Ten Hope Garden, Williamsburg

As New York City slowly continues moving forward in re-opening, residents in the five boroughs have been doing their best to enjoy these summer days. After a couple of long months indoors, for the most part, people seem ready to venture out.


This doesn’t mean ditching the masks or attending large gatherings, but instead finding ways to enjoy the things we loved doing pre-COVID while continuing to put safety first. And while not all post-pandemic activities have returned, there are still ways in which residents can go out, enjoy a meal, listen to some music or even catch a movie while showing local businesses some love.


Despite the fact that indoor dining remains on hold indefinitely, restaurant owners have turned creative in converting their outdoor areas into a big, or in some cases small, dining room. Between taking over sidewalks, parking lots and courtyard space, restauranteurs are doing their best to provide customers with the opportunity to once again enjoy some of their favorite cuisine.


Up until recently, there wasn’t an option to dine-out, but many of our favorite spots are finding ways to “make it work”. Diners are ready to take a break from the endless baking and cooking and head out to enjoy time outdoors while supporting their favorite eateries.


Now when it comes to finding places to eat, Brooklyn has no shortage of restaurants. From well-known spots to hidden gems, there is something for everyone. Whether you’re looking for a great lunch spot, an evening out, or even a weekend brunch, we’ve got you covered. Many places are on a first come first serve basis while some restaurants still require reservations, so be sure to check first before venturing out.

Fornino by Brooklyn Bridge Park

ForninoA view of the skyline serves as a beautiful backdrop for this waterfront eatery located at Pier 6 in Brooklyn Bridge Park. Serving some of the best wood-fire pizza in NYC, the restaurant boasts outdoor seating for 100 and a rooftop happy hour Monday thru Friday from 4-7pm. In addition, the restaurant also has a location in Greenpoint where they offer seating in their backyard space which accommodates up to 24 people.


Ainslie – Located in Williamsburg, the Ainslie provides its customers with multiple outdoor dining options. Between the backyard garden, sidewalk seating, and the newly opened rooftop, there is plenty of seating options. An all you can drink brunch menu is available on weekends from 12-4pm.

Ten Hope Garden – Another great spot in Williamsburg is the Mediterranean inspired New American restaurant. Some features include a vine laced open-air patio where diners can enjoy dinner starting at 5pm weekdays and noon on weekends. With 2500 square feet to work with, there is plenty of space to socially distance while still enjoying a delicious meal.


Palo Santo – The Park Slope neighborhood is known for their beautiful Brownstones and this Pan-Latin restaurant resides in one of the many that line the area’s streets. Despite the limited sidewalk seating, Palo Santo boasts a beautiful, tented garden for seating out back. Along with serving dinner, brunch is available starting at 10am on both Saturday and Sunday.


Morgan’s Brooklyn BBQThis BBQ spot is not just a restaurant, it’s a destination! With choices like brisket, ribs, and pork smoked ‘low and slow’ in fire-burning pits, you just might think you’re in the Lone Star state, not Prospect Heights. This true neighborhood gem, which also cooks up seven different types of Mac and Cheese, offers safe-distance seating with outdoor picnic tables.


ParkLifeSituated in the heart of the Gowanus, Parklife offers not only the option to dine outside, but on Wednesday’s you can reserve a seat for their outdoor cinema series. ParkLife even offers ordering from your smartphone. You can start off your meal with one of their signature cocktails, including house margaritas and Aperol Spritz on tap. And now that summer’s here, frozen margaritas are another refreshing drink choice. As for the food, the dishes are inspired by Mexican, Parisian, and Texan flavors. To top off your meal, choose from a variety of their homemade desserts.


Outerspace – Tucked inside an industrial corner of Bushwick and 99 Scott, Outerspace offers a seasonal restaurant serving mostly vegetarian-American cuisine. Due to the fact all events were put on hold, the co-founders decided to incorporate food as a way to bring people together. The 6500 square foot space holds up to 126 guests and is filled with umbrellas, picnic tables, and a multitude of potted plants, making you feel like you’re in a tropical garden. The unique space is a great spot for people to get together, eat, drink, and have fun.

Ainslie, Willamsburg

Though going to the movies has been put on hold the Skyline Drive, a photo and filming location in Greenpoint, is providing people with a unique drive-in cinema experience. Spots are on a first come first serve basis, but tickets can be purchased online. The movies playing are classics, some more recent than others, but there’s something for everyone. In an effort to keep the movie tradition alive, you can choose to watch the movie from inside your car (sound is through your car radio or from one of their rentable radios) and for anyone who has those movie snack cravings, food trucks are located on-site.


Along with dining out or catching a flick, local beaches, boardwalks, waterfronts, parks, and zoos, are a few additional outdoor options to consider when looking for different ways to enjoy summer days. Although summer travel plans have been put on hold for many people, now is a great time to get outside and explore your city.