Updated August 4th, 2020
New Jersey restaurants have been open for outdoor dining for nearly two months, and more spots than ever have set up sidewalk, street, and patio seating. In Jersey City and Hoboken, you can’t walk a block without seeing hanging light-covered tents or socially distanced picnic tables in places you would’ve seen buses, bikes, and runners a few months ago. To keep you from wandering from one bulletin board menu to another, we’ve put together this guide, which includes details like operating hours and reservation policies.
If you’d rather order in, check out our Jersey City Delivery Guide, and our NYC Delivery Collection, which has guides to every dining situation you might find yourself in from Hoboken to the Hamptons.
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Razza, (our second favorite NYC pizza spot even though it’s in Jersey City) is offering first come, first served seating on a curbside patio out front. Along with their fantastic pizzas - like one with hand shucked Jersey peas, guanciale, garlic confit, and fresh mozzarella - they’re serving a brand new meatball parm sub, as well as some very good summer-y cocktails.
If you list very good burgers and well-made natural wine from relatively obscure parts of the world as passions of yours, then that means two things. First, we’d probably swipe right, and second, you should go to Frankie. This Australian spot on Grove Street has a great cheeseburger with garlic aioli, and a highly curated, constantly changing natural wine list, which you can explore during dinner or weekday Happy Hour from 4-7pm.
There are plenty of things right now that’ll keep you from imagining you’re on vacation in Siena, but having breakfast at Prato isn’t one of them. This Tuscan bakery serves fantastic breads, focaccia sandwiches, and pastries, which you should eat at an outdoor table while sipping on an espresso or cioccolatte (latte with nutella).
Jersey City has a ton going for it, but buildings the size of (East Coast) mountains aren’t on the list. Fortunately, one of the best places to take in the view is from this side of the river, specifically from the outdoor patio at Hudson & Co. The tables on the waterfront at this American spot are available daily on a first come, first served basis.
Eating at 15 Fox Place always feels like going to a dinner party in someone’s home, and right now is no different. This Italian-American spot has a nice enclosed garden on a residential street in Journal Square, where you can bring your own wine, and enjoy filling, family-style dishes like eggplant stuffed with fontinella, pastas, and chicken roulade. Call 201-333-1476 to make a reservation.
The backyard at this Caribbean spot in Bergen-Lafayette has picnic tables set up for outdoor dining. Get some rum punch, curry goat with roti, and a fantastic bake with jerk chicken inside fried dough. They also have live reggae on weekends, and you can keep track of the schedule on their Instagram.
The crispy falafel and nicely charred chicken shawarma at Ibby’s both cost less than $8, but this isn’t just an inexpensive, filling takeout spot. Well, it is those things, but the wraps and platters at this Grove Street spot have combinations of spices and textures that wouldn’t be out of place somewhere that served food on Christofle plates rather than tin foil. And now that they have sidewalk seating, it’s not just a takeout spot either.
This cafe on the waterfront is a great place to get oysters and cocktails when the sun gets tired of being hostile for the day. The tables a few feet from the river are available on weekdays starting at 4pm, as well as brunch on weekends, and you can make a reservation through their website.
Usually, our favorite way to experience Broa is sitting in their backyard surrounded by bottles of wine (it’s BYO) and plates of Portuguese dishes like bacalao or piri-piri quail. Now, you can get a pretty good sense for what we’re talking about by sitting at one of the tables they’ve set up on Grove Street, opening a bottle of wine, and asking the friendly servers about the nightly specials.
This classic Italian spot in Greenville has set up a very nice outdoor area where you won’t need to nervously check Dark Sky between every course. The tent and hanging light-covered space is available by reservation, which you can make by calling 201-434-4115.
This West Indian spot in Journal Square, which opened in December, is serving codfish fritters with scotch bonnet remoulade and beef patties rolled in flaky dough on its outdoor patio. You can make a reservation at this BYOB spot by calling 201-653-6533, or stop by between 12-5pm on weekends for brunch, when they serve things like braised oxtail and eggs. The menu changes often, so check out their Instagram for the latest updates.
In some ways, Cellar 335 feels like lots of other tiki-themed cocktail bars. They serve sugary cocktails in mugs shaped like giant heads, and even their new outdoor space is bright and colorful. But this downtown spot differs in a few key ways. The cocktail mugs include Santa Claus’ head and cans of Spam, the drinks are better (and stronger) than you’ll find at most tiki bars, and the food is good enough to make it a place to go just for snacks or dinner. Order some pork belly bao or shrimp and avocado fried rice with a rum and absinthe cocktail Thursday-Sunday from 2-9pm.
Not only is Ani Ramen operating two different non-profit pop-ups out of its Newark Avenue space to support frontline medical staff and displaced hospitality workers, but it’s also serving its delicious ramen at District Kitchen, a food hall on Hudson Street. Stop by any day between 12-3pm or 4-9pm.
Some places have put up string lights over their outdoor seating, and others have set up canopies to help with passing rain showers, but the award for unique outdoor space has to go to this Jersey City brewery. Not only have they turned their patio into a pirate ship, but they’ve also set up a few holes of mini-golf, which you can play while drinking their housemade beers.
