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Outdoor Dining on the LES

Dining in Manhattan is back on the menu — just be sure to follow the health safety guidelines. Embrace the fall air by heading to one of these wonderful eateries and enjoying a chef-driven meal with a side of socially distanced conversation.


This hip and health-conscious cafe is now offering outdoor seatings, which means you can bathe in autumnal sunshine, poring over their unique menu, while leisurely sipping a fennel ginger lemonade. Opt for the salmon salad toast with pickled beets; the vegetable-stuffed Earth Tacos; or the uber-healthy Power Bowl, brimming with black beans and rice, pumpkin seeds and avocado, topped with a spicy salsa verde. Dimes also provides catering for days that call for a touch of indulgence. The breakfast sandwich is stuffed with scrambled egg and cheddar; wash it down with a margarita — mixed, of course, with a healthy dose of wheatgrass. If you prefer to dine in your One Manhattan Square condo, call in at the Dimes deli and pick up a serve of seared salmon with blood orange salsa, or a box of soba noodles with enoki mushrooms and pickled lotus root. 


In the unlikely location of a disused alley off the Bowery, you’ll discover Freemans. In fact, delightful touches like potted plants and fairy lights make this an enchanting spot for outdoor dining. (You can also score one of a handful of indoor tables.) The dishes at Freemans are as beguiling as the setting. Feast on wild Arctic char tartare, Amish chicken breast with roasted parsnips and flat beans, or chimichurri hanger steak with grilled asparagus. The plates here are superbly seasonal — and so, too, are the cocktails. For our money, the Autumn Daiquiri, mixed with rum, tequila, cassis, and jalapeño, is the revivifying beverage you need this fall. And don’t even think of leaving before you’ve tried the homemade chocolate brownie.

Buddha Bodai

Chinatown’s Buddha Bodai is less than a 15-minute stroll from One Manhattan Square — so, once you’ve tried it, you’ll be back for more. The veggie hot spot operates under the masterful Chef Dong, who has decades of experience whipping up mock-meat dishes, such as sesame “chicken” and sliced “fish” in black bean sauce. You’ll also find a myriad of delicious dim sums and warming soups in this Lower East Side eatery. Even if you’re not a vegetarian, Buddha Bodai will tickle your taste buds with authentic flavors of China. And right now, you can enjoy them in the restaurant’s outdoor space. If you’re working from your condo, now’s the time to take advantage of the lunch special; at $7.50, which includes a soup starter, it’s an incredibly good value.