Bartaco eats alfresco in Port Chester. Photo by Manny Vargas
Reserve a table under the clear sky and indulge in a generous portion of fresh air, with the sun or the stars.
Authors Cristiana Caruso and Michelle Gillian Larkin
It's that wonderful time of year when the sun takes on that warm, long-awaited golden hue, and foodies everywhere take to nature in search of their next, best meal in the sky. Whether it's a restaurant with a bouncy patio, terrace or porch, or a blossoming garden (book early if you've got a water view), all thoughts turn to sheltered evenings on sunny days and cold, windy nights. Our dining scene offers alfresco options as vast and dazzling as the sky (well, almost), and we've combed the county, both north and south, from the Sound Shore to the Rivertowns, and everything in between, to bring you this curated guide to eating, drinking and enjoying all that Westchester has to offeren plein air.
Carved fountains, sculptures and stone benches almost under the "garden!" yet the scene is so calm and civilized with fine Croatian cuisine that provides a borrowed portal to the beloved and longed for homeland of the owner's youth. The soothing aromas of simply prepared fresh, whole grilled fish and succulent roasts waft through the space, adding to the gently tense feeling of being secretly transported to the European countryside.
Outdoor lunch in Dubrovnik. Courtesy of Dubrovnik
The place to be and be seen at lunchtime (or, really, anytime), the nautical-themed deck at this classy waterfront taco haven is constantly packed and endlessly overflowing with upbeat, positive vibes. Dine on freshly made guac and chips, tacos and rice bowls at a sun-drenched table next to the placidly rippling Byram River, or settle into a shaded, blue-and-white outdoor couch where you won't feel out of place sipping a quick marg while munching on the signature ice cream cone.
Outdoor dining at bartaco in Port Chester. Photo by Manny Vargas
Just imagine: Tiki drink in hand, toes in the sand, someone delivering snacks to your beach chair... in Rye. That's right folks; have a beach dining experience that doesn't require a plane ticket or a beach club membership. From frozen cocktails to lobster rolls, the good times keep on coming as live music from 107.1 The Peak plays all summer long. So now, when the group chat explodes with the question, “I want to drink near water; where are we going?" - you got the answer.
Don't let the location of this hidden gem fool you: although Lunello is part of the Imperial Yacht Club, it is open to the public and non-members. Dine on the side of the yacht on an expansive menu of Italian comfort food and countless salads, extra crisp and light after a day on the water. (Waiver:Westchester Magazineis not responsible for financial decisions made over a bottle of wine while sitting next to dozens of yachts.)
On a spacious elevated deck overlooking the River Byram, the only big decisions here are bottles or jugs and whether or not to top your classic pub pie (with that legendary cracker-thin crust) with the signature hot oil that has put this Irish pub on the rise. map. No matter how you slice it, the open-air setting is a safe bet on sunny days for those who enjoy light fare combined with lively surroundings and beautiful vistas.
Located in the former La Panetière space, Ocean Blue Prime adds "rooftop dining" to its repertoire. Now offering bountiful fare, literally, diners can feel the sublime breezes off the Long Island Sound as they swan dive into dishes like fluke crudo, Prime, dry-aged steaks and lobster spaghetti. Save room for one of the award-winning wines in stock.
Westchester's only sultan tent—with retractable sides that offer a warm swaddling on colder nights—may have put this exquisite Moroccan spot on the map, but the simmering aromas of signature tagines and kebabs bouncing in the breeze prove just as enticing. For a full outdoor experience, the intimate stone patio and grassy garden (complete with roasting fireplace and hookah area) shine equally.
Outdoor dining in Argana. Photo courtesy of Argana restaurant
The Hudson River couldn't be much closer here, given that you're free to get up from your seat in the sophisticated, sheltered patio and walk across the lawn right to it. Back at the table, your fellow diners will enjoy tall, easy-to-share plates of grilled shishito peppers and palate-pleasing sushi that pave the way for starters of branzino, filet mignon and risotto; it all complements - even competes - with unrivaled, almost touchable, water vistas.
