Outside dining at Calissa in Watermill.

Outside dining at Calissa in Watermill. Credit: Yvonne Albinowski

Long Island has an al fresco setting to suit every mood. Whether you're looking for a sumptuous steak with a water view, or tacos and a margarita while you people-watch in town, or a basket of fried clams on the beach, or handmade pasta on a shady lawn — we've got you covered.

RIGHT ON THE BEACH

The Boat Yard at Tobay Beach (1 Ocean Pkwy., Massapequa): An outdoor food hall on Tobay’s tranquil bay, The Boat Yard comprises five order-at-the-counter kiosks that cover a few continents' worth of menu items. Hit up the Dockside Grill kiosk for burgers and sandwiches; a few feet to the right, Bonanno’s Gourmet Pizza & Calzones serves personal pies and calzones. There’s Mexican street food at La Playa Taco Bar, seafood at Rudy’s Raw Bar & Chowder, and salads and bowls at Bayside Salad & Bowls. The Boatyard neighbor, Surf Shack, is a slightly more formal restaurant, though flip-flops are always welcome. More info: 516-324-8474, theboatyardny.com

Navy Beach (16 Navy Rd., Montauk): Splashed across a 200-foot stretch of private beach overlooking Fort Pond Bay, the perennial East End favorite offers an eclectic menu that ranges from salmon tartare and shrimp ceviche to crabcakes with Dijon aioli and roasted sea scallops with succotash and chorizo. Don’t miss the fried chicken. Enjoy all of this — plus a huge selection of rosé wines — while seated at a picnic table with your toes in the sand. More info: 631-668-6868, navybeach.com/montauk

Navy Beach in Montauk offers 200 feet of private beach...

Navy Beach in Montauk offers 200 feet of private beach to go with the travelogue sunsets. Credit: Navy Beach/Noah Fecks

La Plage (131 Creek Rd., Wading River): La Plage ("the beach" in French), sits steps away from the town beach, a weathered low-slung structure with canopied tables spilling out from the dining room. Chef Wayne Wadington has owned it since it opened in 1996, and he has settled into a cooking style that blends high and low. One of his most popular items is the rigatoni which, on the one hand, is essentially pasta and tomato sauce but, on the other, involves sun-dried tomatoes, manchego cheese, shrimp and a final flambé. Other can’t-take-off-the-menu items include a green apple salad with blue cheese, walnuts, and mâche, composed with care and dressed with a sherry vinaigrette, as well as house-smoked beef "carpaccio" and duck confit on fresh chive risotto. More info: 631-744-9200, laplagewadingriver.com

Maliblue (1500 Lido Blvd., Lido Beach): The raw bar is an elemental part of this summer spot, but it also serves a lot of steamers, lobster tacos, lobster rolls, baked clams oreganata and pan-seared branzino to balance the burgers, po'boys and chicken-Caesar salad wraps. The umbrellas unfurl in front of the sleek, contemporary restaurant. More info: 516-442-2799, maliblueoysterbar.com

Five Ocean (5 New York Ave., Long Beach): There are restaurants with water views, and then there is Five Ocean Bar & Grill, whose patio is literally built on the sands of Long Beach. Chef-owner Craig Attwood made a name for himself at fine dining establishments such as Jedediah Hawkins Inn in Jamesport and East Hampton Point. In Long Beach, he is keeping it casual with local fish tacos, burrata with strawberry-cardamom compote and Thai basil, linguine with steamed littleneck clams and a bang-up buttermilk fried chicken with lime-chili sauce and jicama-cabbage slaw. More info: 516-517-2828, fiveoceanlongbeach.com

Buttermilk fried chicken with lime chili sauce, jicama-cabbage slaw and...

Buttermilk fried chicken with lime chili sauce, jicama-cabbage slaw and house-cut fries at Five Ocean in Long Beach. Credit: Yvonne Albinowski

Ocean Restaurant at Crescent Beach Club (333 Bayville Ave., Bayville): Aruba has come to Bayville. On select evenings this season, the 200 tons of sand and 50 palm trees trucked in by the Crescent Beach Club and its on-site restaurant Ocean each year are playing host to tables accommodating from two to 10 patrons for dinner. Menu highlights include mahi mahi tacos, lobster rolls and linguine with seafood in lobster cream sauce. More info: 516-628-3330, cometotheocean.com

Tiki Joe's Cedar Beach (223 Harbor Beach Rd., Mount Sinai): Bang on the sand, this lively covered bar and waterside grill (once called Sunsets at Cedar Beach) attracts a rainbow of humanity, from young families and day-trippers to couples on first dates, bikers and seemingly professional beer drinkers. You can belly up to the four-sided bar in a tankini to holler your order across live music or take a table on the relatively placid patio for the usual beachy fare of cheeseburgers, fish and chips, baked clams and poke bowls. More info: 631-743-9410

Gilgo Beach Inn (4104 Gilgo Beach): Squint at the Gilgo Beach Inn to obscure the cellphones and you could be looking at a scene from any one of the past eight decades. Gilgo occupies the narrow midpoint of the barrier island that extends from Jones Beach to Captree State Park. The 1,200-square-foot structure, facing the bay but just an underpass away from the ocean, functions as a snack bar, a community center, a relic and, ultimately, a living museum of itself. The menu still fits easily on one of those old-fashioned white boards with black press-on letters: 11 grill items and the same number of frozen sweets, plus beachy cocktails and beers. More info: 631-826-3339, gilgoinn.com

The Gilgo Beach Inn.

The Gilgo Beach Inn. Credit: Newsday/Alejandra Villa Loarca

WATERSIDE CASUAL EATS

Butler's Flat (86 Orchard Beach Blvd., Port Washington): Named after a lighthouse in New Bedford, Massachusetts, this New England-style clam shack in Brewer Capri Marina West has a sweeping view of Manhasset Bay. Highlights include clam chowder, stuffed quahogs, lobster rolls, crab rolls, shrimp rolls and snack bar favorites like hot dogs and grilled cheese. Craft beer and wine too. More info: 516-883-8330, butlersflat.com

Diners at Butler's Flat in Port Washington.