In the Heights, Corto is offering outdoor dining, which means you can eat their mafaldine with speck or chicken with pancetta under hanging lights in their backyard. Make a reservation for a party no larger than six guests through their website, and don’t forget to bring some wine (it’s BYO).
Our favorite sushi spot in Jersey City is offering outdoor dining every day from 12-2:30pm and 5-10pm, with reservations available through their website.
From 12-10pm daily, you can eat White Star’s fantastic bar food, like fried chicken sandwiches and meaty buffalo wings, on their outdoor patio. If you’re looking for outdoor brunch this weekend, stop by for a burger topped with ham and egg, and some spiked lemonade.
White Star’s location in Paulus Hook is also offering outdoor dining on its patio, currently from 4-9pm daily.
Mathews is from the people behind White Star, and while this American spot serves similarly excellent fried chicken, it’s more of a place to go for a full meal than drinks and bar snacks. Tables on the white-fenced outdoor patio are available for walk-ins and reservations, which you can make for dinner or weekend brunch by calling (201) 333-1258.
You have quite a few options for great pasta in Jersey City, but few offer it as many different ways as this downtown Italian spot. You can sit at an outdoor table, and order cacio e pepe or maltagliati with spicy sausage for dinner Thursday through Sunday, or you can buy freshly made pastas and sauces from their pasta counter, and try not to mess them up cooking at home.
Milk Sugar Love doesn’t have much seating of its own, but it’s across the street from Hamilton Park, so you’ll have plenty of places to sit while eating their ice cream sandwiches held together by housemade cookies. Know that only one guest or family/friend group is allowed inside at a time, masks are required, and cash is not accepted.
This excellent downtown cocktail bar has set up garden seating surrounded by plants, flamingos (not real ones), and colorful furniture. Wednesday through Sunday starting at 3pm, get one of the first come, first served tables, and try a vodka cocktail made with cachaca amburana and Suze gentian liqueur. Just know that seating is limited to an hour unless you’re told otherwise by the staff.
Porta is offering outdoor seating on its rooftop and sidewalk patio. As always, it’s a good option for cocktails and pizza with a few friends, especially if you don’t feel like waiting for a table at Razza a couple blocks away, Make a reservation through their website for a table any day of the week starting at 4pm (12pm on Sunday).
Across the street from Porta, Skinner’s Loft is also offering both rooftop and sidewalk seating. This American spot is serving its bacon-wrapped turkey meatloaf and housemade pesto bucatini from 5-9pm, Thursday through Monday. Reservations are available on the roof for groups of up to four people through their website, while sidewalk seating is first come, first served.
On a quiet block in Paulus Hook, Satis Bistro is now serving Mediterranean dishes outdoors starting at 5pm Wednesday to Friday, and 12pm Saturday and Sunday. And since you’re probably not the only one who’s into the idea of eating cacio e pepe and drinking a glass of wine on their patio, head to their website and reserve a table. If you’re looking to have a private party, know that they can also host groups of up to 16 people.
This high-end Italian spot is at the end of a pier on the Hudson River, and its outdoor tables have unobstructed views of Downtown Manhattan. Make a reservation through their website for dinner or weekend brunch, and know that they have live music nightly from 6-9pm.
In the event that you didn’t get to try this American spot in the 10 weeks or so that it was open before the shutdown, you can make up for it now by checking out their outdoor patio. They’re serving things like fried chicken with hot honey and oyster mushroom po’ boys every night for dinner, as well as burgers with egg, thick-cut bacon, and havarti during weekend brunch.
Every day from 4-9pm, you can sit at a picnic table in Pet Shop’s big backyard, and drink hibiscus margaritas and natural wines while trying to figure out how the bratwurst and cheese curds you’re eating are vegan.
You don’t need a reservation to eat poutine sausage or a fried chicken sandwich on the outdoor patio at Wurstbar. All you have to do is show up anytime after 12pm and choose a cider to drink with your meal. Stay updated on their outdoor dining specials by following their Instagram.
This Jersey City barbecue spot has a bunch of picnic tables in its backyard, as well as tables on the sidewalk available every day, including weekend brunch. Follow their Instagram to stay updated on specials and patio hours.
Eating a big burger or an even bigger crispy chicken salad at the bar inside this Jersey City tavern still isn’t possible, but their sidewalk seating is a very good stand-in for the time being. For proof and more information on their patio hours, check out their Instagram.
Between the tables on its front patio, Maxwell Alley, and Coles Street, Gringo’s has seating for more than 100 people. You can be one of them any day of the week, with their usual menu of tacos and cocktail flights available until 10pm. You can also check out their food truck at Pier 13 in Hoboken Wednesday through Sunday.
Kitchen Step is serving things like ricotta gnocchi, baked chicken with chive oil, and a great burger topped with onion compote and bacon on their outdoor patio from 5pm-10pm (11pm on weekends) every day except Monday. That same burger is also available during weekend brunch, when they serve things like cheddar grits and fried chicken with honey sriracha glaze.
