Credit: @bluewatermanor on Instagram

New York State has hundreds of options for outdoor dining with a view, from patios overlooking lakes and rivers to vineyard restaurant terraces to tables on a farm. The following restaurants with outdoor seating all have a few things in common: great food, magnificent views, and plenty of room to socially distance. (All offer curbside takeout for those who aren’t ready to eat at the restaurant yet.) When visiting, remember to keep six feet apart from others not in your household and wear a mask or face covering, and call ahead or check websites and social media to make sure attractions are open and available while staying as local as possible. 

Tavern on the Lake at Blue Water Manor (Adirondacks)

A piece of cake from Tavern on the Lake at Blue Water Manor
Credit: @bluewatermanor on Instagram

Few bodies of water rival Lake George for sheer beauty and this restaurant on a cliffside (pictured at top) offers one of the best views of its pristine water and stunning forest backdrop. Reserve ahead for a lakeside table and enjoy a menu filled with tasty starters (short rib nachos; prime rib quesadilla with caramelized onions, mushrooms, and cheddar), build-your-own Adirondack burgers, steak and seafood entrees, and delicious desserts. The kids' menu has the gamut of faves—pizza, pasta, chicken fingers—and there’s a full bar with signature cocktails for adults. 4436 Lake Shore Dr, Bolton Landing, 518-644-2535

Dinosaur BBQ (Capital-Saratoga)

A view of the Hudson River from the patio at Dinosaur Bar-B-Que in Troy

This location of the popular New York barbecue chain is on a unique perch overlooking the Hudson River along the Troy Riverfront Park esplanade. Tables on the outside patio and in the spacious main dining room—which features many windows—offer expansive views of the river and of newly developed Starbuck Island. Dinosaur serves excellent pork ribs, delectable brisket, pulled pork sandwiches, and can’t-miss sides like mac and cheese and BBQ fried rice. The full bar features 25 taps, many showcasing local and regional New York craft beers. 377 River St., Troy, 12180

Westwind Orchard (Catskills)

Field with tables at Westwind Orchards

This apple orchard located down a pretty country road in the Catskills features a wide-open field featuring a dozen or so picnic tables, making it a great spot to gather with a small group of family and friends. The owners’ Italian backgrounds inform a menu filled with seasonally inspired, expertly prepared pastas, pizzas, and appetizers. To drink, the orchard’s wide variety of house-made ciders are available, as well as wine, New York craft beers and spirits, and non-alcoholic options. 215 Lower Whitfield Rd, Accord, 845-626-0659

Good Nature Farm Brewery & Taproom (Central New York)

The outdoor seating area at Good Nature Farm Brewery and Taphouse
Credit: @goodnaturebrewery on Instagram

One of New York’s best food and drink trends is the rise of farmhouse breweries, and Good Nature is a great place to start exploring. The brewery’s beer menu covers most of the popular styles, so IPA fans and those who prefer less hoppy ales will have no problem finding a pint to enjoy with farm-to-table dishes from the varied menu. Start with pretzels served with a beer, bacon, and cheese sauce, then choose from wood-fired pizzas, sandwiches, or a burger made with beef from New York’s Blue Sky Ranch. Do the food and beer taste better because it’s served in a spacious outdoor beer garden surrounded by nature? Yes! 1727 NY-12B, Hamilton, 315-824-2337

Lakehouse Tap & Grille (Chautauqua-Allegheny)

The patio at Lakehouse Tap & Grille

Located inside the stately Chautauqua Harbor Hotel, the Lakehouse Tap & Grille features outdoor dining on its patio with sweeping views of magnificent Chautauqua Lake. The restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and after 5 pm focuses on fine dining, with entrees such as chicken Milanese served in a cherry pepper shiitake cream sauce, seafood scampi (lobster, shrimp, and scallops), and grilled ribeye steak. Start with hot lobster dip or fried calamari, take in the waterfront views, and enjoy a surprising New York setting with the seaside feel of a European resort town. 10 Dunham Ave., Celoron, 716-489-2800

Bully Hill Vineyards & Restaurant (Finger Lakes)

A walkway amid lush grounds leading to Bully Hill Vineyards
Credit: @hancupples on Instagram