Diners at Butler's Flat in Port Washington. Credit: Linda Rosier

Clam Bar at Bridge Marine (40 Ludlam Ave., Bayville): Just across the bridge from Oyster Bay to Bayville, and tucked into a marina on West Harbor, is a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it gathering of covered tables, plus an outdoor bar and busy kitchen turning out clam chowder, burgers and blushing littleneck clams. Many visitors boat in and tie up to the Clam Bar’s 160-foot-long floating dock for some of the freshest clams around, dug right from the nearby harbor and ordered at the counter. More info: 516-628-8688, bridge-marina.com/the-clam-bar

Claudio’s Waterfront (111 Main St., Greenport): There’s nothing friendlier or more satisfying than an evening spent at this stalwart’s racetrack-sized oblong bar perched on the edge of Greenport harbor, but seats can still be hard to come by. There are tables too, of course, but this branch of the Claudio’s conglomerate is best appreciated while eavesdropping on bar talk and quaffing a dockside lemonade, a cocktail of dependable potency and even a little subtlety despite the unassuming name. (Credit the minty accents — as in Ketel One Cucumber Mint — and elderflower liqueur.) Plates of littleneck clams on the half shell and North Fork oysters have a winning straight-from-the-ocean brine. On chilly evenings, opt for steamed clams, which arrive in a cobalt blue pot, bathed in garlic and white wine. Still, it’s the people — the heady mix of locals, tourists and a seemingly endless string of bachelorette party celebrants that keep this place fun, interesting and full of life. More info: 631-477-0627, claudios.com

JT's On The Bay (1 Curtis Rd., Blue Point): This intensely laid-back venue feels like a combo between a bar in the Florida Keys and someone's private deck. There's an outdoor bar to one side and, on the deck, plenty of distanced outdoor tables overlooking the bay. As befits a place perched over the water, lobster is plentiful, from steamed lobster to a pitch-perfect lobster roll to lobster tacos. Keep the seafood going with a raw bar, chargrilled oysters or beer-battered fish and chips. A bucket of Coronas or a potent Rocket Fuel complete the summer vibe. More info: 631-363-2205, jtsonthebay.com

JT's On The Bay in Blue Point offers waterside dining.

JT's On The Bay in Blue Point offers waterside dining. Credit: Corey Sipkin

Kingston’s Clam Bar (130 Atlantic Ave., West Sayville): At this waterside clam shack, which shares a terminus with the West Sayville Boat Basin, a deck runs the length of the dining room and umbrella-topped tables look out over bobbing boats. You can start with a half-dozen littleneck clams on the half shell, then move onto lobster rolls, fish tacos, a broiled seafood platter or the fried-flounder Reuben. More info: 631-589-0888, kingstonsclam.com

Laura's BBQ (76 Shore Rd., Glen Cove): Located in a marina alongside Glen Cove Creek, this waterside barbecue spot turns out a memorable menu of brisket, pulled pork, barbecued chicken, collard greens, mac-and-cheese and more. More info: 516-715-1500, lauras-bbq.com

Lazy Lobster (10 Front St., East Rockaway): It’s a rollicking scene at this self-described "lobster beer garden" along the East Rockaway waterfront. Wash down the excellent lobster rolls (and tacos, nachos and sandwiches) with spirit cocktails such as the Maui Wowie or Rum Punch Therapy, or a milder Lazy Lobster Frose or Grandpa Marco’s secret family recipe for sangria. More info: 516-837-8484, lazylobsterny.com

Nicky's on the Bay (150 S. Clinton Ave., Bay Shore): Serving up salt air, sea vistas and sunsets is Nicky's on the Bay, a picture postcard of a seafood restaurant. In temperate weather, you'll want to sit on the outdoor deck, equipped with a canopied area at center. And before or after dinner, head up the stairs for drinks on the second level, where there's often live music. If you time it right, gorgeous sunsets, too. More info: 631-206-3311, nickysonthebay.com

Peter's Clam Bar (600 Long Beach Rd., Island Park): Almost every table has a view and a breeze at Peter’s, from the roadside high-tops to the seats on the expansive patio along Barnum Inlet. Peter’s has been serving seafood, raw and cooked, since 1939 — as its look suggests — and the requisite fresh littlenecks, cherrystones and oysters all populate the raw bar. For a more substantial summertime snack, choose from king crab legs, lobster tacos, lobster rolls, steamed lobster, or a haul of fried seafood, from flounder (served as fish and chips) to fried smelts, shrimp and scallops. More info: 516-432-0505, petersclamhouse.com

Toomey's Tavern (251 S. Ketcham Ave., Amityville): There are few written roadside signs to direct you from Merrick Road to Toomey’s Tavern — you just sort of need to know about the place. By day, old-timers cluster along its relic-strewn bar, bottles of Bud in hand, swapping stories or drinking in silence before the younger crowd arrives. Outside, on the canal, rows of picnic tables and an open-air gazebo with fishing nets strung underneath its eaves lend an uber-chill ambience. Tropical-hued libations — a rum punch or a Toomey’s Explosion, which is turquoise in color — pack a wallop. Boaters drift up to the dock and tie onto the pastel pylons outside, ready for wings and sliders and fried clams. There’s spotty cell service, ice-cold beer and a buttery, satisfying clam chowder. More info: 631-264-0564, toomeystavern.com

The outdoor bar at Toomey's Tavern in Amityville.

