Enjoy an al fresco meal while taking in the Hudson Valley views at these local eateries, which delight with farm-to-table fare and more.
By Raphael Beretta, Francesca Furey, Samantha Garbarini, Sierra Guardiola, Leslie Long, Joan Vos MacDonald, Jim Norman, Lauren Naru, Meredith Phillips, Sabrina Sucato, and Kathryn Walsh
Dreaming of a summery meal at your favorite Hudson Valley restaurant? Consider dining al fresco instead of venturing indoors. With beautiful days ahead of us, there’s no time like the present to lounge outdoors over a meal with friends, perhaps with a cocktail in hand. So what are you waiting for? Scroll through our list to scout out some of the finest outdoor dining in the region, then scoot in the car for what’s bound to be an unforgettable foodie experience.
Taking the family out for pizza is always a good bet, but it’s even better when the place has a great atmosphere. That’s what you’ll find at Amore, where you can enjoy your pizza — along with good wine, excellent salads, and lots of other Italian specialties — on a lovely wraparound backyard patio bordered by a stream. Colorful umbrellas, pots of flowers, and a wooden pergola complete the pretty picture.
Open for limited indoor and outdoor dining, 14 & Hudson boasts the sweetest little patio space that’s just waiting for diners to enjoy. As far as the menu goes, dishes lean toward gourmet twists on approachable favorites. Make a beeline for any of the burgers (the NYC, featuring mushrooms, Applewood-smoked bacon, and truffle aioli, is a favorite), and don’t forget to order an app to start. The roasted Brussels sprouts with bacon and a shallot mustard seed marmalade will convert even the most diehard sprouts naysayers into believers.
Outdoor dining at Backbar has been the norm long before the pandemic required many establishments to expand their al fresco space. The open-air setting is full of colorful picnic tables, giving the atmosphere a casual yet vibrant flair. You’ll find Southeast Asian street food on the menu here, with favorites such as Cumin Spiced Tots and their selection of dumplings, to name a few. Their wide list of natural wines is the cherry on top.
This Relais & Châteaux property is home to two outdoor dining restaurants serving sustainable, locally grown farm-to-table fare: The Barn and The Terrace. Enjoy brunch or dinner on The Barn’s stone patio, surrounded by an abundance of greenery and climbing vines on the large pergola. The menu at this country bistro changes seasonally and features a gorgeous raw bar and new takes on American classics. The Terrace’s entire menu is derived from the property’s outdoor, wood-burning kitchen.
When it comes to farm dining, this Orange County farm is at the top of our list. The seasonally inspired menu includes dishes such as wood-fired spring green pesto and mushroom pizza, and pulled pork served with jalapeño cornbread, pickled vegetables, and strawberry-rhubarb sauce. Enjoy the rural view while dining, then visit the farmhouse shop for an eclectic range of organic products.
Sip on some award-winning beer alongside the Collar City’s bank of the Hudson River. On a deck adorned with twinkling, vine-strung lights, enjoy summer classics like its Joann IPA with a creamy artichoke dip, or the Buff Pass, a buffalo chicken and cavatappi pasta soaked in medium cheese cream sauce that pairs exceptionally well with Cherry Razz fruit beer.
Incredibly cozy outdoor dining is a major draw for this lovely space. Sit at a table surrounded by lush gardens, all the while enjoying fare from Charlotte’s very own Swedish chef. Menus change frequently, making each experience here a little different. Past main courses include wild-caught Chilean sea bass with a pomegranate sauce, Creole-style jambalaya, and a mushroom-centric take on the classic beef Wellington.
Get cozy on one of this Orange County destination’s two spacious patios. During the day, al fresco diners have access to serene views of the Wallkill River and the sprawling City Winery Hudson Valley property (once home to a historic knitting factory.) Romantic evenings extra special with mood-setting string lights, cozy heat lamps, and outdoor fireplaces. Savory duck tostadas, creamy cacio e pepe, and baja shrimp ceviche are just a few of the savory dishes guests pair with award-winning wines.
