If you like to eat outside with the kids, you’ve got more options than ever before in NYC. More than 10,000 businesses have sidewalk cafes now and the city’s more than 100 miles of Open Streets host tons of outdoor dining spots, too.MoreLess
If you didn’t have a chance to make it to the beach this summer, you can still sit waterside at PIER I CAFÉ. A seasonal outdoor café located along the Hudson River in Riverside Park South, there is plenty of umbrella-covered seating that provides beautiful river views while you peruse a menu that includes everything from lobster rolls, to burgers and even a watermelon salad. There's no table service here, but an easy ordering-system instead, keeping things casual.
Many call it the ultimate summer food or even the ultimate New York nosh but really, the hot dog is the anytime food and no one does it more famously than Schaller’s Stube Sausage Bar. Schaller & Weber butcher shop dates back to 1937 when Yorkville was home to many of New York’s German immigrants. They became internationally known (and still are) for their sausages and cured meats.
The Chelsea Market food scene is back! One of New York’s most popular destinations has lined its sidewalks along 15th and 16th Streets with more than 115 socially-distanced tables. You’ll now find red bistro tables with black chairs placed in six-foot circles to encourage proper distancing. There are QR codes at each table, in addition to two kiosks on 15th Street for ordering, with menus for all the participating vendors.
Always known as a go-to downtown brunch place for families, Bubby’s is now serving their in-demand comfort food all day in a new outdoor space with easy slide-on benches that are super kid-friendly and spaced apart for safety. At Bubby’s you will find dishes that will please both you and the kids including: granola with fresh fruit, avocado toast and of course their famous fried chicken with biscuits.
If you’ve found yourself daydreaming lately about being stranded on a Caribbean island, we totally know the feeling. While plane travel may not be in the cards any time soon for your family, you can still get your fill of those Caribbean vibes at Lolo’s Seafood Shack in Harlem. The minute you walk it into Lolo’s, your family will feel transported as the light blue and green colors of the water dominate the restaurant’s decor and you feel like your about to eat lunch at a beachside wooden shack.
If it’s a simple and healthy farm-to-table dining experience your family is looking for, Westville has got you covered. With outdoor dining now available in almost all Westville locations, safety is of utmost importance. In addition to spacing tables six feet apart, they’ve also instituted handmade wooden dividers and made masks readily available just in case you’ve misplaced yours. Because Westville prides itself on the freshest of produce, the menu changes daily to reflect that.
So someone wants dumplings for lunch and somebody else wants a pastrami sandwich and somebody else wants to only eat donuts, what’s a family to do? DeKalb’s open air market at City Point is bound to put a smile on everyone’s face and fill up everyone’s tummy too. In addition to being a foodie's dream, the open air market gives kids a chance to run around a bit while you peruse the various food vendors which include hand-pulled noodles, polish dumplings, Mochi ice cream and Thai street food.
Brooklyn Crab calls itself a "shack", but it's more like a (charming) behemoth offering tasty food, good times, and great views of the water. The casual restaurant serves up sustainable seafood over two sprawling levels that include the funky beer garden area dubbed "Reed Park." There are amusements aplenty here for you and the kids, including cornhole and yes, a mini golf course.
Whether it’s the Applewood smoked bacon cheeseburger or the French toast, you can’t go wrong at a meal served at this cozy Harlem mainstay that features wraparound sidewalk seating. Brunch is your best bet for the picky eaters in your family. Then again, any kid who tries the Pipette Pasta & Taleggio AKA mac n cheese will want to come back to this stylish spot again and again.
So authentically French, you’ll spot this sunny café from a block away thanks to its welcoming yellow and blue awning and massive umbrellas to shade you from the hot sidewalks. Once inside, your kids will get a kick out of the Parisian décor, including authentic shutters, paintings and French flags. Your kids will love trying out a massive Croque Monsieur or Croque Madame and pairing either with a cone of frites. They’ll never request a PB&J again.
Take a step off the Hudson River Park paths and zip over to Yves, a corner bistro with sidewalk seating that’s in prime people-watching territory. We recommend visiting here for this sweet spot’s signature pancakes served with chocolate chips or blueberry a la mode.