Outdoor dining at 3 Westerly. Courtesy of 3 Westerly
When you're looking for a hip venue with a knowledgeable clientele, this chic gathering spot will meet your every need. With tables so close to the water you'd think you were dining with white caps and views of New York, this trendy restaurant serves up top-notch pizza and has a 15-seat lounge and bar that fills up. Stop by for happy hour - Monday through Thursday, 3:00 p.m. to 6 p.m. and on Fridays from noon to 3 p.m. - with a young (and thirsty) crowd enjoying $2 oysters, $7 craft beer and $10 cocktails.
Outdoor dining at Half Moon. Courtesy of Half Moon
The Bridge View Tavern does a lot of heavy lifting for the culinary scene: a classic pub offering plenty of beers on tap and everyone's favorite bar specials while the menu is full of top-notch and original dishes (don't overlook the elk burger). Head to the beer garden for an Oktoberfest atmosphere with just as much endless beer.
In a sculpted miniature forest, caressed by cool Hudson River breezes and the heady scent of seasonal blooms, alfresco dining (or, simply, effortless snacking) happens on an unparalleled scale. Rabbit scarpariello is a staple of the Italian-dominant menu, which is peppered with satisfying pastas and brick-oven pizzas, cheese platters and a raw bar, all paired perfectly with a wide selection of wines and an inspired craft cocktail offering. (Secure a spot in the spectacular new greenhouse and let us know how it goes!)
The cool waters of the Hudson River in sight won't induce illicit shivers reminiscent of the off-season when lounging by the fireplace on the cozy patio of this American bistro artfully located inside the historic Dobbs Ferry Metro-North train station. Create cocktails, sharable apps, salads, sandwiches and main meals from Baked Spaghetti with Zucchini and Slow Roasted Brisket delight and warmth from the inside out.
It may seem like nothing could be more beautiful than the lush green lawns of the regal mansion on the Tarrytown House Estate — with twinkling rope lights and a lounge in front and patio, garden tables and a glowing fire pit out back — but the fairytale setting is definitely second to Chef Dale's fictional garden Taldea on classic Cantonese food. Must-have dishes from this highly creative, entertaining James Beard-nominated chef include dry-aged beef stickers, boneless Kung Pao chicken wings, and every incarnation of noodles and fried rice under the stars.
Photo by Young Skeletons
Reminiscent of dining on the bow of a ship, the second-floor deck of this brick bastion of innovative Thai and Malay cuisine draws river watchers and sight-seekers like mermaids to sailors (but with a better ending). All the exotic and tantalizing favorites are covered here, from countless curries and noodle dishes (try the one called Drunkman) to house specialties such as roast penang duck, Thai coconut shells and jackfruit and potato curry.
Outdoor dining at the Sambal Thai & Malay restaurant. Courtesy of Sambal Thai & Malay
The bluestone courtyard extends straight onto the famous riverside promenade with stunning views from every point on the compass. The restaurant's northern farm display is the use of fresh seafood and produce that fuses a New England feel with a Westchester locale. Charred chili shrimp, whole roasted branzino and crab "BLT" are some of the options you can't miss when dining on some of the most innovative menus this side of the Hudson.
The hidden patio behind Harper's is one of the district's not-so-secret secret spaces where locals gather most evenings for dinner in the shadow of one of the original walls of the Croton Aqueduct, surrounded by herbs, flowers and ivy. The casual comfort of a local bistro is charming, but if you want to bubble and sip on an extensive bar program, do yourself a favor and make a reservation.
Rustic, welcoming and hearth-warmed, locals and regulars alike agree: A cold whiskey or a warm whiskey goes easy on the patio of this neighborhood gastropub known for its beer list and eclectic regionally sourced dishes. There's no doubt they'd recommend the simple delight of a burger that packs a punch with house-seasoned brisket on a puffy brioche bun, or a more unusual serving of juicy grilled lamb chops with tzatziki and tomato jam.
A hot scene and a chilling view of the Hudson River illuminate the expansive patio at this Tarrytown hub where Best of Westchester award-winning handcrafted cocktails tango with wood-fired pizzas and an outstanding locally-sourced cheese board flourishing from Hudson Valley farms. Pasture-raised lamb meatballs are another easy choice and so easy to pop while watching the ships sail by.
