One of the best parts of summer in the city is being able to dine al fresco. New Yorkers wait all year for the weather to become nice enough to enjoy a meal with friends outdoors. There’s something about the fresh air, mixed with chilled cocktails and delicious food, that instantly slows down the fast paced lifestyle we all lead. Below, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite downtown spots to eat outdoors. Bon appétit!
1. BARBUTO - West Village
Around the corner from YOYA is a neighborhood classic, Barbuto. While it’s open (and busy!) all year, our favorite time to go is in the summer, when the garage doors open up and give the entire space an open-air feel. The pasta is delicious, but for us, nothing can top the chicken. So grab a table outside, order a glass of wine and enjoy some of the best people watching this city has to offer.
2. MORANDI - West Village
Another West Village favorite is Morandi, located at the corner of Charles and Waverly. It’s the perfect spot to hit with girlfriends and catch up on latest gossip. We love the rustic interior decor, but when the temps start to rise, the outdoor seating is the best. The cacio e pepe is a must, and tends to be our go-to order even when we try and be more adventurous. Brunch there is also delicious, and brings a fun and full crowd.
3. CAFE GITANE - Nolita
Further east in NoLita is Cafe Gitane, where we’ve been going for as long as we can remember. They were serving avocado toast before it took over Manhattan, and it remains one of our favorite orders today. The Moroccan couscous is amazing, and the veggie burger will likely change your life. The space is tiny and the outdoor seating is limited, but if you can grab a table, it’s entirely worth the wait.
4. BROKEN SHAKER - Gramercy
We’ve been fans of Miami’s Broken Shaker for years, and were thrilled to hear it was heading up north to New York. It recently opened on top of the Freehand Hotel on Lexington Ave, and is currently our favorite spot, as far as city rooftop bars. There’s plenty of real estate, both inside and outdoors, and the decor makes you want to pack a bag and move in permanently. It’s a great place to grab a cocktail and have a lite bite, all while taking in some pretty awesome views.
5. INDUSTRY KITCHEN - South Street Seaport
Industry Kitchen is a favorite of ours, both for the gorgeous views of Brooklyn and proximity to YOYA Founder Cristina Villegas' apartment. During the summer months, the floor to ceiling windows are left open, making every table feel like the best one in the house. The place draws in a local crowd, all looking to post up at one of the outdoor picnic tables for an after work cocktail and reasonably priced fare. We love the watermelon salad, but you can never go wrong with one of their many delicious pizzas.
6. CECCONI'S - Dumbo
As for our spot east of Manhattan, Cecconi’s has everything we dream of for a sunny summer day - striped awnings, waterside seating, city views and burrata pizza. It’s become a go-to of ours for Sunday brunch or an aperol spritz come happy hour. Menu favorites include ricotta crostini, tuna tartare and mushroom ravioli with sage, yum! We love to end every meal with a stroll down the promenade between the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges and attempt to walk off all the pasta we just ate :)
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