As quarantine comes to an end but social-distancing remains important while we don’t have a vaccine to prevent the spread of COVID, our social lives this fall are going to look much different. Going to college in New York City, outdoor bars and restaurants are going to be go-to spots for weekend social events. Whether you’re a New Yorker yourself or you’re just visiting, check out this list of the 15 best outdoor bars and restaurants in the big apple to satisfy the needs of your social life.
1. Laduree SoHo
The first of our outdoor bars and restaurants is Laduree. This French restaurant and macaroon specialist has several locations around the city, but if you’re looking specifically for outdoor dining, Laduree SoHo is your place. With a large garden terrace perfect for sipping mimosas and enjoying buttery French pastries on a weekend morning, Laduree SoHo is a must-try outdoor restaurant to check off the list before the weather gets cold.
2. Jue Lan Club
If you’re looking for an upgrade to your Friday night Chinese takeout, Jue Lan Club is for you. Situated in the Flatiron District in the Limelight Church, their outdoor area is gorgeously decorated with bubblegum pink umbrellas and draping green vines. Order some dim sum and a few drinks– it’s a bit pricey but definitely worth the splurge.
3. Mr. Purple
Are you even a 20-something in NYC if you haven’t been to Mr. Purple? A popular spot for the college and 20s crowd, Mr. Purple is a rooftop bar and pool 21 stories above the streets of New York City’s Lower East Side, and the gem of Hotel Indigo. Grab your friends and enjoy a night out looking over the Midtown skyline. This spot you cannot miss.
4. The Met Rooftop Bar
Situated atop the roof of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Met Rooftop Bar lets you enjoy the gorgeous views of Central Park and the Upper East Side while sipping on cocktails and munching on finger food. It’s only open during museum hours, so make sure you plan ahead! This is a golden hour photo op you won’t want to miss.
5. Westlight at The William Vale Hotel
Take a break from Manhattan and admire the skyline from a different angle at Westlight, the rooftop bar/restaurant on the 22nd-floor of The William Vale in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Enjoy a drink and delicious food as you take in the Manhattan skyline across the East River. And if you’re not 21 yet, don’t worry! Go for lunch and stay the afternoon. It’s only 21+ after 6 pm!
6. Refinery Rooftop
Refinery Rooftop is one of Midtown Manhattan’s most loved rooftop bars, situated atop the Refinery Hotel. With an iconic view of the Empire State Building, Refinery Rooftop is one of Midtown’s most popular spaces to drink, eat, and socialize. Your instagram feed will thank me.
7. The Butcher’s Daughter
Enjoy an outdoor brunch on the streets of SoHo or Manhattan’s West Village at this iconic vegetarian, organic, and insta-worthy restaurant. Even before COVID, most of their seating was outdoors, so The Butcher’s Daughter has got this socially-distant dining thing down pat. You’ll definitely want to check out this outdoor restaurant ASAP.
Inspired by European streetside cafes, Dante tables line the streets in West Village serving delicious Italian dishes and to-die-for drinks. It’s been voted best bar time and time again, so grab your friends and head to the village to sit outside, sip on a cocktail, do some people-watching, and pretend you’re somewhere in Europe in the 1950s.
9. Make Believe at SIXTY LES
SIXTY, a boutique hotel in Manhattan’s Lower East Side has so much to offer, including this penthouse pool and rooftop bar, Make Believe. Lounge around on the velvet pink sofas, enjoy drinks and sushi, and take in the sweeping views of lower Manhattan. This is a must-see spot.
10. Catch NYC Rooftop
Complete with a panoramic view of downtown Manhattan, this outdoor rooftop restaurant and bar is perfect for warm weather sips, snacks, and sounds. Come for brunch, lunch, dinner, or nightlife, and enjoy all that this Meatpacking District gem has to offer.
11. Lemon’s at the Wythe Hotel
Located atop the Wythe Hotel in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, Lemon’s is a bright and airy space perfect for boozy brunching and enjoying the views of Brooklyn and the Manhattan skyline. Feel like you’re on vacation in a retro tropical paradise dropped in the middle of New York City. Lemon’s is a must-see for any brunch-lover.
12. Hotel Chantalle
Perfect for a weekend brunch or a late night excursion with friends, this Parisian-inspired New York City hotspot is chic and exciting. And don’t worry if the weather gets cold! The rooftop is climate-controlled with space heaters in the winter and fans in the summer.
13. The Loeb Boathouse
Enjoy an outdoor, lakeside brunch and take in the views of Central Park at the Loeb Boathouse. You’ll feel like you’re in a movie sipping mimosas with a view of the Upper West Side and the sprawling greens of Central Park. The Loeb Boathouse should be on everyone’s bucket list and when it comes to outdoor bars and restaurants, this one takes the cake.
14. Cecconi’s DUMBO
With locations in major metropolitan areas all over the world, New York City’s own Cecconi’s is located in DUMBO, Brooklyn, with waterfront views of the Manhattan skyline and the Brooklyn Bridge. Cecconi’s is a classic Italian restaurant open for dinner, as well as weekend brunch. Located in Brooklyn Bridge Park, this elegant outdoor restaurant is perfect for your socially-distanced date or girls’ weekend brunch.
15. Loosie’s Kitchen
Loosie’s Kitchen was created to provide a space where “everyone is welcome, conversations flow freely, and the community is an extended family.” Located under the Williamsburg Bridge with lots of outdoor and social-distance-friendly seating, Loosie’s is perfect for post quarantine eats!