If you’re interested in eating a Cuban reuben sandwich with house-smoked corn beef on the outdoor patio at this Jersey City spot, all you have to do is call 201-479-8432 and make a reservation. For now, Latham House opens at 4pm Wednesday through Sunday.
From 9am to 3pm daily, you can get loaded pancakes covered in things like chocolate syrup and strawberries or marshmallows and pretzels on the outdoor patio at this Jersey City spot. Check out their Instagram for more details.
This American spot in Bergen-Lafayette has sidewalk seating available every day. When you’re you’re in the mood for buffalo wings, sweet potato fries, or a cheeseburger on a pretzel bun, drop by between 11am-10pm (11pm on weekends).
This French bistro is offering dinner service starting at 5pm every day except Monday, and brunch from 10am-4pm on weekends. A table on this quiet stretch of 4th Street is a great spot to have some oysters, coq au vin, and French wine downtown.
Like its Hoboken location, Orale in Jersey City is open for outdoor dining every day except Monday. Stop by for some margaritas and any of the 10+ types of guacamole between 3-9pm.
If eating wood-fired pizzas on covered back patios was a sport, Apulia would be a state of the art training center. This Italian spot on Washington street is a great spot to sit under a galaxy of string lights and eat things pasta, grilled octopus, and gelato, along with your prosciutto pie.
When it comes to wine, there’s always more to learn. And since this wine bar on Washington Street has both sidewalk seating and a large back patio where you can try tons of different Italian wines right now, you might want to get your notepad ready. Or, you can just enjoy things like burgers, pizza, and mussels here for lunch, dinner, or weekend brunch.
Looking for a French spot to bring someone you’d like to adopt a cat with some day? Try Court Street. The sidewalk tables here are set up along the restaurant’s brick exterior wall, and if that doesn’t scream “ROMANCE!” then you should definitely get an order of profiteroles and nervously avoid dripping custard on the white tablecloth to clarify that this is, in fact, a date.
Leo’s has more going for it than a mural of Frank Sinatra that you’ll probably want to take a photo with. It’s been around since the ’30s and it’s a neighborhood staple for red sauce classics like spaghetti and meatballs. They’ve also had a large outdoor patio, but they’ve spaced their sidewalk seating out even more for dinner service.
This Uptown pub serves the best wings in town, and you can eat them at a sidewalk table that’s covered with a Buffalo plaid tablecloth and pretend you’re at a traditional backyard BBQ. And since Carpe Diem has several awnings, this is a great option for when the weather forecast is a bit too ambiguous for your liking.
Charrito’s has a half-price margarita special on Mondays. But just in case it isn’t Monday, you should know that this Mexican spot serves huge chorizo platters, fried red snapper, and flan on their colorful, turf-covered curbside patio every day of the week.
This dog-friendly, waterfront cafe is a solid choice for tacos, lobster rolls, pizzas, and satisfying your need to stare out at the Manhattan skyline every once and awhile. They’ve got a bunch of spaced out picnic tables that run the length of the pier, a few cornhole boards, and plenty of frozen cocktails you can try from 12-11pm daily.
You can get dinner outside somewhere, or you can eat a four-course meal at Hudson Table, a BYOB outdoor spot with a rotating menu of seafood dishes like paella, scallop crudo, and crab linguine. They’ve got a bunch of spaced out curbside tables where you can feel good about changing things up on weeknights and hear live music while you eat brunch on weekends.
The big patio at this Austro-Hungarian beer garden opens at 3pm during the week and 11am on weekends. Get a picnic table with a few friends, and order some sausage platters or giant pretzels to help soak up whichever of the 70+ types of beer you try. Keep track of updates to specials and open hours on their Instagram here.
For kababs and saffron rice in Hoboken, head to Seven Valleys. This Persian spot has plenty of socially-distant curbside seating and QR code menus, so when you want to dunk some pita in a bowl of homemade hummus on Washington Street, this is one of the safest places to do it right now.
Two things to know about the outdoor dining at this BBQ spot in Hoboken: you can reserve an outdoor table ahead of time online through their website here, and it’s important that you order brisket and sausage while you’re there. Also - their Weehawken location is open for outdoor dining as well.
Both the Washington Street and Clinton Street locations of Napoli’s in Hoboken have outdoor seating on their respective sidewalks (and their tables go in front of M&P Biancamano on Washington Street). If you’d rather order takeout or delivery, you can call 201-216-0900 for Washington Street and 201-479-0440 for Clinton Street.
In addition to offering patio seating, you should know that this Hoboken Italian spot is serving brunch every day from 8am to 3pm. They’re encouraging diners to make a reservation ahead of time for brunch and dinner, which you can do on their website here.
This pizza place on Washington Street in Hoboken is open for outdoor dining every day starting at 3:30pm. You can check out their menu, and order takeout or delivery through their website here.
Karma Kafe’s sidewalk seating area is open every day for lunch and dinner, and it’s where you can enjoy things like cold papri chaat, mango mojitos, and mutton biryani. All of the seating is first-come first serve, so we’d recommend showing up early if you’re determined not to wait. You can always order takeout and delivery if you’d rather eat their excellent Indian food at home. Check out their menu and more details on their hours here.