With spring finally upon us, going outside is becoming something to look forward to instead of something to dread. For those who plan to celebrate spring outdoors, here are the top five local restaurants with outdoor seating.
Sofia’s of Little Italy I 143 Mulberry St.
For those who want to venture past SoHo into Little Italy, Sofia’s of Little Italy, a popular restaurant on Mulberry Street with tables out in the fresh air, is a great option. The meals are a little pricier here, but they’re not unaffordable and include many Italian entrees, pizzas and a wide variety of pasta, which is why the restaurant is well known. Pasta dishes include the pappardelle Bolognese, hand-cut wide pasta in a Bolognese sauce. For vegetarians, options such as the bruschetta and various mushroom dishes are available.
Jack’s Bistro I 80 University Place
Perhaps an ideal location for anyone who lives close to Washington Square Park, Jack’s Bistro, located only a few blocks from campus, is described as “French-influenced American cuisine.” The restaurant offers a variety of sandwiches ($10) and steak frites for lunch, as well as dishes like the grilled brook trout ($17.95) or roasted organic chicken ($16.95) for dinner. Jack’s Bistro also has the distinction of being the only sidewalk cafe on University Place.
Pão I 322 Spring St.
Even though it is named after the Portuguese word for “bread,” and while it does serve plenty of its namesake, Pão is better known for its seafood and Iberian cuisine. While people-watching from this restaurant’s sidewalk tables, try the wild striped bass ($19.95), tiger shrimp ($21.95) or warm squid and turnip greens salad ($8.98).
The Coffee Shop I 29 Union Square West
Whether you find yourself in the mood for sandwiches ($12.95), pasta ($14.95), chicken or even one of the Brazilian specials (such as shrimp Baiano, $17.95), The Coffee Shop on Union Square West has it all. Open 23 hours a day, anyone who stops by can expect to sit in the open air, whether it’s noon or midnight. The Coffee Shop also offers a variety of breakfast options all day, such as omelettes ($10.95). And, of course, the restaurant has a large assortment of coffee drinks.
Chop Shop I 254 10th Ave.
Chop Shop is an affordable, positively reviewed Chelsea Asian fusion restaurant with plenty of outdoor seating. The menu offers a blend of Chinese and Thai dishes, such as the green papaya and watercress salad ($10) and the spicy drunken noodle with shrimp, bok choy and chilies ($14). This option may be a bit of a trek from campus, but the convenient pricing and location by the Chelsea Piers make it ideal for sitting outside on a nice day.
A version of this article appeared in the Wednesday, April 3 edition. Jonathan Keshishoglou is a contributing writer. Email him at [email protected]