As the sun sets into the river, seasoned diners grab a prime spot on the patio next to this restored 1910 red brick factory hot spot and enjoy elegantly prepared modern American entrees (think fried scallops with fava beans) or Bistro's French-inspired fare from moules frites, steak frites (hangar or 16 oz dry aged NY strip) or the signature burger. (Just in case, there's also a view from almost every seat in the house.)
Outdoor dining at Red Hat on the River. Courtesy of Red Hat on the River
Beers and views are the order of the day at this Hudson hub. From pilsners to IPAs, all craft wines are brewed on site and offer seasonal specials. For snacks, grill plates and appetizers like popcorn shrimp and Irish nachos provide a good coating for the stomach (well drink, eat well, as the saying goes). Sip as the sun goes down and don't be surprised when that pint becomes a six-pack.
Dine on a piece of Tarrytown's maritime history. Started by villagers who wanted to boat for sport on the Hudson, the boat club turned into an ideal meeting place for alfresco evenings on the waterfront. Recently under new ownership, enjoy steak frites, Buffalo calamari and a delicious crab cake po'boy, with front row seats to a stunning summer sunset.
Sit under the pergola for stunning views of the Hudson in the garden courtyard of this restored riverside abbey. Dining from a menu thoughtfully prepared with ingredients sourced from local farmers and purveyors (Barolo braised short ribs or local burrata, anyone?), Apropos offers an idyllic Hudson Valley day for the books.
Outdoor dining is luxurious at Apropos. Courtesy of Apropos Restaurant
South of 287
Tucked away from the village's log-clogged main thoroughfare and reminiscent of a quaint Tuscan enclave, this district boasts not only a terrace, but a secluded storybook courtyard where just a few small tables are tucked away amid climbing ivy, flowering plants and the melodious chirping of birds. Regionally inspired, fine Italian cuisine is accented with homemade pasta, local produce and imported specialty ingredients, and a touch of romance in the air that is hard to miss.
In this modern interpretation of a traditional wood-fired pizzeria and wine bar, Sunday breakfast comes with live jazz on the terrace, which is also the perfect place for any other day (or night) of the week for crunchy food. , crispy pizza, an array of tummy-teasing pastas, flourishing pressed paninis and people watching along the ever-bustling Garth Road. Don't be shy about doing this while lifting a lightly blackened slice in one hand and a flipping glass in the other.
Outdoor dining in Via Forno. Courtesy of Via Forno
Have you ever seen the light canopy of the sawmill bistro and wondered: What is there? The answer is La Lanterna. But don't let the location near the park put you off: the wine garden is quite charming, with tall trees filled with light and comfortable iron tables. If you're dining outside on a balmy summer night, you'll be treated to a stunning fireplace, enhancing a coziness that's almost as good as a hug from Nonna.
Outdoor dining at La Lanterna. Courtesy of La Lanterna
Surrounded by vibrant greenery and flowering plants, the outdoor option at Donjit feels like you're supposed to be drinking afternoon tea, not a tequila-filled watermelon (which we highly recommend, btw). This Latin fusion favorite not only dishes up delicious dishes, like lomo saltado and roasted pernil (and Latin sushi, if you're feeling adventurous), but tropically themed and well-crafted cocktails elevate the experience.
For an alfresco meal like no other in Westchester (actually, no other), grab a table on the pool deck at Lake Isle Country Club, then get comfortable and watch the glowing fireplaces kill any chill while creating a chic atmosphere with every ripple of water. The menu is varied and made for tasting with small plates of grilled octopus and short rib arancini, but for stronger appetites there's a fabulous Wagyu burger and a range of prime steaks and chops.
From the street, the red brick facade suggests a modern, urban den (which, no doubt, it is), but 'round the back, tall trees and lush greenery wrap around an intimate terrace lit by string lights, tiki torches and the heady aroma of homemade pasta, inventive but humble Italian appetizers (don't miss the butternut squash cutlet parmigiana) and freshly baked bomboloni that knock your socks off.
Mostly an open-air venue, with most of the restaurant's seating taking up the expansive patio that stretches along the River's edge, this is one of the best places in Westchester to lounge and munch.en plein airalong the Hudson. The atmosphere is cool and relaxed with a menu to match, dominated by tacos (order the slow-cooked birria and poached shrimp), salads and transcendent sights and sounds.