The outdoor bar at Toomey's Tavern in Amityville. Credit: Randee Daddona

Point Lookout Clam Bar (99 Bayside Dr., Point Lookout): A left turn at the end of the Loop Parkway delivers you into sleepy Point Lookout, and a few more turns to this mellow spot along Reynold’s Channel whose catchphrase is "from our ships to your lips." True to the motto, you can sometimes watch boats tie up to the dock to unload a fresh haul. Clams on the half shell, steamed littlenecks, crisp clam strips, shrimp cocktail, chowders, salad and lobsters — they’re all here, served at umbrella-covered tables with relaxation-inducing water views. Take some to go from the fish market, too. More info: 516-897-4024, pointlookoutclambar.com

Turkuaz Grill (40 McDermott Ave., Riverhead): A skipping-stone’s throw from the boardwalk of Peconic Riverfront Park, this Turkish restaurant offers great food, views and even bird-watching. Nibble on a vibrant shepherd's salad, an assortment of meze, or small plates, of housemade gyro and juicy kebabs. Creamy sutlac (rice pudding) makes for an optimal conclusion. More info: 631-591-1757, turkuazgrillriverhead.com

Whale's Tale (81 Fort Salonga Rd., Northport): Eat on the deck within view of both yacht club pool and boatyard at tables shaded by umbrellas and awnings. Raw-bar items, wings, tacos, burgers, salads and the like comprise the menu. More info: 631-651-8844, thewhalestalenorthport.com

WATERSIDE FINE-DINING

A Lure (62300 Main Rd., Southold): A self-described "chowder house and oyster-ia," A Lure boasts an immense deck overlooking Port of Egypt Marina and Peconic Bay. Executive chef Tom Schaudel tours the world of seafood with crabcakes with tomato rémoulade, Baja-style fish tacos, macadamia-coconut-crusted flounder, grilled Scottish salmon, plenty of classic steamed and raw dishes, too, plus an extensive wine list with many North Fork selections. More info: 631-876-5300, alurenorthfork.com

Diners sit on the outdoor deck at A Lure in...

Diners sit on the outdoor deck at A Lure in Southold. Credit: Randee Daddona

Anchor Down Dockside (2479 Adler Ct., Seaford): Stephen Rosenbluth’s laid-back canal-side restaurant takes over the old Cardoon space and retains a few Mediterranean traces such as the falafel. Otherwise the fish-centric menu blends New American and global influences with classics such as baked/fried/raw clams, fish and chips, grilled swordfish (albeit with Thai green papaya salad), sesame-crusted tuna and lobster rolls — plus a few steaks, chops and burgers. The menu is very similar to Rosenbluth’s original Anchor Down, still trucking on the water in Merrick. More info: 516-785-2390, anchordowndockside.com

Louie's Grill & Liquors (395 Main St., Port Washington): The name changes slightly, chefs come and go, now steering Louie’s in a slightly Asian direction, now toward New American. What doesn’t change is a lineup of seafood classics — chowder, raw bar, fried calamari, baked clams, crabcakes, steamed mussels, fish and chips, lobsters and lobster rolls. You’ll also find pasta, steaks and unparalleled views of Manhasset Bay, especially at sunset. More info: 516-883-4242, louiessince1905.com

The LakeHouse (135 Maple Ave., Bay Shore): A well-appointed deck at the water's edge offers a view of the Fire Island ferries chugging across the Great South Bay. Order from the regular menu of innovative New American dishes, or a bar menu composed of simple crowd-pleasers like lobster rolls, burgers and steamed mussels. More info: 631-666-0995, thelakehouserest.com

The LakeHouse in Bay Shore has a waterfront deck and...

The LakeHouse in Bay Shore has a waterfront deck and tented patio that's open for diners. Credit: Randee Daddona

Nikkei of Peru (55 Shore Rd., Port Washington): Sushi bars with outdoor seating are a rarity on Long Island. Nikkei of Peru goes above and beyond with Peruvian-influenced Japanese cuisine and a stunning view of Manhasset Bay. (Try to snag a seat facing the bay to witness one of the Island's loveliest sunsets.) Chef-partner Hermanto Jong sharpened his knives and skills during a decade at Nobu 57 in Manhattan, so consider forgoing the typical California roll for the chef's signature creations. More info: 516-439-4201, nikkeiofperu.com

Prime: An American Kitchen and Bar (117 New York Ave., Huntington): Huntington’s waterfront is largely inaccessible; Prime is the luxurious exception. Come by car or by boat (slips available) for some of Long Island’s most acclaimed cooking, with steaks, sushi, raw bar and New American dishes. More info: 631-385-1515, restaurantprime.com

Trumpets on the Bay (58 S. Bay Ave., Eastport): Diners at the two-dozen tables on the porch enjoy one of the most dramatic views on Long Island. Bordered by marsh, the restaurant is at the tip of one of the fingers of Moriches Bay. The restaurant offers everything from jumbo shrimp cocktail and tuna tartare to teriyaki salmon and grilled steaks. More info: 631-325-2900, trumpetsonthebay.com

Diners on the side outdoor dining deck at Trumpets on...

Diners on the side outdoor dining deck at Trumpets on the Bay in Eastport. Credit: Gordon M. Grant

View (3 Consuelo Pl., Oakdale): In fine weather, the capacious dining room spills out onto an equally ample waterfront patio at the mouth of the Connetquot River, with a panoramic view of the Great South Bay beyond. The restaurant could not be more aptly named, and Bill Muzio’s kitchen looks out to the sea as well with a globe-trotting menu featuring a raw bar, crispy Thai calamari, crabcakes with shishito succotash, togarashi-dusted tuna, espelette-dusted pan-seared scallops, poached cod with cabernet foam and saffron-orange seafood stew. Manager Joe Scalice’s extensive wine list is full of treasures, many of which can be ordered by the glass. More info: 631-589-2694, viewoakdale.com

Nino’s Beach (43 Orchard Beach Blvd., Port Washington): Safe Harbor Capri East, the marina overlooking Manhasset Bay has hosted a series of outdoor restaurants over the last half century, none of them lasting more than a few summers, but the latest incarnation, Nino’s Beach, looks to have staying power. Owners (and brothers) Franco and Michael Vendome gutted the facility and installed a sparkling venue — in tones of stone, alabaster, marble and brass — that boasts two dining rooms, a bar, an oyster bar and, of course, a deck overlooking the water. The Mediterranean menu is serious too, featuring homemade pastas; artisanal pizzas; starters such as hamachi crudo with pickled rhubarb, crispy shallots and basil oil or grilled Portuguese octopus with squash puree and green mango. Mains include a 14-ounce New York strip, double-cut pork chops, whole roast chicken and seared yellowfin tuna. More info: 516-502-0441, ninosbeach.com

GARDENS AND HIDDEN COURTYARDS

Fresno (11 Fresno Pl., East Hampton): Enjoy everything from garbanzo and jalapeno-lime hummus to steak frites in the sun-dappled interior courtyard of this East End eatery. More info: 631-324-8700, fresnorestaurant.com

The patio at Fresno in East Hampton.

