Food & Drink

17 Fall-Friendly Outdoor Dining Options in NYC

Heaters, individual plastic domes, branded blankets, and everything in between.

Autumn in NYC may be magical, but foliage in Central Park and hot, fall-flavored lattes can only make us forget about dropping temperatures for so long. Normally, New Yorkers would take refuge from chilly nights inside busy restaurants and cozy bars, but this year is a little different (and we all know why).

While it’s true that indoor dining is back in NYC, the dining experience is nowhere close to what it was pre-COVID-19. With restaurants only able to operate dining rooms at 25% capacity, in addition to the city seeing a recent uptick in COVID-19 cases, it’s understandable that many New Yorkers aren’t comfortable with the thought of eating inside again just yet. Luckily, restaurants are now allowed to serve guests in outside seating all year round and use previously forbidden propane heaters to keep everyone comfortable. And a new grant is also offering financial support to a number of smaller NYC restaurants so they can afford to prep their outdoor spaces for the incoming cold weather.

We saw how creative NYC restaurants got this summer when faced with the prospect of an outdoor-only setup, but get ready for the fall edition: With everything from weatherproof cabanas and heaters, to individually sanitized plastic domes and branded blankets to help keep New Yorkers warm, restaurants are getting extra crafty to help extend outdoor dining just a bit longer than usual. We pulled together a list of restaurants with top-notch outdoor setups to enjoy this season, so go order everything on the menu and check out all the innovative ways our favorite spots have geared up for fall. And as always, please social distance responsibly and keep your mask on when possible.

Cafe du Soleil

Upper West Side

If you’re feeling chilly dining outside this fall—how about your own personal dining igloo to warm things up? This classic French bistro recently converted its sidewalk seating with clear dome-shaped structures that encapsulate each table. The clear bubbles have closures that completely separate you from other parties and are disinfected between each seating, so you can dive into French fare like moules frites and beef bourguignon without worry.
How to book: Via OpenTable

Kokomo

Williamsburg

With so many fall travel plans now on hold this year, why not take a pretend trip to the Caribbean in your own backyard? Kokomo boasts a menu of pan-Carribean fare that samples from the many varying cultures in the region so you can island hop around the menu. This fall, the restaurant is transforming its outdoor dining space into a Carribean winter wonderland with weatherproof cabanas, heat lamps, branded blankets, and holiday decor.
How to book: Via Resy

Hütte by Blume
Hütte

Hütte by Blume

Upper East Side

At this new backyard garden hidden behind a butcher shop, dining is like being transported to the Swiss Alps. The spot opened just a few months ago and starting in November, a walk through Schaller and Weber will bring you to an apres ski-style lounge with Austrian comfort food like fondue and venison goulash with plenty of glüwein flowing. As for the decor at Hütte, expect a big tent overhead with string lights, plenty of heaters to keep you warm, and couches draped with cozy blankets.
How to book: First come, first served

The NoMad Rooftop
The NoMad Rooftop

The NoMad Rooftop

Midtown

The NoMad’s gorgeous rooftop bar has been a hot spot for breakfast through dessert (and everything in between) since it opened in September. With a dreamy vaulted tent roof, cozy seating options, and warm toned accent rugs, it was already well equipped for colder weather. But the restaurant is taking it up a notch with heaters throughout the fall.
How to book:Online

Crop Circle

Greenwich Village

This casual eatery’s signature dishes are staples of Chinese street food and while it’s made to be eaten on the go, you can dine outside comfortably through the fall. The outdoor space is equipped with heaters and plexiglass shields for warmth and safety. Meanwhile, the signature dish, guo kui, a thin-stuffed dough sprinkled with sesame seeds, will be served in oil-proof sheets so they don’t dry out in the crisp fall air.
How to book: First come, first served

Strangeways
Strangeways

Strangeways

Williamsburg

You may recognize this patio from its time as the dive bar Extra Fancy, but the 1,700 square foot outdoor space has been recently transformed into an outdoor-only restaurant with gorgeous greenery and a glass greenhouse-style roof to protect from the elements. As the temperatures drop, Strangeways will heat the covered patio so you can dine on creative travel-inspired fare in the open air all year round.
How to book: Via Resy

