Start your engines, ladies and gentleman: Al fresco season is officially upon us. We’ve got ten new spots to add to our ever-growing list of open-air go-tos, perfect for sipping rosé and eating smoked meat in the sun. And who knows, if fall and winter end up being as enduringly warm as last year, we may not dine and drink inside until after Christmas Day.
We’re already a fan of Pearl’s authentic Caribbean eats like salted cod fritters, bake n’ shark and curried conch and dumplings, but this island-inspired hideaway should really come into its own once their outdoor arena finally opens. We’re hoping for sorrel shandies and fruity rum punch served from hatch-roofed bars, and whole, jerk-rubbed animals roasted on fragrant fire pits.
178 N 8th Street, Williamsburg
Equipped with heat lamps, there’s no reason to let a brisk spring evening keep you from a picnic table in Meckleburgs enclosed backyard, especially once fortified with sambal butter roasted oysters, a salt baked potato with slab bacon, a porchetta and broccoli rabe sandwich, and a draft of Finback Brewery’s Tropical Nightz.
293 Grand Avenue, Clinton Hill
Most eateries set out a few umbrella tables, a couple of tiki torches and a potted basil plant and call it a day. Not so for Loosie’s Kitchen—the almost entirely al fresco adjunct to the subterranean speakeasy, Loosie Rouge—whose arcadian outdoor haven, bedecked with a trellised, stone-floored entryway, communal wooden tables set on throw rug-patterned platforms, and makeshift walls painted with cerulean stripes and butter yellow moons—is truly a décor de force.
91 S 6th Street, Williamsburg
Kimoto Rooftop Beer Garden
Boasting killer views of Downtown Brooklyn and beyond from a meandering, 2,400-square foot terrace, this sky high bar and restaurant makes a welcome addition to the area’s long stagnant dining scene, offering an expansive Asian beer selection, Far East-inflected cocktails, and modern izakaya-style bites, such as yuzu honey wings, spicy togarashi fries, and kimchi cheese nachos.
216 Duffield Street, Downtown
Brooklyn Barge Bar
Due to a protracted battle for permits from the city, blink and you may have missed the debut of Brooklyn’s first bar on a boat (originally aiming for a May 2015 launch, it both opened and closed last October). Which means they had a whole extra year to work out the kinks before the start of a new spring/summer season—so get ready to semi-permanently dock yourself on Greenpoint’s glorious waterfront, indulging in wine, beer, nautically-themed cocktails, and pub grub like burgers, and barbecue and zucchini sticks prepared in shipping container kitchens.
97 West Street, Greenpoint
The Hop Shop
An estimable beer list—over 100 bottles and 14 drafts—is only one of The Hop Shop’s selling points; another is a plus-sized patio, roomy enough to eventually accommodate a portable bar and backyard smoker, for fleshing out a current menu of Brooklyn Hot Dog’s nitrate-free franks (they’re only $2 each on Tuesdays!).
121 Columbia Street, Columbia Waterfront District
Conceived as a “hotel lobby without the rooms,” this combination work space, coffee shop and bar features a concierge desk, private events area and WiFi-enabled lounge, leading to a bi-level astro turfed courtyard. It offers morning yoga sessions and communal games like cornhole and ping pong, as well as cheap pitchers, dollar oysters and breezy eats, like burgers, po’boys, and mac and cheese.
45 S 3rd Street, Williamsburg
There are precious few undiscovered strips of outdoor space left in Brooklyn, which is why we’re thrilled that this unassuming bodega—bordering the Prospect Expressway—remains largely under the radar. Shaded with graceful trees and umbrella-topped tables, and illuminated with vintage street lamps, its backyard is fully on par with the borough’s most celebrated al fresco establishments, but you won’t pay a premium for your bottles of Bell’s Two Hearted, accompanied by all-day breakfast wraps and create-your-own burrito bowls.
599 5th Avenue, South Slope
Kings County Whiskey Garden
You’ll find Kings County Distillery’s barrel strength bourbon and smooth moonshine sold at liquor stores all over the borough, but why not go straight to the source? Especially now that you can drink flights, punches and juleps in the corn-ringed, twinkle light-festooned garden, along with fare from a changing roster of vendors (last seasons menu included barbecued beef sandwiches and whole hog feasts).
63 Flushing Avenue, Brooklyn Navy Yard
Though not open just yet, this exciting up-and-comer from an Alinea, Per Se and Blue Hill at Stone Barns vet should be good to go by late spring. And while former tenant, Cooklyn, never made much of the Prospect Heights location’s slim backyard, we can’t wait to see what co-owner Ian Rothman will do with it (also the horticulturist at Atera, he hydroponically cultivated over 50 varieties of edible plants in the Tribeca eatery’s basement).
659 Vanderbilt Avenue, Prospect Heights