Post Overview: Best restaurants on the water NYC
Let’s be honest, it should come as no surprise that there are dozens of great waterfront restaurants in NYC. I mean, Manhattan is literally an island surrounded by rivers.
Add the fact that New York City doesn’t do anything halfway, you can expect to be blown away by the iconic skyline, the peaceful currents of the water and the stunning sunsets while dining at some of the best restaurants on the water in NYC.
I’m lucky enough to call the Big Apple home and experiencing a sunset with a cocktail in hand has (and continues to be) one of the most mesmerizing moments to exist in my brain.
In an effort to pass this feeling on to you (dear reader), I’ve created a list of the best restaurants on the water New York City has to offer. This list includes casual spots on piers for a cup of coffee and spots that allow you to dust off your fancy clothes and take them out on the town.
So, now for the real reason you’re here — let’s dive right into the best restaurants on the water in NYC.
Visiting New York City? If you haven’t decided where to stay (yet) check out our helpful guide on Where to Stay in New York City (The best neighborhoods for first timers +2 to avoid). Don’t have time? Here’s our favorite hotel in NYC, hands down.
Best Restaurants On The Water | NYC
Waterfront Restaurants in Manhattan:
Open: May to mid-October in Riverside Park South.
If you’ve never seen the sunset in Riverside Park you’re missing out, the park borders the Hudson River and the sky comes aflame in shades or orange and cotton candy pink. The only thing that makes the experience better is one of the best waterfront restaurants in NYC, Pier-i Cafe.
It’s a casual joint, I mean technically it’s a cafe not so much a restaurant. You order at the counter before finding an open (bright yellow) table and plopping down. Or if you’d prefer, find the table first and scan the QR code for online ordering, then just pick up your grub at the counter.
It’s all easy eating too, you won’t get any filet mignon here folks. Expect the menu to consist of what you’d find at an open air lobster shack or burger bar that you can eat with your hands. And for those of age, this wouldn’t be one of the best restaurants on the water in NYC without the ability to order a cocktail!
Besides visiting in the evening I also thoroughly enjoy a morning coffee and treat from Pier-i Cafe. It’s less crowded in the morning and the tables provide a good place for easy conversation and people watching.
Address: 500 W 70th St On the Hudson River in Riverside Park, New York, NY 10023
Mezze on the River
I’m not going to lie to you, given the choice between waterfront restaurants in NYC and Santorini, I’d probably go with the latter. Unfortunately I lack the funds to make the trip every time I want Greek food with a view, but luckily Mezze on the River is bridging the gap.
Found in Battery Park within walking distance from the One World Trade Center, Mezze on the River delivers enthralling views of the yachts coming and leaving the nearby North Cove Marina. It gives the restaurant a uniquely exclusive vibe that’s perfect when you’re trying to impress.
The menu consists of Mediterranean plates, a lot of which are shareable so bring a friend. The honey-cigar (cheese wrapped in dough, drizzled with honey) as appetizers are non-negotiable, and the grilled octopus is chef’s kiss.
Address: 375 South End Ave, New York, NY 10280
It’s easy to walk into Brookfield Place and forget you’re in Manhattan, the mall has palm trees inside! But even if you don’t plan on shopping, visiting Brookfield Place to grab something to eat is well worth the trip.
The reason we added Brookfield Place to our list of best waterfront restaurants in NYC is thanks to the cafeteria upstairs called Hudson Eats. Made up of a plethora of restaurants, the food options are endless.
Some of our favorite waterfront restaurants this NYC mall has to offer are:
- Blue Ribbon Sushi Bar
- Dos Toros Taqueria
Although technically in a cafeteria setting, the views of the Hudson River (and Jersey City!) from the floor-to-ceiling windows are stunning. With plenty of seating and table options scattered around, finding a spot to plant yourself with a meal in tow is painless at Hudson Eats.
Address: 230 Vesey St, New York, NY 10282
Sunsets and wine, is there anything more heavenly? The combination of the two helps solidify City Vineyard as one of the best restaurants on the water in NYC.
Found on Pier 26 in Tribeca, the winery has views of New Jersey and the Hudson River, as well as Lower Manhattan. If you can, I would try to be seated on the rooftop deck for the full experience.
