The sushi mood strikes unpredictably, like a summer thunderstorm or Steve Buscemi’s acting projects. And, unfortunately for your wallet and the fish in the ocean, that tuna yearning only intensifies the longer you wait. If you’re ready to fulfill a sushi mood that doesn’t involve delivery containers and finicky soy sauce packets, you’ve arrived at the right party. It’s sushi and sunshine-themed. From splurge situations to casual neighborhood standbys, here are 25 places where you can eat excellent sushi under an umbrella outdoors.
Looking for takeout and delivery sushi near you? Check out our guide here.
All of the sushi and sashimi at Rosella in the East Village is made using sustainably-farmed fish, like bluefin tuna from North Carolina or applewood-smoked steelhead trout from inland farms. If you’re looking to get the best sense of their unusual variety without committing to an omakase experience, order the $37 chirashi that comes with an assortment of whatever fish they have as well as tamago, egg, avocado, and sushi rice. Rosella only opened in the second half of 2020, making it one of the newest options on the guide in case you’ve already eaten your fair share of sushi outside.
Sushi On Jones beat everyone to the sushi-with-a-warm-breeze thing, since they’ve been operating an outdoor sushi bar for years. Each omakase seating here lasts 30 minutes, and you can choose between a 12-piece set for $58 or 20-courses for $105. There are also a la carte pieces of sushi and maki roll combinations available, in case you like to be in control of your own destiny. Just know that the Bowery and Hell’s Kitchen locations aren’t serving any alcohol at the moment, but the West Village location is.
The fish at this Harlem spot tastes fresh enough to make a sassy quip at you before you eat it. Stop by their covered sidewalk garden patio for a sushi set for around $30 or a wide variety of rolls. You can book an outdoor table through their website here.
Uotora in Crown Heights is a reasonably-priced, excellent sushi spot that flies in most of their fish from Japan every day and still keeps their sushi omakase well below $100. In addition to sushi sets for $25 and a la carte specials, they also offer a $65 omakase with 10 pieces of sushi as well as salad, soup, and a hand roll. Call 718-513-0724 ahead of time to reserve one of their five tables outside.
Seki is our favorite sushi spot on the Upper East Side because the high-quality fish isn’t drowned out by sauce and accouterments, and you can always expect a late-night scene. Even on their outdoor dining set-up on the 1st Avenue sidewalk, you’ll see a full cast of characters here, including people who have lived in the neighborhood for thirty years and sleepy chefs eating on their days off. If you don’t want the omakase experience, order the $52 special, which comes with nine pieces and a handroll and will give you a sense of their all-time greatest pieces. If you’re closer to Chelsea than the UES, Sushi Seki’s location there is also open for outdoor dining.
If you’re used to what we call “costume sushi” around NYC, Douska’s straightforward handrolls might appear to be wearing their birthday suits. But that won’t matter once you experience the way the fresh yellowtail, a few rogue scallions, and warm vinegary rice come together in a little hug of crispy nori. This LES spot has a bunch of tables on their sidewalk space on Delancey Street, and it’s set back pretty far from the street.
Another option for outdoor handrolls is Nami Nori in the West Village, which serves things like scallop in XO sauce and lobster tempura in taco-shaped nori. They’re taking outdoor lunch and dinner reservations up to one week in advance, as well as holding a few tables for walk-ins.
Looking for a high-end sushi option to apologize for something you said to your partner after months of sharing the same desk? Shuko in the East Village is now operating their restaurant exclusively outside (as well as for takeout and delivery). If you’re prepared to spend $190 per person on your sushi dinner, this is one of the best places to do it outside. They also have a full menu of sushi sets and a la carte rolls available aside from the omakase option.
We like this Park Slope place because of how relaxed it is, and the fact that there’s a specialty roll named after the song “Rolling In The Deep.” Technically this place is in Park Slope, but you could wave to someone in Gowanus from their sidewalk. It’s calm enough for a very casual date with your pandemic lover, or dinner with your kid.
This Flatiron spot specializes in Makimono sets with onigiri, maki, and what they call “grab sushi,” which comes with separate nori sheets that you use to scoop up things like red snapper topped with miso-wasabi sauce. They have maki roll combo options for under $30, and the quality of fish is better than what you’ll find at most neighborhood spots in the area. You can stop by their outdoor area for lunch or dinner any day except Monday.
If you want to eat red snapper sashimi high-up, you can check out the rooftop dining at Blue Ribbon Sushi Bar’s Columbus Circle location. They’re taking reservations online through their website here.
