Nothing beats outdoor dining 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 dining often provides a more relaxed atmosphere, where kids can be entertained by simple pleasures like a passing butterfly or flowers on a nearby plant, and distant city noises offer cover for little ones who may forget to use their indoor voices.
We've highlighted several NYC eateries with outdoor seating options in the past, as well as exceptional spots where kids and families can eat and play. Now read on to take a closer look at restaurants in Queens with backyards for dining.
Easter egg hunt and live music at Bohemian Hall & Beer Garden
Bohemian Hall & Beer Garden — Astoria
2919 24th Avenue
This neighborhood staple opened in 1910, and it's an old favorite. Tall trees loom in the huge backyard and kids are welcome until 9pm. Be sure to check its calendar as the beer garden regularly hosts family-friendly events such as Easter egg hunts and live music. The grill food is great for kids—burgers, kielbasa and fries. For more adventurous eaters try the pierogies, Czech potato pancakes or other fare off the traditional Czech menu.
Hugging the bear at Bareburger
Bareburger — Astoria
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 front of the restaurant and all the other bear decor.
The Strand Smokehouse — Astoria
25-27 Broadway between Crescent and 29th Streets
The Strand is one of our longtime favorites. Inside, you'll find a huge communal wooden table and bench seating. Outdoor options include a seating area in the front of the restaurant, as well as a backyard. I still have not made it to the brunch with live music, but it is on my list! Brunch is the only time there is table service. Otherwise, check out the blackboard for menu options. My girls have always loved the pulled pork, chicken and the various sides that rotate.
Anable Basin Sailing Bar & Grill — Long Island City
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 summer months 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.
L'inizio Italian Pizzeria — Long Island City
47-23 Vernon Blvd
L'inizio is always packed with families! No surprise, of course. The cheeses are made fresh daily on location, herbs pulled from the garden and other quality ingredients imported from Italy. The owner has been a resident of Hunter's Point for over 30 years and his family has lived in the area since the 1930s. Enjoy delicious and authentic Italian in the backyard dining area.
Lovely outdoor seating at John Brown Smokehouse
John Brown Smokehouse — Long Island City
10-43 44th Drive
This BBQ spot has a cute backyard with picnic tables and umbrellas, and graffiti murals adorn the walls. The great selection of meats can be ordered in a sandwich or in different amounts according to how hungry you or your kids are. The cornbread (more of a pudding), hand-cut fries, baked beans and mac and cheese are good side options for kids.
The Creek and the Cave — Long Island City
10-93 Jackson Avenue
This place is great for kids. In addition to outdoor dining in the backyard, The Creek and the Cave offer eight pinball machines! The cuisine is California-Mexican inspired, and you'll find salads, quesadillas, burgers and tacos on hand. For dessert, kids will love the churro ice cream sandwiches and cinnamon dipping sticks consisting of crispy strips of flour tortilla dipped in cinnamon and sugar, served with chocolate sauce. Lunch or an early dinner is best with kids, as this eatery often hosts adults-only entertainment including comedy shows.
Quaint — Sunnyside
46-10 Skillman Avenue
Families frequent this spot for it's yummy brunch and Monday Night mussels special—a flat fee per person gets all-you-can-eat from 5-7pm. 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.
Venturo Osteria & Wine Bar — Sunnyside
44-07 Queens Boulevard
Although Venturo makes a great spot for date night without the kids, it's also a solid choice for family dining. I usually go for brunch or an early dinner. The staff is super friendly and accommodating, and the garden area is beautiful. The pizza is always a hit with the kids. The menu changes often, so it's always fun to go back and see what's new. Note: if doughnuts are on the menu, order them—they are out of this world!
Delicious options at Twist and Smash'd
Twist and Smash'd — Forest Hills
72-06 Austin Street
My family has tried almost everything on the menu at Twist and Smash'd and have not been disappointed. The food is amazing from the chicken waffles (ground chicken tenders wrapped in a waffle on a stick with maple syrup and powered sugar) to healthier options like the Smash'd veggie salad topped with homemade veggie burger. Kids will love the twisted potatoes and lemonade. Enjoy your meal in the backyard dining area where you'll find picnic tables and other causal seating options.
Check out our other family-friendly Queens dining picks here, or for more dining options throughout NYC, be sure to read through the Mommy Poppins Restaurant Guide.