A subsidiary of City Winery, the wine menu at City Vineyard is impressive to say the least. And if you’re new to the wine world (I’ve been there) it can be daunting, but the staff is knowledgeable and more than eager to give you recommendations. And if more than one sounds appealing, consider ordering a flight to sample a variety.
You’ll find typical wine-bar eats at City Vineyard like charcuterie and as well as full restaurant-sized meals. Burgers, soups, salads and pizzas are the name of the game, and if you’re an early riser consider swinging by for brunch.
Address: 233 West St, New York, NY 10013
P.J Clark on the Hudson
If you’re searching for one of the best burgers in NYC, chances are P.J Clark’s name will show up on most of those lists. But not all locations are created equally. If waterfront restaurants in NYC is what you’re after, I recommend heading to the location on the Hudson (Financial District).
Nicknamed the “Cadillac of hamburgers” by Nat King Cole, it should go without saying PJ Clarke’s bacon cheeseburger will leave you speechless.
The NYC waterfront restaurant offers sweeping views of the Hudson River and if you’re lucky you can even see the Statue of Liberty from here!
P.J Clark has been around New York City for a whopping 138 years and serves upwards of 400 burgers a day. There’s 4 burgers on the menu, but the one that takes the cake is, of course, the Cadillac.
Consisting of double smoked country bacon, American cheese, lettuce, onions & tomato the burger isn’t flashy or extravagant, it’s just damn good. A single bite is all you need to know why locals consider it the best burger in New York City.
Address: 250 Vesey St, New York, NY 10281
The Watermark is on Pier 15 and is one of the best seasonal, waterfront restaurants in NYC. And I don’t say seasonal meaning that it closes when the weather goes south, I mean it’s seasonal in that every holiday brings something new!
The pier hosts Oktoberfest in October, Winter Wonderland during the holiday season, Pink Pier during February and more. Each pop-up brings new cuisine and drinks to the pier so visiting more than once is a good idea.
I’ll be honest, I’ve visited three times and the food has only been decent. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t visit though, the drinks are worth the stop and the views only make the experience that much better.
The fun themes also make The Watermark one of the best waterfront restaurants in NYC. Even during the winter season there are clear, heated “igloos” where you can enjoy your meal and the views. Be sure to bring a friend or two, this is an experience better shared with others.
Address: 78 South St Pier 15, New York, NY 10038
Momofuku Ssam Bar
Opened in 2006, Momofuku Ssam Bar didn’t become one of the best waterfront restaurants in NYC until it moved to Pier 17 in 2021. The restaurant is the second venture by celebrity restaurateur David Chang, who also created and starred in Netflix’s show Ugly Delicious.
The restaurant has two unique dining experiences, but they both revolve around meat and seafood. On the first floor you’ll find the bar and patio, where you can enjoy your drinks and order your meal from a waiter like at any other restaurant.
The second floor is home to the dining room, which is outfitted with tables that have a little grill in the center. You order your meats and ingredients and the staff grill them at your table (who said New Yorkers can’t barbecue?). There are both a la carte and multi-course, prix fixe menus.
A part of the modern Pier 17, Momofuku Ssam Bar is an upscale experience. The kind of place you’d enjoy an impressive business meeting or date, being one of the best waterfront restaurants in NYC is only a plus.
Address: 89 South St Pier 17, New York, NY 10038
One of my personal favorite restaurants on the water in NYC is Industry Kitchen. The waterfront restaurant is both modern and chic and the unobstructed views of the East River are some of the most calming.
When it comes to the cuisine, anything goes at Industry Kitchen. You can expect to find all sorts of dishes, like salads and grilled pinwheel sausages all the way to ahi tuna nachos and wood-fired pizzas.
Industry Kitchen checks all boxes as far as meeting spaces go. As one of the best restaurants on the water in NYC, you can meet with friends for a drink, link up with a date at night or treat the in-laws to a relaxing weekend brunch.
Like me, half of the city considers Industry Kitchen one of the best waterfront restaurants in NYC. Make reservations in advance to guarantee a table.
Address: 70 10005 South St At, New York, NY 10005
Right next to The Fulton on Pier 17 is Malibu Farm, another one of the best waterfront restaurants in NYC.
