Brooklyn boasts its share of restaurants with sidewalk tables, but those of us with kids enjoy those eateries with more spacious outdoor dining. A backyard, picnic tables, roof decks, or sometimes even a bit of grass? We're sold!
Just in time for summer, we've rounded up of our favorite spots from across Brooklyn that feature ample outdoor space, serve delicious food, and welcome families with children. If you're in the mood for variety, we've included a mix of cuisines: Japanese, Mexican, Cuban, Southern comfort and of course, pizza and New American.
Headed to Brooklyn from a surrounding area? Browse our Brooklyn Kids Guide to take full advantage of the borough while you're there, or peruse our NYC Restaurant Guide for more family-friendly eats.
Adults and children will thrill at the stunning views of Manhattan from the rooftop deck at Alma.
Alma — Columbia Waterfront
187 Columbia Street
With its year-round roof deck offering breathtaking views of the Manhattan skyline, this Mexican restaurant is a favorite outdoor destination. Its three stories include a full bar on the first floor, but you'll want to head to the roof terrace for the views. Menu favorites include guacamole, fajitas, and tacos. Kids' menu offerings include quesadillas and rice-and-bean combos. Alma does not take reservations for its roof terrace in spring and summer, so get there when it opens to avoid waiting in line. High chairs are available, but there are no changing tables in the small bathrooms. Strollers must be left on the ground floor as the steps up to the roof are narrow and steep.
Parents can relax and chill while kids play in the sandbox, or at the mini golf course, at Brooklyn Crab.
Brooklyn Crab — Red Hook
24 Reed Street
Parents-in-the-know head to this seafood spot loaded with rustic charm in the warmer months for its "Reed Park" section, which offers outdoor seating in its generous backyard, including Adirondack chairs and an impressive sandbox for kids. There's even an eight-hole mini golf course, a beanbag toss, and more games. The year-round bar and restaurant offers an abbreviated menu in Reed Park, but there's still plenty to choose from for the kids, including the standard hot dogs, chips, and chicken fingers, and crab rolls, New England beers, and oysters for the grown-ups. It's all served up with a view of the New York harbor. Reed Park is open only seasonally—it opened in late April in 2017—and Friday-Sunday. Seating is first come, first served, but there are often plenty of picnic tables up for grabs in other sections of the multi-level restaurant.
Calexico — Greenpoint
645 Manhattan Avenue
This particular location of the small chain featuring the delicious intersection between southern Californian and Mexican cuisine has a lovely backyard area where kids can let loose while you enjoy their top notch guac and an ice cold margarita. High chairs available, as well as a convenient kids menu that includes your slam-dunk cheese quesadillas with a side of steamed broccoli.
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Kids will dig the chocolate bread at Farm on Adderley.
Farm on Adderley — Ditmas Park
1108 Cortelyou Road
The Farm on Adderley has been drawing brunch, lunch, and dinner crowds from all over Brooklyn (and Manhattan) with its focus on fresh, seasonal ingredients and farm-to-table ethos. Its rustic garden is perfect for the warmer months. Kids can choose from grilled cheese, buttered noodles, organic hot dogs, and tofu or order items from the regular menu such as chocolate bread, French toast, or chicken schnitzel.
Fornino — Brooklyn Bridge Park
Pier 6, Brooklyn Bridge Park
A go-to for pizza, this location is nestled right along the water of Brooklyn Bridge Park near the epic string of hidden playgrounds right off of Atlantic Avenue. Come early so the kids can expend their bountiful energy on the slides and swings (or splash park) then head to Fornino's rooftop restaurant to enjoy the sunset with views of Manhattan and the Statue of Liberty over brick-oven pizza. Note: The restaurant is open seasonally only.
Greenwood Park — South Park Slope
555 Seventh Avenue
Families flock to this South Park Slope beer garden that sits in a former gas station and boasts a combined 13,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor space. Parents can enjoy 60 beers on tap while kids can play bocce in one of three courts and enjoy kids' concerts. The menu offers a limited selection of pub food, including warm pretzels and panko-dusted salads, sandwiches, and sides. It's 21 and older after 7 pm and cash only.
Habana Outpost, a Mexican and Cuban restaurant in Fort Greene, hosts kids events all summer.
Habana Outpost — Fort Greene
757 Fulton Street
Billed as NYC's first "eco-eatery," this popular family spot in Fort Greene serves Mexican and Cuban cuisine with a large backyard gathering space for artists, kids, and families. The environmentally friendly elements include solar panels, recycled building materials, compostable utensils and plates, and rain water collection systems. Service is fast and friendly, and the menu offers a selection of sandwiches, tacos, burritos, and combination plates at reasonable prices. The grilled Mexican corn is a family favorite. During warmer months, Habana Outpost shows movies in its backyard and has a variety of activities for kids, including a Batman car that costs a quarter to ride! Check its calendar for a full listing. It's a great space for play dates, birthday parties, and other family meals. Note: The restaurant is open seasonally only.
Osaka — Cobble Hill
272 Court Street
This solid neighborhood spot is one of our NYC editor's favorites. The staff is super-friendly and the backyard is spacious. Go early and it will feel as if you're in a private backyard. Sushi gets rave reviews for its freshness and creativity. Kids can ring the gong and fill themselves with rice and tempura. High chairs are available, but the bathroom is tiny.
Peter's Since 1969 — Williamsburg
168 Bedford Avenue
Originally a butcher shop, this eatery is now a neighborhood mainstay specializing in homestyle comfort food. Peter's is famous for its marinated rotisserie chicken with the usual sides, including mashed potatoes, collard greens, mac and cheese and sweet potatoes. The service and ambiance are low-key and friendly, perfect for a casual family dinner. With large, wooden picnic-style tables and benches, you'll want to take your chicken outside to dine in the leafy outdoor seating area.
RELATED: NYC Restaurants Where Kids Eat Free
Enjoy pizza outdoors at Roberta's backyard in Bushwick.
Roberta's Pizza — Bushwick
261 Moore Street
What's better than eating pizza outside? This famed Bushwick pizzeria has a large outdoor garden where seating is communal at large wooden tables and the atmosphere is casual, cool, and hipster Brooklyn. Kids love to see their pizzas cooking in the wood-burning ovens. Roberta's offers walking and tasting tours of its garden. Reservations are not taken for parties of fewer than 10 people so be prepared for long lines, especially on the weekends. But it's worth a trip to Bushwick, at least once. Or better yet, score weekday lunch with the kids over the summer for a more family-friendly crowd (and wait).
Threes Brewing — Gowanus
333 Douglass Street
This fairly new brewery boasts a huge outdoor space and a food residency program in which different restaurants take over the kitchen. Parents can enjoy a drink from the vast selection of handcrafted beers and cocktails and join kids in trying cuisine from Insa Korean BBQ, Roberta's Pizza, Franny's, or Buttermilk Channel, just to list a few. High chairs are available and strollers must be left out in front.
Top image: Brooklyn Crab. All photos courtesy of the restaurants.