The five best outdoor cafés in New York

Orsay on the Upper East Side
Orsay on the Upper East Side

New Yorkers typically spend the majority of their time boxed into small places: their studio apartments, crowded subway cars, and drab cubicle offices. When summer comes around, one of the small pleasures is being able to sit out on one of the city’s many terraces and enjoy a drink.

The perfect spot for an afternoon respite or an after-work cocktail, they’re best enjoyed with a cold glass of wine and good conversation.

L’Orange Bleue

This idyllic outpost of rustic simplicity is one of the most tranquil places you’ll find on any corner of New York. Tucked in a quiet spot at the intersection of Broome and Crosby, its outside terrace is reminiscent of one you’d find in Marrakech with its distinct blue façade recalling a spice market stand. Sit out with a glass of wine, and you'll forget you're in SoHo. 430 Broome St

Elizabeth

This chic outpost has a tucked-away garden terrace that’s as tranquil as it is trendy. The extensive cocktail and wine list can cure any after-work woes (there’s even a drink called “Pick Me Up”), making it the perfect spot for a happy hour rendez-vous. 265 Elizabeth Street

Orsay

This Upper East Side staple is as authentically French as baguettes and Brie. With a classic brasserie décor and a café menu boasting homemade macaroons, you’ll feel as if you’ve just been transported to a lovely outpost along the Seine, even if your view is only of Lexington Avenue. 1057 Lexington Avenue

Coffee Shop

Just the name alone: is there anything more quintessentially New York? The spots on the wrap-around terrace outside are prime real estate to watch the passersby in Union Square who create a roving scenery of the city’s downtown clan. 29 Union Sq. West

Habana Outpost

A haven for young creative types and Brooklyn locals featuring wooden benches and a convivial atmosphere, Habana Outpost is as close to a real outdoor BBQ as you can get in New York without owning a backyard. 757 Fulton Street

If you can’t get enough of the urban outdoors, stay at the Hudson Hotel, which boasts a sky terrace for guests to lounge in the sun, and the company of potted fauna.

Adrien Field of The Field Notes

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