Now that outdoor dining has been extended indefinitely, some of the city’s restaurants have found new ways to adapt for days when it’s as gloomy outside as a Tim Burton set. Let us introduce you to the bubble table. It’s sort of like being inside while technically being outside.
If you’re looking for covered tables but you don’t necessarily want to eat in a clear, plastic dome, our guide, Where To Eat Outside When It’s Cold & Rainy In NYC can help.
A romantic getaway to some alpine destination where you can say “chalet” unironically probably isn’t in the cards right now. But The Greens is a pretty strong substitute. Reserve a private cabin on the rooftop of Pier 17 at the Seaport during lunch or dinner, and share fondue and hot toddies while checking out your own virtual fireplace or the floor-to-ceiling views of the Brooklyn Bridge.
Peaches Hot House is one of the many Peaches offshoots that specializes in Nashville hot chicken. Come here when you need a reminder about why hot sauce matters, are craving a side of mac and cheese to your order, or just want to have a meal in one of their private greenhouses along their sidewalk.
There are only a few great dinner spots that could both fit on this guide and work for a night out with a few friends, a casual date, or dinner with your roommate. Haenyeo is one of them. The menu ranges from scallion pancakes and bibimbap to KBBQ that comes out on sizzling platters, and they’ve got heated, enclosed pods on their outdoor patio where Cyndi Lauper apparently likes to have lunch.
The food alone at Crown Shy makes it one of the best restaurants in NYC. But now that this American spot in Fidi has festively-decorated private yurts running along Pine Street, it’s also one of the best outdoor dining experiences you can have anywhere in the city this winter.
TailGate Outdoor Sports Bar
We’d like to think tailgating has prepared us for our current situation of huddling in the cold watching sports, but we’ll still take some heat lamps. Which is exactly what’s being offered at this new outdoor sports bar in Williamsburg. Along with heated cabanas, they’re always serving up specials, like their “Puppybowl brunch” they hosted on the day of the Super Bowl. Make a reservation and find out more info here.
The Lower East Side location of this casual Italian restaurant has a couple of bubble tables on Grand Street available for lunch and dinner. They’re just big enough for two people, which means you’ll only have to share your pizza, garlic knot sliders, and chicken wings with one other person.
After renovating the entire restaurant himself, the head chef and owner of Leland Eating & Drinking House opened this Prospect Heights spot on a quiet corner just off of Washington Avenue. On the sidewalk patio, you’ll see a few private, heated outdoor shacks they’re calling “cozy cabins,” but there’s also a takeout window where you can pick up a pastry, bottle of wine, or cocktail to go.
Mika is a beer bar with a space in Bushwick that could easily handle a wedding in the before times. It’s massive. Their outdoor area has a few spaced-out tables, as well as two plastic tents where you can use wifi to get work done or have drinks. You’ll have to go through Mika’s indoor area to get to the backyard, and they will check your temperature and ask for contact info for tracing purposes.
This French bistro on the UWS installed clear plastic domes to cover each of their outdoor tables. So, instead of wind gusts and rain, moule frites, wine, live jazz, and friends or a date will have your full attention. These domes can be reserved through the restaurant’s website.
Honey Badger in Prospect Lefferts Gardens has fully committed to creating new outdoor architecture: they built a chic, wooden lean-to house where you can stay dry and warm while you eat. The experimental tasting menu here changes often, but it’s always focused on whatever is in season. You can make a reservation for up to six people here.
Industry Kitchen has installed a few personal table coverings to block undesirable weather. Unlike Cafe Du Soleil’s bubble domes, this pizza and salad spot on the East River has table tents that look more like tiny clear houses. In fact, some real estate broker could probably list one on StreetEasy for $1,500 a month on the Lower East Side - utilities not included. Industry Kitchen is open from noon to 10pm every day, and you can reserve a table here - but we’d suggest giving them a call to ask about tent availability.
Hane Sushi in Stuytown has both enclosed bubbles over individual tables as well as an area with a large outdoor tent with flaps on all sides. You can stop by for a spicy yellowtail roll or $21 sushi combo platter for lunch or dinner every day.
If you’re looking for another option right on the water (without water being the thing that actually ruins your meal) consider Estuary in Brooklyn Bridge Park. They have private table coverings which we’re formally going to start calling “table houses.” Make a reservation and check out their menu of American dishes like trout with butternut squash, lobster rolls, and a burger with smoked gouda here.
This rooftop restaurant in FiDi opened back in July, and each of their outdoor tables has its own clear hut. You have to call to reserve one of their enclosed outdoor tables at least seven days in advance. Find more information and take a look at their Italian menu on their website.