The patio at Fresno in East Hampton. Credit: Fresno Restaurant

Amici (304 Route 25A, Mount Sinai): This Italian restaurant’s 800-square-foot patio, which can seat up to 32 people, is enclosed by a tent and a wood-paneling perimeter. Joining the patio is a makeshift 4,000-square-foot outdoor dining space that’s set up with more than 30 tables, some under a tent and others — each with umbrellas — spaciously scattered throughout the area. More info: 631-473-2400, amicirestaurant.org

Broadway Market (643 Broadway, Rocky Point): With its Counter Culture coffee, kombucha and craft cocktails on tap, Broadway Market has a distinct Brooklyn vibe. Step outside, though, and breathe in the fresh, small-town air of Rocky Point. The patio gives way to a landscaped backyard with brightly colored furniture and a firepit. On the menu: contemporary soups, salads tacos, pizzas and sandwiches (many of them featuring rancher-partner Shasho Pole’s beef) plus baker-partner’s Ann Olenick’s cakes and pastries. More info: 631-849-1729, bmropo.com

Churrasqueira Bairrada (144 Jericho Tpke., Mineola): This landmark Portuguese restaurant (est. 1992) remodeled its dining room after a 2019 fire; and the 2020 pandemic shutdown inspired the Carvalho family to carve out a portion of the parking lot to erect a tented, bi-level dining area, ringed by shrubs and outfitted with white-tableclothed tables and comfortable chairs. Settle in for rodizio, an onslaught of meat cooked over a massive grill. For about $42 a person, you can eat your fill of beef short ribs, sirloin and medallions; pork ribs, loin and sausages; chicken drumettes and bacon-wrapped turkey. These will be brought to your table still threaded onto industrial-sized skewers and then ceremonially sliced off onto your plate. And if you want more, they will be brought back again and again. More info: 516-739-3856, churrasqueira.com

The Harrison (86 S. Tyson Ave., Floral Park): From the street, you'd wouldn't know about it, but this stylish restaurant in the heart of Floral Park harbors a walled, brick-lined patio with ample charm, lots of greenery and its own outdoor bar. The new-American menu has a steakhouse bent and something for everyone, from oysters on the half shell to soy-glazed roasted sea bass and steak frites. The bar batches old-fashioned cocktails such as rum punch and Manhattans, while the Ketel One-spiked frosé has its own following. Reservations are a must. More info: 516-775-2682. theharrisonfp.com

Il Giardino (739 Main Rd., Aquebogue): "Giardino" means "garden" in Italian, and this North Fork restaurant lives up to its name: The garden of the 1830 building has been outfitted with trellises and pergolas and a fire pit. The menu is composed of Italian favorites, with a lot of seafood, befitting the location. More info: 631-779-3900, ilgiardinoaquebogue.com

The backyard garden of Il Giardino in Aquebogue.

The backyard garden of Il Giardino in Aquebogue. Credit: Daniel Brennan

Lola (113a Middle Neck Rd., Great Neck): The outdoor space behind Lola's has been transformed into a romantic walled courtyard, complete with hanging lights and candles tucked into a concrete wall. Chef Lenny Messina’s menu has been condensed to better serve takeout customers; it comprises six salads and dips, five versions of hummus, three versions of malawach (flaky Middle Eastern pizza) and four main dishes: grilled branzino with soft herbs, pan-seared salmon with smoked labneh, chicken schnitzel with lemon-potato purée and roast chicken with apricot couscous and truffle pan gravy. More info: 516-466-5666, restaurantlola.com

Lucharitos (177 Main St., Center Moriches): The local Mexican chain's Center Moriches eatery is like dining on a farm sprawled over more than an acre. It comprises multiple outdoor dining areas — cafe tables on a patio, picnic tables in a field, a long communal table under an open-sided, wooden-slat Quonset hut. The picnic tables have a fine view of a field planted with peppers, onions, tomatillos, tomatoes, broccoli, corn, watermelon, cantaloupe, strawberries, cilantro and rosemary. There's also lawn games and a vintage Airstream trailer for parties of up to a dozen people. More info: 631-400-9625, lucharitos.com

Mangia Bene (14 S. Park Ave., Rockville Centre): Maurizio Vendittelli’s rustic Italian trattoria boasts an expansive, tented "giardino" out back where heaters and fans carry it through most changes in the weather. His collaborator in the kitchen, John Di Lemme, is equally adept at homemade pasta and artisanal pizza. Don’t miss the bucatini carbonara or the Calabrese pie, with crumbled hot sausage and Calabrese chilies. More info: 516-447-6744, mangiabenervc.com

Maria's Mexican & Latin Cuisine (211 Smithtown Blvd., Smithtown): Driving down Smithtown Blvd. in Nesconset, it's hard not to do a double-take at the oasis of tropicalia that lurks on the east side of the road. Blooming hibiscus, palm trees and strings of twinkling lights rise from the front stone patio of Maria's, lending it a tucked-away-in-full-sight vibe. Wedged into the patio's nooks, and against the front of the restaurant, are outdoor tables seemingly built for trysts. A long roster of margaritas deepens the Caribbean vibe, while the menu bounces across so many countries, you can devour tamales, Cubana-style quesadillas, shrimp ceviche and Argentine-style churrasco steak in the same meal. For a final romantic flourish, share a churro sundae. More info: 631-979-7724, marias211.com

The outdoor dining area at Maria's Mexican & Latin Cuisine...