Dreaming of lazy summer afternoons filled with cold Hudson Valley beer and tons of sunshine? You can find just that at Clemson’s Middletown and New Paltz locations. The former has its own shaded beer garden, while the latter has a charming umbrella-ed patio. Wherever you go, lean into Clemson’s brewpub vibe with a hearty burger like the Big Bad Wolf, which comes with applewood-smoked bacon, bacon aioli, onion jam, Taylor ham, and smoked gouda.
The Columbia County eatery is just the place to go for outdoor dining during a lazy weekend in the Hudson Valley. The menu is streamlined, although the flavors are not. Keep it light with purple broccolette or octopus with Moroccan olives, and don’t forget to sip on a glass of vino from Tousey Winery right next-door.
Located at the Columbia Golf & Country Club, the Grill has a gorgeous outdoor deck that overlooks the Hudson Valley golf course. The menu changes weekly, but look out for dishes like avocado and tomato gazpacho or the wonderfully summery watermelon and arugula salad. Meat and seafood feature prominently on the entrée listings, although vegan offerings are readily available upon request.
As its many loyal customers can attest, any of Cosimo’s four restaurants are a must for Italian staples from arancini to crispy polenta. Your meal can be as casual as a wood-fired pizza and a glass of white sangria made with Brotherhood’s riesling, or as indulgent as the lobster risotto with a perfectly paired Italian pinot grigio. All locations have patio seating, and the Poughkeepsie restaurant even has a bocce court.
Expect a menu that is fresh, seasonal, and oh-so-delicious from The Tavern’s CIA-trained executive chef, with selections highlighting the fabulous bounty of the Hudson Valley. Specials may include anything from sautéed shrimp and scallops with creamy polenta to spring vegetable pot pies. Enjoy the cuisine while taking in the gorgeous view of Cantine Falls on the Esopus Creek, which lights up with festive colors.
You can practically touch the water from the patio deck seating at this Garrison gem, named for the movie musical Hello Dolly!, which was filmed at the location. As you enjoy the West Point and river views, dine on dishes like sourdough focaccia, spicy noodles, and East Coast oysters — and that’s just for starters. For the mains, Dolly’s grass-fed burger is a local icon, although the vegetarian burger is just as show-stopping. It’s all eclectic, international, bistro-style, and good!
Outdoor dining options at this Grandma-style Italian restaurant include sidewalk seating on Broadway and a more intimate rooftop patio called The Garden. Have Donna’s sling you some popular pies, like the Drunk Uncle, drowning in vodka sauce, mozzarella cheese, fennel pepperoni and pepperoncini, and red onion; or treat yourself to a tangy and savory shrimp scampi — with a limoncello spritz, of course. Throughout the summer months, catch some live jazz or summer concerts from the nearby Troy Summer Square.
The two-tier backyard dining area of this Croation restaurant is a beautiful surprise: on the top level you’re overlooking the garden, and the lower level puts you right next to towering grapevines, fig trees, and the restaurant’s own vegetable garden. The menu features roasted meats, grilled fish, fresh vegetables, and more, all from the outdoor wood-fired oven. The succulent lamb cooked “under the bell” is a favorite.
Stroll on over to the Catskill waterfront for seafood dining that will please any palate. Keep it American with the New England clam chowder and Maryland crab cakes or make a metaphorical journey to the Mediterranean with Shrimp Fresca, a shrimp scampi pasta in roasted garlic oil, and the pan-seared sea scallops with rosemary-infused olive oil. Feel free to arrive by car or by boat, then keep the outdoor vibes going with a patio seat by the water.
You don’t have to be a club member to eat here, but you’ll certainly feel like a VIP as you dine on the spacious outdoor deck and look out at the first tee and fairway of this historic 160-acre golf course. Menu items such as the Berkshire Summer Salad and the Grilled Pigasso Farm Burger are prepared by a CIA-trained chef and made with locally sourced produce, meats, and dairy. Come on Thursday nights for live music and sit at the café-style seating on the lawn.