North of 287
This Tuscan farmhouse-style eatery has been a fixture in the affluent countryside for four decades, and its spacious terrazzo is a sizzling alfresco spot for traditional pasta bowls, crusty house-made pizzas (the sauce, fresh mozz and dough are all made from scratch) and Italian the classics of spicy chicken skarto and zuppa de pesce. It's also a memorable meal indoors, but somehow it's even better under a vine-strewn pergola amid lush tomato plants, leafy greens and a babbling brook.
Photo by Stephen Jmihalchik
Cozy vegetable gardens and lush landscaping separate the 50-person patio from the road in La Vista. The outdoor seating comes with the same old-world pomp as the inside, including tableside presentations, dessert carts and generous pours of homemade brandy. Under swaying Edison bulbs, dine on favorites like veal scaloppini and grilled octopus—and peek at the fruit on your plate, because you might just be dining near where it was picked just hours earlier.
She is a soldier
Behind the interior dining room, a peaceful terrace awaits you, facing a small interior garden dotted with flowering trees and a bubbling fountain, made for relaxation and lingering, perhaps with drops of red and a plate of sumptuous burrata. Expect that plus all the Italian comfort classics under the sun, along with elevated specialties and the warm grace that permeates the air of a family-owned and operated neighborhood favorite.
Some believe that there is no garden like a beer garden, and in this case they are absolutely right. Traditional German specialties, cooked with family pride and kissed with a touch of French flair, are complemented by beer, wine, cocktails and Austrian brandies and liqueurs, which can be tasted at traditional picnic settings and ordinary tables and chairs.
The wraparound porch draws visitors from the road, but the inventive, New American dishes of duck dumplings, truffle mac 'n' cheese, and cauliflower steak with edamame puree instantly turn them into regulars. Burgers and steaks, craft cocktails and beer and wine round off the experience and make it a complete good time.
Tucked away from the hustle and bustle and nestled in the tranquility of the neighboring lake, this gastropub offers the perfect bites for an alfresco afternoon. Philly cheesesteak spring rolls and Buffalo cauliflower are available — unless you opt for something lighter, like tuna crudo or a dozen fresh Blue Point oysters. Whatever your stomach tells you, the result will be satisfactory.
A formal, friendly courtyard adorned with faux ivy walls and hand-painted murals celebrating Mexican culture is perfect for diving into traditional Latin/Mexican dishes that tempt, satisfy, and discerning foodies. Authentic street tacos and rice bowls share menu space with steak entrees and shrimp ranchera, all complemented by more than 100 tequilas and mezcals behind the bar.
Enjoy real Italian cuisine on the outdoor terrace of Ristorante Lucia, full of lush greenery on all sides. The sprawling canopy of vines and twinkling lights seem like they've come from the Amalfi Coast, while the rich menu of pasta, fish, meat and vegetable dishes requires little or no convincing that you've left the country. With sprayer in hand, we challenge you to spot the difference.
To sample what is arguably Westchester's most unique alfresco dining setting, grab a coveted spot (there are only about two dozen of them) at one of the quaint, rustic picnic tables perched atop the front porch of this 1776 farmhouse, which boasts a rustic refined foodie vibe and four hectares of arable agricultural land in terraces. Regardless of the season, exceptionally fresh produce appears on every plate (thanks to a stocked cellar), with beef, poultry and fish sourced from ethically-minded family farms and co-ops as staples.
It may not be the South of France, but a wide terrace adorned with cascading vineyards, perennial gardens and the shade of a grand old maple tree is a pretty sweet spot to enjoy some classicsI do not know whatin the heart of one of the most picturesque villages in the county. Don't be alarmed if there's a whiff of the American South in the air - among the quiches, Nicoise and ratatouille salads, mussels and braised leaves there's a hot grill; namely the ribs of St.
