Our flip flops are still in the closet. Heck, we haven’t even put our coats away. But that doesn’t mean we can’t start making plans to prepare for the long days of sunshine ahead. Whether you’re looking for a secluded garden, a funky terrace, or a relaxing patio, here’s a list of al fresco options to keep top of mind when you’re in the mood for a Latin food fix.
145 Ave. C, at 9th St.
With its turquoise walls and lively atmosphere, this popular brunch spot will transport you to a rustic, seaside tavern in Buzios. During the day, you’ll find predictable lunch fare like sandwiches and omelets, but at night, a meaty Brazilian feijoada, plantain-crusted goat cheese and taquitos de pescado with mango and spicy sour cream make it to the menu.
320 Amsterdam Ave., New York, NY 10023
This upbeat neighborhood restaurant offers prime people-watching real estate in the Upper West Side. Its “Latin fare with an Asian flair” includes unexpected combinations like shrimp dumplings in a jalapeño ponzu sauce or sushi rolls rolled with poblano peppers and mango.
228 W. 18th St., nr. Seventh Ave.
Bright and friendly, this little restaurant is a go-to spot for Venezuelans in the city. It offers fresh home cooking from Venezuela, including a selection of mouth-watering corn arepas, as well as other local specialties like cheese-stuffed fried tequeños, stick-to-your-ribs asado negro, and hallacas made from scratch. Don’t forget the drinks and try the passion fruit juice or a sweet glass of thick cerelac or milky cocada.
|Café con Leche
424 Amsterdam Ave., nr. 80th St.
The Coffee Shop
Crudo by Don Pedro’s
Ricardo Steak House
211 West Broadway, nr. Franklin St.
Gabriela’s Restaurante y Tequila Bar
Panchito’s Mexican Restaurant y Cantina
Rocking Horse Cafe
Salsa y Salsa
557 Driggs Ave., nr. 7th St.
This very popular brunch and dinner spot serves a diverse Latin American menu with dishes from South America and Spain, but also pays special attention to Argentine favorites like empanadas, skirt steak, and milanesas. The dishes are fresh and full of flavor, with unique items like avocado fries and seared rib eye ceviche. All of them are served in a rustic and romantic space, which extends into an outdoor porch illuminated with strings of light.
408 Fifth Ave., nr. 7th St.
Elaborate murals and colorful lights in this outdoor patio define the laid-back vibe of this Tex-Mex spot in Park Slope, known for its huge portions of creatively-stuffed burritos, like the San Joaquin with chile relleno and the Burger Burrito from Hell with beef and french fries.
482 Union Ave., Brooklyn, NY 11211
Attracting Peruvians and Williamsburg locals alike to its rustic outdoor garden, this small neighborhood restaurant (pictured above) specializes in the cuisine of the Peruvian coast, focusing on classic seafood dishes like ceviche and chupe de camarones, as well as Peruvian home-style dishes like papas a la huancaina, anticuchos and rotisserie chicken.
57 S. 5th St., at Wythe St.
Burrito Bar and Kitchen
511 Myrtle Ave., at Grand St.
Fast & Fresh Burrito Deli
33-18 28th Ave., Queens, NY 11103
This warm, rustic space decorated with colorful Afro-Brazilian murals, has all the makings of a Brazilian steak house or churrascaria, serving up different cuts of meat that have been rolled, breaded, grilled and braised. All of them served with rice and beans and roasted farofa (yucca flour). For those less inclined, there’s a selection of salgados (Brazilian pastries) and a coconut-spiked Moqueca de peixe fish stew.
10-43 44th Dr., Queens, NY 11101
Offering a culinary refuge in the industrial landscape of LIC, this warm brick space featuring local artwork opens up to a backyard patio. Here you’ll find all your favorite Latin American dishes under one roof: Dominican fried chicken chicharrones, Argentinian skirt steak, and Spanish paella.
95-19 Rockaway Beach Blvd., Queens, NY 11693
According to its Web site, there’s still 23 days left until opening day. Yet this tiny shack located a block away from Rockaway Beach (pictured above) is the definition of summer. Serving up fresh easy food like fish tacos with guacamole, and daily juice specials, it will fuel you up after a well-deserved day at the beach.
56-27 Van Doren St., at 108th St.
25-01 Ditmars Blvd.