International travel has been in short supply, so if you’re missing the feel of dining on the grounds of an Italian villa — warm breezes rolling off the lake (OK, river in this instance), lush gardens, brick patios, and someone bringing you hand-cut, al dente pasta — you definitely want to take advantage of the vibe at Harvest on Hudson. Don’t forget the perfect river views. (And don’t forget the porchetta — slow roasted, fennel-scented pork.)
A major bonus of enjoying a meal on the terrace of Henry’s Restaurant at Buttermilk Falls Inn and Spa is the verdant view of the bucolic Hudson Valley below. Choose from savory menu options like the brunch special Omelet Auberge, made with creamy brie, goat cheese, and caramelized onions, and the seasonal menu’s shrimp parmigiana.
This farm-to-table restaurant hits indoor and outdoor dining out of the park with its ambiance and menu. Outside, the patio is just the place for digging into the restaurant’s comfort-food-with-a-twist fare. Get the party started with chili honey pork belly bites and a plate of the highly addictive General Tso’s cauliflower. And the succulent truffle-bacon-ranch burger is most definitely worth the hype.
Fortify yourself before or after a day of antiquing in Cold Spring with a visit to this historic site. Built in 1832, the inn features a covered, outdoor porch with views of West Point, Storm King Mountain, and the Hudson River. Start the day with brunch and a walk outside at Dockside Park, or end the day with one of their prime, dry-aged, hand-cut steaks or market-fresh fish.
Since its opening in 2019, this venture from Cosimo’s Group consistently ranks among the best places for tacos (if not the best) in the Valley by critics and Hudson Valley readers alike. Indulge in a wide array of tacos, like fan favorites General Tso’s chicken and Korean BBQ short rib, or other fun starters.
Set alongside the Haverstraw Marina, the Water Club offers serene views of the river and a comfortable, elegant atmosphere. The kitchen whirls out contemporary American cuisine with a strong emphasis on seafood. Indulge with the raw bar or oysters of the day (when in season). There are many other non-seafood options, too, including wood-fired pizza and Korean short ribs. P.S. Several dishes can be prepared gluten-free.
Dine indoors or out for breakfast, lunch, or brunch in this family-owned and -operated Albany eatery. The aptly named restaurant has a picturesque garden patio tucked behind — you guessed it — an iron gate. It’s connected to the historic Holroyd Mansion, giving patrons a blend of history and eclectic taste thanks to the rock ’n’ roll-themed interior. The menu includes gluten-free and vegan-friendly café fare, and many of the ingredients are sourced from local farmers and businesses.
This local favorite serves up a fun mix of Mediterranean tapas — such as gochujang mac ‘n’ cheese, crispy octopus, and roasted Brussels sprouts — along with delicious sandwiches, flatbread pizzas, and entrées such as chorizo shrimp scampi. It also boasts one of the largest gluten-free menus in the area. You can enjoy your tasty dishes on the restaurant’s casual outdoor patio.
Jessie’s opens its doors for indoor and outdoor dining, with takeout still running as well. Book a table inside one of Jessie’s unique dining igloos to sample a handful of small plates, or head straight to the main course. With offerings like wild boar Bolognese over cavatelli pasta or a deconstructed eggplant parmigiana with creamy burrata, no one will go hungry here.
An atmospheric stone patio filled with flowers and greenery enhances the casual Italian fare you’ll savor at this family-owned favorite. The sculpted Italian fountain is the centerpiece of the outdoor area where you can relax under colorful striped umbrellas, dining on soups, pastas, chicken, veal, seafood, and steaks from the extensive menu.
Looking for a Mexican restaurant that’s a cut above in so many ways? Try Las Mañanitas, with its large outdoor dining areas high above the East Branch Reservoir. Whether you’re seated on the sweeping lawn or the stone patio that overlooks it, you’ll enjoy chicken, pork, beef, fish tortillas, mole, and more. Start with a margarita and drink in the impressive view.
