From secret backyard gardens to sunny sidewalk seating, we’ve assembled New York’s go-to al fresco digs.
Pro-tip: Finding a table outside is often kismet; many restaurants don’t take reservations on their coveted patios, but encourage walk-ins. So, let the serendipitous dining begin!
Depending on whether it’s morning or evening, take your slice of house-made banana bread— or burger and shoestring fries—and enjoy them outside, taking in the scene of buzzy Sullivan St.
Farm-to-table cuisine and a charming patio are just what a summer day called for.
Housed in a brownstone on W 10th St, Bobo is pure French countryside charm. Retreat to the idyllic backyard garden for a serene meal of rosé and roast chicken.
Claudette, a breezy Provençal restaurant on the Gold Coast, comes from the same group behind Bobo. Needless to say, the sidewalk seating is primo for a lengthy meal over blue-checkered tablecloths.
The on-tap Negronis and Aperol Spritzes would be reason enough to visit this Greenwich Village institution. Add to that a picturesque outdoor patio, delicious menu, and wildly impressive cocktail list, and it’s love.
Patio seating at this perennial date-night spot is first come, first serve. It’s the perfect environment for indulging in a seasonal pasta on a warm summer night.
El Toro Blanco
Made-to-order guac, mezcal Negronis, and grilled mahi mahi tacos are particularly crave-worthy in 80-degree weather. Luckily, El Toro Blanco has outdoor seating.
Twinkly candlelight, white linens, a tree-lined block, and two glasses of Sancerre (natch).
Frankies 570 Spuntino
A Saturday spent on this quaint and sunny Hudson Street-lined patio, is a day well spent.
You’d be hard-pressed to find a more iconic West Village patio. Relish in the people watching over mouth-watering pasta.
Dine on delicious (and affordable) steaks al fresco at Quality Eats. And, since it’s summer, don’t miss the miniature ice cream sundaes for dessert.
Produce from Rosemary’s stunning rooftop garden makes it into plenty of the menu’s dishes. Better yet, on a nice day, the restaurant’s glass walls swing open and fresh air flows throughout.
NOLITA / SOHO
ATLA has sidewalk seating for days (read: wraparound), plus some of the very best margaritas in town.
The spacious open air courtyard feels like a world unto its own, on the corner of Bowery and Bond.
Boasting a comfortable outdoor seating section – complete with sweeping umbrellas and heaters – Charlie Bird’s corner patio is delightful on any occasion.
Enjoy a rustic Italian dinner out on this lush romantic patio, which practically defines al fresco dining.
The oh-so-elegant King recently debuted patio seating—an extension of their serene, cane chair-clad dining room.
Pretend you’re seated on a French boulevard over Niçoise salads and Croque Madames. Really it’s NoHo’s Lafayette Street—not too far off.
Loreley Beer Garden
This German beer garden off Bowery boasts a spacious backyard with plenty of picnic tables. Come with a crew.
On the corner of Mulberry and Kenmare sits Pasquale Jones’ quaint Little Italy patio, offering a peek into the kitchen’s wood-burning pizza oven and a taste of the iconic neighborhood.
Stop by Rosie’s for a mid-week pick-me-up with a kick. Retreat to the patio for delicious Margaritas and guac, or opt for a seat in the open-air dining room.
Can’t get to Montauk soon enough? Enjoy fish tacos under the sun in Seamore’s sidewalk section.
Pair views of the Hudson Rwith mushroom cavatelli, Croque-Monsieurs, and tuna tartare on Beaubourg’s charming patio.
Here, you can dine on thin crust pizzas and sizzling shrimp al fresco—on an original loading dock from the warehouse days.
L’Appart’s jardin privé provides guests with an opportunity to enjoy a caviar flight and some Champagne before dinner, or after.
This cheeky FiDi café has a few tables outside, so order a cocktail and some small plates and grab them if you can.
A wine bar with delicious Italian tapas, by a James Beard Award-winning chef, and quaint outdoor seating. Need we say more?
MIDTOWN / UPTOWN
El Rio Grande
El Rio Grande’s classic Tex-Mex fare and signature margaritas taste even better when enjoyed patio-side.
Whether you’re wandering back from the Met or just in the neighborhood, visit this Uptown staple for light bites: mussels, rosé, (truffle) fries, and more.
This UWS classic does a mean Bloody Mary—and where better to enjoy one than outdoors, on the patio? There are biscuits, too, and mac and cheese.
Osteria Cotta’s wicker chairs are perfect for people watching along Columbus Avenue.
Summertime on the UES means you can sip on a spritz and dive into a steak on Quality Eats’ patio.
Opt for a true New York moment over bar snacks, ice cream sandwiches, tiki cocktails, and Champagne on The Modern’s summer terrace, which overlooks the MoMA’s famed Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Sculpture Garden.
Cafeteria’s sidewalk seating has been bustling since the late ’90s. It’s a cornerstone of the neighborhood. And yes, you’ll have an order of mac and cheese.
When the weather is nice, the patio at Motel Morris is where it’s at. Don’t skip dessert (read: sundaes! pie!).
Follia is a casual wine bar with delicious and simple Italian fare. Because, after all, what could be better than pizza under the stars?
