Some call Staten Island “the forgotten borough.” It’s both a rude thing to say, and ultimately confusing since one simply cannot forget the island’s thin-crust pizzas, prosciutto-layered Italian combos, and the fact that the Wu Tang Clan formed here. If you’re looking for something great to eat on SI, whether that be the aforementioned Italian food, Sri Lankan kottu roti, or juicy jerk chicken, use this guide as your outdoor dining compass.
Looking for outdoor spots elsewhere in NYC? Check out our guide to where to eat outside.
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If only this Caribbean restaurant had a pool, it’d be the backyard you wish you and your friends had growing up. It’s equipped with a fire pit, strings of hanging Carriflags, turf patches, and a swinging love seat. Come here for guava margaritas, juicy jerk chicken, and a big plate of island pasta - and make sure to follow Koten’s on Instagram, they sometimes post about live music nights and $5 drink specials.
Denino’s is a casual pizza place on Staten Island, and it’s considered one of the essential pizza stops both on the island and in the city at large. The pies here are thin-crust and extremely large. Plus, their outdoor area has a big covered tent so you and your pizza will stay dry in case it rains halfway through dinner.
Back in the spring of 2019, this Dominican bakery on Victory Boulevard opened with a menu of things like sweet maduros filled with meat, big plates of pernil, and smoothies. Now, you can stop by their store for pick-up and eat at one of the seat-yourself tables outside. If you’d rather be alone with your empanadas at home, you can always place your order for takeout or delivery online or by calling 718-816-1500.
Joe & Pats one of the best pizza places in the borough - and the whole city, for that matter. If you don’t get the thin, crispy-crust vodka pie (which you should), we’d suggest sticking with something that only has one topping since the added weight will disturb the integrity of the crust. Joe & Pats has first come, first served seating available in front of their restaurant every day starting at 11am.
Royal Crown has two sides of their operation. The first is a bakery that sells giant tiramisu, tri-color cookies, and other Italian sweets of which you’ll want several pounds. The other half serves savory lunch stuff, including fresh-baked hero rolls with provolone, prosciutto, sweet soppressata, black olives, and roasted peppers. Both takeout counters have a shared outdoor area full of umbrellas, tables, and potted plants.
The pizza at this sports bar has a nicely charred bottom and ballooning crust bubbles that you could break with a single tap. Get the briny clam pie and a pitcher of beer at one of their outdoor tables.
If you’re looking for lunch or dinner with a view of the water, check out Marina Cafe’s deck next to Great Kills Harbor. The outdoor tables here are mostly shaded by umbrellas, and you can eat things like shrimp cocktail and crispy fish tacos while you decide which yachts look sleekest. Call 718-967-3077 for a reservation ahead of time.
This Staten Island-only ice cream spot has been serving sundaes and double scoops in a cone for almost a century, and their Richmond Town location has takeout, delivery, and a bunch of picnic tables available every day until 10pm (and 11pm on weekends). Heads up: the original spot on Forest Avenue doesn’t currently offer outdoor seating - although they’re open for pick-up and delivery.
This Chinese hot pot restaurant has locations all around the city, and it’s a great place to celebrate a birthday, especially because they’ll give you a free meal with proof of ID. If it’s not your birthday, rely on 99 Favor Taste whenever you get in the mood to eat an unconscionable amount of hot, broth-dipped meat and seafood on a random Tuesday night. There’s a small backyard at the New Dorp Lane spot, and they’re offering half-off cocktails and beer for $2.59 during weekday Happy Hour between 4pm and 7pm. Call 718-808-0099 to make a reservation.
The centerpiece of Bin 5’s backyard is a lit-up tree, which is a useful reminder that concepts like nature still exist. Come to this Italian spot for date night or a catch-up with a friend that includes a plate of meatballs, a fancy cocktail, and some salad. They’re offering outdoor dining Wednesday through Sunday.
The Phunky Elephant Gastropub
Phunky Elephant’s patio has enough room for you and a few friends to hang out with a couple of drinks and some cheese-forward bar snacks like macaroni and cheese spring rolls. They occasionally host live music here, and you can always make a reservation ahead of time online if you’re worried about finding a spot. They also have bingo brunch, in case that pairing of nouns makes you perk up.
Bayou has made a significant effort to dress up their outdoor alley space like it’s perpetually celebrating mardi gras, and it will make you feel incredibly festive even if you’ve never been within 100 miles of Louisiana. Come to this New Orleans-inspired spot for massive muffaletta sandwiches, jambalaya, and cocktails that could inspire a Skittles commercial. You can call 718-273-4383 to make a reservation ahead of time.
This Italian wine bar on Bay Street has sidewalk seating and a covered back patio. The backyard looks like the sort of place you could attend a wedding reception, only instead of watching someone’s brother fumble through a toast involving a Good Will Hunting quote, you get to enjoy charcuterie, wine, and gnocchi. Reserve a spot online ahead of time or show up for one of their first come, first served tables.
There’s a lot of Sri Lankan food to eat on Staten Island (like at Randiwa, Ceylon Curry, and New Asha - which are all open for takeout) but Lakruwana seems to be the only spot with outdoor dining available. The interior is full of hanging masks and elephant statues, and a $15 all-you-can-eat weekend buffet. Although you can’t currently experience Lakruwana’s buffet or indoor decor, you can stop by for outdoor dining and takeout every day. Eat the vegetable lamprais wrapped in banana leaves or a heart-shaped pile of godamba roti at one of their picnic tables.
Egger’s Ice Cream
If you’re closer to Stapleton than Richmond Town, know that the Egger’s location here is open for pick-up, delivery, and outdoor seating every day until 9:30pm (and 10:30pm on weekends). Heads up: the original spot on Forest Avenue doesn’t currently offer outdoor seating (although they’re open for pick-up and delivery).
It’s possible you’ve been drinking your fair share at home these past few months. But it seems less likely that you’ve been drinking rum cocktails out of pineapples in the comfort of your pajamas. When you’re ready to put on real pants and drink in public, stop by The Coupe’s outdoor patio. In addition to interesting cocktails, they also serve a food menu until 4am. There’s even something called “The Sandwich” which comes with mortadella, prosciutto, spicy capicola, and provolone. If you know of anyone who is upset about the combination of tiki drinks and an Italian sandwich available until 4am, please tell them not to call us.
Flour & Oak is a cool-looking Italian restaurant with a Chewbacca head hanging by the bathrooms and Neapolitan pizzas that cost under $20. Their outdoor dining menu is pizza and salad-focused (they’ve previously served pasta and other entrees), and you can check it out here. Come on a weekend night when the street is closed off to car traffic.
Flagship Brewing is one of Staten Island’s only breweries, and their outdoor beer garden is pretty close to the Staten Island Ferry - in case you’re coming in from the city. This spot has a bunch of interesting options for beer (like a pizza rat pilsner and a beer brewed with a combination of malted barley and chocolate rye), as well as bar snacks like soft pretzels. The tables are first come, first served, and they stay open until 10pm or later most nights. Also, if you’re not on Staten Island but you want to try some of Flagship’s beer, know that they’ll deliver to Brooklyn, Long Island, LIC, and Manhattan.
Bring someone you love to Mar Mar. We say this because during dinner you’ll inevitably brush hands while you both go to dip your pita into the muhammara. And also because it’s possible you’ll bear witness to a weekend belly dancing show. In addition to their sidewalk dining area, this Syrian spot has a big back patio with tons of hanging string lights. If you’re looking to host a small, private gathering, know that Mar Mar can accommodate for that too.