Whereas The Fulton is upscale and elegant, I’d say Malibu Farm is more casual. Part of a chain of restaurants that stem from Malibu, you can almost feel the relaxed, sunny atmosphere.
The food has a farm-to-table approach and each plate is colorful and savory. and The plates are reminiscent of hearty meals on a California beach.
And speaking of California beaches, Malibu Farm has one of the most scenic Taco Tuesdays in New York. They offer a three taco and craft margarita combo that’s hard to beat. If I ever go missing and it’s a Tuesday, odds are I’ll be at Malibu Farm getting my money’s worth.
Malibu Farm is also one of the most popular waterfront restaurants in NYC for brunch. Only available on the weekends you’ll find both tourists and locals alike waiting for tables (but if you choose to visit, you’ll be smart and make reservations). 😉
Address: 89 South St, New York, NY 10038
The Fulton (Jean- Georges)
Man, The Fulton has a very special place in my heart largely due to its beauty. It’s one of the most mesmerizing waterfront restaurants in NYC, thanks to the jaw-dropping views of the Brooklyn Bridge and DUMBO.
The restaurant can be found on the first floor of Pier 17 and oozes a modern, elegant vibe. You won’t be out of place if you choose to clean up a bit, The Fulton is a great spot for an anniversary or intimate birthday.
There are floor to ceiling windows that help it stay open regardless of the season or weather. Hell, I even had a reservation once on a foggy day and debated on canceling, but I’m so glad I didn’t. There was an extra sense of romance added by the coziness of The Fulton.
And when the weather is nice they open up the windows and have outdoor dining available too. It’s a win-win, you can visit any day of the year and be thoroughly impressed.
The menu is made up of a modern take on American seafood and not only does the food taste incredible, the looks alone will have your mouth watering. Add in a little wine and there are few better waterfront restaurants in NYC.
Address: 89 South St, New York, NY 10038
In the 18th and 19th centuries New York City was riddled with oyster barges (flat, wide boats) that unfortunately dwindled away. Luckily, Grand Banks is a blast from the past, serving up sustainably harvested oysters aboard one of the best restaurants on the water in NYC.
The ship (technically it’s a schooner) is named the Sherman Zwicker and was hand-built in 1942. In fact, it’s the largest wooden vessel in New York City!
Located on Pier 25 in Tribeca it has become one of the most popular restaurants on the water in NYC. Indeed, Grand Banks even has rave reviews from CNN Travel, The Observer and New York Magazine which help draw in eager crowds.
Like aforementioned, Grand Banks is known for their oysters. They also have caviar and all of the entrees come from the sea. Safe to say you should stay away if you have a seafood allergy. 😉
Something to note: Grand Banks is a seasonal waterfront restaurant in NYC, only opened during the sunny seasons. Check their website before heading in their direction to be sure they’re open. While you’re there might as well make a reservation.
Address: Park, Pier 25 Hudson River, New York, NY 10013
The Frying Pan
The Frying Pan is one of the best restaurants on the water in NYC, literally. It’s on a boat! Located at Pier 66 in Chelsea the restaurant has stunning views of the Hudson River, especially during sunsets.
Built in 1929, the Frying Pan served as a light ship (like a lighthouse on the water) for the United States for 30 years before being decommissioned.
But that’s just the beginning of its life, the ship was abandoned for 10 years in Chesapeake Bay before sinking (and staying under water for 3 years!). After it was raised by salvors it was sold to its current owners who transformed it into one of the best NYC waterfront restaurants.
Of course history alone doesn’t make the restaurant a popular destination. The food served is savory and satisfying, mostly revolving (as you’d expect) around seafood. No matter what you order though, you have to start with the calamari fritti as an appetizer.
Not to mention, the Frying Pan is one of the most scenic waterfront restaurants in NYC to enjoy a drink. There’s plenty of beer and wine, as well as tropical and ocean themed cocktails that are refreshing on a sunny day.
Something to note: Although The Frying Pan is one of the most popular restaurants on the water in NYC, they unfortunately don’t offer reservations. I’ve found that the line isn’t too bad most days and moves quickly, being at its worst right before sunset.
