12 Best Spots For Stunning Waterfront Dining In NYC – Secret NYC

With the heat wave we’re currently in, it’s safe to say we’ve reached the “hell’s front porch” part of NYC summer (and it’s still only July!). If you don’t want to be limited to AC-only dining, enjoying a drink along the waterfront is one way to stay cool and keep the summer vibes going strong.

From eating on historic boats with gorgeous views of the sunset to checking out secluded seafood hotspots on NYC’s smaller surrounding islands, these are some of our favorite spots for a breezy cocktail and bites.

Here are the best waterfront dining spots in NYC:

293655500 1009855999732374 5246422956132643080 n

Located on Sherman Zwicker, a historic wooden schooner docked at Pier 25, Grand Banks is modeled after the oyster barges found on the waterfront in the 19th century. Their oysters are gathered sustainably from the East & West Coast in partnership with the non-profit Maritime Foundation, plus yellow and white awnings make for a bright, summery atmosphere!

For a similar feel, you can also hop aboard their sister restaurant Pilot in Brooklyn Heights.

Where: Pier 25 Hudson River Park

Hours: Monday-Friday 11 a.m.-12:30am, Saturday & Sunday for brunch 10 a.m.-2 p.m., followed by continuous service until 12:30 a.m.; reservations here

NYC’s first & only floating Mexican restaurant is setting sail again for the summer. The three-story boat at Pier 81 on the Hudson River lets you enjoy Mexican fare and delicious cocktails as you sail around the city for incredible skyline and sunset views with New York Cruise Lines. Watch our own experience above, and read more here!

Where: Pier 81, 41st Street and 12th Avenue

When: Wednesday – Thursday 5 p.m. – 10 p.m., Friday 3 p.m. – 10 p.m., Saturday – Sunday 1 p.m. – 10 p.m.

3. Watermark Bar, Pier 15 in South Street Seaport

55440Watermark Beach Dusk 10

Originally a stunning events venue, Watermark Bar is a great spot to grab food and drinks with beautiful views of the East River and the Brooklyn Bridge (hint: it’s even more magical at night when the bridge is lit up!). They’re usually known for their epic Oktoberfest event, but it’s just as good for frozen margs. You can also play ping pong and corn hole, the perfect place to escape your apartment.

Where: Pier 1, 78 South Street

Hours: Monday – Friday 5 p.m. – 10 p.m. & Saturday – Sunday 12.p.m. – 10. p.m

4. Baylander Steel Beach, Harlem: Now Open

New Project

The Baylander Steel Beach is a newer restaurant and bar at the West Harlem Piers that’s aboard a historic air craft carrier ship. The eatery comes from the owners of Prohibition Lounge on the Upper West Side, who came into ownership of the decommissioned ship in 2017. The menu of course boasts yummy seafood and bar grub — like fish & chips, fried clams, and lobster rolls. And of course, there are plenty of nautical themed cocktails like the Dark ‘n Stormy, and a “Port Side Paloma.”

Where: Hudson River West Harlem Piers on 125th St.

Hours: 3-10 p.m. Tuesday-Friday, and 2-10 p.m. on Saturday & Sunday

5. City Winery, Pier 57


NYC’s combination music venue/winery/restaurant, City Winery, finally opened their massive flagship on Pier 57 in late 2020. The 32,000-square-foot space is right on the Hudson River and has views of the waterfront along with Little Island. You can take in views indoors & out with deck seating as well as floor-to-ceiling windows.

Where: 25 11th Ave

Hours: Sunday-Thursday 12 p.m. – 10 p.m.; Friday & Saturday 12 p.m. – 11 p.m.

6. City Vineyard, Pier 26 in Tribeca

290631359 1050873155555597 6444910927235589371 n e1658267307246290631359 1050873155555597 6444910927235589371 n e1658267307246

Also owned by City Winery is the Tribeca staple City Vineyard, where you can also enjoy great views of the Hudson while sipping on wine that is made right here in NYC. You have multiple options for seating here: the socially-distanced patio and the rooftop, which both have gorgeous views of the water and are covered in romantic vines. No matter where you sit, there’s plenty of frosé to be had.

Where: 233 West St.

