Thursday, August 27, 2009

Top 5 Places for Outdoor Dining in Downtown

To most Central New Yorkers, the opening of the New York State Fair usually chimes in that the end of Summer is right at the doorstep. But don't sweat it - there's still some time to enjoy good food outdoors. Here's Pulled Into Syracuse's Top 5 Places for outdoor dining in Syracuse's Downtown.

Photo courtesy of

1) Pastabilities: 311 S Franklin St, Syracuse, NY
Is there anything better than enjoying the sights and sounds of the street in the city's most successful neighborhood while inhaling Pasta's stretch bread and spicy hot tomato oil that was made right across the street? Me thinks not. The quintessential place for hip dining and food in the very hip district. [link] [map]

2) Dante: 215 Walton St, Syracuse, NY
If you're looking for good tapas, paella, and other Spanish-inspired foods in one of the more romantic destinations in Armory Square, Dante may be your place. Enjoy intimate and cozy outdoor dining on the more low-key end of Walton Street. [link] [map]

3) Nikos Pasta Pizza & Deli: 135 E Water St, Syracuse, NY
Outdoor dining at Nikos is a bit more toned down, quaint, and relaxing street experience as oppose to some of the others on this list. Enjoy some excellent (and underrated!) sandwiches, salads, and pasta dishes right in the heart of Syracuse's tranquil and historic Hanover Square district. [link] [photo] [map]

4) The Mission Restaurant: 304 E Onondaga St, Syracuse, NY
What was once a Wesleyan Methodist Church, now serves up excellent Pan-American and Mexican cuisine. Enjoy a shredded beef enchilada or Puerco Pibil hard shell tacos in Syracuse's Columbus Circle with excellent views of beautiful architecture like the old Syracuse Public Library, the Columbus Circle Monument and Fountain, the Mitzpa Towers, the Onondaga County Courthouse, and the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception. [link] [map]

5) Dinosaur Bar-B-Que: 246 W Willow St, Syracuse, NY
Perhaps the least formal of all the places on this list, but what could be more picturesque than eating a Big Ass Pork Plate on a picnic table, next to a row of motorcycles, with blues music playing in the background, and having 29% of your face covered in barbecue sauce? [link] [photo] [map]

Honorable Mention
Clark's Ale House: 122 W Jefferson St, Syracuse, NY
Located on the Southeastern edge of Armory Square, Clark's Ale House has been serving up sandwiches to Downtown workers for years. Outdoor seats are situated right on the corner of Jefferson and Clinton Streets. It's an excellent place to enjoy a local brew, a roast beef sandwich, and people watch during weekday afternoons. [link] [map]


Jim Johnson said...

I'd give an honorable mention to the Blue Tusk. Yes, it's considered more "bar" than "restaurant", but if you include Clark's, then the Tusk is right behind. Delicious food and lots of outdoor seating. One of my favorite things to do is to go to friday happy hour after work, order some food, grab a table outside along Walton St. and do some people-watching.

Francesca's has some great outdoor dining as well. I'd much rather eat in the courtyard out back than inside the restaurant. It's gorgeous back there.

JoeBass123 said...

blue tusk crossed my mind. and it probably deserves to be mentioned as well. although they have an awesome beer selection and good, upscale bar food, my one major issue with eating outside there is all of the cigarette smoke. but perhaps it's because i usually only go there at night.

though not technically downtown, i've heard a lot of good things about francesca's. i'll have to remember to check out the courtyard when i go there. i've seen some pictures online and it looks really nice.

Jim Johnson said...

There's a non-smoking "section" of the outside area. I believe it's the part along Walton. I believe the smoking section is around the corner in the alley. I don't know if they change it at night or not.

JoeBass123 said...

interesting. i had no idea. thanks for the heads up.