Address: 207 12th Ave, New York, NY 10001
Waterfront Restaurants in Brooklyn:
Giando on the Water
One of the perks of waterfront restaurants in Brooklyn is that you get stunning views of NYC’s iconic skyline. Giando on the Water is the perfect example, you can see the One World Trade Center in all its glory while enjoying a romantic dinner date.
An Italian restaurant, Giando on the Water makes warm pasta dishes that will leave you satisfied and loaded with carbs. I’ll admit the prices seem a little inflated for the food, but ultimately you’re paying for the location and charm.
Giando on the Water is also one of the best waterfront restaurants in NYC for events, so if you’re planning a wedding, baptism or any other celebration you should consider the restaurant as a venue. This also means you should verify they’re open for dinner service before heading out that way, and while you’re on the phone make a reservation (they’re strongly recommended).
Address: 400 Kent Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11249
Time Out Market
Timeout Market is a collection of some of the best waterfront restaurants in NYC all mish-mashed into one building. By bringing 20+ unique dining experiences together under one roof, Timeout has made choosing a place to eat so much easier.
The views of Manhattan are some of the best in the game. With the market offering so many food options, it’s seamless ordering whatever you’re in the mood for and then snagging a table outside facing the water.
Visiting during the colder months? No worries! Beautiful, gigantic arched windows are scattered throughout the entire market, so dining inside (but still experiencing epic views) won’t be an issue.
And I’ll let you in on a little secret! If you head up to the rooftop, not only are there more dining options but during the week (from 4 to 7pm) you can grab happy hour drinks at the bar.
I’d plan to show up during the evening since the sunsets are immaculate and one of the most memorable things to do in Brooklyn. Grab your friends, your drinks and enjoy some of the best restaurants on the water in NYC.
Address: 55 Water St, Brooklyn, NY 11201
The River Café
Tucked away under the Brooklyn Bridge is The River Cafe, one of the most charming waterfront restaurants in NYC. The place feels like its been copy and pasted out of a Disney movie thanks to abundance of flowers and immaculate presentation.
Now the pricing isn’t for the faint of heart, it’ll run you around $200 per person. However for an anniversary, engagement or celebration The River Cafe is one of the best waterfront restaurants in NYC.
The food comes in a prix fixe, three course menu with options like lamb, venison and swordfish available as main courses. And unlike other waterfront restaurants in NYC where you pay for location more than food, The River Cafe’s cuisine is nothing to scoff at. It even has a Michelin Star!
Tables can be booked up to a year in advance and I strongly encourage making reservations to The River Cafe.
Something to note: Collared shirts and jackets are required for men, and ties are preferred. Jeans, athletic wear, and sandals are not allowed.
Address: 1 Water St, Brooklyn, NY 11201
One of the dreamiest Mediterranean, waterfront restaurants in NYC is Celestine in DUMBO. It lies in the shadow of the Manhattan bridge with floor to ceiling windows that showcase the majestic Manhattan skyline.
The presentation is immaculate and the food tastes even better. If you’re a fan of small bites, shareable options like the mezze platter are non-negotiables.
You should also consider swinging by for brunch. Celstine is one of the best waterfront restaurants in NYC for a weekend get-together with friends. The small but mighty brunch menu is made up of tasty plates (like my favorite, the smoked whitefish toast).
There’s also more than a few cocktails available to satisfy your thirst along with beer and wine. I will say, as one of the best waterfront restaurants in NYC you do pay the price of being so close to the Manhattan Bridge. At times (when the subway passes) it can get noisy for a few minutes. Regardless, it’s a small price to pay for great a meal and impressive views!
Address: 1 John St, Brooklyn, NY 11201
Cecconis is a worldwide icon for class and prestige, with its flagship location in London. They also have outposts in Miami, Istanbul, Barcelona and Berlin.
The location in DUMBO is one of the best restaurants on the water in NYC, perfectly dim lit and intimate. If I was hoping to be proposed to (which I’m not, I’m happily married) Cecconis would be one of my first choice spots.
The food revolves around Italian delicacies including handmade pastas that will put you in a food coma unlike anything you’ve experienced. There is also seafood and pizzas available that are both filling and delicious.
For those of you interested, SoHo House Members and Friends receive a generous 20% off all food and drink from 4pm Sunday until Wednesday. For anyone curious, a membership to the SoHo House will offer access to exclusive clubs and in this case discounts.