The outdoor dining area at Maria's Mexican & Latin Cuisine in Nesconset has 8 tables filled with lush plants to separate patrons. Credit: Randee Daddona

Orto (90 North Country Rd., Miller Place): There’s no more picturesque setting for an Italian meal on Long Island than Orto. Eric Lomando’s restaurant occupies a 200-year-old house whose original owner was the great-grandson of Andrew Miller, the first permanent European settler in the area and who gave his name to the village. In warm weather, tables spill from the spacious dining room onto a side deck and the spruce-shaded front lawn. Bread is baked on the premises and served with a dish of fresh-and-fruity olive oil from Spoleto. The menu changes daily but almost always features a stellar fritto misto, plus expertly wrought pasta, fish, meat and vegetables. The references here are clearly from Italy, but they converge with ingredients and surroundings that are completely American. Wine lovers should know that Orto has a concise list of bottles and glasses both interesting and well-priced — or you can bring your own wine and pay no corkage fee. No credit cards. More info: 631-473-0014, restaurantorto.com

Pietro Cucina Italiana (404 N. Country Rd., St. James). The dining garden next to this colonial-era building is a study in comfort and rusticity, with bistro tables clustered around an outdoor bar. Servers rush to and fro the kitchen wielding plates of grilled octopus, pappardelle con ragu and veal-stuffed ravioli, plus bottles of Italian wine curated by owner (and Rome native) Pietro Molendini. In true Italian style, the menu changes seasonally. More info: 631-862-6129, pietro631.com

Spaghettini Pizza Trattoria (106 Mineola Blvd., Mineola): During the pandemic, the brothers who own this spot, Pat and Joe Vetrano, converted their back courtyard into a dining area adorned with hanging lights and ferns. Bounded in on all sides by two- and three-story buildings, at dusk it takes on the feel of a café patio in Brooklyn, albeit only a few steps from the Mineola train station. The pizza recipe goes back 40 years — to the first trattoria owned by the Vetranos' parents — but there's also epic portions of shrimp scampi, chicken scarpariello and pastas galore. More info: 516-750-8044, spaghettinipizza.com

La Estacion Deli & Pizzeria (22 1st Ave., Brentwood): This halal restaurant serving traditional Pakistani food, plus pizza, burgers, heroes, tacos, quesadillas, rotisserie chicken, Peruvian specialties, fresh juices and breakfast. On weekends there’s also a buffet and barbecue starting at noon. Where to sit? Where not to sit? There’s a large dining room, a large tent, a still-larger patio and an enormous lawn featuring picnic tables, private igloos and inflatable bounce houses with slides. Owners Shah and Haroon Majid took over the decommissioned Brentwood LIRR station, turned it into this eatery for all seasons and dubbed it, fittingly, La Estacion. Shah said that the spot can accommodate up to 400 people and is already a popular party spot. More info: 631-231-3131, laestaciondeli.com

The chicken karahi with sesame naan and salad at La...

The chicken karahi with sesame naan and salad at La Estacion in Brentwood. Credit: Yvonne Albinowski

ROOFTOPS

Rhum (13 E. Main St., Patchogue): Take a trip to the tropics without leaving Long Island. Patchogue’s tri-level Island-inspired eatery and rum bar features a rooftop swing bar that opens up to an uncovered deck that boasts all-around views of Patchogue. The deck offers both seating by tables and chairs under string lights and by swing benches under a pergola. Caribbean-ish dishes include Dominican ribs, island burgers, jerk chicken tacos and coconut risotto. More info: 631-569-5944, rhumpatchogue.com

The rooftop bar at Rhum in Patchogue.

The rooftop bar at Rhum in Patchogue. Credit: Daniel Brennan

Mannino's Italian Kitchen (2158 Jericho Tpke., Commack): This sleek Italian destination offers a spacious upstairs deck with a commanding view of Jericho Turnpike. The menu boasts all the Italian favorites, plus a couple of ringers such as salumi boards; a bacon-tomato tower with aged balsamic; gnocchi bianco with spinach, sun-dried tomatoes, hot and sweet sausage and Gorgonzola cream; and a few dry-aged steaks. More info: 631-462-0909, manninosrestaurant.com

Rooftop 32 at Kasey's Kitchen & Cocktails (23 N Park Ave., Rockville Centre): It takes 32 steps to reach Rooftop 32, an aerie that puts you in your own little world under the umbrellas. The bar and restaurant seal you off from the surrounding area with walls and trees, and depending on the night, there might be live music or a DJ. New American dominates the menu, which ranges from casual fish tacos and lobster rolls to seared tuna and more upscale fare. More info: 516-766-5049, kaseysrvcny.com

Shipwreck Tavern (10 Bayville Ave., Bayville): Across the street from this second-story roof deck spreads the expanse of Long Island Sound. With a tiki bar, lounge seating, an outdoor fire pit and umbrella tables, the kitschy nautical spot draws both a family and a bar crowd. It's a lively scene with upbeat music On the menu: fish and chips, linguine with clam sauce, steamed lobster, lobster rolls, burgers and salads. 516-628-2628, shipwreckpub.com

The roof deck patio of Shipwreck Tavern in Bayville.

The roof deck patio of Shipwreck Tavern in Bayville. Credit: Linda Rosier


 

CHARMING DOWNTOWNS

2 Spring (2 Spring St., Oyster Bay): Inside this polished New American restaurant, it’s evident ownership pays very close attention to detail — and that goes double for outside: An L-shaped patio is decked out with scaffolding covered by burlap, plus dried flowers, herbs, decorative woods, twigs, ferns and string lights throughout. It’s a great place to enjoy chef Jesse Schenker’s innovative farm-to-table menu. Reservations are strongly suggested. More info: 516-624-2411, 2springstreet.com

Besito (402 New York Ave., Huntington): All three Long Island Besitos offer a modern take on Mexican cuisine — the tableside guacamole is a must-order — served in swank surroundings. With tables set up along New York Avenue, the Huntington location ups the ante with great people watching. More info: 631-549-0100, besitomexican.com

Diners at Besito in Huntington.

