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Escape City Chaos by Dining in These Backyard Gardens

By Danielle Tcholakian | August 14, 2014 7:27am | Updated on August 15, 2014 5:42pm
 Some of the city's best semi-secret gardens are tucked behind restaurants across the five boroughs.
Backyard Dining
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GREENWICH VILLAGE — Summer is winding down, but that doesn't mean you'll have to stop dining and drinking outside anytime soon.

While the weather is still glorious, and even as fall settles in, you can seek refuge in green spaces tucked into the backyards and side alleys of restaurants all over the city.

Baker & Co. owner Markus Dorfmann said the little garden area of his Greenwich Village restaurant, which seats 20 people comfortably, is in constant demand.

"People always want to sit back here — that's why we don't take reservations," Dorfmann said.


► Where to Drink Outdoors in the Village and SoHo
► A Guide to Outdoor Drinking in Bed-Stuy

► 7 Waterfront Watering Holes in the City

Some outdoor spaces, like Baker & Co.'s, are heated as the weather cools down, staying open through fall and even into winter.

There are options in every borough, from the spacious outdoor beer garden at Killmeyer's on Staten Island to the homey backyard at the old-school Bronx pizza place Louie & Ernie's

DNAinfo New York put together a map of outdoor dining areas that can transport you away from the city's hustle and bustle.

Did we miss your favorite spot? Let us know in the comments below and we'll add it to the map.

Some highlights in each borough:


De Santos, 139 W. 10th St., Greenwich Village

Dinner dishes at this second-floor restaurant in an old brownstone range from $12 to $32. Brunch runs about $12 to $21, and is best enjoyed at the little Parisian cafe tables under the red brick arch in the elegant backyard. A brunch prix fixe offers one dish plus unlimited beverages for $38.

Bustan, 487 Amsterdam Ave., Upper West Side

This new kid on the block boasts classic Mediterranean dishes cooked in an authentic clay oven and served in the pretty yard.

Cheri, 231 Lenox Ave., Harlem

Another new gem, Cheri is nestled on Lenox Avenue among older favorites like Sylvia's and Red Rooster. A former hair salon, the eatery looks more like a giant, comfortable living room than a restaurant, especially with the long family-style dining table at the back, just off the garden area.


Il Bambino, 34-08 31st Ave., Astoria

A self-described "Italian-style paninoteca blended with Spanish-style tapas," Il Bambino is a cute panini and wine bar with reasonably priced drinks and a simple backyard.

Molly Blooms, 43-13 Queens Blvd., Sunnyside

Molly Blooms has a beer garden with happy, bright red mod chairs. Enjoy the frozen cocktails under the strings of lights on the last of the season's balmy summer nights. 


► Bar Corvo, 791 Washington Ave., Prospect Heights

Bar Corvo's lush, verdant garden is perfect for imbibing some of the classic Italian cocktails or affordable wines. The bright, airy atrium is also open year-round, rain or shine.

Cafe LULUc, 214 Smith St., Carroll Gardens

Once you try Cafe LULUc's famous buttery, fluffy-yet-crispy pancakes, it's hard to pay attention to much else. The pancakes are best enjoyed under the shade of the massive tree in the middle of the cozy backyard.


Zest, 977 Bay St., North Shore

Zest's French cuisine is well-suited to the art-filled restaurant, but the interior can't hold a candle to the romantic backyard, adorned with hanging plants, mounted vases of flowers and ornate glass lanterns.

Craft House, 60 Vanduzer St., Stapleton

Craft House's spare backyard dotted with picnic tables is perfect for enjoying their barbecue — and the red velvet ice cream sandwiches customers rave about.


► Pine Tree Cafe at the New York Botanical Garden, Fordham

If you're the "go big or go home" type, there's no better New York City garden than The Bronx's New York Botanical Garden. The recently redesigned Pine Tree Cafe has some outdoor tables amid the surrounding tall trees, as well as seating under the arched wood ceiling of the sun-drenched dining room. The gardens are closed every Monday except Labor Day, and admission to the grounds for non-member adults is $13.