Eating & Drinking Outdoors, NYC

If it’s summer and I’m staying put in NYC for a weekend, ready for a drink after a long day of meetings, or just in the mood for some vitamin D, chances are you can find me outside. While I happen to live near Central Park and never say no to a picnic, sometimes I’m looking for a little less of a bucolic scene. Read on for some of my favorite places to eat, drink, and be outside in summertime NYC. Note that this list is in no way conclusive, it’s just some of the places that I’ve been loving this summer 🙂


Narcissa – This lovely and scene-y restaurant located in The Standard in the East Village has an incredible outdoor dining space that’s perfect for a summer dinner. Get a collection of small plates to share, a bottle (or two) of wine, and you’ll be a happy camper.

Public Hotel – A hotel with a rooftop, what else is new? This newcomer (ish) to the NYC hotel scene boasts one of my favorite rooftops, and you’ll want to go just for the neon light-up escalators that bring you up from the ground floor. Their frose is dangerous – watch out.

Hudson Clearwater – One of the quintessential West Village brunch spots, this is a place you can count of for delicious food and a beautiful outdoor patio. I prefer it on the weekends during the day as opposed to for dinner. Note that they do not take reservations for the outdoor space, it is first-come, first-serve.

Cloisters Cafe – An unassuming East Village hookah bar that just so happens to have an enormous (by NYC standards) outdoor garden, complete with a fountain? Yes, please. I’m not a hookah smoker, but I would come here to sit outside, order a bottle of wine, and catch up with good company any day.

One Hotel – This fancy-schmancy Dumbo hotel has some of the best views of the NYC skyline, and the hotel decor is just unreal. Like any rooftop in summer, it gets absolutely packed, so go early or visit early in the week for the most prime seating locations.

Pig Beach – Old-school picnic tables fill the outdoor courtyard at this Gowanus BBQ spot. Other pluses are their burger, and also proximity to the original Ample Hills Creamery for ice cream on the way home.

Gottino – I had walked by the little, bright green restaurant on Bleecker Street countless times before I scheduled a weekend breakfast there. We had the little outdoor garden all to ourselves, and plates full of soft scrambled eggs with prosciutto and raw brussels sprouts in front of us.

City Vineyard – I had the pleasure of spending my Fourth of July this year on the second floor roof deck at City Vineyard, and I cannot sing its praises more highly. There’s an awesome wine selection (with some well-priced options), lots of seating and standing tables, and you’re right overlooking the water in TriBeCa. Plus the wait is nothing like the nearby Grand Banks.

Gilligan’s – Two words: watermelon margs. This charming watering hole at the Soho Grand Hotel is one of my favorite spots for after-work drinks, and their signature frozen watermelon margarita goes down quite easy.

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