The Best Outdoor Spaces

In Downtown NYC

From rooftop bars to secret plazas, you don’t have to leave lower Manhattan to enjoy the great outdoors this summer.

Pier 17

There’s much to see and do (and eat and drink) on the water in and around this newly constructed four-story transparent structure on the Pier 17 plot, adjacent to the historic 1885 cargo ship, The Wavetree. Head to the Heineken Riverdeck and grab a beer and a bite at Market Hall, serving up a variety of east coast-inspired eats, or while away a summer Friday sipping craft cocktails at Riverlounge, the new downtown watering hole with panoramic views of the city. Come mid-June you’ll be able to drink, dine and enjoy the Pier Rooftop Concert Series when The Rooftop and its eponymous restaurant opens in a 1.5-acre space atop the pier, one of the best spots in town to catch sight of the Brooklyn Bridge, Statue of Liberty, and the entire NY cityscape in one sitting. Or grab some scoops from Van Leeuwen ice creamery and take a stroll around the riverfront.

Grand Banks

This upscale bar and restaurant is set aboard the Sherman Zwicker, a large wooden schooner docked at the southwest edge of Pier 25 in Tribeca, serving up oysters, raw plates and fancy cocktails. You’ll feel like you’re out-to-sea without actually leaving shore.

Pier A Harbor House

Located at the junction of Battery Park and the Hudson River, this multifaceted food and drink destination occupies an historic New York landmark building, first opened in 1886 as the headquarters for the New York Harbor Police and Department of Docks, and later serving as the VIP entrance for European Ambassadors traveling to Ellis Island. The ground floor hosts casual drinking and dining with a sunset-ready promenade area, while upstairs you’ll find fine dining and an intimate cocktail bar.

Industry Kitchen

Steps away from the water’s edge, next to South Street Seaport, Industry Kitchen has plenty of outdoor seating, views of the Brooklyn and Williamsburg bridges, and inventive wood fired pizzas, including the pricey Guinness World Record 24k Gold Pizza, which must be ordered 48 hours in advance.

Elevated Acre

Grab takeout from your favorite FiDi café and head to this hidden elevated plaza, tucked between two office buildings at 55 Water Street. A discreet escalator takes you up to this lesser-known public park, which features a seven-tiered amphitheater surrounding a lawn and a Brazilian hardwood boardwalk that stands 30 feet above the East River, with views of the Manhattan and Brooklyn Bridges as well as the Brooklyn waterfront.

Water Mark

Taking up most of Pier 15 on the eastside of downtown Manhattan, this slick bar and restaurant is known for its gourmet burgers and large format cocktails.