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.
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.
M. Wells Steakhouse
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.
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.
The Roof at Park South
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.
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.
Pod 39 Rooftop
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.
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.
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.
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.