New York’s outdoor dining has been extended and will become a year-round part of the city’s hospitality. While taking the virus very seriously, we combed our beloved city for some of the best outdoor, and as of two weeks ago, indoor dining. New York is known for having many options, and can accommodate all types of foodies. We compiled a list that we think will appeal to almost everyone, so have fun reading out New York City fall 2020 best outdoor & indoor dining guide. And do support your neighborhood favorites!
Boucherie at 99 7th Ave S is one of three locations (One in Union Square and two in the West Village), and while we hate to pick favorites, 7th Avenue is the winner. If you prefer a more intimate setting, visit them on Christopher Street. We picked it for its close proximity to other winning bars and restaurants, such as The Stonewall Inn and While We Were Young.
As lovers of French bistros with a lively atmosphere we chose Boucherie for our 2020 birthday meal, and while this year has been disappointing our birthday dish was not. We dared to sit indoors for early dinner, which meant less diners. Boucherie takes safety measures very seriously, their large doors stayed open, masks are required when not seated at the table, and there are stylish partitions between tables. As with all of Boucherie locations, our every need was attended to. Cocktails were pricey but worth it, and no matter what location you visit, here is what we recommend: Salade Niçoise with Ahi Tuna, Steak Frites Au Poivre, Saumon a la Poêle and for cocktail lovers try the La Vie En Rose. boucherie.nyc
Da Nico Ristorante Escapes from the city are few and far between. We chose Little Italy because it is lacking in tourists right now and makes for a fun cultural retreat from the rest of the city. This shrinking area of Manhattan remains lively and welcoming; offering lots of outdoor dining space and (as with all of the hospitality industry) they need your support. When you walk through Little Italy you’re transformed to a different time and it is always hard to pick a favorite. We settled on a classic, Da Nico Ristorante, quintessential Little Italy . When you walk by, their red awning just pops out at you. As you might imagine, they serve comforting and traditional Italian dishes, an extensive wine list, and if you’re lucky, you might get seated in their tented garden. Since we prefer to people-watch, we sat at the front of the restaurant. Da Nico’s lasagna and chicken marsala dishes are a sure way to get you satisfied and feeling at home. Pair it with a glass of wine and enjoy a dessert. Since our visit coincided with the Feast of San Gennaro, we were offered free beignets. On your way out of Little Italy, make sure to pick up some cannoli at Caffe Palermo. danicoristorante.com
Gemma is part of the Bowery Hotel. The Bowery hotel has always been known for being decidedly part cool and part touristy. Its location makes it easy to visit the East Village or Soho. I hold the Bowery hotel dear to my heart because on a week day it was an excellent place to grab a quiet cocktail in the lounge, and while there, it was fun spotting a discreetly tucked away celebrity. We’d like to continue to support the hotel and picked their restaurant Gemma for the creative Italian dishes, and plenty of outdoor seating, reflecting the indoor rustic atmosphere. If you find yourself in the area, or happen to be entertaining visitors from out of town, grab a table here for a higher-end Italian meal. Since the city is getting a bit more crowded again, we do recommend a reservation.
Boulton & Watt If you find yourself on Houston Street, torn between the Lower East Side or East Village, Boulton & Watt is a pleasant compromise. Weekend brunch time does get busy but any other time you should have no problem getting a table. This restaurant serves American classics, mixed in with Mexican options like MexicCorn and Guacamole, has a relaxed atmosphere, and very friendly service. We felt comfortable dining here because the tables are well spaced out, the staff took safety measures very seriously and there is zero foot traffic going through , yet you do get to people-watch from a safe distance. boultonandwattnyc.com
Le Goulue on the Upper East Side offers upscale European dining in a bistro setting, but never feels stuffy or pretentious. Since visiting Central Park is a pass time many New Yorkers appreciate now more than ever, finding a place to eat near the park is always a plus. On one such outing, we found ourselves at Le Goulue and can’t wait to visit again. Le Goulue is known for their traditional french fare, white tablecloths and excellent service. We relaxed with a glass of wine and yummy dishes. The winner was Ahi Tuna Tartare with wasabi miso seasoning and fresh coriander. Le Goulue takes french food to another level with creative ingredients and superior plating. lagouluerestaurant.com
Gnocco in the East Village has always been a neighborhood staple. Their doors have always been open to students who needed a place to work, those who want to impress their date with quality Italian food, I’ve even seen a wedding in their back garden, and went there for a New Years Eve dinner. The homemade Italian dishes and plenty of space is a draw for many and the staff makes sure to take very good care of you. While the freedom to be indoors or stay as long as you’d like might not be as flexible these days, the restaurant is still as welcoming as ever. Stop in for their classic Gnocco starter, which is a board made up of deep fried dough, with a selection of typical Northern Italian cold cuts. Another favorite is homemade potato gnocchi and we always order the fresh burrata cheese. gnocco.com
August Laura in the East Village has lots of outdoor dining, a relaxed, youth visited atmosphere and very friendly wait staff. The bright colored seating brightens up your brunch, and the position of the restaurant allows you to watch the weekend world go by. Try their unique libations, Mushroom Risotto Croquettes, Steak Salad and we can’t forget the refreshing cucumber water that is served for all. The restaurant snakes around 6th street, where most of their seating happens to be located, and neighbors with other fun spots, like Club Cumming and The Pineapple Club. augustlauranyc.com
Tea and Sympathy in the West Village appealed to New York for help a few years ago and we are happy to say that they are open and still serving tea in British fashion. Whether you enjoy the simple, but very fulfilling, pleasure of fish and chips from their next door spot, A Salt & Battery, or prefer to practice having tea with the queen, you can get both when you visit them for outdoor dining. For an escape from the usual, stop by for afternoon tea and sandwiches or try something more substantial like the Sussex Chicken. This dish will satisfy you with a roast game hen, stuffed with onions and herbs, served with mashed potatoes and peas. The shop inside Tea & Sympathy transports you to English country with fancy china, imported British candy, and a Harry and Megan cutout. teaandsympathy.com
Le Souk on the border of Noho and the West Village is New York’s beloved club and restaurant. They are holding on strong and have plenty of outdoor dining for all who want to come enjoy Moroccan food, hookahs and cocktails. While it is strange to see this multi-level club empty on the inside, their healthy pescatarian options are a draw for many. Le Souk has a sister restaurant in the East Village, Lamia’s, with amusing and posh interior decor. While the two restaurants have different energies, they are equally hospitable and always serving up fresh seafood. restaurantji.com
Whatever type of food you love the most, give our struggling restaurants a fighting chance. There are new fall menus and heaters on the horizon.