In case you've somehow missed the snow, or at least the mayor's stern warnings about snow, allow us to break the news to you that winter is officially upon is. But that certainly shouldn't put a crimp in your dinner plans. If anything, you should be eating out more frequently considering that there's literally nothing else you can do with your free time in this city in February.
As a result, we'd like to offer up some of our favorite restaurant hangs for the frigid months, each categorized by a freeze-friendly "Perfect For" tag. Some of these places have a particularly special cozy feel, and others just seem to thrive when it's chilly outside. All of them make for a great idea on a really cold night. Just make sure your scarf game is on point before you head out. Nobody wants to see your neck this time of year.
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Perfect For: Winter Meat Feast
456 Hudson St.
New York, NY 10014
You know how sometimes you want to eat Korean BBQ, but you also don't want to 1) be in Midtown, 2) wonder what kind of meat you just ate, and 3) smell like a grill afterwards? Takashi is here to help. This excellent West Village Japanese-Korean restaurant serves only high quality cuts of beef, from short ribs to cheek to achilles tendon, all of which you should eat. It's a nice, upscale environment, complete with a crazy Dyson vacuum thing that pulls down over each table - that way your Canada Goose won't come out smelling like...grilled goose.
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Perfect For: A Late Night Duck Feast
529 1/2 Hudson St.
New York, NY 10014
There are plenty of places to eat Peking Duck in New York City, and they're all appropriate for dinner on a cold winter night. But what about a cold winter morning? Like, say, at midnight? Where do you get your Peking Duck then? You get it at Decoy. You also get a whole bunch of other stuff, like dumplings and noodles and all kinds of sides, all with that familiar Red Farm twist (which is right upstairs). We recommend going directly into hibernation after a meal here.
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Perfect For: Pretending You're In A Cabin With Dip
End of Freeman Alley
Rivington St. b/t Chrystie St. & Bowery
Thanks to its often-imitated Vermont cabin aesthetic and legendary artichoke dip, Freemans will always and forever be a cold weather dining classic. It's still not an easy place to get a table, so show up early and put your name in, then wait across the street at Loreley. A giant hefeweizen will help you pass the time.
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Perfect For: Getting Cozy In Brooklyn
268 Clinton St.
Brooklyn, NY 11201
Yeah, we just said "cozy" semi-seriously. That's because La Vara may actually be the coziest little restaurant in all of Brooklyn. Hidden on a picturesque residential block in Cobble Hill and tucked away from the main streets and foot traffic, La Vara serves unique and delicious Spanish tapas, and the wine list is an absolute home run for date night. Bring your boyfriend, husband, wife, or girlfriend, and also bring a lot of money. Those small plates add up.
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Perfect For: Packing On Winter Calories
331 W. 4th St.
New York, NY 10014
Corner Bistro has always been one of our go-to winter hangs, especially when their landmark neon sign is covered in snow. The burgers are massive and best served with bacon, and they'll keep your body fueled for an entire Saturday or one whole winter, depending on your metabolism.
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Perfect For: A Pork Belly Parka
536 E. 5th St.
New York, NY 10009
You know what the warmest food on earth is? This pork belly dish from Tuome. It's science. Basically, the fatty part of each piece of belly will become a coat made of lipids and plum sauce that your body will wear all winter long. Don't go outside without one.
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Perfect For: Seeing Where The Night Will Take You
314 W. 11th St.
New York, NY 10014
Some of our most memorable nights in New York City have started (and ended) at The Spotted Pig. There’s something special about this place, especially when it’s cold out. It’s ideal for evenings where you’re looking to mix it up and see where the night takes you, and during the winter months, when you’re not looking to move from place to place, The Spotted Pig can serve as a one-stop-shop for many “Perfect For” activities, including Scoping Hot Girls/Guys, and eating delicious burgers.
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Perfect For: Ramen
65 4th Ave.
New York, NY 10003
Winter is ramen slurping season, and there’s no better place to practice your form than Ippudo. Yes there are plenty of other ramen spots in town, yes this place is guaranteed to be a zoo, and yes waiting to get seated at the front bar feels like the L-Train during rush hour, but no matter. This is still one of our favorite bowls of anything in this town, and you can drink Sapporo from the tap while you wait.
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Perfect For: Eating Like It's A Sport (Since You Aren't Exercising Right Now Anyway)
600 11th Ave.
New York, NY 10036
Home to uptown locations of Infatuation favorites Ivan Ramen and The Cannibal, Gotham West Market remains one of the best places in town to warm yourself up with many types of food at one time. We like to grab some beers from The Cannibal, take down a bowl of spicy ramen from the Slurp Shop, and then head back to The Cannibal for another beer and a few of their surprisingly excellent cookies.
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Perfect For: Action On The Upper East Side
133 E. 65th St.
New York, NY 10065
If you live on the Upper East Side, chances are you generally go downtown when you're looking for good food with some Action At The Bar. But in this weather, you're probably not going anywhere, let alone somewhere that might require a subway. Luckily, these days you've got a few local options, including The East Pole, brought to you by the people behind The Fat Radish and Brinkley's. The food here is generally good, the drinks are well-made, and there's always something hilarious going on at the bar - usually involving a woman who should have gone home two hours ago. Have them make you an old fashioned, and have fun watching that scene play out.
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Perfect For: Hanging Out Inside A Christmas Tree
281 3rd Ave.
New York, NY 10010
Rolf's is a German restaurant in Gramercy, run by people who are apparently the Bavarian equivalent of Clark Griswold on acid. Starting in November and lasting all the way through March, every inch of this restaurant gets decorated in garland, ornaments, and enough lights to raise the temperature in the room by twenty degrees. It's quite literally the most festive place in the city, and it's pretty much just like drinking hefeweizen inside the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree. Or so we imagine...