At Bully Hill, the indoor/outdoor restaurant is part of a massive wood-framed structure with tables looking out at the vines and beautiful Keuka Lake, one of the famed Finger Lakes! The menu highlights pulled pork and brisket cooked in a smoker with locally sourced applewood, served in sandwiches, quesadillas, or on a barbecue plate with all the fixins. There are salads and other sandwiches available as well, all pairing perfectly with Bully Hill’s riesling, chardonnay, and brut champagne. 8843 Greyton H Taylor Memorial Dr, Hammondsport, 607-868-3610

The Silo (Greater Niagara)

A salad, burger and fries from The Silo
Credit: @silo_restaurant_lewiston on Instagram

Many visitors to Niagara Falls know to take the 15-minute detour up the Niagara River for a chance to savor the Original Haystack, a seasoned ribeye steak sandwich stuffed into a hoagie roll with melted mozzarella and hash browns. For less adventurous eaters, the menu features burgers, chicken sandwiches, and salads, as well as a children’s menu with a Kids Haystack option. Right next door is the Caboose, with soft-serve ice cream, sundaes, and milkshakes. The seasonal restaurant and ice cream stand are housed in historic buildings along the river, and the Lewiston waterfront views are stunning! 115 N. Water St., Lewiston, 716-754-9680

The Patio at the Roundhouse (Hudson Valley)

A view of the waterfall from The Patio at Roundhouse Beacon
Credit: @roundhousebeacon on Instagram

The Patio is the casual offshoot of the Roundhouse hotel’s restaurant, with tables alongside Fishkill Creek and views of a scenic waterfall. This boutique property represents the stylish new side of Beacon while evoking its past as a mill town. Grab a Roundhouse burger or buttermilk crispy chicken sandwich, or if you’re a more adventurous eater, try the duck confit steam buns. There’s also a weekend brunch and a pop-up outdoor barbecue restaurant, aptly named Smoke on the Water BBQ, with brisket, ribs, sausages, and tasty sides. 2 East Main St., Beacon, 845-765-8369

Claudio’s (Long Island)

A burger and fries pictured on the waterfront with a boat in the background

This North Fork institution has been serving seafood on Greenport’s waterfront for 150 years! These days, Claudio’s operates four different restaurants in the same complex, serving diners who walk, drive, or even boat in search of a bite to eat. The main restaurant, housed in an 1840s building, is temporarily closed, but outdoor dining is available on the docks at Claudio’s Waterfront and Crabby Jerry’s, while Claudio’s Pizzeria offers takeout and delivery within Greenport village. Those who can get a table at one of the two outdoor locations, across the dock from each other, will find fresh seafood from the raw bar, lobster rolls, fried fish and clams, and more. 111 Main St., Greenport, 631-477-0627

Seaway Grille at 1000 Islands Harbor Hotel (Thousand Islands-Seaway)

Fire pit at 1000 Islands Harbor Hotel in Clayton

The restaurant at this Clayton hotel features the outdoors Riverfront Patio with some of the best views in the Thousand Islands. Have a burger or lobster roll and watch classic wooden boats cruise the St. Lawrence River en route to the nearby Antique Boat Museum, then walk along the river and visit Clayton’s charming shops. 200 Riverside Dr., Clayton, 315-686-1100

The Greens at Pier 17 (New York City)

The Greens at Pier 17 rooftop restaurant and bar
Credit: @pier17ny on Instagram

The Greens at Pier 17 (pictured at top) is a new, socially distanced dining experience on a rooftop at South Street Seaport in Manhattan. At The Greens, you reserve a “mini-lawn”—a 14’x14’ green space accommodating up to eight guests, with a full menu of food and drinks available, including a burger, salmon, salads, and a lobster roll. Views of the Brooklyn Bridge and the Manhattan skyline are included! The Greens, 89 South St., Manhattan, 212-732-8257

The River Cafe (New York City)

Diners on the patio of Brooklyn's River Cafe with Manhattan's skyline in the background
Credit: @mmishkaa on Instagram

The River Cafe is the legendary fine dining establishment on the Brooklyn waterfront. The Michelin-starred restaurant features outdoor dining on its terrace with a reservations-only, three-course prix-fixe menu (for $105 per person) that features the elevated cooking that has made this a special occasion go-to for 43 years. For men, the mandatory suit jacket rule remains in effect! The River Cafe, 1 Water St., Brooklyn, 718-522-5200


For more dining ideas, visit Where to Eat With a View in New York State.