All right, so maybe you won't do it this weekend, but 'tis the season for what is easily one of our favorite springtime activities—dining al fresco. And while we are a metropolis of skyscrapers and concrete, NYC has a surprising penchant for finding space outdoors to eat on, even if it is just a quartered off section of the sidewalk.
Grab your shades and dust off those sun hats, we've made reservations out back on these awesome patios:
238 E. 9th St., East Village
This tiny cafe on a tucked-away stretch of 9th Street can be easy to pass by, mainly because it's covered in heavy ivy. However, once inside, that ivy lends itself well to the surprisingly spacious patio's charm. Grab a glass of wine and/or maybe order from the list of hookahs and enjoy the great outdoors as it was intended. Slightly buzzed.
190 Avenue B, Alphabet City
No restaurant's been doing farm-to-table dining quiet as well as this staple in the ABC's of the East Village. The seasonal patio is an awesome addition to the rustic year-round dining room and, it might just be us, but the homemade doughnuts served during brunch seem to taste just a little bit sweeter when eaten with an accompanying breeze.
Boat Basin Cafe
West 79th St., UWS
The only thing that makes outdoor dining better is outdoor dining right on the water. Head to the Boat Basin Cafe and trade the sounds of midtown traffic for the Hudson River languidly passing by your table.
Vinegar Hill House
72 Hudson Ave, Dumbo
Started by a couple of Freeman's alums, this homey American dining room is set on a quiet street in the posh 'hood of Dumbo, far from any major subways. And yet it’s packed every night with the beautiful, mustachioed Brooklyn set. The quaint outdoor patio and its antique-y table tops are a welcome addition, and make you feel like you could be in someone's backyard.
Frankies 457 Spuntino
457 Court St., Carroll Gardens
This rustic Italian hotspot is a go-to for serious foodies, and now a go-to for serious al fresco-philes as it's opened up the coveted garden patio for the season. Order up some house-made spaghetti or grab some friends and do one of the three- or four-course group dinners. We're big fans of the Pork Braciola Marinara, in case you're looking to fill a seat.
344 W 11th St., West Village
If you're looking to consume delicious takes on spaetzle, schnitzel and strudel, while getting a little bit of a tan, head to this Austrian corner bistro and grab a table out on the sidewalk. Grab the three-course Sunday Lunch and grub on Viennese Beef Goulash, Wiener Schnitzel with Potato-Cucumber Salad, or Quark Spatzle with Braised Rabbit. Nothing says outdoor summer eating quite like Quark Spatzle.