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33 Great Places To Eat Outside Right Now

PHOTO: Michael Tullipan

After six months of wearing the same three pairs of jeans and hating everyone you know that lives in LA, life in NYC is finally great again. We’ve made it to spring. It’s both an exciting and confusing time - your skin hasn’t seen the sun in so long, and you don’t remember how to even go about finding places to hang outside. But don’t worry, we’ve been preparing for this very moment so that we can lead you in the right direction.

Here are 33 excellent places to eat outside right now. What a time to be alive.

the spots

8.4
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Outdoor Situation: Back Patio

If you owned a brownstone in Brooklyn, you’d want the backyard to look like LaRina’s. It’s paved in checkered tile, and there’s a brick wall covered in vines. It’s also quiet and peaceful, and you might see the owner walking around speaking Italian to the servers (because everyone’s Italian). So come here and eat pasta already. For an outdoor meal in Fort Greene, this is the move.

Photo: Michael Tulliipan

Sauvage

Greenpoint
905 Lorimer Street

Outdoor Situation: Sidewalk Seating

Sauvage looks like a big French cafe, so of course they have a bunch of tables out front where you can sit, watch people, and eat some steak with a side of fries. Come for dinner or stop by for brunch and have a burger or French toast. Sauvage is right at the bottom of Greenpoint, so you’ll have a nice view of both McCarren Park and a five-way intersection. It’s also from the same people who own Maison Premiere, and it’s another nice place to hang out for a while and eat good food.

Outdoor Situation: Big Patio

During the warmer months, Habana Outpost is one big backyard hang. The yard itself is probably five times larger than the indoor space, and there’s a food truck out there where you can pick up a burrito, a Cuban sandwich, or whatever Cuban/American food appeals to you. This place is perfect for groups and kids, and they screen outdoor movies some nights from May through October.

7.6
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Outdoor Situation: Back Patio

Aurora is the Williamsburg equivalent of all those neighborhood Italian joints in the East Village (Frank, Supper, etc.), and it’s a good move for date night. If you wind up here, check out the outdoor patio. It has walls of green ivy that’ll remind you of the quaint backyard you don’t have. It’s also only a couple blocks off Bedford Avenue, but it’s more low-key than you’d expect. So come eat some Italian food outdoors and let the breeze from the East River waft over you while you appreciate the fact that the East River doesn’t smell as bad as it should.

8.9
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Outdoor Situation: Sidewalk Seating

The outdoor part of Marlow & Sons isn’t huge, but maybe that’s why we like it so much. It’s more intimate. In the front of the space, there’s a little cafe where you can sit with one other person and watch the people of Williamsburg walk down Broadway. And, afterwards, you can take a walk along the waterfront, and maybe get some ice cream at OddFellows, depending on how cliché and romantic you’re feeling. Marlow & Sons has been around for many years now, and it’s still one of our favorite spots in this part of Brooklyn.

El Almacen

Williamsburg
557 Driggs Ave
8.2
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Outdoor Situation: Back Patio

El Amacén is an Argentinian restaurant, and that means a lot of beef. It’s also pretty affordable. So if you’re looking for a place to get a great steak in Williamsburg, come here. Consider it an excellent, much easier alternative to St. Anselm. Although they also do plenty of other stuff like empanadas, tacos, and ceviche. And, should you want to eat outside, there’s a nice little patio in back. Bring a date and have some dinner out there. The strings of lights will make you even more attractive than you already are.

Narcissa

East Village
21 Cooper Square
8.6
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Outdoor Situation: Big Back Patio

When someone needs a place to bring parents, or a restaurant to take someone who doesn’t eat meat, or a spot that’s cool (but not crazy hard to get into), we tend to suggest Narcissa. It’s perfect for literally everyone. It also happens to have a really nice backyard that’s full of plants and hidden from the street. So if you want to eat something outside and pretend you live somewhere less stressful, try this place. It’s in the bottom of the Standard East Village, and it’s a little pricey, but you don’t necessarily have to spend a fortune here.

Photo: Narcissa

Cafe Gitane

Nolita
242 Mott St.
7.1
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Outdoor Situation: Sidewalk Seating

There only a few tables in front of Cafe Gitane, and they’re pretty small. But as far as people watching in Nolita goes, this is about as good as it gets. Claim a table, drink rosé, eat couscous, and space out while you watch people walk down Mott Street. It’s therapeutic.

