One of the most charming and romantic trends to emerge from the COVID era is the rise of outdoor dining in NYC. And as to be expected from a city revered for always being one step ahead of the zeitgeist, the restaurant scene has exploded with creativity and cozy winter wonderlands created with igloos, yurts, glass cabins, tents, and more heaters and fairy lights than you can poke a breadstick at.

NoMad Rooftop, Flatiron District

Image Courtesy of The Rooftop

The Rooftop at Nomad Hotel, the designer hotel located in a restored 1903 Beaux-Arts building in the historic Flatiron district is one of our favorite bars in Manhattan.   A foodie, fashionista, and business traveler hotspot, NoMad Hotel is also home to the Michelin Star NoMad Restaurant and Library bar with an antique spiral staircase imported from France. 

Outdoor Seating: The Rooftop has been transformed into a fully tented, heated space illuminated with lanterns and rustic chandeliers. Adding to the cozy factor, beautifully woven floor rugs and dining chairs draped in warm blankets.  

The Food: Serving creative takes on American classics the NoMad Rooftop and NoMad restaurant are most famous for their NoMad Chicken dinner. It’s hard to decide which is more delicious: the black truffle and foie gras stuffing or apple cider ice cream. The NoMad has also created The Nomad Feast, a private dining experience for 2-10 people at your home. 

Cocktail Hour: You’ll find one of the best collections of cocktails in the city here. The “Start Me Up”, a mix of bourbon, rum, honey, ginger, lemon, and orange bitters is a favorite. As is the “Southern-Style Mint Julep” because you know how we feel about fresh herbs in our cocktails. 

Where to Find them: 1170 Broadway, New York, NY 10001 | thenomadhotel

Crown Shy, Financial District

Image Courtesy of Crown Shy

Crown Shy, an elevated meets casual restaurant on the ground floor of a beautiful Art-Deco building in the Financial District has invigorated the culinary scene in a neighborhood long lacking one. The restaurant’s sophisticated take on rich global favorites with a focus on seasonal produce lends itself perfectly to chilly outdoor seating. Plan to get there a little earlier so you can check out the landmarked building’s marble lobby. 

Outdoor Seating: Taking outdoor dining to a whole other level Crown Shy created Shy Village, a collection of 10 stylish yurts that have taken over Pine Street. To accommodate the yurts, the street has been temporarily shut down. Inside the canvas yurts, which seat up to six, are faux fur covered seating, handwoven rugs, and overhead heaters.

The Food: Diners are required to order a prix fixe menu that has a great mix of appetizers, followed by a family-style entree featuring options like black bass, dry-aged ribeye, and roasted lamb. 

Cocktail Hour: Keep with the family-style dining theme and share a lovely bottle of vino, you can get clued up on the latest wine trends here. If cocktails are more your speed we love the Bazaar, a scotch cocktail served warm that’s perfect for chilly winter nights. 

Where to Find them: 70 Pine St, New York, NY 10005 | crownshynyc

Chikarashi ISSO, Lower East Side

An outdoor Yakitori Omakase located on the rooftop of Hotel 50 Bowery, Chikarashi ISSO within walking distance of Chinatown, Little Italy, and the East Village, this intimate 10 seat chefs counter presented by Chef Atsushi Kono has further redefined the immersive foodie experience.

Outdoor Seating: The Japanese-inspired chef’s counter, crafted from minimalistic Zen-like raw wood is inside an enclosed structure with sliding doors and a pitched roof to increase airflow. In addition to the heaters, the chef’s open charcoal fire grill will throw heat your way. 

The Food: Omsake dining means you leave it up to the chef to curate your menu but fear not, chicken cooked yakitori style over a charcoal fire, wagyu beef, and king crab will ensure a culinary level up.

Cocktail Hour: There’s a great wine list, but get into the spirit and try Japanese whisky, especially now that its sudden boom in popularity outside Japan has made it hard for anyone to get their hands-on. First-timers should go for Yamazaki 12, known for its floral notes, and smooth oak finish.

Where to Find them: 50 Bowery, New York, NY 10013 | chikarashiisso