New York

Beat the Heat at NYC's Best Indoor Spots With Outdoor Vibes

Eataly NYC Flatiron
Eataly NYC Flatiron
Eataly NYC Flatiron

Summer is inching toward its end, but it isn’t through toasting NYC just yet. We’ve still got weeks and weeks to battle the heat, sweat it out on subway platforms, and dart from one crisp, cool, climate-controlled environment to the next. Even the most committed weekend beach bums and post-work pool devotees sometimes need to rinse off the sand and chlorine — while still soaking up some greenery and (filtered) vitamin D.
  
Well as you know, this town’s got it all — including a spate of spots that bring the outside in. Each of these restaurants and bars are filled with enough flora and fauna to evoke all the beauty of nature without its attendant sunburn, bugs, and stifling heat. So let that trail of sweat wash down the sewer where it belongs, and allow these greenery-filled spaces to transport you to Parisian gardens, tropical oases, and NYC’s own little Seine during the laziest, haziest days of summer.

The Royal Palms Shuffleboard Club
The Royal Palms Shuffleboard Club
The Royal Palms Shuffleboard Club

Royal Palms

Gowanus
We may have oversold that Seine thing, but you can still bask like a Florida Keys crocodile crashing his neighbor’s pool at this kitschy Brooklyn shuffleboard bar near the Gowanus Canal. With a double rum Hammer Hurricane in one hand and a tang (that’s shuffleboard lingo for cue) in the other, you’ll forget all about the blazing sun outside. Grandma’s favorite game too taxing? Than play a round of jumbo Jenga and laze away in a cabana with a Floyd Swem, a margarita named in honor of the man who literally wrote the book on shuffleboard. Cap things off with a bathroom selfie in front of the flamingo wallpaper. For posterity, of course.

Le Petit Café

Carroll Gardens
A tree grows in this Brooklyn cafe. To see Petit’s indoor arbor, walk past the grab-and-go counter, through the stone archway out to the casual French cafe’s enclosed back patio, which is open year-round. Hanging planters and a slanted skylight imbue the space with enchanted Parisian garden vibes. Eat your quiche of the day next to a calm, cool koi pond and you’ll forget all about the 90 percent humidity outside. A few apple cider mimosas will fill your head with visions of fall, too.

Il Cortile

Little Italy
This old school Italian joint has been in the neighborhood for more than 40 years, and the potted plants and hanging ferns in its garden room will make you feel like you’re under the Tuscan sun — SPF optional. Order a round of antipasi and a Mulberry Breeze (vodka, cranberry juice, grapefruit juice), close your eyes, and imagine the AC is actually the cool Castiglione air.

Surf Bar
Surf Bar
Surf Bar

Surf Bar 

Williamsburg 
Sand covers the floor and surfboards serve as decor at this beachy bungalow. Surf Bar’s fish-forward menu includes clam chowder and ceviche, and the honey and sea salt topped fries are like beach bum bait at happy hour. Wash it all down with cocktail umbrella-topped frozen boat drinks to keep this whole staycation rouse going. 

Gary He
Gary He
Gary He

Di An Di

Greenpoint
This Vietnamese restaurant is a delicious tropical oasis replete with a fiddle-leaf fig and teeming with greenery that you’d see in any aspirational millennial apartment. Big windows and skylights let the sun shine in and keep Di an Di’s many, many plants alive and well while you stay cool enough to enjoy pho with scallions sliced on the bias.

Toro NYC
Toro NYC
Toro NYC

Toro NYC

Chelsea
Housed in the one-time Nabisco Factory building, this modern tapas spot’s 18-foot windows offer a breathtaking view of the NYC skyline without forcing you to breathe the stagnant NYC summer air. But, wait, look over there by the plancha bar! It’s an ivy-covered wall that isn’t so bad to look at either! Settle in with a pitcher of gin and tonics (available in four varieties) and that statement wall will really speak to you.

Evan Sung
Evan Sung
Evan Sung

Olmsted

Prospect Heights
Named for the landscape architect behind nearby Prospect Park, Olmsted walks the farm-to-table walk with rows of produce in its whimsical little back garden. Folks sipping orange wine and making their own s’mores fill up bench seats fast in spite of the lingering heat. Those in the climate controlled know eschew the outdoors in favor of the hotspot’s herb-lined interior, where you can enjoy all the sweet benefits of photosynthesis without breaking a sweat.

Butcher’s Daughter

Nolita
Natural light bouncing off white brick and tile will nourish you and the copious potted plants scattered around this ironically named “vegetable slaughterhouse” and juice bar. The decor is so bright and airy, you can enjoy expertly prepared seasonal produce and the sunniest days without having to break out the parasol.

Courtesy of Eataly
Courtesy of Eataly
Courtesy of Eataly

Serra Fiorita by Birreria

Flatiron
Eataly’s seasonal rooftop has transformed into an Italian garden flush with bright-colored blooms for the summer. Since “serra” means “greenhouse” in Italian, the place is covered in flowers — a mix of real, preserved, and paper blooms. This is definitely the place to have a snap and a spritz, Aperol or otherwise, you truly cannot take a bad photo here. You’ll catch a good breeze up on the 14th floor when Serra’s retractable roof is open.

Mad Tropical
Mad Tropical
Mad Tropical

Mad Tropical

Bushwick
Mad Tropical’s good vibes and fresh foliage might just trick you into thinking you’re on a tropical island. Grab a fruity drink or make like Keanu Reeves, and have some tacos. Turns out, John Wick’s a fan of this succulent-filled bar. And even when it’s hot outside, it’s worth taking a turn on the neon-hued dance floor, where breaking a sweat might not feel like a bad thing for once.Sign up here for our daily NYC email and be the first to get all the food/drink/fun New York has to offer.

