Warmer temps start the season for eating and drinking in New York sidewalk cafés. Bars and restaurants set up outdoor seating and open up patio gardens. This time is also when city streets pulsate with a dynamic mix of sights and sounds. Seeing this urban buzz unfold from a cozy sidewalk café with a delicious plate of food and a refreshing cocktail in hand is a great way to spend an evening. Here are five of the best New York restaurants with sidewalk seating.
Vic’s, 31 Great Jones St
This neighborhood Italian-Mediterranean restaurant is the second venture from Marc Meyer and Victoria Freeman who are also co-owners of Hundred Acres, Cookshop, and Rosie’s. Focusing on locally-sourced ingredients, Vic’s serves up fresh pasta and pizza imagined by chef Hilary Sterling. While the food is upscale, the vibes here are nothing but warm and welcoming thanks to Vic’s friendly staff and quaint sidewalk café.
Santina, 820 Washington St
It’s safe to say that the Meatpacking District is one of NYC’s best neighborhoods to people watch. Santina has a prime location tucked underneath the Gansevoort entrance to the High Line. This coastal Italian restaurant serves traditional dishes fused with a modern, flavorful flair. Owners Mario Carbone, Rich Torrisi and Jeff Zalaznick’s taste for vivacity is obvious, not only in the food but also in décor. Come spring and summer, Santina opens its sidewalk café marked by beach umbrellas and potted palm trees.
Seamore’s, 390 Broome St
Michael Chernow, the owner of the Meatball Shop, decided to shift focus to meat from the sea and opened Seamore’s in Nolita. This trendy restaurant aims to serve sustainable seafood dishes that are not only tasty but also healthy. Seamore’s partners with local seafood suppliers Sea to Table and Greenpoint Fish & Lobster Co., so you can count on the freshest fish. And, as soon as the thermometer reaches a bearable mark, guests take to the outdoor seating area to eat, drink, and soak up the surroundings.
Gemma at Bowery Hotel, 335 Bowery
Since 2007, Gemma has attracted a stylish crowd. Situated right next to the Bowery Hotel, Gemma is a place to see and be seen, and you can bet guests line up waiting for a prime seat along the sidewalk where they can score the best views too. The food is not bad either. We recommend the truffled polenta fries, roasted sea bass, or prosciutto and arugula pizza, best enjoyed with a glass of white wine.
Dante, 79-81 Macdougal St
This list wouldn’t be complete without Dante, the celebrated Greenwich Village meeting spot with a story that dates back to 1915. Originally a gathering place for Italian immigrants, Dante has since attracted famous actors and artists such as Bob Dylan, Ernest Hemingway, Anais Nin, Patti Smith and Robert Maplethorpe, among others. In its present incarnation, Dante is a charming restaurant specializing in small plates and cocktails. We suggest sampling a Negroni, the drink menu offers many twists on the classic, and sip it outside knowing that many great legends have done the same before you.
In the comments, let us know your favorite New York restaurants with sidewalk seating.
Also, where to have cocktails in Williamsburg, and outdoor bars and restaurants perfect for summer. Plus, pack a picnic and enjoy the great outdoors of NYC.