NYC’s Best Winter-Friendly Outdoor Dining

Credit: The Little Owl

New York City is a place of constant reinvention, a trait that has shown through in the city’s approach to outdoor dining. In the spring, streets were delightfully co-opted by restaurants, effectively turning the city into one big block party. Now that temperatures have dropped, those private table structures, secret gardens, and streetside oases are turning into cozy corners of the city in order to allow New Yorkers to continue dining out in a safe fashion. 

From FiDi rooftops to Staten Island wine bars, here’s where you can stay warm while dining out this winter.

Brooklyn

East Williamsburg: Our Wicked Lady

This warehouse-turned-cocktail-bar usually hosts live shows, dance parties, and more. Right now, its rooftop is open with updates to facilitate year round al-fresco hangouts, such as heated tents, a new hot cocktails menu, and tacos from Seasoned Brooklyn. 

Williamsburg: Casa Ora

Green turf, lively plants, lattice fencing, and heaters have turned the street in front of Casa Ora into a getaway. The Venezuelan restaurant’s menu of arepas, empanadas, and plantain sandwiches is ideal for imagining that you’re somewhere warmer, while the fine-dining-level service earned the restaurant a spot on our list of great places to celebrate in NYC.

A plate of food with artful garnishes.

Credit: Casa Ora

Williamsburg: Shalom Japan

The unusual combo of Japanese and Jewish fare finds a home at Shalom Japan, where the cuisines come together for singular dishes such as wagyu pastrami sandos, matzo ball ramen, and lox chirashi. A few fenced-in tables with heaters outside the corner restaurant make for a lovely Brooklyn night. 

Prospect Heights: Morgan’s BBQ

Popular Prospect Heights BBQ spot Morgan’s has always had ample sidewalk seating, a perk that has been upgraded with the addition of heat lamps spaced out across the patio. Snag one of these tables and order a sampling of the restaurant’s famed smoked meats, and for extra warmth, check out the extensive whiskey selection. 

Manhattan

Midtown West: La Grande Boucherie

Located underneath a covered, open-air pedestrian passageway in Midtown, La Grande Boucherie’s outdoor dining area mimics the galleries that connect many streets in Paris. Heated floors and curtains at each end of the walkway keep air moving and the chill away so diners can enjoy French classics such as steak tartare and escargot paired with the restaurant’s extensive absinthe selection.

A row of dining tables under a covered walkway.

Credit: Melissa Hom for La Grande Boucherie

Harlem: Maison Harlem

Warm up under the heated, tented patio seating at this classic French bistro in Harlem. The menu features cozy cold weather favorites such as French onion soup, coq au vin, and a large selection of French wines.

Midtown West: Red Peony

A wide variety of Chinese fare in all its glory is on display at Red Peony, from fiery Sichuan to tamer Cantonese in dishes such as soup dumplings and other dim sum, Peking duck, whole braised fish, and chicken and broccoli. The restaurant’s upscale decor makes its way outdoors with white tablecloths, potted plants, and heaters. 

Soho: Laduree

Experience full-on Paris chic in Laduree’s stunning courtyard, recently updated for winter with heaters. The French teahouse is famous for its macarons and other traditional pastries, but there’s also a full savory menu here with dishes such as quiche lorraine, a chicken club sandwich, and lobster Caesar salad. 

West Village: Little Owl

The Little Owl has chosen to focus exclusively on outdoor dining, foregoing indoor even when the city allowed it. Over the past few months, the restaurant has refined its patio to create a heated, tented space complete that retains the ambiance that made the dining room a go-to spot for anniversaries, birthdays, and other celebrations. The menu remains the same, serving Mediterranean-inflected dishes such as the signature pork chop with butter beans and wild dandelion. 

Koreatown: Osamil

For a unique outdoor dining experience that’s perfect for a special occasion, head to Osamil’s new pop-up, “Osamil Pojangmacha.” The pop-up nods to Korea’s outdoor dining set-ups from the late ’80s, seating diners in a small red hut complete with heaters, open windows, and doors for cross-ventilation. The restaurant’s full menu is offered inside, with favorites such as the whole fried chicken that’s served with pickled vegetables and a signature dipping sauce.

Exterior of covered outdoor dining structure

Credit: Osamil

Queens

Astoria: Amylos

Amylos serves Greek cuisine that ranges from the traditional to riffs on classic dishes such as lobster moussaka. Book a table on the restaurant’s covered patio, where heat lamps have recently been installed on the ceiling to ensure a comfortable meal throughout the winter.

Jackson Heights: Bistro Eloise

This neighborhood restaurant offers a tour of France via its menu, from classic crêpes from Brittany to Burgundy’s cold-weather favorite, beef bourguignon. Lunch, brunch, and dinner can all be had on the restaurant’s heated, tented patio area. 

Staten Island

Shore Acres: Bin 5 

A fenced backyard with trees creates a dreamy outdoor setting for a meal at acclaimed Staten Island wine bar Bin 5. Snag a table under a heater to enjoy eclectic dishes such as duck pâté, grilled squid salad, and chicken and waffles, and drink from the extensive, mostly natural wine list that pulls from Europe and the U.S.

The Bronx

Little Italy: San Gennaro

One of the newer arrivals to Arthur Avenue, San Gennaro mixes traditional Italian-American fare with lesser-seen specials inspired by the Italian-born chef’s upbringing. Sit on the heated, enclosed patio and enjoy favorites such as veal milanese or a regional dish like linguine al ragu di noci, a pasta dish with walnut sauce from Italy’s Liguria region. 

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