13 Outdoor NYC Dining Spots You Need To Hit This Summer

Photo: Courtesy of The Pavilion.
In New York City, the options for outdoor seating are slim — literally, because they are usually on the sidewalk, wedged between parked cars and storefronts. That's not always so bad, though: Taxi radios serenade us with Top 40 mood music at no cost, nearby trash cans provide efficient receptacles for the crappy crackers in the bread basket, and people-watching never, ever gets old.

That is, until you want to kick back, relax, and forget you're in a place that may just have more pizzerias than trees. Every summer, we start jonesing for true al fresco dining — the kind with tea lights, red baskets brimming with seafood, and maybe even some real grass (though, we're fine with some AstroTurf, too). We'll be the first to admit it, these gems are hard to find in the middle of New York; luckily, we've uncovered 13 of them. All you have to do is breathe in these refreshing options as you enjoy your meal amidst the sounds of the city.
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Photo: Courtesy of Berg'n.
From the masterminds behind Brooklyn Flea and Smorgasburg comes Berg'n, a beer hall featuring a bangin' quartet of food vendors (would you expect anything less from these guys?). Here, Asia Dog, Mighty Quinn's, Samesa, and Ramen Burger serve as high-class stomach-coating for local, domestic, and imported beers and a decent wine list. You heard it right — you can get that coveted, crunchy, ramen-bun at Berg'n six days a week, And you can eat it during happy hour on their laid-back, airy patio. How's that for a spread?

Berg'n, 899 Bergen Street (between Franklin and Classon avenues), Brooklyn; 718-857-2337.
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Photo: Courtesy of The Pavilion.
The Pavilion
You cannot get more prime a piece of real estate than Union Square's Pavilion restaurant, an elegant oasis in the middle of serious Manhattan chaos, housed in the same space that was once home to Luna Park. Decked out in '50s cabana-style decor, The Pavilion churns out lunch, brunch, and dinner for those lucky enough to get a spot on its sunny patio. The menu is a mashup of Mediterranean, French, and American flavors, so no matter what you order, you'll feel feel très sophistiquée just feet away from the buskers and hotdog vendors.

The Pavilion, North End of Union Square; 212-677-7818.
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Photo: Courtesy of the Farm on Adderley.
The Farm On Adderley
The best place to eat unreal French fries may just be the back garden at Brooklyn's favorite farm. Embedded in Ditmas Park, The Farm on Adderly gets tons of praise for its clean, casual American fare with serious flair. Try pork with sunchoke confit, sorrel soup with sheep's-milk yogurt, and a decadent soft egg, all under the NYC stars.

The Farm on Adderley, 1108 Cortelyou Road (between Stratford and Westminster roads), Brooklyn; 718-287-3101.
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Photo: Courtesy of Brooklyn Crab.
Brooklyn Crab
If you want to feel like you're at the beach but can't figure out how the hell to get there from the city, opt for this Red Hook haven for all things nautical. Located conveniently near the Ikea ferry, this three-floor summer shack will satisfy all your day-drinking and seafood-eating cravings. Let their resident oyster shucker cut you open a dozen half-shells, grab a spicy Bloody Mary from one of the many bars, and indulge in a rousing game of mini golf or corn hole while you wait for your table. Don't get too full (or tipsy!), though: There's King Crab rolls and lots of margaritas just waiting to be had.

Brooklyn Crab, 24 Reed Street (between Conover and Van Brunt streets), Brooklyn; 718-643-2722.
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Photo: Courtesy of Narcissa.
Leave it to André Balazs to create the garden of our dreams IRL. Nestled inside The Standard East Village, you'll find the ultimate outdoor-dining hideaway, where fresh ingredients and a farm-to-table mentality grace every dish: Think savory satisfiers like carrots Wellington, seed-crusted skate, and the best duck breast you may ever have. Their summer cocktails are aptly named — and flavored — so sip on a "Summer in the City" (vodka with strawberries, lemon, and Prosecco) while you enjoy yours.

Narcissa, 25 Cooper Square (between East 5th and 6th streets); 212-228-3344.
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Photo: Courtesy of Pier A Habour House.
Pier A Harbour House
Sure, you can splurge on the super-fresh seafood selection in the fine-dining room upstairs, but we're huge proponents of Pier A's long, wood-paneled oyster bar on the ground floor. Post up there or grab a seat in the sun, and throw back a dozen Bluepoint oysters and a refreshing pint — soon, you'll feel like you're sailing far, far away.