Cookshop

Chelsea
156 10th Ave.
8.4
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Outdoor Situation: Sidewalk Seating

Cookshop has a big outdoor seating area, and you can usually find a crowd out there. This is a much-loved place in Chelsea that’s good for groups, dinner with parents, brunch with friends, and just about any other fairly casual scenario. Everyone should be able to find something to eat here, whether it’s a pizza with some vegetables on it or a lamb burger.

8.2
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Outdoor Situation: Back Patio

It isn’t fancy, but we’re big fans of the yard here. It’s kind of rickety, but in a good way - like a backyard that was abandoned for a while before someone swept up and threw in some furniture. The food is also some of our favorite stuff in this part of Brooklyn. Classic Sunday activity: walk over the Brooklyn bridge, then come here. Your date will like it, and so will most parents.

Rabbithole

352 Bedford Ave
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Outdoor Situation: Back Patio

Another bridge you might find yourself wanting to walk over: the Williamsburg bridge. Or if you already live in Williamsburg, walk over to Rabbithole. It’s a neighborhood spot - nothing fancy, just the type of place where you can stop in, get seated, and eat a solid meal. Have a burger, a salad, or a nice piece of fish. The patio is very pleasant, and not so tiny that you’ll have to wait two hours to eat on it. Rabbithole is good for a low-key dinner when you need to sit outside and congratulate yourself on the fact that you made it through the winter without moving to Los Angeles.

Esme

Greenpoint
999 Manhattan Ave
7.7
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Outdoor Situation: Back Patio

Welcome to maybe the most under-the-radar outdoor brunch in Brooklyn. Greenpoint is filled with neighborhood spots, but Esme is our favorite one for brunch. The food is actually good (and not overpriced), you never leave feeling gross (even if you get an extra order of their killer blueberry pancakes for the table), and the outdoor patio is pretty much perfect (lots of shade, lots of room, and servers who don’t ignore you just because you’re not inside the restaurant). Bring anyone and everyone here - they’ll all like it.

Anella

Greenpoint
222 Franklin St
7.9
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Outdoor Situation: Back Patio

Another neighborhood spot in Greenpoint just a couple minutes from Esme, Anella is our go-to dinner patio situation in the area. The setup is lovely (it’s partially covered, with fans and string lights and plenty of plants), and everything from the pastas to the roast chicken to the kale salad is more than solid. We come here with our Mom, and if you live nearby you should too.

8.1
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Outdoor Situation: Back Patio

Most good things can be found in excess in the West Village. Brunch places, pasta places, cocktail places - the West Village has tons of them. But great places to eat outside? Strangely, not so much. Hudson Clearwater is here to save the day. It’s quaint as hell, it’s open all day, and the food’s great - this is a killer outdoor move for any meal.

Photo: Ryan Muir

Dante

Greenwich Village
79-81 MacDougal St.
8.2
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Outdoor Situation: Sidewalk Seating

You know how Paris is covered with all those adorable little cafes with woven chairs out front? Dante is the NYC version of them. It’s ideal for cocktails and small plates, and while there isn’t a ton of seating, if you’re lucky enough to grab a table for your group of two or four, it’s an excellent outdoor setup.

8.0
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Outdoor Situation: Back Patio

Royale might not be trendy, new, or particularly exciting - but that’s why we love it. This is still one of the best patios and best burgers in the East Village. There’s tons of seating, the food and drinks are pretty cheap, there are sports on TV inside, and did we mention the burger?

Photo: Noah Devereaux
7.7
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Outdoor Situation: Sidewalk Seating

Should you find yourself with simultaneous needs for pasta and to be outside, direct yourself to Bar Primi.

Milk & Roses

Greenpoint
1110 Manhattan Ave
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Outdoor Situation: Back Garden

One really good reason to start spending more time in Greenpoint? There are an impressive number of outdoor eating and drinking spots. And Milk & Roses is an excellent example - its back garden is straight-up beautiful, the food is Italian-leaning and very solid, and they even have bottomless brunch. We like when all the good things in life come together in one place.

The Cannibal

Murray Hill
113 E. 29th St.
8.1
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Outdoor Situation: Back Patio

Murray Hill people, you may not have much, but at least you have The Cannibal: excellent, meat-centric food and an impressive beer selection, plus a very chill patio on which to enjoy it.

Photo: Ryan Muir

Outdoor Situation: Back Patio/Garden

We try to avoid talking in superlatives, but June Wine Bar is probably - ok, it just is - the best casual date spot in the Cobble Hill/Boerum Hill/Carroll Gardens area. The interior space is pretty perfect, but you’re coming here for the patio/garden situation now that it’s warm. The wines are interesting and affordable, the cocktails are awesome, and the small plates are excellent.

