One of the crucial steps in becoming a New Yorker is redefining your conception of the great outdoors. There’s no doubt that it can be tough out there—in a city this packed, there’s only so much space for folks to throw down a picnic blanket in the grass (witness the throwing of ‘bows on sunny weekends in Central Park), and private rooftop bars and pools simply play into NYC’s “haves and have-nots” dichotomy.
Thankfully, all is not lost for casual sun-seekers who just want to get out of their box-size, AC-deficient apartments to eat in the open air. From ramshackle backyard dives to oasis-like restaurant gardens, there are plenty of awesome places to hang out when the weather warms up. To help you get ready for spring, we’ve listed our five favorite places to dine outdoors in NYC.