Boat Basin Café: An Afternoon on the UWS

posted in: Culture, Restaurants & Chefs | 0

It was about 1pm on Saturday when I texted the girls to get together. I’d been über-lazy so far: just couch-potatoing it through the morning in my PJs and indulging in my latest obsession. (I just got HBO. Hence, no real life.) As I started to draft a group text, Greer’s call came in to organize a late lunch. It’s as if I had used my super powers of ESP to summon her. We debated a few restaurants near her apartment (Sutton Place) and mine (Yorkville,) before deciding on the Boat Basin Café. In all honesty we were trying to avoid a hike, however on a day like Saturday it was well worth it.


lunch at the boat basin cafe 79th riverside


For those of you who haven’t been, you should check it out. Not for the food (average bar food such as burgers and hot dogs) or for the service (irritatingly laid-back at times. Read: slow) but for the ambiance. When the sun is shining and the weather is sweet, there’s no place in New York City like the boat basin.


boat basin cafe riverside park nyc


The Boat Basin Café is located on 79th St. and Riverside Blvd. It’s an enormous space that’s divided up into 3 seating areas. We started in the main dining area where the bar is located and grabbed a few drinks. There’s no reservations at the Boat Basin, and when the weather is nice it can be quite the wait. We waited over an hour to be seated with a view of the Hudson River. Had we been less patient, we could have grabbed a shaded table in about 30 mins, but who wants shade after being cooped up all winter? Patience is a virtue, they say. So are the margaritas at Boat Basin. Just sayin’. The largest seating area is a circular arena in the middle of a round-about. It’s an interesting balance of the hustlin’ bustlin’ city and a peaceful meal with the cars and buses circling above you.


boat basin cafe uws nyc


While the food and service leave something to be desired, the view is spectacular. It overlooks the boats on the Hudson River and onto New Jersey. It’s also located in the middle of Riverside Park, which lends a relaxed and suburban atmosphere.


boat basin cafe upper west side nyc


If you’re looking for a fun place to day-drink in the spring/summer, this could be the place. The clientele ranges from mid 20-somethings to young families. Even though everyone is relatively young, they tend to keep it pretty classy. Dogs and young children are welcome, (is it weird I grouped them together?) but you’re more than welcome to get tipsy with a bucket of brews. 

riverside park upper west side nyc

We did. 😉

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