When one imagines the hustle and bustle of Midtown, one doesn’t automatically think, ‘outdoor dining.’ But the start of summer opens the doors to some of our favorite restaurants and their patios, backyards and rooftops. Here are our top al fresco picks around midtown.
Al fresco is Italian for, ‘in the open air,’ making Tuscan-inspired Morso an obvious choice. The menu focuses on simple, seasonal ingredients, and most dishes can be ordered morso (smaller size) or tutto (full size)—perfect for sharing. Vibrant European pop art peppers the walls, but it’s the views of the Ed Koch Queensboro bridge from Morso’s garden—and the pasta,of course—which makes this colorful eatery worth visiting.
Morso: 420 E 59th St; 212-759-2706
What’s in a name? While we’re sure that by any other a rose would smell just as sweet, we’re certain that Cannibal will satisfy even the most ravenous meat eaters. If you’re in the mood for a large selection of craft beers and high quality artisanal meats, be sure to sink your teeth here. Warning: Vegetarian options are limited so bring only your most carnivorous friends.
The Cannibal: 113 E 29th St; 212-686-5480
Towering 65 floors up 30 Rock is Bar SixtyFive, the walk-in sister to the exclusive and glitzy, Rainbow Room. A geometric ceiling hangs above ultra modern furnishings, while a wraparound terrace provides an enchanting panoramic view of the city below. Our advice would be to go early (outdoor opens at 5 p.m.) and be prepared to treat yourself (the balcony calls for a $65 per person minimum).
Bar SixtyFive: 30 Rockefeller Plaza, 65th Floor; 212-632-5000
Housed in Union Square, the 1950’s cabana-styled Pavilion provides a tropical vacation from Midtown’s day-to-day chaos. Promising simple and market-fresh ingredients, its dishes are a bold mix of French, American and Mediterranean flavors. The Pavilion is only open seasonally (April 15 – October 15) for brunch, lunch and dinner, making it an ideal spot to get the most out of New York’s summer sunshine.
The Pavilion: 20 Union Square W; 212-677-7818
Sometimes all you’ll want from Midtown is a no-fuss cheeseburger and fries. Look no further than Shake Shack. What started as a humble hot dog cart in Madison Square Park has become one of the most infamous burger joints in New York. Shake Shack offers all your favorites at a handsome price with a portion of sales dedicated to Madison Square Park Conservancy. Sit back, take a guilt-free bite and snap that Instagram of the Flatiron Building you’ve always wanted.
Shake Shack: Southeast corner of Madison Square Park (near Madison Avenue & E.23rd Street); 212-889-6600