Hours: 12 p.m.-10 p.m. daily

7. The Frying Pan, Pier 66 in Chelsea

287296906 410178154332552 703112880777491361 n e1658259626546287296906 410178154332552 703112880777491361 n e1658259626546

This Coast Guard lightship turned restaurant/bar boasts seafood bites like lobster rolls, fried calamari, fish ‘n chips and more, along with amazing views of the sunset over the Hudson. You’ll feel like you’re out to sea even though you’re completely docked, of course! They also have loads of refreshing summer drinks on deck, like sangria, vodka lemonade, rum punch and spicy watermelon margaritas!

Where: 207 12th Ave

Hours: Open 7 days a week, 11:30 a.m. to sunset (weather related closures are posted in IG Stories)

8. Anable Basin, Long Island City

119212178 657886788457438 1046174108093725366 n

Anable Basin is a bit off the beaten path in Long Island City, but once you walk there you’ll realize how it’s one of the city’s best-kept secrets. Its spot on the East River offers unencumbered views of the Manhattan skyline you won’t get at the restaurants and bars on the city’s piers, plus it’s not as well-known. Enjoy local beers, craft cocktails, and light bites.

*Cash only

Where: 4-40 44 Drive, Long Island City 

Hours: Monday-Friday 3 p.m.-12 a.m., Saturday-Sunday 12 p.m.-12 a.m., no reservations

9. Johnny’s Reef, City Island (The Bronx)

286610780 721841165722590 2381947197691679592 n

Johnny’s Reef has been serving City Island—the tiny 1.5-mile long island off the northeastern part of the Bronx—for a whopping 60 years. It’s casual and affordable, with fresh seafood from the market each day that can be eaten off picnic tables right on the water. Enjoy a wide range of fish, shellfish and more either steamed or fried.

Where: 2 City Island Ave, The Bronx

Hours: Monday – Thursday 11:30 a.m.-9:30 p.m., Friday & Saturday 11:30 a.m.-11 p.m.. Sunday 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m.

10. Nick’s Lobster House, Brooklyn

272218561 3231306307097484 4313806830157853233 n e1658261104136

Lobster, anyone? This historic restaurant has been serving Mill Basin, Brooklyn since 1955! Enjoy views of the boats zooming around while on the outside deck, and indulge in lobster multiple different ways: whole, roll, or surf ‘n turf with steak!

Where: 2777 Flatbush Ave, Brooklyn

Hours: Sunday-Thursday 12-9:30 p.m., Friday-Saturday 12-10:30 p.m.

When you’re sitting at Island Oyster’s bar on Governors Island on a sunny day, feeling the sea breeze flow from the Hudson River, you will surely forget you are even in the city (except for that gorgeous view of the skyline, of course). You’ll feel like you’re on vacation on a tropical island—and you only had to take a $2 ferry from downtown Manhattan. Munch on oysters (of course), fresh salads, fish tacos, and vacation-ready cocktails.

*Walk-ins only, no reservations

Where: 146 Carder Rd., Governors Island

Hours: Wednesday through Friday from noon until 6 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. until 7 p.m.

12. Mezze on the River, Battery Park City

exterior 1 scaled e1658262217651exterior 1 scaled e1658262217651

This new Mediterranean spot from Merchants Hospitality has gorgeous views of the Hudson River from Battery Park. The outdoor terraces offer elevated cabanas with unobstructed waterfront views, while the inside has floor-to-ceiling windows, perfect for sailboat watching. Enjoy Greek-influenced menu items from Fresh Grilled Branzino to Lamb Chops, to of course, Mezze Platters and even Raw Bar options.

They also have Happy Hour, Monday-Friday 4-6 p.m.!

Where: 375 South End Ave

Hours: Monday – Thursday 4 p.m. – 11 p.m., Friday 4 p.m. – 12 a.m., Saturday 12 p.m. – 12 a.m., Sunday 12 p.m. – 11 p.m.

13. Drift In, West Village

289453040 576427977382270 4271453370392626615 n e1658264465900289453040 576427977382270 4271453370392626615 n e1658264465900

Another from the Crew NYC crew, Drift In mimics the island feel and atmosphere of both Grand Banks and Island Oyster (though it’s not on a boat or an island!). Enjoy their signature nautical-striped awnings along the Hudson River, with bites like sustainable oysters, wild-caught seafood and burgers plus cool-you-down drinks like watermelon frosé and tropical cocktails.

Where: Hudson River Park’s Pier 45, between Christopher St. and West 10th St.

Hours: Monday-Friday from 11 a.m. to midnight; Saturday and Sunday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. (brunch), 2 p.m.-midnight (all day menu)