7.5
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Outdoor Situation: Sidewalk Seating

Avenue C is one of NYC’s great eating and drinking streets, and Esperanto pretty much sums it all up: good food, cheap drinks, and a party time vibe that makes you feel like anything could happen. Like flamenco dancing. Or being drunk by 10:30am.

Photo: Noah Devereaux

Loosie Rouge

91 S 6th St
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Outdoor Situation: Back Patio

If Loosie Rouge were a person, you’d definitely want to hang out with her. She makes killer fried chicken, she knows her way around a cocktail, and she throws a great party. And that back patio? How come Loosie gets to have everything?!?

Photo: Noah Devereaux
8.1
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Outdoor Situation: Sidewalk Seating

Seamore’s outdoor seating isn’t just a few rickety chairs and tables - this is prime sidewalk action: bright chairs, big striped umbrellas, and excellent Nolita people watching. And the kind of semi-healthy, light-ish food that’s ideal for eating in the sun.

Outdoor Situation: Big Back Patio

If you live anywhere in the vicinity of Threes, there’s a good chance it’s already heavy in your rotation - but thankfully it’s hard to get bored of it, because the food is always changing, and it’s always good. And now that it’s warm outside, there’s yet another reason to become a regular at Threes: its awesome, sprawling back patio.

Photo: Noah Devereaux
7.8
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Outdoor Situation: Patio

Fact: barbecue tastes better when eaten outside. And Morgan’s BBQ’s front porch action is the ideal setting for it. Come with a big group, get a picnic table, and eat your weight in meats.

6.6
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Outdoor Situation: Sidewalk Seating

A solid oyster happy hour, a great burger, fancy cocktails, and sidewalk seating. Sel Rrose has a slightly more upscale vibe that works well for semi-professional hangs - if you’re meeting a client or an old boss, this is a great option.

Santina

Meatpacking District
820 Washington St.
8.0
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Outdoor Situation: Top-notch Sidewalk Seating

When eating outside, you have to be prepared to give up the plushy comforts that you get inside a restaurant. At Santina, though, that’s not the case - this restaurant’s outdoor situation is just as well-executed as its interior: your table won’t be wobbly, your server will be attentive, and there are plenty of umbrellas to save your skin. On top of that, this is the kind of food that feels like it should be eaten outside (or really, on an Italian beach - but the Santina sidewalk is the next best thing).

Photo: Noah Devereaux
8.8
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Outdoor Situation: Big Back Patio

We get very sad when we meet people who have never tried Roberta’s because they’re convinced they’d never be able to get in. If you’re one of those people, listen closely: now that it’s warm, there is tons more seating outside. And if the wait is still crazy, you can go next door to Roberta’s takeaway, order almost the entire menu, and then enjoy it in those same outdoor seats. If you’re really trying to avoid the crowds, definitely hit Roberta’s during the day.

7.8
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Outdoor Situation: Patio

Our favorite British pub in NYC also happens to have a patio that’s rarely too crowded. We love Jones Wood Foundry because it’s useful for many situations, but we depend on it especially for daytime eating needs. And yes, you want the crumpets.

Photo: Ryan Muir

Barbuto

West Village
775 Washington St.
8.5
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Outdoor Situation: Indoor/Outdoor Space & Sidewalk Seating

Barbuto is great year-round, but it’s in its true prime as soon as the garage doors open up and the whole restaurant has an open-air feel. Get there early enough and you might even be able to grab the seats that are fully outdoors. That spot, plus a plate of pasta, plus a glass of wine equals an ideal meal at any time of day.

7.9
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Outdoor Situation: Back Patio

Watching the texts come through on your group chat is painful right now: a few of you just want to drink, a few of you are starving, and everyone demands to be outside. And now we’re at the point in our story where you make the call that you’re all going to The Jeffrey.

Mekelburg's

293 Grand Ave.
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Outdoor Situation: Back Patio

Primarily a craft beer bar and gourmet grocery store, Mekelburg’s also has an excellent, relaxed back patio situation. And while you’d probably be happy to eat any of their groceries out there, they also make some great small plates and sandwiches.

7.4
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Outdoor Situation: Back Patio

We’ll take any excuse to eat a burger. And Rose’s gives you two of them: it’s the best thing on the menu, and you can eat it outside. Come here after a group hang in Prospect Park.

Photo: Noah Devereaux
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