Outdoor Dining: The Best Al Fresco Restaurants in New York City

by Jane Reynolds on May 16, 2013

The weather in New York City may be a little hard to predict these days, so we understand wanting to take full advantage when the sun peaks out and the wind ceases. That’s why it’s handy to have a list of the best restaurants serving tasty al fresco treats at the ready. That’s where we come in; we’ve taken up the hard job of sampling delicious food at tons of New York City hotel restaurants to find the best spots to grub down outdoors this summer.

 The Standard Grill at The Standard New York

Standard Grill at The Standard New York

Situated under the High Line in the trendy Meatpacking District, the Standard Grill has remained a neighborhood hot spot, while other restaurants in the area have suffered from being too-cool-too-soon. Indoor seating (atop a penny-covered floor) is ample, as is outdoor seating, but nonetheless tables book up weeks in advance and reservations are a must. Diners stop by for dinner before heading to the hotel’s biergarten (or uber-exclusive Top of the Standard, better known as the Boom Boom Room) or opt for the tasty Sunday brunch, complete with brioche french toast, classic eggs benedict, and bloody Marys.

La Botegga at The Maritime Hotel

La Botegga at The Maritime Hotel

Just a few blocks from The Standard, The Maritime Hotel boasts a massive outdoor space at its Italian restaurant, La Botegga. Offering breakfast, lunch, and dinner, the restaurant (unsurprisingly) specializes in gourmet pastas and wood-fired pizzas.  While cocktails are pricey, entrees are surprisingly affordable, especially if you stick to tasty standards such as ravioli and gnocchi.


Gemma at The Bowery Hotel

Gemma at The Bowery Hotel

A celebrity hot spot (Katy Perry and Robert Pattinson were spotted dining together with friends just a week ago),  Gemma is a critically-acclaimed restaurant off the lobby of the Bowery Hotel. Serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner, the restaurant is known for its tasty brunch and extensive cocktail list, as well as its see-and-be-seen location on the corner of 3rd and Bowery in Manhattan’s Lower East Side. And it pays to be a guest of the hotel; Gemma provides the 24-hour room service menu, and only those staying at the hotel (and groups of 12 or more) can make reservations.


David Burke Kitchen at The James New York

Jimmy at The James New York

With restaurants spanning New York City, hot shot chef David Burke adds another to the list with David Burke Kitchen in The James. The outdoor space, open during warmer months and referred to as “the garden,” is located above the indoor area and is a popular happy hour spot for those who work in SoHo. Specialties include  the pretzel-crusted crab cake appetizer and the cheesecake lollipop tree for dessert. A 24-hour room service menu is available as well, and the poolside Jimmy bar is also a nice spot for outdoor drinks.


Salon de Ning at The Peninsula New York

Salon de Ning at The Peninsula New York

On the rooftop of the Peninsula, towering 23 stories above Midtown, Salon de Ning is known for its sweeping views. Visitors often go more for the drinks than the food, and the restaurant caters to this with light bites and tasty (and expensive) cocktails. If weather keeps you indoors, the cool 1930s Shanghai-inspired decor is just as appealing; the space is open till 1 a.m. every night.


Locando Verde at The Greenwich Hotel

Locanda Verde at The Greenwich Hotel

Locando Verde, headed by celebrated chef Andrew Carmellini, is an elegant, yet unpretentious, TriBeCa restaurant serving rustic Italian cuisine. Considering its location inside the Robert DeNiro-owned Greenwich Hotel, it’s no surprise that the restaurant attracts its fair share of celebs, such as Jennifer Aniston, Kate Hudson, Chelsea Handler, and Meryl Streep — just to name a few. You really can’t go wrong with the menu, but “My Grandmother’s Ravioli” is a particularly popular option.


Four at Yotel

Four at the Yotel

A massive outdoor space with views of Times Square, Four (aptly located on the fourth floor of the Yotel) is home to numerous gatherings; guests can enjoy free pastries, coffee, and tea on the rooftop, happy hour-goers can head to the lounge space for signature cocktails, and brunch lovers can enjoy delicious staples on the weekends. Brunch is particularly popular with a $40 all-you-can-drink special.



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