Diners at Besito in Huntington. Credit: Linda Rosier

American Beech (300 Main St., Greenport): This hotel-restaurant anchors Greenport’s Stirling Square and the merriment spills out from the outdoor tables alongside the dining room to the bar that’s built around a massive beech tree to the patio beyond. Start with local oysters, crawfish arancini or octopus a la plancha, then move on to black sea bass, ricotta gnocchi, 16-ounce rib-eye or the "AB" burger. More info: 631-477-5939, americanbeech.com

Campagne House (339 Broadway, Bethpage): For gastropub fare and plenty of space to hang out, there's the 30-seat patio at Campagne House, right in the heart of downtown Bethpage. The wide-ranging menu features modern takes on bar snacks (Cantonese wings, filet mignon tacos, Old Chesapeake crab bites) as well as salads, fish, steaks and chops. More info: 516-261-9300, campagnehouse.com

Flora (149 Main St., Westhampton Beach): The reconstruction of Westhampton Beach’s Main Street was completed in 2020 and, defining the eastern limit is one of the prettiest traffic circles on Long Island. That’s the setting for Flora, the newest venture from the Rooted Hospitality Group, which operates al fresco powerhouses Rumba and Cowfish in Hampton Bays and Rhum in Patchogue. The whole restaurant evinces the expected floral theme, but nowhere so much as on the covered patio, a perfect perch for people-watching (not to mention BMW- and Jaguar-watching). Flora’s menu features a contemporary lineup of multi-element dishes such as pickled deviled eggs with pancetta, Fresno peppers, chives and celery ribbons; warm lobster roll with tarragon aioli; the Flora burger with havarti, pickled onion, black-garlic aioli, truffled arugula and tomatoes; grilled filet mignon with wild-mushroom demi-glacé and mashed potatoes. More info: 631-998-9600, florawhb.com

Outdoor dining at Flora in Westhampton Beach.

Outdoor dining at Flora in Westhampton Beach. Credit: flora

La Tavola (183 W. Main St., Sayville): Enjoy a rustic Italian meal on the pretty front porch or the tree-shaded patio at this Sayville favorite. Lights strung from branches give the outdoor space a romantic glow. Neapolitan pizzas from a brick oven, topped with combinations like figs and Gorgonzola or artichokes and shrimp, are good for sharing on a warm summer evening. There is a large selection of pastas. Enticing entrees like pan-roasted salmon with shaved fennel and orange round out the menu. More info: 631-750-6900, latavolasayville.com

Restoration Kitchen (49 E. Hoffman Ave., Lindenhurst). The pandemic gave rise to Long Island's first bona fide dining greenhouse, a massive structure with climate controls, retractable sides and hand-hewn picnic tables that welcomes diners for burgers, creative quesadillas, bacon-topped guacamole and creative cocktails. There's live music some nights and the restaurant, which is a stone's throw from the Long Island Rail Road station, is a good launch point to hit other destinations in the village, such as the newly opened Sand City South brewery tasting room. More info: 631-592-1905, restorationli.com

Pinons Pizza Company (23 Birch Hill Rd., Locust Valley): The outdoor area at Andrew Robinson’s neo-pizzeria-wine bar features custom-built coffee tables, high-top tables and picnic tables, with a capacity that approaches 40. In addition to creative personal pizzas and tempting small plates and salads, Pinons is that rare establishment that has managed to snag Youngs Farm pies for dessert. Robinson, who also owns Cold Spring Harbor Wine Shoppe, always has an interesting selection of wines and beers. More info: 516-801-3200, pinonspizza.com

Pork meatballs with fresh herbs, grana padano, organic tomato sauce and...

Pork meatballs with fresh herbs, grana padano, organic tomato sauce and homemade flatbread at Pinon's Pizza Company in Locust Valley. Credit: Yvonne Albinowski

Tim's Shipwreck Diner (46 Main St., Northport): In the charming backyard courtyard shielded from the bustle of downtown Northport, regulars order cheese blintzes, the "wreckfest" burrito, eggs Benedict, Belgian waffles, pancakes, French toast, corned beef hash and eggs, burgers, hot open sandwiches (including meatloaf and roast beef), grilled cheese, club sandwiches and the elemental Monte Cristo sandwich. More info: 631-754-1797

The Ugly Duckling (906 W. Beech St., Long Beach): This duck-themed eatery (all cocktails and grub come with a rubber duck), offers al fresco dining next to its front door, right on Wisconsin street (away from the busier stretch on West Beech Street). Five tables — room for up to six people at each — are divided by tall, lush box planters. Overhead lights and a retractable awning make up the rest of the area, along with a row of large glass windows, which makes it possible for diners on the outside to watch TV on the plethora of flat screens hanging above the bar inside. The kitchen turns out everything from pulled duck nachos, tacos and wings to salads, burgers and more. More info: 516-208-3383, theuglyducklinglb.com

The Pizzeria (11 Maple Ave., Bay Shore): This is the sleekest location in the growing Pizzeria constellation, and the only one with both a bar and a stone patio (with drop-away windows between the two) which look out over busy Maple Avenue. In the morning, the laptop brigade can settle in with coffee and pastries; in the evening, gin cocktails, meatball-burrata pies and zeppoles rule, and there's live music each weekend. More info: thepizzeriany.com

Outdoor seating at The Pizzeria in Bay Shore.

Outdoor seating at The Pizzeria in Bay Shore. Credit: Newsday/Steve Pfost

Vauxhall (26 Clinton Ave., Huntington): For a perch to see and be seen, grab a picnic table on the sidewalk outside Vauxhall, the Huntington spot for fine burgers and satisfying options for your vegan and vegetarian friends. Drinks do not disappoint, from compelling cocktails to more canned beers than you can imagine. More info: 631-425-0222, vauxhallhuntington.com

Birdies (17 N. Ocean Ave., Patchogue): On the inside, Birdies is comprised of a long, handsome cocktail bar, cozy velvet booths and two levels of golf simulation bays. Outside, the expansive beer garden, smack in the heart of downtown Patchogue, is the place to see and be seen, or just throw down for a game of cornhole. Drinks come from the outdoor bar and a food truck, Rollin Birdies, serves vittles such as pulled-pork sandwiches, burgers, fish tacos, lobster rolls and sugar-dusted sweet corn nuggets. More info: 631-654-4652, birdiesli.com

From left, Nicole Puglissi, Ashley Fay and Zoe Francis at...

