Thanks to the spontaneous but confusing betch known as Global Warming, the weather in NYC hasn’t totally switched over to fall yet, and our fave leather jackets are still patiently waiting in the closet. Most days, the weather is still in the 70s, and that constitutes outdoor seating weather in our book. I mean, if we can’t use the Bryant Park skating rink as a profile pic backdrop yet, we might as well make the most of this weird, barely-sweater-weather time of the year. If you’re looking to get your last dose of outdoor dining and bomb Instagram lighting, here are the trendiest places to eat outdoors in New York right now:
It takes a lot for us to make the trek to Brooklyn these days, but if you’re sick of your regular Manhattan spots, Aurora is worth the trip. It’s in Williamsburg, so you can expect to see a ton of man buns and recyclable totes, but don’t let that distract you from the restaurant’s amazing food and chill vibe. The outdoor patio is filled with walls of green ivy, and the food itself is almost too pretty to eat. The menu is basically filled with trendy Italian food, so don’t expect avocado toast. Bring friends and share the pasta. Nothing like complex carbs and a good backdrop.
Narcissa is one of those places that is perfect for people with a real appetite, or for models that just need a side of Brussels sprouts post-show. And we’re not just saying that because Karlie Kloss has been spotted here multiple times. Narcissa is trendy and delish, but make sure you sit outside, because the seating is half the experience. People complain that you’re “paying for the atmosphere,” but IDK when that became such a bad thing. The restaurant is kinda hidden inside The Standard East Village, but once you find it, make a reservation and sit outside.
We usually don’t venture to 10th avenue unless it’s 2am and we have a table at Marquee, but Cookshop is one of the better restaurants in Chelsea right now, and the outdoor seating area is everything. Cookshop is perfect for big groups and boozy brunch, so you can enjoy your fourth Bloody Mary while sitting under the restaurant’s photogenic green awnings. They also offer specialty baked goods everyday, so you’ll basically HAVE to order the croissant of the day, or you’re majorly missing out. That would just be a shame.
4. The Pavilion
The Pavilion is one of those restaurants that makes you briefly forget how tragic Union Square really is. It’s set in the middle of the park, and it’s only open in the summer months, so now is basically the last time to get a reservation until next May. The Pavilion’s orange table umbrellas are hard to miss, so if you want to sit outside in Union Square, this is the place to do it. The ambiance is super cute, and it’ll make you disregard the fact that people are doing outdoor public Zumba like, 10 feet away.
5. Untitled at The Whitney
Whether you’re actually down for modern art or just want the trendy geotag of Untitled, you’ve gotta sit outdoors at The Whitney at some point in your brunch career. The restaurant itself is amazing, and it’s basically the go-to outdoor seating in the Meatpacking District if you want to avoid the basic bitches at Catch on a Sunday. Plus, your Instagram of that Milk & Cookies dessert is literally the artsiest thing in the museum to date. You’re so cultured.
Santina is one of those places where you literally forget you’re in NYC, because it’s so damn pretty. First of all, it’s owned by the same team as Carbone, so the food is OBV amazing, and the actual restaurant is this chic, glassed-in space right under the High Line. Plus, they have outdoor seating with pretty lights and umbrellas that are more colorful than your entire wardrobe. Go before it’s too cold to appreciate it.
In most states, betches wake up on Sunday morning with a colossal hangover and no plans to get out of bed until Monday—but not New York betches. New York betches are more passionate about Sunday brunch than Jonathan Cheban is about deep-dish pizza. I mean, you just can’t fake that kind of enthusiasm. No matter how strict of a diet you’re on, it’s totally possible to find a sick brunch spot that will cure your hangover without ruining your health kick. Here are the best ones:
Westville has a few locations around the downtown area, and their menu is literally perfect for a group of hangry girls who needed their egg white omelet like, yesterday. The line is never too bad and there are enough vegetables on the menu to make you forget about the box of Joe’s pizza you devoured last night before passing out. For people who aren’t dieting, their challah bread French toast is bomb.
2. The Butcher’s Daughter
Butcher’s Daughter is the type of place that basically requires you to take at least three Xanax pills to wait in line behind 20 vegan models and a couple Nolita hipsters, but if you have the time and patience, it’s worth it. Butcher’s Daughter advertises as being vegan but they totally serve eggs and other normal brunch items, so don’t worry about needing to cure your hangover with tofu and soy butter. Plus, in the summer they serve boozy popsicles that literally taste like frozen Sangria. It’s a must.
3. Freds at Barneys
Whether you’re an actual uptown betch or you just spent the night at some guy’s apartment on the Upper East Side, Freds is literally the most underrated brunch spot. Their salads are huge enough to make you forget that you’ve been counting your calories all week, and their French fries are unreal if you can convince your friends to split them with you. It’s also just an amazing dining experience, so put on your best romper and pretend you washed your hair this weekend.
4. Coco & Cru
There’s nothing betches love more than hot Australian accents and basic avocado toast, and this place does both perfectly. It’s an Australian-inspired café, so you’ll feel pretty cultured while eating food that is delicious and pretty healthy. The green bowl is filled with roasted green veggies and a poached egg, and is honestly delicious. They also do brunch all day so you don’t have to worry about getting out of bed before noon.
5. Foragers Table
Foragers is all about farm-to-table dining, so you know all the ingredients here are fresh and aren’t loaded with shit. Their brunch menu is easy to navigate for people on the strictest diet (get the Super Green Egg White Omelet) or people who don’t give a fuck (get Orange Blossom Pancakes, extra syrup). They also make a ton of freshly squeezed juices and have great cocktails made with fresh ingredients and herbs. You’re basically getting drunk off organic mint leaves.
If you’re looking for an Instagram-worthy brunch on the Lower East Side, Dimes is your place. They make these amazing healthy bowls with acai and chia seeds and the rest of that superfood family, and they also have amazing toasts with almond butters, seeds, berries, and anything else you could want (to photograph) for brunch. They also make their own sick brunch cocktails, like the Dimes Carajillo and various mimosas depending on which fresh juices they have that day.
7. Ellary’s Greens
Ellary’s Greens is as healthy as it sounds, but it’s possible they have the best brunch food in the West Village. If the Jack’s Wife Freda line is giving you a pounding headache, Ellary’s is usually less busy and the food is super fresh. They do healthy yogurt parfaits and house-made granola, and if you’re feeling like you want a diet break, go for their blueberry-lemon waffle or their apple-filled French toast. They also apparently serve bacon kale mac & cheese, which might be healthy, or might just be bacon mac & cheese with a kale leaf on the side. Get back to us on that.