History and Significance of the Statue of Liberty

Before getting into the restaurants, let’s explore why so many flock to see the Statue of Liberty each year. Lady Liberty was a gift from France to the United States, dedicated in 1886 as a symbol welcoming immigrants arriving by sea to New York Harbor. The statue was designed by French sculptor Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi. Gustave Eiffel, famous for the iconic Parisian tower, constructed the inner iron framework that allows the copper statue to stand over 305 feet above Liberty Island.

Lady Liberty holds a torch in one hand, representing enlightenment. In the other hand, she carries a tablet inscribed with America’s independence day. A broken shackle lies at the statue’s feet, signifying freedom from oppression. Over 4 million visitors ascend to the Statue of Liberty’s crown or pedestal yearly to admire the powerful symbolism and take in the sweeping views of the Manhattan skyline and New York Harbor.

The best vantage points of the statue are along the waterfront in Battery Park and surrounding areas. As you explore dining options near the park and ferry terminal before or after your visit, you’ll likely catch breathtaking glimpses of Lady Liberty.

Restaurants Overlooking the Statue

New York City

You don’t need to travel far from Battery Park to enjoy a quality meal alongside beautiful views. Manhattan offers excellent options steps from the ferry departure point, so you can easily pair lunch or dinner with your trip out to Liberty and Ellis Islands.

Sesamo

Tucked away on 10th Avenue in Hell’s Kitchen, this under-the-radar Italian-Asian fusion spot offers a peaceful respite from the tourist crowds. The warm, inviting dining room’s brick walls, wooden tables and beamed ceilings exude cozy tavern charm. Owner and Executive Chef Sandy Dee Hall artfully weaves Italian pastas and Asian spices across the menu in dishes like plump tortelloni filled with porcini mushrooms in white curry cream sauce. Don’t miss their perfect take on spicy chicken parmesan with Sichuan peppercorns.

Sesamo
Sesamo in Hell’s Kitchen

The View at Battery Park

True to its name, The View restaurant inside Battery Park looks out over the Hudson River directly at the Statue of Liberty. The sophisticated bistro setting features walls of windows, allowing visitors to soak in gorgeous vistas while dining on American classics like eggs benedict for brunch and steak frites at dinner.

Outdoors, an expansive patio dubbed “The Waterside” offers tiered seating just feet from the water. Grab a juice or Bloody Mary at the separate waterside bar while admiring Lady Liberty in the distance. With such incredible views, it’s no wonder The View is also a sought-after special events venue.

Gigino Wagner Park

Just north of Battery Park lies tiny Wagner Park, a peaceful stretch of manicured lawns leading down to the Hudson River waterfront. Tucked inside the park is Gigino, a lovely Italian restaurant with a patio that delivers your classic Statue of Liberty postcard views over an al fresco lunch or dinner.

Inside, the rustic but elegant dining room also provides fantastic outlooks through tall windows. On the menu, expect fresh seafood, homemade pastas, and Italian classics like ossobuco alla Milanese with saffron risotto. Don’t miss their extensive wine list, mainly focused on Italian varietals and several available by the glass.

Pier A Harbor House

Historic Pier A transports diners back to the 19th century, outfitted with reclaimed materials from the original Manhattan harbor pier. The laid-back bar and grill sits right on the water underneath the raised walkways of the Battery Park esplanade. Unparalleled views of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island greet guests through warehouse style windows.

Outside, the Pier A deck offers intimate tables mere feet from the rippling harbor waves. Inside, exposed brick walls and salvaged wooden beams set an inviting scene to enjoy a rotating selection of local craft beers. The menu focuses on high quality, sustainable seafood like Maine lobster rolls and native shellfish towers alongside bar bites like chicken wings and nachos.

Merchants River House

Nearby in Battery Park City, Merchants River House overlooks the Hudson River with two sprawling outdoor patios right along the esplanade walkway. The southern-facing spaces allow diners to soak in panoramic views showcasing Governors Island, Ellis Island, and Lady Liberty herself while enjoying New American fare like applewood bacon wrapped dates and lemon ricotta pancakes topped with blueberry compote.

