Where To Eat Outside In Prospect Heights
The best restaurants with outdoor seating north of Prospect Park.
Prospect Heights makes up the area south of Crown Heights and north of Flatbush. Look at a map. It’s almost a parallelogram, and it’s filled with Thai spots, various diners, sushi places, and more. Much more, actually. But if we listed every type of food you could find in the area, it would be a long, boring list, and you’d resent us for making you read it. Read this guide instead. It has 19 places where you’ll like what you eat and have a good time outdoors.
Maison Yaki is permanently closed
All summer long, Maison Yaki is lending its kitchen space to aspiring Black entrepreneurs, chefs, bartenders, and sommeliers who want to work on their own projects. As of August 6, Michelle Williams is serving soul food dishes like fried shrimp, crab cakes, and BBQ chicken from the restaurant’s takeout window, which you can enjoy at one of their seat-yourself sidewalk tables. If you want to know more about the other chefs in this pop-up series, check out the full story.
A few months ago, James in Prospect Heights pivoted to offer groceries and provisions, as well as takeout cocktails and snacks. They now have a takeout window where you can pick up things like popcorn with ramp salt, little gem salads, and one of our absolute favorite burgers in the city. Take a look at their menu or order ahead through their website here.
Read more about why James’ founder, Deborah Williamson, decided to use this takeout model.
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Look by Plant Love House
Two good rules to keep in mind when you’re in Prospect Heights: 1) there’s live music at the Boathouse in Prospect Park every night at 6pm 2) you should eat at Look By Plant Love House whenever it’s warmer than 75 degrees. This Thai spot has one of the absolute best backyards in the neighborhood, and food that you’ll likely end up daydreaming about. Make sure to get the pork and crab noodles and the giant papaya salad tray that comes with Isan sausage and chicken wings.
Cheryl's Global Soul
From tonkatsu to bacon cheeseburgers, Cheryl’s Global Soul offers comfort food from around the world. So if you’re looking for a place to eat with people who all want different things, keep this Prospect Heights spot in mind. And since they have a spacious garden patio and some new curbside seating out front, you probably won’t have to wait for a table these days (even for weekend brunch).
Great BBQ and great outdoor space aren’t things NYC has in great abundance, so you should take advantage when they’re both available at the same time. You can do exactly that by heading to Morgan’s BBQ in Prospect Heights. Get some brisket, or try their new wasabi wings, until 10:30pm during the week and 11pm on weekends.
This Prospect Heights American spot has transformed its backyard into “Olmsted Summer Camp”. As you might expect from one of our favorite restaurants in the city, their take on camp food is a far cry from the sloppy joes and mostly-defrosted chicken nuggets you may have had as a kid. They’re serving things like wagyu beef corn dogs, dill pickled fried chicken, and corn on the cob with yuzu kosho butter - all of which is available on a first come first served basis Wednesday through Sunday from 5-10pm.
No matter how many types of hops you can rattle off the top of your head, or how old you were when you memorized “Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots,” you’re going to come across beer and music at Bierwax that you’ve never tasted or heard before. This Prospect Heights beer bar has more than 5,000 vinyl records, and a huge selection of beers that you can order by the can or from the tap. Stop by any day between 4-11pm (1-11pm on weekends), and learn about some new beers and music at one of the first come first served tables in their backyard.
The sidewalk seating area at this Prospect Heights spot is open between Tuesday and Sunday from 5-10pm. They have a bunch of different rolls like broiled eel with shrimp tempura, and you can grab a sushi set for $25. Check out their menu, or place your order for pick-up or delivery directly through their website here. You could always escort your sushi set to a shady spot in Prospect Park.
If you’re looking for a breakfast sandwich good enough to inspire a new poetry section in your diary, head to Ciao Gloria in Prospect Heights. Their PEC (prosciutto, egg, and cheese) comes on a brioche bun with pesto and arugula, and it’s one of the reasons we get out of bed on Saturday mornings. They also have toast options with things like ricotta and avocado on top, plus a large selection of baked goods. You can order at the counter to-go, but you might as well sit on their new curbside patio and stare curiously at sweaty people walking down Vanderbilt Avenue.
Ode to Babel is a Prospect Heights cocktail bar that feels more like a neighborhood clubhouse. They usually host events here that involve live music, and when you stop by for a drink there might be a DJ. The new curbside patio here is huge, so stop by whenever you need some shaved ice, a slushy, or a summery cocktail. Ode To Babel is open from 4 to 11pm, Thursday through Sunday.
The Bakery on Bergen
For sweets like red velvet cupcakes and chocolate chip cookies with smoked sea salt, try The Bakery on Bergen in Prospect Heights. It’s a Black-owned spot that’s been making sculptural birthday cakes and rainbow brownies in the area for years. Their curbside patio is open from 12 to 11pm daily, but you can also take your order to-go and find a shady spot in Prospect Park.
The wine list at Lalou includes some Eastern European varietals your wine store clerk has probably never heard of, as well as plenty of familiar options from famous regions in France and Italy. In other words, this Prospect Heights wine bar has one of the best natural wine programs in the city. Just grab a seat on their new street patio or in their backyard, and someone from their very friendly staff will help you find something you’ll like. There’s also a straightforward food menu, including things like a cheeseburger on a brioche bun and roast chicken you can try.
Faun is an Italian place, but you won’t find red-sauce classics on the menu here. Instead, expect things like crab ravioli, mezze maniche with pork ragu, and snapper crudo. They’ve also collaborated with a local butcher to serve organic meats that you can enjoy on their garden patio or in the comfort of your own apartment. So if you’re ever in the mood for pork ribs or a nice piece of fish, this is where you’ll find them.
You’ll come across dishes like smoked skate wings and tomato tart served with whey fudge at this experimental restaurant in Prospect Heights, but you won’t feel like you’re at a fine-dining restaurant. That’s due, in part, to the fact that this is a casual neighborhood spot where you might hear R&B on the speakers and drink a glass of natural wine from Canada. But it’s also because they’ve moved the restaurant to a secluded courtyard right behind their white-walled dining room on Washington Avenue.
There aren’t many places in NYC where you can find incredible New Orleans-style food like seafood étouffée or a perfectly crunchy po boy. But Lowerline is one, and Prospect Heights is extremely lucky to have it. If you’re looking to eat something that’ll make you feel a little better about living in a city where you’re more likely to enjoy your neighborhood than the apartment you spend most of your time in, order their muffuletta sandwich. And since there are only a few sidewalk seats here, be prepared to take it to-go and find a park bench where you can eat in peace.
Ogliastro Pizza Bar
Every neighborhood needs a place where you can take your early-in-the-game quarantine dates, pretend you’ve never been before, and act surprised by the secret patio with string lights and always-available tables. In Prospect Heights, that’s Ogliastro, a neighborhood pizza place with candlelit marble tables and very good margherita pies.
Sofreh is a Persian restaurant a few blocks south of Barclays Center that’s nice, but not too fancy. The food is reliably delicious - especially the big tender lamb shank and the various dips that come with housemade bread. They’ve also spaced out the tables on their huge front patio covered in string lights, which makes this the perfect spot to celebrate the success of your new woodworking podcast or turning 30 in quarantine.
Alta Calidad is the best Mexican option in the neighborhood. The spacious outdoor patio tends to reach full capacity on weekends, when they offer an all-day brunch menu. But whenever you find yourself here, remember that you can’t go wrong with a couple of steak or fish tacos and a side of queso loaded with chorizo.