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NYC Outdoor Dining

Take advantage of the season and enjoy an al fresco meal at one of these top Manhattan spots.

NYC outdoor dining is having a moment, with acre after acres of new al fresco spaces sprouted during Covid times. Whether you're seeking out a world-class steak, a tropical interlude, or a classic Italian dinner, we've got some great picks for a fresh-air restaurant experience.

NYC OUTDOOR DINING: STEAK NIGHT

benjamin prime outdoor dining

Gracious seating for world-class steak at Benjamin Prime.

New York City excels in authentic steakhouse experiences. Local legends Benjamin Steakhouse and Benjamin Prime both boast top seafood along with steaks that reach perfection in the house’s own aging boxes. Stop by either location for elevated patio experiences, with white tablecloth service amid an array of historic skyscrapers. Nearby Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse makes for nights to remember with chef-driven cuisine, wine to complement, and unparalleled hospitality. Del Frisco’s patio just off the Avenue of the Americas provides the pulse of midtown to match legendary steaks.

NYC OUTDOOR DINING: TROPICAL TASTES

jasmines caribbean outdoor space

Jasmine's Caribbean Cuisine.

Havana Central specializes in home-cooked Cuban food in an upbeat setting. Enjoy a mojito and some ropa vieja in the outdoor space, a slice of the tropics right in the heart of Times Square. A highlight of midtown’s Restaurant Row (46th Street between Eighth and Ninth Avenues) is Jasmine’s Caribbean Cuisine. Tastes are inspired by the kitchens of the islands, using recipes handed down through the family for generations. An intimate outdoor space features murals in vibrant colors.

NYC OUTDOOR DINING: ITALIAN

masseria dei vini outdoor dining

Masseria dei Vini.

Cucina 8½ occupies a sweeping space in the architecturally stunning Solow Building. You can admire the design from the outside cafe, where Chef Michael D'Armi serves elevated takes on rustic Italian. The pastas and pizzas are all prepared in-house. Authentic Italian fine dining in a comfortable space is what you’ll find at the family-owned Joanne Trattoria, famous for meatballs, lasagna, and other New York City Italian classics. Head to the back for an open-air dining experience on the rear patio. Theater District favorite La Masseria serves up authenticity, with entrees like branzino and grilled t-bone veal chops with fresh herbs, in addition to super-fresh salads and daily specials. The hospitality extends to the sidewalk, where you’ll find an upbeat al fresco scene. La Masseria’s nearby spinoff Masseria dei Vini features beautiful dishes from southern Italy, incorporating fish, shellfish, and fresh, homemade pastas, plus gourmet Neapolitan-style pizza from a Ferrara wood-burning oven. Enjoy it out of doors in the backyard garden.

sicily osteria

Restaurant Row newcomer Sicily Osteria (above) specializes in handmade pastas, traditional Sicilian street snacks, and seafood and meat dishes inspired by Sicily and the Mediterranean. Dine amid greenery and white-washed walls on the shaded front porch. 

NYC OUTDOOR DINING: GREEK

nerai courtyard

An arbor crowns the magical courtyard at Nerai.

You’ll find refined Greek and Mediterranean-inspired dishes at Midtown East’s Nerai. You’ll also find an elegant escape, with a magical courtyard welcoming outdoor diners. For a taste of Greece in Tribeca look to Marathi Greek Bistro, which pays homage to the owner's summers at Marathi beach in Crete. You can enjoy sidewalk dining here, with the kitchen putting a creative, elevated spin on homestyle Cretan cooking.

NYC OUTDOOR DINING: DOWNTOWN

city winery poke bowl

A signature dish with wine at City Winery: Sophia's poke bowl and City Winery sauvignon blanc.

City Winery New York City at Hudson River Park brings together great bites, wine to match, and views to remember. Big name comedy and music play on the stage inside but the outdoor seating is hard to resist. Dine along the Hudson with sunset views where the food is meant to be paired with a great glass of wine.

summer drinks starbucks roastery

Expand your horizons with craft coffee beverages and cocktails on the patio at the Starbucks Reserve Roastery New York. 

The Starbucks Reserve Roastery New York in the Meatpacking District has three levels of coffee experiences, retail space, and a fully operating coffee roastery. Settle into the patio for craft coffee beverages and cocktails alongside rich Italian pastries and pizzas.

About the Author

Ethan Wolff is the author of numerous guidebooks to New York, having covered the city for more than two decades. He has written for New York Magazine, BlackBook, and Details, among others. In addition to his work as the editor of City Guide, Ethan covers NYC’s talk and lecture scene for the website Thought Gallery. He lives with his wife and two daughters in the Windsor Terrace neighborhood of Brooklyn.

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