If you don’t have a vacation planned this summer, try visiting a festive restaurant with outdoor seating in New York City. Sitting on the sidewalk always makes for great people watching, but these restaurants create an oasis in our concrete jungle.
Lolo’s Seafood Shack (303 W 116th Street) Chef Raymond Mohan and Leticia Skai Young are sharing their passion for travel and island flavors at LoLo’s. The cuisine includes nostalgic offerings from Island Styled BBQ to coastal comfort foods of the Cape to Caribbean street eats like Johnny Cakes (fried dough). Daily happy hour is 4- 6 p.m. with specials like Lolo’s Rum Punch for $7 and $20 pitchers. Select beers are $5 and wine $6. Indulge in $5 food specials like Pom Pom Shrimp, crispy shrimp with creamy ghost pepper glaze and garlic fries , Jerk Ribs or Mini Crab Burgers from 3-6 p.m. The backyard garden instantly transports you to an island location. It’s a small space best for groups of two or four people. The beach shack menu is full of fresh and flavorful sauces and seafood combinations.
Summer Garden and Bar, Rock Center Cafe (20 W 50th Street) Sit atop the winter ice rink at Rockefeller Center from May through September. Enjoy the Summer Garden complete with the gentle flow of a waterfall in nice weather. Forget about visiting the crowded Christmas tree and relax in the cool breezes of this lounge. It can be expensive and touristy, but save money from 4-7 p.m. during the week with $8 Moscow Mules, sangria, wine and beer. Discounted bar bites include Barbecued Pulled Pork Sliders, Sheep’s Milk Ricotta Crostini and Grilled Chicken Tenders with Carrot Hummus. Grab you coworkers and schedule a happy hour asap. Don’t let the crowds deter you, the views will keep you chill.
Cantina Rooftop (605 West 48th Street) This year-round rooftop oasis with panoramic views of New York City, offers a modern Mexican menu and eclectic selection of specialty tequila and mezcal cocktails. The retractable rooftop makes Cantina an oasis in all types of weather. On a sunny day, the bright turquoise decor screams of beachy fun. Happy hour is Monday through Thursday from 4-7 p.m. and includes $6 beers and $8 margaritas, wine and sangria. Visit Tuesdays for Taco Tuesday with eight types of taco dinners from $9-$11 (three tacos per order). If your group is six to eight people, get The Big Ass Taco for a fun twist on the standard dish. On Wednesdays they serve the Big Ass Margarita for six to eight people for $80. Try the Guacamole Frutas ($13) with mango, apples and serrano peppers for the perfect summertime treat.