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Al Fresco Dining Returns, Heralding the Arrival of Spring

Temperatures hit 50 degrees yesterday, so restaurants broke out the sidewalk cafes.

Greg Morabito

Yesterday, just as the clocks sprang forward, temperatures in New York City approached a balmy 50 degrees. And so, despite the mounds of snow still melting into piles of garbage on every street corner, restaurants began dragging out the outdoor furniture to give diners this year's first sweet, sweet taste of al fresco dining. Yesterday, Cafe Select and Jack's Wife Freda were some of the first to take part in the annual spring ritual:

And Nolita hot spot The Butcher's Daughter was totally packed with people dining outside in their coats and scarves:

Mission Cantina's a bit quiet, but outside seating is all set up and waiting for diners:

Sit outside @missioncantinanyc !!! MCFNYC is closed Mondaze...come eat at cantina instead!

A photo posted by Mission Chinese Food (@missionchinesefood) on

Gemma, usually one of the first to celebrate the arrival of warm weather, still hasn't gotten on board:

But with temperatures holding steady at 50 or higher for most of the rest of the week, expect to see tables on the Bowery any day now.

Sidewalk cafes are the New York equivalent of crocus buds popping up out of the ground – a sure sign that spring is here to stay. So do keep an eye out for outdoor tables cropping up throughout the city, and send any and all al fresco dining intel to

Update 4:30 p.m.: Birreria's glass roof is pulled back and the beer is flowing.

Update 5:45 p.m.: Looks like Local 92 also has some sidewalk cafe action going on:

Nice enough to be eating & drinking outside along 2nd Avenue. #EastVillage

A photo posted by EV Grieve (@evgrieve) on