Address: 55 Water St, Brooklyn, NY 11201
I feel like we’ve covered a lot of fancier establishments. I’m talking fancy shoes, collared shirt, using your manners type of waterfront restaurants in NYC so let’s switch it up and go more casual!
Sea Wolf is (you guessed it) a seafood restaurant that will quell any appetite. Born of the fishing and surf culture, the menu revolves around simple but fresh meals both from land and sea.
There are daily oyster specials as well as frozen cocktails that will take a summer day from good to great. Although I’m far from a beach bum, Sea Wolf is one of the best restaurants on the water in NYC for putting me in a chill mood, bro. 😉
Address: 420 Kent Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11249
Before I receive any hate mail, yes I am fully aware Misi is not necessarily a restaurant on the water in NYC. However, I’d be remiss not to mention the proximity to Domino Park (one of the best spots for the epic city skyline).
The waterfront park and restaurant are just a hop, skip and a jump away from each other. I’m not going to lie to you folks, I have ulterior motives here. Misi is hands down one of my favorite restaurants in all of NYC. I knew I had to fit them in on a list to sing their praises, so what better list than the best waterfront restaurants in NYC!;)
Misi makes all their pasta by hand and every bite is a testament to their skill.
I’ve tried the spinach and mascarpone filled tortelli, sheep’s milk ricotta filled occhi, and buffalo butter fettuccine and making me choose just one is akin to making me pick my favorite child.
And do yourself a favor, when visiting make sure to order the whipped ricotta toast, you’ll thank me later.
Address: 329 Kent Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11249
Roberta’s (Domino Park)
If you’re in search of the best pizza in New York City run, don’t walk, to Roberta’s. But make sure you run the the Domino Park location so you can enjoy one of the best waterfront restaurants in NYC (even if that means taking the pizza to-go).
Roberta’s has made a woman out of me with their perfectly charred pizza and delectable marinara sauce and I will never be the same. I am weak in the knees but I assure you I will gladly hobble over every chance I get.
The wood fired pizza at Roberta’s is made in an oven that churns out thousands of pies a week. The pizza crust is expertly charred and the Bee Sting pie is the perfect union of flavors (tomato, mozzarella, sopressata, chili, basil, honey). The Little Stinker hit the spot too.
Much like Misi, Roberta’s is technically not on the water, but the ease of ordering a pie to-go and talking a three minute walk across the street is worth mentioning. Domino Park offers killer views with plenty of seating options. Therefore, you’re able to create your own perfect waterfront restaurant in NYC.
Address:6 Grand St, Brooklyn, NY 11249
Attention foodies! If you’re looking for multiple waterfront restaurants in NYC under one “roof” (can we even call it that?) you need to check out Smorgasburg. Vendors from all across the Big Apple pitch canopies and come together enabling you to try a variety of the city’s best cuisines all in one place.
Smorgasburg is hosted in 3 NYC neighborhoods. On Fridays they set up shop outside the World Trade Center in Manhattan, Saturdays is the original (and most popular) location in Williamsburg Brooklyn and Sundays they’re in Prospect Park, also in Brooklyn.
With more than 60 vendors you’ll find a broad variety of eats, and if you do it right you’ll have to be rolled home. Plus, the portions at Smorgasburg are usually on the smaller side, enabling you to try a plethora of options.
When visiting the Williamsburg location specifically, the views of Manhattan are hard to beat. And being able to experience a plethora of restaurants on the water in NYC is nothing short of a memorable experience.
Address: Marsha P. Johnson State Park, 90 Kent Ave, Brooklyn
Best Waterfront Restaurants NYC (Post Summary)
- The Frying Pan
- Grand Banks
- The Fulton
- Malibu Farm
- Industry Kitchen
- Momofuku Ssam Bar
- P.J Clark on the Hudson
- City Vineyard
- Hudson Eats
- Mezze on the River
- Pier-i Cafe
- Giando on the Water
- Timeout Market
- The River Café
- Cecconi’s Dumbo
Map of the Best Restaurants on the Water New York City
And there you have it folks! My personal list of the best restaurants on the water in NYC. Feel free to comment your favorite restaurants!
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