If you’re looking for a more casual experience on the Upper West Side than rooftop sashimi, go for Momoya. They offer a huge variety of rolls and a la carte pieces like Japanese mackerel and octopus, and their sushi and sashimi sets are all less than $35 - unless you get a $150 party platter, which is very much an option. You can also call 212-580-0007 for pickup or delivery.
The sidewalk seating area at this Prospect Heights spot is open between Tuesday and Sunday from 5-10pm. In addition to a sidewalk patio chalkboard sign that always has a different drawing, they have a bunch of different rolls for around $4 each, a decent selection of nigiri, and a chirashi bowl for $26. Check out their menu, or place your order for pickup or delivery directly through their website here. You could always escort your sushi set to a shady spot in Prospect Park.
This casual East Village restaurant has been serving excellent sushi at a middle-tier price range for years. So if you’re in the neighborhood and you start imagining what your body might feel like with eel sauce running through your veins, know that you can find out for about $35 at Kanoyama. They’ve built a covered patio on their 2nd Avenue corner space, and offer a bunch of sushi sets starting at $25.
The Greenwich Village location of Domdomo is open for takeout, delivery, and outdoor seating between Tuesday to Sunday from 5pm to 10pm. They have a bunch of different sets that range from a $27 meal that includes four handrolls to a $65 “Sushi Domokase” that comes with 12 pieces of nigiri, two handrolls, sashimi, and miso soup. You can make a reservation ahead of time online here.
Pink Nori in Astoria has about a half dozen tables set up in front of their restaurant on 30th Avenue...all in a pink-painted patio. This spot is known for affordable sushi and Japanese small plates, including combo platters for around $15.
If you’re new to omakase sushi experiences, we always recommend Sushi By M as a starter spot - especially now that they’ve recreated their entire sushi bar in a covered structure on East 9th Street. The $50, 12-piece menu is less expensive than the set price at other incredible sushi places in NYC, but you’ll still get high-quality pieces like yellowtail, seared albacore, and slightly creamy-tasting shrimp. Not to mention, you have the option to add on combinations involving uni and wagyu. The liveliness at Sushi By M is just as important as the sushi, which can partly be attributed to the fact that the servers walk around pouring complimentary sake. Expect pop music, excellent fish, and possible drunkenness.
At Bushniwa in Bushwick, you’ll find reasonably priced sushi and sashimi that tastes like it should cost more than it does. This is a good place to sit in a wooden chair outside, order a combo for less than $30, and split a bottle of sake with some friends in the neighborhood.
If you’re looking for an upscale omakase experience outside, know that this great UES spot is offering three different sushi omakase options right now: a $65 version with 9 pieces, a $95 option with 12 pieces, and a $135 option with 15 pieces (they all come with a makimono roll). While Sushi Ishikawa isn’t strictly requiring reservations, you can make one online to guarantee a spot for a 6pm or 8pm seating on Tuesday through Saturday.
Sushi Katsuei is another one of those best-in-the-city sushi experiences, only their $70-ish omakase is slightly less expensive than some other high-end sushi spots. Both the West Village and Park Slope locations have a few outdoor tables, and you can make a reservation through their website online.
You can also check out the Park Slope location of Sushi Katsuei for omakase and a la cate pieces under a nice umbrella. Call 718-788-5338 or go online to make a reservation.
Suzume is ideal if you want sushi, but you’re with someone who doesn’t. The menu at this casual Williamsburg Japanese restaurant has everything from tuna rolls topped with fried potatoes and cucumbers, as well as options like sticky ribs, poke, and spam musubi (and lots of drinks). You can eat outside between Wednesday and Saturday from 4-9pm, or order takeout by calling 718-486-0200.
This Soho institution is somehow a great place for both sushi and burgers, and you can order both if you visit their outdoor dining situation (and for pickup and delivery). If you need some shrimp cocktail, a 40-ounce ribeye, or some chicken fingers off a kids menu, they have those things as well.
This is the same 30-minute outdoor situation as the NoHo location, only it’s on West 10th Street and there are slightly fewer sidewalk seats. You can book your reservation and check out the menu of omakase and a la carte options here.
A neighborhood spot in Park Slope, Wasan is the kind of place that you might feel attached to if you live within a 10-block radius. And the good news is, it’s currently open for both pickup and delivery for lunch and dinner, with beer and sake options as well. You can grab a sushi set for $23 and also get a salad if you forget what vegetables taste like.