egg alternative to enkulal firfir, and the jackfruit kitfo, an all-time favorite amongst Ras regulars. Outdoor seating gets scooped up quickly, so make your reservation a few days in advance.
Yeah, getting to Buvette for their beloved brunch is a whole thing due to the fact that it’s an unreasonably small space and they don’t take reservations. But wait it out for a seat in the garden. After a mere one-hour wait you’ll feel like you’re on a vacation in France, sitting on chic red patio furniture hoarding miniature pastries and famous buttery waffles. Make sure to order the steamed eggs as well. They’re worth being late to work for, and possibly even quitting over, depending on how much you like your job.
The Upper West Side tiki bar looks like Lisa Frank threw up all over it, and that’s not a bad thing. There’s a spread of tables on the sidewalk outside the Pepto Bismol-pink building where you can order all kinds of cocktails (frozen, hot toddy, punch, large format), on-theme sandwiches with shaved spam and grilled pineapple, and plant-based options for your vegan friends. Be prepared to hear Beyoncé on the loudspeakers and drunken revelry all around you.
Since Atla is in a corner space in Noho, there are a lot of outdoor tables set up along both sides of the restaurant. This place is a great choice for brunch that behaves more like lunch than breakfast. And that lunch-y brunch will probably cost you more than you'd spend at your average neighborhood brunch spot. So save this place for a special occasion or the next time you want to have a religious experience with chicken soup. This all-day Mexican restaurant also makes a great shrimp taco and some aguas frescas that make us wish they had a to-go window.