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40 Great Places To Eat Outside Right Now

PHOTO: Noah Devereaux

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 40 excellent places to eat outside right now. What a time to be alive.

the spots

Outdoor Situation: Sidewalk Seating

If you want to hang out on the Brooklyn waterfront and sit on a big patio beneath a striped awning while you eat some things like burrata pizza and steak tartare, try Cecconi’s. It’s an enormous restaurant with velvet chairs and chandeliers, and it has a bunch of seating along the promenade between the Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges. Try it for a brunch with some people who occasionally wear nice things, or come for the aperitivi hour between 4 and 7pm.

Celestine

DUMBO
1 John St

Outdoor Situation: Large Patio With A View

Another outdoor dining option on the Brooklyn Waterfront, Celestine is just a few blocks from Cecconi’s (on the other side of the Manhattan Bridge), and the view here is actually even more impressive. This is a big Mediterranean restaurant with a bunch of shareable things like Turkish dumplings and various dips - and, despite the special-occasion worthy view, you can eat here on a weeknight. It’s a little pricey, but it’s not like you’ll have to get dressed up.

Photo: Celestine Restaurant
7.7
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Outdoor Situation: Back Patio

Sally Roots works for a lot of things. It’s great for a casual weeknight dinner, and it’s perfect for a night out with friends when you want to have several cocktails with your food and listen to loud music. There’s a big backyard - so, if it’s nice out and you want some good, affordable Carribean food, make a trip here.

Photo: Noah Devereaux

Outdoor Situation: Sidewalk Seating

Reunion makes some very good Israeli food, and it has a great sidewalk cafe. Unfortunately, this Williamsburg spot gets pretty packed at brunch, so if you try to stop by on a sunny weekend afternoon, you will most likely wind up waiting for a table while you watch other people eat things like shakshuka, savory pancakes, and hummus with lamb ragu. So either come early or stop by on a weekday.

Photo: Noah Devereaux
8.3
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Outdoor Situation: Sidewalk Seating

Best case scenario, it’s a just a little bit cold when you go to grab dinner at Win Son. That way, the outdoor tables might not be taken, and you can just sit out there and wear an extra sweater or something. This is a Taiwanese restaurant, and it has arguably some of the best food you’ll find in East Williamsburg. Have some pork buns, a beef roll, and get some pea shoots and some scallion pancakes for the table.

7.3
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Outdoor Situation: Sidewalk Seating

If you don’t have your own neighborhood Italian place or if you just prefer the West Village to whatever neighborhood you live in, there’s always Malatesta. It’s a cash-only place on Washington Street where you can sit at a table on the sidewalk, eat some really good gnocchi, and probably see somebody that you recognize from either a dating app or a bar that you frequent.

Outdoor Situation: Back Patio

Pachanga Patterson is owned by the same people behind one of our favorite Italian spots in Astoria, and it’s a place where you can get some very good Mexican food. We especially like the shrimp tacos and pork flautas, and we appreciate the fact that there’s a nice, big back patio. Get some margaritas, sangria, and/or pitchers of beer and hang out back there.

Lighthouse

Williamsburg
145 Borinquen Pl
8.8
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Outdoor Situation: Sidewalk Cafe

Lots of places fill their sidewalk cafes with small, two-person tables, but not Lighthouse. Maybe that’s because they couldn’t find any small tables. Or maybe it’s because it’s easier to set out a few long tables and call it day. Either way, this is where you should be eating a kind-of-healthy casual dinner with a group when you want to sit outside in Williamsburg.

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.

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 pretty much 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

Uva

Upper East Side
1486 2nd Ave
7.3
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Outdoor Situation: Sidewalk Cafe, Back Patio

If you want to eat outdoors at Uva, you have a few options. You can either sit in the sidewalk cafe out front, or you can get a table in the greenhouse-like space in back. Unless you like to keep track of how congested our New York City streets are, you’ll probably prefer the back area - although either area should make you happy. Just get some pasta and consider bringing a date to this UES neighborhood Italian spot.

Gran Electrica

5 Front St.
MAP

Outdoor Situation: Big Backyard

Without the backyard, Gran Electrica would still be a good restaurant. It’s just a very big bonus that there’s also a big outdoor space with strings of lights and large brick wall covered in ivy. If you live or work in Dumbo, stop by and eat some tacos in the backyard before the sun goes down. Or, if it’s a weekend and you’re taking in the scenery of the Brooklyn waterfront, get some brunch and margaritas here.

Pye Boat Noodle

Astoria
35-13 Broadway

Outdoor Situation: Back Patio

Not every Thai place leaves a bottle of fish sauce and caddy of condiments on your table, but Pye Boat Noodle does. And that’s part of the reason why we like this place. We also like the fact that they serve some excellent noodle soups and great little appetizers, and they have a blender behind the bar with which they will make you a tiki drink. If it’s nice out, have one (along with some boat noodles) in the backyard.

Outdoor Situation: Back Patio

Leyenda is a Latin-American cocktail bar in Cobble Hill, and they specialize in drinks made with tequila, mezcal, and rum. If you don’t like any of those things however, they have other drinks - plus, there’s a bunch of food. So you can sit in the little backyard, have a well-made cocktail, and snack on some things like al pastor tacos, mole enchiladas, and tres leches cake.

Outdoor Situation: Back Patio

Beebe’s is in the bottom of the Boro Hotel, which happens to be on a fairly quiet, residential block of Long Island City. Because of the location, it probably won’t be impossible get into - which is great, considering the fact that they serve some very good Italian food, including some pizzas that we really like. There’s also a nice back area with some couches and a couple of tables, and they serve their full menu back there.

Evelina

Fort Greene
211 Dekalb Ave
7.9
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Outdoor Situation: Sidewalk Seating

If you live in Fort Greene, you have a few different neighborhood Italian spots to choose from. Personally, we’d choose Evelina. They make some exceptional pastas, it’s a sleek space with a long bar and some tables that are perfect for date night, and there’s some sidewalk seating when it’s warm out. Sit out there, and eat whatever pasta currently comes with copious amounts of seafood.

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.

Photo: Michael Tulliipan

Sauvage

Greenpoint
905 Lorimer Street
8.0
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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.

Photo: Noah Devereaux

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.

Barbuto

West Village
775 Washington St.
8.0
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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.

7.6
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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.

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
MAP

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.

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, it’s open all day, and the food’s great - this is an outdoor move for any meal.

Photo: Ryan Muir
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

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.

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. Use it for either brunch or dinner.

Milk & Roses

Greenpoint
1110 Manhattan Ave

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 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
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
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
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.

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.

Photo: David Weissman
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
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.

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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