11 Outdoor Dining Spots

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  • Enjoying food in the great outdoors feels like a vacation, a glorious escape from an overscheduled day. The clock slows down and you instinctively feel more relaxed, the sun warm on your skin, the wind ruffling your hair—and there's always eye candy, no matter where you look, especially with more than a thousand licensed sidewalk cafés across the five boroughs. Cipriani Wall Street's outdoor terrace overlooks the financial center of the world. Dos Caminos Meatpacking District's sidewalk café offers fiery, fresh Mexican cooking and front-row seats on a virtual runway of the latest fashions, with chic shoppers hitting the area's high-design boutiques. The sidewalk scene is less frenetic at The Harrison in TriBeCa, where it's blissful to sit back and indulge in a better-than-a-picnic menu of crispy skate fingers, bacon-crusted bluefish and summer berry shortcake. Looking for something more private? The back-garden patio at August, in the West Village, is quietly serene, spilling over with plants and scented with meats, fish and savory tarts roasting in the wood-burning oven. Staycation or vacation—there's nothing like an outdoor meal at a top restaurant to make the days of summer that much sweeter. —Julie Besonen

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