Al Fresco Eats: Spring/Summer Guide

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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.

El Cocotero
228 W. 18th St., nr. Seventh Ave.
(212) 206-8930

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.


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Café con Leche
424 Amsterdam Ave., nr. 80th St.

324 Bowery

The Coffee Shop
29 Union Sq. West, at 16th St.

43 Carmine St., nr. Bedford St.

Cafe Ronda
249 Columbus Ave.

Estancia 460
460 Greenwich St.

Industria Argentina
329 Greenwich St.

Buenos Aires
513 E. 6th St., nr. Ave. A

Crudo by Don Pedro’s
235 W. 35th St.

Ricardo Steak House
2145 Second Ave.

303 W. 48th St., at Eighth Ave.

140 Seventh Ave. South, at Charles St.

Benny’s Burritos
93 Ave. A, at 6th St.

211 West Broadway, nr. Franklin St.

Choza Taqueria
1 Center St.

Crema Restaurante
111 W. 17th St., nr. Sixth Ave.

Gabriela’s Restaurante y Tequila Bar
688 Columbus Ave., nr. 94th St.

La Palapa
77 St. Marks Pl., nr. First Ave.

Maz Mezcal
316 E. 86th St., nr. Second Ave.

113 Seventh Ave. S., nr. Christopher St.

209 E 49th St

Panchito’s Mexican Restaurant y Cantina
103 MacDougal St., nr. Minetta St.

Rocking Horse Cafe
182 Eighth Ave., nr. 19th St.

Salsa y Salsa
206 Seventh Ave., at 22nd St.

92 Seventh Ave. South, nr. Barrow St.

Café Español
78 Carmine St., nr. Seventh Ave. South




557 Driggs Ave., nr. 7th St.
(718) 218-7284

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.

Rachel’s Taqueria
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.


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Miss Favela
57 S. 5th St., at Wythe St.

Palo Santo
652 Union St., Brooklyn, NY 11215

177 Vanderbilt Ave., nr. Myrtle Ave.

272 Prospect Park West, Brooklyn, NY 11215

Habana Outpost
757 Fulton St., Brooklyn, NY 11217

86 S. Portland Ave., Brooklyn, NY 11217

187 Columbia St., at Degraw St.

210 Seventh Ave., at 3rd St.

Burrito Bar and Kitchen
307 Flatbush Ave., at Prospect Pl.

Casa Pepe
114 Bay Ridge Ave., nr. Colonial Rd.

511 Myrtle Ave., at Grand St.

Fast & Fresh Burrito Deli
84 Hoyt St., nr. Atlantic Ave.

188 Fifth Ave., nr. Sackett St.
218 Court St., nr. Warren St.

396 Fifth Ave., at 9th St.
223 Fifth Ave., at President St.

269 Pacific St., nr. Smith St.

999 Manhattan Ave., nr Huron St.

73 Jay St., at Front St.

Taquería D.F.
709 Fifth Ave., at 22nd St.

Yola’s Cafe
524 Metropolitan Ave., nr. Union St.




33-18 28th Ave., Queens, NY 11103
(718) 545-8250

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.

La Vuelta
10-43 44th Dr., Queens, NY 11101
(718) 361-1858

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.

Rockaway Taco
95-19 Rockaway Beach Blvd., Queens, NY 11693
(347) 213-746

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.


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Empanadas Café
56-27 Van Doren St., at 108th St.
Fatty’s Cafe
25-01 Ditmars Blvd.