New York’s Top 10 Outdoor Eating Spots

5. Radegast Hall and Beirgarten


This Eastern European-style beer garden offers Williamsburg partiers 55 selections of brews alongside a tasty collection of grilled meats and crispy fries. Picnic table seating encourages a rollicking, good-times vibe, while the one-of-a-kind retractable roof ensures the party won’t stop when the rain comes down.

113 N. 3rd Street, at Berry Street, Williamsburg
Radegast on Urbanspoon

4. Nathan’s Famous at Coney Island


OK, there’s not actually any seating at the ocean-front location, and it’s kind of grody to sit on the boardwalk, or even the beach for that matter. And you have to almost start a fight with twenty different guys with back hair coming out of their tank tops to even get to the front of the line. But no NYC summer is complete without a foot-long and a large cheese fries by the Atlantic.

On the Boardwalk, Coney Island
Nathan's Famous on Urbanspoon

3. Harry’s at Water Taxi Beach


Sure, it’s no Montauk or Jersey Shore, or even Coney Island for that matter, but at a 12-minute ferry ride from Midtown, this makeshift beach in Queens is the only sandy shore attainable during a lunch break. Beach chairs and picnic tables are the place to grab summertime grub (hot dog, burgers and fish tacos), all washed down with PBR tallboys.

2-01 Borden Avenue, at 2nd Street, Long Island City
Harry's at Water Taxi Beach on Urbanspoon

2. Habana Outpost


Brooklynites anxiously await the opening of this seasonal “eco-eatery” each spring, where a solar-powered truck-kitchen serves up burritos, sandwiches, and near-legendary corn-on-the-cob smothered in Mexican white cheeses. One of the most relaxing ways to end a crazy city weekend is curling up with a frozen margarita to watch classic movies beamed on the outdoor wall each Sunday night. But hurry — Habana only stays open through October.

755 Fulton Street, at S. Portland Street, Fort Greene
Habana Outpost on Urbanspoon

1. Shake Shack


Sure, the lunchtime line at this Madison Square Park eatery is beyond ridiculous (an hour-and-a-half wait? Fuck off.) But hit up the park at an off-time – dinner on a weekend, for example – and there’s virtually no wait for the city’s best fast food – perfect burgers, gooey cheese fries, and thick-thick chocolate milkshakes, all enjoyed while laying on a blanket in the park and looking out for He-Man.

Madison Square Park, near Madison Avenue and 23rd Street
Shake Shack on Urbanspoon

A version of this article originally appeared in the Onion AV Club.

Next: #10 – 6 of New York’s Outdoor Eating Spots

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  • Yvo September 8, 2008  

    Sorry dude but Harbor Lights sucks. The last time I went there, the waiter all but told us to go f*ck ourselves because there was a giant firemen’s get together going on in one room, and he actually said it was OUR fault our food took so long because we moved from the outdoor seating to a table directly inside the glass doors (it began to pour; everyone moved inside! we even went to find him to tell him we’d moved!). Ummm… yeah.

  • Britannia September 8, 2008  

    Do any of these have outside heating, I’m going to be visiting NYC at the end of the month and I would love to check at least one of them out, not sure on the weather later in the month.

    With that said, if there is anyone wanting to take me as their date to A60 then I’m game 🙂

  • BS September 8, 2008  

    Yvo – that sounds like a crappy experience? Is there anywhere on SSS that you like. I always wanna hang out there, but, you know…Brit – end of September is actually one of the nicest times to visit NYC – all of these spots (except maybe coney is. and water taxi beach) should still be beautiful weather – grab a long sleeve t-shirt and try any of them.

  • karuna September 8, 2008  

    good timing for me to read this post. specially when i am travelling to new york next mnth. would love to try out atleast a few of the listed places. thnx for the info

  • ALEX September 8, 2008  


  • Thresher September 10, 2008  

    I feel a little bad for New York when I see these places and think, “Ooh, that was in the third episode of season three of Sex and the City!”

  • Ailbhe September 10, 2008  

    pangs of hunger mixed with pangs of new york… 🙁

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