Outdoor dining season is upon us!
Sun-starved New Yorkers flock to alfresco bars and restaurants as soon as the weather starts to heat up, and even though they are shivering on some cooler nights, city restaurants are happy to oblige with heat lamps, special menus and even a Ping-Pong table or two.
Click through the slide show to see some of NYC’s hippest outdoor spaces that are sure to be as hot as the Big Apple’s quickly rising temperature.
848 Washington St.
The Standard Hotel is your one-stop-shop for outdoor revelry this season, with at least four alfresco areas to choose from (all of which are as hip as the last).
Of course, you can hit the old standards and hang with the cool kids at Le Bain, grab a table and nosh outdoors at The Standard Grill or play a game of Ping-Pong at the Biergarten (assuming the lines aren't too long).
This year an attractive new option is The Plaza in front of the hotel, which is operating as a first-come, first-served pizza restaurant with wood-fired pies from Frank Pinello of Best Pizza in Williamsburg. On Fridays and Saturdays, the eatery stays open until 1 AM if you're jonesing for a bite post bar-hop.
63 W. 39th St.
Opening in June, the roof deck at the Fashion District's spankin' new Refinery Hotel promises to be one of the season's biggest draws, with 3,500 ft. of space, views of the skyline (notably the Empire State building) and a retractable glass roof that will keep the venue open rain or shine.
The building used to house a hat factory, which is reflected in the industrial-chic vibe, and cocktails come from mixologist Alex Ott. Though it wasn't open for a peek at press time, this is the outdoor imbibing space that most intrigues us.
Everyone's favourite elevated park is elevating its culinary options this year with the addition of SmokeLine, a standalone barbecue stand from BrisketTown founder Daniel Delaney that you'll find at 15th Street.
Just be warned that the fare you'll get here isn't exactly bathing-suit friendly - one of the options is a sandwich called The Mess, which is a combo of grilled Vermont cheese, brisket, pork, pickled onions and chile sauce served on a buttered roll (we're already full just writing that).
Adjacent to the barbecue stand is Terroir on the Porch, which is back for another season and will be open seven days a week until 9:30 PM starting today, May 15.
74 Wythe Ave.
Output, a large club in an industrial-type building, has made waves since opening earlier this year with a strict no-photo policy, super-late hours and lineup of impressive DJs.
Last summer's hottest rooftop in the 'Burg was at the neighbouring Hotel Wythe last year, but this year the nabe's crow's nest of choice is this joint's grungy top floor. Once you get in, the drinks are reasonable and the crowds are totally neighbourhood.
310 W Broadway
Later this month, the duo behind Moby Dick's in the Hamptons will start operating this pop-up in the outdoor dining space of the SoHo Grand Hotel (pictured here in its former incarnation, The Yard).
Each day, there will be 10 items on a chalkboard that guests can chose from, with prices starting at $11. The concrete oasis will offer first-come, first-served seating and feature dishes like chicken with shishitos and herb butter as well as wood-fired pizzas with toppings like tomato, mozzarella and basil.
This nook always attracts a well-heeled crowd, and we think the new team combined with beverages like spicy dark and stormys and frozen watermelon margaritas will keep this place packed through the fall.
356 W. 58th St.
The Hudson Hotel is exciting again, and all it took was minor tweaks to the property's food and beverage offering.
This winter the hotel's ski-themed Hudson Lodge was a hit with fake snow and hot toddys, and for the summer the venue is turning the same outdoor courtyard space (formerly known as Private Park) into Tequila Park, a Mexican-themed haunt with over 40 varieties of tequila on offer along with plenty of Mexican beer and mescal.
A taco stand will dish out edible options, and the venue will feature a guitar player on select nights to entertain patrons. Though the property has always attracted hotel guests, it seems that the team behind the venue has decided that more casual is the better option to bring in the locals.
If you want to imbibe with a view, head upstairs to Sky Terrace, one of the city's best (and most off-the-radar) penthouse watering holes.
18 Ninth Ave.
The deck at this Meatpacking District resto is back for a second go-round this summer, and even if you aren't a huge fan of the eatery's playful fare, you're guaranteed a party on the porch along with plenty of pretty people.
The alfresco area is tucked away behind latticework that shuts out much of the noise from the cobblestone streets that surround the venue, and groups can split punch bowls and small plates.
If you want to get above ground level, the Gansevoort also plays host to perennial rooftop favourite Plunge.
145 E. 39th St.
The good news and the bad news about this charming penthouse space it that it's in Midtown East.
The location means it's not exactly the hippest alfresco watering hole, but it also means you won't have to deal with the other silliness (bouncers, lack of elbow room) that you may encounter while open-air imbibing south of 14th street.
There is some serious cocktail cred here in the form of a list from Sam Anderson (Hotel Delmano), and guests can enjoy snacks from April Bloomfield's Salvation Taco, which is located in the lobby level below.
190 Allen St.
The LES Thompson Hotel is adding a beer garden this year, courtesy of the team behind the hotel's branch of Blue Ribbon. Located on the property's terrace, the venue is ideal for an outdoor chillax session.
There are board games and a Ping-Pong table, and a menu of grub includes $15 plates of barbecue that includes hen, babyback ribs or market veggies as a main, coupled with cornbread and black-eyed peas.
The beer selection spans the globe, with options like Hitachino White Ale from Japan and Saison DuPont Farmhouse Ale from Belgium. The space is open from 5-10 PM during the week and noon to 10 PM if you want to get in some day drinking on the weekend.
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