If you missed the charm of Liberty Street during the COVID-19 closures, it’s time to head back to experience its fresh seasonal fare in a sidewalk café setting. On the menu, the Bistro Burger with sesame pickled mushrooms is always a favorite, while the roasted garlic mussels with lemon-oregano jam are perfect for those craving something a little different. P.S. No matter what you order, it all goes perfectly with LSB’s list of signature cocktails.
With an outdoor patio overlooking Lake Carmel, Limni offers a truly special experience. Its ever-popular “Brunch on the Lake” features chicken and waffles (don’t forget the pomegranate maple syrup!), bottomless pitchers of brunch-y cocktails, and that impressive view. For dinner, a wide array of Mediterranean appetizers, fresh fish, and other mains bring you the taste of summer.
Right next door to Donna’s is this all-day café, bursting with caffeinated drinks and Instagrammable breakfast and brunch bites. Morning person or not, celebrate egg and cheese biscuit sandwiches and breakfast burritos until 4 p.m., or explore all-day sandwich and salad options. Little Peck’s also has an impressive coffee and tea menu, along with Bloody Marys and mimosas. Little Peck’s shares Donna’s sidewalk seating and rooftop patio spaces.
Stop by this Kingston eatery for Italian-inspired bites on the patio. Standouts include the brisket pizza with caramelized shallots and smoked brisket or the Fun Guy, a pie topped with ricotta, provolone, fontina, mozzarella, and mushrooms. The cocktails here are equally delectable.
Looking for great Neapolitan pizza and other Italian fare just a stone’s throw from the Walkway Over the Hudson? You’ll love this enticing oasis. The fenced-in patio offers a sweet escape from the outside world. Start with a vibrant cocktail, and then dig in to the sourdough pizza (especially the Soppressata), homemade pasta dishes, and creative specials.
Nothing says summer like a cold beer at Melzingah’s outdoor pavilion. Ask about the brews on tap, then pair them with the three-cheese mac and cheese or the mussels-and-sausage appetizer for starters. When it’s time for the main course, it’s impossible to go wrong with the crispy-skinned chicken and dumplings or the red coconut curry stew. It’s pub fare at its finest!
This cidery sits in the industrial warehouse district of New York’s capital city and has a modern-industrial feel. Walk around the side of the building and you’ll discover the patio decked out with ambient string lights and patio tents. The cider here is made with 100% New York State apples and fruits. Pair a glass of it with a New York cheese plate or one of their gourmet sourdough pizzas or gluten-free hand pies.
The outdoor patio is ready to welcome you for Americana meals that echo back to the history of this space. The menu is happily seasonal, with fresh bites like Chinois salad, citrusy octopus and shrimp ceviche, and pan-roasted wild-caught salmon hitting all the right notes. If you’re a traditionalist, the cherry-wood-smoked baby back ribs will leave you stuffed and smiling.
This Rondout waterfront hotspot is a destination for barbecue and comfort food classics. On the patio overlooking the Rondout Creek, feast on some of the best fried chicken in the Valley. The sides, such as Mexican sweet corn, and Southern-style cocktails like sparkling white peach sangria and bourbon peach smashes among the top seasonal picks, are equally as tasty.
A renovated 1850s barn is the setting for Ollie’s, where the pizza is made with imported Italian ingredients, Hudson Valley milled flour, and farm-fresh organic toppings. Dine outdoors at picnic tables and enjoy wood-fired Neapolitan or al taglio pizza with an array of toppings that include shallots, anchovies, and chilis. Vegan cheese is an option.
Situated in a somewhat isolated, largely residential section of Newburgh’s waterfront, Pamela’s boasts a patio with some of the city’s best panoramic views of the Hudson River and Newburgh-Beacon Bridge. (The views from inside aren’t too shabby, either.) Going along with the view is the menu of elegant comfort foods, like rack of lamb, pan-seared crab cakes, and gourmet burgers.
