There’s still a month till Labor Day – more than enough time to enjoy some of the numerous outdoor dining spots along Third Avenue, where you can catch a breeze while chowing down and even people-watching, if you pick one of the neighborhood’s sidewalk cafés.
In no particular order, here are some of our favorites, both for the food and the ambience:
- Omonia Café (7612 Third Avenue; 718-491-1435) boasts a lovely oasis in its backyard dining area, where diners can linger over their choice of Greek and other pastries and desserts, all temptingly displayed in the eatery’s glistening glass case.
- Paneantico (9124 Third Avenue; 718-680-2347) is heaven for sandwich mavens, with its large, luxe offerings, many made with gorgeous Italian cold cuts. This is quintessential sidewalk café fare, and sandwiches are big enough that modest eaters may have enough left to enjoy a second half picnicking in Shore Road Park nearby.
- CEBU (8801 Third Avenue; 718-492-5095; cebubrooklyn.com) gets really hopping on sultry summer evenings and for good reason – the food and the drinks are good and the crowd is interesting. We love the creamy, ultra-fresh guacamole and the crisp-battered fried calamari, and the burgers and classic Caesar salads are both yummy and filling.
- Little Cupcake (9102 Third Avenue; 718-680-4465; littlecupcakebakeshop.com) is a dessert-lover’s dream-come-true, with its over-the-top cakes and cupcakes, perfect with a cup of espresso. These are as pretty as they are delicious. Try the Red Velvet cupcakes and the special-for-summer-only Luscious Lemon Cake for a sugar high that will help you ignore the sultry weather.
- Areo (8424 Third Avenue; 718-238-0079) offers patrons an outdoor fine dining option, with its menu of classic Italian specialties, including a broad selection of unusual pasta dishes, perfectly prepared, an array of meat and fish options, and lots of appealing antipasti.
- Caffe Café (8401 Third Avenue; 718-748-4700) has a small sidewalk café perfect for sipping a leisurely cup of coffee or lunching on a panini, a wrap or a portion of quiche. The corner spot’s specialty coffees are among its stars—perfect for a leisurely evening under the stars.
- The Brooklyn Beet Company (7205 Third Avenue; 347-492-0020) is one of the latest restaurants to get an outdoor dining space, where enthusiastic patrons can enjoy the European-inspired eatery’s unique take on locally-sourced cuisine – way more than beets, though the garnet-colored veggies definitely have their well-earned place on the menu.
- Red Oak Restaurant (8305 Third Avenue; 718-680-0800; redoaknyc.com), which bills itself as “the sexiest restaurant new restaurant and bar with a loungy feel,” has an extensive brunch menu that can be enjoyed in its bowered backyard, as well as a full dinner menu replete with Mediterranean specialties from the Middle East and North Africa, as well as a lighter menu of sandwiches and wraps.
Summer is winding down; don’t delay in taking advantage of the opportunity to dine outside, whether under the stars or the bluest of blue skies, in a neighborhood which makes it extremely easy to do so.