Something happens when you’re sitting on a deck by the water.
You breathe the salt air and feel the sun on your face. Maybe a boat glides by and a seagull hovers. Then a cold beer arrives at your table — or a cocktail — and a plate of oysters on ice. Next comes the fried clams with tartar sauce, chowder or fish tacos.
At some point, you turn to your friends and say, “It doesn’t get much better than this.”
And you mean it. So why postpone this kind of happiness until vacation?
There’s a reason why all those seagulls are hanging around our shopping center parking lots. We live by the water. So, whether you go for the Long Island Sound or the Hudson River, you’ll need our select list of waterside eateries to help put you in that state of rapture. Get your flip-flops and sunscreen ready for a summer full of staycations and save the Hamptons, the Cape and the Shore for when you’re fortified enough to put up with the traffic.
ON THE SOUND
BAR TACO, PORT CHESTER — Have a margarita with your upscale street food or small plates, then watch the boats from the patio overlooking the Byram River. This trendy restaurant is inspired by the beach cultures of Southern California, Brazil and Uruguay. bartaco.com
THE CRAB SHELL – STAMFORD — The bustle of the city melts away like the butter you just got with your lobster when you’re standing on the deck by the bar at this Stamford Harbor institution. You can even arrive by boat and dock at one of the restaurant’s dedicated slips. Or enjoy the drinks and live music and take a free water taxi home. crabshell.com
DUDLEY’S PARKVIEW, NEW ROCHELLE — The deck at Dudley’s is open seven days a week, year-round, right on New Rochelle’s waterfront. dudleysparkview.com
L’ESCALE RESTAURANT BAR, GREENWICH — Looking for something a tad more upscale? Enjoy seasonal Mediterranean cuisine on the waterfront terrace overlooking Greenwich Harbor. You’ll feel transported to the Côte d’Azur at this Riviera-style restaurant, located in the Delamar Greenwich Harbor hotel. lescalerestaurant.com
HARBOR LIGHTS, NORWALK — The outdoor patio is a prime location to watch the sunset as boats bob in the harbor. Fresh seafood prepared with flavors of the Mediterranean make this waterfront spot the place to be. harborlightsrestaurant-ct.com
MEDITERRANEAN, NORWALK — For something slightly different, try this restaurant, with an interior reminiscent of a yacht. Grab one of the tables perched over a waterfall. Feel the spray and take in the sound of the tumbling water. The feeling of well-being is transportive in this bucolic river setting. zhospitalitygroup.com
OVERTON’S, NORWALK — There’s no inside seating here. Grab some family-style seafood, burgers and hotdogs at the takeout window and enjoy them at picnic tables on the large waterfront deck. Then grab the kids each an ice cream for $1. overtons-seafood.com
OCEAN GRILLE, RYE — The former location of Seaside Johnnies overlooks Oakland Beach and the Long Island Sound. The outdoor seating space has been recently refurbished. And you can enjoy “breakfast on the beach” since the restaurant is open at 7 a.m. theoceangrille.com
THE RESTAURANT AT ROWAYTON SEAFOOD, ROWAYTON — You can dock your boat if you’re so inclined at the restaurant, where deck seating is on a first-come, first-served basis but the views from the large windows are spectacular. Tucked alongside the restaurant is Rowayton Seafood Market, housed in an old fishing shack. rowaytonseafood.com
SONO SEAPORT SEAFOOD, NORWALK — Grab an umbrella-topped picnic table overlooking historic Norwalk Harbor and stop by the on-premises fish market on your way out. It’s that clam shack you’ve been searching for. sonoseaportseafood.com
SUNSET GRILLE, NORWALK — Situated on the water in Norwalk Cove Marina (which houses more than 600 boats and yachts), this restaurant and bar is a seasonal pleasure. So enjoy gourmet seafood on the deck for a memory you’ll have all winter long. sunsetgrille.net
ON THE HUDSON
40 NORTH, HASTINGS — The restaurant, located upstairs in the Hasting Tennis Club but open to the public, has decks on two stories. Whether inside or out, enjoy panoramic views that include the Manhattan skyline and the awesome expansiveness of the Hudson. forty-north.com
DOLPHIN RESTAURANT, YONKERS — OK, technically there is no deck, but outdoor seating spans the sidewalk and the restaurant is right on the Hudson so you can watch the boats glide by as you eat brunch, lunch or dinner. Afterwards, walk a few steps to the Victorian pier that houses X20, chef Peter Kelly’s riparian venture. The views are outrageous and the waterfront in this part of Yonkers has undergone an impressive renovation. Grab a water taxi into the city and make a day of it. dolphinrbl.com
HALF MOON, DOBBS FERRY — The extensive outdoor seating includes decks and benches for casual lingering where you can take a few steps to the rocks that edge the Hudson and look south to the Manhattan skyline. Need we say more? Floor-to-ceiling windows mean there isn’t a bad seat in the house. halfmoonhudson.com
HARVEST-ON-HUDSON, HASTINGS-ON-HUDSON — Watch the sun set over the Palisades from Harvest’s huge patio or outside bar. Or meander through its vegetable and herb gardens en route to chef David Amorelli’s gourmet Italian cuisine. harvesthudson.com
RED HAT, IRVINGTON — Whether you’re inside or out, there isn’t a seat that doesn’t face the spectacular view of the Hudson. Enjoy French-American modern bistro fare while you sit on the patio, inside or on the rooftop lounge and imbibe at the waterside cocktail area. redhatontheriver.com
SUNSET COVE AL PONTE, TARRYTOWN — Located in the Washington Irving Boat Club, Sunset Cove boasts views of the wide Hudson, the cliffs of the Palisades and the Tappan Zee Bridge that are breathtaking. Enjoy brunch, lunch or dinner from the seafood-heavy menu at this Mediterranean-inspired restaurant. sunsetcove.net
XAVIARS X20 ON THE HUDSON, YONKERS — As mentioned before, this Peter Kelly restaurant sits on the only turn-of-the-20th century pier still in use on the Hudson. Feast on Mediterranean-inspired cuisine with Asian accents and vistas of the George Washington and Tappan Zee bridges as well as sunsets over the Palisades. xaviars.com
*COMING SOON: HUDSON FARMER & THE FISH, SLEEPY HOLLOW — This highly anticipated farm-to-table restaurant will sit 12 feet from the river and include a 300-foot promenade. After Farmer & The Fish’s success in North Salem and Manhattan, the opening of the Sleepy Hollow outpost is imminent and anticipated. farmerandthefish.com