A pioneer of the farm-to-table movement, Peekamoose remains a popular and picturesque dining destination in the Catskills. Take in the crisp mountain air on the deck as you choose menu favorites like wood-grilled loin of pork served with kale and fingerling potatoes or English spring pea risotto prepared with crispy garlic, mint gremolata, and pecorino romano. For dessert, try the glazed brioche donut with chocolate ganache and house-made vanilla malt ice cream.
Soak up the sun and enjoy the spectacular river views from your table or at the Tiki bar at this Rockland County classic. The menu presents “very Mediterranean” lunch and dinner selections dominated by fresh fish dishes like blackened Atlantic salmon with watermelon arugula salad, toasted pine nuts, and vinaigrette. The seafood theme continues at Sunday brunch, when the menu overflows with oysters, clams, mussels, and shrimp.
The folks behind Heritage Food & Drink are bridging their way across the river to the Newburgh waterfront later this summer. Check www.hvmag.comfor updates soon.
It’s all about the river! Nearly every seat inside and outside this former factory —including on the loungy rooftop bar — is positioned to accentuate the sweeping sight of the majestic Hudson. OK, it’s about the food, too. The French-American menu has something for everyone: a vegan-friendly red quinoa and mushroom burger; paella, mussels, and fish tacos for seafood fans; and hanger steak frites and more for meat lovers.
This trifecta restaurant, bar, and boutique hotel makes its home on the banks of the Hudson River. In season, take advantage of a ride on a Hudson Cruises ferry before stopping off at the restaurant. For select weekends, The River Grill offers music performances to go along with pub fare such as their Chip ‘n Dip (with house-made French onion dip) and the One Flip Double Burger, with aged cheddar and a special sauce. On starlit evenings, lounge by the fire pit, cocktail in hand, and let your stress fall away.
When The Factoria at Charles Point opened in 2018, it was a much-welcomed addition to the lower Hudson Valley dining, drinking, events, and entertainment scene. River Outpost brews on premise and serves upscale pub food both outdoors on the lower level of a two-tier deck overlooking the Hudson River and inside in the same 40,000-sq-ft space that houses Spins Hudson arcade. Upstairs and on the upper deck is Fin & Brew, a trendy New American restaurant serving flavorful powerhouses like charred octopus with preserved lemon and a fisherman’s stew with XO sauce. At press time, Fin & Brew is temporarily closed due to staffing issues.
You might find it hard to believe you’re dining so close to the banks of the Hudson at this open-air beauty. As if the gorgeous river views weren’t enough, the superb Hudson Valley-inspired menu has one appealing flavor after another — grilled shishito peppers, haricots verts, and cedar planked steelhead trout are just a few of the choices. Wood-fired ovens and grills abound, and with the entire restaurant open to the woods and the water, every table is an outdoor experience.
The Tavern at this rustic Hudson hotel features eclectic, seasonal menus and café seating. Start with small bites of cardamom marcona almonds or sourdough smothered in house-made ricotta, preserved blueberries, and black trumpet mushrooms, with a dusting of umami-packed porcini powder. Dig into exceptional plates curated for summer weather, like scallop crudo and wild striped bass. Don’t miss their frozen negronis.
This family-owned restaurant serves up an inviting contemporary American menu with a variety of flavors and cooking styles in a casual, friendly atmosphere. Enjoy the highest quality seafood, meats, and vegetables from local food producers, as well as a wide selection of brick-oven pizzas. Take in the views of the Hudson River, particularly stunning when the sun sets over Storm King Mountain. Heads up: this spot is cash or check only.
It’s no secret that The Roundhouse’s stunning creekside patio — with views of the falls at Fishkill Creek’s waterfall — boasts one of the best mealtime settings in the Hudson Valley. Enjoy creative and elegant American cuisine like braised short rib steam buns, oxtail tater tots, and pan-seared octopus. The cocktails here are also seriously swoon-worthy.
