Say Sayonara to Summer At These Fall Restaurant Faves

Don't tell the other seasons but fall is the best time to be in New York. The dog days of summer have moved on, the cold weather is still waiting in the wings, and the fall harvest means that local chefs have the top pick of the season's best ingredients. 

All that means it's the perfect time to pull up a seat at one of these ten restaurants and feed your face. There's something on this list for everyone. For example, if you're in denial that the days are getting shorter, check out newcomer Dez in Little Italy. The interior's decked out in bright colors, the food's great, and your meal is highly Instagrammable so you can make your friends jealous with how well you're living. 

Or, if you're totally ready to hunker down and welcome cooler days, make your way to The NoMad where you can tuck into some luxurious eats like the foie gras stuffed chicken and cozy up with a bottle of bold red. 

Either way, you'll find 10 hotspots below that'll make you happy it's fall in the Big Apple. 


Really, all anyone wants in the fall is to sit outside on the patio and pretend the outside weather in New York never ends. There's not many places better to do that than Seamore's. Helmed by the same dude who owns The Meatball Shop (Michael Chernow), Seamore's has five locations around town and specializes in one type of fare: seafood. From the $1 oyster happy hour on weekdays between 3 - 6:30PM to the very un-New York-like beach vibes, Seamore's brings a shining ray of sunlight to the 'hood. The name of the game here is all things ocean, so expect fish sandwiches, battered and fried, alongside choose-your-own-adventure style mains where you can pick your protein, your greens and your grains. For prime people watching, try to snag a seat on the open air sidewalk in Nolita and hunker down with a few speciality cocktails.

Sunday in Brooklyn

Sunday in Brooklyn is what you hope your future apartment looks like when you have enough cash to actually decorate it well. The food at Sunday in Brooklyn is what you hope your future spouse will be able to whip up in the kitchen. All in all, it's a highly pleasurable experience that'll make you wonder if you should move to Brooklyn. The L's shutting down, so that's probably a bad move, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't visit more often. If it's a warmer fall day, grab a sidewalk seat, but if it's a little nippy, the inside will make you feel all warm and cozy inside.

Photo courtesy of Dez

Just down the street from Seamore's is newcomer Dez. A nod to Israeli cuisine with a fun flair (tahini ice cream and shawarma burgers, anyone?) the inside of Dez looks like a non-stop party, which is exactly what we want when we're bidding adieu to summer. The food here is unpretentious, the menu's marked for the allergy-conscious, and the interior looks like Kelly Kapowski and Zack Morris dreamed it up during study hall. Healthy fast food done right and helmed by funny girl Eden Grinshpan (host of Top Chef Canada) and By Chloe co-founder, Samantha Wasser, Dez has all the fixings of a neighborhood mainstay.

Flatiron District

Dark, brooding, and mysterious, this place will get you giddy about cozy fireplaces and red wine. With plush velvet chairs and polished tables beneath a vaulted ceiling, it's the perfect place to welcome fall over a shared chicken for two. The side room, or parlour, is no less dramatic, with rosy tones and rows upon rows of framed line drawings. The top-notch kitchen produces an array of seasonally inspired plates, including an impossibly elegant hamachi crudo, perfectly seared duck and house-made tagliatelle made with Meyer lemon and tender lump crab. And stay thirsty, my friends – the stellar cocktails are complemented by an impressive, international wine list.

We hate to break it to you, but ice cream season is all but over, which is a perfect excuse to stuff yourself silly with Van Leeuwen. What started as a pale yellow ice cream truck has now set up permanent shop at numerous locations in NYC. Each of them is equally good, though there's something special about getting great tasting, high-quality ice cream out of a truck. Luckily, there are two different ones still rolling around town.

For a fun adventure, head out on a scavenger hunt through Williamsburg or Soho to discover one (they're parked in the same spot daily, so it shouldn't be too hard). Once there, vegans will delight in scoops made with cashew and coconut milk, while purists can dig in to a creamy assortment of dairy-based choices.

Vinegar Hill House
Photo courtesy of Vinegar Hill House

This joint made our list for best spring eats, and it's so good that we're bookending the warm weather season by adding it here as well. Located in an unassuming area near the Brooklyn Navy Yard, this quaint, old-timey restaurant is equally suited for dinner with the parents or with a date. The dinner menu features a large selection of small plates, including a chicory salad with preserved vinaigrette and a cannellini bean panzanella with lacinato kale, pickled red onion and pecorino. The red wattle pork chop is not to be missed, nor is the lengthy wine list that's heavy on the Mediterraneans. Maybe it's the air of nostalgia, but things feel easy here - almost as if you weren't in New York City at all.

Flatiron District

Here's the scenario: you're near Madison Square Park and it's winter, summer, spring, fall. Ok, just kidding. It's fall and you're suddenly realizing that your outdoor eating time is limited. Kick back in the greenery with a trip to Shake Shack's Mother Ship in the Park. Easily one of the best grab-and-go options in town, as are its siblings dotting Manhattan from Battery Park to the Theater District, the Upper East, Upper West sides and beyond. Born out of hot dog cart in the park, its menu promises and delivers everything from breakfast sandwiches to burgers and bird dogs to shakes and frozen custards. Update for the super-vigilant: the Chick'n Shack is made withy 100% cage-free chickens, served on a non-GMO Martin's Potato Roll. Do it.

Flatiron District
ABC Kitchen

It basically always feels like spring in here, which is a good thing when you're staring down the barrel of soon-to-be snow-pocalypse season. Grabbing a table here this fall means you can ignore what's imminent and tuck into a plate of housemade pasta that'll make you happy to forget about bathing suit season. The restaurant is outfitted in sustainably created furniture, twinkling lighting and stunning antiques from the globe-trotting store, and the rear dining room connects right to the first floor of the six-story emporium. The locally sourced, seasonal menu does farm-to-table like none other. In addition to the pastas, they're serving fresh-from-the-sea tuna sashimi, killer vegetable sides and show-stopping main courses like wood-oven roasted Maine lobster and suckling pig served with braised winter turnips and bacon marmalade.

Another pasta joint that'll make you swear off swimsuit season? Lilia, where Missy Robbins is doing beautiful things with dough. Born into a family of hosts, travelers and cooks, Missy Robbins brings the best of Italy to Williamsburg where wood-fired seafood, hand-crafted pastas, classic Italian cocktails, and warm hospitality come together to create a casual dining experience. Robbins says she found her Italian soul in her five years as Executive Chef at Spiaggia in Chicago. While focusing her skills on fine dining Italian she found her true passion in cooking a deeper understanding of regional Italian cooking. If you come here and don't get the pasta, you're doing it all wrong.

Kings Co Imperial
Photo courtesy of Levi Miller for Kings Co Imperial

Kings Co Imperial is the perfect gateway drug into colder weather. The food is spicy, the cocktails are on-draft, and it's got that cozy feeling that doesn't make you feel like the impending winter is quite so soul-crushing. Not to mention, the kitchen is arguably pumping out some of the best Chinese food in the city. They're best known for the mock eel, a vegetarian marvel that's fashioned out of mushroom and doused in an addicting soy. Don't stop there though. The tea smoked mu shu duck comes ready to wrap in a handmade pancake, the perfect accompaniment to a bowl of hot and sour soup, flecked with lily flower, shrimp, chicken, white pepper and red vinegar.


Meet Andrea Wien

Andrea Wien was bitten by the travel bug from an early age, and has lived in New York, Seattle, Cleveland and Sydney, Australia since 2007.

When she's not traveling or planning a trip, you'll...  More About Andrea