As such, we've rounded up a few of our new favorite outdoor spots around Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens. Considering how many this city has to offer, there are rooftops in spades, of course. There are biergartens and regular gardens, too. There's even a boat.
Yep. A boat. For eating on.
Ahead, 10 of NYC's best places for outdoor sipping and snacking. Just don't forget your SPF.
You already know and love The Ides at the Wythe Hotel, but Sheltering Sky gives that view a run for its money. The newly opened spot offers lobster rolls, fish tacos, and a small but sweet cocktail menu including the Paul Bowles — a spicy tequila concoction with basil and blackberry — a nod to the author whose novel inspired the name of the bar.
Sheltering Sky, McCarren Hotel and Pool, 160 North 12th Street (between Bedford Avenue and Berry Street), Brooklyn; 718-218-7500.
Sometimes, you just need a sausage-fest. There are seven varieties on offer here, from classic brats to spicy chorizo. And, there are nearly as many French fry options, too — waffle fries with lemon-curry aioli, anyone? Grab one of the picnic tables before you head over for a round of beer-blurred ping-pong.
Clinton Hall, 90 Washington Street (between Rector and Joseph P. Ward streets); 212-363-6000.
Hugue Dufour and Sarah Obraitis, owners of the mouthwatering LIC steak joint (which also includes its very own live-trout tank inside), recently opened a terrace with a wood-burning oven. The space features a nightly rotating menu that includes tasty dishes like tomato tarts and baked lobsters.
M. Wells Steakhouse, 43-15 Crescent Street (between 44th Road and 43rd Avenue), Queens; 718-786-9060.
Sonny's Soda Shoppe
Hello, retro. If you want the feel of a '50s Italian beach on a sexy rooftop lounge, this is your new spot. The summer-perfect cocktails — try the Forte Dei Marmi with pisco, Cynar, cherry, Lambrusco, lime, and mint — pair perfectly with margherita pizzas and scoops from Il Laboratorio del Gelato.
Sonny's Soda Shoppe, Mondrian Soho, 9 Crosby Street (between Grand and Howard streets); 212-389-0000.
Some rooftops are too clubby for a romantic evening, but this one is all atmosphere and awesome food. Hang out in front of the long fireplace and enjoy a perfect gin and tonic with Mediterranean bites — lamb polpetta, potato and fontina croquettes, crostini topped with Ossetra caviar — from a James Beard Award-winning chef.
The Roof at Park South , Park South Hotel, 124 East 28th Street (between Lexington Avenue and Park Avenue South); 212-204-5222.
Gallow Green at the McKittrick Hotel
Step into this mysterious English garden and revel in its green beauty before you get completely distracted by the pork pies, quail skewers, and fried green tomatoes set before you. Better yet: Come with a group and order up a punch bowl spiked with absinthe and armagnac, or stop by for the Saturday bottomless brunch.
Gallow Green at the McKittrick Hotel, 542 West 27th Street (between Tenth and Eleventh avenues); 212-564-1662.
The gorgeous Pod 39 Hotel rooftop does a very fine margarita, but we're partial to the Weathervane, with Overholt rye, rosemary, lemon, grapefruit juice, Campari, and ginger. With that, you'll want chips and guac or Mexican sticky rice with slow-roasted pork. If that's not enough, head downstairs to April Bloomfield's Salvation Taco for a full meal.
Pod 39 Rooftop, Pod 39 Hotel, 145 East 39th Street (between Third and Lexington avenues); 212-865-5700.
South Street Seaport can be a hell of tourists and schlock, but if you find yourself down there for a good reason, you need a good spot like Ambrose Hall to post up outside and throw back Black Forest ham sliders, mustard-slathered knackwurst, and other beer-hall fare with your pint of Shiner Bock.
Ambrose Hall, 18 Fulton Street (between Front and South streets); 212-785-0018.
This is a museum exhibit as much as a restaurant. Come to the historic F/V Sherman Zwicker, a 142-foot former fishing boat, for the oysters (from NY and elsewhere), fried squash blossoms, and a bubbly take on the Negroni — but stay for the unbeatable view of the Hudson.
Grand Banks, Pier 25, North Moore Street (at West Street); 212-960-3390.
If you want outdoors, this is it. Governors Island has been our go-to subway-accessible getaway for a couple years. Now, it's got a whole avenue of real-deal food vendors like Momos & Buns (take a bao), Veronica's Kitchen (hello, jerk chicken), and the El Paso Truck (a UES staple). The hardest part is deciding between Mr. Softee and Blue Marble for dessert.
Governors Island, King Avenue on Governors Island.