There’s nothing better than patio dining and Italian cuisine from one of Savona’s three locations this summer. Everything on the menu is delicious, but on hot days we recommend the pesto shrimp pizza with house-made mozzarella and pesto served as a base for shrimp, cherry tomato bruschetta, and torn garden basil. Come on Thursdays for a pizza and beer special.
Situated on a 40-foot cliff above the river, Shadows provides a beautiful view of the Mid-Hudson Bridge and Walkway Over the Hudson, plus a massive menu with seasonal seafood-centric dishes. Choose to sit in any of the restaurant’s five unique dining areas, each with its own ambience.
The ambiance at Silvia is universally stylish and cool, extending to the pergola-shaded outdoor deck surrounded by lush greenery. You’ll find the menu is equally chill and summery, with free-flowing wines, local craft beers, and farm-driven, vegetable-forward fare, like a gorgeous bibimbap with mushroom, greens, zucchini, cucumber slaw, kimchi, brown rice, fried egg, and gochujang.
With its striped umbrellas, leafy shade trees, and burbling stone fountain, the spacious patio is prime seating at this self-proclaimed New York-style BBQ joint. While the vibe is relatively casual, the attention to smoked meats is anything but, from the grass-fed brisket ends to the St. Louis-cut ribs, rubbed with a proprietary blend of 19 spices and slow smoked for at least seven hours. Rounding out the menu are sides and appetizers like golden brown corn fritters.
At this historic inn — that can boast “George Washington slept here” — enjoy an al fresco lunch, brunch, or dinner on the patio or lawn. Situated along Rhinebeck’s main intersection, you’ll experience the atmosphere of the town while enjoying an exceptional meal (dinner offerings include filet mignon and pan-roasted salmon) often accompanied by live.
Sit down to a farm-to-table dinner at this historic 19th century farm that is also home to educational and exhibition space. The restaurant’s large deck overlooks the impressive white barns and rolling fields, often dotted with sculptures from local artists. It’s a great place to sample crab cakes, an octopus salad, or a Berkshire pork chop, along with a seasonal cocktail from the full bar. And there’s more — get back to nature with hiking trails, community garden plots, and visits with farm animals such as alpacas, tiny Kunekune pigs, and miniature horses.
At this New Paltz orchard and cidery, you’ll find the artisanal wood-fired pizza and burgers are just as good as their Brooklyn Cider House cider. Grab a seat at the outdoor pavilion or bring a blanket for a picnic on the lawn. Don’t forget to save room for their delicious cider donuts.
Manicured grounds, luscious rose gardens, and apple orchards span 120+ acres at this granddaddy of New York State distilleries (they were home to the first distillery in the state following Prohibition). At the café, savor locally sourced, scratch-made food like wood-fired pizzas and a roast beef sandwich made with thinly sliced New York striploin, paired with a cold glass of their award-winning Doc’s Cider. Enjoy live music every weekend year-round. Tables are first-come, first-served, but you’re welcome to bring your own blankets and chairs.
For stunning views of the Hudson River, Mid-Hudson Bridge, and Walkway Over the Hudson, head up to this newcomer’s rooftop patio for summer dining. The menu tilts toward Italian, so if you’re down for grade-A fresh, local pastas and pizzas both red and white, you’ll be more than happy here. The rooftop and outdoor dining on the main level are offered on a first-come, first-served basis.
For a one-of-a-kind Hudson Valley experience, head to the historic Thayer Hotel at West Point, spend some time in the lobby catching up on your military history, and then head up to Zulu Time for some R&R on a rooftop deck overlooking the Hudson River. Kick back a Summer Soldier rum drink or Hot Girl Martini, and dine on shared plates, hand-helds, salads, and pizza. Make sure to leave room for dessert: The Drunken Monkey Bread, topped with bourbon caramel and ice cream, is one of our favorites.