Pier A Harbour House, 22 Battery Place (at Little West Street); 212-785-0153.
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Photo: Courtesy of Daniel Krieger.
Ivan Ramen
When the LES outpost of Ivan Ramen started taking reservations, lovers of the funky fusion fare thought they had some serious noodles to get juiced up about. Trust us: The back patio is so much more exciting (we're hesitant to write about it at all!). Mosaic walls nearly as artful as Ivan's menu play backdrop to a far-out meal. Sip sake and funky local beers, slurp your ramen (they've got a new, cold lemon flavor for summer), and most importantly, get lost in an unforgettable downtown night.

Ivan Ramen, 25 Clinton Street (between Stanton and East Houston streets); 646-678-3859.
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Photo: Courtesy of Do or Dine.
Do Or Dine
The owners of Do or Dine say they created the restaurant "for the neighborhood," which explains the homey, eclectic vibes at this Bed-Stuy spot. The patio here is flanked by street-art-inspired murals, and the menu is marked by peculiarly alluring dishes like foie gras doughnuts and Nippon nachos.

Do or Dine, 1108 Bedford Avenue (between Quincy Street and Lexington avenues), Brooklyn; 718-684-2290.
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Photo: Courtesy of The Bonnie.
The Bonnie
Having already assumed the role of neighborhood hang, The Bonnie decided it needed to up the Astoria ante by adding room to chill outside. Enter: the chillest backyard garden, ever. The cocktail list — because The Bonnie is, first and foremost, an awesome bar — is bold and extensive, which is not to take away from the bites: Check out beer-battered pickles, a robust and melt-y burger, and a rockin', locally sourced (as is the eatery's norm) carrot sandwich.

The Bonnie, 29–12 23rd Avenue (between 29th and 31st streets), Queens; 718- 274-2105.
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Photo: Courtesy of Cannibal.
It's meat-centric, it's in Midtown, and it's got a gem of a garden. In other words, Cannibal Beer and Butcher is the kind of NYC odd duck we want reservations at every night. The charcuterie-and-beer special ($55/person) is a two-hour bonanza of sliced meats, small plates, wines by the glass, and unlimited drafts. Vegetarians will have a tricky time here — greens are topped with bacon or bolstered by ham — so make sure to assemble the correct, and very hungry, crew.

Cannibal, 113 East 29th Street (between Lexington and Park avenues); 212-686-5480.
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Photo: Courtesy of Grand Banks.
Grand Banks
Oysters al fresco and a "Brooklynite" (Jamaican rum, honey, lime, and bitters) at Grand Banks is New York's version of a yacht club anyone can join. The boat — yes, you really board one — is a historic schooner named the Sherman Zwicker, the food is seasonal and sustainable, and the view of New York's skyline actually could not be better, unless you swim out into the Hudson yourself. Beware: On summer nights, the Banks becomes a bit of a scene, so seize your summer Fridays and get there early...with no plans to leave.

Grand Banks, Pier 25 at Hudson River Park (North Moore and West streets); 212-960-3390.
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Photo: Courtesy of La Marina.
La Marina
With a name like that, La Marina set a high bar for itself when it landed in Manhattan. Luckily, its killer location meant it was sure to hit the mark. The bar/lounge/restaurant/event space is right on the Hudson, just at the end of historic Dyckman Street (in classier times, wealthy New Yorkers kept summer homes in this 'hood), and boasts a nautical menu to match the locale. Enjoy chef Kevin Fernandez's crispy calamari and lobster flatbread.

La Marina, 348 Dyckman Street; 212-567-6300.
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Photo: Courtesy of M. Alexander Weber.
When Parm superstars Mario Carbone and Rich Torrisi opened cool-kid paradise Santina, we tried to get a reservation. We're still trying (anyone with the "in," please let us know). If you are able to score a table, you'll want to sit on the restaurant's retro-styled patio, because you'll feel like a laid-back Don Draper (love those L.A. episodes?), and you'll be feasting on squash carpaccio and lobster Catalan and relishing the "View from Positano" (gin, black pepper, and strawberry).

Santina, 820 Washington Street (between Gansevoort and Little West 12th streets); 212-254-3000.