In broad daylight on a side street or by the light of the silvery moon on a rooftop, dining and drinking alfresco in NYC is an experience not to be missed. There’s something about summer that brings out the creativity in local chefs and mixologists and drives them to excellence. And consider this: With the skyline spread out before you or even just an intimate piece of it, there’s no denying where you are. So, make the most of the weather, the cuisine and the locale.
HGU ROOFTOP BY JOHN DELUCIE
If you were to close your eyes and taste Chef John DeLucie’s cool shrimp ceviche, you would swear that you were dining by the Atlantic Ocean in Montauk on Long Island. But don’t close them. At this Midtown Manhattan aerie, the Empire State Building is on the horizon.
HGU New York Hotel, 34 E. 32nd St., 212.779.3432, www.hgunyc.com
As a hip destination, Jersey City, just across the Hudson River, trends hot, and this Asian gastropub from “Top Chef” alumna Leah Cohen is one reason why. Here, you can break the heat with a frosty beer, a spicy burger and views of the Lower Manhattan skyline that send chills up and down the spine.
Harborside, 200 hudson st., jersey city, new jersey, 201.345.7775, www.piggybackbar.com
THE CANTOR ROOF GARDEN BAR
This summer, art lovers raise bourbon-and-white-peach “Poptails,” served with prosecco, and toast Alicja Kwade’s “ParaPivot” installation on the roof of the Metropolitan Museum. As you gaze at the artwork and Central Park beyond it, you will hear the music of the spheres.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1000 Fifth Ave., 212.535.7710, www.metmuseum.org
THE BEACH AT DREAM DOWNTOWN
Dress down not up at this eco-friendly poolside restaurant and bar, where you can lounge in your swimsuit, catch a few rays and indulge in Pacific Island-inspired fish tacos and lobster rolls. The straw you sip your Femme Fatale cocktail through is biodegradable.
Dream Downtown Hotel, 355 W. 16th St., 212.229.2336, www.dreambeach.club
SUMMER GARDEN AND BAR AT ROCK CENTER CAFÉ
New York real estate is all about location. And Rockefeller Center has lucked out in that department: It’s smack-dab in the center of Midtown. Diners seeking refreshment in this oasis, presided over by the gilded Prometheus statue, find it at breakfast, lunch, happy hour and dinner. American faves include trendy avocado toast and buttermilk chicken bites to share. There’s even a menu just for kids.
20 W. 50th st., 212.332.7620, www.summergardenandbar.com
TIME OUT MARKET NEW YORK
At 24,000 square feet on two floors, the newest kid on the culinary block is a scene: a melting pot of two dozen top eateries—from Ivy Stark (Mexican) to Little Ada (Middle Eastern) to Mr. Taka (ramen)—three bars, a performance stage and exhibition space. Up on the roof, the unimpeded views of the East River, Brooklyn Bridge and skyline are every bit as delicious and varied has the food.
55 Water St., DUMBO, Brooklyn, 917.810.4855, www.timeoutmarket.com/newyork