Shannon Carlin is a pop culture writer whose work has appeared on Bustle, Refinery29, and BUST.

New York

Scavenge for Peeps Cookies and More Fun Treats in NYC This Easter

The best Easter desserts in NYC this spring include Easter Bunny Churros and Carrot Cake Macarons.

Photo courtesy of Funny Face Bakery
Photo courtesy of Funny Face Bakery
Photo courtesy of Funny Face Bakery

As spring makes its way through New York City, not only do we get to enjoy beautiful weather, stunning cherry blossoms, and cool activities priced at $Free.99, but it’s also the perfect time for some limited-edition desserts.

With Easter fast approaching, bakeries are filling their shops with tons of chocolate eggs, carrot cake-flavoured everything and all types of flavours that offer both nostalgia and innovation within the city’s dessert landscape. After you’ve picked up a cake from the city’s best new bakeries, from Easter Bunny Churros to Carrot Cake Macarons, here are 8 Easter desserts to try in NYC right now.

Photo courtesy of Magnolia Bakery
Photo courtesy of Magnolia Bakery
Photo courtesy of Magnolia Bakery

Magnolia Bakery

Throughout April
Various locations
There’s great news for devotees of Magnolia Bakery’s Classic Banana Pudding: For Easter, the spot is mixing up the iconic dessert’s vanilla pudding with some carrot cake. The Carrot Cake Pudding is filled with freshly grated carrots, coconuts, pineapples, raisins, and walnuts. And if both bananas and carrots aren’t your thing, they’ll be offering their Classic Vanilla Cupcakes in pastel colours with a Cadbury chocolate egg hidden inside.

Photo courtesy of Funny Face Bakery
Photo courtesy of Funny Face Bakery
Photo courtesy of Funny Face Bakery

Funny Face Bakery

Through Easter Sunday
NoHo and Seaport
Known for their celebrity face and meme-worthy decorated cookies, fans of Funny Face Bakery know that a new fun design is always just around the corner. For Easter, they’ve created the adorable Hoppy Easter decorated cookie that resembles a classic box of marshmallow Peeps. Along with that, they also have the return of their fan-favourite Caramel Pretzel Chip cookie flavour, plus a set of three mini-decorated cookies perfect for gifting.

The Doughnut Project

Friday, April 7 through Easter Sunday
West Village
With the ever-changing flavours at The Doughnut Project, it’s super easy to miss out on trying out a new debut. But this Easter weekend, there will be two new flavours available. One is of course, a carrot cake doughnut topped with a cream cheese glaze, and the other is known as the Doughnut Nest-a French cruller “nest” with a cream-filled doughnut hole “egg” in the centre.

Photo by Cole Saladino, courtesy of The Fragile Flour
Photo by Cole Saladino, courtesy of The Fragile Flour
Photo by Cole Saladino, courtesy of The Fragile Flour

The Fragile Flour

Wednesday, April 5 through Easter Sunday
East Village
For stellar vegan desserts this holiday, head to The Fragile Flour, a plant-based bakery and dessert wine bar. They’re known for going all out for each holiday with a variety of new pastry options that you can pair perfectly with a glass of wine. This Easter, they’ll have a whole dessert menu that’s both delicious and gorgeous for posting on IG. The menu includes Stuffed Carrot Cake Cookies, a Lemon Cake (whole or by the slice), some festive cupcakes, and specialty macarons.

Photo courtesy of Kreuther Handcrafted Chocolate
Photo courtesy of Kreuther Handcrafted Chocolate
Photo courtesy of Kreuther Handcrafted Chocolate

Kreuther Handcrafted Chocolate

Through mid April
Midtown
For a luxurious take on Easter chocolates, browse the selections available at Kreuther Handcrafted Chocolate. You can even pick the Easter Signature Chef’s Selection for a special box curated by award-winning chefs. For something other than chocolate, choose between the Carrot Cake Macarons or the cake flavored Easter Marshmallow Trio, both of which are almost too cute to eat.

La Churreria

Throughout April
Nolita
This churro-centric spot is putting the cutest Easter spin on their crispy cinnamon churros by twisting them up into bunnies and bunny ears. At Churreria, choose from a Bunny Churro Lollipop topped with your choice of chocolate or dulce de leche and sprinkles, or the bunny ear churros in the Ube and Matcha ice cream sundae or the Ube Milkshake, both of which are made with ice cream from il laboratorio del gelato.

Photo by Briana Balducci
Photo by Briana Balducci
Photo by Briana Balducci

Lafayette

Throughout April
NoHo
You’ve surely seen this croissant tons of times while scrolling through IG or TikTok, whether it’s the Pain au Chocolat one or the latest of the month. Known as Supr√™mes, these filled croissants went viral and continue to live up to the hype each time a new flavour comes out. April’s flavour-sour cherry amaretto with a Luxardo custard and toasted almonds. While you’ll have to be super early and wait in line during one of their three drops of the day to get a taste, we promise you it’ll be worth it.

Photo courtesy of Levain
Photo courtesy of Levain
Photo courtesy of Levain

Levain

Seasonal
Various locations
We all know the iconic cookies from Levain-they’re gigantic, perfectly crispy and chewy, and well worth the long lines. For spring, the shop is launching a new flavour: Caramel Coconut Chocolate Chip. Filled with gooey caramel chips, fresh shredded coconut, and melty dark chocolate, it’s one you’ve got to try while it’s still around. To further celebrate the new season, all of Levain’s storefronts will be decked out in spring floral displays, serving as the perfect backdrop for pictures.

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Alaina Cintron is an Editorial Assistant at Thrillist. Her work can also be found in Westchester Magazine, Girls’ Life, and Spoon University. When she’s not at her desk typing away, you can find her exploring a local coffee shop or baking a new recipe.

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