Now that we’re in the heat of summer (literally), it’s time to take advantage of all your favorite neighborhood spots while their outdoor spaces are open. Many have quaint front patios perfect for people-watching and enjoying the sunshine with your Instagram-worthy craft cocktail in hand. Others boast fully furnished back patios, shaded for your skin’s sake during the day, but lit up romantically at night — perfect for that sultry summer evening date. A few are situated right on the water, offering stellar views of the Manhattan skyline. Whatever your speed, there’s something for everyone right in your own neighborhood.
Looking for dinner with a view? Penthouse 808 (8-08 Queens Plaza South) is the spot for you. Situated just off the East River, this Asian fusion restaurant boasts a spacious outdoor area with a lounge-y vibe. You can sip drinks on their many cushioned loveseats and enjoy postcard-worthy views of the Queensborough Bridge. Perfect for photo ops with your best friends, or a romantic date night.
If you’re looking for an escape from city life, check out the patio at Il Falco (21-50 44th Dr.) in Long Island City. This classic Italian joint has a modest outdoor space that transports you straight to Tuscany. You’ll feel like a true European sipping rosé against a stone wall backsplash spotted with plants on a warm summer evening.
Share some classic pad thai and egg rolls under the stars at Astoria’s Leng Thai (33-09 Broadway). Lanterns hang over their quaint back patio, decorated with towering bamboo stalks and various other plants. The perfect setting to experience the exotic flavors of their many Thai dishes.
What better place to enjoy a summer evening than a sailing bar? Anable Basin (4-40 44th Dr.), Long Island City’s “sailing bar” and grill, is right on the East River. Enjoy traditional American and Brazilian cuisine on their outdoor deck and take in the picture-perfect view of the Manhattan skyline. Sit back, relax and watch the boats float by.
- The Shady Lady
An eclectic tapas spot in Astoria, The Shady Lady (34-19 30th Ave.) offers outdoor seating in front for the summer months, and air conditioning in their dark, brick-walled interior for those extra hot days. Enjoy a happy hour cocktail or sample their unique menu (bites like lobster tacos and chicken and waffles), after a long day’s work.
The Bonnie (29-12 23rd Ave.), an American-style eatery, has a polished interior and outdoor beer garden to match. The charming outdoor patio has long tables perfect for large groups. Plenty of greenery livens up the space, and hanging lights give off a romantic vibe in the evening. Treat yourself to delectable bar favorites like the Bonnie Burger and mac ‘n’ cheese with Applewood bacon.
Enjoy some traditional Italian dishes and tapas bites at Il Bambino (34-08 31st Ave.), a cute Italian spot in Astoria. Specializing in panini-pressed sandwiches, the venue has a shaded outdoor garden in back. A peaceful spot to enjoy brunch, lunch and dinner with friends.
Café by day, bar at night, Monika’s Café Bar (32-90 36th St.) is a great spot to enjoy outdoor brunch or a refreshing cocktail (check out their cocktail of the day) for those warm summer evenings. Their outdoor seating consists of smaller tables in front, but their large windows remain open in the summer to give the illusion of being outdoors even from the lounge-y interior.
If Mexican is more your speed, check out Mojave (22-36 31st St.). Enjoy your favorite Mexican dishes or a refreshing tequila cocktail in their spacious back patio. The space is generously decorated with desert plants and its own fully stocked outdoor bar. String lights illuminate the patio at night, transporting you to a Mexican paradise.
Take a trip to Mar’s (34-21 34th Ave.) in your own backyard to experience some specialty cocktails and oysters at this sleek seafood joint. Their outdoor front patio is the perfect spot to take advantage of their oyster happy hour with co-workers.
For some classic American bites and craft cocktails, head over to Sweet Afton (30-09 34th St.). Boasting a front patio and modest outdoor garden in back, this is the place where you can enjoy that burger guilt-free in an ambient environment — and take in some live music Monday nights while you’re at it.
There’s no better time of year or better place to enjoy Greek food than MP Taverna (31-29 Ditmars Blvd.). Located on the corner of 33rd and Ditmars, this sleek Greek-American spot offers fresh seafood grub and a variety of meats. Take in this fare on their outdoor patio, or sit indoors — their wide windows stay open in the summer so all guests can enjoy the fresh air.
There’s a colorful little Thai place with a hidden outdoor back patio right in your neighborhood. Pye Boat Noodle (35-13 Broadway), specializes in — you guessed it — noodles. Come check out the wide selection for yourself and relax in their outdoor space, shaded in the heat of the day and lit by hanging lights at night, complete with a tranquil little pond.
Skinny’s Cantina (4705 Center Blvd.) lets you enjoy tacos and a river sunset — what could be better? This festive spot serves Mexican fare and plenty of summer-inspired blended margaritas. Situated near the East River, you can catch a glimpse of the glowing Manhattan skyline from their front outdoor patio at night.
- Diamond Dogs
Sip on fine craft beers and cocktails in the backyard of Diamond Dogs (34-04 31st Ave.) after a long day. Named for the David Bowie album, not the food, this pub’s outdoor space contains benches good for groups as well as smaller tables. String lights illuminate the space at night. It’s a quirky spot to catch up with friends over a drink.