Nothing beats dining at outdoor restaurants in warmer months, especially with kids in tow, and in family-friendly Queens, there are plenty of spots where you can enjoy alfresco eats. We don't mean a sidewalk table or two—we're talking an actual yard with ample seating and room for families to enjoy a meal. Outdoor restaurants often provide a more relaxed atmosphere, where kids can be entertained by simple pleasures like a passing butterfly or flowers on a nearby plant, and city noises offer cover for little ones who may forget to use their indoor voices.
We've highlighted several Manhattan eateries with outdoor seating options in the past and a whole slew of outdoor restaurants in Brooklyn, as well as exceptional spots where kids and families can eat and play. Read on to take a closer look at outdoor restaurants in Queens with backyards for kid-friendly dining.
Editor's note: While we are trying to promote safer activities that occur outdoors or with social distancing guidelines in place, please keep your family and others safe by always wearing a mask and maintaining an appropriate distance.
37-08 30th Avenue
With kids, you can never go wrong with pizza, and even in a city full of great pizza options, Slice Astoria is a winner. For pizza-wary parents, there are lots of great alternatives on the menu; the eggplant parm hero and polenta fries are particular highlights. It took me a few visits before I realized that hidden out back is a giant, beautiful patio, which immediately moved Slice to the top of my family’s pizza night out list. The wooden patio is lined with bench seating and tables, leaving the middle area open for kids to run a little wild while you finish your craft beer or San Pellegrino.
29-12 23rd Ave.
Though brunch is the real draw here, this dog-friendly spot offers tasty food throughout the day. Still in the heart of Astoria's restaurant scene, the sweet garden feels far less rowdy than some of the other outdoor spots in the neighborhood. The varied menu boasts lots of kid-friendly and vegan options. Make a reservation ahead on weekends to avoid a lengthy wait.
Pose and play with the bear outside Bareburger. Photo by Kelly O
33-21 31st Avenue
This local chain offers plenty of organic options, including vegetarian dishes, salads, and the star: a dizzying number of burgers and toppings. There's also a kids' meal that comes with a main dish, a juice or milk, and a side of fries and apple sticks. Many moms go here after classes with their kids to meet up for a yummy lunch. This location is spacious and has a lush backyard seating area. My girls love the wooden statue of a bear in the restaurant's front and all the other bear decor.
4. Quaint – Sunnyside
46-10 Skillman Avenue
Families frequent this spot for its yummy brunch and regular nights with all-you-can-eat mussel specials. Quaint easily accommodates kids with high chairs and a warm and friendly staff. Kid-friendly fare includes mac and cheese, burgers, steak, and fries. The backyard area is small, so plan on an early dinner to beat the crowd and snag a table.
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There are plenty of tables to accommodate families—wait-free—at Anable Basin.
4-40 44th Drive
My family just discovered this spot tucked away in an industrial area of Long Island City right across the way from The Water's Edge. My girls loved watching the wildlife on the water—ducklings, a mama duck, and geese—and we all enjoyed the colorful sunset. Anable is only open during the summer, as its entire seating area is outdoors. There are picnic tables right next to the water with a stunning view of the Manhattan skyline. This eatery is also dog-friendly—quite entertaining for little ones. Overall, expect a relaxed ambiance, a lovely view, and good food. Kid-friendly staples include sausages, hamburgers, hot dogs, and corn on the cob.
208-01 Northern Boulevard
True to its name, this eatery features a beautiful veranda with major West Coast vibes. The Mediterranean-American restaurant is kid-friendly, has stroller parking and high chairs, and the staff whips up all the typical mini-meals for kids on request.
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Great views and a huge deck make Bungalow Bar a great family restaurant.
377 Beach 92nd Street
Every Queens family should hit Rockaway Beach at least once a summer, and no Rockaway trip would be complete without a stop at a surf-themed bar. Bungalow Bar, right on Jamaica Bay just over the bridge from Broad Channel, offers classic beach fare with phenomenal views. With its big deck overlooking the water (with a new retractable roof to provide some shade), various seafood offerings, fun cocktails, and live music, Bungalow is the quintessential beach bar. The deck can get crowded, but the service is attentive even when the bar is packed.
28-13 23rd Ave.
Though it doesn't have an actual yard per se, this Astoria favorite serves traditional Greek fare with plenty of outdoor seating. Choose from generous portions of grilled seafood or meat or, better yet, a combo that the whole family can share. Dinner ends with a pleasant surprise: an order of Loukoumades–fried dough with honey! (Not available on Saturdays.)
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Enjoy brunch, dinner, and cocktails at Victory Garden's beautiful patio!
21-69 Steinway Street
The cozy outdoor area is the star at this quiet oasis in the heart of busy Astoria. With flowing fountains, comfy cushioned wicker seating, and overhead shades to protect against sun and rain, this is the perfect place to enjoy a pastry and coffee while relaxing with friends and family. Greek brunch options include traditional puff pastry cheese pie (sfoliata tiropita) and Mediterranean toast served with sausage and goat cheese.
117-18 Queens Boulevard
Head to this friendly neighborhood spot for standard pub fare with some German menu options thrown in as well. Parents love the full-fledged beer menu, and kids appreciate the extra space to roam. Be forewarned: The single bathroom is not equipped with a changing table.
Photos courtesy of the restaurants, unless noted.
A version of this story was published in 2015; it has since been updated.