Outdoor dining at Le Jardin Du Roi. Courtesy of Kraljev vrt
Related:Here's where you can enjoy the most beautiful patio in Westchester
The fresh air around you while eating and the laid back and relaxing approach to your dinner can help your mind and body feel rejuvenated. Also, in many cases, you are spending time with your friends or family. And this can also be quite helpful for you here.How can you make restaurant guests comfortable where al fresco dining is available? ›
Your customers will enjoy sitting outside in comfortable chairs. Add some umbrellas for shade. You'll find that sidewalk seating attracts people walking by and encourages them to visit your restaurant. During the evening, add some candles for ambiance.Why do people like the outdoors so much? ›
Studies also show that being outside in nature is relaxing, reducing our stress, cortisol levels, muscle tension and heart rates – all of which are risk factors for cardiovascular disease.Why do some people prefer to be outside? ›
Our bodies and minds love being outdoors. It's where we are in our natural states. It's where opportunities feel limitless, and it's where we most experience genuine freedom and joy. Honor yourself by making the commitment to spend more time exploring our beautiful world.How do you make a guest feel special in a restaurant? ›
- Genuinely welcome your guests. If there's anything COVID has taught us, it's that guests are the lifeblood of our industry. ...
- Give a pre-service gift. ...
- Use the guest's name. ...
- Train your servers to sell each dish.
Most people use the adjective alfresco to describe a meal, like a picnic or barbecue, that you eat out of doors in fine weather. The word can also be spelled al fresco, which is the way it's written in its native Italian, in which it means "in the fresh air."Why is Al Fresco dining so popular? ›
Alfresco is an Italian word that means “in the fresh air.” In the past months, alfresco dining gained great popularity as a result of the health and safety protocols being implemented throughout the country. In simple terms, it means eating outside or in the open air.Where do people spend the most time outside? ›
Adults who spend the most time in nature were between ages 18 and 34 and had college degrees, the survey found. People living in western or north-central regions — which includes Minnesota — were also at the top of the list for time spent outside.How can I enjoy being outside more? ›
- Explore a local park.
- Walk a mile.
- Check out a new neighborhood.
- Camp someplace new.
- Camp someplace old.
- Dance in the rain.
- Find the end of a rainbow.
- Take a nap in the grass.
Even those times when you're feeling busy and rushed, you should make it a priority to spend at least 20 minutes outside every day. It's free, easy, and single-handedly one of the most beneficial things we can do for our overall health and wellbeing.
When you're exposed to sunlight your body will make more serotonin, which can boost your mood and make you feel better. High levels of serotonin will make you a feeling positive and full of energy.Is it normal to not like going outside? ›
If you used to like going out but doing anymore, this might be a sign of depression or social anxiety. A common symptom of depression is anhedonia—the inability to feel pleasure or enjoy things. Your dislike of going out can be isolated, and you may enjoy other things. In that case, it's probably not a big problem.Are people happier when they are outside? ›
Spending time in nature is one of the most effective ways to hack your feel-good chemicals and improve your mood. Nature makes you feel more alert, rejuvenated, and alive. If you spend enough time outdoors, you can stay happy and avoid feelings of depression.What is the most important things for a great dining experience? ›
Other factors—good value, good service, cleanliness, quality food and drink—all point to experience, just as they have for decades. Factors like speed, delivery, online ordering and technology are increasingly important, and they may determine a restaurant's ability to deliver “good value.”How can I be an amazing guest? ›
- Bring A Gift. ...
- Be Respectful Of Their Schedules. ...
- Let Them Know When You're Arriving and Leaving. ...
- Ask About The Rules. ...
- Help Wash The Dishes. ...
- Offer To Pay For A Meal. ...
- Leave Your Space Cleaner Than Before. ...
- Make Sure To Say Thank You!
alfresco \al-FRESS-koh\ adjective or adverb. : taking place or located in the open air : outdoor, outdoors. Examples: The restaurant has a lovely outdoor patio for customers who want to dine alfresco.What do the Italians call eating outside? ›
Al fresco is an Italian phrase we've all heard before. It's used in English to mean 'outdoors', perhaps most often in British media, where it pops up in every article about picnics, barbecues, or outdoor dining or entertaining of any sort.What is eating outside called? ›
Outdoor dining, also known as al fresco dining or dining alfresco, is eating outside.What to eat from outside? ›
- Skillet Beef and Broccoli. ...
- Easy Gnocchi with Creamy Herb Sauce. ...