The light filled indoor dining room also impresses with soaring ceilings, maritime decor touches, and huge picture windows. Don’t miss their Instagram famous “Mac Quartet,” a tower of gooey three-cheese and lobster macaroni and cheese cones.

Other Notables: Liberty House, One World Observatory, River Cafe

Venture just across the harbor to Liberty State Park, New Jersey for skyline views encompassing Lady Liberty at the elegant Liberty House Restaurant. The seasonal American menu specializes in steaks and seafood, enjoyed on a sprawling outdoor patio with fire pits in the cooler months.

For birds-eye views from One World Trade Center, book a table at ONE Dine on the 102nd floor. Their seasonally inspired prix fixe menu changes nightly, allowing visitors to linger over the unparalleled vistas.

In Brooklyn, the renowned River Cafe delights diners with its Michelin-starred cuisine and dazzling outlooks from its waterfront perch underneath the Brooklyn Bridge.

New Jersey

Crossing the harbor into New Jersey opens up additional possibilities for restaurants overlooking Lady Liberty. Liberty State Park and the Jersey City waterfront host several spots putting the stunning Manhattan skyline at center stage.

Liberty House Restaurant

Perched along the Hudson River, Liberty House Restaurant resides on the north side of Liberty State Park with unobstructed panoramas of Lower Manhattan, including clear views of the Statue. The glamorous indoor dining room evokes French Country flair with crystal chandeliers and upholstered chairs in navy and white. The real star is the sprawling outdoor patio dotted with glowing lanterns at night.

Visitors can lounge on the patio’s cozy furniture next to warming fire pits when temperatures drop. Come summer, retractable awnings provide shade. The chef focuses on farm fresh modern American cuisine using seasonal ingredients, with standouts like vegetable risotto and miso glazed salmon.

Other New Jersey Restaurants with Views

Also located within Liberty State Park, Liberty Landing offers a more casual patio setting to take in the skyline over thin crust pizzas, burgers, and salads. In Jersey City’s Newport neighborhood, the massive outdoor Beer Garden overlooks the Hudson River and Manhattan from the third level deck of the Liberty Landing Food Hall.

In nearby Weehawken, guests soak in unobstructed westward views of the Hudson River from Chart House Restaurant’s airy dining room and bar, with the Statue of Liberty prominently on display.

Brooklyn Spots

Venture into Brooklyn for restaurants putting the Statue of Liberty and the Lower Manhattan cityscape on display across the East River. Brooklyn Bridge Park provides front row vista points. Or check out longer established venues for white tablecloth dining with a skyline panorama.

River Cafe

Operating since 1977 along the Brooklyn waterfront beneath the bridge, the River Cafe ranks among New York’s most treasured culinary landmarks. Walls of windows showcase arresting views across the river over Governors Island to Lower Manhattan and Lady Liberty. Hallmarks include a luxurious interior of mahogany paneling and chandeliers plus a seasonal prix fixe menu focused on seafood and farm fresh ingredients prepared by Executive Chef Brad Steelman.

Brooklyn Bridge Park

For more casual, affordable fare accompanied by skyline sightings, head to the popular outdoor spaces of Brooklyn Bridge Park. Grab tacos, empanadas, arepas and more Latin flavors from the array of food vendors at the park’s Pier 6. Enjoy casual American fare like brick oven pizza, fried chicken sandwiches and local craft brews at Fornino restaurant at Pier 6. Or belly up to the beer garden at Pier 1’s docked barge for local beers with views of Lower Manhattan glimmering across the river after dark.

Brooklyn Bridge
Brooklyn Bridge

Battery Park Area Quick Bites

Need a fast, affordable bite before or after your ferry trip? Battery Park and the surrounding blocks near the Whitehall Terminal offer quick grab and go options to fuel up for sightseeing.

Nathan’s Famous Hot Dogs

Skip the generic street cart dogs and go straight for this Coney Island institution’s Battery Park outpost. Nathan Handwerker first started selling his grilled hot dogs topped with mustard, sauerkraut and his secret sauce recipe in 1916. Over 100 years later, fans still line up for these legendary hot dogs across New York. The Battery Park cart serves the dogs just the way Nathan intended – hot off the grill.

