With outdoor dining in New York City extended through October, there are countless spots to dine al fresco, with restaurants able to set up seating on sidewalks, adjacent parking spots, rooftops, and gardens. To help you decide where to eat first, we’ve begun compiling a list of some of the best restaurants offering outdoor dining, neighborhood by neighborhood. This is by no means an exhaustive list, so we hope that you, our readers, will share more restaurants with us that we can add to this list.
Despite the outward success of outdoor dining, New York City’s restaurant industry is struggling. A report from the NYC Hospitality Alliance found that 83 percent of restaurants, bars, nightclubs, and event venues did not pay their full July rent, and last week, unemployed Americans lost the $600 bonus to their unemployment checks. And with indoor dining on hold indefinitely, there seems to be no clear path forward. This is why nearly 50 restaurant owners in the city, including David Chang, Tom Collichio, and Danny Meyer, have penned a letter to Governor Cuomo outlining their four-part “Safe and Just Reopening Plan” that most notably calls for eliminating the tipped minimum wage.
Rendering of Zero Irving courtesy of RAL Development Services
Pioneering food hall operator Urbanspace is opening its latest outpost at Union Square reports the NY Post. They’ve leased 10,000 square feet at Zero Irving, the contested tech hub on 14th Street that will serve as office space, a technology training center and incubator, co-working spaces, and an event space when it opens in the first half of 2021.
There are a few things Krispy Kreme is known for–its melt-in-your-mouth glazed doughnuts, paper hats, and its “hot light,” which lights up to show customers that doughnuts are hot out of the oven. This week, they opened their latest NYC outpost at 319 West 125th Street in Harlem, and it features the city’s very first hot light. The shop will serve these right-off-the-line doughnuts at a production rate of more than 100 per hour.
Photo courtesy of Eataly
Eataly’s 14th-floor rooftop in the Flatiron District has been transformed into a blooming greenhouse. Opening on Friday, Serra Fiorita by Birreria will bring Italian summer to Manhattan with a seasonal menu, build-your-own gin drinks, and a flowery decor inspired by a 3D paper book. Tables will be distanced, capacity will be limited, and reservations can be made on OpenTable to avoid crowding.
Photo of The Greens courtesy of The Howard Hughes Corporation
Social distancing guidelines have definitely gotten restaurants to be extra creative, like The Rooftop at Pier 17 which has just opened a new dining experience where guests can book one of 28 “mini-lawns.” Called The Greens, the experience has transformed the South Street Seaport rooftop venue into private cabana-style plots, each of which can accommodate eight guests.
Photo courtesy of Lower East Side Partnership
Last month, Katz’s Delicatessen opened for outdoor dining for the first time in its 132-year history. And last week, the legendary Lower East Side eatery launched its own local delivery service, dodging the excessive fees charged by third-party companies. As first reported by the Bowery Boogie, diners can order from Katz’s classic menu directly from their website, including pastrami and corned beef sandwiches, matzoh ball soup, and square potato knishes.
Outdoor dining on West 71st Street between Central Park West and Columbus. Photo by 6sqft.
In a press conference this morning, Mayor de Blasio announced that the city’s popular Open Restaurants program will return on June 1, 2021, if not earlier in the spring. He recently expanded this year’s outdoor dining program through October 31 after it was found to be successful and safe and after the state indefinitely postponed indoor dining in New York City. De Blasio said that an estimated 80,000 jobs from more than 9,000 participating businesses have been saved since the program launched on June 22 when the city entered phase two of reopening.
Open streets outdoor dining along West 47th Street, photo by CityRealty
On Friday, Mayor de Blasio announced that an additional 15 locations would be closing to traffic and opening their streets for outdoor dining through a combination of the city’s Open Streets and Open Restaurants programs. This brings the total to 62 participating streets. Some of the latest include 13 blocks along Amsterdam Avenue on the Upper West Side, another stretch in Chinatown, Koreatown, a few in Noho/Soho, and five blocks along Vanderbilt Avenue in Prospect Heights. Since restaurants were first able to open for outdoor dining when phase two began on June 22, more than 9,500 have signed on to participate.
The Market Line Patio; Credit: Greater Studio
With nearly 10,000 New York City restaurants open for outdoor dining, now even food halls are getting in on the Open Restaurants program. The Market Line at Essex Crossing on Friday opened a spacious outdoor patio and a menu made up of a mix of vendors from the Lower East Side food hall. And Time Out Market will reopen its fifth-floor rooftop and seating along the waterfront in Dumbo this week.