Best Waterside Restaurants in NYC

October 25, 2016
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by Zagat Staff

Here are the top-rated waterside restaurants in New York City.

Battery Gardens
American · Financial District · $$$
Food 4.0 · Decor 4.1 · Service 4.0

The “harbor is at your feet” at this “shoreline” Financial District bastion where the “peerless” views of the harbor and Lady Liberty are matched with “better-than-expected” American-Continental fare; tabs skew high, but for the most “priceless” experience, go for “outdoor cocktails at sunset.”
Beaubourg
French · Battery Park City · $$$
Food 3.9 · Decor 4.0 · Service 3.7

Set in Battery Park’s Le District food hall, this roomy “fine French option” specializes in “classic bistro food” , including raw-bar items; maybe it’s “expensive for what it is” , but to most the seasonal terrace and its “stunning” Hudson River views make it “worth a trip.”
The Loeb Boathouse
American · Central Park · $$$
Food 3.9 · Decor 4.5 · Service 3.7

It's all about the “unbeatable location” at this lakeside American, where “the decor is Central Park” and watching the rowboats drift by “feels like being on vacation” ; the menu's “not overly exciting” and the service just “so-so” , but for tourists and natives alike, this “must-have” NYC experience truly “sells itself.”
Brooklyn Crab
Seafood · Red Hook · $$
Food 4.0 · Decor 4.0 · Service 3.9

From the owners of Alma, this “casual” Red Hook triplex fields a “solid” menu of fish-shack classics and raw-bar snacks that taste even better given its “to-die-for” views of the harbor; additional perks like “fun” mini-golf and plenty of “outdoor seats” offset the “ridiculous” waits and “slow” service.
Maiella
Italian · Long Island City · $$
Food 4.5 · Decor 4.5 · Service 4.5

With “first-rate” fare from Rocco Sacramone (Trattoria L'incontro) and “stunning” skyline views, this Italian “sleeper” on the LIC waterfront delivers an “exceptional” Queens experience; “attentive” service, an “inviting” rustic-chic space and a patio are other reasons many swear it’s “worth the drive from the city.”
Pier A Harbor House
Gastropub · Battery Park City · $$
Food 3.7 · Decor 4.3 · Service 3.7

A circa-1886 pier is home to this “big, beautiful” Battery Park City hangout with a “publike” area for “drinking and snacks” at street level, plus a balcony bar and private rooms above; maybe the seafood-centric American fare “could be better” , but the “astonishing” harbor views and sprawling outdoor space need no improvement.
The River Café
American · DUMBO · $$$$
Food 4.5 · Decor 4.8 · Service 4.5

“Is there a more beautiful setting in NYC?” swoon fans of this Dumbo waterfront “classic” whose “romantic” dining room offers “unbeatable” views of Manhattan, as well as a fairy-lit “Garden of Eden” just outside; “elegant” prix fixe–only American cuisine and “exceptional” service complete the “high-end” experience – for which an “expensive” price tag is “to be expected.”
Riverpark
American · Murray Hill · $$$
Food 4.5 · Decor 4.6 · Service 4.5

“Out of the way and hard to find” , this “serene” hideaway in a Murray Hill office park offers Tom Colicchio’s “sophisticated” New American food showcasing “divine” seasonal dishes sourced from its own herb garden; the “special-occasion” pricing is offset by “inexpensive parking” and a “spectacular” East River view.
SHI
Asian · Long Island City · $$
Food 4.0 · Decor 4.3 · Service 4.0

“Fantastic views of the NYC skyline” combine with “tasteful” Pan-Asian cuisine and “amazing cocktails” at this “upscale” LIC high-rise dweller; since it's “stronger than most in the area” , insiders advise reserving in advance.
The Water Club
Seafood · Murray Hill · $$$
Food 4.3 · Decor 4.5 · Service 4.4

“Inspiring water views” from a barge docked on the East River off Murray Hill lend a “romantic” air to this “charming” destination, where a “pro” staff serves “dependably good” American fare (including a “terrific” Sunday brunch); sure, it's “geared toward tourists” and best enjoyed “when your rich uncle is in town” , but it's hard to top for “special-occasion” dining.