John Dory Oyster Bar
The ultimate summertime (re)treat, this oyster bar has ‘happy hour’ – or Thursday – written all over it.
A meat-lover’s dream, The Cannibal boasts an impressive selection of beers, house-cured meats (in various iterations), and a covered outdoor patio.
When the weather calls for it, Battersby’s artful cuisine is best enjoyed in their backyard patio.
Extend your outdoor hang before or after a visit to Prospect Park with an outdoor meal at chef Brad Willits’ seasonal darling.
Celestine’s patio sits just under the Manhattan Bridge—on the DUMBO waterfront—so the view is second to none. Just add mezze and some wine, for good measure.
At Fort Greene’s Dino, enjoy seasonal Italian specialties in the quaint and lush backyard garden. Pro-tip: They do brunch, too.
This posh garden is spacious, yet intimate—perfect for a romantic dinner for two or anytime really.
As far as summer in Brooklyn goes, classic French fare for brunch, lunch, or dinner in the French Louie garden is as good as it gets.
The ivy-lined patio at Gran Electrica is a warm-weather power move. Opt for a vibrant cocktail, and start with an order of guac.
This all-day neighborhood haven has a few sidewalk tables up for grabs, so locals and visitors alike can catch some rays while enjoying breakfast, dinner, or a midday snack.
Enjoy Caribbean cuisine and specialty rum cocktails against a brownstone backdrop on Imani’s spacious sidewalk patio.
June Wine Bar
Retreat to the (date-night approved) twinkly and lush outdoor patio for natural wines and seasonal bites.
Homemade pastas (which you can buy and take home, too!) are the specialty of LaRina. When the season is right, they’re best enjoyed in the restaurant’s backyard, complete with checkered tile floors.
Mayfield’s back patio boasts wood-paneled floors—a perfect atmosphere to throw back oysters and treat yourself to a burger.
Enjoy a pre-dinner beverage amidst the lush greenery and strung bistro lights of Olmsted’s garden courtyard, or retreat post-dinner for s’mores. Bonus: heat lamps and wool blankets ensure max coziness.
This neighborhood gem for Italian cuisine by way of the American South (think hot chicken milanesa) houses a backyard garden with an outdoor bocce ball court. It’s open every Saturday and Sunday from 1:00 pm onwards, serving a full drink menu plus snacks.
This chic yet casual neighborhood favorite boasts great food, delicious cocktails and a prime Carroll Gardens setting.
Sugarcane Raw Bar Grill
Enjoy globally-inspired small plates on Sugarcane’s expansive patio—complete with stellar views of the Brooklyn Bridge.
Whether you hit Anella for brunch or for dinner, the fare is always comfort-driven and satiating—and the picture-perfect backyard is a lovely place to eat it.
Gather friends, or a bring a date, to delight in Argentinean tapas in a cozy and casual backyard setting.
Chez Ma Tante
Over in Greenpoint, the servers at this critical darling bus signature Caesars and slices of decadent chocolate cake to guests dining al fresco.
Take in the iconic dining car décor of Diner from the outside. That’s right, when the weather is nice you can order off your table’s daily, hand-written menu while seated on Broadway.
Billing itself as “crab-shack-chic,” Extra Fancy is particularly enjoyable in the summertime when lobster rolls and frozen drinks can be had in the restaurant’s side yard.
Kings Co. Imperial
The trellis-lined backyard courtyard is home to a full outdoor seating section – as well as a garden where the seasonal produce is grown.
Lying just off the beaten path in Williamsburg, Lighthouse is a neighborhood gem where plates are often shared, brunch is popular, and outdoor picnic table seating is a very good option.
Retreat to the swanky Peruvian restaurant’s rooftop bar, El Techo, for a “Dolly Llama” cocktail in the outdoor oasis.
The weekend move: farm-fresh soft scrambled eggs, Nutella French toast, and a specialty brunch cocktail on the patio.
Come springtime, the windows open and Lilia’s patio is lined with outdoor seating; now, the Italian food Mecca also boasts a bona fide outdoor environment, complete with a Sing for Hope piano open to the public.
Marlow & Sons
Stroll into this casual Brooklyn favorite for a daily menu of easy staples – think frittatas, bacon, egg and cheese on a biscuit, and oysters.
Boasting a bona fide courtyard, this anomaly of an outdoor space is equally suitable for large groups (read: communal tables) as well as small parties.
When the weather is right, Randolph Williamsburg’s glass walls open up and picnic tables line the sidewalk. Grab some friends and enjoy a brew or two from their lengthy selection.
Sunday in Brooklyn
Count on this Brooklyn sanctuary for a spot-on brunch or dinner and drinks. Best of all, the three-story space features a sidewalk patio, rooftop garden, and an open-air market.
Enjoy unbeatable views of the Manhattan skyline, from the 360-degree rooftop of Williamsburg’s Wythe Hotel.
Come for brunch, stay for the vibe. Enjoy a friendly meal on the backyard patio over comfort food and great tunes, while soaking up the sun.
Indulge in a stunning (panoramic!) sunset view of Manhattan atop Williamsburg’s William Vale hotel.