From left, Nicole Puglissi, Ashley Fay and Zoe Francis at Birdies in Patchogue. Credit: Linda Rosier

PATIOS

Calissa (1020 Montauk Hwy., Water Mill): The much-coveted and festive patio (some of it tented) is a can’t-miss element at this upscale Greek establishment, though you might be forgiven for thinking otherwise at sunset, when clever, and cleverly named, cocktails from the bar (try a Mexican Bus Ride) are bathed in the amber glow of magic hour. So are the patrons, an eclectic mix of celebs, posers and regular folks, that make this Water Mill restaurant, which debuted in 2017, a people-watcher’s dream. (Broadway types regularly show up to keep their voices in tune on a makeshift outdoor stage.) In the mezze/appetizer department, there's a deliciously otherworldly avocado tzatziki, which is the preferred destination of vegans, and Calissa’s housemade pita, although the addictive zucchini chips will happily dip their way in that direction as well. And any fish is likely a winner as well, all of it served simply like the branzino filet, which needs only lemon and a side dressing of olives and greens for completion. More info: 631-500-9292, calissahamptons.com

Outside dining at Calissa in Watermill.

Outside dining at Calissa in Watermill. Credit: Yvonne Albinowski

Bigelow’s (79 N. Long Beach Rd., Rockville Centre): The pandemic had at least one upside: It inspired the owners of Bigelow’s to build an outdoor dining room. Since 1938, seats at Long Island’s epicenter of Ipswich (fried whole-belly) clams — and other fantastic fried fish — were limited to the cramped counter, so the Andreolas brothers erected a 36-seat pavilion in the parking lot that can be zipped up and heated in the winter, peeled down to the screens in the summer. Also on offer: craft beer and a small selection of desserts from nearby Front Street Bakery. More info: 516-678-3878, bigelows-rvc.com

Blackstone Steakhouse (10 Pinelawn Rd., Melville): In addition to its lavish stone patio (with retractable roof), the steakhouse has erected a state-of-the-art tent in its parking lot; total outdoor capacity approaches 100. Menu standouts include sashimi, sushi, the seafood plateau, grilled whole fish, crabcake, sliders, Japanese long bone Kurobuta pork chops, and lobster macaroni and cheese. More info: 631-271-7780, blackstonesteakhouse.com

Cena 081 (103 Post Ave., Westbury): The hidden outdoor patio offers an eyeful of attractions, from a moderately sized waterfall to a wood-burning oven that churns out calzones, focaccia and pizza, including Buffalo-chicken-bacon; "Quattro Stagioni," with capocollo, anchovies, olives and mushrooms; and an artichoke, spinach, Gorgonzola pie. More info: 516-385-3795, cena081.com

Centro Trattoria (336 W. Montauk Hwy., Hampton Bays): Centro Trattoria's outdoor expanse features a fireplace that creates a measure of coziness on chilly evenings, and a gravel "piazza" that builds a case for warm summer ones too. Strings of party lights swoop down from blond wood beams, bringing a friendly glow to the white tablecloth dining area. Menu standouts include fried baby artichokes, cavatelli carbonara and shrimp saltimbocca.

Diners on the outside patio at Centro Trattoria in Hampton...

Diners on the outside patio at Centro Trattoria in Hampton Bays. Credit: Gordon M. Grant

Hooks & Chops (6330 Jericho Tpke.,Commack): This seafood spot features a bluestone and Nicolock-paved patio adjacent to its main dining room. Nosh on seared sea scallops and more while enjoying a light breeze. More info: 631-600-0521, hooksandchops.com

H2O Seafood & Sushi (215 W. Main St., Smithtown): Seafood, raw and cooked, is the focus of H2O Seafood & Sushi, whose expansive outdoor patio is pretty enough to make you forget you're on Jericho Turnpike. From the sushi bar come imaginative rolls, including a few "tornado rolls" wrapped in fried potato. The kitchen has a particular skill for lobster: lobster chopped salad, lobster mac and cheese, and lobster roll with Old Bay fries. There are steamed lobsters, too, as well as traditional and more fanciful takes on fish and shellfish. More info: 631-361-6464, h2oseafoodsushi.com

Hunter the Restaurant (1053 Oyster Bay Rd., East Norwich): At this upscale French-inspired bistro, the brick patio out front is set up with a little more than a handful of tables that can fit up to 22 people. Cantilever umbrellas and plants, too, make up the inviting, earthy space where customers can nosh on chef-owner Hunter Wells’ straightforward approach to classic dishes like steak frites, bouillabaisse, paella and duck a l’orange. More info: 516-624-8330, hunterrestaurant.com

Metropolitan Restaurant & Bar (3 Pratt Blvd., Glen Cove): Like a number of the Island’s catering halls, this long-standing facility has pivoted toward restauranting of late, attractively repurposing two capacious halls into socially distant dining rooms. But don’t overlook the new eatery’s quaint outdoor area. The fenced-in patio, which seats just 20, is unavoidably intimate yet a fine choice for longish happy hours after work, thanks to a straightforward cocktail list and chef Anthony Falco’s menu, featuring small plates like tuna tartare and pan-seared diver scallops, shareable cauliflower crust pizzas, plates of tacos and more. More info: 516-671-4444, metropolitandining.com 

Revel (835 Franklin Ave., Garden City): On Revel's 50-seat patio, snowflake chandeliers twinkle above wicker-and-metal chairs, and plastic wisteria vines hang heavily, like they’ve sprouted from the ceiling. Best bets for dining here include eggplant chips, chargrilled branzino and boneless short ribs. More info: 516-246-9111, revelrestaurant.com

Revel's outdoor dining area in Garden City.

