By CBSNewYork Team

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – The COVID pandemic has transformed what many people consider “dining out” in New York City.

The Regional Plan Association’s “Alfresco NYC” coalition announced Monday the winners for the best outdoor dining structures and open streets across the five boroughs.

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“Today is a celebration of outdoor dining and open streets — as well as an acknowledgement of how New Yorkers came together in one of our darkest hours to make our city more sustainable, equitable and accessible,” said Tom Wright, president of Regional Plan Association. ​“We congratulate all of the winners for prevailing in a stiff competition with establishments in every borough that brought creative and innovative designs to life. The winners all provide real guideposts for how outdoor dining and open streets can be implemented at their very best.”

Factors that went into the judging included creative visual style, the use of sustainable materials, accessibility and integration within its neighborhood.

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Here are the winners, and why the judges say they selected them.

  • Boogie Down Grind (868 Hunts Point Ave, Bronx): Featuring a ​“Subway car” design, this South Bronx coffee shop hosts free community events to showcase local artists and represents a big effort in an area with few Open Restaurants.
  • Blend Astoria (37 – 17 30th Ave, Queens): This neighborhood Latin American staple creates a fully outdoor experience, with seamless design and color coordination that significantly enhances the vibe at the corner of 30th Avenue and 38th St.
  • Peaches Kitchen and Bar (393 Lewis Ave, Brooklyn): Black-owned Peaches uses reclaimed plastics made into building block bottles for a stylish and sustainable aesthetic. The next steps include sustainable power sources as well as air exchange.
  • Kokomo (65 Kent Ave, Brooklyn): Kokomo’s seventh iteration of its outdoor structure nails it — transporting you to the Caribbean while providing improved wheelchair access, warm lighting, movable banquettes and variety of seating.
  • Vinum (704 Bay Street, Staten Island): In a borough with scarce Open Restaurants, classy Italian spot Vinum offers an elegant rustic wood exterior aesthetic to match the restaurant, that’s neatly aligned with the curb and the street’s slope.
  • Empire Diner (210 10th Ave, Manhattan): With an efficient seating arrangement with slim design, the outdoor dining area is accessible and takes up minimal space without feeling crowded.
  • Casa La Femme (140 Charles St, Manhattan): Distinguished by its maximalist design and decoration, the Egyptian cuisine eatery uses real plants and elements of its indoor dining style to create a relaxing and luxurious outdoor dining experience.

Winners will receive $500.

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CBSNewYork Team