Parklife
Parklife

Parklife

Gowanus

Parklife’s 4,000 square-foot patio was built for social distancing before it was even a thing, and the mostly outdoor spot is known for its craft cocktails, tacos, tlacoyos, and churros. Add a firepit with benches around it, heaters, and blankets for rent, and we know exactly where we’ll be when the temperature drops.
How to book: Online

Izakaya Mew

Flushing

MEW may be known for its impressive sushi menu, frosty frozen beer, and soft serve ice cream, but the izakaya is upgrading its outdoor dining situation to be anything but chilly. The Flushing location has an outdoor tented patio, blankets for guests, and hot pot and other soup options that will expand as the temperatures continue to drop.
How to book: Call 347-506-0044

Zona De Cuba

The Bronx

If you thought dining inside an igloo meant freezing food and shivering guests, think again. Plastic domes line the rooftop at Zona de Cuba and the personal spaces will keep you warm as you dine on Cuban fare and tropical signature cocktails.
How to book:Online

Jungsik
Jungsik

Jungsik

tribeca

Jungsik is taking its renowned two-starred Michelin dining experience outdoors. So if you haven’t tried this pioneering New Korean fare, there’s no better time. The Tribeca restaurant has sidewalk seating where each table is covered with its own tent enclosed with mosquito netting and the restaurant will introduce heat lamps for colder nights.
How to book: Via Tock

Haven at the Sanctuary Hotel
Courtesy of Haven Rooftop at The Sanctuary Hotel

Haven at the Sanctuary Hotel

Midtown

Maybe you’ve walked across heated floors or sat on heated car seats, but have you ever dined at a heated table? Take a trip to the roof of the Sanctuary Hotel this fall, and you will. Bohemian chandeliers and tents already give this rooftop restaurant a warm atmosphere, and they’ve outfitted all of the high-top tables with sleek black heaters to fight the colder temperatures.
How to book: Via OpenTable

Wayan
Wayan

Wayan

Nolita

When Wayan wanted to bring its sizzling satays and other Indonesian dishes outside for sidewalk seating, they tapped Re-Ply—a company that is repurposing the plywood once used to protect NYC businesses from damage this spring into seating areas and tents for safe outdoor dining. The result (other than a heartwarming story) is minimalist block stools and tables and a canvas tent with heaters inside to protect you from the elements.
How to book: Via Resy

Avra Estiatorio

Upper East Side

Situated steps from Central Park, this Greek restaurant has an expansive sidewalk patio that makes a charming addition to the neighborhood. Now that it’s outfitted for fall, the white-tableclothed tables sit under a large tent alongside heaters and the restaurant supplies blankets for guests as well.
How to book: Via OpenTable

Kyuramen

Flushing

At Kyuramen, you’ll get one of the most private outdoor dining experiences in all of NYC. The bamboo booths sit side by side outside the restaurant with a solid roof, a plastic window on one side, and an open entrance on the other so you can choose from 12 different types of ramen and sip the steaming broth in your own personal, weather-proof hut.
How to book: Call 917-285-2332

Ampia

Financial District

Forget plastic dining domes. Ampia has plastic dining homes in the form of rooftop greenhouses surrounding each table. Alongside colorful flower gardens and art installations, the sprawling FiDi terrace has had the individual greenhouse structures set -up since July and they’ll transition perfectly into cooler weather.
How to book: Via OpenTable

15 East at Tocqueville
15 East at Tocqueville | Alex Karasev

15 East at Tocqueville

Union Square

When two Michelin-recognized restaurants join forces, you get some seriously incredible food. Tocqueville and 15 East couldn’t be more different—Tocqueville is known for French-American fare while 15 East has acclaimed omakase—but the two restaurants are coming together for the first time this fall. You can enjoy the best of both restaurants under the elegant glass canopy, and infrared heat lamps and sheepskin throws will keep you cozy.
How to book: Via OpenTable

Brooklyn Kura
Brooklyn Kura

Brooklyn Kura

Sunset Park

Sake is one of the few booze options that comes hot and cold, so the only sake brewery in New York is the perfect place to hang out for drinks and pop-up dinner events this fall. Brooklyn Kura makes six different sakes in house, most of which are served cold. But the spot is expanding into warm sake and has new immersion warmer technology to ensure it is heated to the exact temperature required based on the type of sake you’re enjoying. Whether you go for hot or cold, the courtyard patio is equipped with heat lamps and an electric fireplace.
How to book: Call 347-766-1601

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