The weather has finally warmed up and that can only mean one thing — the season to eat and drink outdoors has finally arrived. We’ve rounded up a few of our favorite downtown bars and restaurants with dedicated gardens and rooftops. Feel free to leave your favorites in the comments below.
String lights, multi-colored cushions, and an abundance of plants give the rooftop garden at Skinner’s Loft a fairy tale-like vibe from the moment you arrive. Both elegant and casual, it’s the least city-like dining experience you can find — despite being located in the heart of downtown. You may encounter a wait on warmer days, so get there early to claim a spot. @146 Newark Avenue
With a prime spot along the Jersey City waterfront, Henry’s on the Hudson offers unparalleled views of the Manhattan skyline. The restaurant’s menu is eclectic, which means there’s something for everyone, including flatbread pizzas, burgers, salads, and of course, seafood. The restaurant sits just above the waterfront boardwalk and recently expanded service: It’s now open on Saturdays until 8pm. @34 Exchange Place
Nestled right next to Hamilton Park, GP’s al fresco dining area will make you forget you’re in New Jersey’s second-most populous city. Pet parents will love that GP’s outdoor section is dog-friendly (they’ll even provide your four-legged friend with a water bowl), but you really want to come here for the food, which is clean, classic Italian with a modern-day twist. On certain nights, GP’s provides live guitar music making it an ideal spot for that special date night. @236 Pavonia Avenue
Although we love the Pedestrian Plaza, every now and then you want to enjoy a drink without random cyclists or passersby. That’s where Porta comes in. High above Newark Avenue, this rooftop bar lets you enjoy your drinks away from the crowds below. Although the rooftop menu is limited — e.g. you can’t order pizza — the beer and wine are just steps away thanks to Porta’s dedicated rooftop bar. @135 Newark Avenue
Like any proper biergarten, Zeppelin Hall offers a massive outdoor seating area complete with communal benches and built-in table umbrellas to shield you from the sun. The outdoor area can get crowded fast, but if you’re able to secure a spot, beer lovers will enjoy over 144 European beers and American craft brews on tap. The menu also includes bar classics like burgers, sausages, and kielbasa. @88 Liberty View Drive
Located on the ground floor of Crystal Point Condos, Taphaus offers a postcard-like view of the Manhattan skyline. In addition to its 48 beers on tap, the biergarten also offers an extensive surf and turf menu with burgers, brats, and a variety of seafood entrees. Taphaus’ outdoor patio just made its debut this month and it’s open on weekends starting at 11am. @2 Second Street
Can’t make it to the shore? Let Surf City bring it to you — sans the traffic-filled drive. The mega beach bar just kicked off its spring/summer season and offers clam bakes, calypso music, and a spacious outdoor area with direct views of New York and the harbor. There are 24 beers on tap, a surf-and-turf food menu, and plenty of vacation-style cocktails. @1 Marin Blvd.