Revel's outdoor dining area in Garden City. Credit: Yvonne Albinowski

Park Place (1218 Jericho Tpke., New Hyde Park): Shielded from Jericho Turnpike by a stone wall and privacy trees, Park Place 2.0 is turning out tuna tacos, lobster macaroni-and-cheese, braised beef short ribs and paella, among other items, in its 100-person patio that also features a full bar and lounge area equipped with fire pits. Reservations are required. More info: 516-775-9004, parkplacefp.com

Prime 1024 (1024 Northern Blvd., Roslyn): This Italian steakhouse might not bring you ocean views, but it’s bringing you cabanas — five of them facing Northern Boulevard and another five that wrap around the side of the building, facing its parking lot. The front-facing cabanas are more private, separated from others by large partitions. Each has sliding doors with fairly tall curtains draped across. The side-facing cabanas are less private and separated only by smaller partitions. The wide-ranging menu encompasses Italian, both traditional and innovative, a raw bar, pizza, steaks and chops. Reservations required. More info: 516-621-1024, prime1024.com

The Shed (54 New St., Huntington): The original Shed is still the owner of one of the sweetest lil patios in Huntington, a few beats from the main drag. A stylishly understated place of bleached woods and manicured greenery, it's a relaxing spot for The Shed's legendary brunch of brioche French toast, "shegg" sandwiches and arugula and roasted tomato eggs Benedict. The Bloody Mary here looks like a summer garden, but there are also fruity mocktails. More info: 631-385-7433, intheshed.com

Stone Creek Inn (405 Montauk Hwy., East Quogue): The patio here features 46-by-65 feet of sailcloth stupendousness that’s as beautiful to look at as it is to eat under. More to the point, the tent — along with Stone Creek’s army of top-drawer young staffers and Chef Christian Mir’s confident cooking — credibly transports an exquisite indoor experience to the great outdoors. More info: 631-653-6770, stonecreekinn.com

An outdoor dining setup at Stone Creek Inn in East Quogue.

An outdoor dining setup at Stone Creek Inn in East Quogue. Credit: Yvonne Albinowski

Umberto's Pizzeria and Restaurant (633 Jericho Tpke., New Hyde Park): For a glass of wine, a tricolor salad and a grandma slice or two, head to Umberto's Pizzeria, where tables await, shaded by umbrellas. The 30-seat patio is dressed up with groomed planters and vines cascading over the sides. Large parties can call ahead to reserve seats. More info: 516-437-9424, originalumbertos.com

Uncle Bacala's (2370 Jericho Tpke., Garden City Park): Enjoy Uncle Bacala's crowd-pleasing, Italian American cuisine on this spacious patio, which has been cleverly designed to block out the view (and most of the noise) from Jericho Turnpike. Favorites range from spaghetti frutti di mare and cavatelli alla Norma to sweet and sour roasted salmon with eggplant and honey-balsamic grilled skirt steak. More info: 516-739-0505, unclebacala.com

Bluebird Kitchen (​​2405 Merrick Rd., Bellmore): In December, NYC chef Al Di Meglio and partners opened Bluebird Kitchen in what had been a Red Robin. Every vestige of fast-foodery was expunged from the interior and the team took full advantage of the spacious patio, another venue for enjoying what Di Meglio describes as “everyday food, but in a way you’ve never had it." The core of the menu is elevated takes on American comfort favorites: parkerhouse rolls are made in house; the pigs in blankets are kosher franks wrapped in puff pastry that’s been seeded in homemade everything spice; the Bluebird burger is topped with Adirondack Cheddar and served with hand-cut fries. There are also a handful of dishes that would be at home in a much fancier restaurant such as a dry-aged porterhouse steak for two and a pan-roasted black sea bass whose elegant presentation relies on the chef’s ability to wield cauliflower three ways: raw slivers, roasted florets and a luxuriant, buttery purée. More info: 516-962-9600, bluebirdkitchenli.com

Food on display at the outdoor patio at Bluebird Kitchen...

Food on display at the outdoor patio at Bluebird Kitchen in Bellmore. Credit: Brittainy Newman

Serra Provisions (7 Sintsink Dr. E., Port Washington): Snake your way through Manorhaven’s light-industrial zone and, right before you hit the marina on Manhasset Bay, you’ll see a low-slung, shipshape building that bears the legend: Salumeria / Italian specialty / Artisanal shop / Paninoteca. This is the workshop of former NYC chef Jesse Olson, who moved to the area in 2020 from Brooklyn and opened Serra Provisions late last year. Inside you’ll find housemade fresh and dried pasta and sauces, exquisite imported groceries, prepared salads and side, fresh sandwiches and, on weekdays, pizza from a wood-fired oven. All the food can be enjoyed outside at the shop’s picnic tables. The shop is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday to Saturday. More info: 516-321-9393, serraprovisions.com

Ruta Oaxaca (30 E. Main St., Patchogue): Ruta Oaxaca, specializing in regional Mexican cuisine, takes over what had been Patchogue’s Swell Taco, and one of the things that drew the owners to the space was the secluded, 60-seat patio out back which they have decorated like a Mexican courtyard. It’s a perfect place to knock back one of the eight beers on tap, 11 specialty margaritas, or dozens of artisanal tequilas and mezcals. But don’t forgo the food. Chefs (and brothers) Carlos and Felipe Arellanos aim to present all the complexities and refinements of the authentic Mexican kitchen with a focus on their hometown of Oaxaca (pronounced “wah-HAH-kah”) in the country’s south, renowned for its intricate, chili-based sauces called moles. More info: 631-569-2233, rutaoaxacamex.com

Rachel Escobar, left, and Kayra Barreto, both of Riverhead, dine...

Rachel Escobar, left, and Kayra Barreto, both of Riverhead, dine on the patio at Ruta Oaxaca in Patchogue. Credit: Linda Rosier