It’s almost that time of year! TIME TO DINE AL FRESCO.
Ya know, if it ever stops fucking raining.
In the summer months in NYC, dining al fresco can be even better with water views (again, I don’t mean rain). What we lack in beach waves we make up for with dirty rivers that still sparkle under the sun.
Here are some of my favorites, combined with some suggestions from trusted sources (my friends and colleagues in the industry). As always, the phone number link takes you to the Google Search results for the property. You’re welcome.
Best Waterfront Restaurants in NYC
- City Vineyard
Enjoy amazing wine with a beautiful view of the One World Trade Center at City Vineyard. Full service outdoor dining on the patio or on their rooftop. The wines are produced in their in-house winery and they also serve great beer. The cheese and meat plates are so good, I usually get two.
233 West St, New York, NY 10013
- Pier A Harbor House
One of my favorite places in the city, and partially because it looks like it doesn’t even belong in the city. Very stately appearance. It also has a great view of the Statue of Liberty! This giant beer hall is perfect for a summer afternoon and great finger food. If you make it into night time and are feeling a little swanky, head upstairs to Blacktail. Easily one of my favorite spots for an expensive cocktail.
22 Battery Pl, New York, NY 10004
- Grand Banks
If you like oysters, you’ll love Grand Banks. Aside from the fact that it’s set on a gorgeous schooner, they do a lot of Oyster Happy Hours and I hear they’re excellent. I hate oysters so I can’t speak to this, but their lobster roll is amazing – Grub Street agrees on that. They also have Caviar Hash Browns…sign me up.
Pier 25 – Hudson River Park
- Merchants River House
Perfect place to watch the sunset with friends. Order the spinach artichoke dip and the signature burger. Also a great place to watch a game!
375 South End Avenue, Hudson River Esplanade, New York, NY 10280
- Industry Kitchen
This place offers beautiful views of the Brooklyn Bridge and the East River. They are known for their pizzas, and if you’re feeling a little fancy order their 24k gold pizza haha. (you have to order that 48 hours in advance fyi).
70 South St, New York, NY 10005
I love this place because you feel like you’re sitting in an outdoor garden, it’s so gorgeous. Order the avocado toast to start, the BLT breakfast sandwich, and the cereal & milk dessert.
450 E 29th St, New York, NY 10016
- Lakeside Restaurant at The Loeb Boathouse
Located in Central Park, this beautiful fine dining establishment is perfect on a hot summer day; you can be in the shade while still enjoying water views. And if you’re a SATC fan, you’ll also recognize it as the place Carrie and Big fell into the water. So yea try not to do that.
Park Drive North East 72nd
- Boat Basin Cafe
On the opposite end of the spectrum, you have the Boat Basin. Or Boat Basin Cafe, as it’s formally called. A fun, casual spot for day drinking, but keep in mind that means it can go from sober to sloppy real quick. Approachable menu with lots of typical bar fare – fried calamari, buffalo wings, sandos and salads. Always a big fan of the architecture here too – lots of stone with big archways overlooking the Hudson. No reservations, so just get there early and you’ll be set.
West 79th Street Boat Basin
- Frying Pan
Here’s my issue with Frying Pan: it’s always crowded and I always get a little seasick. That said, I’m a pussy. So this might just be me. Once I have a cold Corona I’m usually ok. The food is pretty good too, and they provide a nice big bucket for you to take to your table so you can fill it with bottles of beer. It’s also a historic lightship! Built in 1929 and brought to NYC in 1989, Lightship “Frying Pan” guarded Frying Pan Shoals off the coast of NC until 1965. It’s a pretty cool story – read about that here.
Pier 66 @ West 26th Street
- Cecconi’s (Dumbo)
I don’t know why this is last, but save the best for last? It’s not your typical bar fare, it’s amazing Italian food right on the water. Seriously one of my favorite meals of 2019 so far, and the space inside is beautiful too. If you’re thinking of pasta + views, this is the place to go. Do NOT skip the baked eggplant parm. Thank me later.
55 Water Street, Brooklyn NY 11201
Main photo image credit: whatshouldwedo.com