If you happen to carry a handheld fan everywhere you go, you probably won’t need this guide. But most of us aren’t that prepared. From soggy subway rides to sweaty sidewalk patios, we endure the heat like a necessary reminder of our impending planetary doom. Sorry, that was dark. But now that it’s regularly 90 degrees out, many NYC restaurants have been making adjustments to keep you cool on their patios throughout the summer. To help you find places to grab dinner outside without the need for a pocket-sized propeller, here are 10 restaurants and bars around the city that have outdoor fans.
Wine drinking should be a leisurely activity. That’s why this natural wine bar in the East Village has plenty of oscillating fans inside its massive street-dining hut. Kindred’s selection of wine changes pretty often, but their list is usually full of bottles from Croatian and Slovenian producers. As you enjoy a glass or two, don’t skip the crispy fried chickpeas - they snap in your mouth like popcorn and they’re seasoned with mushroom salt.
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The greenhouse patio 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 fans hanging above every table and shiny checkered floors that’ll make you feel the sudden urge to do the Lindy Hop. Every New Yorker should strive to eat the egg sandwich wrapped in flaky roti, creamy khao soi, and cabbage rolls stuffed with citrusy ground turkey and mushrooms here at least once.
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Looking for a place to cool off with a seafood tower in the West Village? Try Nat’s On Bank. This restaurant from the people behind The Fat Radish has a streetside patio structure with massive fans in every corner so you can scoop your caviar and slurp your oysters without even breaking a sweat.
Raines Law Room at The William hotel is a dimly lit cocktail lounge filled with couches and armchairs, and if you go all the way to the back, you’ll find an outdoor space with string lights and patio furniture. It’s a great place to have a quiet conversation and drink a few excellent cocktails outside under the pleasant stream of rotating fans. Request a seat on the mostly secret patio, and you can temporarily pretend that you don’t live in a city of 8.4 million people.
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Casa Enrique makes some of the best Mexican food in NYC. And their sidewalk outdoor patio is huge, partially covered, and a solid option if you’re looking to have a breezy dinner in Long Island City. They’ve got strong fans above every outdoor table, which means that after an excellent margarita and some enchiladas or fish tacos, you’ll actually want to stick around for an order of their tres leches cake.
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Strangeways could easily win a garden design competition show. The Williamsburg spot has a huge covered patio surrounded by hanging plants, towering trees, and potted plants. Plus, this outdoor-only restaurant has two giant fans pushing a cool breeze throughout the patio area. The coolest seats are the picnic tables up front, but there’s also a quieter corner in the back with a bunch of two-top tables that should get some peripheral gusts of wind. In addition to cold air, Strangeways serves an excellent burger with a dry-aged patty covered in a cascading layer of sharp cheddar and topped with lettuce, onion, and special sauce.
There aren’t a lot of rooftop bars in this city where we actually like to spend our time, but The Ready is one of the few exceptions to that rule. This massive spot above The Moxy Hotel East Village has a bunch of spaced-out seating areas where you can sit with a date or a small group under several industrial-sized fans and string lights. They’ve got a few different tacos on the menu and some canned wine, but you’re really here for the frozen drinks - especially the “Watermelon Sugar” which has Red Bull, tequila, and lime.
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This Japanese spot in Chinatown has everything from tabletop jingisukan dishes to french fries with uni and anchovies. But what really sets Dr. Clark apart are the eight outdoor kotatsu tables where you can sit with a group of three to six people under a roof and a disco ball. These tables are reservation-only, and each one comes with its own oscillating fan, so plan ahead if you want to eat squid stuffed with uni rice outside without becoming a soggier, sweatier version of yourself.
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Red Hook Tavern has a covered patio with mounted fans right in front of its indoor space on Van Brunt Street. The important thing to order here is the burger, which you can think of as a distant cousin of the one at Peter Luger. It’s a minimalist sandwich with one thick patty, some salty melted cheese, and a bunch of semi-sweet onions resting on top like they’ve had a long day. Red Hook Tavern also offers a ton of interesting wine, so bring a date or someone who prides themselves on eating the city’s finest burgers for a night that feels somewhat like a special occasion.
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If you’re looking for a casual place to eat guava-glazed wings near Barclays Center, try Charm. This Caribbean restaurant sits right across the street from the arena, and its sidewalk patio has huge fans right behind every table. From yucca fritters and rum cocktails to hibiscus sorbet and Haitian griot, Charm serves everything necessary for a fun Caribbean dinner with friends.