Dear Miss Ginsu,
It's so beautiful this week, I really can't justify going indoors. Can you recommend any good restaurants with outdoor seating on the Lower East Side?
Have you considered enjoying some impromptu take-out in one of this city's fine park spaces? Sadly, the spots you source seem a scanty selection! And, frankly, I want them all for myself. But in the spirit of generosity and good karma, I offer up what I know:
Side of sunshine with that slice?
Tables that have legitimate air, either on the street or in a garden.
Outdoor tables, French-Moroccan delights and fresh, lovely cocktails. I normally visit for a quiet brunch. The place is positively teeming with sexy, sweaty nightlife and beautiful people after dark.
Les Enfants Terribles
37 Canal St (at Ludlow St)
Friendly wine bar with really good coal-oven pizzas, roasty eggplant, nice salads, They have a sweet little backyard area.
and sidewalk seating.
21 1st Ave (at 1st St)
Effortlessly cool, Epistrophy offers panini, salads, coffees and simple Italian treats. Dine outside. Lounge inside. Have a drink and start wishing you could maybe just move in and live la vida dulce 24/7...
200 Mott St (btwn Kenmare St & Spring St)
The food's nothing to write home about (think Germanic sausages and cheese) but this place has a lovely garden and an ace beer selection.
7 Rivington St (at Bowery St)
Simple sandwiches, coffees and breakfast fare. A handful of outdoor tables on summer days and another row lined up along the windows.
88 Orchard St (at Broome St)
Back in the day, you could enjoy the delightful brunch and dinner options (and probably the best latte in the neighborhood) in this precious jewelbox of a spot. These days, you'll enjoy the same, but you'll be supremely lucky or perfectly timed if you happen to score a sunny seat here on the weekends.
61 Hester St (btwn Ludlow St & Essex St)
A little North of the LES and always packed, this spot has good French-North African cuisine, lots of pretty people and some sidewalk seating, if you're lucky.
242 Mott St (at Prince St)
Tables in spots that have lots of open-air/open-window dining, if not actual outdoor dining.
Lots of big, accordion-syle windows on a corner lot. Great beer list and really tasty pub grub. A bit pricey, but tasty enough to be justifiable.
101 Rivington St (at Ludlow St)
All full'a windows and sparkling with pretty people on a corner lot across the street from Spitzer's (above). The fare is simple Italian and the vibe is more for well-dressed wine lovers than the down-home beer crowd across the way.
98 Rivington St (at Ludlow St)
Great food, delicious cocktails, sexy vibe. Understandably stuffed to the gills on a beautiful night. You might be able to hit brunch, but good luck trying to stuff yourself in the door after 7 p.m.
253 Broome St (Btwn Orchard & Ludlow)
Just down the way from Barrio, the ladies of Little Giant offer upscale seasonal, local cuisine and inspired cocktails. You'll sit on comfy cushioned seats along airy windows and admire the fashionably dressed New Yorkers that surround you. Make a reservation and try the Swine of the Week.
85 Orchard St (at Broome St)
A little north of the LES, you'll find the masses lined up around Café Habana chewing cheese-sprinkled grilled corn cobs on hot summer nights. The restaurant is airy, the cuisine speaks to the sultry heat of a summer day.
229 Elizabeth St (at Prince St)