Stone Street

Just steps from the Whitehall Terminal, this charming cobblestoned alley filled with restaurants and cafes reminiscent of Old New York. The pedestrian-only street makes an ideal spot to refuel post Statue of Liberty. The surrounding historic buildings house eateries dishing up pizza, tacos, barbecue and everything in between. Grab a craft beer and sandwich from Mexican joint Zocalo before your ferry or return for brick oven pizza at Adrienne’s Pizza Bar after.

The Battery Gardens Restaurant

Inside lush Battery Gardens park adjacent to the ferry terminal, this sophisticated restaurant offers oceanfront seating. Visitors can take in gorgeous views of New York Harbor over appetizers like tuna tartare tacos or entrees ranging from Staten Island crab cakes to grilled salmon. Their adjoining Battery Gardens Bar serves well crafted cocktails on an outdoor patio just steps from where ferries depart.

Bars/Lounges Overlooking the Statue

After a long day exploring Lady Liberty and Ellis Island, reward yourself with an evening cocktail while drinking in gorgeous waterfront views. Lower Manhattan and the Battery Park neighborhood surrounding the ferry terminal brim with sophisticated bars putting the stunning panorama on display.

The View Bar at Battery Park

The View earns its name not just for the restaurant’s soaring outlooks but also thanks to its adjoining Waterside Bar. The small outdoor bar perches right on the waterfront, just steps from the riverbank inside Battery Park. Sip wine, beer or seasonal cocktails like their Liberty Splash with 360 views showcasing the Statue, Governors Island and passing ferries. Pair your beverage with snacks like soft pretzels with beer cheese fondue dip.

Pier A Harbor House Bar

Under the arches of Pier A, the adjacent bar area serves a frequently rotating selection of eight craft New York State brews on draft alongside basic cocktails and select wines by the glass. The relaxed, nautical-themed bar offers stools along its L-shaped granite top and more intimate high-top tables. Huge warehouse windows set the scene, framing postcard views of Lady Liberty and passing boats.

One World Observatory Lounges

For cocktail hour with a view taking in all of Lower Manhattan, book yourself a VIP Skip the Line ticket to One World Observatory. Their priority entrances whisk visitors straight up 102 stories to the THREE SIXTY lounge, its windows wrapping the entire circumference of the building. Sip sparkling wines and peer down over the twinkling cityscape with Lady Liberty front and center. ONE Mix lounge on the adjacent floor also provides wraparound panoramas for handcrafted cocktails and small bites.

Other Hidden Gem Bars

Tucked away from crowded tourist traps, the year-round ivy covered beer garden at Pier 15’s City Vineyard offers intimate riverside seating with warming gas heat lamps. Further downtown in the historic Seaport District, bar-goers queue up for balcony seating on the second level of The Fulton to take in sweeping views of the Brooklyn Bridge, One World Trade Center, and the Statue of Liberty.

Planning Your Visit

Arriving by ferry is undoubtedly the most spectacular way to see Lady Liberty. Visitors have several options for Statue of Liberty ferry tickets depending on if they also want to access the Statue’s pedestal or crown observation decks. Combination tickets covering Ellis Island visits are also available.

Ferry tickets sell out weeks in advance during peak spring and summer travel seasons. Book as early as possible once your travel dates are confirmed. Ferries run daily, usually departing every 20-30 minutes from Battery Park’s Whitehall Terminal starting as early as 8:30am through about 3:30pm most months.

While any time of day promises beautiful views, early morning and late afternoon ferry trips can provide especially stunning scenery with the Lower Manhattan skyscrapers silhouetted by the rising or setting sun.

Pair your outing with breakfast, lunch or early happy hour overlooking Lady Liberty along the waterfront for a memorable visit.

The allure of the Statue of Liberty remains timeless. Enjoy breathtaking views alongside world class cuisine or casual fare at the excellent dining and drinking options found just steps from her pedestal in Battery Park. Here’s to creating magnificent memories in New York Harbor!