- Sheet-Pan Caprese Chicken with Potatoes. ...
- Italian Vegetable Foil Packs. ...
- Spaghetti Cacio e Pepe. ...
- Grilled Sweet Potato Salad. ...
- Baked Shrimp with Orzo and Feta. ...
- Black and Bleu Steak Skillet for Two.
Why Is Restaurant Food So Expensive? According to the point-of-sale company BNG, the food industry follows a standard cost-to-menu price formula of 28% to 32%. That means restaurants charge at least double — often much more — for any given item on the menu. The markup from wholesale is typically about 300%.
Sirocco, Bangkok, Thailand
An iconic restaurant offering Mediterranean-inspired dining way up high on the 63rd floor of the Lebua at State Tower hotel, which stands at 800 feet (244m) tall. It's the world's highest al fresco restaurant and a hot spot in the city that attracts a stylish crowd.
Outdoor kitchens are very popular right now and not just due to the pandemic. Increased interest in outdoor living spaces predates our recently turbulent times. Once viewed as a lavish feature that was typically found in luxury homes, outdoor kitchens now have much more mainstream appeal.Why do people love street food so much? ›
All the food is amazing
This is probably the best part of the street food craze – the amazing dishes you get to try. With so many varied dishes and cultures being represented through food, you can find amazing flavours, cooking techniques and ingredients coming together in meals that make your mouth water.
In India, most people prefer to have street food since it's cheaper and delicious. Street foods are cheaper due to less production compared with big restaurants without the overheads of paying for a load of staff, a restaurant space, building maintenance and all the other costs of owning a restaurant.Why do people eat out instead of cooking? ›
Eating out also requires less effort than cooking your own meal. You can enjoy people's company without worrying about having to cook for yourself or stress over making a meal for others. Restaurants can also help expand someone's palate so that they can learn about new foods, flavors, and creative combinations.Does an outdoor kitchen increase property value? ›
Outdoor kitchens are popular additions, and most experts estimate that homeowners with kitchens in their outdoor living spaces will break even on the investment when selling their homes. According to Absolute Outdoor Kitchens, homes with outdoor kitchens can potentially see an ROI between 100% and 200%.What is the average cost of an outdoor kitchen? ›
The national average cost of an outdoor kitchen is typically $13,180 (or $495 per linear foot) — but project costs typically range anywhere from $5,060 to $17,280.Which city has the most street food? ›
1. Delhi. The capital of the country is also known to be the food capital of India for food lovers. They have some of the best street food city in India, widely famous for its range of street food like Chaat, Chhole Bhature, to the amazing Butter Chicken.Is it OK to eat street food everyday? ›
The only drawback of street food is that it falls under the category of what most deem as junk food. It is true that a large part of what constitutes street food is devoid of nutrition and any significant health benefits, but there are some dishes that may not necessarily fall into the list of foods one must avoid.What are the most popular street foods? ›
- Lumpiang Shanghai.
- Karaage. ...
- Bánh mì ...
- Paratha. ...
- Gringas. ...
- Guotie. ...
- Carnitas. Carnitas, a popular Mexican dish, was included in the rankings. ...
- Carne Asada Tacos. According to Taste Atlas, these are the 'world's first tacos,' and first originated in the 1500s in Mexico. ...
Time – Street Food
Items don't need hours of slow cooking or ample time to marinade, everything is prepared to order! The stall owners themselves want to keep the line moving as quickly as possible so they can serve even more customers! Restaurants typically have much longer waiting times!
People who patronize street food, have been reported to suffer from food borne diseases like diarrhea, cholera, typhoid fever, and food poisoning.What day do most people eat out? ›
Courtesy of the National Restaurant Association, here are the three busiest days of the year. Mother's Day comes in as the busiest day of the year. Valentine's Day comes in at second with Father's Day at third. Let's take a look at some statistics and tips for these three busy days.Is it better to eat out or at home? ›
Cooking at Home is Healthier Than Eating Out
When compared with take-out or going out at fast food chains, a study showed those who cook more often had an overall more healthy diet and lower levels of cholesterol than people consuming restaurant food or unhealthy foods on occasion.
Americans went out to eat less in March compared to last year but spent more money at restaurants.